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Memphis Inter-Religious Group

http://MemphisIRG.org

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A Listing of events and news of probable interest.       Updated July 3, 2020       7 PM (times approximate)

NOTE: almost all in-person events for the foreseeable future have been cancelled due to coronavirus. 
This page is being used for a sort of blog - what is happening with religious groups locally,
and resources that may be useful for members of the community.

  (If an address is not given for something, you can probably find it listed here.)
In some cases these are specifically interfaith events, others are events of one religion that are not primarily religious services and where you might want to go to see a facility, learn of the culture, or meet people from a different group.  (I do include Hindu religious services, as visitors may want to go the that temple when something is happening and the schedule is so unpredictable.)  Some are civic events likely to draw representation from multiple religious or ethnic groups.  In posting things, we have not always explored all the shades of opinion, so we may not necessarily agree with the views of all the organizers.  We do hope to find things where many of our readers will be either sympathetic or interested in polite discussion of the issues.

We have a more-or-less biweekly e-mail newsletter.
You can subscribe or unsubscribe by e-mailing admin@memphisirg.org
or by joining at https://groups.google.com/foruCrosstownm/#!forum/memphisirg   
where you will also find some of our recent newsletters (if groups.google won't cooperate, e-mail me)

I always appreciate your help in letting me know what your group is doing where members of other groups would be welcome.  admin@memphisirg.org


Click Here to jump down to the events list.   which is not being updated at present, but has some inkling of
 future possibilities...


News:

July 3.
    An animated video graph in an article in the New York Times (as online Friday evening)
dramatically showed the upsurge in Corona virus cases in the area around Memphis (Arkansas and north Mississippi) in the last few days of June.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/03/world/coronavirus-updates.html (This reference may not be stable)
In Shelby County so far one resident in 84 has been diagnosed with the virus. In Crittenden County Arkansas, across the river, one  in 63. Going south from there, St. Francis County Arkansas has one in 29 and Lee County has one in twelve as of the time I write.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html

Hospitalization rates in Memphis are twice as high as six weeks ago, according to Mayor Strickland. Mayor Strickland's newsletter, which also addresses some of MICAH's concerns about the police, is at
https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/TNMEMPHIS/bulletins/293eca0


     The Memphis Islamic Center July 6 to 17, 9 PM daily, has an intensive Quran (memorization) course.  $20
http://memphisislamiccenter/intensive

     Rhodes College: "As part of Rhodes’ efforts to offer expertise to the public on the most important issues of the present, the college is launching a second Rhodes Responds series, Black Communities and Law Enforcement." Three public Zoom "webinars",
on July 8. 15. and 22 at 7 PM CDT
https://www.rhodes.edu/alumni-development/stay-connected-rhodes-college/meeman-center-lifelong-learning/rhodes-responds

      LeMoyne-Owen College has received a donation of $40 million.  This is the largest gist in the college's history, one of the largest donations ever received by a Historically Black college or university. Given the important role of LeMoyne-Owen in providing leadership to Black community ofMemphis and to teh City of Memphis as a whole, this is extremely iomprtant news for Memphis. 

https://tri-statedefender.com/largest-endowment-gift-in-lemoyne-owen-college-history-will-help-the-hbcu-keep-on-giving/07/03/

I'm impressed with the way St. Mary's (Episcopal) Cathedral puts its recent news at the bottom of its home page on its web page. http://stmarysmemphis.org

While I regularly mention the concerts of the Beethoven Club, which are mainly free and many of which are done in connection with churches, I owe it to them tio mention that you can contribute and become an official member.
http://www.beethovenclubmemphis.org/membership.html 
https://mailchi.mp/b54869f9e114/beethoven-club-looks-forward-to-2020-21  for some interesting history

 July 2
    
     The rate of new Coronavirus cases diagnosed in the US as a whole 
rose nearly 50% last week, with some commentators saying this was due to effort at reopening and the resumption of indoor group activities.

      The Washington Post reports that Palestinians outside Palestine are having severe difficulties getting home, as Palestine has no airport and no seaport (Israeli blockade of Gaza) not only Israel but also Jordan, Syria, and Egypt have severely restricted entry of anyone but their own citizens.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/07/01/coronavirus-pandemic-palestinians-israel-travel/
 
July 1

     Rev Miranda Cully has been promoted to  Associate Rector at St. John's Episcopal. 
"in addition to the pastoral, preaching, and sacramental duties that she will continue to hold, will be oversight of our outreach efforts in the city and oversight of Adult Christian Formation."


      A distressing article in the New York Times
on Chinese government spying on Uighurs (the largest group of Chinese Muslims) discusses the planting of spyware in religious software, e.g. websites discussing the Qur'an.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/01/technology/china-uighurs-hackers-malware-hackers-smartphones.html
     (I don't know how many Uighurs we have in Memphis; I've met at least one.)
 
June 30

      Southern Poverty Law Center
has a downloadable guide on how to prevent online radicalization of young people, which may be of interest to people working with youth.  Clicking on 

 Building Resilience & Confronting Risk in the COVID-19 Era    will download it.

