|Elderly Sikh-American Attacked, Called ‘Bin Laden’
From the India Post website: “An elderly Sikh-American man was brutally assaulted and left with severe facial injuries by an assailant . . . in an apparent hate crime just before the U.S. commemorates the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. . . . Inderjit Singh Mukker of Chicago was assaulted on September 8 when the assailant pulled up to his car yelling racial slurs, including, ‘Terrorist, go back to your country, Bin Laden!’ Mukker, a U.S. citizen and father of two, was on his way to a grocery store and was repeatedly cut off by the assailant driving a car. Mukker pulled over to the side of the road to let him pass, but the driver instead pulled in front of his car and aggressively approached Mukker’s vehicle, according to . . . the Sikh Coalition. . . . The Sikh Coalition’s Legal Director Harsimran Kaur said the group believes that Mukker was ‘targeted and assaulted’ because of his Sikh religious appearance, race or national origin. . . . [The] Sikh Coalition said the attack, on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, is just the latest in a line of violent attacks on Sikhs in America.”
Baha’is Continue to face Persecution in Iran
“Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran,” reports the Baha’i International Community website, “Baha’is have been systematically persecuted as a matter of government policy. During the first decade of this persecution, more than 200 Baha’is were killed or executed, hundreds more were tortured or imprisoned, and tens of thousands lost jobs, access to education and other rights—all solely because of their religious belief.” The persecution has waxed and waned, but it’s an ever-present reality and currently seems to be on the upswing. Click here to read the report in full.
You Can Change Orlando’s Beauty-and Fashion
Volunteers are needed on October 3 (from 9:00 to 11:00 am) to remove litter and debris from the shorelines of Orlando’s lakes. Granted that Orlando lakes eventually drain into the Atlantic Ocean, this regional volunteer effort is part of the 29th Annual International Coastal Cleanup coordinated by The Ocean Conservancy and supported locally by City of Orlando and Keep Orlando Beautiful. Your RSVP is required for this event. Make contact either by email or phone (407-246-2752). Provide the number of volunteers in your group (individual names are not required). Volunteer spots are limited. Click here for more detail. Ah, there’s more. You can take the trash you pull out of the lakes and turn it into award-winning fashion or art as part of Orlando’s “Trash Trends 2—An Evening of Recycled Fashion,” to be held on February 6, 2016. Learn more about this fun and innovative event.
Global Peace Film Festival Running Until October 4
Central Florida’s annual Global Peace Film Festival will run until Sunday, October 4. This is the 13th year the film festival has stimulated thought and action on socially and morally important issues. So plan to take advantage of as many of the remaining movies as possible. The films, the venues, the discussion opportunities—they’re all informative and thought-provoking. Check out the GPFF website for screening schedules, screening venues, details of discussions and panels and a list of films, their descriptions and much more. To learn about how the Global Peace Film Festival came about, and to meet the person whose singlemindedness not only got it off the ground but has kept it going, click here. Not only can you enjoy attending the films, you can enjoy the sense of satisfaction that comes from volunteering to help (although you may have to wait until next year to get on the volunteer list).
Article about French Hijab Laws Stirs American Debate
From the New York Times website: “To some, a Muslim head scarf represents patriarchal oppression in a backward society. To others, it symbolizes modesty, identity and respect for a higher being. . . . After Suzanne Daley and Alissa J. Rubin reported on the struggles women in France face as a result of prejudices and laws there restricting the wearing of veils, more than 1,000 New York Times readers shared their opinions. Among those voices were about two dozen Muslim women for whom this subject is deeply personal. These women explained why they have chosen to veil or not. They talked about how they were influenced by where they grew up, and how the decision has affected their education, careers and interactions with others.” Read more at the NYT.
Quakers to Celebrate World Quaker Day on October 4
Quakers around the world will gather with neighboring Quaker meetings and engage in other special activities to connect with the wider world of Friends on World Quaker Day (October 4), celebrating friendship and the loving Spirit Friends share. On that day, Quakers from throughout Central Florida are invited to come together for worship, fellowship and a potluck lunch at the Orlando meetinghouse (316 East Marks Street, Orlando, FL 32803), followed by a couple of movies at the Global Peace Film Festival. The two films—Inside Peace (77 minutes) and Just Breathe (4 minutes)—will be screened at Winter Park Library (460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789). Tickets cost $8.00 and can be bought at the door. Inside Peace is about three incarcerated men who sign up for a peace class and how this influences their transition to life outside. Just Breathe is about how meditation affects anger and the brains of elementary-age children.
