Purple Perspectives

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Purple Perspectives: Conversations on Religious Traditions
A Lenten Soup & Salad Dinner Series

Soup and salad dinner begins at 6 pm; presentations 6:30-7:30 pm.

  • Explore the beliefs and practices of various religious traditions.

  • Discover the ways in which we are similar in our approach to God in worship, prayer, and faith formation.

  • Explore the differences as a means of continuing the interfaith dialogue in our community.

  • Hear from representatives of different faith traditions, as well as clergy from other Christian denominations, who will engage us in conversation designed to enhance our journey through Lent. 

Feb. 19 – A Call to Common Mission
The Rev. Dr. Donald P. Kreiss, Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Southeast Michigan Synod, explains “Called to Common Mission,” the name of the unique agreement adopted in 1999 between the ELCA and The Episcopal Church, establishing a relationship of full communion and opening the way for cooperative mission efforts between the two churches. Ordained in 1992, Kreiss pastored two Michigan churches and served as a cluster dean in the Southeast Michigan Synod. He is a member of the alumni board of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and the Farmington-area Interfaith Association. He was installed as bishop in 2011.

Feb. 26 – Faith in the Neighborhood: Belief and Practice in Multi-religious Michigan
Dr. Lucinda Mosher, a noted expert on America’s religious diversity, gives us a glimpse of the notions of the divine and the devotional practices according to some of the many religion communities in metro Detroit. Dr. Mosher is Faculty Associate for Interfaith Studies at Hartford Seminary, founding instructor for the annual Worldviews Seminar at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and author of the three-volume Faith in the Neighborhood series from Seabury Books.

March 5 – The Hindu Religion: Philosophy and Practice
Anil Hingwe brings his knowledge of the Hindu scriptures to the podium as he presents the Hindu faith tradition. A member of the Bharatiya Temple in Troy, Anil conducts weddings and worship ceremonies as a service to the community. Formerly the CEO and President of Bharat Forge America in Lansing, he is currently a global business adviser for various companies.

March 12 – Greek Orthodox Traditions
Fr. Michael N. Varlamos, Proistamenos of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in St. Clair Shores, offers insight into the beliefs and practices of the Greek Orthodox tradition. He is a distinguished leader in the Orthodox Church, earning the highest priestly rank a married clergyman can attain. During his first pastorate in Plymouth, MI, membership grew from 80 to 300 families in five years. He has overseen the reconstruction of Assumption after fire destroyed a number of icons and furnishings, and directs newly ordained priests working under his guidance there. Chairman of the Diocesan Greek Language and Culture Committee, he earned a master’s degree in Classics and ancient civilizations of the Greeks and Romans. 

March 19 – Sikhism 101
Jaspal Neelam is a CPA and an active member of the Sikh community, participating in youth and education activities. Her involvement in the metro-Detroit interfaith community includes regular participation in the Troy Interfaith Group, the World Sabbath and WISDOM (Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in Metro Detroit). Jaspal has been a panelist on the television program Interfaith Odyssey for the last seven years. Her presentation will inform us on the Sikh faith tradition, the fifth largest in the world with more than 25 million followers.


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