Veneration of saints--one of the sticking points for Christians seeking greater church unity--will be addressed at an ecumenical forum Tuesday at the Roman Catholic St. Vibiana's Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles.
Father George Tavard, author of several books on ecumenical issues, will address the topic at 10 a.m. Responding will be Richard Mouw, provost at Fuller Theological Seminary; Father Efstathios of St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Church, Pasadena; the Rev. Michael Samartha of St. John's Episcopal Church, San Bernardino, and Prof. Byron Swanson of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.
"We hope to provide a challenging spectrum of theological thought and religious practice," said Msgr. Royale Vadakin, who is both pastor of St. Vibiana's Cathedral and head of the Los Angeles archdiocesan Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.
In addition, a five-year report will be released on summarizing the theological dialogue in Southern California between Episcopal and Roman Catholic theologians and a report by members of the Evangelical-Roman Catholic committee in Los Angeles.
The latter committee, chaired by Vadakin and Mouw, has sought mutual understanding and has tried to examine locally sensitive issues such as non-Catholic evangelizing in Latino communities.
The Rev. Jakov Doukhonchenko, vice president of the Soviet Union's All-Union Council of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, will speak at services Sunday in two Southern Baptist churches--10 a.m. at Beaumont First Southern Baptist Church and 6 p.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church in San Bernardino. Douhkonchenko is heading a four-man delegation of Ukrainian Baptists completing a two-week California visit that included the denomination's state convention this week in Redding. A delegation of California Southern Baptists visited the Soviet Union last May. Other members of the Ukrainian delegation will appear at the Sunday morning services at Crescent Southern Baptist Church in Anaheim, First Baptist Church of Thousand Oaks and First Baptist Church of Del Cerro in La Mesa.
Congregations of the Mid-Wilshire area will join in a Thanksgiving service 10 a.m. Thursday at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. The highlight of the service is "A Canticle of Freedom" in narrative by clergy and songs by the year-old American Pilgrim Chorus. In Santa Monica, an interfaith Thanksgiving eve service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Santa Monica Synagogue with members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church. The Reform Jewish congregation had held services for the last four years at the Lutheran church until it moved into its own facilities this year.
A Buddhist lantern dance, Muslim slide-illustrated readings from the Koran, a Protestant gospel choir performance and six other faith expressions celebrating family life are planned for a festival from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. The program will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Interreligious Council of Southern California.
Catholic biblical scholar Raymond E. Brown of Union Theological Seminary in New York will give a free lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Chapman College titled "Interpreting the Crucifixion of Jesus."