Examining Religion's Role in Politics

"Striking a Proper Balance: The Role of Religion in American Politics" is the topic of a panel discussion Thursday sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Orange County, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, the Jewish Community Center of Orange County and the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

The moderator will be Prof. Benjamin Hubbard of Cal State Fullerton's religious studies department. Panelists include: Rabbi A. James Rudin, director of inter-religious affairs for the American Jewish Committee; Cal State Fullerton religious department professor Daniel Brown; and the Rev. Harry Haines, representing the National Council of Churches.

Admission is free to the 7:15 p.m. discussion at the Jewish Federation Campus, 250 E. Baker St., Costa Mesa. Information: (714) 660-8525.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, will begin Sunday evening and continue through Tuesday. The holiday also marks the beginning of the 10 days of repentance, when Jewish people take stock of and repent for events of the past year. New resolutions are made, and the period of repentance concludes with Yom Kippur.

Irvine Community Chabad's schedule of Rosh Hashanah services follows: Sunday at 7 p.m.; Monday at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Tuesday at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The Shofar, or ram's horn, will be sounded both Monday and Tuesday mornings at 11:30.

There will also be a Tashlich ceremony on Monday at Woodbridge Lake, near the synagogue. The ancient ceremony is performed in front of a well or stream of water. At the beginning of the new year, a person's sins are symbolically cast into the water so that the person becomes spiritually pure. The water should contain fish to signify keeping one's eyes open against transgressions. The ceremony will be at 5:30 p.m.

The synagogue is at 4872 Royce Road, Irvine. Information: (714) 786-5000.

At Temple Beth El of South Orange County, services are as follows: Sunday at 8 p.m.; Monday and Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. A Kol Nidre service will be at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 6. Yom Kippur services are at 10:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday's Rosh Hashanah service will be in the new temple at 27462 Laguna Hills Drive South in Aliso Viejo. The other services will be at Geneva Presbyterian Church, 24301 El Toro Road, Laguna Hills. For reservations or information call (714) 362-3999.

Services for Rosh Hashanah at Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach are scheduled for: Sunday at 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. on Monday. The Kol Nidre service is at 8 p.m. on Oct. 6; Yom Kippur services are at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Between services on Yom Kippur, at 1 p.m., the Laguna Trio will perform in a special program.

The temple is at 1011 Camelback St. For ticket information call the temple office at (714) 644-1999.

"Grounded and Free: Spirituality for Living" is Howard L. Rice's topic as guest speaker on Oct. 3 during a seminar at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Costa Mesa. He was moderator at the 191st General Assembly, and is a professor of ministry at San Francisco Theological Seminary. An author, his most recent book is entitled "Reformed Spirituality: An Introduction for Believers."

A $5 registration fee includes lunch. The seminar and lunch are from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 2850 Fairview Road. For reservations, call the church office by Monday at (714) 557-3340.

A special reading and discussion group will study the 500 years following the arrival of Columbus and how American Indians, Latinos and others were affected in "The Journey After Columbus." The journal "Church and Society" will be used as a guide for the free sessions offered by St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach.

The group meets Monday evenings from 7:30 to 8:50 p.m. through Oct. 12 at 2100 Mar Vista

Drive. Information: (714) 644-1341.

Evangelist Harold Turner will lead a weeklong series of services beginning Sunday at the Tustin Church of Christ. Sunday services are at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. The weeknight services are at 7:30 p.m. through Friday.

The church is at 16481 Main St. Information: (714) 972-9922.

The Minirth-Meier Clinic West is sponsoring a parenting seminar on Oct. 3 at the Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton. The "Transitional Generation" seminar will be led by Jim Burns, president of the National Institute of Youth Ministry, and psychologists Henry Cloud and John Townsend from the Minirth-Meier Clinic.

Admission is $45 and reservations are not necessary. The seminar is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 2801 N. Brea Blvd. Information: (800) 676-HOPE.

Gerrie's Senior Happy Chorale will give a gospel music concert Sunday at Newport Center United Methodist Church. The concert is at 4 p.m. and dinner will follow.

There will be a free-will donation for the event. The church is at 1601 Marguerite Ave.,

Corona del Mar. For reservations, call (714) 644-0745.

The Rev. Anne Hines will be the guest speaker Sunday at the Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Costa Mesa. She is the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito in Solana Beach and will discuss children in poverty.

The program is at 10:30 a.m. at 1259 Victoria St. Information: (714) 646-4652.

The First Presbyterian Church of Santa Ana is offering a "Wednesday Alive" program for education, music and fellowship each week.

The Wednesday programs begin at 5:15 p.m. at the church and include dinner. Suggested donation is $2.50 per person. The church is at 600 N. Main St. Information: (714) 542-7253.

St. Timothy Catholic Community in Laguna Niguel is offering a full schedule of Adult Ministries programs. Classes include several Bible study groups, a weekly series on issues of interest to Catholics, classes on spiritual growth and a speaker's night series.

A tour to the Holy Land next year is also planned. The church is at 29182 Via San Sebastian. For program or tour information, call (714) 495-4862.

Psychologist Michele McCormick is the guest speaker for Wednesday's Serendipity Singles session at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach. Her topic is "Liberated Dating: Freedom from Shame."

There is a $2 donation for the 7:30 session which includes refreshments. Reservations are not necessary. Child care reservations can be made by calling (714) 631-2885 by Monday noon. The church is at 600 St. Andrews Road. Information: (714) 631-2880.

St. Alban's Church in Brea will celebrate the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels with a special service Tuesday at 8 p.m. St. Alban's is an Anglican congregation in the evangelical tradition.

The service will include music by Handel and Bach and will take place at Brea Congregational Church, 300 E. Imperial Highway. Information: (714) 839-1688.

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