Saturday, October 12, 2002

Hindus gather to celebrate bounty Earth provides


Faith matters

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

This weekend, more than 1,000 people from Greater Cincinnati and as far away as Indianapolis and Columbus will gather to celebrate the Earth.

Hindu celebrations of the Navratri, or nine nights, to honor Mataji, or Mother Earth, began Monday at the Hindu Temple of Greater Cincinnati in Newtown and will continue this weekend at the Sharonville Convention Center.

“This is a yearly event to celebrate victory over evil,” said Jitendra Patel, past president of the Hindu Temple of Greater Cincinnati. “It's a spiritual and religious event, teaching about the good things in the world and all that Mother Earth provides.”

The celebrations, including dance, music and traditional dress, were nightly this week at the Hindu Temple and Friday night at the Sharonville Convention Center. They continue there tonight as well, and return to the Temple Monday and Tuesday night.

“We recognize that for us to cultivate our lives through the soil and building, Mother Earth, like human women giving birth, has to suffer,” Mr. Patel said. “And we get together and ask for forgiveness and celebrate what she has given us.”

It provides an important religious event in honor of the Goddess, mother of the world, as well as a chance for younger American Hindus to connect with each other and with their heritage, he said.

Last weekend, area Hindus gathered at the Livingston Lodge in Indian Hill for Hindu Heritage Day. The event included a performance by a professional dance group, a presentation by the Hindu Mind Group, a children's presentation and dinner.

Immanuel United Methodist Church in Lakeside Park, Ky., SonRise Community Church in Milford, and Grace Chapel in Mason will each kick off “40 Days of Purpose” with a video from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. today.

The program, developed by the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., is designed to examine the question “What on earth am I here for?”

The activist and leader of the boycott against Cincinnati and pastor of New Prospect Baptist Church in Over-the-Rhine, the Rev. Damon Lynch III, will speak as part of the “Up Close and Personal” series at the AYS cafi in Madisonville.

Several community leaders, including City Manager Valerie Lemmie, have spoken as part of the series, sponsored by Melody Maker Ministries.

The event is free and open to the public from 8 to 10 p.m. Oct. 17 at the cafi, 5910 Madison Road in Madisonville.

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The Society of St. Vincent DePaul is asking people to consider donating their old cars to the society this year and take a tax deduction in April.

The vehicles are sold at auction and the proceeds are used to help families in need of food, clothing, shelter and job training.

For information, call 513-421-2273, or go to www.svdpcincinnati.org.

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St. Paul United Church of Christ will host a turkey dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at the church. The annual event will include a quilt raffle as well as the traditional homemade dinner and dessert.

For more religion listings, check out Enquirer.com, keyword: events. Send religion news to kvance@fuse.net, or fax to 755-4150.



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