During the month of October, the Glendale City Church will host an ecumenical lecture series that brings together clergy from the three historic Abrahamic faith traditions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Entitled, “A New World: Abrahamic Faiths’ Hopes for Salvation,” the series will feature an imam from the Shia Muslim tradition; a priest with the Armenian Western Diocese; a rabbinical counselor; and an anthropology professor of Protestant Christian heritage.
The focus of the lectures will be on each faith’s historic teachings on their shared hope in a future world free of evil and suffering. What does each tradition historically teach about God’s intervention to save this world from evil? How does each tradition understand divine intervention in its contemporary teaching? What do they believe is humanity’s responsibility in bringing about a new world? How does each tradition help its followers carry out this responsibility? Where can the three faiths unite in their work as they look forward to this new world?
Glendale City Church is a Seventh-day Adventist congregation with a 112-year presence in Glendale. It is a congregation passionate about building relationships across religious, cultural and political divides. Todd Leonard, senior pastor, shares why hosting this event is important to his church: “One of the important shifts that has taken place in our congregation is the moving away from an attitude of ‘We’ve got answers to all your spiritual questions,’ to a posture of ‘We have so many questions. We believe we can learn from you. Come and share your spiritual experience with us. Please, help us grow.’”
Johnny Ramirez-Johnson, event organizer and presenter, shares why he wanted this type of dialogue to take place. “My Protestant tradition has emphasized a fear-mongering theology that results in a kind of fatalistic lethargy among those in my tradition.” Rather than bringing good news to suffering people today, he says, we’ve been, “sitting around telling stories about an apocalyptic end and a far-away heaven to come.” He concludes by saying, “What encourages me is that my friends and colleagues from other traditions are seeing similar issues, and are courageously calling their fellow believers to actively work towards a new world, today. Thus getting ready for the New World ought to be our present focus. Before God returns to give us our promised deliverance, we are expected to act for the least among us.”
The lectures and companion question-and-answer luncheons are free and open to the public. For more information about the event, people are invited to visit www.GlendaleCityChurch.org/a-new-world
Each Saturday in October: Presentation at 11:00 am, Complimentary Q&A Luncheon at 12:30 pm
• October 6: Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini, Islamic Educational Center of Orange County • October 13: Father Vazken Movsesian, Western Diocese of the Armenian Church • October 20: Rabbi Susan S. Conforti, Auburn Pastoral Counseling • October 27: Dr. Johnny Ramirez-Johnson, Fuller Theological Seminary & Glendale City Church
Press Conference with Presenters
• Thursday, October 4, 10:00 am, Glendale City Church • For press passes, contact Victoria Lucero, secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org • For all other media inquiries, contact Todd Leonard: email@example.com, 818-441-3364