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News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 | Fax (410) 516-5251

February 20, 2002
CONTACT: Amy Cowles
(410) 516-7800

Open Hands Open Hearts:
Exploring Diverse Faith Traditions

A Celebration of Religion and Spirituality at Johns Hopkins University

Lectures, digital media presentations and a medieval labyrinth will mark The Johns Hopkins University's first religious awareness days, March 4 through 13. The 10-day celebration, "Open Hands, Open Hearts: Exploring Diverse Faith Traditions," aims to explore various faiths while examining issues facing modern religious communities.

Open Hands, Open Hearts is a collaborative effort between Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus Interfaith Council and Campus Ministries, as well as student representatives from a variety of Hopkins faith-based organizations.

"The very notion of setting aside a few days to publicly discuss matters of faith was one that excited the Interfaith Council before Sept. 11," said Sharon Kugler, Johns Hopkins' chaplain and director of the Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center. "After Sept. 11, it fueled their souls. It has never been more important to look at ourselves and others with an eye towards deepening our mutual understanding. It has never been more critical for religious communities to refocus on cooperation and invite others to do the same."

On March 11, a meditative labyrinth will be installed in the Glass Pavilion for the day, commemorating the six months that have passed since the attacks of Sept. 11. Walking the winding path is meant to inspire reflection and contemplation.

"Open Hands, Open Hearts is an invitation to listen with an open mind, not just with your ears, but also with your eyes, with your feet, with your hands, and with your heart," says Johns Hopkins sophomore Sarah Berkson, founder and coordinator of the program. "I hope that these events may encourage us to go deeper into our own questions and journey hand-in-hand with other wanderers from different paths. I hope and believe that this is how we start the work of recovery from a long history of past abuses and develop a context for building peace."

Following is a list of events open to the Johns Hopkins community. All events are free unless noted. For more information about these events, call the Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center at (410) 261-1880, email at ohandohearts@hotmail.com, or go to www.jhu.edu/~chaplain/.

Monday, March 4, 8 p.m.
Student Digital Media Presentation
Shaffer 3

In December 2001, Johns Hopkins students were provided grants to create digital media projects exploring questions of religion and spirituality, such as such as mediation practices and their benefits and freedom of opinion in the Islamic faith. The artists will discuss the realization of their artistic visions.

Tuesday, March 5, 7 p.m.
Rabbi Shira L. Lander, "What Makes a Sacred Space Sacred?"
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, 3509 N. Charles St.

A former Homewood campus rabbi, Lander is a dissertation fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. From 1990-94, Rabbi Lander worked at the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies in Baltimore. She currently teaches at the University of Maryland and the Ecumenical Institute of St. Mary's Seminary, where she received the Dunning Distinguished Lectureship Award.

Wednesday, March 6, 8 p.m.
Campus Ministers Panel Discussion: Peace-Making in Different Religious Traditions
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, 3509 N. Charles St.

Can different religious traditions, each claiming to be the true faith, come together and work towards a greater peace? How do various faiths make peace with one another? Ministers from the Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus will address these and other questions in an open panel discussion.

Thursday, March 7, 12:30 p.m.
Brown Bag Luncheon: Meet the Interfaith Council
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, 3509 N. Charles St.

Faculty and staff are invited to come and meet Chaplain Kugler and the Interfaith Council, a group of student representatives from different faith perspectives sharing one common vision: to work towards establishing a cooperative community spirit among religious groups and to dispel myths and misunderstandings that others may hold about the various religions, faiths, and belief systems. Kosher lunch will be provided.

Thursday, March 7, 6 p.m.
Mind-body Workshop
Student Recreation Center (J-card ID required)

Tsang Fan will lead an interactive workshop, introducing participants to T'ai Chi Chuan, a traditional Chinese form of mind-body-spirit practice. Fan began studying T'ai Chi 20 years ago in Chen Jiagou, Henan, China, and has taught privately in Japan for over ten years.

Friday, March 8, 5:45 p.m.
Shabbat Dinner
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, 3509 N. Charles St.