Interfaith Panel to Discuss Movie about Gun Violence
As it has done for several years, the Global Peace Film Festival will conclude with a movie of particular interest to the faith community in which the screening is followed by discussion of the film’s theme by a panel of faith leaders selected by the Interfaith Council of Central Florida. This year, the film Armor of Light will be screened at 5:30 pm on Sunday, October 4, at the Bush Auditorium, Rollins College, Winter Park. (Ticket or pass required; tickets may be purchased at the door for $8.) The interfaith panel discussion will commence at the conclusion of the film (about 7:00 pm). Click here to learn more about the movie and to watch the trailer. The film’s website states: “The film tracks Reverend Rob Schenck, anti-abortion activist and fixture on the political far right, who breaks with orthodoxy by questioning whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life. . . . Along the way, Rev. Schenck meets Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, an unarmed teenager who was murdered in Florida and whose story has cast a spotlight on “Stand Your Ground” laws. McBath, also a Christian, decides to work with Schenck even though she is pro-choice. Lucy is on a difficult journey of her own, trying to make sense of her devastating loss while using her grief to effect some kind of viable and effective political action—where so many before her have failed. . . . ARMOR follows these unlikely allies through their trials of conscience, heartbreak and rejection, as they bravely attempt to make others consider America’s gun culture through a moral lens. The film is also a courageous look at our fractured political culture, and an assertion that it is, indeed, possible for people to come together across deep party lines to find common ground.”
“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 complicated aspects of life. “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. The Friends Talking Faith schedule for October features the following:
- October 6: Faith and Law: Freedom of Speech
- October 13: Faith and Law: Freedom of Religion
- October 20: Faith and Religion: How We Read Sacred Text
- October 27: Faith and Science: What Does it Mean to Be Human?
Emory Historian/Author to Address ‘New’ Antisemitism
In an effort to educate about the current state of antisemitism, the Holocaust Center is partnering with the Congregation of Reform Judaism to bring Dr. Deborah Lipstadt to Orlando on Thursday, October 8. Dr. Lipstadt is an Emory University historian and author of Denying the Holocaust (1993), The Eichmann Trial (2011), History on Trial: My Day in Court With a Holocaust Denier (2005) and other books about Judaism and the Holocaust. In History on Trial: My Day in Court With a Holocaust Denier, Lipstadt chronicles her victory in a libel trial in a British court. “As the English legal system requires the accused to assume the burden of proof, Lipstadt and her lawyers had to prove the mass murder of European Jews and other unwanted minorities by the Nazi regime during World War II.” Lipstadt’s story is currently being made into a movie, in which Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank is slated to play Lipstadt. At the October 8 event (7:30 pm at the Congregation of Reform Judaism, 928 Malone Drive, Orlando, FL 32810), Lipstadt will speak about the “new” antisemitism, how it is different from the religious and racial antisemitism of yesterday, and how we, as a global community, should respond to it. The event is open to the community and tickets start at $18. Click here for more information, or phone 407-628-0555.
FOWR to Host Paddle Trip on Blackwater Creek
Do you love adventure? Do you love getting out in nature. Then this may be just the thing for you—a paddle trip on Blackwater Creek, organized by Friends of the Wekiva River and scheduled for Saturday, October 10. To sign up, contact Weegie Henry by phone (407-341-9025) or email. Blackwater Creek is one of the last “wild” rivers in Central Florida, thanks to the fact that it flows almost entirely through public land. Nature writer and filmmaker Bill Belleville will lead and interpret the trip. Paddlers will gather at 9:00 am at the parking lot on the west side of the entrance road to Seminole State Forest, which is on the north side of State Road 46, just west of the Wekiva River bridge. There is no charge, except for the state’s $2 entrance fee. We will drive through the gate together, and we will leave our cars near the launch point. Canoes are available for rent at $20 and must be reserved in advance. Bring water, snacks and a picnic lunch, hat, water shoes, sunscreen and bug spray. This is a paddle for all levels of paddlers; beginners are welcome. But respond quickly because space is limited.
UCF Symposium Will Connect Aging, Arts and Wellness
What do the arts and “aging well” have to do with each other? A lot, some suggest. At the very least, it’s worth having a look at. Which is just what you can do if you sign up for the October 13 Arts and Wellness Symposium being provided free of charge to the public by the University of Central Florida’s College of Arts & Humanities and the National Center for Creative Aging. But you’ll need to RSVP by October 5. Click here for more detail and to register.
