|Altantic Institute Lecture Series to Look at Future “The Future Is Already Here! Are You Ready?” That’s the title of a lecture to be given at the Atlantic Institute (940 South Winter Park Drive, Casselberry, FL 32707) on Thursday night, March 2, by Roy Craft, an Inter-Cultural Intelligence (ICI) expert. Craft will not only highlight a number of major global cultural and technological shifts that are unique in human history, which have occurred in the past 50 years, but he will also show how these shifts have impacted individuals, organizations and societies. A light dinner and refreshments will be served at 6:00 pm. Craft’s presentation will begin at 6:30 pm, followed by questions for the speaker. Click here for more information and to make reservations for this free event. The public is invited.
Video of Recent Religious Freedom Summit AvailableThe video is now available of “The Summit on Religious Freedom: An Interfaith Invitation, ” held January 31 at First Baptist Orlando (3000 South John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL 32805). Speakers for the evening included: Hannah Smith, Senior Counsel at The Becket Fund; Rabbi Mark Goldfeder, Director, Law and Religious Programs, Emory University; Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University; Iman Abdulla Antepli, Chief Representative of Muslim Affairs, Duke University; and Mike Batts, Managing Partner, Batts Morrison Wales & Lee, PA. Issues addressed included: potential impact of upcoming Supreme Court decisions on religious freedom; challenges posed by pending legislation to both freedom of speech and religion; impact on religious organizations of tax-law changes; barriers potentially faced when religions run their organizations based on their values. Click here to access the videoof the event.
Crossing the Bridge: A Community Sing-a-Long
On Thursday, March 2, the public is invited to join the Jewish Community Center and its community partners for a sing-a-long of optimism, joy and hope in response to recent attempts to disrupt the Jewish community. The event, which will be held at Congregation Ohev Shalom (613 Concourse Parkway South, Maitland, FL), will open its doors at 6:30 pm, with the program going from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
Rollins to Host Summit on Race, Religion and Culture
Rollins College (1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789) will host its 12th annual Summit on Transforming Learning on Friday, March 3. This free event, which is for students, faculty and the community, will run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. This year’s theme—The Intersection of Race, Religion and Culture—seeks to build on the foundation laid at last year’s summit, which focused on Advancing Racial Justice: Rollins and Beyond. The March 3 summit will begin in the Bush Auditorium, with keynote presenter Brendan Randall of the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). Randall will explore the questions of what interfaith is and why it is important to have such conversations. The summit will feature a widely diverse faith/worldview panel and a variety of other activities. Click here to learn more about the day’s schedule. Click here to register.
HOPE Helps, Inc. to Host Fun Run March 4
On Saturday, March 4, HOPE Helps Inc. will host its sixth annual “Sham Rock ’n’ Run” fundraising run, meeting at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (2021 West State Road 426 Oviedo, FL 32765). Last-minute registration and Packet Pick-up starts at 7:00 am, with the race starting at 8:30 am. Click here to learn all the details of the variety of fun activities going on that day.
Bach Festival Society to Present Dvořák Masterpiece
The Bach Festival Society Choir and Orchestra will perform Antonín Dvořák’s Stabat Mater at 7:30 pm on Saturday, March 4, in the Knowles Memorial Chapel on the campus of Rollins College (1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789). “This heartfelt work was written by Dvořák as he grieved the deaths of his first three children. The Stabat Mater text is based on the 13th-century Latin poem that describes Mary’s heartache standing before the Cross. The choir, soloists and orchestra all share in the magnificent tone painting of this grand piece of music.” Click here to watch a brief video description of Stabat Mater from Bach Festival Society director John Sinclair. If interested in attending, act immediately, as tickets may already be sold out. Buy your tickets online or phone the box office (407-646-2182).
