June LI Council of Churches newseletter June 2012 Long Island Council of Churches newsletter, The Prelude
 
These items do not appear in the printed, snail-mailed version of this newsletter:
Ideas You Can Use:  Kid-Friendly Food Collection
Why We Need Cross-District High Schools
A New Addition to Our Roster of Guest Preachers
Needed: A Van
First-Time Homebuyers Workshop June 3 in Greenport
Pro Bono Legal Clinic for Special Needs June 6 in Mineola
Foreclosure Consultations in Mineola June 11
 “How To Avoid a Financial Meltdown” Workshop
Learn about Poison Control June 15 at Freeport Pantry
Offered: Medical Equipment,  Electronic Organ
New Recovery Ministry Launched in Massapequa
Interreligious Dialogue June 21 in Franklin Square
 
Many thanks to all of you who attended our Annual Meeting at 1st Presbyterian Church in Smithtown! And particular thanks to Richard Deam and Deamoaks Planning Services for sponsoring this meeting and to the speakers from the Long Island Multi-Faith Forum, Mark Bigelow, Arvind Vora, Kausar Zaman, Raj Singh, and Bill Hecker. Sara Weiss and I will summarize in the July Prelude some of the thoughts they shared on how to pass along your beliefs to the next generation.

FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: CAN WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
One of the more complex conundrums of interreligious work is how to relate to those who claim to be part of a faith community but are generally disowned by it.  Followers of the Rev. Sung Moon may think they are Christian, but most Christians think they are something else. The Ahmadiyya Community claims to be Muslim but other Muslims say they are not. Those who call themselves Messianic Jews believe that they are both Jewish and faithful followers of Jesus, but most Jews say that they cannot be both.

What should we call these groups? The traditional answer, at least for Christians, has been heretics or apostates, terms that are not exactly helpful in promoting interfaith understanding, but neither does it do much good to call them whatever they want to be called.

Some faith communities are not troubled by this question, as Arvind Vora explains elsewhere in this issue of The Prelude. The way that faiths such as Judaism or Christianity define their boundaries often mystifies those on the outside—and even some inside. Rabbi Marc Gellman has explained that the children of Jewish mothers are Jewish, unless they renounce Judaism. But what about those who do not believe they have renounced anything, simply followed a rabbi who might be the Messiah? Nearly all new denominations, sects, and faith communities begin as movements that see themselves as reforming or restoring the tradition they inherited, not leaving or rejecting it. What—or who—determines which sheep have left the flock?

I suspect that Christians and Jews will always see this issue differently. “Who is a Jew?” is a question way above my pay grade, and the issue is made more complex by the fact that the most zealous defenders of boundaries are often held in suspicion themselves. Some of those who are most adamant that Messianic Jews are no longer Jews, for example, are themselves rejected by some Jews, either because they are not Orthodox or because they claim to be Orthodox but think the Lubbavitcher Rebbe was the Messiah.

Sometimes I wonder, as Rodney King asked, “Can we all just get along?” But we know how things turned out for him, the police officers who beat him, and the city in which they lived.  I have come to accept that most Jews will not accept Messianic Jews as Jewish, many Christians insist Mormons are not Christians, and most Muslims cannot embrace Ahmadiyyas as fellow believers. But does that mean we cannot share a dais, a podium, or a meal?

One thing we often do not know about one another is how difficult it may be for others to do something that seems like no big deal to us. The reason a rabbi might refuse to share a forum with leaders of a Messianic synagogue, for example, is not because the latter believe Jesus is the Messiah, but rather because he or she sees these folks as fake rabbis who are pretending to be Jews in order to convert Jews to Christianity. Which is, in fact, sometimes the case: the founder of Jews for Jesus was a Baptist clergyman before he ever started calling himself a rabbi, and his evangelistic techniques were at least a tad deceptive. Perhaps it is wrong to tar all Messianics with the same brush, but Jews have good reason to be suspicious.