Sixth Annual National Faith Symposium Oct 13-14
The sixth annual National Faith Symposium will be held October 13-14 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, FL. 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 Symposium website for more information and to register.
LWVOC to Host Death-Penalty Debate October 14
The League of Women Voters Orange County will host a “Hot Topics” luncheon debate on capital punishment on Wednesday, October 14, at the Sorosis Club, 501 East Livingston Street, Orlando. The debate will feature Assistant State Attorney Kenneth Nunnelley and Defense Attorney J. Cheney Mason. It will be moderated by Richard Dellinger. The luncheon begins at 11:30 am. The cost is $25.00 for paid members and $35.00 for non-members. Please RSVP by email or by phone (407-505-1664) no later than October 12.
Should We Judge Groups by the Bad Acts of Some?
The topic for the Interfaith Discussion on Wednesday, October 14, is: “Should We Judge Whole Religious Groups by the Bad Acts of Some? And if we say we should, then how should we treat those in the condemned group who oppose the bad acts just as much as we do? And what is our moral basis for treating badly the innocent members of a religious group just because some other members of that group have acted badly?” The interfaith discussion group meets 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 discussions 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.
Unitarian Universalism 101: What do UUs Believe?
From the Unitarian Universalist Association website: “Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote seven Principles, which we hold as strong values and moral guides. We live out these Principles within a ‘living tradition’ of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture and personal experience. . . . As Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove explains, ‘The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.’”
- 1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- 2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- 3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- 4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- 6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Colloquium Speaker to Address ‘Narrative Medicine’
Adventist University of Health Sciences is again inviting the public to enjoy the speakers they’ve lined up for this academic year’s University Colloquium. The next presentation will be by Rita Charon—MD, PhD, Founder of the Field of Narrative Medicine, Executive Director of the Narrative Medicine program at Columbia University School of Medicine, and author of Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness. Dr. Charon is a general internist and literary scholar at Columbia University who originated the field of narrative medicine. She completed her MD at Harvard in 1978 and her PhD in English at Columbia in 1999, concentrating on the works of Henry James. Her research focuses on the consequences of narrative-medicine practice, reflective clinical practice and health-care team effectiveness. Dr. Charon will discuss the importance of the art of storytelling and story listening to better comprehend the experiences of the sick and to act on those stories to improve overall care. The presentation will be on Wednesday, October 14, at 7:00 pm at Florida Hospital Seventh-day Adventist Church (2800 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32804). Those wishing to attend must RSVP at Eventbrite.
Corrected Date for Upcoming ‘Suitable Airs’ Concert
Last month we told you to “save the date”—but then we put the wrong date into our newsletter! Our sincere apology for the inconvenience or angst we no doubt have caused some. Fortunately, the “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation staff gently let us know of our error, so here’s the correct version: The “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation will host its annual “Suitable Airs” Concert at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church (412 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville, FL 32751) at 6:00 pm on Sunday, October 18. This year’s program has special meaning because it commemorates the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its aftermath—something that is of great historical significance for the entire American community. The event is free and open to the public. A freewill offering will be collected.
Harbor House to Host 39th Annual Purple Door Breakfast
On Wednesday, October 21, Harbor House will host its annual-report and fundraising breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 am (registration from 8:00 to 8:30 am) at Faith Hall, First Baptist Church of Orlando (3000 South John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL 32805). During the free breakfast, participants will not only meet many of the staff from Harbor House and learn about what has been achieved over the past year but will be invited to remain or become financial supporters of Harbor House’s impressive efforts to help Central Floridians move beyond domestic violence and find a new life. Please register for the breakfast in one of the following categories: individual, group or sponsor.
Methodists to Host ‘Boomers & Beyond’ Conference
It’s called the Great Expectations Conference, and it’s being held at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park (125 North Interlachen Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789) October 22 to 24. The conference seeks to address the needs of the growing population of those over 50 and will provide countless ideas and opportunities for growth. Two keynote speakers will be featured: author and columnist Missy Buchanan; and Marc Middleton of the Growing Bolder organization. In addition to outstanding keynote speakers, the conference will have more than 30 fun and informative breakouts sessions. Although all breakout sessions are open to all participants, some are uniquely designed to help leaders who are engaged in developing programs for older adults. The entire event will focus on what’s next for those in the second half of life and how lay leaders and clergy can best address their needs. Click here for more about content and costs, and to register. Still have questions? Phone Rev. Gary Rideout (407-644-2906 x223).
