November 2019

Written by WISDOM on . Posted in Newsletters

Calendar for WISDOM and Other Interfaith Events 

Sunday, November 3rd 2:30 – 5:30 PM
Interfaith Panel on Organ Donation
See Flyer Below
Thursday, November 7th 3:00 PM
Neighborly Discourse Panel
See Flyer Below
Thursday, November 7th, 7:00 PM
Portraits in Faith at Temple Israel

See Flyer Below

Thursday, December 5th 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Islamic Institute of America
Christians Reading the Qu’ran Through the Ages
See Flyer Below
Thursday, November 21 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Women in Judaism
See Flyer Below
Thursday, December 19, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Women in Islam
See Flyer Below
Sunday, February 9th
WISDOM Visit to the DIA
1:30 PM lunch in Kresge Court Cafe
3:00 Guided Tour
4:00 – 5:00 Optional Tour on your own
Stay tuned for Flyer
Sunday, March 1st, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
21st Annual World Sabbath Celebration
North Congregational Church in Farmington Hills
See Flyer Below

WISDOM in the Kitchen
From left, WISDOM Vice President Ayesha Khan, Gigi Salka, President Bobbie Lewis, board member Dr. Carolyn Simon and Chef Adrianna Kalota.
WISDOM once again volunteered at the Zaman Culinary Kitchen October 3, chopping veggies for stock and fattoush salad under the direction of Chef Adrianna Kalota. Zaman was founded in 1996 by former WISDOM board member Najah Bazzy. Located in Inkster, the nonprofit provides counseling and other services for refugees, immigrants and low-income women. Their large building’s first floor includes the modern culinary kitchen, used for catering services and training in culinary arts, a food pantry and a store selling second-hand furniture and clothing (donations are welcome!). Upstairs there’s a classroom for ESL (English as a Second Language) and a workshop filled with sewing machines where women are trained as seamstresses. Gigi Salka, a member of the WISDOM Advisory Board, is the director of Zaman’s BOOST (Building Ongoing Opportunities through Skills Training) program.

Religions for Peace and Institute for Economics and Peace Launch New Positive Peace Partnership for Communities of Faith
At the Religions for Peace(RfP) 10th World Assembly in Lindau, Germany, over 900 delegates affirmed their commitment to the 10th World Assembly Declaration of Religions for Peace. Included in this Declaration, is a “Call to Common Action” including a commitment to strengthening the partnership between RfP with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) to “produce positive peace materials and workshops for multi-religious contexts.” RfP and IEP proudly announce their shared commitment to this common action in the following article by Vision of Humanity

Implementation of new multi-faith training courses on Positive Peace and the implementation of Positive Peace workshops for the world’s faithful.

Two global thought leaders in peacebuilding will soon join forces to spread Positive Peace around the world. Internationally renowned think tank, the Institute for Economics and Peace, and the world’s largest multi-faith coalition Religions for Peace (RfP), are working on a new program of courses to spread their shared vision of Positive Peace worldwide. The two organizations will build on years of existing mutual engagement to strengthen ties and produce Positive Peace materials and workshops for multi-religious contexts. Following last month’s World Assembly of Religions for Peace in Lindau, Germany, more than 900 participants including multi-faith leaders and peacebuilders, committed to fostering Positive Peace as a concept of Shared Well-Being. Mr Killelea [Founder and Executive Chairman, Institute for Economics and Peace; Honorary President, RfP] said, “IEP’s data-driven research provides the evidence base for the Positive Peace model for sustainable development and social cohesion.”
“The Positive Peace framework is a flexible and culturally-neutral model, based in rigorous data research. People of all walks of life and faith can adapt the approach to building peace in any community or nation,” Mr. Killelea said. Rev. Kyoichi Sugino [Acting Secretary General, RfP] said, “The many complex problems facing the world today require unprecedented global cooperation, including bringing people of different faiths and cultural backgrounds together – peace is essential for humanity to find the global solutions to these shared challenges.”
Mr. Killelea further commented, “We’re looking forward to working with RfP who are thought leaders in interfaith dialogue, conflict resolution and peacebuilding.” IEP’s evidence-based Positive Peace framework and workshops build the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies, and offers a new way to achieve common economic outcomes, sustainable development, violence reduction, social cohesion and resilience for communities.
Positive Peace expresses the multi-religious notion of Shared Well-Being, virtue and tolerance, while also providing a practical framework to help build these precepts into societies. The world’s leading non-profit and independent think tank dedicated to measuring peace, IEP uses data-driven research to show that peace is a positive, tangible and achievable measure of human wellbeing and development and is renowned for producing the annual Global Peace Index.
Religions for Peace is the most-representative multi-religious coalition in the world that advances common action among the world’s religious communities in the pursuit of peace. The organization works to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies and protect the earth

Noted Baptist Pastor Charles Adams retires after 50 years in Detroit
Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press

