A not-for-profit organization, the Weston Interfaith Action Group was formed by a small number
of Christian and Jewish residents of Weston in 1988 to encourage sensitivity to the increasing diversity
of the town’s population. WIAG’s leadership committee sponsored educational programs
about understanding religious and cultural differences and became available to the town
as an information resource. At that time our membership was composed of Christians and
Jews, who belonged to local churches and temples.
In 1988, our first program was “Facing History and Ourselves,” a 10-week workshop
and curriculum on understanding the Holocaust.
In subsequent years, we presented lectures by well-known scholars including
Dr. Krister Stendahl, Rabbi Emeritus Harold Kushner, Sister Mary Boys, Dr. Diana Eck,
and Dr. James Carroll. Our forums and the small group dialogues which follow speakers
are facilitated by leadership members and have been a hallmark of our programs
from the beginning.
In the 1990's, we extended our leadership committee to include interested members of
the Muslim faith, which was well-represented in Weston's population. In 1998,
WIAG pioneered a five-session program, “Learning From Each Other’s Faith Stories:
Building Bridges Among Christians, Jews, and Muslims.” Discussion centered on
shared historical faith figures such as our patriarch, Abraham, with regard to
issues of faith, revelation, prophecy, and practice.
Our leadership decided, in 2000, to include Wayland in the organization's name
to reflect more accurately where our members live and worship, thus including
Muslim and Jewish houses of worship. By 2005, WWIAG has welcomed members of the
Baha’i faith and an expanded Christian community that includes Christian Scientists
and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (i.e. Mormons).
We enjoy learning together about one another’s faith traditions through educational
programs that we devise, through the public programs we create, and through community
action projects. All of our programs are free-of-charge and open to the public.
Our programs are announced via mailed fliers, publicly-posted notices, website
and e-mail announcements.
Out-of-town “retreats” enable us to know one another better and to work continually
to become a cohesive force in collaborating with a variety of community groups.
We work with such groups to create awareness and sensitivity regarding differences
and to promote appreciation of diversity as well as resolution of conflicts that may
occur from time to time in our towns or nearby communities.
Harvard's Pluralism Project article about WWIAG