Local clergy join The Village Square in sixth year in lunch series


Local clergy join The Village Square in hosting sixth year in lunch series on hot issues

(TALLAHASSEE, FL) – September 15, 2016 – A diverse group of local clergy affectionately known as “The God Squad” will begin its sixth year on September 23 of talking about the topics your mother warned you to never discuss in polite company: politics and religion. Through this election year, we’ll take on the most challenging issues of our time – societal division around terrorism and immigration, the rising tide of pervasive anger across our society and the world, and the cultural atomization that’s driving us away from each other. We’ll even pause – just before the election – to find a little hope. We’ll need it.

The series began in 2011 with the notion that neighbors breaking bread together could begin to heal the civic divide that has so paralyzed our nation, our states and our hometowns. Five years and many meals later, everyone is still speaking to each other. People from across the community, no matter what their faith background or beliefs, are invited to participate in these improbable conversations “for people of faith and no faith at all.”

“The God Squad” includes Rabbi Jack Romberg of Temple Israel, Pastor Darrick McGhee of Bible Based Church, Rev. Betsy Ouellette-Zierden of Good Samaritan United Methodist Church, Fr. Tim Holeda at St. Thomas More Co-Cathedral, and Pastor Josh Hall of First Baptist Church. The series is hosted by local nonprofit The Village Square, dedicated to building community across the partisan divide in order to improve the quality of the civic conversation in America. Organized in Tallahassee in 2006, The Village Square now has additional locations in Fort Lauderdale and Salt Lake City, UT.

The first program this season is titled “Walls and Bridges: Our world in a time of challenge” and will be held on Friday, September 23 from noon to 1 pm at Temple Israel (2215 Mahan Drive) with lunch available beginning at 11:30. Rabbi Jack Romberg of Temple Israel will moderate. The aftermath of recent shooting tragedies present a crossroads of choice. Do we build walls or do we build bridges? Joining the conversation is Inam Sakinah, a rising junior and Presidential Scholar at FSU. She is chair of the Student Diversity and Inclusion Council. You can read her op-ed “Choose solidarity over suspicion” in the Tallahassee Democrat.

Other topics this season include “Why are we so angry?”, “Hope,” “Atomization,” “Life or Death? Faith and the death penalty,” “Islam and Western Liberal Democracy,” “Freedom of Conscience,” and “Wild Card”. The location and lunch menu vary for each program and are posted online.

All Faith, Food, Friday forums are free and open to the public. Lunch is available for $8 for those who RSVP by the Tuesday ahead of the program and $10 with a late reservation or at the door. All lunches are paid online in advance via credit card, or cash or check at the door. Guests may also bring their own lunch. For menus, more information or to reserve your seat, go online to tlh.villagesquare.us/events/faith-food-friday, call 570-3327 or email fff@villagesquare.us.