GladdeningLight/Enzian to Show Jesus Movie
GladdeningLight, a spiritual initiative based in Winter Park whose mission is to explore transcendent elements of art, is partnering with Enzian Theater(1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland, FL 32751) to provide a single showing of the the indy movie Last Days in the Desert. The movie follows Jesus (Ewan McGregor) in an imagined chapter from his forty days of fasting and praying in the desert. On his way out of the wilderness, he struggles with the Devil, also played by McGregor, over the fate of an ordinary family in crisis, setting for himself a dramatic test with distinctly human conflicts. The screening is a matinee—one show only—on Sunday, March 5, at 12:30 pm. Order brunch from your table and be part of a follow-up forum discussion staged in the theater. Tickets are $10 and available only from GladdeningLight in advance online. For those wanting an enactment of the biblical text, the movie will no doubt fall short. For those wanting out-of-the-box mental/spiritual stimulus, it may be just what you’ve been waiting for. Click here to see the official film trailer. Click here to read the review done by Christianity Today.
Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys
Hear the varied perspectives of the Rev. Bryan Fulwider, Rabbi Steve Engel and Imam Muhammad Musri as each week they discuss how faith impacts both the simple and the complex aspects of life. These three clergy come together as friends to discuss topics from the perspective of the different religions they represent. They contend that “good religion works for peace, respects and values others regardless of their religious perspective, and works through acts of compassion to make the world a better place for everyone.” Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys airs on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm on 90.7 WMFE FM in Orlando. Tune in on your radio or listen online. You can also listen to any show already aired. Tune in each Tuesday during March at 6:30 pm.
- March 7: “America’s Original Sin – Racism,” with Christian writer, activist and editor of Sojourners magazine Rev. Jim Wallace
- March 14: “The Demonization of Religions,” with New Testament scholar John Dominic Crossan
- March 21, 28 and April 4: “Sex Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery” a three-part series featuring Northland’s 1-2-1 Hope Team. Guests include victims of sex trafficking, law enforcement, legislators and undercover extraction teams. This is a $1.5 Billion industry, with Orlando in its crosshairs. Discover what you can do to help solve this national disgrace.
How Does Your Faith Impact Your Business Practices?
The foregoing title is the theme for the Interfaith Discussion on March 8. Does your faith make a difference in how you treat employees? How you treat clients? The rate of interest you charge? The way you interact with government agencies? The quality of your work? The way you report your hours? The way you treat your competition? These questions and more will be addressed at the monthly Interfaith Discussion on Wednesday evening, March 8, sponsored by the Interfaith Council of Central Florida. The discussion is held from 7:00 to 8:30 pm on the second Wednesday of each month at Adventist University of Health Sciences (671 Winyah Drive, Orlando, FL 32803) on Florida Hospital’s main campus. The exchanges are respectful, open and candid, and the participants represent a variety of faith traditions as well as those who question the validity of faith altogether. For directions to the meeting place, click here. Admission is free. Everyone is invited.
Holocaust Lecturer to Describe ‘The Death of Democracy’
Join Mitch Bloomer, educator at the Holocaust Center (851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland, Florida 32751) at 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 9, as he explores the strategies the Nazis used to dismantle German democracy during the first year of Hitler’s rule. He will uncover the step-by-step process by which self-government and the rule of law came to an end. He will also identify lessons that can be applied in modern times that will enable us to nurture and safeguard our own democratic values and institutions today. Click here or phone 407-628-0555 for more information.
SDA Scholar to Take In-Depth Look at Church’s Co-Founder
“Updating the Picture of Ellen White, the Adventist Prophet” is the title of a three-part series to be presented by New Zealand scholar Gil Valentine, PhD (currently of LaSierra University in California) on March 10 and 11 to the Orlando Chapter of the Adventist Forum. A central issue among Seventh-day Adventists is the contemporary role of Ellen White, who died over a hundred years ago. Considered both a founding mother of Adventism and a prophet, she left behind over 50,000 pages of handwritten manuscript, now available to scholars, and upwards of 50 books, read by many Adventists and ignored by others. Dr. Valentine says that knowing more of the role of Ellen White in her own lifetime will help Adventists address the issue of her on-going relevance today. The three parts of the series are: “Creating the Image of Ellen White as Prophet and Leader,” 7:00 pm, March 10, Room 116, Graduate Building, Adventist University of Health Sciences (671 Winyah Drive, Orlando, FL). “Is Ellen White the Reason Adventism Became Trinitarian?” 9:45 am, March 11, Bridge Builders Class, Room 1, Forest Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church (515 Harley Lester Lane, Apopka, FL). “Facing the Future When the Prophet’s Voice Falls Silent,” 3:00 pm, March 11, Room 116, Graduate Building, Adventist University of Health Sciences (671 Winyah Drive, Orlando, FL). The presentations are free and open to the public.
