Orlando Massacre – Press Release and Prayer Vigil Information

Prayer Vigil for the Victims of the Pulse (Orlando, FL) Night Club Massacre

pulse6pm Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Roger Williams National Memorial
282 North Main Street,  Providence

EVERYONE IS WELCOME

 

PRESS RELEASE (June 13, 2016)
RELIGIOUS COALITION FOR A VIOLENCE FREE RHODE ISLAND 

rel coalition violence free riOur nation is reeling in the wake of yet another horrific mass shooting, this time our nation’s deadliest. In response to this heinous event that ended at least fifty lives, left many more wounded, and broke hearts worldwide, we, the religious leaders of Rhode Island, call on our communities to pray for healing and wholeness amidst our brokenness. Empowered by our relationship to the Divine, we endeavor to stand up and speak out against all acts of violence.

As people of faith, we voice our loving support for the people of Orlando, the LGBTQ community and our Muslim neighbors. The terror that ensued has affected us all and we will not rest until we assure that such terror will not happen again.

We are inherently concerned about the increasing violence in our society and we commit to bringing it to an end. Working in solidarity we will move our nation from darkness to light. Together we will bring our communities from despair to hope. We will not give in to fear!

In the face of such hatred and anger, we are called to elevate love. We are called to pursue justice, and we are called to bring about an enduring peace for all people in all places, regardless of faith tradition, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Contact: Rev. Dr. Donald C. Anderson, Executive Minister
Rhode Island State Council of Churches
Office 401-461-5558
Cell 401-578-038
danderson@councilofchurchesri.org

Rev. Gene Dyszlewski
Religious Coalition for a Violence-Free Rhode Island
Office: 334-2999
Cell: 401-345-7291
edyszlewski@gmail.com

 

 

Orlando Club Pulse Massacre (June 12, 2016) – Islamic Response

The Rhode Island State Council of Churches will shortly be issuing a Press Release regarding the massacre at the the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, FL.  We will also have information regarding a prayer vigil (time and location) in support of the victims and survivors of the massacre.

Please visit the pages below for information and statements from the Islamic Community condemning the Orlando massacre:

Here is a video link to Council on America Islamic Relations (CAIR) National’s press conference: View HERE

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is outraged by the horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida.

We stand with the victims of this senseless act of violence and mourn with the families of the victims and pray for their ease and comfort during this time of difficulty. (Rest of Press Release HERE)

Statement – Hate Crimes – Cranston, May 25, 2016

The Cranston Clergy Association strongly condemns yesterday’s hate-filled vandalism in Cranston and stands solidly with all those gathered, including the Mayor and Chief of Police of Cranston and the many organizations represented today.

Although the hatred wasn’t specifically directed at Christians, we want our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters to know that the Christian community of Cranston condemns this act and stands with you today and every day.

The Cranston Clergy Association represents the wider religious community of Cranston. We are Jewish and Christian – and Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.

I also represent the RI State Council of Churches in both condemning this incident and supporting those gathered here today…Read rest of the Press Release HERE.

Rhode Island State Council of Churches Distributes Signs with Holiday Message to RI Muslim Community

ramadan signMay 24, 2016, Providence, RI – The Rhode Island State Council of Churches (RISCC) invites all faith communities to post free lawn signs that say “To our Muslim Neighbors: BLESSED RAMADAN.”  Ramadan is the month of the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset.  In 2016, it’s from June 6 to July 5.  This annual observance is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is performed to learn compassion, self-restraint, and generosity.

“From the current political atmosphere to neighborhood hate crimes, we see negativity directed against Muslims. But this is not who we are in Rhode Island.  When we are our best selves, we are a welcoming, caring, respectful community,” said Barbara Scott, the Council’s President. “Signs on our front lawns is one positive way to demonstrate a caring spirit towards Muslim Rhode Islanders…”

To get a free sign delivered to your address in Rhode Island, please email Paul Alexander at RISCCVolunteer@gmail.com with your contact information. The plastic signs are white with black type measuring 18 x 24 inches, similar to lawn signs used in political campaigns.

According to local Muslim scholars, one website is recommended to learn more about Islam: www.islamreligion.com.  (Vocabulary nuance: Muslims are the people who practice Islam.)