      The county general  election and national primary election is August 6.
Last day to register, for anyone who has not registered or voted here previously, is July 7. The last day to request absentee ballots is July 30 but you are urged to do it earlier. Being uncomfortable going to the polls on account of the epidemic is an adequate reason to request an absentee ballot;  further information at
https://www.govotetn.com/ .  Urge your house to worship to put this in an e-mail to members (suggestion from Temple Israel).

       Holy Communion Episcopal reports modest attendance at its Sunday morning inside and Sunday afternoon outdoor services; it stresses the importance of having everyone fill out an on-line questionnaire in advance before deciding whether to attend. It also points out that the online streaming is still the preferred way to see its services.

June 29

     It us now painfully clear that nationally,
the virus is not at all under control. Effectively, travel restrictions are increasing as many states ask arrivals to quarantine for 14 days.  The local Memphis situation as shown in Mayor Strickland's newsletter yesterday, at
https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/TNMEMPHIS/bulletins/293040f, are equally distressing.  The issue of whether houses of worship should reopen is now almost a political question rather than a religious or medical one.  I'm pleased to report that Balmoral Presbyterian Church has decided to remain closed for July and continue to decide on a month-to-month basis.
 (While on the subject of Memphis,  I also noticed Strickland's e-mail onPolice Reform, at

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/TNMEMPHIS/bulletins/292d0f8)

  The Benjamin Hooks video on "Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter", is at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2Reto32yqs&feature=youtu.be

    At 6:30 PM Central Time June 30 (Tuesday), the National Civil Rights Museum will have a Zoom program, "Where do we go from here? To the polls"  
https://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/

     I have a niece who is a physician in San Diego, California.  She writes  a newsletter for her patients, with interesting thoughts on coronavirus testing. While its local information is for San Diego and this is not an invitation to contact her with questions (please don't click on those links!)  you may find her comments of interest
 
https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Witman-News---Coronavirus-Testing.html?soid=1133827504630&aid=JWyCE3I3SxQ
 
June 27

       One of my friends, Paul Carr, has posted some interesting slideshows
from talks he has given on, e.g.   "Are Near-Death Experiences Proof of Heaven?"  and  "Are Scientific Worldviews Converging with Religious Ones?"
He posted these, I think, in connection with the annual meeting of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, which is holding its annual conference (on-line this year) starting June 29. 
https://www.iras.org/
      Paul and I had a friend, now deceased, a psychiatrist who did MRI scans of people with unusual religious experiences.  He claimed he could distinguish from one another, from looking at fMRIs (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the brain) four classes of people - (a) those who had had near-death experiences affecting belief' (b) those who had had religious visions, e.g. of the Virgin Mary; (c) those who had attained satori or some eastern religious equivalent; (d) none of the above.
 
      In Charlotte, NC, there is a monument to to Judah P. Benjamin, a Southerner and a Jew, who played an important role in the Confederacy. The synagogues there are now much involved in the controversy over that monument - wanting it down.  For a letter from the synagogues, see

https://www.jta.org/2020/06/26/opinion/our-synagogues-names-are-on-the-local-monument-of-judah-p-benjamin-its-time-to-take-it-down

   Commenting further on that sort of question:   Princeton University has decided to drop the name of Woodrow Wilson from its famous Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, as part of the current round of iconoclasm (e.g. removal of confederate statues.) I'm inclined to agree with the decision.  I've had somewhat mixed feelings about these issues, as I happened to be in Germany when the statue of Confederate General McPherson came down in Memphis and a right-wing German politician made a speech thanking the people of Memphis for showing that in due course all the Holocaust memorials could be removed in Germany.  I'm rather more pleased with some of the tactics of the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis in adding markers and commentary - e.g. leaving the original historical marker about General McPherson located behind Calvary Episcopal Church, but adding a few yards away a newer marker stressing his undesirable aspects, e.g. details about his career as a slave dealer.
 
June 26

        Here is one of the mosque statements on delaying the previously announced partial reopening :  "
After a second round of deliberation, planning, several meetings and discussions with experts from our infectious disease, religious leadership, and local masajid leaderships, IAGM has decided to delay the Phase I of the Reopening for Masjid Al-Noor and Masjid Ar-Rahman until further notice. In the past week, there has been a net increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Shelby County. The county recorded its largest day to day increase of the COVID-19 this past weekend. There are also discussions in the City of Memphis to return to Phase I. These facts along with the advice and recommendations from our infectious disease experts and discussion with religious and masjid leaderships played a huge part in this decision. Our priority remains first and foremost safety for every member in our community."  [from IAGM, Islamic Association of Greater Memphis, which operates the two mosques memtioned - plural of mosque is "masajid"]


      June 25

       The Church Health Center,
which offers medical care to people without health insurance, is of course very busy as people lose jobs and lose the health insurance that goes with it. They write: "
Reminder: Existing patients and new patients without insurance and in need of medical care may call 901.272.0003 for appointments. " Individuals and employers interested in guidance from the Church Health Center about its offerings and insurance may start at https://churchhealth.org/navigate/

     Some online reading:
     There is a fascinating story of the history of "virtual" communion in the medieval Roman Catholic Church, at https://daily.jstor.org/the-return-of-ocular-communion/
    
