In the News

Interfaith Council of Western Massachusetts Meets with Mayor Sarno

Friday, February 3, 2017

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief of Staff Denise R. Jordan today upon prior request met with the members of the Interfaith Council of Western Massachusetts. The purpose of the meeting was to continue to work together in addressing the anti-Muslim backlash that has occurred during our recent Presidential election cycle. It was a very constructive meeting of mutual respect for one another’s’ religious beliefs, culture and traditions. Mayor Sarno was very appreciative of their friendship and continued collaboration. The Interfaith Council wanted to reaffirm Mayor Sarno’s continued support in addressing these issues.

Mayor Sarno states, “I really appreciated the visit and look forward to continuing to work with these well-respected religious and community leaders – we cannot allow sentiments of hate from fringe groups to overshadow the positive contributions made by our Muslim community of Greater Springfield.”

M. Saleem Bajwa, M.D. of the Islamic Center of Western Massachusetts conveyed greetings from the Imam and board of the society and expressed his appreciation of the Mayor’s support. He said, “The Interfaith Council was very appreciative of the candid discussion we had with the Mayor, and for his unconditional support for inter faith work and his commitment to enrich the diversity in Greater Springfield.”

Interfaith Council of Western Massachusetts members:

  • President: Dr. Martin Pion, Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield
  • Vice President: Rev. Dr. Janet Burdewick, United Church of Christ
  • Treasurer: Mary E. Johnson, Esq., Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts
  • Scribe: Rev. Lauren Holm, UCC/Lutheran Church
  • Communications Coordinator: Rev. Marisa Browne Ludwig, First Church of Christ, UCC
  • Rabbi Mark Shapiro, Rabbi Emeritus, Sinai Temple
  • M. Saleem Bajwa, M.D., Islamic Center of Western Massachusetts
  • Rev. Jason Seymour, Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield
  • Mrs. Patricia Harmsen, Baha’i Community of Greater Springfield
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