Saturday, October 18, 2003

Interfaith Alliance
launches in isles

Some 60 people from about 20 Oahu religious organizations attended the launching of the Hawaii Interfaith Alliance last week.

The group will work to coordinate efforts of island faith-based groups in social action and human needs projects. One of the first will be to seek legislation to address the epidemic of drug abuse, particularly crystal methamphetamine or "ice," said the Rev. Sam Cox, who heads ecumenical efforts of the United Methodist Church here. The Rev. Vaughn Beckman is president of the local organization.

Cox said the alliance will succeed the Hawaii Council of Churches. Some Council of Churches funds will be transferred to support ecumenical projects of the Interfaith Alliance. In its heyday, the Hawaii Council of Churches started the Waikiki Health Center and Hale Kipa shelter for youths.

Unlike the Hawaii Council of Churches, whose members were mostly from mainline Christian churches, the Interfaith Alliance has members from non-Christian disciplines including Buddhist, Jewish and Muslim. Its goals include preservation of religious freedom in America.

Information on the national organization can be found at

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