If you've never looked at https://daily.jstor.org/  you may well find it of  interest. JSTOR is an online scholarly archive, typically subscribed to by college and university libraries and used for faculty and advanced student research. But it does put on line for free access some articles and essays  relating well to current news. Another interesting piece there, which  isn't about religion, but  may be of interest to activists reading this,  is about the Bonus Army march on Washington in July, 1932. It was of course another time of economic and political crisis, but important historically  for being the first use of tear gas against a demonstration in the United States. https://daily.jstor.org/how-tear-gas-became-a-staple-of-american-law-enforcement/     

    Healthy and Free Tennessee, 
/https://www.healthyandfreetn.org ,which promotes sexual health and reproductive freedom in the state of Tennessee, (that is, among other things, pro availability of abortion) will be hosting  a series of online training sessionos on "Transformative Justice"; this may be outside the usual run of Healthy and Free Tennessee's activities. I'd be happy to get more detail about the training sessions. Signup is at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdeO60TOBcmJ7hFiPmkdOTIwvk-SfA8Pn4aA943jzLknFs0Ig/viewform

       As I don't get too many notices of live-streamed funerals (I've been very impressed by the video memorial services placed online by Balmoral Presbyterian Church), I note a funeral from Calvary Episcopal coming 2 PM Sunday June 28, for  Taylor "Nick" Nickles French, April 26, 1939 - June 23, 2020.     https://calvarymemphis.org/worship-2/livestream/



       June 24,

 Chabad is still celebrating the anniversary of the death of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson. 
There is a fascinating 80 minute video at
https://www.jewishmemphis.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/4791043/jewish/Transform-and-Transcend.htm.    Christians may be interested to know that after his death, some people claimed that "The Rebbe", as members of the Chabad movement called him,  was the Messiah and would soon be  resurrected; at one time this movement may have had a few hundred thousand believers.  Such movements are not uncommon in Jewish history. While the New Testament tells people not to believe in claims that someone is the Messiah,  the Jews have no such restriction - talking with someone who thought "the Rebbe" was the Messiah, I might feel the sort of denominational difference that a Methodist feels from a Presbyterian.  I met Rebbe Schneerson several times during his lifetime, heard him speak,  and admired him greatly, but I personally have no reason to think he was the Messiah.  I enjoy the videos about him, perhaps you will also.

    The Indian Cultural Center and Temple has now had public access on Saturdays, noon to 2 PM, for three weeks, and reports excellent cooperation to distancing, hand-washing, masking, etc., by all attendees. Their guidelines are at
https://icctmemphis.org/information/temple-opening-phase-2/

    Tax time is coming up July 15, instead of the usual April 15, which inspires me to comment:  Since I've often posted notices of fund-raising suppers and such put on by the Muslim community, I thought people might be interested in a newsletter of the Memphis Jewish Foundation, a local donor-advised charitable fund.
https://mailchi.mp/jcpmemphis/donor-strong-6-12563622?e=82879e28a2
A similar secular-sponsored organization is the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, 
https://www.cfgm.org/
Among the uses of donor-advised funds (not a full list) (a) get the tax donation in one year, distribute funds to charities in another year or over time; (b) donate appreciated securities and get the tax benefit while dividing the money between multiple charities (c) distributing money in your  will to multiple charities while avoiding complex accounting for you executor; (d) avoiding the substantial taxes that may be incurred if you pass tax-sheltered accounts such as IRAs to an heir.

      June 23.  AT Calvary Episcopal Church, which posts clergy writing online as blogs, Rev Amber Carswell has written remarks about the US Supreme Court ruling on LGBTQ rights:

https://calvarymemphis.org/the-scotus-ruling/

      Memphis Islamic Center has decided to delay "Phase one" of opening   - that is, to rescind some of its opening plans, in view of the increasing rate of infections in Shelby County.(they had announced first steps of reopening about two days previously).
 
     June 22:
          Lifted from The Daily Memphian newspaper: 

https://dailymemphian.com/section/metrothe-early-word/article/15012/the-early-word-record-day-of-covid-cases
   <<  
It’s Monday, June 22. The Ben Hooks Institute at the University of Memphis will hold an Online Community Conversation at 1 p.m. with Amanda Nell Edgar and Andre E. Johnson, university faculty members and authors of the new book “The Struggle Over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter.” The Shelby County Commission will meet at 3 p.m. And a group called Fellowship of Young Adults is hosting a Civics 101 Zoom event at 7 tonight with Chalkbeat reporter Laura Kebede and Kingsbury High history teacher Dexter Britt>>
       

 June 22 events include MICAH "Issues Night" on Monday,  June 22, 6-8 PM. https://www.micahmemphis.org/calendar    for link  to register
           Also Lynching Sites Project of Memphis speaker Monday at 5 PM 
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81499809151?pwd=cjM3TEFFWGFoWlBTL3FndE43Qktvdz09
                
Meeting ID: 814 9980 9151 Password: 304396    Speaker Janay Kelley, writer and filmmaker on Black Southern themes.

