Suburban Mosaic: Christians, Jews and Muslims to break bread in Arlington Heights for peace
Suburban Christians, Jews and Muslims will come together to break bread Sept. 10 at the 12th annual Interfaith Potluck For Peace at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights.
More than 100 men, women and children from the three faith traditions are expected to share food from their cultures and talk about how they are working to promote peace at the dinner, said the Rev. Corey Brost, co-founder of the Children of Abraham Coalition and executive director of Viator House of Hospitality, both in Arlington Heights.
Founded in 2010, the nonprofit coalition brings together adherents of the Abrahamic religions for interfaith dialogue, service and leadership development.
Brost, of Arlington Heights, said he came to revere Islam while studying about the religion in graduate school and because of his Muslim friends. He started the Children of Abraham Coalition with the goal of educating people about the three faith traditions.
The group's inaugural interfaith event was held on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. It later turned into a yearly interfaith potluck for peace held around Sept. 11 -- coinciding with the inaugural World Parliament of Religions held Sept. 11, 1893, in conjunction with the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, or the World's Fair, in Chicago.
"We decided that we would annually commemorate Sept. 11, 1893, by bringing together Muslims, Jews and Christians of all ages to share a meal and dialogue with each other about our many similarities, to work together against religious-based hate," Brost said. "We don't exclude non-Abrahamic traditions."
In past years, members of the Sikh community have joined in the group's efforts, he added.
The Sept. 10 interfaith potluck will honor Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton for his commitment to confronting hate through the Cook County United Against Hate initiative. It will be held 5-7 p.m. at the Catholic school, 1213 E. Oakton St. For more information and to register, visit coacpeace.org. The event is free and open to all ages.
The Children of Abraham Coalition's signature youth program -- Peace Camp -- brings together roughly 40 Christian, Jewish and Muslim middle schoolers led by about 20 high school or college-age students for two afternoons to make friends and learn about each other's traditions while visiting a synagogue, mosque and church.
- Courtesy of Children of Abraham Coalition
The Children of Abraham Coalition hosts several other interfaith events and outreach efforts throughout the year. Leaders held a workshop at the recent 2023 Parliament of World Religions in Chicago about the group's signature youth program -- Peace Camp.
It brings together roughly 40 Christian, Jewish and Muslim middle schoolers led by about 20 high school or college-age students for two afternoons to make friends and learn about each other's traditions while visiting a synagogue, mosque and church.
"We actually role-play with these kids (about) how to speak out when they hear prejudice and bigotry against their faiths," Brost said. "We are an intentional response to the rising extremism in our nation. We have to be very intentional, persistent and creative in teaching our kids the beauty of diversity, and giving them tools so that they can stand up publicly ... and confront prejudice. We need to inoculate our children against extremism and hate just like we inoculate them against COVID."
Four Peace Camps were held before the pandemic and a fifth in February. The next camp will be held Presidents Day weekend 2024.
The coalition also is starting a new partnership with Feed My Starving Children in Schaumburg and will organize interfaith food packing sessions. The first packing session will be held Oct. 4.
"We currently are managing an interfaith garden that raises produce for local food pantries," Brost said.
McHenry County College in Crystal Lake is hosting an exhibit titled "How One Becomes What Is?" by artist Jeffly Gabriela Molina through Sept. 15.
- Courtesy of McHenry County College
Latina artist exhibit
McHenry County College in Crystal Lake is hosting the exhibit "How One Becomes What Is?" by artist Jeffly Gabriela Molina through Sept. 15 in Galleries One and Two, inside and outside the library.
Molina's paintings are an essay on identity, inspired by her personal history and contemporary life in the places she has lived in Venezuela and the United States. Her work relies on figurative and still-life compositions.
A group of single-object, still-life paintings titled "Homemade Sculptures" reflect Molina's experience of searching for a home. The exhibit includes family portraits from Venezuela.
Molina is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist from Táchira, Venezuela. She moved to the U.S. in 2007 and graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 and 2016, respectively. She has been awarded an Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Driehaus Museum, the AAF/Seebacher Prize for Fine Arts, a Carol Becker's Dean Grant, and a John W. Kurtich scholarship.
A talk with the artist is scheduled from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 13, in the Luecht Auditorium at MCC, Room B170, or online via Zoom at mchenrycc.zoom.us/s/92768813561. A reception will follow in Gallery One. The events are free and open to the public.
Twenty fantastical, colorful creatures will be on display at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin. Previously exhibited at Cantigny Park, these creatures from the Mexican Cultural Center-DuPage will be featured at the library Sept. 9 through the second week of January.
- Courtesy of Gail Borden Public Library
Twenty colorful, papier-mâché sculptures from the Mexican Cultural Center-DuPage will be on display at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin from Sept. 9 through the second week of January.
Previously housed at Cantigny Park, the "Alebrijes" stem from Mexican folklore highlighted in the 2017 Disney/Pixar movie "Coco." They embody characteristics from many animals to create fantastical creatures. The sculptures include Goliath, a 16-foot deer, giraffe and eagle, and Lacuarium, a fusion between a sea horse and dragon.
Elgin Mayor David Kaptain, state Sen. Cristina Castro, state Rep. Anna Moeller, and other community leaders will be at the unveiling of this traditional Mexican art form at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 12, at the Main Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin. The public is invited to attend and enjoy the music and family activities.
"Elgin is a place that supports and embraces all cultures," Kaptain said. "We are proud of its rich Mexican culture and we want to celebrate and share diversity."
The sculptures (eight large and 12 smaller figures) by Mexican artists Alejandro Camacho Barrera, Perla Miriam Salgado Zamorano, Roberto Carlos Martinez Tecillo, Edgar Camargo Reyes and Alberto Moreno Fernández will be on display throughout the Main Library.
"I'm excited to bring these Alebrijes to this wonderful library," said Fernando Ramirez, president and founder of the Mexican Cultural Center-DuPage. "There is no better place for imagination to take hold."
View the unveiling on Facebook Livemat gbpl.info/FBLV.
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