On Faith

On Faith: All invited to New Hope homecoming

August 13, 2013 

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Rabbi John Friedman will retire in 2015 after 35 years leading Judea Reform Congregation in Durham.

CHUCK LIDDY — Chuck Liddy

Homecoming Sunday, Aug. 25, at New Hope Presbyterian Church will feature speaker the Rev. Byron Wade, a former vice moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly.

Wade has been the pastor of Davie Street Presbyterian in Raleigh since 1996.

He has been active in the Raleigh community serving as president of the InterFaith Prison Ministry, president of the board of directors of the InterFaith Prison Ministry for Women, on the board of Habitat for Humanity Wake County and the Haven House Services, a nonprofit that provides community-based services to at-risk youth and their families in Wake County.

Organized in 1756, New Hope is one of the oldest churches in Orange County.

The homecoming service will begin at 11 a.m. A potluck lunch will follow in the fellowship hall. All are invited.

Membership at New Hope is about 200, according to the pastor, the Rev. Kerri Hefner, who has served this congregation since January .

Buddhist meditation

Kosala Mahayana Buddhist Center in Carrboro will hold meditation classes this month.

A Mala Making Workshop is set for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 24. Participants will learn the traditional Buddhist technique for making a mala, a string of beads used to count prayers or for mantra recitation.

The cost for the workshop is $20 and will include materials for making a mala. The cost for students is $12. Register in advance by emailing Monica Heiser at Kosala IPC@gmail.com or visit MeditationinChapelHill.org for more information.

General Meditation Class is held every Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $10, $7 for students and seniors.

This class is tailored for anyone interested in learning about the Buddhist way of meditating and thinking about life’s opportunities and challenges. The purpose is to help anyone find peace and happiness in everyday life. These self-contained classes give a basic introduction to Buddhist philosophy, psychology and meditation.

Classes are on a drop-in basis so participants need not sign up for the whole course. Usually this class is taught by Gen Tilopa but the summer classes are being taught by David Rademacher and David Fernandez, two of Tilopa’s students.

Meditation 101 meets from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Tuesdays. The class is free but donations are appreciated.

This class is an introduction to meditation and is suggested for beginners. A variety of meditation objects are taught and discussed to give students a collection of tools for keeping the mind peaceful. Walk-ins are welcome and questions are encouraged. Students should wear clothes for sitting comfortably. Cushions, couches and chairs are provided.

Kosala Buddhist Center is at 711 W. Rosemary St., Suite E, Carrboro, upstairs above Carrburritos.

Ramadan confusion

An ongoing disagreement among Muslims around the world about the day on which the month-long observance of Ramadan ends should be reconciled.

This would end confusion for ordinary Muslims as well as for people outside the Muslim community who are engaged in business or diplomatic relationships with Muslims, according to Ebrahim Moosa, professor of Religion and Islamic Studies at Duke University.

On Aug. 8, some Muslims were still on holiday observing Eid with friends and family, while others were fasting and carrying on with normal business.

Islamic scholars disagree about how to determine the end of the month of Ramadan, which is followed by the holiday of Eid al-fitr.

One school of thought, based in North America, uses an astronomical calculation to say it should have ended on Wednesday, Aug. 7. Another school of thought, based in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf area, relies on sightings of a crescent moon. Muslims in Pakistan and India use the sighting method but may have celebrated Eid last Friday or Saturday, depending on whether or not they saw a crescent moon on Thursday, Aug. 9.

“My own view is it would be best for Muslims to adopt a scientifically based lunar calendar that would be predictable and certain,” Moosa said. “I think many more lay Muslims are adopting this view and hopefully this will become the new consensus.”

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