Religious Diversity News

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Trinity Episcopal holds Native American worship service

On Sunday in commemoration of Native American Heritage Month, Trinity Episcopal Church of Redlands held its 11th annual Native American Worship Service.

As the program stated, the unique service was designed to “reflect the respectful integration of elements of Native American culture and tradition within the context of the Episcopal Church’s liturgy.” The service was well attended; colorful in both flavor and proceedings.

Source: Trinity Episcopal holds Native American worship service | Religion | redlandscommunitynews.com

Celebrating religious and cultural holidays at work, inclusively

Every late October/early November, my family celebrated Diwali. My mom would draw rangoli patterns on our front steps and light little candles with cotton wicks all over the house. We had friends over, played three-card poker and ate rice, dhal, paneer and alu with cucumber raita and mango chutney.

Christmas is when I get time off, but I don’t overlook Eid, Hanukkah, Nowruz, Juneteenth and the Lunar New Year. I follow the simple rule that just because it’s not a paid holiday, doesn’t mean it’s not worth celebrating. I mentioned this to someone once and got a puzzled look, “Why? You’re in America now.” The message was clear: Give up who you are and become one of us. I don’t want to see this happen in the workplace.

Source: Celebrating religious and cultural holidays at work, inclusively | The Seattle Times

For Ohio priest, bilingual Mass is in English and American Sign Language

Fr. David Cornett, pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Barnesville, Ohio, celebrates the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass at Assumption Church in both English and American Sign Language at the same time.

In addition, he serves as an interpreter during the readings and hymns at the Mass.

Cornett, who also is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Temperanceville, Ohio, said he knows there are deaf people everywhere and that there is a need for interpreters in all communities. He said deaf people are often hidden because you cannot just look at a person to know they are deaf, explaining how you must see them signing to know they are deaf.

Source: For Ohio priest, bilingual Mass is in English and American Sign Language | National Catholic Reporter

Houston’s police to allow Sikh officers to serve with their articles of faith

The police department of Houston, Texas has adopted a policy that allows officers to wear articles of faith on duty, which is prohibited by many law enforcement agencies in the United States.

According to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, the department will accommodate Sikh officers by allowing them to wear their articles of faith during their service.

Source: Houston’s police to allow Sikh officers to serve with their articles of faith | New Europe

‘Voodoo Is Part of Us’

In a dark club in Downtown Brooklyn, surrounded by more than 100 people, Agathina Ginoue Nozy took a sip of Haitian rum. She stood near an altar stacked with skulls, lit candles, cigars, rum, coffee and bowls filled with charred salt fish, boiled plantains, cassava and piman (spicy peppers).

“You typically drink white liquor during Fet Gede, but if there is none you drink rum with no ice to feel the heat,” Ms. Nozy said. “Gede is a hot thing.”

Her face was painted to look hollow, like a skull, and she wore a dark skeleton bodysuit and a black veil. With her fingers wrapped around a smoking pipe and an austere look on her face, Ms. Nozy had become the embodiment of Maman Brigitte, a Haitian lwa (or goddess) of death.

Source: ‘Voodoo Is Part of Us’ – The New York Times

In rural Pennsylvania, shrinking synagogues find strength in smaller numbers

A rusty black pickup truck with a whitetail deer sticker in the back window sat parked, illegally, on the sidewalk outside the Sons of Israel synagogue on a Friday night. No one was around to complain. The plain brick building is wedged between typical, four-squared Pennsylvania homes, still decorated for Halloween in this rural Clearfield County town that lost nearly half its population over the last century.

With minutes to spare, Rabbi Bruce Gottlieb pulled up in his minivan for the monthly 7 p.m. Shabbat service. The synagogue runs on “Jewish time,” one congregation member joked. But it’s a miracle that Sons of Israel runs at all — with fewer than 10 active families.

Source: In rural Pennsylvania, shrinking synagogues find strength in smaller numbers

Sikh community fears worship site will be razed to make way for condos

A notice taped on a nearby tree is the only official word that Sikh worshippers say they received about plans to raze the gurdwara where they’ve gathered for decades.

A four-story commercial and residential condominium complex is now planned to take over the Sikh Community Gurdwara in Alhambra, a San Gabriel Valley city about 10 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

The project has been approved by the city of Alhambra’s planning commission. Plumbing and electrical plans have been submitted. About half a million dollars, the developer and landowner said, has already been spent.

But Sikh worshippers said their landlord never informed them that the building where they’ve gathered for decades would be demolished. Their landlord said he told them changes were coming. And he said the community has had only a month-to-month lease on the building.

Source: Sikh community fears worship site will be razed to make way for condos – Religion News Service

Habitat for Humanity brings faiths together to build home for Louisville family

Habitat for Humanity partnered with volunteers from three faith traditions to help build a home in their Interfaith Build on Sunday morning.

A group of volunteers from Middletown Christian Church, Temple Shalom, and Al Noor Mosque worked together to build a new house for a family originally from Sudan who moved to the United States three years ago.

Source: Habitat for Humanity brings faiths together to build home for Louisville family

College Board to expand testing options for AP exam on Muslim holiday

Responding to concerns about a possible conflict between Advanced Placement exams and a major Muslim holiday next school year, the College Board will expand testing options for the holy day of Eid al-Fitr in 2021.

College Board officials said Wednesday that tests planned for May 13 of that year — the expected date of the Eid holiday — would be given a second time on May 18, to support students observing the holiday.

Source: College Board to expand testing options for AP exam on Muslim holiday – The Washington Post