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RELIGION | SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FILE / LARRY B. STAMMER

Many Events to Have a Feminine Focus for Mother's Day

May 08, 1999|LARRY B. STAMMER

Western religions remain essentially patriarchal in their world and theological views, but Mother's Day becomes an occasion to balance the gender scales--at least for a day.

Pastors and priests wax eloquent about the influence of mothers and the their importance to the family and society. On Mother's Day, some churchgoing men and women still observe the custom of wearing a small red flower on their lapels or dresses if their mothers are alive, and a white one if not.

Of course, Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox have long revered the memory of Mary, the mother of Jesus. There was even a push by some pious Marian devotees--quickly squelched by the Vatican--to have Mary declared a co-redeemer and mediator with Jesus.

Meanwhile, interest seems to be growing in ancient goddesses, along with a new appreciation of the feminine side of spirituality, with its connection to the nurture and care of others, not to mention the planet. This interest is reflected in a number of events.

MOTHER'S DAY EVENTS

Altars built to the feminine divine will be on display at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, 1708 Berkeley St., Santa Monica, beginning this weekend. Sponsored by the Circle of Altars' Altar Project Committee, today's "Goddess Gala" at 7:30 p.m. features chocolate delights, live music and mingling with altar builders. An afternoon tea is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission to today's event is $25. Sunday's tea is $15, and mothers accompanied by adult children will be admitted free on Sunday. Information: (323) 782-9248, Ext. 5.

* "Secrets Your Mother Wishes You Knew," a spiritual performance by storytellers Brother Michael Heartfire and Debra Inanna Jordan, will be presented Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at the Unity Church of Tustin, 14402 S. Prospect Ave., Tustin. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. (714) 730-3444.

* A Mother's Day dramatic presentation of the Sermon on the Mount will be presented during the regular 10:20 a.m. worship service Sunday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1757 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena. Written by the Rev. James G. Emerson Jr., the play focuses on a family struggling to find meaning in their lives. (626) 794-7141.

* "The Four Aspects of Mother" will be discussed by Debashish Bannerji at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Philosophical Research Society, 3910 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles. Suggested donation: $5. (323) 663-2167.

MUSIC

Tonight, and every Saturday this month, Christoph Bull will present an organ concert at 6:30 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church Hollywood, 6657 Sunset Blvd., at Cherokee Avenue. Bull's organ styles range from medieval to techno. Free-will offering. (323) 462-6311.

* Cellist Howard Colf, a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will perform Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. as part of the noon concert series sponsored by the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E. Colorado Blvd., at Madison Avenue. (626) 793-2191.

EVENTS

Gordon B. Hinckley, the president and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will address the Los Angeles World Affairs Council at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. $38 members, $48 guests.

* Rabbi Sally Olins, the only female senior rabbi in the Conservative Movement in Los Angeles County, will mark the 10th anniversary of her ordination at the same time her synagogue, Temple B'nai Hayim of Sherman Oaks, observes its 40th anniversary May 14-16.

* The Western Regional Black Religious Summit on Sexuality will be held today at the Congregational Church of Christian Fellowship, 2085 Hobart Blvd., Los Angeles. Registration and breakfast begins at 9 a.m. with opening worship at 10 a.m. Panel discussions will focus on teenage sexuality, including discussions of pregnancy prevention and sexually transmitted diseases. Speakers will include the Rev. Peter Matthews of First African Methodist Episcopal Church and Gail Elizabeth Wyatt of UCLA. $20 for teenagers.

* More than 5,000 men are expected to attend a men's conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. led by the Rev. David Rosales of Calvary Chapel at the Ontario Convention Center, 2000 Convention Center Way, off Vineyard Avenue in Ontario. Speakers include Rosales, Raul Ries, Chuck Smith, Pancho Juarez, Don McClure and Gary Ruff. Christian singers and bands will perform. The event is free. Parking is $4.

* Gay spirituality will be discussed by a panel at a town hall meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in West Hollywood Park Auditorium, on San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue. The discussion is sponsored by the city of West Hollywood and the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. Panelists include Rabbi Denise Egar of Congregation Kol Ami, the Rev. Vjra of the International Buddhist Meditation Center, the Rev. Warren Nyback of the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese and the Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, senior pastor of Metropolitan Community Church, Los Angeles.

Notices may be mailed for consideration to Southern California File, c/o Religion Editor, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, or by fax to Southern California File at (213) 237-4712, or by e-mail to religion@latimes.com. Items should arrive two to three weeks before the event and should include pertinent details about the people and organizations with address, phone number, date and time. Because of the volume of submissions, we cannot guarantee publication.

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