The Shalom Center in Mount Airy will host its Prophetic Voices celebration will Sunday April 6, 2008 at Congregation Mishkan Shalom, 1401Freeland Avenue, Roxborough.
This year three national religious leaders along with three local leaders are being honored. National honorees are Ruth Messinger, head of the Jewish World Service who built a multi-religious campaign to end the genocide in Darfur; Reverend Bob Edgar, former Pennsylvania Congressman, now head of Common Cause, who pioneered in bringing the National Council of Churches into much fuller dialogue and shared action with the Jewish and Muslim communities; and Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, Secretary General of the Islamic Society of North America, who has worked to bring somewhat insular American Muslim communities into partnership with the Jewish and Christian communities.
Three Philadelphia-area residents, who have also promoted multi-religious and multi-cultural efforts to bring about peace, justice and cooperation within their own religious communities and secular American life, will also be honored. They are Rabbi Rebecca Alpert, former Dean of Students at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, lesbian activist, author and academic who works for full equality of women and the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender communities; Iftekar Hussein, Chair of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who strives for civil rights, liberties and respect for the Muslim community through teaching courses on Islam at synagogues and churches; and Beth Stroud, former United Methodist minister who was “defrocked” by the Methodist church for her vigorous presence as an out lesbian and who continues to lead by example by continuing her ministry as a pastoral assistant at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Shalom Center Founder and Executive Director, hails the work and commitment of all of this year’s honorees. “These prophetic voices have not only spoken out for peace, justice, and the healing of our wounded earth within each of their own families of the larger Abrahamic family; they have also reached across the boundaries between the traditions to partner with people from other communities in these efforts.” (MORE)