Synagogue forum to discuss church, state separation

RELIGION NOTES

November 18, 1994|By Reported by Frank P.L. Somerville

"Should we blur the line of separation between church and state?"

That is a question to be addressed Sunday morning by experts with different backgrounds and different points of view in a public forum at a Pikesville synagogue.

The program was arranged by the Beth Tfiloh Congregation and a Baltimore-area singles discussion group.

The title of the seminar, which will begin at 10 a.m. and will include an optional kosher lunch, is "Keeping Faith with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment." Beth Tfiloh is at 3300 Old Court Road, Pikesville.

The panelists include the Rev. Robert J. Drinan, S.J., a Roman Catholic priest and Georgetown law professor who is a former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Forest D. Montgomery, a spokesman for the National Association of Evangelicals who is on the Board of Editors of the Georgetown Law Journal.

The moderator will be Kenneth Lasson, a law professor at the University of Baltimore.

Father Drinan, an author and a columnist as well as a teacher with a reputation as a civil libertarian, was a liberal member of Congress from Massachusetts in 1971-1981. In 1980, in a controversial edict, Pope John Paul II ordered him to retire from politics, and the priest obeyed. The pope said that Catholic priests needed to stay free from partisan politics.

The association of evangelical Protestants, for which Mr. Montgomery is counsel in the Office of Public Affairs, has a membership of about 509,000 congregations in 75 Christian denominations.

The public is invited, and admission is free, but reservations should be made by calling 486-1900. The cost of the optional lunch is $11.25.

Black farmers:

Black Roman Catholics in Baltimore and the District of Columbia have joined with black farmers in South Carolina to sponsor a Thanksgiving week Farmer's Market from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at St. Frances Academy, 501 E. Chase St.

The sale of produce was planned in accordance with the principle of "ujaama" -- or collective economics -- encouraged by the National Black Catholic Congress and sponsored by the Office of African American Catholic Ministries of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

The market day will begin with a blessing of the food at 8 a.m., said Therese Wilson Favors, director of the office.

She said that members of at least five black Catholic groups in Baltimore will assist with the Farmer's Market. They are the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of St. Peter Claver, the New Horizon Men's Group of St. Francis Xavier, the Men in the Hood Organization of St. Edward's Church, the Oblate Sisters of Providence and the Parent-Teacher Association of St. Frances Academy.

A similar cooperative venture involving urban and rural black Catholics was organized last November in Philadelphia.

Information: 625-8472.

Ferris Lecture:

Ann Kaiser Stearns, author and psychologist, will deliver the annual Ferris Lecture at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Baltimore's Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 811 Cathedral St.

Her subject is "Courage in Crisis: The Triumphant Survivor." The public is invited, and admission is free.

Books by Dr. Stearns include "Counseling the Grieving Person" and "Living Through Personal Crisis."

Information: 685-1130.

New church:

The first service of a new church, described by its pastor as "creative" and "nondogmatic" and intended to serve the Pasadena and Gibson Island communities, will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Hall, 4494 Mountain Road in Pasadena.

All Souls Traditional Universalist Christian Church is "rooted in the Jewish and Christian heritage, with an eye for contemporary issues," said the Rev. Neil Patrick Carrick, the pastor.

Information: 223-6352.

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