Monday, November 28, 2011

Interfaith Awareness Week - 2011 details

November 23, 2011
Rev John-Brian Paprock
608-242-4244 Inroads Ministry
608-217-8144 cell


People of different religions and faith traditions will again gather at the
capitol on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 as part of Interfaith Awareness Week.
Reverend Selena Fox, local and international speaker and organizer, will be
the keynote speaker at the noon program. Then title of her address is
"Interfaith Encounters For A Better World." (Rev. Fox Bio below)

This is the 14th Annual Interfaith Awareness Week proclaimed by Wisconsin
Governor and other leaders. There will be displays of world religions and
interfaith groups in the capitol rotunda from Monday December 5 through
Friday December 9.

Throughout the week, diverse faith groups hold open house, inviting people
to learn about the diverse traditions in the Madison area. (The list is

On Tuesday December 6, 2011, there is an interfaith dialogue event in
Middleton. In the evening (6:30pm), the 6th Annual Good Neighbor Interfaith
Gathering will meet at the Middleton Library to discuss "Light For Dark

The Capitol Celebration on Wednesday December 7, 2011, in addition to Rev.
Fox's address, will have the also have the Interfaith Awareness Week
proclamation read aloud by senior student of Sauk Prairie High School, Sauk
City (determined by the teacher who is bringing the whole class). The event
also includes: music from Women With Wings and an opening prayer from Muslim
women's leader, Rohany Nayan. Interfaith Awareness Week co-coordinators, Rev
Anne Wynne and Rev Fr John-Brian Paprock, will be making introductions and
welcoming remarks.

Interfaith Awareness Week events are co-sponsored by Inroads Ministry and
the Greater Madison Inter-religious Association as well as other Madison
area interfaith, religious and faith groups.

Attachments: photo of Rev. Selena, the Interfaith Awareness Week logo
Below: Rev. Fox's Bio, List of Open Houses, list of other faith
opportunities = =


Rev. Selena Fox has been active internationally, nationally, regionally and
locally in interfaith work for more than forty years: a speaker and
organizer of a variety of regional and global interfaith events, including
Thanksgiving Celebration, Madison-area Winter Solstice Pageant, Charter for
Compassion, and Parliament of the World's Religions; a member of the monthly
Madison Interfaith Dialogue Group; and the current president of the Greater
Madison Inter-religious Association.
Rev. Fox is Senior Minister of Circle Sanctuary, a Wiccan church
which has been serving Nature Religion practitioners worldwide since 1974.
Active in diversity education and religious accommodation
consulting, Rev. Fox works with chaplains and other staff at a variety of
institutions, including hospitals, hospices, military installations,
prisons, and university campuses. She has a MS in counseling from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison and does spiritual counseling as part of her
In addition, Rev. Fox is founder and director of Wisconsin's first
green cemetery, Circle Cemetery, located at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve
near Barneveld, Wisconsin. She travels internationally presenting workshops
and facilitating ceremonies, and her writings and photographs have been
widely published. For more information: = =

IAW 2011 OPEN HOUSES December 4th- 10th

Sunday 12/4/11

Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Chapel
9:30 am 621 N. Sherman Avenue, Suite B3, Madison, WI Syrian Orthodox Liturgy
of St James entirely in English, followed by fellowship 242-4244 (voicemail)

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
11 am Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Wisconsin, 2138 S Fish Hatchery
Rd, Fitchburg, WI 53575 Worship Service followed by fellowship.

Monday 12/5/11

Madison Baha'i Center Open House
6:30 - 9:00 pm, Baha'i Center 324 W. Lakeside St. Madison, WI Brief
presentation on the Bahai Faith at 7:00 Informal tours of the Center -
Refreshments & socializing

Tuesday 12/6/11

Sixth Annual Good Neighbor Interfaith Celebration/Gathering
6:30 pm at the Middleton Public Library~ Archer Room 7425 Hubbard Ave,
Join an open dialogue and panel with a multi-faith panel "Light for Dark
Times" For more info:, 242-4244

Wednesday 12/7/11

The Madison Eckankar Community (Community HU Prayer Song by people of all
spiritual paths and religions) 7pm at the Gates of Heaven, 302 E. Gorham St
in James Madison Park Followed by fellowship and refreshments.

