Discussion on Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State
Wednesday November 15, 2017, 6:30PM—8:30PM (CST): Dr. Zuniga will participate in a free interfaith panel and community event co-hosted by Peace of Christ Church, which will take place at ArtSpace (231 E. Main Street, Round Rock, Texas, 78664).
Doors open at 6:30PM for live music and refreshments. Interfaith panel from 7-8:30PM.
Format: Ms. Sofi Hersher (bio below) will provide an initial presentation. Each panel member will then answer the following questions followed by audience Q&A:
- Have you personally, or your religious tradition, experienced religious persecution? Is there a story or experience you would be willing to share with us?
- What does your religious tradition have to say about religious liberty and/or separation of church and state?
- How and why do you think religious liberty and/or separation of church and state are important today?
Rev. Kyle Tubbs is the Lead Pastor of Peace of Christ Church and moderator for this free community event.
A downloadable flier is here.
Bios of Panelists
Dr. David Zuniga earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology and has a practice focused on spiritually integrative counseling. He also earned a masters degree in comparative religion from Harvard, was ordained in South Korea as a Zen Buddhist priest, and worked for over a decade as a Zen/interfaith chaplain in pediatric and adult end-of-life healthcare. Dr. Zuniga also has a masters in English literature; you can learn more his interdisciplinary work here.
Rev. Uchechukwu (“Uche”) Andeh is the pastor of St. Margaret Catholic Church in Giddings, Texas. He was raised in a large, urban parish, in Southeast Nigeria where he had dreams of becoming a priest as a young child. Fr. Uche was ordained in 2012, and has been serving central Texas in ministry since then.
Imam Shaykh Mohamed-Umer Esmail is currently the Imam at Nueces Mosque in Austin, Texas. He is a Canadian born, traditionally trained scholar. He has Ijazah in Qira’at, Hadith and Fiqh from renowned scholars. He also has over fifteen years of experience in youth and marital counseling.
Dr. Jagannath Vedula is one of the few few Founding Trustees and is also on the Board of Trustees of the Austin Hindu Temple and Community Center. He has served AHTCC as the founding Religious chair, Vice-president, President and volunteer. Along with his involvement in AHTCC, he volunteers for various other non-profits and manages their IT needs when needed. His major contributions and interests have always been religion, community welfare activities and speaking about Hinduism.
Sofi Hersher manages digital communications, design and strategy at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the social justice wing of the largest denomination of Judaism in North America. Sofi holds a Bachelors Degree in Comparative Religion from the University of Washington, Seattle, as well as a Masters Degree in Religion in the Contemporary World from King's College London. While in London, Sofi's research focused on the intersection of religion and the internet—specifically interfaith dialogue on social media. Her thesis, titled "Interfaith Monologue: A Study of UK-Based Interfaith Work on Twitter," was recently accepted for presentation at the 2017 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference. Sofi has held positions at Twitter, Inc. and the Inter Faith Network for the UK. She is the first non-Christian Fellow at the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and is involved with Jewish Women International's Young Women's Leadership Network and the Newseum Institute's Religious Freedom Center.