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‘Visions of Creating Community,’ from Catalyst for Justice @ FAU to Delray Clergy’s 2nd Interfaith Harvest Festival

November 20th · 1 Comment · Delray Beach Interfaith Clergy Association, Focolare, Imam W. Deen Mohammed

I still was feeling gratitude for the response by justice system and other community members to our “Rethinking” Racially Biased Policing workshop — when I was further heartened by the response to our Delray Beach Interfaith Clergy Association’s 2nd Annual Interfaith Harvest Festival.

My Delray Interfaith Clergy Association colleague Ron Arflin (R) chaplain at Abbey Delray South, host of our 2nd Annual Interfaith Harvest Festival.

The workshop was presented  by my Catalyst for Justice colleagues Jane Tierney, Rabbi Paul Menitoff and me at Florida Atlantic University Nov. 12. We had major support from Dr. Maria Santamarina and FAU’s Diversity Committee.

C4J directors (L-R) Jane Tierney, CEO, Rabbi Paul Menitoff, chairman, and yours truly, president, learning a lot at FAU.

The workshop featured Lorie Fridell, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of South Florida’s Department of Criminology. It was an outstanding presentation by the national expert on advancing professionalism through research and training.

Dr. Fridell gave the audience — justice and social service personnel, community and advocacy organizations, educators, academics and general public — plenty to consider.

Judging by comments from the law enforcement and other community participants, the workshop more than met our goal of presenting best practices that can assist the entire community in significantly decreasing ethnic, religious, gender and other bias.

Meanwhile, I’m still hearing expressions of gratitude for our 2nd Interfaith Harvest Festival, organized by the Delray Beach Interfaith Clergy Association of which I am a vice president.

Diana Scavo (L) of the Focolare movement and her daughter Joylani were among my guests. "It was a special and great time for us to listen to so many loving people who really want to contribute to be one family of God," Diana said.

I can’t say enough for this year’s host, Ron Arflin and Abbey Delray South — and last year’s, Dick Lewellan of Abbey Delray North, the companion Lifespace Communities retirement facility. See other comments and more photos at our DBICA Facebook page, also below and at the end of this post.

Our hostesses were members of The International League of Muslim Women's South Florida Chapter, in their trademark red-and-white.

The table conversation summaries not only were heart-warming, but affirmed our best hopes for the event.

(L-R): Participants from the Florida Conference of Muslim Americans included Imams Fred Nuriddin, Delacie Ummah Phillips, Hanif, and Melton Mustafa.

Along with those events, I was fortunate to hear Deborah Lee Prescott, Ph.D, associate professor of English at Palm Beach Atlantic University, as she elaborated at the Cenacle Sisters’ retreat in Lantana on Nov. 13 regarding her new book, Imagery from Genesis in Holocaust Memoirs, about which I wrote for this month’s Coastal Star.
And all of that followed my very rewarding time with our local Pax Christi group, when I spoke about the Quran and the Hajj. (This week, Muslims worldwide celebrated the successful completion of this year’s pilgrimage to the holy city Mecca with our major holiday, Eid al-Adha.)
Looking ahead: On Sunday, Nov. 21, is our next monthly Model Interfaith Dialogue and Unity program, the DVD & Discussion series organized by New Africa of the Palm Beaches. This month we view the inspiring “Vision of Creating Community” video, featuring Christian members of the Focolare Movement gathered with imams and other southern California Muslims at San Diego’s Masjidul Taqwa. As usual our program is from 2-4 p.m. at the United Methodist Church of the Palm Beaches, 900 Brandywine Road, West Palm Beach 33409. All are invited as we provide opportunities to transcend religious, ethnic and cultural divisions and develop exemplary models for human interaction and cooperation. There is no fee but donations are welcome. More info: 561-309-5476.
And on Tuesday, Nov. 23, I’m scheduled as one of the speakers for An Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Celebrating our Diversity, 7:30 p.m. at Temple Israel, 1901 N. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach. For more info contact Temple Israel at 561-833-8421.

Of course, I’m loving all of this — increasingly seeing people of all stripes learning more about each other — and even better, learning how to better treat each other.

Yes, in the words of the eminent Imam W.D. Mohammed — “America’s Imam”  — (see herehere and here): “Goodness is on the rise.”

More evidence:

— C.B. Hanif

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Imam Muhammad Harisuddin

    ASA, Excellent effort. May Allah(swt) continue to reward this good work. By the way, the banner about, “Humanity is One,” which was used by IWDM a few years ago. I came ome from that program by the Imam and had a replica of that banner that we hope to use for a program here in Augusta,Ga in 2011. What a coincidence. If I remember correctly, the imam made no or few comments about the banner. Hmm?

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