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Free Mammogram Screening Being Offered in Oct
For the fourth consecutive year, Shepherd’s Hope and Sand Lake Imaging are partnering to provide free mammograms to women in need through their “Get a Mammogram, Give a Mammogram” initiative. Throughout the month of October, for each new patient who gets a mammogram at Sand Lake Imaging, the facility will donate a free screening mammogram to an uninsured Shepherd’s Hope patient. Since 2013, more than 550 mammograms have been donated through this program. “Getting annual mammograms can be a life-saving decision,” says Marni Stahlman, president and CEO of Shepherd’s Hope. “We are thankful that our ongoing partnership with Sand Lake Imaging allows us to provide local uninsured women with this necessary medical examination at no charge.” To schedule a screening mammogram appointment at any of Sand Lake Imaging’s three facilities, located in Orlando, Maitland and Lady Lake, phone 407-363-2772.

‘Suitable Airs’ to Host 18th Annual Concert Oct 214409671_10154544656999629_1154224644886716728_o
On Sunday, October 2, at 6:00 pm the “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation will present its 18th annual “Suitable Airs” concert in the sanctuary of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church (412 East Kennedy Blvd, Eatonville, FL 32751). The concert “is our response to the fractious nature of the present time, and a plea for all people of goodwill to take part in the work of binding America together,” say the event’s organizers about the theme for the concert. Featured artists include Breon Williams and Grady-Rayam Prize-winning vocalists Amanda Laracuente and Darien Bolden. Maultsby Prize-winning pianist Agurah Humphreys will perform music based on slave-era Negro spirituals for the first half of the concert. Robin Stamper will accompany the vocal soloists. The second portion will feature narrations delivered by Tyler Covington, interspersed with thrilling choral arrangements of Negro spiritual songs performed by the acclaimed Bethune-Cookman University Concert Chorale, directed by Damon H. Dandridge. As has become traditional, those assembled will also sing favorite tunes together. The event is open to the public, with no charge for admission. A freewill offering will be taken. Proceeds will benefit Project Grady-Rayam, the education and outreach arm of the “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation.
Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys
Three Wise GuysHear 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. June’s programming features the following:

  • October 4Faith and Society: The Cycle of Violence and Vengeance—discussion with guest Marco Antonio Quiroga about the burning of the Ft. Pierce Mosque and the continuing challenge of the cycle of violence and vengeance in our society
  • October 11: Faith and Culture: Art and the Spiritual Journey—a conversation with guest  Randy Robertson, executive director of Gladdening Light, about spirituality and art
  • October 18: Faith and Society: “Othering” and Dehumanization—Wise Guy Rabbi Steve Engel describes his recent trip to Poland and what he saw and learned, leading to a discussion of what happens when we dehumanize groups and individuals (first of two-part series)
  • June 28: Faith and Society: Internment Camps and Dehumanization—conversation with guest Mitch Bloomer, lead educator at the Holocaust Center in Maitland, about possible similarities between what we are seeing in the U.S. political landscape and what happened in Nazi Germany (final of two-part series)

Mayor Recommends You Check Out Seven Parks
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is proud of the city he oversees. So he’s suggesting seven parks you might want to check out. Got kids or grandkids? Some of the parks are just for you. Looking for playground equipment? You’re covered. Like hiking trails for exercise? Check. Just click here to read it all for yourself. And while you’re clicking, you might want to subscribe to the mayor’s newsletter. It’s chock-full of suggestions of things to do with family and friends that cost nothing or very little.

First Unitarian Hosting Series About ‘Faith Neighbors’
First Unitarian Church of Orlando (1901 East Robinson Street, Orlando, FL 32803) is in the midst of a nine-week Wednesday-night series titled “Conversation With Our Faith Neighbors.” The series, which will continue weekly until Wednesday night, November 16, will feature the following speakers and faith traditions: Oct 5, Imam Hatim Hamidullah, Islam; Oct 12, Rana Tiwari, Hinduism; Oct 19, Dr. Claudia Schippert, Buddhism; Oct 26, Navtej Khalsa, Sikhism; Nov 2, Dr. Sheri Dressler, Baha’i; Nov 9, Rev. Kathy Schmitz, Unitarian Universalism; Nov 16, David and Jocelyn Williamson, Atheism/Humanism. Each event begins at 6:00 pm with a light meal, followed at 6:40 pm by a short time of guided reflection, based on the faith of the evening’s presenter. The presentation will start at 7:00 pm and run for half an hour, followed by half an hour of audience questions. At 8:00 pmthere will be refreshments and a social time, during which the conversation and questions can continue. To ensure that the right amount of food is prepared, those planning to participate in the meal are asked to RSVP by email no later than Tuesday at 10:00 am (i.e. the day before each event). For more information, phone 407-898-3621. Child care is available with RSVP. The series is free and the public is invited.

