Thursday, December 23, 2010


This was written for the Winter Holiday Worship directory, but includes
films for winter spirituality in general. So, even as Christmas passes -
this list still has plenty of worthy, useful and helpful films to see. -

By Rev. John-Brian Paprock
Originally published in the 2010 Holiday Worship Guide
Capitol Newspapers - The Wisconsin State Journal
Sunday, December 19, 2010

Television has replaced the fireplace as the focal point for gatherings of
family and friends. But meaningful holiday observations can happen there,
too. Here are some conventional (and not-so-conventional) movies to watch
during this holiday season.

These films were intentionally chosen for spiritual or moral challenges they
pose. There are choices for the religious and non-religious viewer. All can
deepen appreciation for the holiday season. The films are listed in
alphabetic order not in order of quality or preference (my choice for the
three best holiday classics have been separated at the end).

Every attempt was made to choose quality films, technically as well as
artistically, so these can be considered the best. And all of the movies on
this list are available through the South Central Library System which
includes all public libraries in Madison and nearby communities. Enjoy.

To see the list:

Let me know what you think.

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  • Tuesday, December 14, 2010




    The Multifaith Wall Calendar is an excellent source of accurate dates and descriptions of over 350 observances, including events from 14 world religions, and is an essential source of information for government, educational institutions, business people, travelers, and all who want to become enlightened global citizens.

     Holidays and festivals accurately dated and described

     Large, color-coded easy-to-read calendar grid

     Twelve original beautiful color images

     A beautiful calendar for the school, home and office

     A perfect gift

    ONLY $11

    Order the 2011 Multifaith Wall Calendar - Today!

    For individual calendar, please send a check for $11.00 (+shipping) to:

    Inroads Ministry
    P.O. Box 5207, Madison, WI 53705
    (608) 242-4244 ~

    2011 Multifaith Wall Calendar Order
    You can email your order:
    Your order cannot be processed until payment is received.

    Yes! I would like to order _____ 2011 Multifaith Calendar(s)

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    Listen to the keynote address streamed below.

    On Human Rights Day - A Capitol Celebration! in the Rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol with presenters and performers from the variety of living traditions in Wisconsin - 12 NOON – FRIDAY - DECEMBER 10, 2010

    Keynote Address for Interfaith Awareness Week: “INTERFAITH COOPERATION AND CITIZENSHIP” given by Dr. Charles L. Cohen, Ph.D., UW-Madison Professor and Director of Lubar Institute for Study of Abrahamic Religions. Dr Cohen was introduced by Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock, Inroads Ministry.
    Rev Fr John Brian Paprock introduces Dr Cohen

    For a bio of Dr. Cohen and the noon program:

    RSS feed for podcast or download:
    Listen to audio of the keynote address here:

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  • Capitol Celebration of Interfaith Awareness Week

    On December 10, 2010, Wisconsin's Capitol had a unique celebration.

    After the mellow prelude by flautist HazelCat, the noon program was opened by Rev. Anne Wynne, one of the event organizers, beginning with Muslim Call to Prayer lead by Dialogue International, followed by the reading of the gubernatorial proclamation of Interfaith Awareness Week by Sauk Prairie High School senior and a solstice blessing from Rev. Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary.
    The closing followed Dr Charles Cohen keynote address. Ken-Adi Ring (Unity of Madison) played the Native American flute followed by Women With Wings from the Sufi Order of the West who led a Dance for Peace in the rotunda.
    Some of the event leadership included, Rev. Selena Fox, Rev. Fr. John Brian Paprock, Ken-adi Ring, Gurdip Brar, Rev. Anne Wynne, and Alice Pauser.  Lubar Institute of the Study of Abrahamic Religions staff present included: Sari Judge, director Dr. Charles Cohen, and Rohany Nayan

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  • Human Rights Day: Lessons from Uganda

    Human Rights Day: Lessons from Uganda

    L-R: Thom Feroah, Victor Ochen, W. A. Schmidt and Rev. Fr. John Brian at the Wisconsin Capitol
    Even though Human Rights Day is over, there is wonderful information on the visit to Wisconsin by Victor Ochen of the African Youth Initiative Network, including audio from Jean Feraca's show and from his talk at Lowell Hall. I was honored to meet Victor Ochen along with W.A. Schmidt, Chair of the Governor’s Commission on the United Nations, and Thom Feroah of the Underwood Foundation and the founder of the recently created Center for Global Health and Peacebuilding (sponsor of Victor's trip and the photo exhibitions and film screenings) at the Capitol Celebration of Interfaith Awareness Week on Friday.