Could you share a platform with someone who claims to be from our faith community even if you think they are not?  I might not want members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to be the only representative of Christianity in a multi-faith educational program—and a regional LDS leader told me he would not want somebody from a renegade polygamist sect that broke away from the LDS to be the sole representative of their history--but that does not mean Mormons should not join the Long Island Multi-Faith Forum as a new religious movement. Personally, I would gladly volunteer if a local LDS church invited the Forum to present a Building Bridges program about how various faith communities practice their faith.

Such an invitation might go a long way toward greater understanding between hosts and guests, as I suspect would be the case if a Messianic synagogue or Ahmadiyya mosque invited the Multi-Faith Forum to speak. Wouldn’t it be nice if a church welcomed a Mormon speaker on the same terms? If a mosque invited the Forum to do a Building Bridges program that might include Bahais and Ahmadiyyas?

Would it confuse people if a Methodist and a Mormon, or a Muslim and an Ahmadiyya were part of the same “Building Bridges” panel? Sure. But Jesus already has a pretty confusing array of followers and we constantly explain to others, “Yes, I am a Christian clergyman, but I am married” or “Yes, I am Christian, but my pastor is a woman.” Exposing an audience to conflicting claims might teach them something important as well as perplexing them.

I do not mean to suggest that this sort of ecumenical or interfaith hospitality is easy, but like it or not, we all compete in a marketplace of ideas and beliefs. Do we have the intestinal fortitude to say what we believe and practice without having a monopoly on the microphone? If not, why should anyone listen to us?

Shalom/Salaam/Shanti/Pax/Jai Jinendra,

Tom
 

FROM THE MULTI-FAITH FORUM: CAN WE LEARN FROM OTHER FAITHS?
By Arvind Vora, Jain, Chair of the Long Island Multi-Faith Forum

Three ancient eastern faiths have roots in present-day India. Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism have evolved with millennium of wisdom and have withstood war, aggression, exploitation, and conversion.

HINDUISM has more than a billion followers but no centralized authority that can issue binding decrees. Today there are half a dozen Hindu places of worship on Long Island, each with a different way of praying, but most Hindus treat each other with respect and would not claim that the others are not Hindu. Three of the most successful movements in USA are:
*The Brahma Kumaris, with their headquarters for the Americas in Great Neck, have a presence in  more than 150 countries--after being in existence for less than one hundred years. The BKs have taken the meditation practice of Hinduism to a new height.
*Swami Narayan movement (also known as BAPS), with a strong, large, and cohesive group of followers, has a strong desire to establish roots in new countries, as can be seen in their monumental temples. Their temples are not only lively and vibrant places of worship but also have become tourist attractions in Atlanta and London.
*Gayatri Pariwar emphasizes one of the most sacred mantras of Hinduism, the Gayatri; those who subscribe to it become part of the Pariwar or family.
There are dozens of other Hindu movements found here, such as Sai Baba, Arsha Vidhya Gurukulam, AMMA’s Satsang, and host of other small or localized places of worships. For Americans, the Vedanta Society was the first exposure to Hinduism, with an electrifying and erudite presentation by Swami Vivekananda at the first Parliament of World Religions in 1893 in Chicago. There are both many Hindus in our area who have roots in India (and whose temples may be called something such as Vedic Center rather than Hindu) and a substantial population of Caribbean Hindus (whose temples usually have “Hindu” in their name). The one common element among all of Hindus is that none of them would say that others are not Hindu or have no right to call themselves Hindu.

 BUDDHISM, with deep roots in several countries for more than a millennium, has won the hearts of more Westerners than any other Eastern faith. Its simplicity and diversity remain great attractions. The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Prize winner and crusader for Tibetans Buddhists’ right to practice their religion in their ancestral home against the mighty power of the Chinese government, is the most famous symbol of both Buddhism and moral conscience. Buddhism has numerous branches and divisions, but few adherent of any tradition would deny their right to be called Buddhist.