   News from BBC,  Uighur issue. Between Coronavirus, Black Lives Matter, and Pro-and-con Trump, the US press seems to have almost no foreign news. While we may not have a lot of Uighur Muslims in Memphis, I do no at least one, of I've decided that this piece on US relations with China re suppression of Uighurs qualifies here:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53138833
       (Note: in onepart of China, there was a time when the Uighur Muslims were in slang the "White-capped barbarians" and the Jews were the "Blue-capped barbarians", barbarian simply having the sense of "non-Chinese".  My related essay (on this piece of Jewish history) is at 
http://ordman.net/Edward/Monitor/BlueCap.html  )

American religious organizations are generally viewed as not supposed to take "political" positions on US partisan issues (they can support or oppose a proposed law, but not a candidate. Of course, this rule in controversial and not always followed.  A congregational leader can enunciate views on a list of issues and urge people to vote taking those into account. But nothing prevents them from taking a position onm a political issue in another country, and Jewish groups often take positions on Israeli questions. An example is a recent statement on the proposed Israeli annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank (Palestine.)

https://www.progressiveisrael.org/ten-american-jewish-organizations-send-letter-to-gantz-ashkenazi-opposing-annexation/
https://www.progressiveisrael.org/jewish-clergy-oppose-potential2-israeli-annexation/

     June 21 - As mentioned earlier. the mosques in Memphis will be doing a slow and limited reopening. They stress that attendance is NOT mandatory for anyone, and that young, elderly, and people with compromised health should especially stay away. Normally, observant Muslim men are required to attend the "Jummah", the mid-day prayer on Friday, just as that Roman Catholics are required to attend Sunday Mass.  The services at Memphis Islamic Center will be outdoors, six foot spaced; normally Muslims pray "shoulder-to-shoulder", physically touching the adjoining congregants.  Bring your own face mask and bring your own prayer mat, sign a risk disclaimer, etc. The first in-person service at MIC will be at 10 PM Monday Evening. I found the whole announcement interesting enough that I've copied and posted it here.   Of course, MIC will continue to have a full program of on-line activities, including many talks that will be of interest to non-Muslims interested in interfaith, at  http://memphisislamiccenter.org

   June 20 - the Poor People's Campaign, which had its main webcast on Saturday, will repeat it Sunday at 6 PM (Eastern, I think)
https://www.june2020.org/
 
     At least one Memphis Church has reopened its gym - 
on a members-only, advance sign-up, very well restricted and cleanliness rules basis. 
And a couple more are now doing small live services as well as live-streaming; in particular I note the idea of outdoor services Sunday evenings for families who want to be able to bring children to a church service.

      I'm still very cautious about large gatherings - recall that about half the states still have increasing numbers of cases, and that often large numbers of cases have been associated with meetings where people come from other places (including family reunions, religious servcies, political meetings).  The epidemic is by no means over.  I'm delighted to see that some progress is being made in finding ways to treat severe cases.  But I still feel that if I resume being as meeting-prone as I was last December. Im very likely to get the disease - and I'd rather do that as late in the process as possible, when treatment methods have improved much more than they have now.

      Since the "Black Lives Matter" movement has attracted "Defund the Police" signs - and I know some Memphis interfaith activists have been involved in the question of how much power a civilian oversight board ought to have - I will point out Mayor Strickland's weekly e-mail, which addresses the correlation between plice staffing levels and violent crime rates in Memphis in the last 14 years. 
https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/TNMEMPHIS/bulletins/291b4b3

Rabbi Klein of Chabad (an orthodox Jewish group many of my readers will never have visited) has a 12-minute sermonette at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHyzypsKJWw&feature=youtu.be    (subjects: the spies sent by Moses and Joshua into Canaan, and - what does God want us to do?)
    Somewhat more colorfully, we are coming up on the anniversary of death of Manachem Schneerson, the "Lubavitcher Rebbe", the long-time leader of the Chabad Jewish movement. A collection of talks will be given online Tuesday June 23, 7:30 PM CDT,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/8525545831?pwd=VysvOVJNMjVVWlcwdmQ5SElkWGxsQT09#success
     There is a lot of other interesting (orthodox Jewish) material  at 
https://www.jewishmemphis.com/

June 18 
     MICAH will have a Zoom  "Issues Night" on Monday,  June 22, 6-8 PM.
https://www.micahmemphis.org/calendar    for link  to register

June 16

event - on June 18 - talk by and Israeli and a Palestinian who have lost family members in the fighting

CONVERSATIONS  WITH  ISRAEL  AND  PALESTINE  SERIES
Join us for our upcoming live webinar

(co-hosted by American Friends of the Parents Circle - Families Forum)
Dialogue Meeting: Stories of Bereavement and Hope
 Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 2:30 pm ET   (1:30 Central)

REGISTER HERE

An event next week, June 25 at 7 pm CST hosted by the Memphis Jewish Community Center and the Jewish, Islamic, and Middle East Studies Program at Rhodes College. We will have a conversation via Zoom (meeting id: 667 280 6665)  with Pamela Nadell, author of America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today, winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish Book of the Year. Professor Nadell is immediate past president of the Association of Jewish Studies.

