It is my honor to serve as a volunteer on the IPSI board for the past eight years. Additionally, as a member of FCC, I serve as the liaison/event attendant to meet the needs of the IPSI community.
Each board member has a responsibility to see that their faith is represented each month. We work together to make the monthly services a prayer for peace.
It is a privilege to be a part of bringing together faith communities to recognize the universal power of love and unity for all.
As a spouse, mother/grandmother my work is for peace and justice between all religions, nations and nationalities.”
Arun Toke (Hindu)
Arun Toké, a native of India, is one of the founding board members of IPSI. Arun also serves on the city of Eugene’s Human Rights Commission. He works as the executive editor of Skipping Stones, an international, multicultural, literary magazine, now in its 26th year. www.skippingstones.org
Sherab Tenaj (Buddhist)
Sherab has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2007. Her inspiration for being involved grew from the universal love she felt at the core of each spiritual path she experienced as a child and young adult. She has worked in a therapeutic environment with children & families for many years in Eugene. She also enjoys being a great grandmother.
Emily Farthing (Spiritual)
Emily Farthing is the current the president of the Interfaith Prayer Service International. She is completing a double major in Religious studies and Public Policy planning and Management at the University of Oregon, and plans on pursuing a Master of Divinity and Social Work to continue work in interfaith based initiatives.
Her current involvement with Community Supported Shelters, as coordinator of the First Christian Church free breakfast program and co-founder of T.H.R.I.V.E. (Together, Housing Redefined: Initiatives for a Vibrant Eugene) have inspired her passion for social justice and advocacy for housing rights. She works for the city of Eugene as the Sunday Streets Coordinator and is grateful to blend work and play with her love of cycling.
Vern Arne (Catholic)
I was born in a rural Oregon timber town, raised “Catholic Light”, meaning nothing forced, but attracted to the candles, Latin, mystery and incense and personal responsibility of that tradition.
College years in the 70’s, dropped religion for social change and just plain socializing, but did take a overflowing class on world religions, influence of the Beatles, George Harrison, his sitar and Hindu philosophy, bewildered by the ecstatic dancing of the Krishna people on the street and their seeming joy.
Then living and working in Portland and hearing Alan Watts talk on Sunday mornings about Buddhism and spirituality on a rock station, so took yoga classes, visited the Vendanta society, and some Buddhist practices. Returned to church occasionally as Alan Watts says it’s the mind set you bring to it, and don’t be embarrassed.
Move back to Eugene in the 80s and then Ram Dass started showing up regularly, giving crowded talks in the auditorium at South Eugene High, and a definite contact high. He remains the best synthesizer of complex topics into understandable bits I have ever experienced, and he still teaching! Such depth in Hindu teachings! Realized I could find my own religious experience that worked for me. Some say a deep well better then many shallow ones, but I am nourished by truths revealed in different ways by different paths.
So now regular yoga practice, divorce, parents death, and some sense of comfort, tradition in the church, research into Catholic mystics and Thomas Merton writings. Answered a personal print ad in the weekly and that led to attending my first Amma Satsang, meeting her in 1999, miracles followed, “The greatest miracle Amma can work is the positive changes she can bring about in your life” Seva, or service in the world, like what Ram Dass talked of in 1970! What a force for service and healing in the world. I felt a pull and conflicted by adherence to both practices, then in one of Amma talks she says we carry lifelong imprint of our first religious training, and a Catholic priest tells me if I feel presence of God with Amma and heart opened, its okay. Then Amma and Pope Francis meet at a
conference opposing Human Trafficking , and Ram Dass shares the stage with Amma at the San Ramon Ashram. Now, I attend church pretty regular and see Amma when she comes around, and remain active in Satsang and Seva or as known in the west, volunteer service.
Mariam Daigle (Buddhist)
I am honored to be a board member of IPSI. I have been involved with many groups and events in this area for many years. The collaboration and cooperation of the IPSI board members is truly amazing! The spiritual richness and diversity of Eugene is definitely fertile ground for Interfaith efforts. We would love to see Interfaith services happen in cities all over the world. The unity, love and respect created at these services is a step towards peace for all on our beautiful earth.
Hafiz Lealand (Sufi)
Bill Harris (Baha’i)
Mirtza Griffin (Hare Krsna)