Federal Court to Hear Brevard County ‘Prayer’ Case Oct 5
A federal court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging legislative prayer practices in Brevard County. The plaintiffs assert that the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners’ persistent rejection of atheists, humanists and other non-theists who want to deliver solemnizing messages at the commencement of board meetings violates the both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed the lawsuit in July 2015 on behalf of multiple plaintiffs. Plaintiffs include the Central Florida Freethought Community (a chapter of FFRF) and its chair David Williamson; the Space Coast Freethought Association and its president Chase Hansel; and the Humanist Community of the Space Coast and its president Keith Becher. The hearing will take place Wednesday, October 5, at 10:00 am, in Courtroom 6B, at the U.S. Courthouse (401 West Central Blvd., Orlando).

Interfaith Series Continuing In Casselberry on Oct 10Faiths
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 pm on the second Monday of each month at the Lake of the Woods Clubhouse (300 Carolwood Point, Fern Park, Casselberry). The series is titled: “Parallel Beliefs—A Comparative Study.” At each session the speaker presents for half an hour, followed by half an hour of questions from the audience. Upcoming dates, faith traditions and speakers are: October 10, Hinduism; speaker Anil Deshpande has resided in Central Florida for some 40 years and is active in the local Hindu community. November 14, Unitarian Universalism; speaker Rev. Kathy Schmitz is minister at First Unitarian Church of Orlando. December 12, Humanism/Atheism; joint speakers David and Jocelyn Williamson are active in the Central Florida Freethought Community and the Florida Humanist Association. For more information, phone 321-228-4599Click here for directions.

Interfaith Discussion: Morality and Communication
“ls it immoral to forward negative, reputation-damaging allegations on the Internet without first verifying their accuracy? Is there a lower standard about forwarding unverified material if the person being maligned is a public figure? Is passing on a lie as immoral as originating a lie? What are the moral obligations of honest communication according to your faith tradition?” The foregoing questions and more will be addressed at the monthly Interfaith Discussion on Wednesday evening, October 12, 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.

Baptist Joint Committee Offers Religious-Liberty Definition
religioussymbolsWhat is religious liberty? The website of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty says this: “The term ‘religious liberty’ continues to be used loosely by the media, presidential candidates and others, causing a great deal of confusion. . . . We have a one-page resource that clarifies religious liberty, its legal protection and the concept of ‘separation of church and state.’ We hope you will find it useful as a starting point in conversations with your friends and neighbors about this important topic and the historic Baptist commitment to religious liberty for all people.” Click here to view the information online and to access it as a printable PDF document.

Atlantic Institute to Host 2016 Awards Dinner Oct 13Atlantic_Logo_web-01_0
The Atlantic Institute will host its annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, October 13, at 6:00 pm at the Sheraton Orlando North Hotel (600 North Lake Destiny Drive, Maitland, FL 32751). The event will honor an institution and three individuals who actively promote diversity and intercultural exchange in Central Florida. The purpose of Atlantic Institute’s Awards Ceremonies is to recognize influential persons who actively promote diversity and intercultural exchange in the workplace, the government or other vocational spheres in their communities. This year’s honorees are: Media and Communications Award: WUCF TV (with the award accepted by Grant Heston, UCF Vice President for Communications and Marketing). Global Vision and Education Award: Dr. Deborah German, UCF Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean, College of Medicine. Public and Community Service Award: Sheriff Jerry L. Demings, Orange County Sheriff. Peace and Dialog Award: Barbara Weinreich, Board Member, Holocaust Memorial Resource and Educational Center. The mission of the Atlantic Institute is to advance cross-cultural dialogue and understanding among differing societies, nationalities and faiths, thereby promoting the potential for greater international cooperation and world peace. Click here for details about individual ticket purchase, table price and/or sponsorship levels.

Law Enforcement Helping Public Understand Sikhs
b_khandaSome religions are easily identified by the attire the adherents wear. This is definitely true of Sikh males, who wear a turban and have a beard. These articles of attire and grooming cause many—even law-enforcement officers, at times—to view Sikhs with suspicion. Due to proactive steps by Sikh community in the United States and law enforcement’s recognition of the need to understand the teachings and practices of religious groups, special training is provided. Click here to see a video (prepared by Department of Homeland Security) showing the need for better understanding and the steps being taken to meet that need.

