"I am a believer in the truth of all the great religions of the world. There will be no lasting peace on earth unless we learn not merely to tolerate but even to respect the other faiths as our own." – Gandhi
Do you long to know more about your own faith and the faiths of others? Are you called to some kind of ministry? Then, become a part of the Northfield Interfaith Alliance.
Watch this page for notices of course start dates and other activities.
Meet the Facilitators
Rev. Julie Olmsted received a ministerial counseling degree at the New Seminary in New York City before attending New York Theological Seminary and becoming ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2005. She was a dean at the New Seminary for seven years, teaching ministerial skills and counseling couples and individuals from many different faith traditions. She experienced a wholehearted re-embracing of her Christian faith as a result of studying others, which she can only describe as "miraculous."
Julie is pastor of Trinitarian Congregational Church in Northfield. She is grateful every day for the opportunity to share the Good News of God's love with the great people of TCC. She lives in Northampton with her composer/musician husband Jeff Olmsted, daughter Grace and Letitia Ward, previously of Florence, Mass.
Rev. Ted Thornton holds advanced degrees from the University of Massachusetts and Harvard Divinity School. He also studied at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem and the American University in Cairo. He is an ordained Episcopal Priest and does occasional guest clergy work throughout western Massachusetts. Ted taught Religious Studies, History, and Arabic at Northfield Mount Hermon School for thirty-four years and served as Chair of the History and Social Science Department. He also taught History at Oak Meadow, a distance learning school in Brattleboro, Vermont, and served as Chair of the Faculty. Ted has done consulting work in London and Cairo for the Aga Khan Education Services and translated a book from Arabic by Abd al-Hussain Shaban, published in 2012 by Aras Press under the title The Understanding of Tolerance in Arab Muslim Thought.
Ted is a frequent lecturer and panelist on Middle East affairs and Islam. He has presented workshops on teaching about the Islamic world at professional conferences in Cairo, Montreal, San Francisco, and Boston. He has led student travel-study programs to Egypt, Turkey, Portugal, Jordan, Qatar, Brazil, and South Africa, and has also carried out research in Japan and China. In his younger days, he participated in archaeological excavations at Tel Miqne, Israel, site of the biblical city of Ekron, under the auspices of the Albright Institute in Jerusalem and Hebrew University. Ted lives in Northfield with his wife Patter. They are the parents of two adult daughters.
Read more about the Northfield Interfaith Alliance (article in the Greenfield (MA) Recorder, July 29, 2017)
For Additional Information:
Trinitarian Congregational Church Offices 413-498-5839
Rev. Julie Olmsted's Office 413-498-2431
or email us at: