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Cincinnati Faith Community Kicks Off 4th Annual Festival of Faiths 

 

More than 50 organizations unite for a week of diverse programming aimed at interfaith celebration and collaboration

 

CINCINNATI, OH – August 22, 2021 – The 4th Annual Cincinnati Festival of Faiths officially begins today with the Opening Interfaith Devotional Observance, an online spiritual gathering that brings together leaders from diverse religious communities of the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region. Today’s event marks the beginning of a weeklong calendar of events, including interfaith prayers, music, spiritual meditations, lunchtime webinars about faith, workshops for teachers and spiritual leaders, a panel discussion for youth, and more. For a complete listing of events, days & times, and Zoom sign-up links for each, please visit https://www.equasion.org/festival-of-faiths/calendar-of-activities/.

 

“Yes, COVID is still with us as well as a divisive political climate, but so is the antidote – the Cincinnati Festival of Faiths, which presents the interfaith community’s example of how we should treat and care for one another, and how we should accept our differences with respect and civility,” said Chip Harrod, Executive Director of EquaSion, the nonprofit organization behind the Festival of Faiths. “This week, Cincinnatians will have the opportunity to witness interfaith relations at their best: representatives of 13 world religions cooperating in presenting prayer, spiritual meditations, social action, religious education, music, and sacred activism. I urge everyone to treat themselves to the inspiring moments of positivity and hope offered by the Festival of Faiths.”

 

In its fourth year and in response to the lingering threat of the pandemic, the Festival will again be presented virtually. More than 50 community leaders joined this year’s Festival of Faiths Co-Chairs Penny Pensak, Afreen Asif, Bishop Marvin Thomas Sr., and Jaipal Singh to create 15 interfaith inspirational events with broad appeal for communities, families, and individuals.

 

The Festival was financially supported by 50 different businesses, corporations, community organizations, and faith communities to make this year’s virtual programming possible and to support the year-long work of EquaSion’s other programs. This year’s generous sponsors to date include:

 

 

For more information about the Festival, including complete programming and registration details, visit www.cincifestivaloffaiths.org.

 

 


Festival of Faiths Volunteers Create 3500+ Power Packs for Kids Over 120 Hours at Freestore Foodbank 

The past year has been one of unprecedented need for the Freestore Foodbank. They were giving away a million pounds of food a week during the worst part of the pandemic. When the pandemic started, the Ohio National Guard was brought in to do the sorting and packing previously done by volunteers, but now that things are opening up more, the National Guard has left, and the Freestore is once again be in great need of volunteers.

Thanks to the generosity and volunteering of the Festival of Faiths Steering Committee, we were able to commit to creating Power Packs for children. These Power Packs, given to children at school on Fridays, ensure that the recipients will have something to eat over the weekends.  More than 5,000 children in more than 108 participating schools receive Power Packs from the Freestore Foodbank each week.

We committed to filling a total of 40 volunteer shifts over 4 sessions and we came through with 48 shifts! At 2.5 hours per session, that’s 120 volunteer hours.

On 8/10, we packed 913 Power Packs for hungry kids. On 8/12, we packed 943 boxes, for a total of 1,856 boxes so far. By the time we’re finished, that number should be around 3,700.

Way to go, Volunteers! This is Compassion Through Action!



Fourth Annual Festival of Faith Programming Announced

“Compassion Through Action: We’re In This Together” Theme Focuses on Community and Unity during August 22-28 Virtual Event

 

CINCINNATI, OH – The Greater Cincinnati community will once again unite during the Fourth Annual Festival of Faiths event, held virtually this year from August 22-28, 2021. EquaSion, the organization formerly known as the Bridges of Faith Trialogue, this week announced the full programming for the weeklong virtual Festival.

 

The Festival is free and open to the public and features faith-based conversations, dialogues, workshops, medications, and music programs. More than 30 faith organizations representing 13 world religions are represented in the week’s activities, which are led by this year’s Festival Co-Chairs Penny Pensak, Afreen Asif, Bishop Marvin Thomas Sr., and Jaipal Singh as well as volunteers from various diverse groups.