JAINISM, the least known and smallest faith community with roots in India, has insisted over the centuries on the futility of violence to achieve desired goals. It proclaims three important principles, AHIMSA(non-violence), ANEKANT(truth and reality are hard to comprehend) and APARIGRHA(nonattachment to living and nonliving.) It has at least five major Panth (branches) – Digambara, Swetambara, Sthankvasi, Terapanth, and Srimad Rajchandra. Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu who was deeply influenced by his mother’s Jain heritage, used these three principles to claim freedom for millions of his fellow countrymen from British rule without resorting to violence.  Far from ever saying that other Jains are not Jain because they worship in a different way, Jains often visit, pray in, and financially support temples from other traditions, as can be seen at the Jain Center of America in Elmhurst, Queens.
These three ancient faiths teach that we should accept realities that we cannot change and that we should mend fences in our families and society. Perhaps newcomers to America have brought something with them that can help those who have been here a long time.


DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
Sara C. Weiss, Director of Development
Special thanks go to Richard Deam, President of Deamoak’s Planning Services, for his $2,000 sponsorship for our 2012 Annual Meeting.  Special thanks also go to several board members who gave $2,000, $1000, and $500 sponsorships for Share the Harvest 2012, and to an individual who gave $1,000 for the same.   And finally we thank a former board member for a $3,000 gift.  We believe it’s very important to thank board members for whatever they can give, because it’s often sacrificial. We also thank the following institutions for their gifts:
Hempstead Methodist Church                                    $600 To Be Used Where Most Needed
Long Island Cares                                                      $750 Riverhead Food Center
NY Yearly Meeting/Religious Society of Friends  $1,000 Emergency Food
 
And of course, we thank all our donors who gave less than $500.  It’s all of you that enable us to carry out our ministry to serve Long Island’s most vulnerable citizens.
 
Most Urgent Need
The LICC  started the Long Island Multi-Faith Forum 20 years ago in partnership with Auburn Theological Seminary to promote interreligious tolerance, understanding and cooperation.  Including representatives from the Bahai Faith, the Brahma Kumaris, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduisms, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Native American Spirituality, Sikhism, and Unitarian Universalism, the Forum is  project without parallel anywhere else—and if you do not know who all these people are, you may need the Forum’s help, because they may well be your new neighbors.  Its volunteers have done more than 270 interfaith education programs, ranging from Sunday school classrooms in Centerport to the Parliament of World Religions.  Not only does the MFF’s help its audiences to better understand their neighbors and co-workers, it also helps adherents traditions gain a better understanding of their own traditions. Often, we do not fully understand what we believe or why we do what we do until we try to explain it to someone else. 
 
Among the presentations we do are multi-faith festivals at public schools, where the mere presence of someone from the same faith can help students feel less isolated. At a multi-faith festival we did for a high school, we learned that a Sikh teenager who wore the distinctive head covering of his faith had been feeling extremely uncomfortable, self-conscious and isolated. He was astonished to walk into the gym where the multi-faith festival was taking place and to see several Sikhs wearing turbans.  He was even more amazed when he saw other students being wrapped in turbans and then saw the assistant principal walking through the hall wearing a turban. 
 
The Multi-Faith Forum is severely underfunded, however, and we need donations to support our work through the LI MFF.  Please help us continue to promote religious tolerance through the educational programs the MFF conducts throughout the year and throughout the Island.
 
Memorial/Tribute Gifts
A great way to remember a loved one, whether living or deceased, is to give a memorial or tribute gift in his/her name.  In your letter accompanying such a gift, please tell us who the gift is in memory or tribute to, and who is giving the gift.  We will send a thank you letter to the contributor and to the family of the loved one in accordance with your instructions.  Please send your contribution to the LICC, attention Sara Weiss.  If you have any questions, call Sara for further information at 516-565-0290, ext. 207.  Naming and Tribute opportunities are also available for our programs.  Please call Sara for a list.  We also have planned giving opportunities that will sustain these programs in perpetuity.
 
