JAN SWANSON

Jan Swanson was the Outreach Director of the Christian Council of Metropolitan Atlanta until 2002, an organization supported by the Archdiocese of Greater Atlanta. Because of her position, Jan was invited to important multi-faith dinners as the “Christian representative.”  Invitations came from Muslims, Jews , Hindus, and Buddhists. After 9/11, she was called on by the city of Atlanta and the Christian religious community to bring the world faiths together for a worship service.  She agreed to convene the group if all the groups had an equal say in the worship service.

Rev. Wayne Smith, now deceased, asked Jan to organize a group of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders to go on a spiritual pilgrimage to Turkey.  The intent of this pilgrimage was to help the religious leadership of Atlanta get to know one another.  She worked with three Abrahamic religious leaders to select the forty-five pilgrims who attended the trip. Forty-four people went on the trip and, when they returned, began an interfaith community in Atlanta that now numbers in the thousands.

Jan currently is the program director of World Pilgrims. She and Interfaith Community Initiatives Chair and President Imam Plemon El-Amin have led ten World Pilgrimages to places of spiritual significance for groups of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  These pilgrims travel together on a quest for personal enrichment and to deepen their understanding and friendships with one another. Jan also assists in Dr. Ben Johnson in conducting interfaith Immersion weekends where participants experience the sacred spaces and people from five major world religions.

Jan is a founding board member of the FAMA , the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta.

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