   The Memphis Museum System (Pink Palace et al) has a fascinating blog on the history of slavery in Memphis, at

https://www.memphismuseums.org/museum-to-go/a-closer-look/
 

   Today, 7PM Central time - Cuban Affairs. A discussion between "Pastors for Peace" and the Cuban Ambassador to the US.
Registrants for this discussion will receive a special invitation to join an interactive event with medical professionals, elected officials, and activists who are building the campaign for medical collaboration with Cuba, to save lives.
To register,   
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/9415913213070/WN_yHrFUMgBQ5mFMcWJwo0aBg

     The Metropolitan Opera is still live-streaming whole operas daily, usually a different one each day. In honor of Juneteenth, they will have Verdi's "The Force of Destiny" June 18 and 19.
Details at
https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/

      The Church of the Holy Communion (Episcopal, Walnut Grove between Perkins) will have a live service indoors on Sunday mornings at 9 AM and an outdoor service Sundays at 5:30 PM weather permitting. Livestream services Sunday at 8 AM and 5:30 PM.  Advance sign-up with screening for live services.  They expect to continue this sytsem until Labor Day. They add, "
it is important to me that we continue to regard our livestream offerings as a principal, if not even preferred, means of engaging with worship at Holy Communion."
Sign-ups close on Fridays at 3:00 p.m. Sign-up by calling the parish office (901-767-6987) or clicking the link below:

June 15

      An increasing number of churches nationally are resuming live services.
In West Virginia, whuich started earlier than some places, several churches have been identified as major sources of infection - in one case, according to The Washington Post, 28 church members have been tested positive for Covid-19.  I'll continue to urge people to be active online rather than attending group meetings.  I will report live meetings here, but be very cautious.

     The Indian Cultural Center and Temple now has one open in-person program a week, Saturday noon to 2 PM. Other in-person programs require advance arrangements.

     I don't know who the "Democratic Socialists of America" are, but they are urging attendance at Tuesday's City Council meeting. 3PM, subject: Police.

https://www.facebook.com/events/708412753249134/

     Memphis area Mosques will begin some live activities June 22. However, the joint announcement says further "Our priority remains first and foremost safety for every member in our community. Therefore, compliance with the guidelines is a must and will be enforced strictly. Community members are still encouraged to pray at home. In addition, we request that all members over 65 years of age to stay at home. "

    Thursday June 18, 7 PM. Memphis Muslims on-line program  about issues relating to converts to Islam. Click for details
    
     The National Civil Rights Museum will reopen June 22. Limiter hours, on-line advance timed ticketing to avoid crowds. Free for Tennessee Residents Mon 3-6 PM.

civilrightsmuseum.org

      An interesting essay on how stereotyping affects minorities -https://tri-statedefender.com/in-the-mail-facing-the-stereotype-threat/06/13/?
  
       Belvedere Chamber Music Festival online starts June 17: https://mailchi.mp/4eb2c4f02cf2/2020-online-belvedere-chamber-music-festival-june-17-2580118?e=c6777cf3dc
  
      Recording of a recent presentation to The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbu_B4JhEpc&feature=youtu.be
 (two families whose ancestors were on opposite sides of a lynching)

    Tuesday June 16, 7 PM - online meeting of PAX CHRISTI, a talk by the national director,
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83007532090 
Meeting ID: 830 0753 2090
One tap mobile
+19292056099,,83007532090# US (New York)
+13017158592,,83007532090# US (Germantown)
There is no password for the event so everyone should be able to get on directly. We'll start the call about 15 minutes before our start time.


June 14
     A demonstration today in Washington, DC, was a "prayer walk" organized by a local church.
While I like the idea of houses of worship taking an activist role in social and moral issues, I'm still unenthusiastic about large gatherings at this stage of the  pandemic.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/thousands-join-in-sunday-prayer-and-protest-in-front-of-the-white-house/2020/06/14/734cc766-acdd-11ea-9063-e69bd6520940_story.html

     Senator Lamar Alexander's latest newsletter is on line at
https://alexander.enews.senate.gov/mail/util.cfm?gpiv=2100161072.606658.600&gen=1


June 11
     
     We are coming up on "Juneteenth", the 19th of June, celebrated by many Blacks as a major celebration of Black freedom in the US. It was the day Emancipation was announced in Texas, after enough Union troops reached Texas to enforce it. 
Many of the usual celebrations will not take place this year, due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, our President has announced a major political rally that day, to be held in Tulsa, the site of one of the most major slaughters of free Blacks following the Civil War. (Memphis. of course, al;so had such events.)  Hence the best essay I've seen so far rthis year on Juneteenth is in a report criticizing Trump;s planned rally.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/06/11/juneteenth-trump-rally-tulsa-race-massacre/
To add injury to insult, see
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-tulsa-campaign-rally-sign-up-page-includes-coronavirus-liability-disclaimer/2020/06/11/90f1528e-ac2c-11ea-9063-e69bd6520940_story.html

A historian's reporrt on the Tulsa massacre is at
https://daily.jstor.org/the-devastation-of-black-wall-street/    
and an historian's report on the 1892 Memphis lynching is at
https://daily.jstor.org/peoples-grocery-lynching/

For an interesting historical piece on an earlier epidemic, based on St. Gregory of Tours' report on the 588 CE Plague of Justinian; this involved a case of too-early reopening:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrENYSn2cWY&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2dwYf5XXGq32W49OXxya9xWkYzIUWLZ2aez_temCVXdHcNt68jX8uvgWU
 
June 9.

