Project Explores Links Between Art, Spirituality

A new and innovative multimedia art project will be open to the public at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills on Sept. 13.

In a unique artists in residence program, congregants shared personal objects, the story of mitzvah and memories it sparked with multimedia artists Ilene Segalove and Paul Velick. The objects were photographed and stories recorded by the artists.

The resulting work, "Mitzvah Scrolls," is a vertical photo-collage that resembles hanging scrolls, with an audio of accompanying stories. It explores the connection between art and spirituality.

"The project has been deeply moving . . . in listening to the stories, the tellers and the listeners have come closer to sensing the presence of God and the power of Jewish tradition," said Laura Geller, senior rabbi of Temple Emanuel.

The work will be permanently installed outside the sanctuary at Temple Emanuel, 300 N. Clark Drive, Beverly Hills. It will be open to the public Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. After that, the public may visit from 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays and during Sabbath and Holiday services. Information: (310) 859-2474.


As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the Church of the Mother of Sorrows will be hosting a gospel concert Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. Gospel choirs from neighboring churches will participate in the event at the church hall, 8721 S. Main St., Los Angeles. Information: (323) 758-7697.


Interest in hidden messages in the Bible and the Torah increased with the publication last year of Michael Drosnin's best-selling book, "The Bible Code." On Tuesday, the Jewish Studies Institute at Yeshiva of Los Angeles will present "The Bible Codes: The Skeptics' Case," at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. Discussing the codes will be Barry Simon, head of Caltech's mathematics department and former vice president of the American Mathematical Society, and Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, director of the Jewish Studies Institute. Information: (310) 772-2487.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 1020 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, will present "Five Doctrines in Five Weeks: A Whirlwind Tour of the Faith of the Church," beginning Wednesday at 6 p.m. with a "bring your own" picnic in the church courtyard. During the five-week course, Father John Conrad will discuss topics including God the Father, God the Son and Holy Scripture. Child care and homework help will be provided. The course ends Oct. 7. Information: (818) 240-3860.

"Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism," is a new class to be offered by the Irvine United Church of Christ's Adult Education department beginning Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Based on Bishop John Spong's book of the same name, the class will examine historical and interpretive Bible scholarship and explore ways the Bible can be used in the context of the findings. The six-week class runs through Oct. 14 in Classroom No. 4, 4915 Alton Parkway, Irvine. Information: (949) 733-0220.

Bill Creasy, UCLA professor of English, will teach a five-year study of the Bible, "The Bible Plain and Simple," beginning Sept. 14 at Trinity United Presbyterian Church, 13922 Prospect Ave., Santa Ana. The study is being co-sponsored by 18 interdenominational Orange County churches, the Fuller Theological Seminary and Trinity College for Graduate Studies. The first quarter of the popular classes will be held Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 7. The suggested quarterly donation is $45, but everyone is encouraged to attend, regardless of payment. Information: (714) 490-7055.


Kehillat Israel, 16019 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades will host a Selichot service Sept. 12, which will begin in candle-lit silence and end with the blowing of the sacred shofar or ram's horn. After the ceremony, participants will gather at the foot of Temescal Canyon to walk to the ocean and symbolically cast their sins upon the waters. Service will be from 11 p.m. to midnight, a reception will precede the service at 10 p.m. Information: (310) 459-2328.

Temple Beth Zion-Sinai, 6440 Del Amo Blvd., Lakewood, will prepare spiritually for the High Holy Days with a Selichot Service Sept. 12 beginning at 9 p.m. Participants will study and learn about the relevant symbols, traditions and Scripture readings of the Holy days. Information: (562) 429-0715.


Erika Janet Oderkirk has joined the United Methodist Church of Garden Grove as associate pastor. Oderkirk, 26, graduated from Boston University in May, where she received the Massachusetts Bible Society Award of Excellence in Bible and Liturgy. At Boston University, she was chapel coordinator and she organized and led religious services for the seminary community. She interned as associate chaplain at the university's Marsh Chapel and worked at the College Avenue United Methodist Church in Somerville, Mass. The church is at 12741 Main St., Garden Grove. Information: (714) 534-1070.

Albert McNeil, founding director of the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, has been named director of music at Founder's Church in Los Angeles. Under his direction, the Jubilee Singers gained international recognition in performances in more than 70 countries, as well as in several transcontinental tours of the United States, Canada and Hawaii. He has been the guest conductor for major choral groups, including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and has been selected to conduct at Carnegie Hall in January. He also co-founded the Sacramento Symphony Chorus. In 1991, he was named alumnus of the year in the area of professional excellence by UCLA. He will assume his new position at the 10 a.m. service on Sept. 13 at Founder's Church, 3281 W. 6th St., Los Angeles. Information: (213) 388-9733.


Jon Dunn, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood in Orange and San Bernardino counties, will discuss the progress and challenges facing Planned Parenthood on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at Temple Beth Tikvah, 1600 N. Acacia Ave., Fullerton. He is being hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church in Fullerton. Religious education for children will be available. Call (714) 871-7150.


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