Sunday, October 27

2 – 4 p.m. @ St. Paul’s UMC

Join us in welcoming our special guests in a panel discussion, Women in World Religions, at St. Paul’s. Our MC will be Andrea Murdock.

Buddhism: Matthew Rice, Spiritual Director of Rime Buddhist Center and Buddhist Director for the Greater KC Interfaith Council. Lama Matthew, Lobpön Palden Gocha, has been practicing Buddhism since 2000. His main Buddhist tradition is the nonmonastic Ngakpa (lay-yogic) tradition of the Ka–Nying lineage. He also adheres to the Rimé philosophical approach of nonsectarianism. Currently Lama Matthew serves as the Spiritual Director of the Rime Buddhist Center and serves as the Buddhist Director for the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, and is a member of the Parliament of  World Religions, the North American Buddhist Alliance, and Sakyadhita – International Association of Buddhist Women.

Christianity: Rev. Marilyn Gregory, retired pastor from St. Paul’s UMC. Rev. Gregory is a United Methodist pastor who served congregations with her husband, Rev. Jack Gregory, for 43 years before her retirement.  A graduate of Iowa State University and Saint Paul School of Theology, she and Jack served rural and county seat churches in eastern Kansas. Marilyn was a leader in Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist Church. Most recently, in the early years of their retirement, Marilyn and Jack were on staff of the Lenexa United Methodist Church. Jack and Marilyn have two adult daughters; Anna, who works with KIPP Charter Schools, and Elizabeth, who is a research engineer for NASA.

Hinduism: Dr. Jag Aggarwal, local physician, member of the Hindu Temple outreach committee, active in education about the Hindu religion. I have lived in the Kansas City area for the last forty years. I am a member of the Hindu Temple outreach committee. I give Temple tours to the visiting groups and also give educational lectures and presentations to schools and church groups that are interested in learning more about Hindu religion. I respect all faiths and beliefs. My guiding principle is this saying from Rig Veda, the oldest religious scripture:  “Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudah Vadanti,” which means:  “Truth (Divine or whatever we may want to call THAT) is One, sages, teachers, etc., explain and guide us to That differently.” As I look back at my journey and success in my life I see members of many faiths who have helped me along the way. These include my Muslim and Christian roommates in college, Jewish and Buddhist mentors, as well as many others whose faiths I don’t know.  Without the help of these people who practiced faiths different from mine, I would not be where I am at this stage in life and I thank all of them.

Islam: Dr. Sofia Kahn, local physician, community activist, and interfaith leader. Dr. Khan is a mother of five. She moved to Greater KC from NYC over 23 years ago. Dr. Khan is a community activist and interfaith leader involved in numerous charity projects for over 15 years. She is founder and President of KC for Refugees, a non-faith-based community alliance, helping locally resettled area refugees. Her nonprofit advocates for refugee resettlement, provides community education on refugee related topics, provides support, and helps build bridges between these families and the community. Dr. Khan is the recipient of 2016 Crescent Peace Society “Peace Award;” 2017 Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council “Steve Jeffers Leadership service award;” 2017 United Nation Association of GKC “World citizen of the year;” 2017 Rime Buddhist Center “ Bodhisattva award;” and 2019 American Pakistani Physician National Association KC “Excellence in Service award.” She serves on the Board of Notre Dame de Sion School , UNA-KC,  American Public Square, Islamic Center of JOCO interfaith Board and Abraham house (an interfaith build for Habitat for Humanity.) She is an ambassador of Islam, and has spoken at numerous venues including many area churches, Federal buildings, hospitals, schools and interfaith panels.

Judaism: Jill Maidhof, Director of Jewish Experiences at the Jewish Community Center of Greater KC. Jill Maidhof describes herself as something of a dinosaur, having worked for The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City for over 30 years. She is the Director of Jewish Experiences, creating installations, hosting visiting scholars and artists, offering classes and enhancing the physical facility—all to impart Jewish values and traditions to a widely diverse audience and strengthen ties within and outside of the Jewish community. She is a great believer in the power of collaboration, loves getting outside the four walls of “The J,” and is keenly interested in interfaith endeavors. Jill and her husband Jim are the proud parents of Callie and Bridey, their two kind, fun and way over-achieving daughters.