IDEAS YOU CAN USE:
Kid Friendly Food Collection, Anonymous Pledges, Recycled Paper
Families who usually depend on breakfast and lunch programs offered at school to feed their children need extra food to provide these additional meals for their children over the summer. With this in mind, the Sunday School students at Wantagh Memorial Congregational Church is having a kid-friendly food collection on urging people to observe Children’s Day, June 10th.  They explain: “What we are looking for is breakfast and lunch foods that kids like to eat, such as peanut butter and jelly, cereal, Spaghetti O’s, snacks and treats. Of course, we do appreciate all donations, no matter whether they are kid friendly or not.”

Anonymous Pledges
St. John’s Lutheran Church in Port Jefferson recent began asking its members to pledge anonymously to support the ministry of the church. Members place in a sealed envelope the amount of money they intend to give, an amount that is “between you and God,” and the church office mails these envelopes sometime mid-year, still unopened, as a reminder of their good intentions.  While donations are recorded throughout the year for income tax purposes, and a yearly letter thanking them for their gifts, no one receives a letter from any financial secretary chiding them for falling short of their promise.  The church has found that more people are willing to pledge when the amount is between them and the Almighty, and donations have increased. The Rev. Clare Nesmith, a member of our Board and pastor of Christ Episcopal Church in Babylon, reports that her home church has a similar, entirely positive experience.
Has your congregation tried anything like this? And did you put the LICC in your budget this year?

Recycled Paper
Do you use recycled paper in your congregation? If so, why not tell folks about this small step you are taking to care for God’s good creation? Port Washington United Methodist Church, for example, notes on their Sunday worship bulletin “Recycled Paper, 100% post-consumer.” Go thou and do likewise.
 

WORTH QUOTING
Why We Need Cross-District High Schools
“Eradicating entrenched segregation is a daunting challenge. But a good first step lies in easy reach: creating regional high schools of excellence. These schools would draw high-achieving students from across district lines, and could be created in ways that would not replicate the segregation that already exists.
The benefits are both obvious and significant. The schools would offer upward mobility to deserving kids in failing community schools. Nurture the smarts that employers need to grow a high-tech economy. And create high-profile oases of diversity on our too-segregated island.
It's an idea whose time has long since come. It was championed by the first Governor Cuomo, who recognized it as a vital step in building our regional economy. In recent decades, other regions have acted, while Long Island has not.”
--Nancy Rauch Douzinas, What Every Long Islander Should Know, May 1012,
www.rauchfoundation.org
 
New York, the City of God
“While New York has a reputation for godlessness, both city and state actually have higher rates of membership in organized religion than the country as a whole. . . . Even higher numbers specifically for the tri-state region put it in the top 9 percent of urban areas in terms of religiosity, ahead of Salt Lake City and Little Rock.”
--Julie Byrne, Msgr. Thomas J. Hartman Chair of Catholic Studies at Hofstra University, Newsday April 8, 2012
 
Misunderstanding the New Testament
“Even today, people sometimes base their understandings of the New Testament on passages that we do not have in the original wording.”
--Bart D. Ehrman, Lost Christianities: Christian Scripture and the Battles Over Authentication
 
