Religious Diversity News

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Interfaith network aims to rebuild African-American church

Inside a small Woodside Avenue church set among the trees, the oldest African-American congregation in the northern Pioneer Valley has made its home for more than a century.

But nearly a decade after celebrating the building’s centennial in 2010, the Goodwin Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church needs extensive repairs, including a new oil burner estimated to cost at least $13,000.

Source: Interfaith network aims to rebuild African-American church – SFChronicle.com

As fewer refugees enter the US, one Chicago group decides to go to them

“I didn’t used to live like this.”

The words resonated with Elizabeth Shuman. The speaker — a woman dressed in beautifully designed fabrics, a scarf covering her hair — had invited Shuman and other volunteers into her home in Lebanon and taken great care to show them hospitality.

But the home was a tent made from tarps, insulated against the crisp air as best as possible.

The woman and her family were refugees from Syria and the tent housed all the belongings they had remaining.

Source: As fewer refugees enter the US, one Chicago group decides to go to them – Religion News Service

Jewish Prisoners in Michigan Will Get Certified Kosher Meals Under Proposed Settlement

Jewish prisoners in Michigan could start receiving certified kosher meals due to a proposed settlement to a class-action lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Corrections.

There are about 200 Jewish prisoners in Michigan jails who have requested kosher meals but have since 2013 been provided with a vegan meal that is supposed to be appropriate for prisoners of all non-Christian religions, the Detroit Free Press reported. But the vegan diet lacks meat and dairy and is not prepared in a kosher kitchen, the lawsuit contends.

Source: Jewish Prisoners in Michigan Will Get Certified Kosher Meals Under Proposed Settlement | Jewish Journal

Centennial anniversary of founding of Baha’i faith in North Florida

In observing the centennial of the Baha’i Faith in Northeast Florida, a group of St. Johns County Baha’is visited the gravesites of two early St. Augustine Baha’i’s at Woodlawn Cemetery.

The graves were those of Dr. Nathan Collier, president of the Florida Normal and Industrial Institute, who died in 1941, and Miss Sarah Ann Blocker, dean of women at the institute, who died in 1944. Originally, both Collier and Blocker were interred on school property, but were moved to Woodlawn Cemetery in St. Augustine when the school relocated to Miami Gardens in the late 1960s. The school is now known as Florida Memorial University. The university improved the gravesites in 2015.

Source: Centennial anniversary of founding of Baha’i faith in North Florida – Entertainment & Life – The St. Augustine Record – St. Augustine, FL

Breaking Down the Sukkah Business 

Once Sukkot begins, observant Jews will spend the eight-day festival in outdoor huts that remind us of the fragility of our existence. If that sounds heavy, Avi Lazar, founder of Luxury Sukkahs, is here to remind everyone that Sukkot is all about joy. 

“It’s a beautiful holiday, the happiest of all the Jewish holidays,” the 38-year-old told the Journal. “It’s called zman simchateinu — the time of our happiness.”

Source: Breaking Down the Sukkah Business | Jewish Journal

Local Wicca community ramping up to celebrate Samhian

October is a time for all sorts of fun, frivolous and frightening experiences.

Chilly autumn football games, cheaply made Halloween costumes and haunted house adventures full of terrifying ghouls aid in making the 31 days of October unlike any other month of the year. As the days get closer and closer to Halloween, the anticipation can be felt through every drugstore seasonal aisle and haunted house advertisement.

Halloween represents many different nuanced ideas for many different people. For some, it’s simply an excuse to dress up and be someone else, and for others it’s a good opportunity to stay in and watch some horror flicks.

For the Pagan community, Oct. 31 represents a deeply spiritual holiday that centers itself around the idea of honoring the past while looking toward the future.

Source: Local Wicca community ramping up to celebrate Samhian

Netflix announces ‘Ghee Happy,’ a new animated show about Hindu deities

A preschool television series about Hindu deities is coming to Netflix.

The streaming platform announced Wednesday that it has greenlighted an animated show, “Ghee Happy,” created by veteran Pixar director and animator Sanjay Patel.

The series will reimagine Hindu deities as children who attend a special day care and discover their own powers while there. Patel, a first-generation Indian American, told NBC News that it felt natural to build a story around the Hindu culture.

Source: Netflix announces ‘Ghee Happy,’ a new animated show about Hindu deities

Christian leaders call for Day of Prayer in support of impeachment inquiry – Religion News Service

More than 90 Christian leaders are calling for a National Day of Prayer this Sunday (Oct. 13) “for the truth to be revealed through the impeachment inquiry” into whether President Donald Trump solicited help from a foreign government for his 2020 reelection campaign.

That call comes from leaders affiliated with Red Letter Christians, a justice-focused Christian movement that held a revival over the weekend in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

It also includes praying for members of Congress and inviting them to worship services while home Sunday in their congressional districts.

Source: Christian leaders call for Day of Prayer in support of impeachment inquiry – Religion News Service

Witch season provides a deep look into the millennial mindset

October is upon us, and with it the beginning of the pre-Halloween media season — for magic, the occult, witchcraft and, not least, the final season premiere of “American Horror Story,” TV’s homage to the slasher films of the 1980s. 

But the truth is we have been in an extended season for witches since at least the election of Donald Trump. The “witch aesthetic,” which features transgressive makeup and Goth-inflected fashion, is a counterculture look that says #resistance.

But the witch trend also says something more profound about the current generation’s ideas about glamour and our dependence on technology to fashion selves we can identify with and love.

Source: Witch season provides a deep look into the millennial mindset – Religion News Service

Memphis faith groups embrace similarities at interfaith event

Members of eight faith groups in the Memphis area gathered at the Health Sciences Park on Saturday, Oct. 5, and invited people to ask questions and have conversations.

As the Reba Russell Band played in the background, faith representatives and people attending the “Ask Me Anything” event found that similarities between the different religions trumped the differences.

“It’s a wonderful way to fight ignorance and hatred together,” said Stephen Guenther, reverend of the Fellowship of Avalon, who represented the Wiccan faith.

Source: Memphis faith groups embrace similarities at interfaith event – The Daily Memphian