Thursday 12/8/11

An Interfaith Potluck Evening Meal and Mingling History of the Madinah
Islamic Academy (short program) Gather at 6 pm; eat at 6:30 pm, Westminster
Presbyterian Church 4100 Nakoma Road , Madison, WI Fellowship Hall which is
w/c accessible via the Yuma Street entrance and elevator

Friday 12/9/11

Unitarian Universalism & Humanist Union
5 pm, Prairie UU Society, 2010 Whenona Way, Madison, WI Short presentation,
tours and light refreshments.

Saturday 12/10/11

Circle Sanctuary Interfaith Open House
2 - 5 pm 5354 Meadowvale Road, Barneveld, WI 53507
3 pm talk by Selena Fox on Winter Solstice customs & traditions.
free, open to the public, warm cider & other refreshments.
For more info, call (608) 924-2216 or = =

"To learn more about each others' beliefs in the spirit of community"
~ DECEMBER 2011 ~

December includes holy days for many area religious traditions.
The main holy days in December 2011 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 20 ~ 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 November 26 is the beginning of the
Muslim year and celebration of the first Islamic community at Medina.
o ASHURA is a Shi'ite holy time for the first ten days of Muharram,
with a festival December 5.
o WINTER SOLSTICE 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 5 & 6 ~ these are the days of pilgrimage. The Eid (festival)
observed even when not on pilgrimage.

In addition to the Interfaith Awareness Week events, here are more
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 SATURDAY Jewish Services begin Friday at Sunset, usually at
home, and then gather Saturday at Madison Area Synagogues and Campus

= =
Looking forward
"encouraging citizens to learn more about each others' beliefs in the
spirit of community."
For more information:

  • Buy "Neighbors, Strangers and Everyone Else" a book by Rev John Brian Paprock


    Please print and share

    THE 14th ANNUAL



    “encouraging citizens to learn more about each others' beliefs in the spirit of community.”


    A Capitol Celebration

    In the Rotunda of the State Capitol

    Featuring presenters and performers

    From the variety of living traditions in Wisconsin


    12 NOON – WEDNESDAY - DECEMBER 7, 2011




     (608) 242-4244 ~ –


    The Proclamation of Interfaith Awareness Week has been made by

    Wisconsin’s Governor, the Dane County Executive and the Mayor of Madison


     Displays of World Religions in the Capitol Rotunda

    Monday thru Friday ~ December 59, 2011

    sponsored by Inroads Ministry and the Greater Madison Interreligious Association

  • Buy "Neighbors, Strangers and Everyone Else" a book by Rev John Brian Paprock
  • Monday, November 14, 2011


    Hi Everyone,
    We have changed our meeting day to Tuesdays.
    The next 2 meetings will be on Tues. Nov. 15th and Tues. Nov. 29th.
    We will not meet on the 22nd due to Thanksgiving.
    All meetings will be at 6pm at Perkins on University Avenue.
    See you there!
    Anne and John-Brian
    14th Interfaith Awareness Week
    December 4-10, 2011
    Capitol displays December 5-9, 2011
    Capitol Noon Event, December 7, 2011

  • Buy "Neighbors, Strangers and Everyone Else" a book by Rev John Brian Paprock
  • Monday, November 07, 2011




    By Anna Koulouris

    More than 240 clergymen, scientists, politicians and scholars from 60
    countries met on October 24th at the ninth annual Doha International
    Conference on Interfaith Dialogue sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign
    Affairs, the Doha International Center Interfaith Dialogue and Qatar

    The three-day event, held at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha, focused on social
    media's growing presence and effect on inter-religious dialogue.
    In the wake of the Arab Spring, the conference sought to evaluate social
    media's role in the revolutions and raise the question of whether such
    communication technology could have a positive role in interfaith relations.

    "It's a must to discuss this," said DICID chairman Ibrahim Saleh Al-Naimi in
    an opening address referencing developments in the Middle East since the
    beginning of this year. "There is a lot of communication and not enough
    dialogue," he said.

    Qatar's Minister of Justice, H.E. Mr. Hassan bin Abdulla Al Ghanim,
    mentioned the importance of amplifying the positive aspects of social media
    and minimizing the negative.

    "Without tolerance of the other, it can be a method of hatred," said Al

    Archimandrite Makarios, representative of the Jerusalem Patriarchate and
    priest of St. Isaac and St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Doha attended
    the conference, along with Deacon Dmitry Safonov from the Moscow

    "This is not just about co-existence, it's about symbiosis, which is much
    more," said Fr. Makarios. "It's the fruit of this dialogue that we're
    recognized by the State and live next to the citizens of Qatar."