The rest of the press release can be read HERE

In Response to Vandalism Outside Ohawe Sholam Synagogue (Pawtucket, May 22, 2016)

Statement from Rhode Island State Council of Churches President Barbara Scott:

temple oluhwe“The Rhode Island State Council of Churches stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of Ohawe Shalom in this time of sorrow and hurt. The vandalism perpetrated upon this loving community of faith serves to strengthen our determination that civil and holy justice prevails in the face of hatred. We join with all Rhode Island faith communities in our prayers and our acts to see that the beloved community is lifted up here in Rhode Island and our world.”

RI Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty Conference – May 11, 2016

povertyWhat a tremendous conference put on by Emily Jones and the RI Coalition to Reduce Poverty (May 11, 2016 – Rhode Island College).  Clergy,  Advocates, Politicians and Concerned Faith Leaders from around the state gathered to discuss poverty issues in Rhode Island.  Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism  was the keynote speaker. His reflections were centered on the theme of Tikkun Olam/Repairing RI.

You can view videos of the Keynote Speech and other contributors to the conference below.  You can also view a slide show movie of the event.

Video of Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Keynote Speaker, HERE.

Video of Rev. Nikita McCalister and her opening prayer HERE.

Video of Rev. Dr. Donald Anderson (Executive Minister of RISCC) HERE

Video of Rabbi Alan Flam HERE

Video slide show of conference attendees HERE

Station Fire Memorial – May Faith Community Fundraiser – Donation Information

station night clubMay 2016 is All-Faith Community Support Month. Over 500 congregations and communities of Rhode Island are asked to raise funds using their own traditions, such as second collections, special events, suppers, individual/family giving or budget donations, for example.  You can view how WJAR TV 10 reported the kick-off HERE.

“This is a historic effort where all faith communities can help bring healing, peace and solace,” said Rev. Dr. Anderson, Executive Minister for the Rhode Island State Council of Churches.

Faith communities should send ONE check, payable to “SFMF”. Checks should clearly indicate the name of the Faith Community sending the check. Checks can be sent to either:

Rhode Island State Council of Churches, # 101, 100 Niantic Ave., Providence, RI  02907

Station Fire Memorial Foundation, 78 Wilbur Ave., Cranston, RI  02920

Still need to get the information out to your Faith Community?  This video tells the whole story.

MAY is Station Club Fire Memorial Fundraising Month!

station night clubFaith communities of Rhode Island have been involved from the first hour as they worked together to support victims’ and survivors’ families. “Rhode Island communities of faith have had a profound impact on the healing process, but we recognize there is still great pain and healing ahead of us,”said Rev. Dr. Donald Anderson, Executive Minister of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches. “We welcome the opportunity to work together to help build this much-needed Memorial.”
View a NEW short video interview with First Responder Clergy and survivors of the fire HERE.
May 2016 is All-Faith Community Support Month. Over 500 congregations and communities of Rhode Island will be asked to raise funds using their own traditions, such as second collections, special events, suppers, individual/family giving or budget donations, for example. “This is a historic effort where all faith communities can help bring healing, peace and solace,” said Rev. Dr. Anderson.
For further information about how YOUR Faith Community can contribute, please click HERE

PRESS RELEASE: RI Faith Communities Support Fundraising Efforts for the Station Fire Memorial Park (March 23, 2016)

Providence, RI — On the cold night of February 20, 2003, Rhode Island’s worst tragedy occurred.  One hundred people died in the Station Nightclub fire that has been described by many as Rhode Island’s 9/11.

A statewide fundraising effort is underway to open the Station Fire Memorial Park in fall 2016 on the site of the tragedy.  So far, over $1,650,000 has been raised of the $2 million goal to build the permanent Memorial Park.
Faith communities of Rhode Island have been involved from the first hour as they worked together to support victims’ and survivors’ families.  “Rhode Island communities of faith have had a profound impact on the healing process, but we recognize there is still great pain and healing ahead of us, “said Rev. Dr. Donald Anderson, Executive Minister of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches. “We welcome the opportunity to work together to help build this much-needed Memorial.”

May 2016 is All-Faith Community Support Month.  Over 500 congregations and communities of Rhode Island will be asked to raise funds using their own traditions, such as second collections, special events, suppers, individual/family giving or budget donations, for example. “This is a historic effort where all faith communities can help bring healing, peace and solace,” said Rev. Dr. Anderson.  Read the rest of the Press Release HERE.

###