DID YOU KNOW?
*Client Choice at the LICC Pantry
The LICC’s Freeport Emergency Food Center, the largest of our food pantries, has now shifted entirely to “client choice.” Rather than bagging up groceries for our guests in advance, our staff and volunteers fill bags based on the items guests choose among available items. And we have been giving our guests more choices in Hempstead and Riverhead as we try to find ways to implement “client choice” where we have space limitations. Client choice reduces waste and helps our guests to get the food they really need.
Of course, we need your continued donations and financial support to make sure there are enough items on the shelf for our guests to choose. The best times to drop off donations are Monday-Friday, 9:00 to 4:30 in Hempstead (in Christ’s 1st Presbyterian Church, 516-565-0290) and & Riverhead (407 Osborne Avenue at Lincoln, 631-727-2210) or Monday-Friday, 10 to 4 in Freeport (450 N. Main Street, 516-868-4989), or to at any LICC meeting or event. Donations of toiletries, personal care items, school supplies, small household goods, and shopping bags also are always welcome at all of our locations.
*CWS Blankets Sent to the North Fork
Church World Service, our partner in ecumenical relief efforts, recently shipped blankets to
Mattituck Presbyterian Church for the homeless they serve through their “John’s Place” program. For more info about this project, please contact Caren Heacock at
631-298-4145.
*Pan-Methodism Ecumenism
The General Conference of the United Methodist Church has voted to enter into full communion with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Union Methodist Protestant Church and the Union American Methodist Episcopal Church.  The denominations, which already cooperate on issues such as children and poverty, will now have an opportunity to pursue a broader mission agenda together.
*Tours to India
Grace Simonette, a member of the LICC’s Dialogue and Development Committees, leads tours of India, with an emphasis on religious sites and leaders.  Her next trip will be a 15-day journey leaving Oct 12. For more information and a detailed itinerary, visit www.indiajourneywithgrace.com or call 631-265-5823.
 
MORE ABOUT YOUTH SAVER BANK ACCOUNTS
With banking fees in flux, where can young adults find “youth saver” accounts, credit union or bank branches on campus, no-fee checking accounts, and similar options that encourage youth and young adults to save money and manage their finances responsibly. Here’s my latest compilation of such options:
*People’s United Bank (which took over the Bank of Smithtown) offers free Student Plus Checking to all full-time college students and free Plus Checking to anyone who has their paycheck directly deposited (or to anyone 65 or older), and they offer no-fee savings accounts to everyone with a checking account. For more information, call 1-800-772-1090.
*New York Community Bank offers “My Community Free Checking” with no minimum balance required, a free VISA check card, ATM card, a rewards program, and $100 in gift cards for new accounts. For more info, call 877-786-6560. 
*TD Bank offers free checking and savings accounts to full-time college students and free Young Saver accounts for those 18 and younger if their parents bring in their child’s Social Security number. 
*Bethpage Federal Credit Union is offering to put $50 in a Youth Saver Account (now paying 4% interest) when an adult opens a no-fee, no-minimum-balance checking account.
*Teachers Federal Credit Union (which is now open to all Long Islanders) offers free checking accounts to those who open a savings account with at least $1. Visit www.teachersfcu.org or call 631-698-7000 for more info.
 
Some banks and credit unions have branches on campus, which is another way to encourage financial responsibility among students. Suffolk Teachers FCU has satellite operations at something like eight schools in Suffolk, for example, and TD Bank has a full-fledged branch in the student union at Hofstra University.
 
DEALING WITH STUDENT DEBT
The New York Times recently reported that student loan debt in America now totals over $1 trillion dollars, and some people face college loan payments as high as a mortgage. Indeed, many young and youngish adults are rejected for mortgages because they owe so much in education loans.  There is also no statute of limitations on past-due student loans:  some people have their Social Security checks garnished to repay them.
There are some options for coping with crushing student debt. Loan consolidation through Sallie Mae can lower the interest rate borrowers pay to as little as 3%. Those who undertake community service jobs after graduation can have federal student loans forgiven. And there are ways to avoid running up student debt in the first place.

The LICC offers seminars on how to manage your money well--and not get ripped off on loans. Our presentations usually run an hour to 90 minutes, and we will tailor it to the needs of your audience. We can do shorter programs, for example, for a college class, campus ministry group, or youth group and their parents. They could be a great addition to your congregation’s stewardship campaign, helping people to think faithfully about our stewardship of all our resources. Each presentation is shaped around the needs of the audience and we are prepared to address a wide variety of topics. We would also be glad to do presentations for religious leaders on how to manage a congregation’s money more effectively, reduce expenses, pay for energy conservation measures, etc. 

