Saturday, April 27, 2002

Faith Matters


Meditation center opens

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        When her husband died after less than two years of marriage, Heesoon Choi struggled with what to do with the inheritance money.

        “I didn't feel like it was mine to keep,” says the Korean native. “I wanted to do something that would be lasting and honor his life.”

        She purchased last year a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse in Independence, Ky. After a year of remodeling and work, the building reopened in February as the Gomang Meditation and Dharma Center, a place for Buddhists to worship, learn and meditate together.

        At the opening service, Ms. Choi knew she had done the right thing.

        “I felt like I had paid my dues to my teacher and my husband,” says the 36-year-old woman. “I feel like I paid a ton of debt off to (my husband) because he did so many good things for me.”

        Another indicator of the Tristate's increasingly diverse religious communities, the center attracts 15 to 20 people every Sunday for meditation and education.

        The center is hosting two special events:

        Todayis Unity: East and West Reunified, at Fort Ancient State Memorial, 6123 Ohio 350, near Oregonia.

        From noon to 4 p.m., the Mekoce Shawnee Family Drum group will join with the Drepung Gomang monks for dancing, drumming and chanting.

        The event illustrates a common thread linking the Tibetan and American Indian culture, says Stacey Johnson, a Buddhist and Norwood resident. “We're all humankind, and we're all in this together.”

        Starting Sundayand running through May 3, Tibetan monks will create a sand mandala, a form of Buddhist art made from dyed sand.

        Opening ceremony is 2 p.m. Sunday at the Gomang meditation center in Independence, 5209-A Madison Pike. Donations welcome.

        Information: 859-356-3600.
       

Christian communion

        For 87 years, representatives of different Christian denominations have come together for an annual dinner and meeting to celebrate the spirit of ecumenism.

        On Tuesday, members of the Council of Christian Communions will gather again at Old St. George in Corryville. The council, with representatives from 13 denominations covering 850 churches, encourages ecumenical ministry and has a particular emphasis on education and justice programs.

        The council also will honor seven people for their faithful work. The Charles P. Taft Award will be given to:

        • Bishop Nathaniel Linsey, head of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a prayer warrior who has traveled the world, working to unite people.

        • Jim Wuenker, retired vice president of economic development, Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. He has pushed to keep the area YMCAs Christ-centered. Says the council's executive director, Joellen Grady, “He is not a man afraid to say, "Let me pray about it and get back with you.'”

        Recipients of the “Faith in Action” award are James Ballou, Lillian Eickman, Jim Hammond, Linda Hofmann and Anthony Munoz.

        Tickets are available. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at Old St. George, 42 Calhoun St. Cost is $35.

        Information: 513-559-3151.

        For more religion listings, check out www.enquirer.com, keyword: events. E-mail rthompson@enquirer.com or call 755-4144.

        For more religion listings, check out www.enquirer.com, keyword: events.

       



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