Books that Matter

2016 Books that matter-page-001

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Supporting Our Muslim Partners in Basking Ridge

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

To: The Planning Board of Bernards Township

1 Collyer Lane

Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Members: Barbara Kleinert, Jeffrey Plaza, Jodi Alper, John Malay, Kippy Piedici, Leon Harris, Louis, Carlucci, Mary Pavlini, Paula Axt, and Randy Santoro.

Dear Planning Board Members:

I am writing to you as the President of the Interfaith Council in Summit, NJ. Our Council has been working with Ali Chaudry and the Islamic Center of Basking Ridge for many years. Many of our members also work with Mr. Chaudry on the Interfaith Council in New Providence.

Over the years, we have greatly valued the presence of Mr. Chaudry and his Islamic Center in our area. Consistently, they have been a voice for religious tolerance, interfaith engagement, and caring work in our community. They are working peacefully to help bring down the walls that have divided us as neighbors. Our relationship with the Islamic Center is a great value to our larger community, and we are invested in insuring that they remain a part of our larger interfaith community. Quite simply, they are an asset.

We understand that you are deciding tonight whether or not to allow a mosque to be built there. We want to share with you our strong support of the mosque.

In a time when the news shares more about the fear and hatred that divides us, we know that, in reality, our communities are places where people live peacefully, work together across dividing lines, and help their neighbors even when we may not necessarily understand one another. This is what we experience in relationship with Islamic Center of Basking Ridge: Friendship. Neighbors. Partners in Community.

If the mosque is denied a place, we won’t have access to relationships that change our hearts and our minds. Then, the news of fear and division will rule the day. We pray that you will have the courage to not give into fear and to allow a great community of people to become our neighbors. Please say yes.

In partnership,

The Rev. Emilie Boggis


Summit Interfaith Council

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Summit Interfaith Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving cornucopia sunrisePlease join us  for the annual Summit Interfaith Thanksgiving Service – Sunday, November 22, 5:00pm at Christ Church.

Submit a 30-second video telling your family’s immigration story and it will become a part of the community Thanksgiving observance.  Click here.

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Interfaith Thanksgiving Service


Sunday, November 23rd

Time: 5:00 pm

Place: Congregation Ohr Shalom – SJCC

Who: Free & Open to the Public – please join us!

What: Musical presentations by the choirs, bands and groups of Summit’s interfaith community, a presentation by and about GreenFaith, a Green Fair with displays by local environmental groups as well as a brief worship service followed by food and fellowship.  Please bring non-perishables and/or a monetary gift for SHIP.

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Congratulations to our New Leadership Team

Officers for 2014-15:

Rev. Emilie Boggis, President

Rev. Don Steele, Vice-President

Rev. Gladys Moore, Treasurer-Secretary
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Summit’s 16th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

January 20, 2014 



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Candle Light Vigil – December 14th @4:00pm

To honor the children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all others lost to gun violence, an interfaith candlelight vigil will be held on Summit’s Village Green from 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 14, the first anniversary of the mass murder. Residents from all nearby towns are invited to participate. 

Rev. Vanessa Southern, senior minister of The Unitarian Church in Summit, will be the host and main speaker. The program will include remarks by Sheriff Ralph Froehlich of Union County; William Edwards, a Vietnam veteran who was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force; Samuel Arnold, President of the Garden State Funeral Directors Association, and the mother of a child slain on a local playground.

The vigil remembers the 20 first-graders and six teachers shot to death on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter also killed his mother and himself.

The program will open with a local youth choir. After the speeches, all participants will light candles while professional singer Karen Egert, leader of NJ Residents for Action Against Gun Violence, performs “Sweet Angel,” which she wrote after the Newtown shooting. Her song will be followed by a recording of Newtown’s Youth Choir singing “My Beautiful Town.”  Participants will be invited to join in the last verse.

For further information, write

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