The Chaplaincy Institute Offering Interfaith Options
Are you interested in training that can lead to credentialing that will assist in your desire to engage in interfaith ministry? Then you might want to check out the options at The Chaplaincy Institute. For a brief outline of the study tracks offered, click here.
NU Class at FUMCO to Host Annual Theology Workshop
“What’s Going On?: Marvin Gaye, Reconciliation and Encountering Jesus in Troubling Times”—a one-day workshop about Christian reconciliation and living out alternatives to the destructive conflict and social divisions that fragment our world—is being offered by First United Methodist Church of Orlando, 142 East Jackson Street, on Saturday, March 11, from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. Lunch is available for $10, or attendees may bring their own. The workshop is free, but attendees must register in advance. (Childcare may be arranged at time of registration.) The guest speaker, Dr. Claudia May, Ph.D., is an author, lecturer and associate professor of Reconciliation Studies at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. May is a specialist in reconciliation studies and African American, Black British and Caribbean literature and popular culture, as well as Biblical studies, multiethnic and cultural expressions of faith and Christian Hip Hop. She is the author of Jesus is Enough: Love, Hope, and Comfort in the Storms of Life and a lecturer at Duke Divinity School’s Summer Institute on Reconciliation. For more information, phone the church office (407-849-6080). Click here for location and parking information.
Interfaith Lake County Sponsoring Women’s Event
We live in a diverse world. But despite the diversity, we often spend our time with others much like ourselves. Here’s an opportunity for women to step into the world of other women. In an event titled “Women Breaking Bread Together,” women of Lake County are invited to an afternoon of food and fellowship on Saturday, March 11, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Shepherd in the Hills Lutheran Church (13600 Caspian Lane, Clermont, FL 34711). If able, those attending are asked to bring a dish of food to share. If you have a special ethnic dish from your own background, or a favorite dish you make for loved ones, or a dish made for you with love, please bring it to share. This event is sponsored by the Interfaith Lake County. Women of all ages and of all faiths and no faith are invited. Please RSVP by email.
Better Man Event Slated for Calvary Assembly Mar 11
The Better Man Event, an annual Christian event, has for 13 years been inviting men in Central Florida to a higher calling through high-energy events and powerful messages. The theme for this year’s Better Man Event is “The Answer.” The keynote speaker will be Tim Tebow. The event will be held at Calvary Assembly Church (1199 Clay Street, Winter Park, FL 32789) from 5:30 to 8:30 pm on Saturday, March 11. Click here for information about tickets. Discounted rates are available for groups.
‘NS’SF to Host Annual Gala March 11, Book Now
The “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation invites members of the public to join the organization’s board and staff on Saturday, March 11, for the “NS”SF’s Annual Gala, featuring outstanding music, the presentation of awards and social interaction, wonderful food, and fellowship with others who enjoy celebrating America’s best music in a warmly elegant atmosphere. This black-tie/formal event begins at 6:00 pm at Loews’s Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort (6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, FL 32819). For details about individual admission and the various levels of sponsorship, click here.