The LICC will provide speakers and  educational materials—all you need to provide is coffee and noshes. Thanks to generous funding for this effort this year from Astoria Federal Savings, Bank of America, Ridgewood Savings Bank, TD Charitable Foundation, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, there is no charge for this program. For more information, please visit www.ncccusa.org/ecmin/licc/managemoney.html. To request a program, please call 516-565-0290, ext. 206, or e-mail tomgoodhue@optonline.net.
 
AN ADDITION TO OUR ROSTER OF GUEST PREACHERS
Our Executive Director, the Rev. Tom Goodhue, has some Sundays available for guest preaching this summer and fall You can reach him at tomgoodhue@optonline.net or 516-565-0290, ext. 206.  For a listing of other pinch-hitters and information about the “going rate” for guest preachers and substitute organists, please visit www.ncccusa.org/ecmin/licc/guestpreachers.html

And here’s a new addition to our roster of pinch-hitters:
Sajid Christopher, the head of the Human Friends Organization International, a not-for-profit that supports victims of religious persecution, is available for guest preaching or speaking about the plight of Christians in Pakistan. He would be happy to travel anywhere on Long Island. You can reach him at sajeranjha@hotmail.com or 516-368-2277.

A NEW ADDITION TO OUR ROSTER OF PASTORAL COUNSELORS
*The Rev. David Henry, pastor of the Freeport United Methodist Church, is a Board certified Clinical Chaplain, Pastoral Counselor and a newly-minted Diplomate in Supervision under the auspices of CPSP. He is available for individual pastoral counseling and also to train those who desire clinical credit hours towards their own certification. He can be reached at 516-455-2974 or 516-378-0659.
The complete list of pastoral counselors, chaplains, and campus ministers on Long Island whom we know is included in our Directory of Long Island Churches & Synagogues.  We mail this directory free of charge to our member congregations, the Friends of the LICC, and our major donors. If you have not received your copy, this may be a sign that you need to do the paperwork to officially join!. If you have any questions, please contact Sara Weiss at saraweiss@optonline.net or 516-565-0290, ext. 207.

WHAT TO DO WHEN A CHILD DISCLOSES ABUSE
The Office for the Protection of Children and Young People recently printed some helpful suggestions in The Long Island Catholic:
Remain calm.
Allow the child to tell the story without interruption.
Reassure the child. No blame.
Support the child. He or she has done the right thing in telling you.
Reinforce safety.
Do not criticize the alleged abuser.
Report the abuse to local law enforcement.
Let law enforcement do the investigation.
 
NEEDED/OFFERED
Needed:
*A Van
The LICC could use a new van for our emergency food program? Have one in good condition that you don’t need? Want to donate it and receive a tax donation—as well as our gratitude?
 
