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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FILE

10,000 Buddhists to Pledge Help Toward Victory Over Violence

October 14, 2000|TERESA WATANABE

More than 10,000 Buddhists are expected to gather at the Los Angeles Convention Center today to sign a pledge of personal responsibility to stop the violence that is claiming the lives of young people regionwide. The pledges will be assembled into a giant peace quilt at the event, sponsored by the lay Buddhist association, Soka Gakkai International-United States.

The peace campaign, Victory Over Violence, has featured festivals, school outreach programs and meetings throughout the country since the Buddhist group's youth members initiated it two years ago. So far, campaign members have collected more than 100,000 signatures. The event, which will mark the 40th anniversary of the association's founding in the United States, will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the convention center's South Hall K. Live entertainment, Buddhist educational exhibits and a children's fun area will also be featured. (310) 710-7160.

EVENTS

A multiethnic congregation of pastors and believers will hold the first of a series of unity prayer services to heal Los Angeles from drugs, crime and other problems at several locations, beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Crenshaw Christian Center, 7901 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 680-9857.

* The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles will sponsor a Celebration of Diversity from 3 to 7 p.m. today at St. James Episcopal Church, 3903 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Bishop Frederick H. Borsch will celebrate the liturgy, followed by ethnic food and entertainment. Participants are invited to wear traditional ethnic attire. (626) 943-8588.

* The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization will celebrate Divali, the ancient Indian Festival of Lights, at 6 p.m. Sunday with a lecture by Sister Chandru, meditation, music, a vegetarian dinner and a candle-lighting ceremony. The organization is at 908 S. Stanley Ave. in Los Angeles. Admission is free. (323) 933-2808.

* Metropolitan Community Church in the Valley, 5730 Cahuenga Ave. in North Hollywood, will offer a Blessing of the Animals at 6 p.m. Sunday. Participants are asked to bring pet food for Pet Orphans Fund, a rescue and adoption agency. (818) 762-1133.

* Hollywood United Methodist Women will hold its annual thrift sale from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at the church gymnasium, 6817 Franklin Ave., Hollywood. (323) 874-2104.

LECTURES

The Ethical Culture Society of Los Angeles will sponsor a talk by Gary Petersen on ethics and wetland preservation, "Ethics in Soliciting Corporate Development of Wetlands in Order to Save the Remaining Wetlands." The lecture will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday at 14702 Sylvan St. in Van Nuys. (310) 470-2873.

* Author and meditation master Ram Dass will speak on aging, illness and coping with death as a healing spiritual path from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Unity of Tustin Campus, 14402 S. Prospect Ave., Tustin. (714) 730-3486.

* The First Armenian Presbyterian Church, 430 S. First St., Fresno, will feature the Rev. Ron and Ann-Marie Ritchie at its second annual couples' conference at 7 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. The ministry team will speak on the topic "Set Free to Love." The cost is $25 per couple or $15 per single. (559) 237-6638.

* Jewish attitudes toward homosexuals will be explored in a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Sunday at Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. The discussion will feature a delegation from the Tel Aviv-based Assn. of Gay Men, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgenders. (818) 996-4455.

* Two Jewish scholars will speak on the Beth Din, the 5,000-year-old Jewish judicial system, at 10 a.m. Monday at the University of Judaism, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel-Air. Rabbi Ben Zion Bergman, adjunct professor emeritus of the university's Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, and Rabbi Edward Tenenbaum of Temple Beth Zion in Los Angeles will speak after a 9:30 a.m. breakfast. (310) 476-5359.

* Bishop Gabino Zavala will speak on the death penalty and the Catholic Church at 3 p.m. Sunday at Sacred Heart Church, 12704 Foothill Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga. (909) 899-1049, Ext. 10.

WORKSHOPS

The Rev. Mark Lau Branson, a Fuller Theological Seminary associate professor, will present a workshop on "Lay Ministry: From Theory to Practice" from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at Calvary Church, 1010 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana. The workshop is sponsored by the Southern California Assn. for Lay Empowerment and Development. Registration is $35, including lunch. (310) 322-5722.

* The Church of Our Savior, 535 W. Roses Road, San Gabriel, will offer an introductory workshop on Christian meditation known as "centering prayer" from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and on five Thursdays beginning Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. A $35 contribution is requested. (626) 282-5147.

*

Notices may be mailed for consideration to Southern California File, c/o Religion Editor, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012; faxed to Southern California File at (213) 237-2358; or e-mailed 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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