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Interfaith Interconnect of Tri-Valley hosts March virtual religion chat with a Lutheran and a Muslim with the question: “What holy books or other texts are important to your religion?”

The panelists are Rev. John Bost (Holy Cross Lutheran Church) and Dr. Asad Tarsin (Muslim Community Center – East Bay).

The program is from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.  The Zoom session opens at 4:45 p.m. to give attendees a chance to virtually chat with people from other cultures and faiths. Optional breakout discussion groups from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. | Wednesday, March 9 | Join live session on Zoom starting at 4:45 p.m. at mcceastbay.org/chat

Questions? interfaith.interconnect@gmail.com

John Bost

I joined Holy Cross as Lead Pastor and Head of Staff at the end of 2006. In addition to my full-time role as Lead Pastor I also have the honor of serving as President of the Advisory Council of the Livermore Homeless Refuge, a position I have held since 2013.

As a perennial supporter of underdogs my entire career, I spend some of my time in prison as an Executive Volunteer with Defy Ventures, an organization dedicated to transforming the lives of people with criminal histories through entrepreneurial training and collaboration.

In addition to my work with churches and organizations across the country, I served as Chairman of the Board for the Haitian Timoun Foundation (HTF) from 2008-2011, an organization dedicated to bringing hope, sustainability, and dignity to the children and people of Haiti.

I hold degrees in Social Work with a minor in Sociology from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC; a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH; and I’m currently finishing a certificate in Nonprofit Executive Management from The University of Illinois at Chicago. I have served congregations in North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, and California. Along the way I delivered pizzas; worked as a dialysis chaplain in Vellore, India; as an investigator with Child Protective Services; a cashier at a candy store in Santa Monica; a warehouse worker at a Southern Baptist book store; and won a dance contest on the Ellen Show, not once but twice.

As Lead Pastor at Holy Cross, I have helped lead the congregation to become a top 100 congregation in giving to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s World Hunger program. Holy Cross is also in the top 10% of ELCA congregations in the country in giving beyond its four walls, giving over $82,000 to partner organizations in 2018 alone. I am particularly excited about my current role with the City of Livermore as an advisory member to the Vineyard 2.0 project. This project involves the purchase and development of a former church site to build a 23-unit permanent-supportive housing complex with a full complement of wrap around services. With an ETA for 2021/22, this project will serve as Livermore’s flagship facility for what is possible in finding meaningful solutions to Livermore’s growing homeless population.

I also am the luckiest person alive to be married to Shawnda and to be the proud father to three amazing kids: Zoey (16), Journey (13), and Sam (9), not to mention two dogs – Charlie and Bailey – and two cats – Paisley and Penelope.

I also love rock-n-roll and Broadway, but not necessarily in that order.

Dr. Asad Tarsin

After completing his bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, As’ad continued his study of Islamic theology, sacred law, philosophy and spirituality with some of the country’s most prominent Muslim scholars including Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. Sherman Jackson, among others. He served as the curriculum director for the Deen Intensive Foundation for the last ten years and has a particular interest in creating sustainable models of education for new and returning Muslims. He has been designing Islamic educational programs and teaching the basics of Islam for more than a decade. He lectures and teaches courses on Islam across the country. “Being Muslim: A Practical Guide” is his first published work. He is an emergency physician by training and lives in California with his wife and three children.

                                         Interfaith Interconnect monthly “Chats”

   Tri-Valley Interfaith Interconnect meets on the second Wednesday of every month at a different Worship Community location in Livermore and Pleasanton.

The meetings begin and end promptly at 5 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., respectively, so that you can make other commitments that evening if needed. The doors open at 4:30pm and remain open until 6:30pm for a social period and to continue discussions if desired (as often happens).

Typically, two speakers from different faiths will speak for 10-15 minutes each about a particular subject, followed by Q&A for each speaker.  We then break up into groups of three to discuss a suggested question dealing with spiritual or culture values.  The Chat ends promptly at 6:15pm, so that people are free to leave, but small groups often extend their discussions as desired, or they may join others for discussion or socializing as desired.

The subject of the Chat discussions will typically continue for 1-4 meetings, as the various faith groups within Interfaith Interconnect address the particular subject.  Past topics have been:

  • What does your faith teach about the acceptance of other religions? Has this changed over time?
  • Choose a particular holy day or celebration that your faith observes. What is its significance? How do you celebrate it?
  • What myths or misconceptions would you like to dispel about your religion or religious practice?
  • How is meditation practiced in your faith?
  • What is your faith’s creation story? How did the work come to be?
  • What is your faith’s perspective on the afterlife?
  • How does your congregation help to bridge the different political or social justice views within it?
  • Who in your religion would you consider to be a holy person or one held in high esteem?
  • When have you felt like an outsider? When you were an outsider, how did someone welcome you?
  • What are the courtship and wedding traditions of your faith?
  • What are practices and rituals honoring someone who has passed away in your faith?
  • What should people of other faiths/cultures know so not to offend people of your faith?
  • What does your faith teach about forgiveness?
  • How does your tradition describe God?
  • Holidays of various faiths: share a favorite tradition or memory.
  • How does your faith pray?
  • How did/have the events of September 11, 2001 affected you? (on the anniversary)
  • How does your faith welcome new members?
  • How is meditation practiced in your faith?
  • How does the architecture of your place of worship reflect your faith’s teachings?
  • What are the first rights of passage in your faith?
  • What myths would you like to dispel about your religion or religious practice?
  • What Interfaith and Intercultural friendships that have enriched your life?
  • What behavior would get you thrown out of your religion? How has this changed over the years?
  • What is your religion’s path to leadership: requirements, process for choosing, etc.?
  • Engaging our Youth – challenges and success. What does a successful program look like?
  • What is the role of women in your faith tradition? How has it evolved over time?

  • To get current information about the meeting location and subject, please contact us or ask to signup for our (no spam) mailings at our e-mail:
  • We are also on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/InterfaithInterconnect/timeline