Offered:
*First-Time Homebuyers Workshop June 3 In Greenport
The LICC is offering a workshop for the Southold Land Trust on how to save money to buy a home for the first time--and how to find an affordable home on Long Island. It will be at St. Agnes Catholic Church (Front & 6th Streets in Greenport, on the south side of Main Road/Route 25) on Sunday, June 3, from 1 to 3. Speakers will include attorney Mike Ferruggia, Rich Murphy from Wells Fargo, and Pedro Magalhaes from Bethpage FCU have volunteered. The President of the Land Trust will also speak briefly about their efforts to create affordable housing on the North Fork. All are welcome.
*Pro Bono Legal Clinic for Special Needs June 6 in Mineola
The Nassau County Bar Assn. and New York State Bar Assn. Elder Law Section are offering a free legal clinic on Wednesday, June 6, from 10:00 to noon at the Bar Assn., 15th & West Streets in Mineola, a block south of Old Country Road. Bring your legal questions about Social Security, Medicaid, supplemental needs trusts, guardianships, special education law, wills, and such. There is no charge for these consultations with attorney members of the Bar Association knowledgeable about special needs legal issues, but advance registration is required. To register or request further information, please call 516-747-4070. Attorneys who are bi-lingual in Spanish, Russian, Haitian Creole, Korean, Chinese, Hindi, French, American Sign Language and many other languages are available if you make a request when making your reservation.
*Foreclosure Consultations in Mineola June 11
 The Nassau County Bar Association is offering a free Mortgage Foreclosure Consultation Clinic for Nassau residents on Monday, June 11, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Bar Assn., 15th & West Streets in Mineola, a block south of Old Country Road. Individual consultations are available with housing counselors, representatives from Nassau/Suffolk Law Services, La Fuerza Unida, and the Nassau County Homeownership Center, and bankruptcy attorneys from the Bar Association. There is no charge for these consultations, but you must make a reservation in advance by calling 516-747-4070. Consultations are available in Spanish and several other languages upon request.
*How To Avoid a Financial Meltdown  Workshop
Friday, June 8, at 10 a.m.
Family Service League
790 Park Ave, Huntington, NY 11743
and
Friday, June 15, at 10 a.m.
 Family Service League
 208 Roanoke Avenue, Riverhead, NY 11901
Issues to be discussed at this FREE WORKSHOP will include Debt Management, Crisis Budgeting and Foreclosure Prevention   
To register call Pilar Moya-Mancera (631)427-3700 X264
or email pmoyamancera@fsl-li.org                    
·       Learn how to prioritize expenses in times of crisis
·      Resources and tips to reduce housing, utility and
                       food expenses
Which debts should get paid first
·      What to do when debt collectors cross the line
 
And remember that the LICC offers seminars on how to manage your money well--and not get ripped off on loans. Our presentations usually run an hour to 90 minutes, and we will tailor it to the needs of your audience. We can do shorter programs, for example, for a college class, campus ministry group, or youth group and their parents. They could be a great addition to your congregation’s stewardship campaign, helping people to think faithfully about our stewardship of all our resources. Each presentation is shaped around the needs of the audience and we are prepared to address a wide variety of topics. We would also be glad to do presentations for religious leaders on how to manage a congregation’s money more effectively, reduce expenses, pay for energy conservation measures, etc. 

We are doing one, for example on how to save money to buy a home for the first time and how to find an affordable home. This workshop will be at St. Agnes Catholic Church (Front & 6th Streets in Greenport, on the south side of Main Road/Route 25) on Sunday, June 3, from 1 to 3.
The LICC will provide speakers and educational materials—all you need to provide is coffee and noshes. Thanks to generous funding for this effort this year from Astoria Federal Savings, Bank of America, Ridgewood Savings Bank, TD Charitable Foundation, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, there is no charge for this program. For more information, please visit www.ncccusa.org/ecmin/licc/managemoney.html. To request a program, please e-mail tomgoodhue@optonline.net or call 516-565-0290, ext. 206.

*Learn about Poison Control June 15 at Freeport Pantry
Eduardo Torres from the New York City Poison Control Center will be at the LICC’s Emergency Food Center in Freeport (450 N. Main St.) on Friday, June 15. Drop by anytime between 11:00 and 3:30 to learn how to keep your home safe from toxins—and pick up some non-toxic freebies.

*Medical Equipment 
Linda Tomppert in Port Washington has an electric Nebulizer inhaler, a Hand Haler device with capsules, and a large box of gauze, bandages, and other wound care supplies. Please email lindamt@att.net if you or someone you know needs it.
A fellow member of Port Washington United Methodist Church has a wheelchair to give away.  Please email jpickow@aol.com if you or someone you know needs it.
Ranjana Shah has a walker, a portable bathtub bar, and a shower chair in Melville that she would like to give away to anyone who needs them. You can reach her at ranjana@optonline.net

*Electronic Organ
Mary Ella Moeller of First Presbyterian Church in East Hampton has a small electronic organ that her late husband, Jim, played, and she wants to find a good home for it. It is a 1993 Yamaha Electone EL-90, with self-contained speakers, two 4-octave keyboards and a 1½- octave pedal board, and has the instruction books and discs. It is suitable for a home, hall, or small church. It could go to the right person for just the cost of removing it! Mary Ella can be reached at maryellamoeller@gmail.com or 631-324-0471.

