June 2021

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One Orlando Alliance to Host Event on Reflection & Promise
On Monday, June 7, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, One Orlando Alliance will host “An Evening of Reflection and Promise.” The event will acknowledge the religious trauma carried by the LGBTQ+ community, creating space to dream of a better future, of harm reduction, of greater understanding and inclusion. One Orlando Alliance invites people of all faiths and no religious affiliation to make promises about how we will work together to decrease discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. The program will include a panel of LGBTQ+ persons sharing their personal experiences, music from the Orlando Gay Chorus, remarks from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and other local leaders, and representation from a variety of local faith and thought leaders. Our panelists include Jerick Mediavilla, CeCe Teneal, Daniel Downer, Kellie Parkin and with others still to be confirmed. The event is free, but reservations are required.

Interfaith Youth Core Helps with President’s Month of ActionIFYC--vaccine

President Biden has announced a “Month of Action” between June 4 and July 4, with the goal to increase vaccination rates to 70% of American adults before July 4. The Interfaith Youth Core is responding to the President’s call and helping to mobilize faith leaders across the country to address this ongoing health crisis. Read important information here. Read below what the IFYC says you and your faith group can do to help in this initiative:

  1. Download IFYC’s Faith in the Vaccine Playbook and get a basic overview of how to get involved, including learning how to hold a townhall in your community;
  2. Get trained on impactful vaccine outreach techniques using IFYC’s Faith in the Vaccine training resources;
  3. Talk to five friends or family members and share your work back with the White House;
  4. Get connected with a national vaccine phone banking or text banking session if you don’t know anyone who needs personal outreach;
  5. Post on social media to share what you did using our Faith in the Vaccine social media tool kit

League of Women Voters and PJI to Sponsor Film, Discussion
She's Beautiful 2The League of Women Voters of Seminole County and the Peace and Justice Institute at Valencia College will screen the film She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry from 6:00 to 7:30 pm on Wednesday, June 9. The film honors and captures the history of women who’ve worked tirelessly for their own equality and, in the process, created a worldwide revolution. Grab your dinner as viewers come together on Zoom in partnership across generations to explore the unsettling yet often uplifting past, while pledging to advocate for equity and human rights for all, now and in the future. A discussion will follow the screening of the film, featuring a panel made up of Representative Anna Eskimani, Florida House District 47; Marilyn Crotty, former Director of the Florida Institute of Government at UCF; and Fatima Sadaff Saied, Executive Director of the Muslim Women’s Organization. The event will end at 8:30 pm. Click here to register. If you can’t join the June 9 event, you can watch the film on Youtube.

St. Luke’s to Host Event Re Intersection of Faith and LGBTQ+
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and The onePULSE Foundation are sponsoring an event on Wednesday, June 9, at 7:00 pm titled Overcoming Barriers Between the LGBTQ+ and Faith Communities. Clergy, lay leaders houses of worship and other concerned individuals can join in person or virtually as Dr. Earl Mowatt, Vice President of Education at the onePULSE Foundation shares his Central Florida research on the barriers facing communities of faith and the LGBTQ+ community.  After Dr. Mowatt’s presentation of his research, Rev. Jenn Stiles Williams, Lead Pastor, will moderate a conversation with Dr. Mowatt, Dr. Joel Hunter of the Community Resource Network and Rev. Terri Steed Pierce, pastor of Joy Metropolitan Community Church, including questions from the audience. The event will be held at Founders Hall, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (4851 South Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32819). Registration is required whether attending in person or virtually.

Interfaith Discussion to Be Held via Zoom on June 9
On Wednesday, June 9, the monthly Interfaith Discussion sponsored by the Interfaith Council of Central Florida will be held on Zoom from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Topic for the evening’s exchange is: Forgiveness. What role does forgiveness play in your faith tradition/worldview? Is God forgiving? What are the prerequisites to God’s forgiveness? What does your faith tradition/worldview teach about forgiving fellow humans? Is there ever a time not to forgive others? These questions and many others will be addressed during the discussion. All are welcome to participate. A book worth reading before the discussion would be The Sunflower, by Simon Wiesenthal. Please log in a few minutes before 7:00 just so you have time to deal with any failures to launch. Our Zoom hosts for the meeting are the Baha’is of Orange County East. Click here to join the Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 834 6828 6041. Password: 537979. Dial by your location: +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) or +1 929 205 6099 US (New York). The monthly 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 more information, phone 321-228-4599.

49 Bells Ceremony to Be conducted at FUMCO on June 12
49 Bells Ceremony will be conducted on Saturday, June 12, from 11:45 am to 12:15 pm in the Rotunda/Courtyard at First United Methodist Church of Orlando (125 East Jackson Street, Orlando, FL). The 49 Bells movement began at the first annual remembrance of the Pulse tragedy, when mothers of some of the Pulse Angels asked for churches to ring their bells at 12:00 noon on June 12. There has been a simple, brief gathering at First UMC Orlando since that first year at which the names the deceased are read and the bells of the church are rung. Please register as attendance is limited. In addition, however, any group or organization is invited to pause for a moment of silence and to ring a bell or other instrument 49 times at noon local time, wherever they are. More information is available at the 49 Bells Ceremony link above.

