Interfaith Dialogue on November 1 — “Bridging the Divide”

Bridging the Divide

Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside (FIRE) invites you to our 15th Interfaith Dialogue on Sunday, November 1, 6:30-8:00PM. This Dialogue will be conducted online using Zoom conferencing. For access to the Dialogue, please register at

The topic for this Dialogue is “Bridging the Divide — How people of faith can address partisan and ideological polarization and help our communities heal”. The event features a panel discussion and small group discussions including people from many world religions including Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Native Americans, Sikhism, Sufism, Unitarianism, Zoroastrianism, and others, and stimulating interfaith discussions among all participants.

Suggested topics for the discussions include Loving each other even if we disagree, Respect for political differences, Civility in online and personal interactions, Being good examples and advocates to lead society at large to a better future, and Justice – racism, bias, privilege, gender, economic, etc..

Most previous FIRE Interfaith Dialogues have included a meal, but due to pandemic social distancing requirements this will be an online-only event. We ask all attendees to please register for the event through EventBrite at As the event approaches, all attendees will receive the link to the Zoom conference by email, along with instructions on how to connect online and by phone and how to navigate the conference.

Please join us and invite your friends! For more information, please email Please do not use this email to register — instead, go to

FIRE Panel Discussion: Standing Strong. Staying Apart. Drawing Spiritual Strength.

Even though the FIRE Dinner Dialogue scheduled for April 5th, 2020 was postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak, we still want to stay in touch as we face the COVID-19 challenge.

You are invited to an online panel discussion to hear from a city government official, a local faith leader, a social worker, and King County public health officials. They will share perspectives on the current situation, get us updated, and engage in a question and answer session as we seek clarification and guidance to continue Standing Strong, Staying Apart and Drawing Spiritual Strength.

WHEN: 5:00 PM Monday April 27, 2020
WHERE: Zoom Conference, Meeting ID: 777 2847 6629 , Password: 5k38aG

PANELISTS: Jim Lopez, Assistant City Manager City of Kirkland; Rev. Michael Anderson, Pastor, Holy Spirit of Lutheran Church; Kendra Petkau, Kirkland Nourishing Network; Debra R. Baker, King County Public Health; Shannon Harris, King County Public Health

James (Jim) Lopez is the Assistant City Manager for the City of Kirkland where he oversees the city’s civic engagement, communications and economic development programs. Prior to his current role, Jim was responsible for the administration of the city’s self-insured health plan and he is one of the architects of the Consumer Driven Medical Home model of care. Before coming to Kirkland, Jim served as Senior Advisor to Deputy Secretary Ron Sims at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington DC. Prior to his time at HUD, Jim served as Deputy Chief of Staff to King County Executive Sims.

For the past three decades Michael Anderson has been pastor at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church located just two blocks from Life Care Center where he would regularly visit patients.  Recently,  he has been helping to lead his congregation to cope with all the difficulties and opportunities the pandemic had presented to all of us.

Kendra Petkau has lived on the Eastside for fifteen years with her husband and two sons, now in middle and high school. She was a Kirkland Nourishing Network food box donor at the North Kirkland location for several years before establishing an additional location in 2014 to serve schools in South Kirkland. Kendra enjoys working with KNN donors and volunteers to help meet the needs of food-insecure students and their families.

Debra R. Baker is an Organizational Development Practitioner with King County Human Resources.  She was reassigned to King County Public Health to set-up and lead Speakers Bureau, which is part of the COVID-19 Community Mitigation Branch.

Shannon Harris has served in King County Government in various capacities.  She is currently working in the COVID-19 Community Mitigation Branch in King County Public Health, where she is a co-lead in the Business Task Force.

The panel discussion and Q&A will be moderated by Jawad Khaki, President of Ithna‐asheri Muslim Association of the Northwest (IMAN).

Save the Date — FIRE Dinner Dialogue on April 5, 2020

The next Interfaith Dinner Dialogue sponsored by Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside (FIRE) will be held on Sunday, April 5, 5-8PM, at East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue. The topic will be “Stewardship of the Earth”, in association with Earth Day which is also in April. We’re still working on refining the topics and identifying panelists, but wanted to give you as much notice as possible to reserve the time on your calendar. RSVPs via Eventbrite will be available soon. Hope to see you on April 5!

Interfaith Dinner Dialogue on November 3 — “Celebrations, Commemorations, and Holidays”

Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside (FIRE) invites you to the 13th Interfaith Dinner Dialogue on Sunday, November 3, 5-8PM at Sikh Centre of Seattle, 20412 Bothell-Everett Highway in Bothell. A tour of the Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) will be held at 4:30PM for those who arrive early.

