Unity in Diversity, a weekly television program, can be seen on Mondays and Wednesdays on Charter Communications Channel 21. Each week, viewers may experience leaders and representatives of a variety of local faith communities, sharing their message in a non-threatening manner. The programs scheduled for January 27 to February 19 have been announced.
The St Rose of Lima Pro Life/Pro Family Committee will host a program by Peter Wolfgang on Sunday, February 2. Mr Wolfgang will discuss “Assisted Suicide And Euthanasia: Phony Compassion Or Cost Containment Measure? ” beginning at 1:15. The program will be in the Knights of Columbus Building, on the campus of St Rose of Lima. Mr Wolfgang joined the Family Institute of Connecticut (FIC) as director of public policy in 2004. He became the executive director of FIC in 2007. A freewill donation to benefit FIC will be received.
Worldwide Mom’s Day of Prayer (MDOP), a nondenominational gathering of women across the US and around the world one day in January for the past 17 years, has connected with a special group of women in 2014: mothers who lost their children on 12/14. Two of those mothers have formed a school safety awareness group named Safe and Sound Schools that is joining MDOP in the mission of bringing mothers together to pray for their children in churches, schools, community centers, and social media sites on Saturday, January 18. The Connecticut Mom’s Day of Prayer event will be held at Word Alive Bible Church, 536 West Avenue in Norwalk, from 10 am to noon.
On February 22, members of the St Rose parish and friends will gather together and celebrate as a community at its fourth Crystal Ball Gala. The gala is returning after a six-year hiatus. It will be held at The Waterview, just over the town line in Monroe. The evening, with a theme of “A Celebration of Community,” promises to be exceptional, with fine dining and open bar, dancing to an 11-piece orchestra, and live and silent auctions. Tickets are on sale, and all are welcome to attend.
Members of Newtown Congregational Church attended a kick-off celebration of their church’s 300th anniversary on Sunday, January 5. During his sermon on Sunday, Reverend Crebbin gently warned “in this new year, our 300th year, we celebrate longevity. We should celebrate it, but we shouldn’t be too impressed [with ourselves]. For 300 years, this congregation has been alive through the light and the dark. We have celebrated God in ways big and small. We made it…because God’s grace has sustained us, because God’s light has shone forth.”
In recognition of Martin Luther King Day, Congregation Adath Israel will host a renowned Hartford gospel choir in the synagogue sanctuary. The performance will begin at 7:30 pm Friday, January 17. Voices LLC of Hartford will perform at 115 Huntingtown Road to honor the legacy of the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr. The entire community is invited. The choir will take the stage at approximately 8 pm, following a traditional Hebrew prayers service that will begin at 7:30. Refreshments will be served when the program ends at 8:45 pm.
Congregation Adath Israel and The Jewish Federation will present “A Young Israeli Speaks Out,” a talk by Nadav Weijel, on Sunday, December 29, at 2 pm, at Adath Israel Mr Weijel was a member of the Israeli Defense Forces for three years, including time patrolling the West Bank. In his 60-minute program, he will offer his views on the Israeli mentality, the challenges of being a soldier, and Israeli perspectives.
Many faith communities in Newtown are offering services and support for residents this weekend, to mark and honor the first anniversary of 12/14. The media is being asked to respect the privacy of those attending any of these services. Many houses of worship have posted signs on their grounds asking all media to stay back while residents, friends, and families gather to remember those who were killed at Sandy Hook School, and to reflect on the past year. “One of the challenges for us is that when the media is present, some of the people that are most vulnerable, who need the most support, won’t come,” the Reverend Matt Crebbin, senior pastor of Newtown Congregational Church, said. “We don’t want our people to feel and become isolated,” he added. It is important that those who have a need to be with others at this time feel comfortable leaving their homes, he continued.
The Reverend Leo McIlrath, the host and producer of "Unity In Diversity," has made a change for the sequence of programs that will be aired this month. On December 16 and 18, Rev McIlrath will be presenting The Interfaith Memorial Service for Sandy Hook, rebroadcasting the event that took place on Sunday, December 16, at Newtown High School. This will replace the previously announced plan to air an interview with Dr Paul Hines, director of The Dorothy Day House of Hospitality in Danbury, on those dates.
On Sunday, November 24, Rabbi Shaul Praver was awarded the Samaritan Peace Medal. This award was presented to Rabbi Praver, of Congregation Adath Israel, by Samaritan Chancellor Benyamim Tsedaka, editor of AB — The Samaritan News and a tireless world advocate of the Samaritan people and their rich historical traditions.
The Samaritan Medal for Peace and Humanitarian Achievement is awarded by the Samaritan people of the Holy Land for peace efforts, humanitarian service and Samaritan studies demonstrated through their lives and actions in the spirit of the Good Samaritan. Its purpose is to recognize and reward service to humanity, especially in the cause of peace. Although many organizations offer “Samaritan Medals,” the one presented to Rabbi Praver is the only Samaritan Medal actually awarded by the original and authentic Samaritan people themselves.