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Women artists on spirituality at InterFaith Works' Rose Forum

("Immoveable Spot" (c) Susan Roth, used with permission.)

In 2002, when Dorothy Rose passed away, InterFaith Works decided to remember her with an annual forum named in her honor. For more than 20 years (she retired in 1998), Rose was executive director of what was first called the InterReligious Council of Central New York, guiding it from a small volunteer group to an independent agency that serves thousands through an array of service ministry programs: the Community-wide Dialogue Circles to End Racism, Covenant Housing, Refugee Resettlement, Senior Companion and Spiritual Care.

The Rose Forum is a fund-raiser event for InterFaith Works with a different topic and hosting congregation each year. May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society hosted this year's Rose Forum on September 29th. Scheduled at 5:00 PM so that the audience could come directly from work, the event nearly filled May Memorial's sanctuary, and the crowd seemed quite content to stay afterward for a dessert reception despite the nasty weather.

The Newhouse School's Barbara Fought, who has moderated several past Rose Forums, guided a conversation among Canestota-based Post-Abstract Expressionist painter Susan Roth, letterpress paper Islamic designer Cjala Surratt, and pianist and choral composer Crystal LaPoint. Novelist Donna Woolfolk Cross was unable to be there as planned since she was traveling to the Rome Film Festival for the premiere last Friday of the screen version of her "Pope Joan." But she did send the movie's trailer; this was the first time it's screened publically in the U.S., though it's now available in its German version with English subtitles on YouTube (see below).

Besides the movie trailer screening, the Syracuse Symphony Pops Choral Ensemble also performed "The Song I Seek," with music and lyrics by LaPoint. Roth brought several paintings to the event and she has posted an annotated selection of paintings with spiritual themes on Flickr during preparation for this event at flickr.com/photos/dhughto/sets/72157622275379713/.

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