Saturday, August 10, 2002

Faith Matters

Branch of Judaism discussed

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

        With two Jewish holidays around the corner — Rosh Hashanah on Sept. 6 and Yom Kippur on Sept. 16 — one local congregation is hoping to introduce its brand of Judaism to the community: “Judaism with a Humanistic Perspective.”

        Congregation Beth Adam is hosting “An Evening with the Rabbi” Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The congregation, which practices a form of Judaism similar in philosophy to Reform, is the only Humanistic Jewish congregation in the Tristate.

        “We look at Judaism through a modern lens and give expression to what it means to be a human being dealing with the past, present and the future,” said Rabbi Robert Barr. “We're confronted with all kinds of scientific breakthroughs, cloning, genetic mapping, robotics.”

        The congregation, which writes its own liturgy, has about 300 adult members. It has been in the area for 22 years but moved into its first permanent home, at 10001 Loveland-Madeira Road, just last year. The group hopes the informal discussion about the philosophy of the synagogue will help people learn whether this form of Judaism is for them.

        “Modernity has transformed our world, and our religion needs to reflect that,” Rabbi Barr said.

        For more information, call 985-0400.

        Garden dedication

        A new meditation and memorial garden will be dedicated Sunday at the First United Church of Christ in College Hill.

        The memorial, made possible by $35,000 in fund-raising efforts, features a Japanese-style garden, multi-level pond, and bell tower.

        The dedication ceremony will be at 6 p.m. at the bell tower within the garden at 5808 Glenview Ave.

        Gas giveaway

        One area church is trying a different way to spread God's message: The First Baptist Church of Amelia is giving away gas beginning at 9:30 a.m. this morning at the Speedway Gas Station at Main Street and Chapel Road in Amelia.

        “It's just a simple way to show God's love and reach out to our community,” Pastor David Prather said.

        More than 20 volunteers will be on hand to pass out church literature along with $3 coupons toward the purchase of gas. The church has set aside $700 for the project.

        For more religion listings, see, keyword:events

        Send religion news to or fax to 755-4150.


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