BRADENTON -- The second of three "Interfaith Symposium" is slated for Tuesday, featuring speakers from Jewish, Catholic and UCC Congregational faiths.
The sessions are being lead by Rabbi Harold F. Caminker, of Temple Beth El; Father Thomas Zalewski, of St. Joseph Catholic Church, and the Rev. Robert Sichta, representing the UCC Congregational Church.
The religious leaders are slated to teach together Tuesday and again Feb. 17. The first session was held Feb. 3, attracting a crowd of about 100.
"It was a really big event," said Caminker of the evening he spent at UCC Congregational Church, 3700 26th St. W., Bradenton.
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"It was a really wonderful and important session," he said, noting he thought it was among the first such interfaith gatherings organized in Bradenton.
The topic was "God," and each
speaker discussed the subject for 10 minutes.
"It was wonderful, very informative; it's nice to hear traditions of different faiths, and how they relate to the same topic," said Nancy Cunningham, a member of St. Joseph's who attended the event.
"I liked the rabbi best," said Cunningham, a retiree. "He was most informative about what your faith tradition means in relation to the topic of God.
"He related it back to a touching, moving letter a young girl had written from Auschwitz to God on the day her mother was gassed -- she was very angry; it was just incredible, it was thought-provoking, too," Cunningham said.
She also enjoyed Zalewski's image of God, she said: "It wasn't like a figure, it was like an image of love, and that it was how God's love is related through us, through what we do."
Zalewski could not be reached for comment Friday.
Sichta said he was thrilled at the turnout on a weeknight, and added that he hoped everyone would emerge with a better sense of community.
"I hope other people had as much fun as we did," he said.
Sichta said he was looking forward to the next two events; Tuesday's symposium is slated for 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 3100 26th St. W., Bradenton, addressing "Prejudice." The final session is set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at Temple Beth El, 4200 32nd St. W., Bradenton, addressing "Sin and Death."
All are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served afterward.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.