Arab-American Tests Public Response to His Trust
If you haven’t seen the brief video clip “I Trust You”—in which Arab-American (and renowned tenor) Karim Sulayman blindfolds himself and then stands on a busy sidewalk holding up an unusual sign—you might find the video thought-provoking. Click here to see the video. And what does the sign say? Just this: “Hello, my name is Karim and I am an Arab-American. Like many people who are Black, Brown, women, LGBTQIA, Latinx, Muslim, Jewish, immigrants and other, I am very scared. We are anxious and uneasy in our own country and it’s difficult to see what lies ahead for us. But I have hope that I am safe with you. Together we can build a community of caring rather than one of fear. You can trust me to care for you no matter who you are, what you look like or where you are from. Will you embrace me as willingly as I embrace you? Will you shake my hand and/or hug me and or take a photo of me and post it as a sign that I am safe here with you?” The response of passers-by is interesting—and inspiring.
Muslims Raise $100,000+ for Jewish Cemetery Repair
From the Daily Beast: “In a show of support for Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans have raised more than $108,000 to help clean up a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis that was vandalized over the weekend [of February 18]. The attack on the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery – which saw hundreds of gravestones toppled and destroyed – garnered nationwide attention and prompted a visit from Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday. Muslim Americans used online fundraising to show their support for those affected by the vandalism. ‘Muslim Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish-American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration,’ the fundraisers wrote in their appeal on Launchgood.com. The goal of the fundraising campaign was not only to raise funds to help repair the gravestones, they said, but also to ‘send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America.’”
Interfaith Series Continuing in Casselberry on Mar 13
The public is invited to a free one-hour, once-a-month series of presentations on different faith traditions, which is being held at 3:00 pmon the second Monday of each month at the Lake of the Woods Clubhouse (300 Carolwood Point, Fern Park, Casselberry). Titled: “Parallel Beliefs—A Comparative Study,” the series is sponsored by the Interfaith Council of Central of Central Florida and coordinated by several residents of the Lake of the Woods subdivision. At each session the speaker presents for half an hour, followed by half an hour of questions from the audience. The remaining dates for the “spring semester” will be March 13, April 10 and May 8. On March 13 Mr. Navtej Khalsa will speak about Sikhism. For more information, phone 321-228-4599. Click here for directions.
Holocaust Center Event to Analyze Vandalism
“Vandalism: Expression or Aggression?” is the title of a free event being hosted by the Holocaust Center (851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland, Florida 32751) at 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 16. Graffiti and other forms of vandalism have persisted throughout history, though they have served varying purposes. When is graffiti a form of political protest? When is it art? What purpose does it serve in the contemporary context? Join in this exploration of the history, purpose and impact of various forms of vandalism. Click here or phone 407-628-0555 for more information.
Interfaith Lake County to Host Environmental Event
The Interfaith Educational Forum invites the public to “Saving the Planet Through the Practices of Each Faith Tradition,” on Thursday, March 16, at 7:00 pm at Unity Spiritual Center (509 County Road 468, Fruitland Park, FL 34731). The event is free.
Anne Frank Exhibit at Holocaust Center Until March 17
The Holocaust Center (851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland FL 32751) is currently featuring an exhibit about Anne Frank. The exhibit explores the story of Anne Frank and her family, juxtaposed against world events before, during and after the Nazi party’s rise to power. Visitors are introduced to the events leading up to World War II, to individuals who chose to join the Nazi party, to those who were bystanders and to others who resisted. Included are photos of the Frank family and other occupants of the Secret Annex. Anne’s writing provides a central voice to the exhibit narrative, bringing a poignant perspective to the story. The exhibit is accessible to visitors of all ages and is available in English and Spanish. It will be on display through March 17.
Florida Hospital to Continue Lecture Series Mar 22
Florida Hospital is once again inviting the public to attend a free presentation in its Distinguished Lecture Series. The event will be held Wednesday, March 22, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm (with registration and hors d’oeuvres from 5:30 to 6:30 pm). The presentation, titled “High-Cost Drugs: Origins, Impacts, Prospects for Reform,” will address prescription-drug spending in the U.S., including recent trends related to brand-name and generic drugs. The presenter, Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, will also review some of the widely held explanations as to why drug costs are high. Attendees will be able to learn more about the viability of the various solutions proposed to address high-cost drugs, including enhancing competition, improving the negotiating ability of payers and intervening at the physician/patient level. For more information and to register, click here.
