The 2012 Festival of Faiths, November 14-18, has the theme of “Sacred Fire: Light of Compassion.” Events examine compassion in our community, stewardship of natural resources, and the effects of such stewardship on the health and wellbeing of community members.
In a pre-Festival celebration, The Temple will host a Seder of Sacred Fire at 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 11, at the Klein Center. This special Seder incorporates the “sweets of the earth” – fruit, nuts, and chocolate – as well as soup and bread. It will emphasize the images of light and compassion in the Bible and in Jewish Worship. Rabbis Joe Rooks Rapport and Gaylia R. Rooks will lead the event. Children are welcome. The event is free of charge, but reservations are required.
Other environmentally focused events include a discussion of renewable energy with solar energy expert and “Solar Roadway” co-inventor Scott Brusaw; a talk by the Rev. Canon Sally Bingham on the morality and environmental, social, and practical benefits of energy efficiency, followed by a facilitated discussion of practical measures for implementation; a talk about Nuclear Weapons and the Future of Civilization by Thomas Graham, Jr., a former senior U.S. diplomat and the Executive Chairman of the Lightbridge Corporation; and many activities and programs for children, youth, and families.
Compassion and social justice are the themes of a workshop for creating motivating symbols for social justice action, as well as several keynote addresses and panel discussions on issues from homelessness to compassion in congregations. Speakers include Professor Larry Rasmussen, the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary; the Rev. Ben Guess, Executive Director of Local Church Ministries for the United Church of Christ; James Doty, M.D., founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University; and the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, co-author of the national Charter for Compassion and Director of the Department of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution.
Other events include a Hindu Havan Ceremony and a choral competition of choirs and choral groups from across all age ranges and civic and religious affiliations.
The Festival of Faiths has nearly two decades of interfaith thought and action, and this year promises to be one of the most relevant to our community and to the Louisville community as a whole. These and other Festival events offer opportunities for individuals and families to become involved in the Metro-wide community of faith, and in doing so, to deepen their ties to their own communities of faith.
Many events are free, but most require tickets for planning purposes. Visit the Festival’s website, www.FestivalofFaiths.org, for a complete schedule and event tickets.