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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Hi-tech & interfaith

Lutherans lead talks among three MIT faith groups

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is renowned for high stress, maxed-out schedules and cutting-edge science and technology. Last year Lutherans at the Cambridge, Mass., school took the lead in crossing religious frontiers. They gathered three faith groups for conversation and camraderie over meals that satisfied Jewish kosher and Muslim requirements.

Johanna Kiefner, an ELCA campus pastor, calls it a "trialogue" — a three-way dialogue among Muslim, Jewish and Lutheran/Episcopal students. With a grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Kiefner and the coordinators, ELCA members Heather Gregg, a political science graduate student at MIT, and Kathyrn Lohre, a student at nearby Harvard Divinity School, held three student-led discussions in the fall and three service or worship events in the spring. Each of the six events drew 30 to 50 people — what Gregg calls a sizable turnout at MIT.


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