Interfaith Relations

About Interfaith Relations at Fourth Church
Muslim–Presbyterian Covenant

Upcoming Interfaith Opportunities
Ongoing Interfaith Opportunities with Fourth Church
Holidays of the Abrahamic Faiths
Previous Interfaith Opportunities with Fourth Church
For More Information

Interfaith Photos

Fourth Presbyterian Church has a long history of vibrant and mutually beneficial relationships with neighboring communities from the Jewish, Muslim, and other faith traditions.

The Interfaith Resource Committee of Fourth Church supports our community’s efforts to deepen our Christian faith by engaging the faith traditions of others. We serve as a resource to our church’s members, ministries, and friends in seeking to promote understanding, fellowship, and service for the common good among all people of faith.

The Interfaith Resource Committee invites you to join the committee’s email list by contacting Anne Ellis (312.573.3369) to learn more about upcoming interfaith opportunities at Fourth Church, including

• Book discussions and public presentations on interfaith topics
• Interfaith worship services
• Tours of places of worship
• Joint service and advocacy projects
• Education on other faith traditions’ practices and celebrations
• Fine arts performances
• Festival meals to celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days and the Muslim month of Ramadan
• Classes with interfaith themes, offered by the Academy for Faith and Life

You can also find us on Facebook at Interfaith at Fourth Church.

Upcoming Interfaith Opportunities

A Call for Palm Sunday Hosts
    Sunday, March 29
    8:30 to 11:00 a.m. at Fourth Church

Do you have a gift for hospitality? Do you enjoy welcoming guests? 

The Interfaith Resource Committee is recruiting Fourth Church members interested in hosting members of the Islamic community at the 9:30 a.m. service on Palm Sunday, March 29. Jointly sponsored by Fourth Church and the Niagara Foundation, this opportunity is part of the community education program "Sharing the Faith," an interfaith approach to creating collaborative programs that enhance literacy of the Abrahamic faiths.

Hosts will be matched with individuals or couples from the Niagara Interfaith network and spend approximately two hours guiding them through the Palm Sunday service. They will meet around 8:30 a.m. and adjourn around 11:00 a.m.  

8:30 a.m. Gather for a "What to Expect" Info Session
9:30 a.m. Palm Sunday Worship
10:30 a.m. Debrief (with time for questions and reflections)
11:00 a.m. Adjourn 

If you would like to share the Palm Sunday experience with our Muslim brothers and sisters, please contact Anne Ellis (312.573.3369) by Wednesday, March 25.

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Blue Bows Interfaith Service and Press Conference
   "Ending Child Abuse and Neglect of Illinois Children
      Starts with You"

   Wednesday, April 1
   9:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary

Come learn about and be inspired to take action in the efforts against child abuse. Our interfaith prayer service will include Fourth Church Minister for Children and Families Matt Helms and our interfaith neighbors. The service will be followed by a press conference presented by the Blue Bow Committee of Illinois, with some of Chicago's leading voices in child abuse prevention participating. This press conference and post-conference ribbon-tying are the kickoff events for the month long, statewide campaign.

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Religion in Interfaith Homes
A Series for Couples and Families

   Sundays, April 12, May 3, October 11, and November 8
   1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
   Location alternates between Fourth Church and
      Chicago Sinai Congregation (see below for complete schedule)

As more and more people marry someone from a different faith, change faiths, or choose to embrace more than one faith, religious homes have become complex. “Religion in Interfaith Homes,” a joint program between Chicago Sinai Congregation and Fourth Presbyterian Church, explores many of the questions and issues that arise when more than one faith is a part of a religious home.

Co-taught by Joyce Shin, Associate Pastor at Fourth Church; Seth Limmer, Senior Rabbi at Chicago Sinai; and David Levinsky, Associate Rabbi at Chicago Sinaiwith a Catholic priest and a Muslim imam as guest teachersthis class takes an open and nonjudgmental approach to questions such as, How do you talk to your kids about God when parents think differently about the Divine? What do we have in common?

“Religion in Interfaith Homes” is held monthly (except some months; see below for schedule) from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. The location of each class alternates between Fourth Church (126 E. Chestnut St.) and Chicago Sinai Congregation (15 W. Delaware Pl.).

Participants are invited to attend whichever conversations interest them and as their schedules allow.

April 12
God and Theology
(hosted by Chicago Sinai)

May 3
Death, Grief, and the Afterlife
(hosted by Fourth Church)

October 11
Birth Rituals and Religious Education
(hosted by Fourth Church)

November 8
What Are We Doing This December?
(hosted by Chicago Sinai)

For more information about “Religion in Interfaith Homes,” contact Joyce Shin.

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An Evening with Charlotte Bonelli
   Thursday, April 16, 2015
   6:30 p.m. in the Gratz Center
   RSVP to Anne Ellis (312.573.3369)

Join the American Jewish Committee and Fourth Church for an evening with Charlotte Bonelli, author of Exit Berlin: How One Woman Saved Her Family from Nazi Germany. Ms. Bonelli is the director of American Jewish Committee archives.

