Talk of Faith
Talk of Faith explores religion in the local context, through conversations with guests from Maine's many different faith communities. We also discuss social and political issues that relate to religion. Pious and Andrea would love to add your voice to the discussion and encourage your calls at 207-780-4909
08/31/11 Rachel Shapiro, Jewish Associate Chaplain at USM and Director of the Southern Maine Hillel: In time for a new school year, we speak with Rachel Shapiro, head of the Southern Maine Hillel, a Jewish organization for students at five institutes of higher education in Portland, and the Jewish chaplain at the University of Southern Maine's Interfaith Chaplaincy. We find out about some of last year's Jewish and interfaith events at USM last year, learn about what's coming up for this year, and discuss the joys and challenges of interfaith work in our community. Find out more about USM's Interfaith Chaplaincy at usm.maine.edu/interfaith (http://usm.maine.edu/interfaith). You can learn more about Southern Maine Hillel by emailing Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
08/24/11 Nightshade Wolfstone-Francis, Host of "Voice of the Four Winds Radio" on WMPG: We speak with Nightshade Wolfstone-Francis, a Mainer of Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Indigenous American heritage. We cover political and cultural ways of life among these tribes. We learn how spirituality is integrated with life for Indigenous Mainers: there is no word in their languages for "art" or "religion." Also: influence of the Catholic Church on Maine tribes and the Shake Tent ceremony. Nightshade Wolfstone-Francis can be heard playing Indigenous American music every Wednesday morning from 1:30-4am. Find "Voice of the Four Winds" radio on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/-Voice-of-the-Four-Winds-Radio/153328044718824?ref=ts).
08/17/11 Intermarriage and Gay Marriage in Judaism with Rabbis Jared Saks and Carolyn Braun: A conversation with Carolyn Braun, long-time rabbi at Temple Beth El (http://tbemaine.org) in Portland, and Jared Saks, the new rabbi at Congregation Bet Ha'am (http://http//www.bethaam.org) in South Portland. Rabbi Saks performs both gay marriages and marriages between Jews and non-Jews, while Rabbi Braun will perform a marriage between two Jews of the same sex, but not a wedding between a Jew and a non-Jew. The rabbis discuss the reasoning behind these decisions and implications for the Jewish community at large. Topics covered include the increasing rate of intermarriage corresponding with the greater acceptance and integration of Jews in American society; concerns about intermarriage; and raising children Jewishly for both all-Jewish and intermarried couples. Also: what the Torah says about love and sex between two men, the Rabbinic idea that you can't forbid someone from marrying, and how same-sex Jewish couples were getting married deccades before it was legal in California.
08/10/11 Fasting Across Faiths with Pious, Andrea and Reverend Derek White: In this episode, broadcast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the hosts discuss their own religious practices and memories around the practice of fasting. Andrea (Jewish) and Pious (Muslim) are joined by Reverend Derek L. White of the First Congregational Church in Kennebunkport, Maine (http://firstchurchkennebunkport.com). Topics covered include the fasting holidays of the three religions; the spiritual and physical effects of fasting; differing reasons behind fasts; and opinions on Texas Governor Rick Perry's recent call for a national day of prayer and fasting.
08/03/11 Jane Raeburn on Paganism: Andrea speaks with Jane Raeburn, local Pagan author of the books Celtic Wicca and Building a Magical Relationship, and of "Vulcan's Sister (http://janeraeburn.com)," a blog about Paganism and disability. Topics discussed include the sacredness of nature to Pagans; the significance of connections with ancestors; the economic context of the Salem Witch Trials; magik, (yes, spelled with a "k"); and how modern-day Pagans create their own rituals.
07/27/11 Hinduism with Ashok Nalamalapu: Andrea and Pious speak with Ashol Nalamalapu, founder of the Sadhana Meditation Center in South Portland, about his Hindu beliefs, among other things. Topics covered include reincarnation, the idea of a personal god, and holidays. We also discuss the Sadhana Center, which is looking for volunteers at www.sadhaname.com. In addition, Ashok sings for us and plays the harmonium, a German instrument which has been adapted for Indian music and Hindu devotional practice.
07/20/11 Nichiren Buddhism with Gene Rochow and Annie Baldwin: Pious and Andrea speak with Nichiren Buddhists Gene Rochow and Annie Baldwin. Nichiren Buddhism is a 700-year-old practice that is based on the belief that enlightenment can be achieved while living in society rather than away from it. Topics covered include Buddhism 101, Gene and Annie's personal journeys to become Buddhists; the objective of the practice (happiness vs. achieving Nirvana); and the activities of their local organization Portland. Sokka Gokai. We also discuss the Nichiren chanting practice and hear a live example.
07/13/11 Dimitry Shvartsman- Seeds of Peace from a Jewish Israeli Perspective: We talk with Dimitry Shvartsman, a counselor and former camper from Seeds of Peace Camp. A Jewish Israeli, Dimitry just completed his service in the Israeli Army where he served as an intelligence officer, and is pursuing a career in information security. Topics covered include dialogue and other activities in camp; the objective of Seeds of Peace (changing political opinions vs. creating a space for nonviolent communication); and how the Seeds experience helped Dimitry during his military service. Listen to the end to find out how Maine kids can also go to Seeds of Peace.
07/06/11 Tamer Omari- Seeds of Peace from a Palestinian Israeli Perspective: Andrea and Pious speak with Tamer Omari, a counselor and former camper from Seeds of Peace Camp in Casco, Maine and a musician and peace activist. Tamer is a Palestinian Israeli, or Arab citizen of Israel. Topics covered include the segregation of Arabs within Israel; Tamer's experience as a camper at Seeds of Peace and how it changed his perspective on Israeli Jews and drove him to work for peace; and his current work bringing together musicians from both sides of the conflict and from other Arab countries. Listen to the end to find out whether Tamer thinks peace will be achieved in his lifetime.
06/29/11 El Haj Wells Staley-Mayes and Conversion from Unitarian Universalist to Islam: Hosts Pious Ali and Andrea Muraskin speak with Wells Staley-Mayes; a former ordained Unitarian minister and Quaker who converted to Islam and has completed the Haj, or Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. He is also an activist with Peace Action Maine. Topics covered include Wells' religious journey, the appeal of Islam; his Haj story; feminism within Islam; his friendships and work with Muslims here in Portland and info on how listeners can get to know their Muslim neighbors.
06/22/11 Deacon Stephen Crate and Lebanese Maronites in Maine: Host Andrea Muraskin speaks with Stephen Crate, the subdeacon at St. Joseph's Maronite Church in Waterville, Maine. Stephen was raised Protestant and found the Maronite Church after becoming interested in transcendental meditation, and found it to be the perfect blend of Eastern and Western religions. Topics covered include the unique characteristics of the Maronite religion; the history of the Maronites in Waterville; and the differences between his former more politically active life and the way he currently lives based on faith. We also hear an excerpt from a prayer service at St. Joseph's.