NEWBERRY — The faith realm takes center stage in Newberry County these last couple of weeks in January.
The Interfaith Partners of Newberry County (IPNC) are preparing for a couple of major events onThursday and Sunday.
The events come after Gov. Nikki Haley declaration of January as Interfaith Harmony month. John Halfacre of the IPNC met with other Interfaith partners around the state on Jan. 7 as Haley made the proclamation.
The IPNC brings together people from 10 different faiths and Halfacre is hoping for many people to come out to the events to learn more about the different faiths.
The first event is a seminar on Islam and the Muslim faith and set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Newberry College’s music college.
This is a free event that will last about an hour and a half and will conquer current issues and topics related to the Muslim faith.
The Director of the Interfaith Partners of South Carolina Dr. Carl Evans will moderate the seminar composed of people of the Muslim faith. These people include: a Muslim college student; Farrah Sadiq, a volunteer speaker on Muslim issues; Zara Rabnawaz, another Muslim speaker; Imam Omar Shaheed from Masjid As-Salaam mosque and the president of Peace and Integratin Council of North America, Chaudhry Sadiq.
After these people discuss issues and topics, the audience will be able to ask questions and hopefully a dialogue will flow, explains Halfacre.
“We want to do this for the community of Newberry,” said Halfacre, “The quality of life in a community is related to the education of religion. Differences often produce conflict but it doesn’t have to be if we take time to understand why they believe. We don’t have to agree but we can understand.”
Halfacre hopes that a variety of people come out including college students. As a bonus, college students receive Fine Arts and Lecture (FAL) credit for attending.
The other interfaith event is a performing arts celebration set for 3 p.m. Sunday inside the Newberry Opera House.
Spirituality Expressed through the Performing Arts explores 10 different faiths through one of the following mediums, singing, dancing, drumming or drama. The 10 faiths will perform in this order: Muslim, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Native American Indian, Baha’i, Paganism, Judaism, Sikhism and Unitarian Universalism.
Halfacre said they have about 75 participants so far. The event is brought by the IPNC and the Interfaith Partners of South Carolina and and there is a $5 charge.
“The purpose of this program comes down to three things. Hopefully there is a level of entertainment, education and most importantly, it will be a spiritually rewarding experience,” said Halfacre.
As with the Islam seminar, Newberry College students receive FAL credit for attending.
“Compassion is one critical element that binds all religions together,” said Halfacre.
To purchase tickets, people may stop by the Newberry Opera House box office on McKibben Street or call 276-6264.
For more information about the interfaith events or the Interfaith Partners of Newberry County, contact Halfacre at 924-3490 or email Halfacre at email@example.com.