The event features a panel discussion with representatives of world religions including Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikh, and Zoroastrianism, and stimulating interfaith discussions among all participants. The topic for this Dialogue is “What Are Your Faith’s Celebrations, Commemorations and Holidays?”.

Most previous FIRE Dinner Dialogues have been pot-luck, but this time we’ll enjoy a fabulous vegetarian dinner (“langar”) provided FREE by Sikh community volunteers. This is NOT a pot-luck, and participants should not bring food to the event — please enjoy someone else cooking for you! In order for our hosts to know how much food to prepare, we ask all attendees to please register for the event through EventBrite at

Important Notes: Sikh Centre is a shoeless facility; participants will be asked to remove their shoes at the entrance foyer. Please wash your hands with the soap and water provided at the entrance. Please dress modestly to cover conservatively. Both Men and Women are asked to cover their heads with a scarf (there will be a few extra scarves for anyone who forgets or does not have one). The use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs is not permitted. The Sikh Center is wheelchair accessible.

For more information, please email

If you would like to invite others to the Dinner Dialogue, you can download and print a color flyer.

Walk with FIRE in the Kirkland 4th of July Parade! And then join us for a BBQ lunch!

Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside (FIRE), a non-profit group that works to build trust and understanding among faith communities, invites members of all faith traditions and communities to walk with them in the 2019 Kirkland 4th of July Parade.

Participants are encouraged to wear clothing typical for their faith to help show the diversity of faiths participating in the group, T-shirts promoting peace and understanding, or other clothing of their choice. Those walking should wear sensible shoes; hats and sunscreen are advised. Participants are welcome to carry signs and banners promoting peace, love, unity, and understanding.

The parade starts at Noon. It follows a route through Marina Park and around the downtown core, a total walking distance of about one mile. Participants are asked to line up at the designated point in the Market neighborhood north of Heritage Park by 11AM. The position in the parade and the exact location at which the FIRE group will assemble will be assigned around July 1, posted here, and emailed to FIRE email lists and all who RSVP.

Those interested in participating in the parade should email Information on the group’s position in the parade, assembly point, and recommended parking locations will be sent before the parade date. For more information on the parade including the route, visit For further information, email or contact Toby at 206-790-6377.

You’re Also Invited to an Interfaith 4th of July BBQ!

After the Celebrate Kirkland 4th of July Parade (about 2PM), join us at IMAN Center, 515 State Street, Kirkland, for a delicious BBQ lunch. We’ll have hamburgers (with halal beef), hot dogs, veggie burgers, and accompaniments. You’re welcome to walk in the parade, or have lunch with us, or both! There’s no cost for lunch, but donations are welcome. You can make a donation in any amount online if you like, or at the BBQ. PLEASE RSVP by Sunday, June 30 if you plan to eat, so we have enough food. Go to this link to RSVP: If you have questions, please email

If you’d like to sign up to help at the BBQ (setup, cooking, serving, cleanup), please go to Thanks!

The BBQ is jointly sponsored by:
Holy Spirit Lutheran Church
Ithna-asheri Muslim Association of the Northwest (IMAN)
Kol Ami: A Center for Jewish Life
Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church
St. John’s Episcopal Church
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kirkland Stake
Kirkland Interfaith Network (KIN)
Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside (FIRE)

Interfaith Dinner Dialogue on March 31 — “The Question of Evil”

Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside (FIRE) invites you to the 12th Interfaith Dinner Dialogue on Sunday, March 31, 5-8PM at IMAN Center, 515 State Street South, Kirkland WA 98033.

Previous FIRE Dinner Dialogues have been pot-luck, but this dinner is a delicious catered Halal dinner. Participants should not bring food to the event. A donation of $10 per person is requested to cover the cost of food, which may be paid online when you RSVP or at the door by cash, check, or credit card. Dinner will be served at 5:00PM, and the program will start at approximately 5:45PM.

The event features a panel discussion with representatives of world religions including Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Unitarian-Universalist, and stimulating interfaith discussions among all participants. The topic for this Dialogue is “The Question of Evil”, and will explore topics such as “How does your faith define evil?”, “How does your faith response to evil?”, “Is violence acceptable in response to evil?”, and “How does your faith teach you to respond to evil collectively and individually?”.

To respect the practices of our host faith community, please dress modestly (arms and legs covered, no low necklines). Women should wear head scarves; some will be available for those who do not bring their own. Guests will be asked to remove their shoes to protect the flooring and carpets in the prayer hall. People traditionally sit on the floor, but chairs will be available for those who need them. It is not traditional for men or women to shake hands when greeting persons of the opposite gender.

