Public invited to float lanterns in memory of deceased
Some 1,100 lanterns will be set afloat in the annual Toro-Nagashi Ceremony of Shinnyo-En Hawaii, in memory of war victims and others who have died.
The 6 p.m. ceremony on Memorial Day, May 26, at Ala Moana Park is open to the public. People may make prayer dedications for deceased family and friends from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at a Magic Island booth.
It is the fifth year that the Buddhist lay organization has staged a local version of the tradition, which the Shinnyo-En founder launched 50 years ago in Japan as a consolation service for people who died at sea.
Taiko drums and live music will be part of the service, which is linked to the Buddhist Obon Season tradition of honoring the spirits of the dead with dance and song.
The logistics of the lantern spectacle involve the efforts of about 100 high school students and members of island canoe clubs to launch the lighted candles and retrieve them later.
Shinnyo-En members believe in striving for global harmony by applying Buddhist principles in modern society.
Pipe organ workshop offered to students
A free workshop on the wonderful skill of playing the pipe organ will be offered next Saturday for students who have taken piano lessons.
The introductory session from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 1730 Punahou St., is designed for children in grades 5-8 and their parents.
Katherine Crosier and Joseph Z. Pettit will demonstrate basic techniques on the harpsichord and pipe organ, and each student will get an opportunity to play the organ.
The workshop is being sponsored by the Hawaii chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Call Crosier at 941-8321 to register.
Seminar compares Asian, Western faiths
People interested in the prayer forms and mysticism of various faiths will have the opportunity to explore "Spiritual Paths to Emptiness" at an interfaith seminar next week.
Discussions will explore comparisons between Western and Asian practices.
The sessions at the Tendai Institute at 23 Jack Lane are free and open to the public. They will include:
>> Thursday: "East Asian Experiences of Mysticism and Apophatic (emptying) Prayer," featuring the Rev. Mari Sengoku on Pure Land Buddhism chant, the Rev. Ara Ryokan and Michael Saso on Samatha-Vipassyana and Zen, and Steve Odin on Tibetan Tantric prayer forms, from 7 to 9 p.m.
>> Friday: "Forms and Comparisons of Popular and Hermetic Prayer," featuring discussion of Sufi and Taoist prayer and devotion, Ramdas Lamb on the Ramnandi and other Indian devotional practice, and Saso speaking about Christian mystics, from 7 to 9 p.m.
>> Next Saturday: An explanation of the Agni-Hottri Fire Rite by the Rev. Ara Ryokan. A vegetarian breakfast will follow. From 8 to 10 a.m.
Light Shabbat candles, pray for Israeli peace
A local Jewish organization is seeking participants to combine the weekly Sabbath custom of candle-lighting with a special effort to pray for peace and security in Israel.
May 30 has been selected for the observance "Bring Peace Through Shabbat Candles," said Pearl Krasnjansky of Chabad of Hawaii. Branches of the Chabad Lubavitch organization around the world are encouraging women and girls who light the Shabbat candles to focus their prayers on Israel, "where terror against civilian targets has become an everyday occurrence."
Chabad of Hawaii will distribute free Shabbat candle kits tomorrow at the Israel Independence Day Festival at Honolulu Civic Center.
Fuller theologian will speak at Central Union
Theologian Richard J. Mouw, the president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Palo Alto, Calif., will speak here this weekend.
Mouw will speak at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon today at Central Union Church Parish Hall for Fuller alumni and friends. The cost is $5.
He also will preach at the 7:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. services tomorrow at Makiki Christian Church, 829 Pensacola St.
Mouw is the author of 14 books, including "Consulting the Faithful" and "Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World," and a regular contributor to magazines and journals. After teaching philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. and at Fuller, he was chosen 10 years ago to head the seminary, which trains pastors, psychologists and educators from more than 100 denominations.
Rummage sales help churches, preschool
Bargain hunters need to clear space on their weekend calendars for visits to churches this month.
>> Today: The annual Preschool Spring Garage Sale is under way until 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 1020 S. Beretania St. Furniture, bedding, toys, and clothing for children and adults are being sold to help support preschool programs.
>> Next Saturday: Workers of St. Andrew's will stage a rummage sale at the Episcopal cathedral, Beretania and Queen Emma streets from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Books, CDs, tapes, jewelry, plants, housewares and small furniture items are being gathered for a sale to benefit internal programs.
>> May 31: Religious Science Church of Honolulu/Center for Positive Living will hold a fund-raiser yard sale from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 2926 Woodlawn Drive. New designer handbag and wallet samples will be sold along with books, plants and clothing.
Festival marks Israel's creation 55 years ago
Israel's Independence Day will be celebrated with food, music and dance tomorrow at the Honolulu Civic Center lawn, behind Honolulu Hale.
The free festival from noon to 4 p.m. marks the 55th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel.
Entertainment will include Sunlight, an Israeli band from Los Angeles; the Ken Aronowitz trio; the Honolulu Horn Quartet; and guitarist Ken Cohen. The Hawaii Israel Recreational Dance Group will teach Israeli folk dances.
Booths will feature Middle Eastern and Jewish food.
The event is sponsored by the Israel Independence Day Festival Steering Committee and the Hawaii Jewish community.