Nun and rabbi to lead discussion at Beth Tfiloh


March 03, 1994|By Reported by Frank P.L. Somerville

A Roman Catholic sister from Canada will join a Massachusetts rabbi Wednesday evening at a Pikesville synagogue for a free, public exploration of the common roots of Christian and Jewish spirituality.

Both of the featured participants in what is described as a dialogue on "the possibilities of spiritual life" are prolific authors. They are Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, 1994 scholar-in-residence of Baltimore's Pearlstone Institute for Living Judaism, and Sister Mary Jo Leddy, who is on the faculty of Regis College in Toronto.

Wednesday's discussion, scheduled at 7:30 p.m. at Pikesville's Beth Tfiloh Congregation, 3300 Old Court Road, is part of a two-day program of the Pearlstone Institute that concludes March 10 with an 8 p.m. lecture by Rabbi Kushner at Har Sinai Congregation, 6300 Park Heights Ave. in Baltimore.

His subject for the second appearance is "The 'I' I Did Not Know: Toward a Contemporary American-Jewish Spirituality."

Spiritual leader since 1971 of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Mass., the rabbi is on the board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and is working with Jews in Boston and New York to establish a retreat center in New England.

His books include "God Was In This Place and I, i Did Not Know", "The Book of Miracles: A Young Person's Guide to Jewish Spirituality" and "Honey from the Rock: Visions of Jewish Mystical Renewal."

Sister Mary Jo, a member of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion since 1963, is the author of "Memories of War, Promises of Peace" and "Re-weaving Religious Life: Beyond the Liberal Model," among other books.

The subjects of her many articles and lectures include a Christian woman's perspective on the Nazis' mass murder of European Jews.

Writing in 1992 about the Holocaust, Sister Mary Jo said, "The fact is that this coercive form of power has, more often than not, been exercised by men. Whether this is an accident of history, an attribute of culture or something inherently male is arguable.

"My own sense is that we will need centuries of experience to determine whether, given the opportunity, women would have a penchant for such a form of power, too."

While admission is free to the public for both evening programs, reservations are required. Call Carol Press Pristoop at 727-4828.

Two anniversaries

Baltimore's Mount Sinai Baptist Church, 922 E. Preston St., will celebrate its 90th anniversary and the 27th anniversary of the pastorate of the Rev. William Brown at all its Sunday services during March.

Guest preachers and visiting congregations will take part in the celebrations at the 8 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. services each Sunday. Among the preachers will be the Rev. William McCoy, the Rev. Richard Tabron, the Rev. Calvin Keene, the Rev. Nathaniel Womack, the Rev. Roy B. Johnson, the Rev. Walter Paige, the Rev. Andrew Ferges, the Rev. A. B. Waters, the Rev. Kenneth Rogers, the Rev. Quay T. Rich and the Rev. Melvin B. Tuggle Jr.

Mount Sinai's anniversary dinner is scheduled at 6 p.m. March 24 at the Inner Harbor's Scarlett Place, 250 S. President St. The speaker will be the Rev. Marvis P. May Sr. of Macedonia Baptist Church. For information and reservations: 837-2070.

Interfaith Institute

Arthur S. Flemming, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1974 to 1982 and former president of Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Oregon, will speak at the 34th annual Interfaith Institute of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Sisterhood on Monday.

After Dr. Flemming's 10 a.m. address in the congregation's Dalsheimer Auditorium, 7401 Park Heights Ave., Muslim, Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish panelists will discuss "Ethics and Spirituality: Tensions in Today's World."

Speakers include Imam Bashar Arafat of the An-Mur Institute for Islamic Studies and Arabic Language; Diane M. Caplin, co-director of the Mount St. Agnes Theological Center for Women; the Rev. Marvis P. May, minister of Macedonia Baptist Church, and Rabbi Julie Spitzer, director of the Mid-Atlantic Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. The moderator will be Rabbi Murray Saltzman of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

Admission to the program, including lunch, is $6. Registration: 764-1587.

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