A religious education congress sponsored by the...


A religious education congress sponsored by the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese expects to draw more than 20,000 people to the Anaheim Convention Center next week.

Called “Live the Promise,” the Feb. 17-20 meeting is called the largest convocation of its type, featuring an energetic exchange of ideas at more than 200 workshops in English and Spanish and talks by more than 140 speakers and theologians from around the globe on topics such as education, spirituality and personal growth.

Even before it begins, the congress has drawn fire from numerous Catholics, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, over a scheduled speaker, former priest and abortion advocate Daniel Maguire.


Thursday, the opening day of the congress, is reserved for 10,000 ninth- through 12th-graders from Catholic and public high schools who will choose from workshops including “Me, Myself and My Sexuality,” conducted by Bishop Patrick Ziemann, of the Diocese of Santa Rosa. Mahony will celebrate Mass for the youths.

Adult participants may be interested in two presentations by author Thomas Moore. The former psychotherapist and religion professor, the best-selling “Soul Mates,” will speak on “The Soulful Educator” at 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and on “The Soulful Practice of Religion and Spirituality” at 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

It is “extraordinarily difficult” to be a soulful educator in a society that pays lip service to education but undervalues it, Moore said in an interview from San Francisco.

“The main thing is to realize that education does not mean to train or inform, but to provide certain types of experiences that deeper initiate us into what it means to be a human being, a part of society, and what it means to live with meaning and fruitfulness.”

Beyond education, he said, “It is awfully important for us as a society to recover a sense of sacredness in every single aspect of our life” and “not to focus on differences” in our religious experiences.

The congress culminates in worship at 5:15 p.m. Friday, with Mahony as principal celebrant. Adult programming begins at 8 a.m. Friday. Admission is $45. (213) 251-3332.



* Broadcast journalist Warren Olney moderates a debate entitled “Law in L.A.: Justice or Peace?” between attorney Harland Braun and Loyola law professor Laurie Levinson at 7:30 p.m. Monday at UCLA’s Hillel Jewish Center. Braun represented Police Officer Theodore S. Briseno in the federal Rodney G. King trials and Levinson is the author of “The Future of Civil Rights Prosecutions: The Lessons of the Rodney King Trial.” The event, co-sponsored by the Brandeis-Bardin Institute and the American Jewish Congress, costs $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Free admission for full-time UCLA students with ID. 900 Hilgard Ave., Westwood. (310) 208-3081.

* Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, in Beverly Hills will commence the Lenten season with the imposition of ashes at the conclusion of a 7 p.m. worship service Wednesday. 436 S. Beverly Drive. (310) 277-1164.

* Messiah Baptist Church and Temple Israel of Hollywood, covenant partners for four years, celebrate African American History Month together at 11 a.m. Sunday at the temple. “When Jews and Blacks Talk to Each Other Heart to Heart” is Rabbi John L. Rosove’s sermon. The Messiah Young People’s Choir will sing. 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 876-8330.

* St. Philip’s Episcopal Church celebrates Black History Month with guest preachers at 9 a.m. services each Sunday this month: the Rev. Eric Law, consultant for Cross Cultural Organizations of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on Feb. 13; the Rev. Enock Lee Drati, chaplain of World Impact, on Feb. 20; and the Rev. Oliver Brown II, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, on Feb. 27. Spanish-language services are held at noon 2800 Stanford Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 232-0018.

* A daylong Women in Ministry seminar is presented by Azusa Pacific University’s Haggard School of Theology in Azusa Thursday, Feb. 24. The conference offers practical advice for achieving success in the Christian workplace and is open to the public. Admission is $32 for those registering by Monday, discounts for seniors and students. (818) 812-3049.

* An all-day seminar on family and community violence will be held Friday at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Conducting the program is David W. Foy, psychology professor at Pepperdine University and author of a widely used manual, “Treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Cognitive Behavioral Strategies.” For registration information, phone (818) 584-5338 or (800) 235-2222, Ext. 5338.


* Bioethicist Rabbi Moshe S. Tendler, a professor of biologist and Yeshiva University in New York, will speak on genetic programming at a medical conference at 7:30 p.m. Thursday sponsored by the West Coast Orthodox Union. The conference is free to health care professionals. 9075 W. Pico Blvd., Suite 101, Los Angeles. For reservations, call (310) 777-0225.

* The International Buddhist Meditation Center provides support groups Mondays at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. that use meditation and other techniques to cope with addictive behaviors and associated stress. Donations accepted. 928 S. New Hampshire Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 738-9952.


Bishop Carl Bean of the Unity Fellowship Church has appointed the Rev. Zachary Jones elder of the Eastern District and the Rev. Renee McCoy elder of the Midwestern District . . . The Rev. Gary Shoemaker, pastor of North Long Beach Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is the new president of the South Coast Ecumenical Council.


Children’s singer, storyteller and illustrator Barney Saltzberg performs with the Boomers at the Westside Jewish Community Center at 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7, discounts for center members. 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 938-2531, Ext. 2202.

Congregation Kol Ami, which welcomes lesbians and gay men, offers an adult Bar and Bat Mitzvah class for members and non-members at 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays. (213) 656-6093.