    The covid-19 reproduction rate seems to be creeping up,
as the effects of relaxing the rules begins to show. Thuis is discouraging for those hoping for more large meetings (e.g. regular religious services, movies, concerts.)  
https://dailymemphian.com/section/business/article/14715/coronavirus-spread-rate-increase-infections-phase-2

The New York Times reports the same phenomenon is worldwide, and has an article very discouraging about the reestablishment of church choir rehearsals and performances.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/09/world/coronavirus-reopenings.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/09/arts/music/choirs-singing-coronavirus-safe.html

    
Senate candidate Mackler is the subject of a recent article in the national Jewish press (also appearing in the local Jewish newspaper) .
https://www.jta.org/2020/05/28/politics/the-tell-the-jewish-combat-veteran-and-rabbis-husband-trying-to-win-a-senate-seat-in-tennessee

     The issue of liberalizing absentee voting rules continues through the courts.  Do continue to urge people in your communities (especially minorities, immigrants, new arrivals) to complete the Census foirms (census.gov) and to register to vote if they have not done so.  If you are at Geroge Floyd related events, remember to pass these ideas to those around you.  Whatever effects demonstrations may have, voting is more important.    
https://tri-statedefender.com/tsd-flash-voices-seen-and-heard-absentee-voting-moves-a-local-george-floyd-scholarship-todays-music-video-vibe-dont-shoot-by-jordan-occasionally/06/07/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tsd-flash-voices-seen-and-heard-absentee-voting-moves-a-local-george-floyd-scholarship-todays-music-video-vibe-dont-shoot-by-jordan-occasionally&mc_cid=17484b28b9&mc_eid=fbe7bf3555

     If I may be permitted a more light-hearted note. the small village in New Hampshire where we are for the summer has had two demonstrations, marches of a couple of hundred people. Getting into the spirit of the thing, our puppy Molly has been wearing signs that say "Defund Dogcatchers". 
https://www.facebook.com/edward.ordman/posts/10157993818486187

June 8.  

    The Benjamin Hooks Center statement about the George Floyd
death is at https://www.memphis.edu/benhooks/about/directors_message.php

June 7

    The Memphis Botanic Garden is now open.
    The Church of the Holy Communion (Episcopal)
(online tour reported here yesterday) is the subject of a Daily Memphian article

https://dailymemphian.com/section/business/article/14513/church-holy-communion-unveil-renovated
 
June 6 

     The Church of the Holy Coommunion (Episcopal, between the Perkins)
has finished its major rebuilding. No live services yet, but the online tour is at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83MVbxt9snA&feature=youtu.be
     The movie "Just Mercy" about racial injustice is streaming free on amazon Prime and some other platforms. this church urges you to watch and will have a Zoom discussion on Friday June 11 at noon.
http://www.holycommunion.org/
 
     Many in the interfaith community know
Dr. Alim KhandekarHis elder sister, Kohinur Hassan,  was hospitalized with COVID  and has passed away  in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Please include her and the Khandekar family in your prayers.

    Balmoral Presbyterian Church has invited people to set a timer and sit quietly for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in memory of George Floyd,
and then listen to the classic recording of Paul Robeson singing "Let my People Go" at 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtLcELU1brA&feature=youtu.be
The rather different Charley Armstrong version, which may follow it on Youtube, is at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2hZHu7rlrQ

   Because I'm still very nervous about large gatherings, I'm limited in my reporting of live religious services - but yes, some are happening, usually with great care about spacing, number of people in a room, and other heath considerations.    
      Catholic churches are now holding masses (wafer only). 
     St John's Episcopal Church will have Morning Prayer services (no communion) on June 7. People are still encouraged to watch online instead of coming in person, at
Facebook.com/StJohnsMemphis    Multiple rooms are available for seating. There will be an 8 AM service for  elderly/ at risk only, a 10:30 AM   (also online) for adults, and a 5:30 PM outdoors for families with children (bring blankets and lawnchairs).   Line up at doors for seating by ushers, masks provided, individual service leaflets instead of Bibles/prayerbooks, etc.
     Unity Church of Practical Christianity will have a service at its usual time Sunday, limited to 50 people.
     So far as I know, all Muslim and Jewish establishments are still on-line only.
     Calvary Episcopal, downtown - online only, Sunday 10 AM, 5 PM Evensong
      St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral statement on not resuming in-person services is at 
http://www.stmarysmemphis.org/news/covid-19-update-from-canon-patrick-williams/

   The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis has a Zoom at 5 PM Monday June 8,  Speakers: Dr. Jacqueline Jordan Irvine is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Urban Education Emerita at Emory University and the author of numerous books and the recipient of countless awards. Karen Branan is the author of The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, A Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth, published by Simon & Schuster in 2016.    To RSVP, email to  jessorians@gmail.com  subject=6%2F8%2F20%20LSP%20Zoom%20RSVP   so they can put your name on the  list and send you the link to the Zoom.

