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Events to offer interfaith focus on food, environment, and cooperation

Oct 20, 2010
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will host one of three events dedicated to building partnerships among interfaith communities as part of the national 2010 Festival of Faiths, which is being held in downtown Louisville, Ky., November 3-9.

The Festival theme is “Sacred Soil,” and three special events will focus specifically on strengthening leadership in the vital areas of global food needs, environmental issues, and interfaith cooperation. Among the trio of leadership events is “Setting the Seeds for Dialogue,” a luncheon hosted by Louisville Seminary, Monday, November 8, 12:30-2 p.m. All three events will take place at the Henry Clay Building (604 S. Third Street).

Setting the Seeds for Dialogue – November 8

“A seminary is a seedbed for cultivating knowledge, advocacy, and action about ultimate concerns,” says Clifton Kirkpatrick, one of the luncheon facilitators and visiting professor of ecumenical studies and global ministries at Louisville Seminary. “We are seeking to expand that environment among interfaith partners throughout our city and across the nation in an effort to enhance our students’ learning and preparation for leadership in contexts of religious difference. We are finding that these experiences have a capacity for preparing all of us for better leadership in places of diverse religious experience.”

At the luncheon, Louisville Seminary’s new president, The Rev. Dr. Michael Jinkins, will outline the Seminary’s major commitment to interfaith cooperation and announce its new “Doors to Dialogue” initiative. Along with other Seminary leaders, Kirkpatrick, who also is Stated Clerk Emeritus of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and former president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, will facilitate table discussions. Faith leaders will be invited to become partners in the initiative and to share their perspectives on the formation of future religious leaders who can flourish as Christian pastoral leaders in multi-religious and multi-cultural contexts, and engage and participate in intra-Christian and interreligious dialogue with respect, compassion, and thoughtfulness.

There is no charge for the event. Guests are invited to bring their own lunch or place an order with the on-site deli, Miss Cs’ (502.992.3166), by November 5.

Why Being an Environmentalist of Faith Is so Hard ... and Worth It – November 8

In conjunction with the Seminary’s “Setting the Seeds for Dialogue” event, the Kentuckiana Interfaith Community Faith Leader’s Forum will be held the same day, Monday, November 8, 2010, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Beginning with a complimentary breakfast, an interfaith panel discussion, scholarly lecture, and open conversation will address “Why Being an Environmentalist of Faith is so Hard ... and Worth It.” The morning session will be led by Dr. Roger S. Gottlieb, a well‐known scholar and author on faith and environmental issues and professor of philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Following the Seminary-hosted luncheon, the afternoon session will be led by Mitch Hescox, CEO of the Evangelical Environment Network, who will speak about “The Creation Care Challenge.” Other visiting scholars participating in the forum include Dr. Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary and winner of the 1997 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his book, Earth Community, Earth Ethics, and Ibrahim Abdul‐Matin, author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet.

Faith Leaders Forum Schedule
7:30 a.m. – Faith Leader Breakfast and Conversation
9:00 a.m. – Dr. Roger Gottlieb: “Why Being an Environmentalist of Faith is so Hard…and Worth It.”
10 a.m. – An Interfaith Panel Discussion on being a Religious Environmentalist
11 a.m. – Group Discussion, Questions, and Answers
12:30 p.m. – The Louisville Seminary luncheon: “Setting the Seeds for Dialogue”
2 p.m. – Mitch Hescox: “The Creation Care Challenge”

Individuals are invited to participate in all or any of the events of the day, free of charge; however, reservations are required for breakfast attendance. Call 502.583.3100 or email reservations@interfaithrelations.org.

Living on the Land: A Symposium on Faith and Food – November 5

Kicking off the special events for faith leaders will be “Living on the Land: A Symposium on Faith and Food,” an intriguing series of panels, discussions, and speakers that will launch the international Faith in Food program by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation and the Soil Association. The symposium will be held November 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Henry Clay Building. Fr. Denis Robinson, OSB, President‐Rector of Saint Meinrad Archabbey and a Chorus of Graces from many different faith traditions will be part of the program, in addition to:

Martin Palmer, the Secretary General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) who will deliver the address entitled “Rediscovering the Role of Faiths in Protecting the Earth,”

Patrick Holden, an acclaimed writer, broadcaster, and speaker, who for over 35 years has run what is now the longest‐established organic farm in Wales. He will speak on “Faith in Food ‐ Harnessing the Power of the Faith Communities in the Transition to More Sustainable Agriculture,” and

Ellen F. Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke University Divinity School and the author of eight books and many articles focused on how biblical interpretation influences the life of faith communities and their response to urgent public issues, particularly the environmental crisis and interfaith relations. Professor Davis will moderate the symposium and lead a panel discussion.

Tickets for the symposium are $15 and include a light vegetarian lunch, sponsored by Foxhollow Farms. Make a reservation by calling 502.583.3100 or emailing reservations@interfaithrelations.org.

For a complete schedule of events for the 2010 Festival of Faiths, download the online brochure

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