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Tuesday Tabletalk to discuss role of ritual in faith traditions

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The third Tuesday Tabletalk will be held on March 20 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Dominican Center (DCM). DCM is located at 2025 Fulton Street East, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503.
<center><strong>Panelists for March Tuesday Tabletalk</strong></center>

Panelists for March Tuesday Tabletalk

Underwriting support from:

Map for DCM parking and entry.

Map for DCM parking and entry. /Dominican Center at Marywood

In celebration of Interfaith 2012, the third Tuesday Tabletalk will be held on March 20 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Dominican Center  (DCM). DCM is located at 2025 Fulton Street East, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503. Parking is free and the DCM area is barrier free. See map at right.

Participants will dine at round tables of eight, comprised of persons from varying faith traditions. The evening will include a brief presentation on themes common to most faith traditions, followed by a discussion among dinner companions as well as large group Q and A.

The March session will focus on The Role of Ritual. The following people will represent their faith traditions: 

Sheldon Kopperl has taught at GVSU since 1970, where he is a member of the Biomedical Sciences and Liberal Studies Departments. GVSU is introducing, in the fall 2012 semester, a new Religious Studies Major and Minor program, and he is on the Advisory Committee of this program. The subjects he has taught at GVSU include history of science, art history, and of most relevance, Judaism and Introduction to Religious Studies. He serves as a lay adult and religious school educator at Temple Emanuel of Grand Rapids, a Reform Jewish congregation of nearly 300 families. When the Rabbi is unavailable, he will lead the weekly Torah Study group and several times a year has conducted Friday evening services. He is also treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Dialogue Association of Grand Rapids.

Reverend Diane Maodush-Pitzer was ordained in the Reformed church in America and is currently the Program Coordinator for Religious Studies at Grand Valley State University – this is a new major/minor beginning in the fall of 2012.  She is a professor in this program and in Liberal Studies. Formerly, she was the founding director of WITNESS, a non-profit organization working to bring women into leadership in the church; a Parish Pastor; and also a faculty member at Western Theological Seminary. She is committed to ecumenical and interfaith work and is the Co-Host of Soundings, which is a weekly radio program dealing with ecumenical and interfaith issues

Venerable Deokwun Russell Pitts oversees the Grand Rapids Zen Center and Buddhist Temple in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Center is under his spiritual guidance.  Sunim, as he is called, is a father of five adult children and the grandfather of six. Having a family is in keeping with the Taego Order principles and part of the Mahayana Buddhist teachings that the clergy should concentrate on as being fully present and active in the world.  Venerable Deokwun is a former naval officer, attorney, and college and high school teacher. 

Doctor Sharif Ahmad Sahibzada is currently the Director/ Shaikh/Ul Jami’/Imam at the Islamic Center of West Michigan and Masjid of Grand Rapids. He received his BA in English from the University of Punjab, Lahore Pakistan; MA in Arabic, Islamic Studies and Oriental Learning from the University of Leeds in England; and his PhD from the University of Leeds in England. In addition, Dr. Sahibzada belongs to the academic family that has constant devotion to serve humanity, spiritually and academically, having an expert scholarly approach in the field of Islamic Sciences since 1850CE (150 Years). He represents the third generation of this family of academicians. He has served as Lecturer/A-Professor (College & University), Director, Principal, Education Officer, Teacher, Consultant on Islamic Affairs (Muslims & Non Muslims in Asia, Europe, North America), Imam in the Mosques, Director in The Islamic Centers, Evening Schools, Moderators, Guest Speaker in the Seminars, Public gatherings and conferences. Dr. Sahibzada says, “I have inclination and devotion to serve religion & the humanity for its true guidance to divine knowledge, peaceful motivation / Research Study/ Lecturing/ Seminars / Social Interaction with masses / General global awareness of the situation through media and personal contacts and also attended Interfaith Meetings.”

If you are unable to attend the March Tuesday Tabletalk, consider registering for one or both of our upcoming programs, which will run the third Tuesday of April and May. The cost for each Tuesday Tabletalk is $10.00 and includes all fees for the program and dinner. With respect to all religious dietary customs, vegetarian meals will be served.

Dates and topics of upcoming Tuesday Tabletalk sessions are:

April 17, 2012          Mystics and Mystical Traditions
May 15, 2012           Origin of Life

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, as seating is limited. To register, call be(616) 454-1241  end_of_the_skype_highlighting(Option 5); or, for online registration for the March program, visit  .

Submitted by: Rosemary Barber-Steers, Dominican Center at Marywood

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