 

“Our theme, “Compassion Through Action: We’re In This Together,” is especially poignant given the challenges our communities have faced over the past year from COVID-19, racial injustices, social uprisings, and more,” said Chip Harrod, Executive Director of EquaSion. “This year’s Steering Committee has worked hard to create an opportunity for people of all backgrounds, religions, traditions, and faiths to come together and celebrate one another in a safe and welcoming environment. It’s our hope that individuals and families everywhere feel invited to join us.”

 

For the first time, the Festival is honoring a local individual as Honorary Chair of the Festival.  To inaugurate this recognition, the EquaSion board selected James P. Buchanan, Ph.D., the recently retired Executive Director of the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University. Dr. Buchanan, a widely recognized scholar and civic leader, has devoted twenty years to promoting interfaith education, dialogue and collaboration both locally and nationally. He is currently the director of Interfaith Cincy and A Blessing to One Another and serves on the boards of numerous charitable organizations.

 

Public programming begins on Sunday, August 22, 2021, and runs through Saturday, August 28, 2021. All events and services are free and open to the public, but advanced reservations are required for participation. The entire Calendar of Activities and links to register for all events during the 4th Annual Festival of Faiths is available at www.cincifestivaloffaiths.org.

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To download a PDF copy of this release, click here.


4th Annual Festival of Faiths  Acknowledges “We are in it Together”

 

Registration is Open as Hundreds Sign-up for Online Events Starting Sunday, August 22nd at EquaSion.org

CINCINNATI, OH – July 26, 2021 – The 4th Annual Cincinnati Festival of Faiths, the signature program of the interfaith group EquaSion, is drawing hundreds of online participants for a 7-day program, August 22 through 28. This year’s theme, “Compassion Through Action: We are in it Together,” will deliver a program filled with interfaith prayer, music, spiritual meditations, lunchtime webinars about faith, workshops for teachers and spiritual leaders, a panel discussion for youth, and more. Click Here to view the entire 2021 schedule of programs.

In its fourth year and in response to the lingering threat of the pandemic, the Festival will again be presented virtually.  More than 50 community leaders joined this year’s Festival of Faiths Co-Chairs Penny Pensak, Afreen Asif, Bishop Marvin Thomas Sr., and Jaipal Singh to create 15 events with broad appeal for communities of faith, families, and all individuals seeking inspiration from the collegial and respectful interfaith relations they will witness throughout the weeklong festival.

For the first time, the Festival is honoring a local individual as Honorary Chair of the Festival.  To inaugurate this recognition, the EquaSion board selected James P. Buchanan, Ph.D., the recently retired Executive Director of the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University.   Dr. Buchanan, a widely recognized scholar and civic leader, has devoted twenty years to promoting interfaith education, dialogue and collaboration both locally and nationally.  He is currently the director of Interfaith Cincy and A Blessing to One Another and serves on the boards of numerous charitable organizations.

The Festival activities will again embrace the 30 faith communities and 13 world religions that have participated in previous festivals. A few highlights include:

  • An Opening Interfaith Devotional involving prayers from more than a dozen religious traditions
  • Spiritual Meditations practiced by 10 different faith traditions (3 sessions)
  • Social Action workshop, ”Faith and Food:  Moving from Insecurity to Sustainability”
  • Compassionate Conversations:  “What is the meaning of GRIT?”
  • Workshop on “How to be a Sacred Activist for Racial Justice”
  • Beloved Community Youth Panel Discussion on the topic of Food Insecurity
  • “People Got to Be Free” – An Interfaith Celebration in Music, Song and Dance, followed by the Closing Interfaith Devotional on August 28th at 4:45 pm.

For a complete listing of events, days & times, and Zoom sign-up links for each, please visit https://www.equasion.org/festival-of-faiths/calendar-of-activities/

 

About EquaSion

EquaSion is a nonpartisan civic association whose mission is to promote Compassion through Action: acting on our compassion, we engage people of all faiths to discover their shared humanity and spirituality, and to work together for an equitable and just community for all. Its signature program is the Cincinnati Festival of Faiths. For more information on EquaSion’s interfaith community and the Cincinnati Festival of Faiths, visit www.equasion.org.