The Memphis Muslim Community Statement on George Floyd
is at Muslim_statement.pdf

The Memphis Jewish Community letter on George Floyd is at  

https://cdn.fedweb.org/fed-70/2/Memphis%2520Jewish%2520Community-Solidarity%2520Statement-6.2.20.pdf
(by the way, this is a remarkably complete list of Jewish community leaders)

I am very sad to hear that CARITAS VILLAGE has closed for the summer.  I hope that it will be back, and stronger, as soon as possible.
It did a remnarkable thing in providing free meals to laid-off restaurant workers for as long as it could.

   Lots of data is now available on the epidemic in Memphis - see the last line in the next item.
     With so many recent reports of drug overdoses in Davidson County,

https://www.newschannel5.com/news/from-one-crisis-to-another-overdose-epidemic-in-nashville-shows-no-signs-of-slowing-down
(I think I recall news reports of extra funding there for that reason)
I found myself  exploring and comparing the health department websites there and in Shelby county.  Their pages on Covid-19 are very differently organized
but give somewhat similar information.  At present. neither shows any pronounced increase in the number of tests being given.
Nashville  https://www.nashville.gov/Health-Department.aspx   June 5 report is

https://www.nashville.gov/News-Media/News-Article/ID/9862/Daily-Metro-COVID19-Press-Update-for-June-5.aspx
Memphis 
https://insight.livestories.com/s/v2/shelby-county-health-department-covid-19/db01f01b-3f9d-460a-9548-1db37ed0ccbd
    Latest daily seems to be
https://insight.livestories.com/s/v2/covid-19-data-page/8a6ba562-bc6f-4e58-bdcc-c211b6be539c
    That  last page in particular has a huge amount of data - keep scrolling down!
 
June 4

   PAX CHRISTI has provided a link   to an article in America Magazine,
an excellent Catholic periodical, "What Black Lives Matter can teach Catholics about Racial Justice."
https://paxchristiusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/What-Black-Lives-Matter-can-teach-Catholics-about-racial-justice-_-America-Magazine.pdf
    The week has been so eventful in the streets, and in the press, that there is not much more I can say. 
Simply since eventually a copy of all this is likly to be in the University of Memphis archives of the period, I will add the lnk to a (now somehat out of date) call to actiuon of the period:  
https://m4bl.org/week-of-action/

June 3

I'm afraid this next two paragraphs are just blog and not news,
but after so much denunciation and commentary about Trump tear-gassing an entirely peaceful demonstration so he could stand in front of a church holding a Bible  (without even telling the church in advance), and the press asking "Is that a family Bible?", I can't resist:
   
      These events definitely remind me of Berkeley in the late 1960's. There were demonstrations that got out of hand. But there were also days that would have been entirely peaceful if Gov. Reagan had not directed the National Guard to start riots so that he could brag of having stood up to the protestors. (I'm talking of the days when the National Guard declared the Biology 101 large lecture an  unlawful assembly and chased them out of the lecture hall into the street, or the several occasions when they tear-gassed the students waiting in line to go into the cafeteria on the other side of Sproul Hall plaza.)
         Another time, another place: On one occasion when my father was being sworn into a federal position, Justice Brennan asked, with a big grin, "Can anyone tell me if this is really a Bible?"  My father had brought an old family Bible, which of course was in Hebrew.

June 2.  

A group of Memphis Interfaith leaders,
apparently involved with MICAH, including Bishop David Talley (Catholic)   have called for a conversation about Racism.

https://dailymemphian.com/section/metro/article/14554/interfaith-leaders-call-for-conversation-about

The Episcopal Bishops of New England have issued a statement strongly condemning President Trump's misuse of St. John's Church, Washington.
I've provided a copy of the statement HERE.
In part,

"What President Trump did in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square on the evening of June 1 was disgraceful and morally repugnant. Displaying a Bible from which he did not quote, using as a mere backdrop an Episcopal church where he did not pray, and – more callously – ordering law enforcement to clear, with force and tear gas, a path through demonstrators who had gathered in peace, President Trump distorted for his own purposes the cherished symbols of our faith to condone and stoke yet more violence."
Do read the whole thing.


I'm terribly upset about the deployment of a unit of Tennessee National Guard (from Knoxville) to Washington, DC. 
I had the fortune or misfortune of being a student at the University of California, Berkeley, in the late 1960's, when then-Governor Reagan deployed the national guard to Berkeley. At that time, they were neither trained or prepared for the duty involved. Ordered to "Break up large gatherings on campus", they chased the entire large lecture class of Biology 101 from the lecture hall out into the street, with perhaps predictable results. A girl was bayoneted on the front steps of the house I was living in - nothing a few bandaids wouldn't fix, it just happened when a young guardsman heard a noise and swung around too quickly.  And of course quite a few students were shot  (always "accidentally".)  I do recommend James Michener's book "Kent State" on the problems that may result from National Guard troops being placed in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Southern Jewish Historical Society will have an online speaker series in June and July.

We are excited to announce an on-line speaker series in June and July, in co-sponsorship with the Breman Museum in Atlanta, the Savannah Jewish Federation and the Savannah Jewish Educational Alliance.  

