On February 19, 2014, one Hindu, one Jew and three Christians sat together to answer questions submitted by the moderator and the local community before an audience of mixed faiths at First Baptist Church in Midland, Texas. This was the fourth such interfaith panel held in the Permian Basin.
The five speakers this year were (left to right in the first photo above):
Rabbi Holly Levin Cohn of Temple Beth El, Odessa, Texas
Msgr. Larry Droll, Pastor, St. Ann's Catholic Church, Midland, Texas
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami of Kauai's Hindu Monastery, Hawaii
Rt. Rev. Sam B. Hulsey, Bishop (Retd.), Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas
Dr. Randel Everett, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Midland, Texas
The following questions were asked of the five speakers, which each addressed with three minutes of prepared remarks:
Do you actively seek new members? How do you deal with inquirers seeking information to consider membership?
How does your faith influence your views on gay marriage, and more broadly on homosexuality in general.
What does your faith tradition have to say to those of us who do not believe in a Supernatural World, one with Gods, Spirits, Ghosts, and Demons?
Throughout the year there are many public events such as awards, banquets, board meeting for the numerous non-profit organizations and regular meetings held by Government bodies. And they are often opened with a prayer which honors or beseeches Jesus Christ. How do you feel about this, given that often-times members of non-Christian faiths are present?
Non-Christian children are frequently told by their peers that they are going to go to hell. Knowing that such comments can create fear and insecurity in young minds, how would you address this topic with your congregation?