    In the eyes of the Orthodox Church, the focus of the interfaith dialogue is
    for the people of not only Qatar, but the entire region, to be closer and
    know more about each other. It's not only for the sake of knowledge of the
    other, but to cultivate symbiosis with those from different religious and
    national backgrounds, said Fr. Makarios.

    In addition to Orthodox clerical representation there were lay people from
    Serbia, Romania and the United States present at the conference.

    Workshops taught by experts in the field were offered for beginner and
    intermediate levels of proficiency in social media use throughout the
    conference. Meanwhile, main themes of discussion included social media's
    history and development, positive and negative consequences, impacts on
    religious and local communities, and steps needed to create regulations
    within a framework of ethics.

    Some addressed the implications of globalization on inter-religious
    dialogue, of which social media is an unequivocal part.

    "The consequences of globalization are yet to be calculated," said Rabbi
    Henry Sobel of Brazil. Globalization doesn't foster true fellowship,
    although it can facilitate dialogue, he said, suggesting that nothing can
    replace a face-to-face encounter.

    Dr. Aisha Al-Tayiab agreed with the panels that in-person contact is
    irreplaceable. "If people aren't brought up to respect others, they won't
    develop the proper ideas and behaviors later on," she said. But she was less
    critical of the role social media can play when it's used for positive
    social and political change.

    As a Tunisian, she watched the impact of especially Facebook, on the youth
    of her country as they collectively pressured their president Zine
    al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee.

    "I come from a country that experienced quantum leaps," she said.
    "Facebook in the first days of revolution was so important; it was a control

    As the Tunisian example, along with many others has shown, young people have
    been most empowered by developments in social networking.

    Hundreds of millions of young users are joining social media sites in a
    fraction of the time it's ever taken to mobilize mass groups of people in
    the past, and they upload years worth of content each day.

    With secular movements on the rise in parts of the world, one concern was
    where religious conversation can fit into the picture.

    "The computer uses up a lot of productive time, especially from the youth,"
    said Bishop Sebouh Sarkisian from Iran.

    He said that it was a duty of the churches, temples and mosques to teach
    morality and proper use of technology to the young people who will in turn
    make good use of the tools at their disposal and reach out to one another in

    Whereas young people might have an advantage in making use of the
    technology, it was suggested that the older generation can offer the wisdom
    and knowledge of the faiths that seem to lose their centralized authority in
    the virtual world of the Internet.

    "Any communication between persons of differing religious points of view is
    sometimes described as dialogue - it's not," said Dr. Edward Kessler from
    the United Kingdom. "Once a message is posted online, control is lost and
    someone else may interpret what you're tying to achieve as something else."

    A widely recognized problem with social media was its capability to create
    wedges between people. Several clergy members suggested that reaching out to
    others with love, as the Abrahamic traditions prescribe, generates more
    love, and that social media offers a unique chance to demonstrate love and
    kindness on a global scale.

    "It's not just a communication tool, it's a connection tool," said Professor
    William Vendley from the US. "The truly beautiful lies vested in the ugly."

    Several panelists gave examples of how their small grass-roots efforts
    reached a global scale due to the megaphone effect of social media.
    These projects, whether for charity or to combat stereotypes, transcended
    national and cultural borders.

    "We speak of the Arab World, but in reality today - Arab community, European
    community, African community, Asia, US - we are inextricably bound," said
    Jesse Jackson, African-American civil rights leader and Baptist minister.
    "We are one world."

    Reflecting on the past decade, Jackson labeled the transformation in the
    Arab world as a "bottom-up desire for change," which was facilitated by
    social media. "Social media is serving to empower, inform and organize
    individuals and generated a feeling that change is real, can happen, and can
    be sustained."

    In the concluding session, final remarks were given by H.E. Abdel Rahman
    Mohammad Hassan Suwar Al-Dahab, former president of Sudan, Bishop Camillo
    Ballin of Italy, Professor Faruk Caklovica of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
    Rabbi Herschel Gluck of the United Kingdom.

    All participants of the conference were invited to attend dinner and tours
    of Doha's Souq Waqif, Museum of Islamic Art, and cultural quarter Katara,
    where the Tribeca Film Festival will continue through the last week of

  • Buy "Neighbors, Strangers and Everyone Else" a book by Rev John Brian Paprock