The event is dedicated to Yom HaShoah and is in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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Interfaith Youth Core Professionals
   President's Council Launch Event

   Tuesday, May 5
   5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at SoHo House Chicago
   (113 N. Green St.)
   Sponsored by Dominic and Jessica Green

Save the date for the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) Young Professionals President's Council Launch Event! The event, which will take place on Tuesday, May 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at SoHo House Chicago (113 N. Green St.), offers opportunity for young professionals to learn more about IFYC's interfaith work in Chicago and ways to get involved with the organization.

To RSVP, please contact Claire Albert at 312.573.8914

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"Making Peace Possible:
      The Shared Wisdom of the Human Heart"
   Thursday, May 7, 2015
   6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Fourth Church

The Shambhala Center for Meditation in Chicago, in conjunction with Fourth Church, will be hosting a talk by Sakyong Mipham Rinphoche. The Sakyong will talk about the humanizing quality of meditation and how we can break society down into simple interactions where one person (you) can make a difference.

The talk begins at 6:30 p.m. and registration is required. Visit for more information and to register.

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Ecumenical Worship Service
   Sunday, May 17, 2015
   2:00 p.m. reception; 3:00 worship service in Buchanan Chapel

Join Fourth Church and Ecumenism Metro Chicago (EMC) for an afternoon of prayers for Christian Unity offered by members of the EMC's twenty faith communities. The homilist at the 3:00 p.m. worship service will be John Armstrong, President, ACT 3, Adjust Professor of Wheaton College.

Visit for more information and to register.

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Ongoing Interfaith Opportunities with Fourth Church

Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service

Each Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago Sinai Congregation, and Holy Name Cathedral gather for a service of thanksgiving. Each congregation takes a turn hosting the service, with the other congregations providing music and worship leadership.

Interfaith Passover Seder

Each spring, Chicago Sinai Congregation graciously hosts guests from Fourth Church and other congregations at a Passover Seder.

We hope you'll join us for this inclusive event next year!

Book Discussions

Discussions of books on interfaith topics, such as Bruce Feiler’s Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths, as well as discussions with interfaith partners are among the ways in which we learn about and engage the faith traditions of others.

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Holidays of the Abrahamic Faiths

A complete listing of religous holidays for this year and future years can be found at All Jewish holidays begin at sundown of the day prior to the date listed.

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Previous Interfaith Opportunities with Fourth Church

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine accompanying an Interfaith Dialogue presented by Interfaith Youth Core
During the Sunday, November 15, 2009, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. worship services

As part of the 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. worship services, world-renowned Chicago violinist Rachel Barton Pine accompanied an interfaith dialogue presented by two members of the Interfaith Youth Core, Hind Makki, Outreach Education and Training Associate, and Erin Williams, Chicago Projects Coordinator and the author of the dialogue.

Interfaith Youth Core (IYC) works on college and university campuses to make sure that as religiously diverse young people interact, this interaction leads to positive, cooperative relationships in local communities by inspiring, networking, and resourcing young people to build new relationships built on mutual respect. Instead of focusing a dialogue on political or theological differences, IYC builds relationships on shared values, such as hospitality and caring for the earth, and how those values can be lived out together to contribute to the betterment of the community.

Evolving Faith: Meaning, Faith, and Ethics

An Interview of Public Radio’s Krista Tippet by Eboo Patel, Founder of Interfaith Youth Core

On Monday evening, November 16, in collaboration with Chicago Public Radio and American Public Media

Krista Tippett, who spends much of her time interviewing others on public radio’s Speaking of Faith, became the interviewee for an evening. Eboo Patel, Founder and Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, ill asked the questions of Ms. Tippett, who hosts American Public Media’s weekly program on “religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas,” drawing out compelling and challenging voices of wisdom on the most important subjects of twenty-first-century life. She is also the author of the book Speaking of Faith, which she wrote, in part, to answer the question she is often asked: how she went from a life and career of geopolitical engagement to becoming a religious person again and studying theology.

An Interfaith Service of Commemoration Marking the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11
On Sunday, September 11, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. at Fourth Church

This service for the community was hosted by Chicago Sinai Congregation, the Downtown Islamic Center, Fourth Presbyterian Church, and Holy Name Cathedral. Youth from each community read during the service, leaders from the communities offered reflections, and a combined ninety-five member choir premiered Aaron David Miller’s “Voices of Peace,” based on poems by children on the topic of peace. A children’s choir from the Downtown Islamic Center also sang, and all worshipers participated in candlelighting. Afterwards a reception was held in Anderson Hall, with each of the cohosts bringing refreshments. In this piece, Associate Pastor Joyce Shin, who helped plan the tenth anniversary service, reflects on the music that held the service together.

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If you wish to receive periodic updates of upcoming interfaith events,
please send your email address to Anne Ellis.

For more information about interfaith relations and opportunities, contact Joyce Shin, Associate Pastor for Congregational Life (312.274.3835).

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Interfaith Photos

Interfaith Sacred Solidarity Event | June 10, 2012

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