JHU Hillel, Campus Ministries, and the dean of student life sponsor a traditional Jewish Shabbat dinner with kosher Chinese food.

Friday, March 8, 7 p.m.
Muslim Student Association Banquet
Glass Pavilion

The Muslim Student Association holds its annual banquet in the Glass Pavilion celebrating Eid-ul-fitr, the celebration after the month of Ramadan, and also Eid-ul-Adha, which commemorates the pilgrimage season. Featured speaker for the event is Salam Al-Marayati, director and one of the founders of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a public service agency aimed at disseminating accurate information about Islam to the American public. Al-Marayati has written extensively on Islam, human rights, democracy, Middle East politics, the Balkan crisis and the Transcaucus conflict. Tickets are $10, and can be purchased in advance at Wolman Hall and Terrace Caf‚. Chinese and Iranian food served.

Saturday, March 9
Circle K Day of Service
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, 3509 N. Charles St.

Circle K, an international organization of college and university students with a lifelong commitment to community service worldwide, will sponsor a day of service in the Baltimore community. Time to be announced. Meet at the Levering Union, transportation provided.

Saturday, March 9, 8 p.m.
"Princess Mononoke" screening and discussion
Mudd Auditorium

Drawing from Japanese folklore, this acclaimed anime film features the voices of actors Billy Crudup, Minnie Driver, and Claire Danes. Discussion of the film and earth-centered religion to follow.

Sunday, March 10, 5 p.m.
Sandwich Sunday
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, 3509 N. Charles St.

Join the Johns Hopkins communities of faith for their monthly sandwich making. Lunches are donated to the Maryland Community Resource Center to assist its effort to fight hunger among low-income people living with HIV and AIDS. Volunteers also welcome for delivery on Monday mornings.

Sunday, March 10, 6 p.m.
Multi-cultural Women's Seder
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, 3509 N. Charles St.

All women are invited to participate in this unique multicultural seder. Participants will share their experiences as women and as people of faith and the relationship between these two identities. Men are also welcome.

Monday, March 11, 9 a.m.- 8 p.m.
The Labyrinth: A Walking Meditation
Glass Pavilion

The labyrinth has long stood as a metaphor for life's journey, combining the senses of unity and purposeful wandering into a complicated and beautiful symbol. Labyrinths were first constructed in ancient Greece and have since been passed from culture to culture.

Tuesday, March 12, 7 p.m.
Dr. Andrew Newberg,"Why God Won't Go Away?"
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, 3509 N. Charles St.

In this age of science, of rigorous rationality, why do people still believe in God? Director of Clinical Nuclear Medicine, director of NeuroPET Research, and assistant professor in the Department of Radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Newberg will give his perspective on the relationship between faith and psychology.

Wednesday, March 13, 7 p.m.
Buddhist service
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, 3509 N. Charles St.

Open Hands, Open Hearts will conclude with an introduction to Buddhist meditation and a short service called the Heart Sutra, led by Hoji Scott, minister of the Johns Hopkins University Buddhist Society.

Ongoing Weekly Religious Services
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, 3509 N. Charles St.

Muslim Prayer - five times daily in Interfaith Center Prayer Room

Roman Catholic Mass - Sundays, March 3 and 10, 11 a.m., upper level

Hindu Aarthi - Sundays, March 3 and 10, 11 a.m., lower level

Taize Service - Sunday, March 3, 5 p.m., upper level. Followed by dinner.

Buddhist Samu/Zazen - Monday, March 4 through Thursday, March 7, 9 - 10 a.m., upper level

Unitarian Universalist Group Meetings - Tuesdays, March 5 and 12, 5 p.m., Interfaith Center Library

Lutheran Bible Study - Thursday, March 7, 5 p.m., Interfaith Center Library

Jumah Prayers - Friday, March 8, 1:15 p.m., upper level

Shabbat Services - Friday, March 8, 5:45 p.m., followed by dinner.
Saturday, March 9, 11:30 a.m., Shabbat brunch

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