WXXI AM News

Religion

Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? Our panel takes an interfaith look at the holiday season, and the ways we communicate with each other.

Panelists representing Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faiths will present their own religious traditions during an upcoming event, but first they discuss those traditions on Connections. We explore how faiths differ and what they have in common. We also discuss the often-invoked "War on Christmas" and the like. Our guests:

Community members from different faith-based groups are teaming up for an interfaith Thanksgiving service. The goal is to create partnerships going forward. The theme is "planting seeds for a peaceful election year."

The event's organizers join us to discuss the value of interfaith gatherings. In studio:

The Rochester Jewish Book Festival kicked off this weekend, and we preview an upcoming talk with author and educator Rabbi Ariel Burger. Rabbi Burger was a student of writer, professor, and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

Rabbi Burger joins us to discuss his book, “Witness,” in which he shares the lessons he learned from Wiesel. We also discuss how those lessons can be applied in 2019. Our guests:

The ImageOut Film Festival is back. The annual event presents LGBT arts and cultural experiences to promote awareness and foster dialogue. It kicks off this Thursday.

We preview this year's lineup, including a film called “For They Know Not What They Do,” which explores the evangelical church’s reaction to LGBTQ issues. We also discuss the film, "Unsettled," which tells the story of LGBTQ refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. after being persecuted in their home countries. Our guests:

We sit down with the new president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rev. Angela Sims. Sims is the institution’s first female president, and the first African American woman to lead a Rochester-area college. Her term began July 1, after the retirement of Rev. Marvin McMickle.

Sims is a Baptist minister and author, who says one of her goals is to build on Colgate’s social justice efforts. She joins us in studio to share her vision, her goals, and to address the role of faith and religion in the current social and political climate.

Author Sonja Livingston is back in studio to discuss her newest work, a collection of essays called "The Virgin of Prince Street." It's an exploration into a personal journey: her rediscovery of her childhood church and religion.

We talk to Livingston about faith and devotion during a time when organized religion is losing followers.

Why go to church in 2019? It’s a question we explore with the new senior minister of First Unitarian Church of Rochester, Revered Shari Halliday-Quan, and with Revered Lane Campbell, the settled minister at First Universalist Church of Rochester.

Halliday-Quan grew up in Los Angeles among a multicultural extended family before moving to New York City, where she met her wife, an opera singer. She and Campbell share their personal journeys to the church and their unique ministries. We also discuss Universal Unitarianism, faith, social justice, and more. In studio:

We sit down with Rev. Marvin McMickle, the retiring president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. McMickle announced his plans to retire last year; his last day is Sunday.

We talk to him about a range of issues, including his accomplishments at Colgate, political discourse, equality, racism, religious freedom, and more. 

A young, gay activist in the United Methodist Church made headlines earlier this year when he appealed to the church to accept him and his LGBTQ peers. J.J. Warren is a student at Sarah Lawrence College and a certified candidate for ministry. At an annual conference in February, the church voted to uphold its ban on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage.

Warren is in town to speak at Asbury First United Methodist Church, which is considering leaving the denomination. He joins us on Connections, along with Reverend Stephen Cady from Asbury First. In studio:

A new book from a Swedish philosopher aims to give new meaning to atheism. Martin Hagglund argues that for too long, atheists have allowed their views to be maligned as having no sense of meaning. Instead, he writes that when there is no everlasting life to come, every hour of every day becomes imbued with deep meaning. His book is not only a call for a reevaluation of meaning; it’s a call for a fresh look at economic systems that allow some people more freedom of time than others.

Our guests discuss it:

  • Matthew Brown, family doctor in Rochester
  • Lawrence Torcello, associate professor in the department of philosophy at RIT

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