Local Writer’s Book to Be Featured at Adventist Forum
A book written by local educator Dr. Don Williams will be featured at the October 24 meeting of the Adventist Forum, which will be held at 3:00 pm in the new Graduate Building of Adventist University of Health Sciences (the first building on the right as you enter the university campus—the address for which is 671 Winyah Drive, Orlando, FL 32803; the university is tucked behind Florida Hospital’s main campus). The public is invited to this event. The book, titled A Time for Every Season, applies the insights of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes to our contemporary setting by looking at its message through the eyes of a fictional grieving widower, his daughter and his grandson, each of whom has experienced major loss. The meeting will be in the form of panel and audience discussion of the book of Ecclesiastes and Williams’s book. Williams holds a PhD in counseling from Perdue University and has served as a senior administrator at Adventist University of Health Sciences for the past 14 years.
5-K Peace Run and Family Fun Day Slated for October 25
The 2015 United We Stand for Peace Run, sponsored by the Islamic Society of Central Florida’s Center for Peace, will be held on Sunday, October 25, at Blanchard Park (2451 North Dean Road, Orlando, FL 32817). The run will start at 8:00 am. From 9:00 to 11:00 am the event will feature food and fun activities for the entire family. The names of all runners will be entered in a raffle to win gift cards as prizes. A portion of the entry fees can be directed to the charity of the runner’s choice. Go to Eventbrite for more detail and to register.
Concert for Peace at San Pedro Retreat Center
On Sunday night, October 25, there will be a Concert for Peace at the Catholic Church’s San Pedro Retreat Center (2400 Dike Road, Winter Park, FL 32792). The concert is free, and the public is invited. Music, stories, songs and reflections will be part of this time together. For more information, contact Louis Canter by email or by phone (407-671-6322).
Panel to Address ‘Care for the Earth-and Each Other’
The public is invited to a luncheon and interfaith panel discussion on Thursday, October 29, at the Barry University Law School’s Legal Advocacy Center, Room 311 (6441 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32807). The luncheon will begin at 11:45 am, followed by the panel discussion and question time at 12:10 pm. The panel discussion, which will feature representatives from a range of faith traditions, will conclude at 1:00 pm. The event (which is being coordinated by Barry University’s Center for Earth Jurisprudence, assisted by the Interfaith Council of Central Florida), is free of charge, but an RSVP must be received by October 27.
Baptist Religious-Liberty Newsletter Looks at Issues
The Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty has recently addressed a number of hot-button issues that are causing a stir in the church-state-separation realm. And it seems these hotly debated issues are piling up rapidly rather than diminishing. Subscribing to the free BJC email newsletter is a great way to keep up with religious-liberty news and opinion without having to invest great amounts of time to track down the stories, lawsuits and court decisions that pertain to this crucial category of freedom. Note what the latest BJC newsletter has to say.
Hindus Sponsoring Multi-Faith Workshop Nov 1
The Hindu Society of Central Florida (1994 East Lake Drive, Casselberry, FL 32707) is partnering with the Hindu University of America, the Chinmaya Mission, the Sikh Society of Central Florida and the Interfaith Council of Central Florida to present a workshop on peace and non-violence on Sunday, November 1, starting at 1:30 pm. Representatives from a number of faith traditions will each briefly address the topic of “How to Achieve Global Peace Through Your Own Faith and Respecting Others.” The public is invited. Admission is free with email RSVP no later than October 26. For more information, contact Madan Arora (407-971-9259) or Dev Sharma (407-862-9920). The program will be followed by traditional Indian refreshments.
Save the Date: Interfaith Prayers-for-Peace Service
Interfaith Council of Central Florida is inviting those of all faiths to an interfaith prayers-for-peace service that will include readings from the scriptures of Central Florida’s various faith traditions, as well as a variety of music and prayers common to those faiths. This one-hour service will be at 5:00 pm on Sunday, November 15, in the community hall at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (1600 South Orlando Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789). Mark your calendars. And watch for more detail in next month’s newsletter.
Interfaith Entities Seeking Additional $19,000 in 2015
The Interfaith Council of Central Florida, Friends Talking Faith With the Three Wise Guys radio program, and the just-emerging InterDiversity Institute—all of which work closely together—have done the math and have concluded we need $19,000 more for 2015 than our donors have committed. We invite those who are blessed by the contribution we make to the community to help us in return. All contributions are tax-deductible and may be sent to: PO Box 3310, Winter Park, FL 32790-3310. Indicate which of the three entities above you wish to receive the benefit of your gift. Thanks to all whose support has made our activities possible and for helping achieve this goal.
“However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”—Buddha