Because of the need to order the right amount of food, we are asking people to RSVP to this Dinner Dialogue using EventBrite. To RSVP for the event using EventBrite, please click here. You may make your donation to cover the cost of food through EventBrite, or at the door by cash, check, or credit card. For more information, please email

If you would like to invite others to the Dinner Dialogue, you can download and print a color flyer, or download and print a two-per-page bulletin insert.

Connection Beyond Conflict event on Feb. 21 is NOT CANCELLED

Well, this is unexpected. Shortly after sending the previous cancellation announcement, Northlake was contacted by Abrahamic Reunion and told that Sheikh Ghassan Manasra has been cleared for travel after all! So the event on February 21 is now UNCANCELLED and will proceed as originally scheduled. Please ignore the cancellation message sent previously, and we apologize for filling your inbox!

You’re Invited: Connection Beyond Conflict on February 21

You’re invited to this special event:

Connection Beyond Conflict
Interfaith Solidarity & Peacemaking in the Holy Land & Beyond

Thursday, February 21st, 7:00pm
Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church
308 4th Avenue S, Kirkland WA 98033

Guest Speaker: Sheikh Ghassan Manasra, International Director, Abrahamic Reunion

For the past 15 years, The Abrahamic Reunion has been working steadily to create harmony among the four faiths of the Holy Land in Israel and Palestine, even — and often especially — in the midst of conflict and tension. Their successes are only just now becoming known and recognized.

Hear stories from Sheikh Ghassan’s many years of front-line engagement with inter-religious dialogue, interfaith spiritual activism, and multi-faith peacebuilding in Israel, Palestine, and around the world.



Sheikh Ghassan Manasra
Sheikh Ghassan Manasra

Sheikh Ghassan Manasra is a globally recognized interreligious dialogue expert and facilitator. He is also a Fulbright Scholar and lecturer. He currently serves, and has served in the past, on the boards of numerous Israeli, American, and international peacemaking organizations, including The Middle East Civic Forum, the Sulha Peace Project, Anwar Il-Salaam (Lights of Peace Center), and the World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace. He is from Nazareth, Israel.

Sheikh Ghassan was awarded the 2014 “Outstanding Leader in Interreligious Dialogue” award from the Dialogue Institute of Temple University in conjunction with the Fulbright Foundation and the U.S. State Department. He is a trusted advisor to heads of state—secular, Jewish, and Muslim—in the Middle East, Europe, and North America, and he has many friends across all religious and political divisions.

He is a trained scholar in both Arabic and Hebrew. He is a writer, poet and author, and has taught at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is sought after around the world for lectures and workshops on peacemaking, Islam, interfaith and multifaith dialogue, and interreligious relations. He has lectured at governmental and religious institutions, as well as at Cornell, Cambridge, Yale, American, Temple, and Ryerson Universities. In addition, he has been a presenter at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the Congress of Rabbis and Imams for Peace, and many other interreligious organizations around the world.

Sheikh Ghassan is Co-Coordinator of the Abrahamic Reunion, which is a network of Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Druze, and secular peacemakers dedicated to rebuilding trust and creating a lasting harmonious peace in the Holy Land through interreligious dialogue, prayer, events, and religious influence. In addition, he is Interreligious Dialogue Lecturer, Coordinator, and Advisor at Rising Tide International in Sarasota, Florida.

Interfaith Dinner Dialogue on November 11 – “What it is to be …”

F.I.R.E. (Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside) invites you to the eleventh in a series of Dinner Dialogues aimed at fostering interfaith relationships, on Sunday, November 11, 5PM to 8PM, hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7720 126th Avenue NE in Kirkland.

This Dialogue will be on the topic “What it is to be … ”. We will have a panel discussion among several world beliefs, including Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Zoroastrian,  on topics such as “What is it like to deeply live your faith?”, “Everything you wanted to know about being your faith”, “What is your faith tradition’s key message to the world?”, “What is your daily/weekly/monthly spiritual practices?”, and “How do you stay inspired to practice your faith?”. The audience will be able to ask questions of the panel and engage in stimulating interfaith dialogue with panel members and each other.

This is a potluck dinner, so please bring your favorite dish to share, labeled showing the ingredients to help people with food allergies and preferences make choices.

Everyone is invited to come and enjoy a fun evening of interfaith dialogue! You don’t need to be affiliated with any faith or faith community to participate. Please email and let us know how many will be coming, so we can be sure to set up enough tables and chairs.

If you would like to invite others to the Dinner Dialogue, you can download and print a color flyer, or download and print a two-per-page bulletin insert.