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Friday, December 29, 2000

Annual peace service adds justice to theme

By Chris Mayhew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

NEWPORT - Representatives from all major faiths throughout Greater Cincinnati will gather across the street from the World Peace Bell on Sunday in the ballroom of the Syndicate restaurant for the second annual Interfaith Service in Celebration of World Peace.

The first service last year brought area religious leaders together at the base of the World Peace Bell.

"Last year, the theme at the bell on New Year's Eve was peace," said Cynthia Goodman, Millennium Monument creative director and education director. "This year, we have expanded the theme to peace and justice."

Organizers decided to give each faith an opportunity to discuss justice because the group wanted to have an impact on the world at large, Ms. Goodman said.

For example, the Baha'i faith, which was founded in 19th-century Persia, is concerned with the equality of men and women.

Because of the program's success last year, more religions are getting involved this year, Karen Dabdoub, the administrator for the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, said.

"What I see happening is relationships are being built by people of faith in the Cincinnati area, and that's good by itself," she said.

Ms. Dabdoub said she hopes the relationships will encourage more tolerance, trust and acceptance.

The program, 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the restaurant at 18 E. Fifth St., includes dancing and singing and will conclude with the ringing of the World Peace Bell.

Among those in the religious community attending the service: the Rev. William F. Cleves, a diocesan priest and president of Thomas More College; Rabbi Abie Ingber, executive director, Hillel Jewish Student Center; Vir Jain, a member of the Jain Center of Cincinnati and Dayton; and Brennan Hill, chairman of Xavier University's department of theology.

The service will include the Jain children's dance group, a children's procession with flags from different countries, American Indian songs and dances, a Hindu chorus and the Northern Kentucky Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance Community Choir.

©Copyright The Cincinnati Enquirer

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