Interfaith Women of Faith Symposium Slated for Mar 25
On Saturday, March 25, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, the Islamic Society of Central Florida’s Center for Peace and the Golden Rule Initiative are jointly hosting an event titled “Women of Faith Interfaith Symposium: Connecting Life, Spirit and Identity.” The event will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Orlando Regional Medical Center Campus (1414 Kuhl Avenue, Orlando, FL 32806). Issues to be addressed include Drug Abuse, Gun Violence and Strengthening the Family for the Health of the Community. Go to Eventbrite for more information and to register.
Colloquium to Feature Writer Philip Yancey April 6
The 2016 – 2017 Colloquium Series at Adventist University of Health Sciences will feature well-known Christian writer Philip Yancey on Thursday, April 6 at 7:00 pm as it concludes this year’s theme of Faith and Loss. Yancey will address such questions as: How do we respond to great loss? Is faith still relevant in today’s fractured world? Where can we find answers and comfort? Yancey has written some 25 books, including Where Is God When It Hurts; Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? and Disappointment with God. His books have won 13 Gold Medallion Awards from the Christian Publishers Association and have sold more than 15 million copies in English, as well as being translated into 40 languages. Christian bookstore managers selected The Jesus I Never Knew as their 1996 Book of the Year. And What’s So Amazing About Grace? received the same award in 1998. Among his most recent books are The Question That Never Goes Awayand Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? The event, which will be held at the Florida Hospital Seventh-day Adventist Church (2800 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32804), is free and the public is invited. Click here for more information and to register.
Christians Planning Major Palm Sunday Event
An consortium of Christian congregations and other local entities are planning to hire the Camping World Arena on Palm Sunday (April 9) for a day of service to those in need. The event, titled “He Got Up,” was initiated by Christians but is not solely a Christian event. People of all faiths, creeds and affiliations are welcome. “He Got Up” is operating under the leadership Tim Johnson, pastor of the Orlando World Outreach Center and a former professional football player, and is all about “people lifting people,” Johnson says. Event planners are seeking at least 5,000 volunteers, who will not only help prepare for and execute the Palm Sunday extravaganza, but will also involve themselves and the entities they represent in follow-up on an ongoing basis. It’s not a one-time event but a springboard for long-term service, organizers say.
Save the Date for April-May Faith Series at WPPL
The Interfaith Council of Central Florida is coordinating a series on Faith Traditions Today, which will be held at the Winter Park Public Library (460 East New England Avenue. Winter Park , FL 32789) and will run for six weeks on Tuesday evenings, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm, on April 18 and 25; and May 2, 9, 16 and 23. The faith traditions to be highlighted, and the speaker for each faith, are: Buddhism, Dr. Claudia Schippert ; Christianity, Rev. Dr. Jason Micheli; Hinduism, Mr. Abhinav Dwivedi; Judaism, Rabbi David Kay; Islam, Imam Hatim Hamidullah; and Sikhism, Mr. Nav Khalsa. Please note the dates. More information will be provided in the April newsletter of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida.
Your Tax-Deductible Contributions Always Appreciated
If you appreciate what’s being achieved by the Interfaith Council of Central Florida and Friends Talking Faith With the Three Wise Guys radio program, we invite you to contribute on a regular basis to these community-based, community-benefitting activities. It may be every month, once a quarter or annually. And it may be a large contribution or small. But whatever it is, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you played a part in helping to make our community more harmonious and peaceful. All contributions are tax-deductible and may be sent to: PO Box 3310, Winter Park, FL 32790-3310. Or you can click here to contribute online. Thank you for your help.
Unitarian Universalist Reflection
We are not human because we think. We are human because we care. All true meaning is shared meaning.—Forrest Church (Unitarian Universalist, clergy, author) Love & Death: My Journey Through The Valley of The Shadow
Betty Alter, Newsletter Production and Administration
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