Early March 2017 Update

“Chicago, Chicago that toddlin’ town
Chicago, Chicago I’ll show you around...”

With this tune from the past running through your mind, stop what you are doing and register and make travel arrangements for the 2017 RCC national convention in... CHICAGO.

Religion communicators will meet March 30-April 1, 2017 in Chicago

From March 30 to April 1, you can be virtually here, there and everywhere with other faith-based communication pros at the conference with that same theme – “Virtually Here, There, and Everywhere: Faith Communications and Presence.” Religious freedom, current issues, professional development, communication skills, awards, networking, inter-faith cooperation will all be a part of this event. Ready to sign up? Read more (here) to register.

Crowne Plaza Hotel Chicago, O’Hare is our venue. Special lodging rates are available for attendees, but you must RESERVE ROOMS BY MARCH 15 in order to access those. Conference is $395, includes all presentations, workshops, scheduled meals and awards banquets. Special pricing is available for students and spouses.

Full information on plenaries, workshops, speakers, presenters, registration and hotel can all be found on the Convention web page.

Come and see the sights of Chicago and share this time with RCC.

Speaking of the convention….

Five RCC scholarship recipients named

Welcome and take the opportunity to meet the 2017 scholarship students at the Chicago Convention.

  • Patrick Horn, Claremont Lincoln University (Vedanta Society, Parliament of World Religions)

  • Denaah Kafeel, University of Texas at Austin (Islam)

  • Katherine Keenan, University of Texas at Austin (Christian)

  • Blake Meller, Chandler-Gilbert Community College (Secular Jew who practices Nichiren Buddhism)

  • Elizabeth Wagenson, Luther College (Christian)

Chapter news

The Washington DC Chapter reports

DC membership people and Board of Governor members Danny Hall and Jackie Fuller pose at resource table at an interfaith meeting.

5th Annual DC Interfaith Leadership Summit

The Washington, DC chapter participated in the Resource Fair at the 2017 DC Interfaith Leadership Summit on January 30 and coordinated by the Interfaith Conference of Washington at Howard University School of Divinity. In attendance with young adults ages 18-39 were representative Christians, Jews and Muslims, leaders from Bahá’í, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and other faith traditions. Atheists, humanists, and the ‘spiritual but not religious’ also participated at the event.

Jackie Fuller and Jazmine Steele represented the chapter at the fair. They provided membership information to participants and encourage them to sign up for the email list to learn more about the professional development and networking opportunities. For more information about the summit, visit http://ifcmw.org/summit/.

Read more to learn what stories Washington Post Religion Reporter Julie Zauzmer shared with the Washington DC Chapter at their recent chapter meeting. Zauzmer was witty, generous with her advice and sometimes poignant.

New York Chapter reports

Social media on the cheap. Using an android phone (with a soda can as a tripod) to livestream the NY Chapter RCC meeting using Facebook Live.

New York Chapter uses Facebook Live for February meeting with Ariel Ennis

Social media doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Per this example from the recent New York Chapter meeting.

Using an android phone (with a soda can as a tripod) the February NY Chapter RCC meeting was livestreamed using Facebook Live.

The featured speaker, Ariel Ennis with the Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership at NYU addressed his organization's mission and the role of spirituality in the lives of today's Millennials. He also discussed methods of teaching religious literacy.

Thanks to Brian Finnerty for being innovative in setting up Facebook Live.

News of RCC friends and members

Muslim Americans help repair anti-Semitic vandalism of historic Jewish cemetery

Linda Sarsour, a friend to RCC, who started a campaign recently to raise money to repair a vandalized Jewish cemetery, received online threats in mid-February. NY City police are investigating. Sarsour, Executive Director of Arab American Association of New York and a Muslim activist, participated in a panel at the 2016 New York convention and co-led an RCC/Religions for Peace sponsored webinar on using social media to advocate for the interfaith movement.

RCC and United Methodist Communications staff welcome correspondent from the Philippines

Photo by Kathleen Barry (also a member of Nashville Chapter).

Staff at United Methodist Communications welcomed Gladys Mangiduyos, a United Methodist News Service correspondent from the Philippines, to the agency's Nashville office Feb. 16-17.

Pictured are, from left, Tim Tanton, Vicki Brown, Linda Bloom, Julie Dwyer, Heather Hahn, Gladys Mangiduyos, Joey Butler, Mike DuBose and Kathy Gilbert. (Tanton, Brown, Hahn, Butler, Dubose and Gilbert are all RCC members in the Nashville Chapter. Bloom is a member in the New York Chapter.)

ISKCON celebrates 50th Anniversary in 2016

RCC members’ organization, International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2016. To further note the celebrations, RCC member Anuttama Dasa, who serves as International Director of Communications for ISKCON, entered a glossy magazine published for the 50th Anniversary event in the DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards competition. A great example for other members’ organizations!


Harvard launches free online class to promote religious literacy

The courses are being offered via an online learning platform called edX, which Harvard University launched with Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012. Go to www.edx.org to find World Religions Through Their Scriptures, 6 courses over 4 week period that began March 1.

For those interested in earning a certificate of achievement at the end of the series, edX offers a non-audit track for $50.

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