    See and Hear More:

    Here On Earth: Radio Without Borders - Lessons From Uganda
    Related Links can be found at 

    United Nations Human Rights Day
    Victor Ochen’s Madison Lecture, 12/10
    Victor Ochen’s Green Bay Lecture and Human Rights Day events, 12/9
    Pulitzer Center’s project on the Lord’s Resistance Army
    PBS News Hour segment on a rehabilitation center in Uganda
    Audio from Victor Ochen’s Rotary Lecture in Milwaukee (12/7/10)

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  • UN World Interfaith Harmony Week - February

    United Nations General Assembly Accepted by Consensus World Interfaith
    Harmony Week

    by Judy Lee Trautman

    I recently received an email from HRH Prince Ghazi of Jordan, the personal
    envoy of HM King Abdullah II, that imparted wonderful news of a resolution
    of the United Nations to designate the first week of February every year as
    the World Interfaith Harmony Week. Hopefully NAIN member organizations will
    want to support this wonderful week. Indeed, we ought to celebrate the
    spirit of this week every day. Here is the text of the email:

    In the Name of God

    Dear Friend,

    Salaam. Forgive the intrusion. I am writing to seek your help and
    involvement. On October the 20th 2010 - a few days ago - the United Nations
    General Assembly unanimously established the World Interfaith Harmony Week.
    The resolution was first proposed by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan on
    September 23rd 2010, and I myself had the honour of introducing and
    explaining it at the UN. (Please see enclosed speech with resolution at
    end.) The operative text of the Resolution says, remarkably:

    World Interfaith Harmony Week

    The General Assembly,
    1. Reaffirms that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue
    constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace;
    2. Proclaims the first week of February of every year the World Interfaith
    Harmony Week between all religions, faiths and beliefs;
    3. Encourages all States to support, on a voluntary basis, the spread of the
    message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world's Churches, Mosques,
    Synagogues, Temples and other places of Worship during that week based on
    Love of God and Love of the Neighbor, or based on Love of the Good and Love
    of the Neighbor, each according to their own religious traditions or
    4. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the General Assembly informed of
    the implementation of the present resolution.

    We believe this idea has the potential to do a lot of good in the world by:

    (1) 'Co-ordinating and uniting the efforts of all the interfaith groups
    doing positive work with one focused theme at one specific time annually,
    thereby increasing their collective momentum and eliminating redundancy.
    (2) Harnessing and utilizing the collective might of the world's
    second-largest infrastructure (that of places of worship - the largest being
    that of education) specifically for peace and harmony in the world:
    inserting, as it were, the right 'software' into the world's religious
    (3) Permanently and regularly encouraging the silent majority of preachers
    to declare themselves for peace and harmony and providing a ready-made
    vehicle for them to do so. Moreover, if preachers and teachers commit
    themselves on the record once a year to peace and harmony, this means that
    when the next inter-religious crisis or provocation occurs, they cannot then
    relapse into parochial fear and mistrust, and will be more likely to resist
    the winds of popular demagoguery.'

    However, your help is very much needed. Specifically, we need and gratefully
    ask you to:
    (1) Write a personal email or letter of support for this initiative and post
    it at at the appropriate place:
    (2) Forwarding this email to all those on your email list who you think
    might be interested in it and them to their friends and so on as much as
    possible (please do not worry about this email address as it is set up for
    this purpose and I will not be using it for anything else).
    (3) Posting any resources you think would be important to theme of the World
    Interfaith Harmony Week at at the
    appropriate place.
    (4) Organizing yourself an event or simple a sermon or a lecture or an event
    on the first week of next February on the theme of Interfaith Harmony.
    (5) Recording you event at at the
    appropriate place according to your own country.

