Rabbi Ainbinder named new president of St. George Interfaith Council

Rabbi Helene Ainbinder of Beit Chaverim Jewish community, speaks at the “Prayer Over the City” event at the St. George Tabernacle, St. George, Utah, Jan. 1, 2019 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The St. George Interfaith Council announced a change in leadership earlier this month and highlighted the council’s multifaith makeup of those chosen to help lead the it into a new decade of service.

Rabbi Helene Ainbinder at Torah dedication ceremony, St. George, Utah, Aug. 6, 2016 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

During a dinner held at Dixie State University’s Alumni House Jan. 17, members of the Interfaith Council chose Rabbi Helene Ainbinder of the Beit Chaverim Jewish faith community to be the new president, the Interfaith Council announced in a press release.

Serving as Ainbinder’s vice president is Carole Drake of the St. George Catholic Church, while Tim Martin of The Church of Jesus Christ o Latter-day Saints will serve as the council’s secretary.

Ainbinder succeeds former council president Pastor Joe Doherty of New Promise Lutheran Church who served in that capacity since 2015.

The St. George Interfaith Council represents 22 churches and faith traditions in the St. George area. A purpose of the council is to promote unity and service within the community without compromising individually cherished beliefs.

Pastor Jimi Kestin of Solomon’s Porch Foursquare Fellowship, who also served as a previous president of the Interfaith Council, has said the council promotes “unity that does not require uniformity” while also celebrating deeply held religious beliefs within the community without endorsing them.

Though members of the council may not agree on a single item of doctrine, “we do agree that we are great friends working to serve our community,” the press release states.

The Interfaith Choir performs “Homeward Bound” at the 2019 “Prayer Over the City” event at the St. George Tabernacle, St. George, Utah, Jan. 1, 2019 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

One of the events the Interfaith Council helps spearhead includes the annual “Prayer Over the City” held on New Year’s Day, during which faith leaders come together to offer up prayers on behalf of the community for the coming year.

Read more: People of diverse faiths come together for annual ‘Prayer Over the City’

The council also organizes the “National Day of Prayer Breakfast” each May. Last year’s prayer breakfast featured Gail Miller as its keynote speaker. This year’s keynote speaker will be Bishop Oscar Solis from the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.

Read more: Prayer makes a difference, Gail Miller tells interfaith audience at breakfast

In additional to these events, members of the Interfaith Council also offer prayers at public meetings.

“(St. George) Mayor Jon Pike is always quick to remind all of us of the service the Interfaith Council provides each week with the opening prayer at St George City Council meetings as well as at the Washington County Commission meetings,” the press release states.

The Interfaith Council was formed in 2010 with Rev. Dr. Ralph Clingan of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church serving as its first president. He was later followed by Kestin who was followed by Doherty.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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