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The Interfaith Alliance of Marion County, Florida
protecting faith and freedom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ocala, September 16, 2012……………The Interfaith Alliance of Marion County announces that it is sponsoring a community conversation on the “value of differences” – religious, ethnic and cultural - at the First Congregational United Church of Christ on Monday, October 8, 2012, at 7 p.m. The church is located at 7171 State Rd. 200.
“Marion County represents a one percent microcosm of our country’s population with its citizenry reflecting not only the ethnic complexion of the old South but also the diversity introduced by streams of new residents of European, Caribbean, Latin American, African and Asian background . They include Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Baha’i among others who are so enriching our civic l ife. While The Interfaith Alliance strongly supports first amendment rights of religious freedom and expression for all , we also wish to address the distinction between mere tolerance of differences and the progressive strengthening and acceptance of the rights of all segments of our society during the history of our young nation” according to Rev. Dr. Harold McSwain, Jr, pastor of the host church who will moderate.
Panel participants include the Rev. Edward Bland, pastor of the Greater Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church; Larry Collins ,member of the Islamic Center of Ocala and vice president of The Interfaith Alliance; Judge Sandra Edwards-Stephens of the Fifth Circuit Court; Barbara Fitos, executive director of The Community Foundation; Rabbi Ze’ev Harari of Temple Beth Shalom; and Rev. Peggy Hostetler, pastor of the Oakbrook Center for Spiritual Living.
The event is free and open to the public with a reception to follow in the adjacent community center.