    Harmony and Peace need work, and the real beneficiary of love and charity
    towards our neighbour is always ourselves, but we fully appreciate if you
    cannot do any or all of this and thank-you anyway,

    Salaam and best wishes,


    The full text of Prince Ghazi's speech is to be found at

    The Newsletter of the North American Interfaith Network, Inc.
    Late Fall 2010

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  • Thursday, December 09, 2010

    Human Rights Day in the Capitol

    On Human Rights Day -  A Capitol Celebration

    In the Rotunda of the State Capitol  featuring presenters and performers from the variety of living traditions in Wisconsin

    12 NOON – FRIDAY - DECEMBER 10, 2010

    Keynote Speaker


    Dr. Charles L. Cohen, Ph.D.

    UW-Madison Professor and Director of

    Lubar Institute for Study of Abrahamic Religions

    Charles L. Cohen is Professor of History and Religious Studies. A specialist in colonial British North America and early American religious history, he received the Allan Nevins Prize of the Society for American Historians for his work on the psychology of Puritan religious experience and is an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, 2008-11. He has won the Emil Steiger Distinguished Teaching Award and a Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award from UW-Madison. Prior to becoming LISAR's founding director, he ran UW-Madison's Religious Studies Program. He is co-editor of and a contributor to both Theology and the Soul of the Liberal State (Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2010; with Leonard V. Kaplan), and Religion and the Culture of Print in Modern America (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008; with Paul S. Boyer). He is also working on Religious Pluralism in Modern America, with Ronald Numbers, which is contracted to Oxford University Press.

    The noon program:


    CALL TO PRAYER - Dialogue International

    INTRODUCTION - Rev. Anne Wynne, GMIA Vice President

    INTERFAITH AWARENESS WEEK - Proclamation read aloud by senior from Sauk Prairie High School, Sauk City

    SOLSTICE BLESSING - Rev. Selena Fox, GMIA President

    KEYNOTE INTRODUCTION - Rev. John-Brian Paprock, Inroads Ministry Director

    KEY NOTE ADDRESS - Dr. Charles L. Cohen, Ph.D.
    FORGIVENESS TO HAPPINESS (UNITY/ACIM) - Ken-Adi Ring, Native American Flute


    Interfaith Awareness Week is sponsored by Inroads Ministry, (GMIA) Great Madison Inter-religious Association, and many are religious and faith groups.
    For more information: (608) 242-4244 ~

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  • Tuesday, December 07, 2010

    Good Neighbor Interfaith Celebration/Gathering

    Interfaith Awareness Week proclaimed for 5th by Middleton's Mayor - December 5-11, 2010

    On Wednesday, December 8, 2010, join an open dialogue with a multi-faith panel discussion of “A Faith Crisis in Middleton”

    Gathering 6:30 pm  - Multifaith Panel 7:00 pm

    Panel includes Iranian, Eastern Christian, Unitarian and other religious and faith perspectives
    audience is encourged to participate

    Middleton Public Library ~ Archer Room
    7425 Hubbard Avenue, Middleton

    The event is free and everyone is welcome.
    Part of the 13th Annual Interfaith Awareness Week

    For more information: or 242-4244 (Voice Mail)

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  • Friday, December 03, 2010

    The World of Faith Traditions Displayed at the Capitol

    The Interfaith Awareness Week displays in the Capitol rotunda for December 5-10, 2010 
    (previous year picture above) 
    1. 13th Annual Interfaith Awareness Week Proclamations
    2. American Hindu Association – Wisconsin
    3. Baha'i
    4. Beloved Community
    5. Benedictine Women
    6. Deer Park Tibetan Buddhist Center
    7. Dialogue International
    8. Eckankar
    9. Episcopal Church in Wisconsin
    10. Greater Madison Interreligious Association
    11. Islam – Madison Dawa Circle
    12. Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions
    13. Multifaith Calendar by Inroads Interfaith Ministry
    14. Orthodox Christianity in Wisconsin
    15. Presbyterian Church in Wisconsin
    16. Roman Catholic Church in Wisconsin
    17. Sikh
    18. Sufi Order of the West
    19. Unitarian Universalist
    20. United Methodist Church in Wisconsin
    21. Unity of Wisconsin
    22. Yuletide by Circle Sanctuary and other area Pagan groups
    In addition, Interfaith Awareness Week acknowledges the “Holiday Tree;” the Freedom from Religion Foundation Solstice declaration; the Dane County Evangelicals Jesus declaration and the Hanukkah Menorah (which was discontinued last year, but may return under different leadership this week) that inspire and complement the intent and purpose of Interfaith Awareness Week.

