Past Events

Community Bell Choir

Grace United Methodist Church is hosting a community bell choir. Rehearsals will be Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m. at Carbondale Grace (220 N. Tower Rd.), beginning January 25, 2017.   We welcome everyone 5th grade through adult.  No experience with handbells is necessary.


Upstanders Are Among Us – Are You One?  April 4, 2017


An interfaith dialogue with the audience interacting with four guest speakers representing groups that have been oppressed: Jews, Muslims, African Americans and Transgender/Gay.

We will show a video (1/2 hour) from FACING HISTORY AND OURSELVES of the film Weapons of the Spirit. This is a documentary of a small French town of 5000 peasants that saved 5000 Jews escaping the Holocaust.


Viewing of the movie The Sultan and the Saint, April 2, 2017



Clergy who served at the Christian Unity Celebration on January 22, 2017

at Epiphany Lutheran Church


Martin Luther King Celebration Committee 2015 - Carolin Harvey, Maurine Pyle, Arlene Norvell, Vicki Devenport , Chris Swims
Martin Luther King Celebration Committee 2015 – Carolin Harvey, Maurine Pyle, Arlene Norvell, Vicki Devenport , Chris Swims

The 18th Annual Martin Luther King Celebration will be held on Sunday, January 15 at the Civic Center. Beginning at 3:00 PM you can view tables of local voluntary and service organizations. The program will begin at 4:00 PM and will feature dance, music and readings from Dr. King’s speeches. The winner of the Spirit of Dr. King Award will be announced at that time.



Carbondale In Thanksgiving, a celebration of diversity in our faith community on Nov. 15, 2016 Rev. Ronald Chambers speaking at Bethel AME Church.

Carbondale In Thanksgiving
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 @ 7:00 PM
The Mosque, Wall Street

This year’s Carbondale in Thanksgiving will feature speakers from the Parliament coterie.

Ralph Anderson Interfaith Dialogue
Monday, October 5, 2015 at 7:30 PM

The topic will be “Thirty Year Anniversary — Ralph Anderson Interfaith Dialogues”. The three presenters were instrumental in that early history — Father Roger Karban, Mazhar Butt, and Dale Bengtson. Ken Starbuck, who has been chairperson since 2004, will be concluding his leadership. For more information, call Ken at 942-3986 or email

Sparrow Coalition Celebration
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 5:30 PM
Carbondale Public Library

The Sparrow Coalition has been recently formed between civic, university, health care, and religious communities to address the needs of those people in our Carbondale community who cannot find housing. Good Samaritan House provides a great deal of support, but there are many people who cannot be served by Good Sam and other existing organizations. The Sparrow Coalition’s mission is to help these people and those who help them.

The victory celebration for the first 90 days of the Sparrow Coalition will be held at 5:30 PM on Tuesday May 26th at the Community Room of the Carbondale Public Library. The celebration begins with a short film and discussion about homelessness. At 6:30 PM, there will be a “finger food picnic” in the park and an art opportunity. The members of the Carbondale Interfaith Council and others from our faith communities are asked to provide finger foods. This will be a stand-up party allowing for socializing and informal sharing of our projects goals.

Ralph Anderson Interfaith Dialogue:
Parliament of the World’s Religions

The next Ralph Anderson Interfaith Dialogue will be on March 23, 7:30 at the St. Francis Xavier Church in Carbondale. Imam Haqq and Father Bob Flannery will tell their story about previous Parliament of the World’s Religions, and Maurine Pyle will talk about her expectations for the PWR gathering in Salt Lake City this October.  It appears we will be having about 15 local people attending the meeting in Salt Lake City, and so this will have quite an impact on our local interfaith perceptions.  This will also be a part of 11 Days of Compassion. Contact Ken Starbuck for more information – ***-***-**** or

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration (2015)

[Slideshow on Southern Illinoisan website]

The 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Community Celebration will be held at the Carbondale Civic Center, at 4pm on Sunday, January 18th. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Your Vote is Your Freedom” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The celebration of music, dance, readings and fellowship will include Carbondale Mayor, Don Monty and Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens. A community Choir will perform under the direction of Sheree Randle with participants from Murphysboro and Carbondale. Rehearsals will be held Saturday, January 10th and Saturday, January 17th at 10am at Rock Hill Baptist Church, located at 219 East Monroe in Carbondale.

The Spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award will be presented by Mayor Monty and Mayor Stephens.The award recognizes an individual or group that exemplifies the character and legacy of Dr. King. Previous honorees include Pepper Holder, the late Sen. Paul Simon, Linda Flowers, Milton and Coreen McDaniels, Seymour Bryson, Lillian Adams, Mary O’Hara, Marjorie Parker, Hugh Muldoon, Donna Haynes, Margaret Nesbitt, Genevieve Houghton, Rev. Rick Jackson, Rev. Doug Cherry, John Cherry, Mary Sasse.

