Interfaith Institute


JULY 29 – AUGUST 1, 2019


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Journeying Through: Caring Presence In Times Of Illness And Pain

Religious imagination is particularly vivid and powerful when fragility and mortality are in the air. Each religious tradition—in its own language of prayer, ritual, story, and custom—responds to illness and the accompanying dis-ease that encompass an individual, family, and community in ever-widening circles.

During our days in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, we will explore Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions regarding the sacred work of attending, caring, and supporting one another in times of illness and pain. Muslim, Christian, and Jewish community leaders will be our primary guides, with help and support from other fellow-travelers whose different faith traditions add to the rich presence of moral life in America. Join the conversation among many traditions that share common human values.

On the Day of Resurrection, God the Mighty and Majestic will say: ‘O child of Adam! I became sick and you did not visit me!’ The person will say, ‘O Lord, how can I visit you and you are the Lord of all that Exists!’ God will say, ‘Did you not know that my slave ‘so and so’ became sick, and you did not visit him? Did you not know that if you visited him, you would have found me with him?’ (Saheeh Muslim)

The king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…I was sick, and you took care of me…’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘And when was it that we saw you sick…? And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40)

From what source do we know that the Almighty sustains the sick?  From the verse: The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed (Psalm 41:4).  It was taught also in reference to this verse:  One who visits the sick must not sit upon the bed or on a stool or a chair but must robe himself respectfully and sit upon the ground because the Divine Presence rests above the sick person’s bed, as it is written:  The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed (Psalm 41:4)  (Babylonian Talmud, Nedarim 40a)

Under the guidance of respected leaders, the Institute participants strive to share and to value the wisdom of fellow-travelers in a world increasingly in need of the widest circle of community that we can create. This year we will be guided once again by our leaders of last year–back by popular demand! They are well-respected leaders who model pastoral presence and promote a culture of caring and presence to all in need.

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Katie Crowe3

Reverend Katie Crowe has been an AIDS hospice worker, a trauma center chaplain, a chapter founder of Contemplative Outreach, dedicated to furthering the practice of Centering Prayer, and as Pastor of churches in Charlotte and in Durham where she serves as the Senior Pastor of the Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church.


Imam Mowlid Ali2

Imam Mowlid Ali was born in Somalia, He is the Imam of Jamaat-Ibad-Ar-Rahhman, Durham, NC, and founder of Al-Misbah Qur’an Academy. Mowlid has earned the title, “Hafiz,” one who has memorized the Qur’an. Mowlid is a tranquil and graceful teacher. He is honored both in and beyond his own religious community for his caring and his steadfast presence when individuals or communities are in need.


Rabbi Daniel Greyber was ordained in 2002 at the Zeigler School of Rabbinic Studies. He is Rabbi of Beth El Synagogue in Durham, NC. Much of his intellectual and spiritual work concerns the rabbi as a caring presence in times of illness. His work, Faith Unravels: A Rabbi’s Struggle With Grief and God, chronicles a personal journey of caring and loss. Daniel is passionate about the value of interfaith work.


Kathleen Maloney-Tarr, a writer and spiritual director, returns to conduct her popular writing workshop for those who wish to explore our theme of “Journeying Through” by personal writing. There will be an opportunity for some of our writers to share their work with the Interfaith community. This has been an annual highlight of our Interfaith Institute!

Come and enjoy the learning and the fellowship. Share our time of deep reflection and high spirits. Help to create a reflective, caring community that can sustain itself beyond our days in the mountains, strengthening for our return from the mountain. Registration fees for 2019 cover the cost of the program as well as room and board at Wildacres for 3 nights, including 8 kosher meals. The fees are based on double occupancy ($50 single supplement). A limited amount of scholarship assistance is available. Children’s learning programs will be offered.

$325 per person for clergy and spouse;  $350 per person for laity;  $130 per child age 6-12; $90 per child 3-5.

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For more information, please contact: OR Rabbi Edward Friedman (