Saturday marked the first time since June 6, 2020 that core members of Interfaith Circle of Eden Prairie had gathered in-person.
Their annual Thanksgiving celebrations featuring ethnic foods, prayer, music, performers and speakers from different faith communities, were suspended in 2019. Back then, the pandemic had become full blown.
Two years ago, however, the core group did gather in Edenvale Park. They recorded thoughts for a video and joined a prayer vigil with others that was prompted by the death of George Floyd. Saturday’s in-person meet at Hyland Regional Park in Bloomington was simply a picnic and planning session in the sun.
“We have been meeting regularly every few months by Zoom and email.” said Shehla Mushtaq, Interfaith Circle coordinator. This picnic was our way of getting back together again to talk about what the future holds.”
In addition to its Thanksgiving celebration, Interfaith Circle organizes community symposiums and discussions with leading faith community thinkers.
Retired Eden Prairie United Methodist Church pastor Mike Miller and Ecumenical Catholic Community leader Dr. Trish Sullivan Vanni complimented the hamburger grilling skills of Saleem Adam and the enthusiasm of their Interfaith Circle partners.
Adam, a senior director of software engineering at Optum Rx and choreographer/teacher Sarah Steichen have helped organize hundreds of participants for the Thanksgiving celebrations. They are eager to resume the good work of the Circle.
Readers can connect to Interfaith Circle via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InterfaithCircle
Editor’s notes: This article was updated on June 21 removing a reference to the group’s Thanksgiving celebration plans. A location for the celebration has not yet been determined.
Writer Jeff Strate took the photos for this article and has co-produced several access television projects with Interfaith Circle. Jeff also serves on the EPLN Board of Directors.