INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF CENTRAL FLORIDA NEWSLETTER–7 (March 2013)
1. Christian Ballet Group to Perform “Hiding Place.” The Mississippi-based group Ballet Magnificat will perform “Hiding Place” at Center Pointe Community Church on Friday night, March 1, at 7:00 pm. The ballet is based on the story of the family of Corrie and Betsie ten Boom, Dutch Christians who risked their lives to protect their Jewish neighbors during the Holocaust. The actions of the ten Booms resulted in prison, concentration camp and/or death for several family members. Order tickets at https://orlandocenterpointe.ccbchurch.com/w_form_response.php?form_id=11. For more details, check out the following: View Download.
2. Hindu University to Conduct Workshop on Ganesha. Hinduism’s deities each represent and address specific aspects of life’s bigger picture. Ganesha, for example, “has leadership qualities and, with His grace, it is believed that no undertaking can fail due to subjective or objective obstacles” (see also http://www.pantheon.org/articles/g/ganesha.html). Learn more when, on March 8 and 9, Hindu University of America (113 North Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, FL 32825) will host a Ganesha workshop. For more details, check out the following: View Download.
3. A Desk Reference to Personalizing Patient Care. If you aren’t in the health-care business, the foregoing book might seem a waste of time and money. But not so fast. The book is about people more than about medicine. In all professional services, providers need to understand and honor the perspectives of the client. The book gives insights into client need, based on: faith traditions (20 of them described); cultural groupings (another 20); disabilities (7); and distinct generations (4). Anyone working in multi-culture, multi-faith, multi-generation contexts, where disabilities may well also exist, could definitely benefit from the information provided. The book ranges in price from $50 to $20, depending on the quantities ordered. For more information, contact Lillian Boyd (Lillian.Boyd@FLHosp.org).
4. First United Methodist Church Orlando. “Does the Golden Rule Always Apply?” is the title of a discussion starter to be presented by James Coffin, executive director of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, at FUMCO’s Nu Class discussion group (http://nuclass.org) on Sunday morning, March 17, 9:30 to 10:45 am (142 East Jackson Street, Orlando, FL 32801). The public is invited. For further information, contact Kent Horsley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
5. March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food. An array of individuals, congregations and other groups are organizing to support the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) on their upcoming March for Rights, Respect and Fair Food. The two-week march begins in Fort Myers on March 3. Organizers are particularly hoping to have a large crowd when the march ends in Lakeland with a rally at the headquarters of Publix on March 17. For background information and participation details, go to: tinyurl.com/UUSwithCIW-2013.
6. Not Familiar With the Term “Earth Jurisprudence”? No? Then that can easily be remedied. Equinox Documentaries has recently created a film that tells the story of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Orlando’s Barry University School of Law. The film describes the Center’s mission to legally recognize nature’s and humanity’s rights to exist, flourish and evolve in healthy habitats. To view the 10-minute film, go to the Center’s website (http://earthjuris.org/film) or go directly to YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haIZTRtvIPw.
7. “Misconceptions About My Faith.” That’s the title of an hour-long, multi-participant program at Winter Park Care & Rehabilitation Center (2970 Scarlet Road, Winter Park, FL 32792), at 2:00 pm on Thursday, March 21. Representatives of a variety of faiths–Buddhism, Baha’i, mainline Protestantism, Judaism, Sikhism, Islam and more–will address the two or three most common misunderstandings about their respective faith traditions. The program is free of charge and the public is invited. For further information contact Chaplain Larry Limbaugh (email@example.com; 407-671-8030).
8. What Is Second Harvest Food Bank, Anyway? Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, and personal experience is worth even more, the best way to answer that question is for you to have a Food for Thought experience. Click here to make your reservation: http://www.foodbankcentralflorida.org/site/PageServer?pagename=LearnAboutHunger_FoodforThought. You may be staggered by the magnitude of Central Florida’s hunger problem–and highly impressed by what’s being done. You might even choose to become a volunteer. At the very least, check it out.
