A World of Faith Living Together, Beyond Our Differences
Mission: To assist families, congregations, communities, and nations live beyond our differences, in respectful presence of all through dialogue in action.
Vision: To help people of differing religious ideologies and faith practices focus on commonly held beliefs that are trans-formative and life-changing.
Goal: The 13th century Sufi poet wrote: Beyond our differences, there is a field, I will meet you there. Together we will find the field, and meet together in peace.
Global Faith in Action (GFIA) is an interfaith/intrafaith* Dialogue in Action organization. We contend that religious dialogue in action is the bridge to the transformation of families, communities and our world. Today we live in a global village. Wichita, Kansas, home of Global Faith In Action, is one of the most diverse communities in the Midwest. People from all over the globe bring cross-cultural and religious practices to Wichita. Temples, mosques, synagogues, and churches dot our landscape. The same phenomenon has occurred throughout much of our world.
In response to our changing world, interfaith organizations are now found in many metropolitan and even rural areas of our globe. A multitude of methodologies for interfaith and intrafaith dialogue have been developed. Global Faith in Action has chosen to focus on a methodology we call Dialogue in Action. Our premise is that too often traditional methods of dialogue create awareness but seldom result in “action”, the kind of action that results in reconciliation, healing and the transformation of relationships. For this reason Global Faith In Action has chosen to design, consult, and practice the Dialogue in Action methodology.
The 13th century Persian Sufi poet, Rumi, wrote Beyond our differences, there is a field, I will meet you there. It is Global Faith in Actions mission to assist families, congregations, communities, and even countries experience the many fields that lie beyond our differences – fields of respect and mutual understanding. A field where people of differing religious ideology and faith practices can come together and focus on commonly held beliefs that are trans-formative and life changing, such as the golden rule Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Scarboro Mission Link)
Global Faith In Action will search for fields where we can meet and experience action. The field could be around your very dining room table, where visitors of differing religious practice would fellowship together and discuss what actions could be taken to create fields of hope, reconciliation and healing. The field could be a diverse group of persons traveling to Kenya, Turkey, home of the Sufi poet Rumi, or to Haiti, and experience community within the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Sam Muyskens – Founder, Global Faith in Action
Sam is a Dutchman who grew up in small, rural Dutch communities in Minnesota. He graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. Sam earned his Master of Sacred Music, Master of Music Education and Master of Divinity degrees from Southern Methodist University. Sam has been an ordained United Methodist Minister for 48 years. He has taught high school music, had his own business as a piano technician, and been a Minister of Music in Arizona, Illinois, and South Dakota as well as a South Dakota State Penitentiary Chaplain. In 1979 Sam accepted an appointment as senior pastor of West Heights United Methodist Church, in Wichita, Kansas. Thirteen years later he became the Executive Director of Inter-Faith Ministries, and grew the organization into an internationally recognized organization. Sam has lectured and traveled throughout the world. He traveled to India as the guest of the Gobind Sedan Institute of Comparative Religions. In November of 2009 he was one f five interfaith executives invited to the White House to advise the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships on the need for “inter-religious understanding.” In December of 2009 he made a presentation on “Interfaith Dialogue in Action” at the Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne, Australia. Sam is the founder and President of Global Faith in Action. Sam has traveled to Haiti some 40 times on behalf of the ASAP Haiti Project which he and other Haitian and Wichita residents founded years ago.
Rev. Sam Muyskens, has focused on the Dialogue in Action methodology for over 40 years. As a Minister of Music, Minister of Youth, Prison Chaplain, Senior Pastor, and retired Executive Director of Inter-Faith Ministries Wichita, Rev. Sam has found that action centered dialogue is effective and trans-formative. He is quoted as saying, while recently attending a consultation with White House staff, Dialogue in action is more than sharing our beliefs, even more than being respectful of differing religious beliefs – it is relationship building, it is life changing.
* An Interfaith/intrafaith organization is one that is not only fostering understanding between people of different religions, but equally important relations between the chasms of misunderstanding within a specific religion.