Cathedral to host Parish Ecumenical Training Workshop

CHARLESTON — “Understanding Baptists” and “The Interreligious Landscape of South Carolina” will be the topics of two talks at the 2004 Parish Ecumenical Training Workshop Oct. 22-23 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist parish hall. The conference is sponsored by the Diocese of Charleston’s Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

The workshop will include “Ecumenism 101,” a course for beginning parish ecumenical representatives (PERs), that will address the definitions of ecumenical and interreligious affairs. Formation documents will be covered, and a survey history will be included. Veteran PERs may choose to attend this as a refresher course.

Dr. Marion Aldridge, coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina, will speak on “Understanding Baptists.” Aldridge received his master’s of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is past president of the S.C. Christian Action Council and has authored two books on worship.

Dr. Carl Evans will speak on “The Interreligious Landscape of South Carolina.” Evans is chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of South Carolina, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1974. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago’s School of Divinity. He has published a number of articles, essays, and book chapters on aspects of Israelite history, religion, and culture, and is currently writing a book with the working title of “Encountering the Other: A Social History of Ethnic and Religious Diversity in Ancient Judah.” He has been active in ecumenical and interfaith affairs in the United Methodist Church in South Carolina and the region. Since 1991 he has directed Partners in Dialogue, an interfaith project that promotes understanding and cooperation between diverse faith groups in South Carolina, including Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Baha’i, Sikhs, and Native Americans.

The workshop will also feature evening and morning worship and a reception at Bishop Robert J. Baker’s residence.

To register for the workshop, contact Melissa Walker at (803) 345-7407 or at