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Louisville's Fall Festival of Faiths Starts Thursday

The Louisville Center for Interfaith Relations is hosting a Fall Festival this week aimed at raising awareness of issues that affect people of all beliefs.Keeping with the theme of the the Center’s May Festival of Faiths—“Sacred Silence: The Pathway to Compassion”— the upcoming fall festival will feature discussions and presentations about finding compassionate methods to confront issues such as wealth disparity, social justice and sustainability.Keynote speakers will bring national and local perspectives together to break down barriers between different faiths and begin a positive dialogue that encourages community members to embrace their responsibility to promote a better quality of life for everyone, organizers said.The Fall Festival is not meant to preach or evangelize, said Chris Wooton, spokesperson for the Center for Interfaith Relations.“The idea is to raise awareness, it’s to educate,” he said.  “It’s not to convert anybody.”“No matter who you are or what you believe in, there are issues that affect all of us,” Wooton said.On Nov. 14, Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, a Chicago-based pastor, will be presenting “Greed as Violence: The Role of the Global Church in Addressing the Enduring Spiritual Crisis of our Time” at 11:30 a.m. and Dr. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, Chair of Bellarmine University’s Theology Department, will be presenting “The Problem of Wealth at 7:30 p.m.   Both discussions will be at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Society.Other festival events will include an Interfaith Thanksgiving dinner on  Thursday and a multiple-speaker forum from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. Called “The Energy Independence Boom: The Call for Religious Leadership,” the forum will examine the faith community’s response to a new generation of fossil fuel extraction that can threaten the health of the ecosystem.Panelists for Friday's forum will be Samuel Avery, owner of Avery and Sun Solar Energy Solutions, Paul D. Simmons, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and Sarah Lynn Cunningham, licensed environmental engineer and state-certified environmental educator.Friday events will be held Bellarmine University’s Frazier Hall.The Center for Interfaith Relations is hosting the festival in partnership with Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Bellarmine University Campus Ministry and the Sustainable Religious Lands Committee. Events on Thursday are free and open to the public, though registration is recommended.  Events on Friday will be $25 and include a box-lunch.For more information about the festival or the speakers, visit www.festivaloffaiths.org.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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