Hickory – As we once again approach the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year, many faith traditions will incorporate lights into their holiday services and celebrations. From Advent and Hanukkah candles to Diwali lamps, what is the significance of light to Christians, Jews, and Hindus this time of the year? On Sunday, November 21 at 3:30 p.m the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council will host a program on Darkness and Light at Peace United Church of Christ in Hickory (2230 29th Ave Dr NE).Interfaith Council Program

The program is free and open to the public and will feature a panel discussion with a member of each of these three faith traditions. Masks and social distancing are required for in-person attendance, and the program will also be live streamed to the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council‘s Facebook page (Facebook.com/CVICNC) for those who are unable to attend in person.

Panelists will include Maduh Sharma, Sarah Luhrs, and Dennis Jones. Sharma is the former Hindu chaplain at Duke University and the author of two books and several publications. She is also a former President and board member of the Triangle Interfaith Alliance. Sarah Luhrs is a current graduate student studying clinical mental health counseling at Lenoir-Rhyne University. She has a B.M. and M.A.M.E. in music education and is a lifelong Catholic with liturgical connections in both Lutheran and Episcopal congregations. Dennis Jones is the rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom in Hickory and the President of the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council.

CVIC is a local not-for-profit organization of faith-based and secular communities in the Catawba Valley serving as a catalyst for hope and cooperating for the purpose of dialogue, information sharing, and celebration. Their purpose is to create a more compassionate community and honor the rich diversity of religious, spiritual, and secular traditions in the community. The public is invited to attend this free event and support this historic milestone in human rights.