Community News (V16-I2)

January 2, 2014 by  


Interfaith Alliance helps pack meals

The InterFaith Alliance of Merrimack College joined with hundreds of other students from campuses across Boston to help pack 50,000 meals for food insecure children in Massachusetts at the 4th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Meal Packing event.
They joined the Boston Interfaith Campus Coalition and Humanist Community of Harvard on November 24th for the 4th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Meal Packing Event, and added 42 hours to the #MackGivesBack project total.

According to Chris Stedman, Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard, “Our interfaith meal packing event on Sunday was the largest meal packing that has ever occurred in Middlesex County, which also happens to be the county with the highest levels of food insecurity in all of New England. During our efforts on Sunday, we packed Kids Care’s 4 millionth meal — and then some. And with this, our fourth meal packing event, we exceeded 120,000 meals packed at our annual interfaith meal packing events. That’s 120,000 children fed, all because religious and nonreligious people came together to help those in need.”

Prof. Zia Khan publishes pioneering study

University of Maryland faculty Zia Khan is the first author on a new study appearing in the prestigious journal Science. Prof. Khan’s work, performed in his prior position at the University of Chicago, demonstrates that protein levels are more strongly conserved during evolution than the levels of the transcripts from which these proteins are translated. While this observation makes sense – proteins are the workhorse in cells and their levels must be tightly controlled – Prof. Khan’s work is the first to disentangle the experimental noise from biological signal, thereby conclusively demonstrating this effect.

Catholic & Muslim youth cook for the homeless

STATEN ISLAND,NY–Building on the shared religious teachings of social justice, Catholic and Muslim youth in Staten Island cAme together to have their first joint interfaith cooking experience. The youth met the Albanian Islamic Cultural Centre and chop pounds of carrots, potatoes, celery, peppers, onions and radishes, which were cooked with 7 meat to serve clients at a local soup kitchen run by Project Hospitality.

The project emerges from an ongoing partnership between Albanian Islamic Cultural Center and Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC) parish, brokered by the Interfaith Center of New York, and supported by the GHR Family Foundation. It is part of a larger program that promotes joint interfaith social service initiatives by Catholics and Muslims; the Interfaith Center is actively working in Harlem and the Bronx as well as Staten Island to promote these partnerships. Fr. Liam, pastor at OLGC and Imam Tahir of AICC jointly organized Cardinal Dolan’s visit to the Center and Miraj Islamic School this past summer. The youth project is a continuation of exchange between the two congregations.

Fr. Liam, the Pastor at OLGC discusses the importance of this partnership: “While acknowledging the very real differences between our two faiths, I believe that it is very important for us as Catholics and Muslims to work together to understand each other’s faith and to discover what we have in common. Helping people in need is an important part of both our faith traditions. Today we have the wonderful opportunity to learn and to talk about Jesus – the central figure in Catholicism – and Prophet Isa – as he is known and honored in Islam.”

Imam Tahir of AICC also notes, “The Quran teaches us that the best among you is the one who is beneficial to mankind. We do interfaith activities for one reason: to be beneficial to our communities.”

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