After more than 50 years as head of an influential Baptist church in Detroit, the Rev. Charles G. Adams is retiring, church officials announced Monday.
Adams, 82, senior pastor at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, will step down officially on Tuesday and is to be replaced by his son, Rev. Charles C. Adams, who has been helping lead the church for years.
“We thank God for Pastor Adams, who has led this church with Christian love, truth and generosity for more than 50 years,” said Thomas R. Williams, chairman of the Dianonate Ministry at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, in a statement. “While we will miss his active leadership, his legacy continues with his son.”
Adams is the longest serving pastor in Hartford Memorial’s history and only the third pastor of the church, said church officials. Adams said in a statement: “I wish I had ten thousand tongues to say ‘Thanks be unto God’ and ‘Thank you, Hartford!'” His advice for his son as he leads the historic Detroit church was: “Love everyone.” Adams was a professor at Harvard University in the 2000s, serving there as the first William and Lucille Nickerson Professor of Ethics and Ministry.  For five years, he flew to Boston to teach every week.
In announcing his appointment in 2007, Harvard Divinity School described him as “one of the most prominent and dynamic ministers in the United States.”
“He is not only a widely acclaimed preacher, but has been just as influential as a pioneer in linking the church’s mission to urban revitalization through economic, educational and social initiatives,” said the school’s dean at the time, William A. Graham.
Adams graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. and Harvard Divinity School with a B.D. He also has done graduate work at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
The church said he grew the Hartford’s membership from 400 to a peak of nearly 10,000.
Adams has also been a past president of the Detroit chapter of the NAACP, once leading a boycott of businesses in Dearborn over discrimination against African-Americans in its city parks.  He has been professor of preaching at Ecumenical Theological Seminary and pastor of Concord Baptist Church in Boston, and president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. The Free Press reported in 2017, when the church marked its 100th anniversary, that he helped make vibrant a stretch of 7 Mile Rd. after the church moved into the area in 1977.  In March, the church opened Hartford Village, a gated senior citizens community.
“I had been to Atlanta and seen what the Kings had done around Ebenezer Baptist Church,” Adams said in 2017. “That gave me an idea that we should own all the land we could around Hartford Memorial. As a result, most of the land around the church belongs to the church, so that it makes economic development all the more possible.”

Ellen Katzen, center, of Squirrel Hill, attends services on the first night of Rosh Hashana at Temple Sinai in Pittsburgh, on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. It was the first Jewish New Year since a gunman killed 11 congregants at a nearby synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. (Rebecca Droke via AP)

An Indian man inspects the head of an effigy of mythical demon king Ravana before purchasing it ahead of the Hindu festival Dussehra in New Delhi, India, on Oct. 4, 2019. The effigy will be burned during the festival, which celebrates the defeat of demon king Ravana at the hands of Hindu god Rama, marking the triumph of good over evil. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Vandals Destroy Sukkah at MSU

Michigan State Hillel’s Sukkah was destroyed by two males late Saturday night during the Sukkot holiday. Despite the office being closed for the holiday, Michigan State University Hillel’s Executive Director Cindy Hughey decided to drop by the Hillel building Monday morning. She instantly noticed the Sukkah appeared to be falling down, so she stepped outside to take a closer look.
“I noticed that it was more than just falling down – it looked like it had been totally decimated,” Hughey said. “We began to look at the security footage and saw two males enter the patio area and proceed to destroy the Sukkah.”
Hughey then contacted the East Lansing Police Department and filed a complaint. The police asked them to share the information and photos on the MSU Hillel Facebook page so that students could help identify the vandals. Through Facebook, Hughey received three different names which she forwarded to police. Hughey is currently waiting on confirmation from police to see if they have the vandals in custody. Although it is unclear whether this act was pre-meditated or not, both men appeared to be inebriated during the incident.
“It was just extremely disappointing to see it being destroyed – and for what purpose?” Hughey said. “However, the MSU community and administration has been very supportive. We’ve had people send their positive and kind words to us and even offer to come help us build a new Sukkah.”
Wendy Starr, President of the Jewish Student Union at MSU, hopes this incident will educate other students on campus about Jewish holidays and culture.
“In addition to Jewish culture, we hope to foster understanding for all student populations,” Starr said.  “We hope students will take this opportunity to work together and unite to combat vandalism on this campus.”

WISDOM Mission Statement

To Provide concrete modeling of women from different faith traditions working together in harmony for the common good.
To Empower women to take a more active role in furthering social justice and world peace.
To Dispel myths, stereotypes, prejudices and fear about faith traditions different from our own.
To Nurture the growth of empathy and spiritual energy that result from our projects and interfaith dialogue.

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WISDOM’s challenge is to bring together people from different faith traditions, ethnicities, races, and cultures in an atmosphere of safety and respect to engage in educational and community service projects. Let’s change our world through the positive power of building relationships!