Mini NAINews – NAINConnect Housing, Young Adult Scholars, Tarunjit Article

NAINConnect 2013 early registration price – register before June 15.  New College housing – register by June 10.

Connect Housing Updates:

Holiday Inn Toronto 280 Bloor Street West Toronto has been added to the Registration Page

-$129.99 plus tax per night single queen/ 2 double beds; Call 416-968-0010 ext 1520 or email;  Reference U of T Multi-Faith Centre NAIN Conference Aug  11-14 for rate.  If you will have a car, please ask about parking rates.  Free WiFi.

Courtyard Marriott Hotel 475 Yonge Street Toronto – rate was raised to -$120 per night plus tax.  For this rate you MUST use the link.  To book please visit

Young Adult Scholars

Jason Smith is delighted to share with you the names and biographies of the recipients of the 2013 Young Adult Scholarship.  He and his fellow committee members are thrilled with this cohort of scholars, and we look forward to introducing them to you further in Toronto!

Abbie Barash is a graduate student at Claremont Lincoln University, pursuing a Master’s degree in Interfaith Chaplaincy. Originally from St. Louis, Abbie moved to Southern California in 2007, where she attended the University of Redlands and received her BA in Religious Studies. After undergrad, she participated in the Glass Leadership Institute through the Anti-Defamation League of St. Louis. This past October, Abbie was a student worker for the Center for Global Peacebuilding conference on Muslim Perspectives on Peace building. In addition, she is currently a Jewish fellow for NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change. Other than participating in interfaith efforts, Abbie also enjoys spending time with children, practicing yoga, and hiking outdoors.

Angela Butel is a recent graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. Her understanding of the importance of interfaith work is closely tied to an overall passion for working for social justice. Throughout her time at Macalester, Angela was involved in a variety of interfaith initiatives, including leadership in the Macalester Multifaith Council and Mac Catholics. During the 2012-2013 school year she interned at the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition of Minnesota, an interfaith public-interest lobby group that brings together people of diverse faith backgrounds to lobby for political change at the state level. Post-graduation, she is working on a research project examining models for supporting spiritual exploration and interfaith interaction for students at public universities. Angela was a Young Adult Scholar at the NAIN Connect in 2011.

Lindsay Mohn is a student at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon, preparing for Ordained Ministry in the United Church of Canada. She works as an accountant at a local garden center, and is often persuaded to join church related finance committees. This event will be Lindsay’s first encounter with NAIN and interfaith dialogue, and she is thrilled to be attending. The rest of her summer will be consumed with playing in the garden, canoeing in northern Saskatchewan, and attending guitar camp.

Meliani E. Murtiningsih holds a Bachelor in Theology from Duta Wacana Christian University, (Yogyakarta, INDONESIA) and a M.A. in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations from Hartford Seminary, (Hartford, CT. USA). In addition, she earned a certificate at the IIIT (the International Institute of Islamic Thought), and at Hartford Seminary. She holds certificates in the International Peacemaking Program and Women Leadership Institute. In addition to the residential staff for a program entitled “the Study of the US Institute on Religious Pluralism and Democracy,” she served as the cultural ambassador for the last three winters and the financial and logistic coordinator for the last four summers. Originally from Indonesia, she holds the following positions: Inter-religious Program Associate at the Dialogue Institute, Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Ecumenical Studies, and advisor for the Interfaith Youth Forum to be held in Bali in October 2013 in Indonesia.

The Rev. J. Cody Nielsen is a United Methodist campus minister at the University of Minnesota (USA). He is the coordinator of the university’s multi-faith council and a fervent advocate for all faith and spiritual traditions flourishing on campus. He is also the president of the National Campus Ministry Association, the oldest ecumenical organization of campus ministers in the United States. Cody is working to expand the work of multi-faith and spiritual engagement from what seems to be primarily private universities in the public realm, where more than 73% of the undergraduates in the United States reside. He is a 2013 recipient of the Louisville Foundation’s Pastoral Student Project grant (PSP) and has been married to his wife Erin for seven years.

Simran Jeet Singh is a scholar and social activist completing his Ph.D. in the Department of Religion at Columbia University. He is the Executive Director of the Sikh Spirit Foundation, serves on the advisory board for the Sikh Coalition and the International Center of Advocates Against Discrimination, and is the chair of the Interfaith Committee for the World Sikh Council. He is also a fellow for the American Institute for Indian Studies. He has served as a Teaching Assistant for introductory courses on various world religions and recently received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching at Columbia University. Simran writes regularly on issues of religion and culture, and his work has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek’s The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post. He is the recipient of the Teja Singh Scholarship, reserved for young adults who identify as Sikh.

Angela Thurston is entering Harvard Divinity School in the fall to pursue a Master of Divinity degree. Her intent is to find out what it would mean to build community among the growing numbers of people – especially young people – who identify as “spiritual,” whether or not they are affiliated with an organized religion. Angela is from Boulder, Colorado, where she was raised with the teachings of The Urantia Book, a spiritual text that emphasizes the importance of seeking truth in all religions. She has tried to live these teachings by participating in interfaith dialogue, planning young adult conferences to build spiritual unity, and developing a series of “spiritual salons” in her current home of Brooklyn, New York. She is chair of the upcoming International Conference of Urantia Book readers, which features a program track dedicated to interfaith exploration.

Chandler Williams is from Wichita, KS. She is a Junior studying Spanish and Communications at Wichita State University (that one school in the Final Four). She has an internship with Global Faith in Action, where she helps with the sponsorship program for their school in Lambert, Haiti.

Former NAIN Board member calls for end to torture.

Tarunjit Singh Butalia is a former NAIN Board member and former board secretary of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.  His op ed calling for the end to torture appeared in The Blade on May 30, 2013.  Read the article here.

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