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New Year’s Day Multifaith Service Set At St. William

St. William Church and Louisville’s Interfaith Paths to Peace organization are co-hosting a New Year’s Day service at the church.

Spokesperson Terry Taylor says the “World Day of Prayer for Peace” will be a multi-faith event.

“We’ll have representatives of all the world’s great religions there to offer their good wishes for the year, including Jews, Christians, Muslims, Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus. All of us joining together in one voice to work for a peaceful new year,” he said.

The service is open to the public. It begins at 10am Saturday at St. William Church at 13th and Oak Streets.

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Louisville Church To Host Quran Reading

By Sheila Ash

A Louisville church will host a reading of the Quran on Saturday, the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The event is in response to the planned burning of the Quran that was to take place in Florida but has been called off.

Rev. Todd Eklof of the Clifton Universalist Unitarian Church says the event is being held to promote freedom of religion and equality.

“The gentleman in Gainsville, Florida who until very recently has been planning on burning the Quran has come out and said he would not burn the Quran if they would move this mosque in New York which we find equally as disturbing,” he said.

Thirty-six people will read from the Quran from 9:11 a.m. to 9:11 p.m. at the church.

In addition, Interfaith Paths to Peace is also planning a special service beginning at 11:30am at Highland Baptist Church.

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Multi-Faith Memorial Day Service Set

By Andy Freudenburg

The 26th Interfaith Paths to Peace Memorial Day service is set for 11am today in downtown Lousiville.

Spokesperson Terry Taylor says the service at Christ Church Cathedral will honor both military personnel and civilians who died in U.S. wars.

“This year for the first time we have as special emphasis on youth presenters, which is kind of exciting. We have music, dance, reading, prayers, reflections, and from people as young as 10 years old out of the Baha’i community a fifth grader from Bates Elementary School will be taking part, young adults. It should be a really powerful experience,” he said.

The service is open to the public.  It will be followed by a reception.

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Group Offers Alternative To 'Open Carry' Church Celebration

A gun-themed celebration at the New Bethel Church in Louisville has prompted a peace-themed celebration by Interfaith Paths to Peace.

New Bethel Church is asking parishioners to bring unloaded guns to a church social on Saturday evening. Rather than protest the service, Interfaith Paths to Peace is sponsoring an alternative event in eastern Jefferson County.

IPP director Terry Taylor says the New Bethel event could send some people the wrong message.

“With what we’ve been hearing in the news lately about troubles and shootings in churches and other places, the idea of bringing even unloaded guns into a public space seems to me to be kind of problematic,” says Taylor.

But New Bethel Pastor Ken Pagano says his “Open Carry Celebration” is not a worship service and will preach responsible gun ownership.

“I have more to fear from the person driving down the highway from a person with a cell phone texting or twittering than I do from a responsible firearms owner,” says Pagano.

Pagano and Taylor plan to meet after the two events.

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Interfaith Paths To Peace Expanding

Louisville’s Interfaith Paths to Peace organization is expanding this week.

The group has hired Jan Arnow to be its new associate director.   She’s the former director of the Council on Interfaith Relations. Arnow and IPP director Terry Taylor will represent the organization next month on fact-finding trips to Rwanda and Turkey, respectively.

Taylor says the group’s travels and expansion are made possible by continued philanthropy from individuals who are interested in learning about the world.

“Certainly international events spur interest in religions,” he says. “Sadly sometimes that does have to do with war and conflict. But I would say, more than that, it’s the fact that when people are in the workplace here in Louisville, they go to the grocery store, they take their kids to school. More and more they’re meeting people who are different from them.”

The group is also moving into a larger office space this week.