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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable announces leadership changes

By Joseph Walker, Deseret News

Published: Mon, May 6 4:05 p.m. MDT

 The Rev. Father Elias Koucos of the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church is the new chairman of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable.

The Rev. Father Elias Koucos of the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church is the new chairman of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable.

(Courtesy Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Rev. Father Elias Koucos, rector of the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church, is the new chairman of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable for 2013-14.

The Rev. Koucos replaces Alan Bachman, who has chaired the area interfaith organization for the past several years and who will continue to work with the SLIR board as community outreach chair.

Joining the Rev. Koucos as board officers for the next two years is a team of SLIR veterans, including Josie Stone of the Episcopal Church as vice-chair, Wendy J. Stovall of the Unification Church as secretary and Indra Neelameggham of Utah’s Hindu community as treasurer.

The Rev. Koucos is one of SLIR’s founding fathers, having served as a member of the original Roundtable created in 1999 to oversee interfaith efforts during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Since that time he has served as a member of the Roundtable board and is also involved in interfaith outreach efforts with the Coalition of Religious Communities and at the University of Utah.

“Since the founding of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable, we have experienced a steady growth in membership,” the Rev. Koucos said. “This has helped lead to an increasing recognition of the importance of interfaith work in Utah and around the country as we continue forward in this very vital and worthwhile mission of inclusion and unity.”

The Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable regularly sponsors activities and programs aimed at enhancing interfaith respect, understanding and appreciation through dialogue and collaboration. It includes representatives from more than 50 different faith groups and religiously oriented organizations.

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1. Casey See
FLOWER MOUND, TX,
May 8, 2013

In January of 2013, I was on a flight from Dallas to Salt Lake City and was lucky enough to sit by Rev. Father Elias Koucos. I discovered that he knew a lady that I worked with on Senator Garn's office in DC. I found him to be very warm and knowledgeable and believe that he will do a great job as the leader of the Interfaith Roundtable. While I never directly said that I was LDS, I am sure he figured it out. He had no negative comments about Utah or the church or any other church. We found alot of common ground in our discussions regarding my limited understanding of the Orthodox Church and how members of his church interacted with their LDS and other non-LDS neighbors.

So again, I say congratulations Father Koucos and I believe that he will do a fine job in helping find common ground for all faiths to help make SLC and Utah a better place for all.