9. What Role Have the Media Played in Attitudes Toward Islam? “Americans’ opinions of Islam were at their most favorable immediately after 9/11, when the sense of threat was highest, and grew less favorable even as the fear receded.” The preceding is the first sentence of the abstract for an informative 15-page academic article (with surprising conclusions) written by Christopher Smith of Claremont Graduate University. Peruse the entire article at http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2013/2013-3.pdf .
10. A Visit to the Sikh Society of Central Florida. Should you happen to be driving down West State Road 426 (Aloma Avenue) in Oviedo and find yourself wondering about the beautiful structure with the Indian architecture situated at 2527, the mystery is about to be solved: It’s the gurdwara (temple) of the Sikh Society of Central Florida. To learn more, go to their website: http://www.orlandogurdwara.com. Better still, stop by for a visit. Here’s what you can expect. Each Sunday’s service runs from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm or a bit later. Two gestures of respect are expected of all who enter the sanctuary: removing the shoes and covering the head. Head coverings are provided for visitors. Seating is on the floor. But if sitting on the floor is a problem, there are benches at the back. Since the services are in Punjabi, you’ll catch the spirit of the experience but will not understand all that’s said and done. Thus, you might prefer to arrive somewhat late–at, say, 12:15 pm. Typically, others will still be entering as well. Don’t hesitate to ask what you should or shouldn’t do. You’ll note that at the front is what appears to be a “shrine”–canopy style. It’s actually the place where Guru Granth Sahib–the Sikhs’ compilation of holy scriptures”–is displayed. The Sikh scriptures, much like the Hebrew psalms, were designed to be sung. Thus the worship service is primarily the singing of scriptures. The English translation of the hymns being sung is displayed line by line on the two screens at the front. Sikhism has always advocated equality, inclusiveness and hospitality. So toward the end of the service, a ritual “Grace” will be served in a small quantity to everyone. It is a pudding made of whole wheat flour, sugar, and butter. It symbolizes the sweet grace of the guru and is distributed to all without distinction, emphasizing equality. It may be received on a paper napkin, although most will receive it on their bare hands. (If sugar or butter is a concern, it’s OK to request a smaller quantity in the spirit of sharing. After the service, a full hospitality meal–langar, it’s called–will be served (free) to all present in the gurdwara’s community room downstairs. It is a North Indian-style full vegetarian lunch. Feel free to ask for more if you particularly like something. It will be an honor to your hosts. Much, much more could be said. But it’s all theory until you’ve actually experienced it. And once you have experienced it, you’ll have plenty of questions that your Sikh hosts will be more than happy to answer.
11. Reminders from Previous Newsletters . . .
♦ “Friends Talking Faith.” The Reverend Bryan Fulwider, Rabbi Steve Engel and Imam Muhammad Musri will discuss the topic of gun violence in their monthly program on WMFE 90.7, on Sunday, March 3, at 6:00 pm. Learn more about the program and listen to archived broadcasts at http://thethreewiseguys.com.
♦ “Religion 101” series to feature Baha’i. On Tuesday, March 12, at 7:00 pm at the Holocaust Center (851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland, FL 32751), George and Farideh Via will present an overview of the Baha’i faith–one of the youngest of the world’s major religions. For more detail, go to the Holocaust Center’s website http://www.holocaustedu.org/events/community_presentations/. Unitarian Universalism will be featured on April 9.
♦ How does your faith tradition inform your position on the issue of gun control? That’s the topic for the March 13 Interfaith Discussion Group, which will meet at Adventist University of Health Sciences on Florida Hospital’s main campus at 7:00 pm. For further details and directions contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
♦ Passover Festival from A to Z. On March 17, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Congregation of Reform Judaism (http://www.crjorlando.org/) is inviting the public to learn more about the history and traditions of Passover–their annual festival that celebrates the very core of Jewish identity. This get-to-know-Judaism event will be a time of fun and education for all ages. For more detail, check out the following: View Download