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  • Other Opportunities during Interfaith Awareness Week

    Here are some other opportunities 
    “To learn more about each others' beliefs in the spirit of community”
    ~ DECEMBER 2010 ~

    December includes holy days for many area religious traditions.
    The main holy days in December 2010 are:

    o ADVENT (preparation for the Birth of Jesus Christ) continues through December 25 in most churches (for a small number, it will continue through January 6)

    o HANUKKAH (Jewish) beginning December 1 ~ A menorah is lit each evening for a week.

    o ST. NICHOLAS DAY is December 6th in Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition. This is the saint that Santa Claus is based.

    o MUHARRAM (Muslim) beginning December 7 is the beginning of the Muslim year and celebration of the first Islamic community at Medina. ASHURA is a Shi’ite holy time for the first ten days of Muharram, with a festival December 16.

    o WINTER SOLTICE is sacred to several traditions including Shinto, Wicca and Native American.

    o CHRISTMAS (December 25) marks the birth or NATIVITY of Jesus Christ. Some Orthodox Christians will celebrate this festival on January 7th. Armenians, on January 6th.

    o Traditional “Winter” holy days for Hindu, Baha’i, and Sikh fall in November this year. In addition, HAJJ & EID AL-ADHA (for Muslims) fell on November 15 & 16 ~ these are the days of pilgrimage. The Eid (festival) observed even when not on pilgrimage.

    In addition to the Interfaith Awareness Week events and open houses, here are more opportunities:


    Christian Churches have regular Sunday morning services – check the Worship Directory in most local newspapers. Many other religious groups meet for weekly gatherings on Sundays out of convenience, including Buddhist, Sikh and others.


    Muslims Gather for mid-day Community Prayers at Madison Area Mosques and Campus locations


    Jewish Services begin Friday at Sunset, usually at home, and then gather Saturday at Madison Area Synagogues and Campus locations

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  • Open Houses Begin Sunday

    Interfaith Awareness Week
    Open Houses throughout the week
    December 5th-12th, 2010

    Sunday 12/5/10

    Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Chapel
    10:00 am. Children’s Sunday
    621 N Sherman Avenue, Suite B3 (Cambridge Place), Madison, WI 242-4244

    Madison Eckankar Community (Ancient Wisdom for Today)
    10:30 am. Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, 953 Jenifer Street,Madison WI
    Eck Worship Service followed by pot luck and fellowship.

    American Hindu Association
    10 am-12noon. Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Wisconsin 2138 S Fish Hatchery Rd,
    Fitchburg, WI 53575. Worship Service followed by fellowship.

    Grace Episcopal Church
    116 West Washington Ave (on the square), Madison, WI. Our normal worship service on Sunday, Dec 5th is at 10am. It includes Communion and will be followed by a festive coffee hour.

    Wednesday 12/8/10

    Madison Interfaith Dialogue
    10 am –Noon Madison Interfaith Dialogue at
    Holy Wisdom Monastery Retreat House Middleton, WI
    Monthly meeting of Madison's oldest interfaith group. Join in the sharing about Sacred Time across spiritual traditions. Free and open to the public. More information, contact George Hinger: 608-271-8559

    Fifth Annual Good Neighbor Interfaith Celebration/Gathering
    6:30 pm at the Middleton Public Library~ Archer Room 7425 Hubbard Ave, Middleton, WI
    Join an open dialogue and panel with a multi-faith panel “A Faith Crisis in Middleton”
    For more information:, 242-4244(voice mail)

    Thursday 12/9/10

    7:00pm at the, Baha'i Center, 324 W. Lakeside St., Madison, WI
    An inspiring program followed by food and fellowship

    Friday 12/10/10

    Madison Dawa Circle (Islam)
    5 pm.  2617 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI
    608-242-99371 or 608-242-9937
    Prayers and fellowship
    There is also a program Friday Dec 3rd --The theme is Love

    Saturday 12/11/10

    Circle Sanctuary(Nature Religions)
    Noon - 3 pm. The Interfaith Open House begins with a potluck meal at Noon. At 1 pm, Senior minister Selena Fox will present a talk, "Deck the Halls: Herbs & Trees of Winter Solstice." Spiced hot cider will be served throughout the afternoon. Guided tours of the preserve will be available. Call (608) 924-2216 (608) 924-2216 or email: for more details.

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