*Multi-Faith Education
The Long Island Council of Churches and Auburn Theological Seminary launched the Long Island Multi-Faith Forum in 1993 to help people in our area understand their neighbors. The LIMFF unites hundreds of Islanders from eleven different faith communities and many races, nationalities, and cultures. Our volunteers represent the Bahai Faith, the Brahma Kumaris, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduisms, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Native American Spirituality, Sikhism, and Unitarian Universalism. If you are not familiar with all these traditions or did not know that they are your neighbors, you may need a Building Bridges program! The Forum has presented more than 270 programs in schools, workplaces, and houses of worship, for audiences ranging from ten to 1100. While most of our programs are done in English, we have also been able to accommodate requests for Spanish language and bi-lingual presentations and could try other languages as well. The Forum has also developed a fun game-show format called “What’s My Faith.” For more information, please visit www.liccny.org. To request a presentation, contact Bernice Suplee at jbsuplee@aol.com or (631) 665-7033.
Michael Fairchild, who produced the half-hour “Faiths of Long Island” video for the Long Island Multi-Faith Forum has loaded it onto YouTube. You can see the video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ncnn5pd6Gu4 and
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOsL0LaClgU
           
DOING A BLOOD DRIVE?
We haven’t received info yet from Long Island Blood Services about collection dates in June, July, or August, but if your congregation is doing a blood drive, we’d be glad to pass the word! We have heard directly from these churches:
*Monday, June 11, 2:45-8:345 p.m. Garden City Community Church (245 Stewart Avenue). Email calced@verizon.net or call 516-334-6325 for further info or to make an appointment.
*Tuesday, June 19, 3:30 to 9 p.m. Grace United Methodist Church in Lindenhurst will have a blood drive at 515 Wellwood Ave. (the entrance is at the corner of Liberty Ave. & 1st Street). If your last donation was before April 24, you may be eligible to give “the gift of life” on June 19.
 
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NEW RECOVERY MINISTRY LAUNCHED IN MASSAPEQUA
Community United Methodist Church in Massapequa has launched a worship service focused on recovery and healing from addiction and other life struggles. These services at the first & third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. are part of a wider “Journey into New Life”  ministry. This service is led by the Rev. Bob Gunn. Bob is ordained in the UCC, currently has a full-time psychotherapy practice, and is himself in recovery for 30 years. He formerly served the UCC church in Rockville Center. He has also led recovery worship in Manhattan. We also have a dedicated Recovery Ministry team made up of lay persons who are working with Bob on this effort.
The church is located at 100 Park Blvd. in  Massapequa, between Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road, on the west side of Park Blvd.  For more info, please call 516-541-7008


 
Interreligious dialogue
Exploring and understanding other faiths
“Three Faiths, One God:
Judaism, Christianity, Islam”
As seen on public television nationwide
 
The Wesley United Methodist Church
invites our community
to engage in an interreligious dialogue
to deepen our understanding
of the Abrahamic faiths.
“This ground-braking documentary compares the similarities and differences in religious beliefs and practices that Islam has with Christianity and Judaism. It also examines how people of good will in the Abrahamic faith communities are coming to terms with historical conflicts that impact their lives today, the crisis of the fundamentalist approach to religious pluralism, and the tearing down barriers to understanding and respect.”
Wesley Church is located at:
619 Fenworth Blvd. (corner of Dogwood Ave.)
Franklin Square, NY 11010.
Thursday,  June 21 & 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Contact us at
wesleyfsumc@yahoo.com or 516-481-1797
or visit our webpage http://wesleyunitedmethodistchurchfranklinsq.blogspot.com/




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