Political Forum to Address Issues, Foster Ongoing Dialogue
On Tuesday, October 18, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in Valencia College’s West Campus Special Events Center (Building 8) a moderated political forum will be conducted, with a panelist from the Democrat, Libertarian and Republican parties sharing their perspectives on the issues related to the November 8 election—such as increasing the minimum wage, healthcare for all, immigration policy, gun control and more. The audience will be able to ask questions. Goals for the forum include information exchange, learning to treat with respect those whose perspectives are different from one’s own, and highlighting the importance of ongoing dialogue.

Colloquium Series Once Again to Look at Faith and Loss
For the past three academic years, Adventist University of Health Sciences has hosted a free Colloquium series—“an interdisciplinary program designed to engage University students, faculty, staff and members of the community in conversation. Each year the University selects a theme, and identifies two books to act as catalysts for conversation.” Theme for 2016 – 2017 is Faith and Loss. The second presentation of the current series will be Tuesday, October 18, at 7:00 pm at Florida Hospital Seventh-day Adventist Church (2800 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32804). The event will feature veteran medical missionary to Chad Dr. James Appel. Whether he’s describing his work as a physician, his family’s personal experience of loss, his work with Ebola patients in Liberia or his efforts to build bridges of understanding between Muslims and Christians, Dr. Appel is always a compelling speaker. If you have not had a chance to hear him speak, you will be challenged by attending. Click here for more details.

Harbor House to Host Purple Door Breakfast
Harbor House is inviting the public to its “Purple Door Fundraising Breakfast” at Faith Hall, First Baptist Church of Orlando (3000 South John Young Pkwy., Orlando, FL 2805) on Wednesday, October 19. Registration and networking start at 7:30 am, with the breakfast beginning at 8:30 am. In addition to raising funds, the event is designed to heighten awareness of the need to stop the cycle of domestic abuse in Central Florida. Through their support, community members can directly bolster the life-saving support Harbor House provides to domestic-abuse survivors. Every member of the community can be a partner in equipping every domestic-abuse survivor and family with the resources needed to leave an abusive relationship. You can help save a life by opening a door out of danger and into a peaceful home. Click here for individual registrationClick here for group registration.

Panel to Address ‘Minorities in the Non-Faith Community’
Most discussions about people of non-faith focus on the relationship of atheism to the religious majority. However, diversity within the non-faith community is growing and those of various minority demographics face the potential of marginalization just as they do within the faith community and the general population. Is there misogyny in the secular community? What are the experiences of Black and Hispanic secular Americans? What unique challenges do secular LGBTQ+ individuals face? These questions and many more will be addressed by a panel of experts between 12:30 and 3:30 pm on Thursday, October 20, at the Cape Florida Ballroom, Student Union, University of Central Florida. The event will include a meet-and-greet segment, the panel presentation and open discussion. Click here for more information.

Brown and Campolo to Address ‘Debating With Grace’
brown_stephen_wFlorida Hospital Seventh-day Adventist Church (2800 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32804) will feature Dr. Steve Brown and Dr. Tony Campolo in a forum at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 22. These men, well-known Christian writers/speakers/teachers, are long-time friends Tony_Campolo_2-328x268 2who used to host a radio program together that discussed topics from conservative (Brown) and liberal (Campolo) viewpoints. Hear these men share their viewpoints on various topics that relate to the current election season while maintaining respect and consideration for those who disagree. Phone 407-898-0451 for more detail.

VITAS to Host Clergy-Appreciation Breakfast Oct 25
“What Really Matters?” is the theme for a Clergy-Appreciation Breakfast being sponsored by VITAS Healthcare from 8:00 to 11:00 am on Tuesday, October 25, at Masion & Jardin (430 Wymore Road, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714). The event will feature a screening of the documentary Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, which allows the viewer to “walk in the shoes of surgeon Atul Gwande as he faces death with patients and families in a way. Watch as specialists hold candid conversations with terminally ill patients. Listen to patients’ values for living and what matters to them in the end.” Also featured will be Dr. Martha Rutland, director of Clinical Pastoral Education at VITAS Healthcare, where she guides ministers, chaplains and lay ministers in being effective spiritual companions. She will discuss how to recognize hope at the end of life, discovering what really matters to patients and how spiritual companions, too, need to claim their own dreams. RSVP by October 20 to Stephanie Demos at 407-691-4536.