Interfaith Yoga Project to Offer Yoga Class, Documentry FilmNatvig
Silverman“Pride and Remembrance” is the title of a two-part program being offered by the Interfaith Yoga Project on Sunday, June 13, at the Congregation of Reform Judaism (928 Malone Drive., Orlando, FL). There will be yoga at 2:00 pm with Rachel Silverman (photo left).  At 3:30 pm there will be conversation with Renee Natvig (photo right), LCSW, and a screening of the documentary film Believer, which explores how our faith spaces are vital in supporting the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth. Plan to participate in one or both activities. It’s free. All ages are welcome. Come as you are. But registration is required. Join the event in person or on Zoom—in honor and remembrance of the 49 lives lost at the Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016.

Baha’is to Host Virtual Interfaith Discussion Re Race and FaithBaha'i June 13
The Baha’is of Orange County East invite the public to join them for a virtual presentation and panel discussion titled “Race Amity: How Do We Move Forward?” The event will be held Sunday, June 13, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm. The event speaker, Michael O’Neal, of Savannah, GA, will address the role of service in creating race amity through faith communities. A multi-faith panel discussion will follow. The panel will include: Barbara Weinreich (Jewish), James Coffin (Christian), Hatim Hamidullah (Muslim), Jay Sethi (Sikh) and Rosemary Closson (Baha’i). The panel will address questions such as: How does your faith community address race relations in America? What effective steps is your faith community taking, or can take, to increase the knowledge and understanding of the history of the racial issues in America? What steps is your faith community taking, or can take, to eradicate racial inequities? How can we as faith communities work together on Race Amity here in Central Florida? Dr. Nesreen Akhtarkhavari will serve as the panel’s moderator. Click here to log onto the Zoom meeting.Meeting ID 875 4517 4038; Passcode: 464094. For further information, please call 847-809-0882 or 407-222-6423.

Panel: ‘Vaccines: Religious Righrts and Moral Responsibilities
The Central Florida Commission on Religious Freedom is organizing a panel discussion to be held at 6:30 pm on Thursday, June 24, at the Bush Auditorium on the campus of Rollins College. The event will also be live-streamed. (Some details are still being finalized.) The panelists will take s serious at vaccines and the arguments put forward both for being vaccinated and not being vaccinated (specifically for COVID-19). Many who decline to be vaccinated see it as a matter of religious freedom. Others would argue that the collective good—the moral responsibility—trumps any religious-freedom considerations. So, does religious freedom allow people the freedom to choose? The panelist for the hour-long discussion will be Jeff Bromme, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Adventist Health System; Alan Harris, Emergency Manager for Seminole County, who has been the leader of that county’s vaccination coordination; and Minaz Manekia, Minaz, Outreach Director of Masjid Al Hayy in Sanford where she has coordinated COVID-19 vaccination events for both Muslims and the community at large. Register by sending an email to jim@interfaithfl.org, providing your name and letting us know whether you’ll attend in person or virtually. We’ll get the needed information to you as soon as everything is finalized.

BJC Provideing Free Resource on Religious Liberty and Race
The Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty is providing a new resource for small groups interested in discussing its 2021 Shurden Lectures: Religious Liberty Has Been White Too Long: Voices of Black Scholars. Featuring four scholars, the program explores the intersection of Black freedom and religious liberty. A study guide offers questions corresponding with the five elements of the program and covers a range of topics, including critical race theory, the Black Church and more. For a shorter discussion, an abridged version is available. This resource is free to access and use in small groups or for personal reflection. You can find the five-session discussion guide here and the abridged version here. If you use the guides, BJC wants to hear your thoughts about the material.

Aspire Sharing Online Videos about Wide Range of Issues
AspireAlthough the number of COVID-19 cases in Central Florida may be declining, Aspire Health Partners is continuing to see behavioral health impacts rise. Many people are grappling with impacts of the global pandemic that go far beyond merely COVID-19’s physical impact. During the pandemic, Aspire has built a video database of easy-to-digest guidance and tips for getting through some of these challenging scenarios:

Peruse the Aspire database for subjects that may be helpful to you or some friend or relative during these difficult days. Click here for a listing of all of Aspire’s COVID-19 mental health videos.

Project Opioid Seeking Partnership with Houses of Faith
In preparation for a major faith-based initiative that will be launched by Project Opioid on August 29, Rev. J. Scott George, Project Opioid VP for Strategic Partnerships, has announced that two faith-leader events have been scheduled in early August. Faith leaders, please mark the appropriate date on your calendars. Orange County: Tuesday, August 3, Faith Leaders Breakfast, 9:00 to 10:00 am, Calvary Orlando, Winter Park. Seminole County: Wednesday, August 4, Faith Leader’s Lunch (organized by Sheriff Dennis Lemma), 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm, Harvest Time International, Sanford. Also note that the weekend of August 29 Project Opioid will be launching a major faith-based initiative. Keep watching for more details about these activities.

Interfaith Council Asks for Your Help with Funding
If you appreciate what’s being achieved by the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, we would welcome your support. Please send your contribution to: Interfaith Council of Central Florida, PO Box 3310, Winter Park, FL 32790-3310. Thank you for your assistance.

“It’s never too late to give up our prejudices.”—Henry David Thoreau

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  James Coffin, Executive Director
PO Box 3310, Winter Park, FL 32790-3310
|T  321-228-4599   | E  jim@interfaithfl.org
| W  https://interfaithfl.org/Please forward this email to any you feel would be interested. To be placed on the Interfaith Council’s email newsletter list, send your request to contact@interfaithfl.org.