Refreshments will be served beginning at 3:30pm and attendants are encouraged to bring a canned or boxed food donations for the food pantries of Southern Illinois.

Carbondale in Thanksgiving

[Carbondale in Thanksgiving Flyer 2013]

Join us for a celebration of diversity on Tuesday, November 19 at 7 p.m. at First Christian Church. Carbondale in Thanksgiving will feature prayers, readings, and reflections shared by area faith groups. This year’s address will be given by Chancellor Rita Cheng of Southern Illinois University. There will be a reception following the interfaith service. Please bring a canned good to the celebration. The canned goods and financial offerings will go to support Good Samaritan Ministries.

John Caputo Visits Carbondale

[John Caputo Flyer]

The Carbondale Interfaith Council wants to let you know about the upcoming visit of John Caputo* to Carbondale and the SIU campus on October 7-9, 2013.  Caputo is a post-modern theologian who explores the very roots of religious thinking, and asks compelling questions along the way.  “Why is religion for many a source of moral guidance in a postmodern, nihilistic age, and what do I love when I love my God?”

The schedule at this point will have Caputo giving two major lectures and a dialog over lunch:

  • Monday, October 7, at 7:30 he will be giving the Charles D. Tenney Lecture on “Why Postmodernism is Good News for Religion”.  This event will be held at the SIU Student Center, Ballroom D.
  • Tuesday, October 8 at 7:30 he will be giving the Leys Lecture on “Living with the Event, Living Without Ethics”.  This event will be held at the Guyon Auditorium at the Morris Library.
  • Tuesday, October 8 at Noon there will be an opportunity to have lunch and dialogue with Caputo at The First Christian Church. This event will be particularly oriented to the interfaith community, but other SIU and community persons are encouraged to attend.  Lunch is free, but please give Ken Starbuck the names of those who plan to attend.

Please share the above information with friends and colleagues in the region.  Feel free to contact me if you have questions about Caputo’s visit, or suggestions around making his visit more beneficial to the community. For more information, contact  Ken Starbuck at ***-***-****.

* Caputo’s visit is being made possible thanks to the University Honors Program and the Department of Philosophy in collaboration with the “Duffers” book study group,  We see this as an outstanding example of university and community partnership in providing us opportunities to engage in depth with a person who is theologically addressing some of the most basic questions facing our society and educational institutions.

Vatican II: Ecumenical and Interfaith Connections
Tuesday, April 23 at 6:00 PM
Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, 105 N Parrish Ln

The Carbondale Interfaith Council will be celebrating its 40th anniversary at a dinner and program at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship on Tuesday, April 23. There will be no cost for the dinner, which will begin at 6:00 PM. The program, starting at 7:00 PM, will include an Interfaith Dialogue presentation by Father Bob Flannery on “Vatican II: Ecumenical and Interfaith Connections”. Everyone is welcome, but we will need approximate number attending by April 16. Please contact Ken Starbuck if you plan to attend or have questions about the event. Ken’s phone number is ***-***-**** and his email is

American Muslim Identity
Monday, April 1 at 7:30 PM
Carbondale Muslim Center, 530 N. Wall St.

The next Ralph Anderson Interfaith Dialogue will be on “American Muslim Identity”. Imam Abdul Haqq will lead a panel of local Muslim leaders, with discussion to follow. The event will be held on Monday, March 18 – 7:30 PM, at the Carbondale Muslim Center at 530 N. Wall Street. Ken Starbuck will moderate. The event is sponsored by the Carbondale Interfaith Council, and everyone is welcome. For more information contact Ken Starbuck – (***-****).

Houses of Faith Tour
February 2-9

In celebration of the Carbondale Interfaith Council’s 40th anniversary, we are hosting a Houses of Faith Tour the week of February 2 – 9. Individual faith communities will open their doors and offer hospitality to visitors. You are invited to have an opportunity to learn about our faith cultures in Carbondale. No reservation is necessary. Just drop in! [View Brochure]

Morning Conversation: Houses of Faith
Tuesday, January 29 at 8:30 a.m.
WSIU 91.9 FM

On January 29, WSIU will have a Morning Conversation with Father Bob Flannery and Luke Tolley about our upcoming Houses of Faith Tour. Father Bob Flannery is a past president of the Council and pastor of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Luke Tolley is the incoming president of the Council and a member of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) in Carbondale. The Council will join in celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week, which was unanimously adopted by the United Nations on October 20, 2010, by offering a Houses of Faith Tour in Carbondale from February 2 – 9, 2013. Many houses of worship will be open for visitors in order to encourage and continue our longstanding culture of dialog and mutual respect between faiths.