Matters of Faith
Ayyam-i-Ha celebration: The Baha'i community will present a concert today as part of the Ayyam-i-Ha celebration and as a benefit for the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Flute virtuoso Paul Pike will return to play with Medicine Dream and other participants, including George Holly, Dr. Rita Blumenstein, Mary Gubatayao-Hagen, the Miracle Dancers and others. The event starts at 7:30 p.m., and doors open at 6:30 p.m. General admission is $15-$20, with family rate available.
Ayyam-i-Ha, or "Intercalary Days," is Feb. 26-March 1 in the Baha'i calendar and consists of the days that are "left over" after the Baha'i calendar is divided into months. The period is followed by a 19-day fast that leads up to the Baha'i New Year on March 21. Like Mardi Gras before Lent, the Intercalary Days are a time of hospitality, fellowship, gift-giving, sharing and community service. Baha'u'llah, prophet-founder of the faith, writes: "It behoveth the people of Baha, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation. Let the days in excess of the months be placed before the month of fasting..."
"Purim Around the World": Lubavitch Jewish Center of Alaska/Congregation Shomrei Ohr invites the community to the second annual "Purim Around the World" celebration. Last year's event focused on Persia, and this year's will be a Mexican Purim fiesta. The event, on March 8, will include kosher Mexican and Jewish foods, entertainment, costumes, "Who Wants to be a Mitzvah'naire?" and a multimedia rendering of the traditional Purim story.
Purim, on March 9, commemorates the story of Queen Esther, a liberator of the Jewish people in the Bible. Haman, of Persia, wished to destroy the Jewish people. Esther, a Jew, became the queen of Perisa and with the help of her uncle, Mordechai, was able to stop Haman. The local celebration costs $8.50 in advance or $10 at the door for adults, $4 and $5 respectively for children. R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, 279-1200.
Singles Ministry hosts gala: Lighthouse Christian Fellowship's Singles Ministry will host "Singles Black Tie Gala" at 7 p.m. March 10 at Anchorage Marriott Downtown, including dinner, fellowship, live entertainment and door prizes. Tickets are $50 and available at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship and Last Frontier Christian Bookstore. (566-4539)
"So You Love an Alcoholic": Holy Spirit Center will present a workshop titled "So You Love an Alcoholic" 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 24 at 10980 Hillside Drive. The program will be led by the Rev. Bob Fitzgerald and will include a film by Melanie Beattie, and panel and group discussions. Cost is $40 including lunch and materials. To register, call 346-2343 by March 16.
Black History Month: Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church will celebrate Black History Month after the 11 a.m. worship service Sunday in the gymnasium. Also, the church will offer "Gospel Espresso" 8-10 p.m. March 3. This event is intended to provide a setting where members can invite co-workers or friends from outside the church community. Entertainment will feature Gary Pennywell and others. For information, call Robert Heartwell at 276-6628.
Church of Scientology: The church plans a series of free introductory lectures at 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, starting next week at 1300 E. 68th Ave., Suite 208A. On March 3, guest speaker Steve Dravin of Los Angeles will speak on the importance of eliminating drugs and toxins from the body. The regular Sunday service is at 11 a.m., followed by group spiritual counseling. (336-6086)
Day of prayer: The World Day of Prayer celebration and worship service will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Turnagain United Methodist Church, 3300 W. Northern Lights Blvd. There will be a finger food luncheon. Everyone is welcome. (243-3610)
Recalling pope's visit: Monday marks the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's visit to Anchorage. More than 50,000 people gathered on the Park Strip for Mass. Commemorative holy cards will be distributed in local Catholic parishes this weekend, and Archbishop Francis T. Hurley has asked the parishes to take note of the anniversary.
Unitarian-Universalist: David Edgecomb, a professor of theater at University of Alaska Anchorage and the author of a text on Shakespeare and the play "Libby," will discuss "Magic to Ritual to Religion" at the 9 a.m. forum Sunday at 3201 Turnagain St. The 10:45 a.m. service will feature "What Does It Mean to be a U.U. Humanist?" by the Rev. Art Curtis.
Immanuel Presbyterian Church: The Adult Forum at 9:45 a.m. Sunday at 2311 Pembroke St. (the northeast corner of Boniface Parkway and 24th Avenue) features George T. Harper, founder and president of the Blacks in Alaska History Project. (333-5253)
Feb. 26-March 1: Ayyam-i-Ha, or Intercalary Days, a time of celebration held prior to a 19-day fast that leads up to the Baha'i New Year on March 21.
Feb. 28: Ash Wednesday, beginning of Lent, the penitential period leading up to Easter, in the western Christian tradition.
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