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DNC spurs bounty of religious events

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  • A spirited convention

    Some religious events related to the Democratic convention:

    Friday, Aug. 31

    • 1 p.m.: Marshall Park, 800 E. Third St.; a Muslim “Jumah Prayer” with Imam Siraj Wahhaj.

    • 6:30 p.m.: Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St.; rosary and nonpartisan prayer vigil.

    Saturday, Sept. 1

    • 10 a.m.-noon: Pro-life prayer vigil at Planned Parenthood, 4822 Albemarle Road.

    • 10 a.m.-10 p.m.: Park Expo and Conference Center, 2500 E. Independence Blvd.; “Islamic Cultural and Fun Fest” includes concert, carnival and town hall conference on issues affecting Muslims.

    Sunday, Sept. 2

    • 10 a.m.: Myers Park Baptist, 1900 Queens Road; the Rev. James Forbes, pastor emeritus of Riverside Church of New York, will speak on the spiritual state of the nation.

    • 10:30 a.m.: First Baptist, 301 S. Davidson St.; New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, a convention delegate, will give the guest sermon.

    • 3-4:15 p.m.: Pritchard Memorial Baptist, 1117 South Blvd.: “Prayers for Children: An Interfaith Call to Action,” with Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.

    • 3 p.m.: Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre; “Charlotte 714,” a nondenominational, nonpartisan prayer based on 2 Chronicles 7:14. Free, but tickets required: www.charlotte714.com/join-us/

    Monday, Sept. 3

    • 7 a.m.: State NAACP’s “Clergy, Faith and Justice Prayer Breakfast,” Greater Galilee Baptist Church, 501 W. Park Ave., Charlotte.

    • 12 p.m.: Friendship Missionary Baptist, 3400 Beatties Ford Road; “Faith and the Economy” with the Rev. Calvin Butts of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem in NYC.

    Tuesday, Sept. 4

    • 12 p.m.: St. Patrick Cathedral, 1621 Dilworth Road East; Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte will celebrate Mass with a sermon on election-year thoughts for Catholics.

    • 2-4 p.m.: St. Peter Catholic Church, 507 S. Tryon; “Gospel Without Borders” will be shown to delegates and elected officials. An interdenominational group of bishops will lead a discussion. The film will be repeated for the public at 7 p.m. at Park Road Baptist, 3900 Park Road. To register: www.cbfnc.org and click on Events.

    Wednesday, Sept. 5

    • 10 a.m.-noon: St. Peter Catholic Church; “Mind the Gap,” by Sister Simone Campbell of Network social justice lobby.

    • 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Civil Rights for Life march and rally, starting at the Diocese of Charlotte Pastoral Center, 1123 S. Church St., with rally at Independence Square, at Trade and Tryon.

    • 1:30-2:30 p.m.: St. Peter Catholic; “Building the World House” with the Rev. Johnny B. Hill.

    • 4-6 p.m.: St. Peter Catholic; “Imago Dei – Journeys of Courage, Hope and Home.”

    • 6 p.m.: Covenant Presbyterian, 1000 E. Morehead St.; “Soul in the City: When Faith, Morality and Politics Meet,” featuring sociologist Tony Campolo.

    Thursday, Sept. 6

    • 10 a.m.-noon: St. Peter Catholic; “Nuns on the Bus,” with Sister Simone Campbell.

    Events through convention week

    • Billy Graham Library: “God’s Ambassador to World Leaders” exhibit examines the evangelist’s relationship with presidents to prime ministers and kings, Monday-Saturday, 9:30-5 p.m. www.billygrahamlibrary.org

    • First Presbyterian: 200 W. Trade St., “Welcome, Witness and Worship,” Sept 3-6, refreshments on the lawn throughout the day, 5:30 p.m. vespers

    • Myers Park Methodist Church, Queens and Providence roads: Quiet time and prayers for peace and unity, 7 a.m.-9 a.m., Sept. 4-6.



CHARLOTTE, N.C. A mass gathering for a traditional Muslim prayer Friday kicks off a week of religious events in Charlotte tied to the Democratic National Convention.

The so-called “Jumah” prayer in Marshall Park is expected to draw thousands of Muslims to Charlotte for the start of a three-day cultural event.

Christians also are expected to gather in big numbers throughout the city, including “Charlotte714,” a Sunday afternoon program of music and prayer that’s expected to attract thousands to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.

Catholics also are planning group events, including a Friday night rosary and prayer at Time Warner Cable Arena and a pro-life march and rally next Wednesday at The Square in the center of the city.

Churches throughout the city are opening their doors to special convention-related speakers and programs, highlighting everything from the plight of children and the poor to immigration reform.

During this week of words and speeches, Myers Park Methodist will open mornings as a spiritual hideaway for residents and visitors.

The Muslim gathering has set off an online debate, with some conservative pundits and bloggers questioning the appropriateness of the Islamic events in the days before the convention.

Jibril Hough, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Charlotte, says organizers will beef up security and have asked for a visible police presence during the public prayer.

Hough says the response has been encouraging.

“This says a lot about our city, our police department and the DNC,” he said.

“I feel Marshall Park should be the safest place to be Friday afternoon.”

Gordon: 704-358-5095
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