Seventh Annual Florida Faith Symposium November 2-3
The seventh annual Florida Faith Symposium will be held November 2-3 at the Wyndham Orlando Resort. The Symposium is one of the State of Florida’s premier events to bring together leaders of faith, child welfare, juvenile justice and others to talk about how we can more effectively work together to empower Florida’s children and families and set them on a path to success. The event is being held in collaboration with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Florida Department of Children and Families and their partner, the Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council. Go the Faith Symposiumwebsite for more information and to register.

Week of the Family to Run From November 5 to 12
wotf-web-sporty-2016 2The Week of the Family (Orange County) will begin this year on Saturday, November 5, with an array of wholesome free activities at the Mayor’s Family Fun Day at Blanchard Park (2451 North Dean Road, Orlando, FL 32817) from 10:00 am to  2:00 pm on Saturday, November 5, followed by a series of events and opportunities—and even some contests—running through Saturday, November 12. During Week of the Family, an array of faith-based, civic, business, educational and just about every other kind of organization in Central Florida come together to inspire families to be the best family they’re capable of being. And not just for that week. The week is just a boost to help them get on a better path. In fact, “The Week of the Family’s mission is to strengthen family relationships through education, wholesome activities, fitness and community service.” There’s a lot more going on that week than there is space here to describe. So go to the WOTF website to see both has been done in the past, what’s being planned for 2016, and how you can become involved. The organizers are requesting is that spiritual leaders throughout Central Florida use the November 5-12 celebration as a natural springboard for sermons, educational presentations and events throughout the upcoming year that are designed to promote and strengthen the family and act as lead-up to next year’s event. Please share with all in your house of worship and community of faith and neighborhood the things that are going on during Week of the Family, highlighting what a blessing and benefit they can be to families and the community as a whole.
Habitat for Humanity to Host Fun Fundraiser Nov 5HH
Habitat for Humanity is inviting the public to enjoy a night under the stars at “Raise the Roof,” a distinctly unique event celebrating 25 years of building stronger communities. The evening will include a lively reception, music and an inspiring program. Table hosts will create a theme for their table and provide dinner, dessert, and libations as well as create a theme for their guests. Table sponsorship costs $350 (includes 10 tickets) and individual tickets cost $35. Enjoy an evening of exciting live and silent auctions all benefiting affordable homeownership in the Seminole County and Greater Apopka area. The event will be held from 6:00 to 9:30 pm on Saturday, November 5, at Reiter Park (301 West Warren Avenue, Longwood, FL). Click here for details about tickets and tables.

Interfaith Event to Reflect on Nostra Aetate Document
On Monday, November 14, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, the Diocese of Orlando, and the Interfaith Council of Central Florida are holding a seminar on Nostra Aetate, the Vatican’s 1965 Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, which, among other facets, repudiated anti-Semitism and the charge that Jews were collectively guilty for the crucifixion of Jesus. Those present will discuss Nostra Aetate’s impact on interfaith relations, the importance of building bridges among all faiths, and attendees’ personal experiences as adherents of their respective faith traditions. The event will be held at Northview, the building at the University of Central Florida that houses both Central Florida Hillel and Campus Catholic Ministry. The featured speaker is Rabbi Ruth Langer, Associate Director of Boston College’s Center for Christian-Jewish Learning. Professor Langer will deliver a talk specifically on Nostra Aetate, then moderate a panel discussion on developing relationships across faith traditions, particularly for those who may have fraught-relationship histories. A catered dinner will follow, where event attendees will participate in moderated discussions at their dinner tables. A modest cost is associated to attend. If members of your congregation would like to be trained as table facilitators, please email or phone (407-645-5933) Marli Porth at the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando.

Presbyterians to Co-Sponsor Suicide Prevention Training
Park Lake Presbyterian Church (309 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32801), in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute, will host a daylong training event designed to help faith-community leaders, clergy, program staff, lay ministers, office staff and therapists learn how to save the life of someone contemplating suicide. The event will be held on November 19 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. For more detail and to register, contact Rev. Dr. Helen DeBevoise (407-841-6550) or Rev. Dr. Paige McRight (321-438-8621).

Near-Death Experience Still Raising Questions
downloadWhat happens when a person dies? Quite frankly, we don’t know. Because no one has ever come back to tell us—at least no one whose claims were incontrovertible. And to complicate matters even more, faith traditions aren’t in agreement about the nature,  timing or even existence of life after death. So the back-from-death/near-death experience of Anita Moorjani, author of the book Dying To Be Me, has generated considerable discussion from a variety of perspectives. As did her TEDxTalk and other things she has shared in writing or on video.

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.

Transcendentalist Reflectionr4
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  James Coffin, Executive Director
PO Box 3310, Winter Park, FL 32790-3310
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Betty Alter, Newsletter Production and Administration

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