 

The dates are June 12, June 26, July 10 and July 24. Each event will begin at 10 a.m. EST. They are being provided free, but registration on the Breman Museum website is required. Here’s the link for the first in the series: https://www.thebreman.org/Events/06-12-2020-Summer-Speaker-Series    

June 12: The life of Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, the spiritual leader of Atlanta’s oldest and largest Jewish congregation, The Temple. Speakers: Jeremy Katz, senior director of Archives at the Breman Museum, and Eric Lidji, director of the Rauh Jewish Archives in Pittsburgh.

Temple Israel's weekly events list
is at

https://mailchi.mp/timemphis.org/this_week_at_temple-2135768?e=0b2f5806a0


Two weeks ago (May 19) I wrote below
- at least two weeks until Stage 3 of reopening - and worried that it took two weeks to see what results any change had. Cases seem to be increasing - slowly - now, but of cousre it will be another two weeks before the nation as a whole sees if new cases arise from this weeks' demonstrations. (One hopes that the virus transmits less well outdoors, but the Florida Spring Break experience was not too encouraging.)


Playhouse on the Square
is planning to live-stream a production, apparently for free, July 10-19.  They still have interesting free materials on their Youtube page at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoWT5YXEvVOChKhYR-XOBiA
 
June 1
    
       During last night's demonstrations in Washington, DC.,
a fire broke out (and was quickly extinguished) in the basement of St. John's church near Lafayette Square, the church traditionally attended by presidents. Reportedly, it was intentionally set.  I do not know ifthere have been other attacks on churches during the recent riots.

       St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral staff changes -  Rev Patrick Williams will be Interim Dean srtarting June 1 as they search for a new Dean, and Rev. Eyleen Farmer will be on the staff part-time during this period.

      Temple Israel's statement about the current unrest is at  
https://mailchi.mp/b24a7500fcd4/statement-from-medical-advisors-2135796?e=0b2f5806a0
       The Memphis Jewish Federation has its statement at
https://mailchi.mp/jcpmemphis/statement-on-george-floyd-racism?e=82879e28a2
       All the synagogues and many other Jewish organizations in Memphis reaffirmed in late May their "go slow" decision and plans to act jointly on deciding to hold live events (reported in an article in The Hebrew Watchman,  the local Jewish weekly newspaper.)

       The Indian Cultural Center and Temple will be celebrating its 26th anniversary June 3 to 7, but primarily online with very limited live attendance    
https://icctmemphis.org/

       The World Jewish Congress has put a number of talks about dealing with the pandemic online.  Wednesday morning they are having a web talk about problems between the British Jews and the British Labor Party, and that should also be on-line by Friday, I think.   
https://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/webtalks      https://www.facebook.com/WorldJewishCong/

        Martin Luther King. Jr.,  ended his 1967 speech “The Other America” as follows:
“Somehow I maintain hope in spite of hope. And I've talked about the difficulties and how hard the problems will be as we tackle them. But I still have faith in the future. And I still believe that these problems can be solved. … However much America strays away from the ideals of justice, the goal of America is freedom. And I say that if the inexpressible cruelties of slavery couldn't stop us, the opposition that we now face … will surely fail.”

      My undergraduate school, Kenyon College (Ohio), has been e-mailing both current students (now off campus) and alumni with advice and guidance on how to safely participate in demonstrations. They don't seem to have put that guidance online, but not long ago the president of teh college blogged on the subject of the propensity of students to demonstrate.

https://blogs.kenyon.edu/notes-from-ransom-hall-a-higher-ed-blog/post/the-power-of-dissent/



May 31, 
 
    It was nice to see CNN broadcasting a Muslim praying about America's problems
  (over 4 minutes, long for a TV news segment!)

https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.ubaldo/videos/3024091924303408/?hc_location=ufi

     The Atlantic Magazine has an excellent historical article
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/americas-racial-contract-showing/611389/
  on the interaction between race, covid-19, and the recent crises.

      The Tennessee State Legislature is resuming work.  I don't know a good way of keeping track of everything going on, but Healthy and Free Tennessee has a page at

https://www.healthyandfreetn.org/2020_legislative_watchlist    keeping track of issues of interest to them.  The list is of interest not least because it gives a sense of the large number ofproposals that fail very early in the process; I found it very surprising that so many bills were introduced.  It is possible to watch the legislative process live online at http://capitol.tn.gov/

     An announcement by Mayor Strickland about Covid numbers in Memphis is at
https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/TNMEMPHIS/bulletins/28e1fa5.   Two points of interest: First, By giving daily numbers, it lets everyone judge trends.  You might conclude, for example, that the number of hospitalized cases is (very roughly) stabilizing, but that the number of cases in ICU beds continues to creep upwards.  A second point of interest is that the medical spokesman is Dr. Munoj Jain, well known to most of us in the interfaith community as an interfaith activist, leader of the local Jain community (I don't know if all members of the Jain religion have the last name Jain, but it seems so), and a founder  (maybe the founder?) of the Gandhi-King conference series.
 
May 30.

       The Supreme Court by a 5 to 4 vote (Roberts voting with the liberals)
refused to immediately prevent states from restricting meets in churches. Note that this was just on a motion for an immediate, emergency, banning of state rules. It does not predict how the court will rule when it has a full hearing on the case, if it does, many months in the future. The Washington Post report is at 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-considers-churches-demands-that-states-lift-pandemic-restrictions/2020/05/29/af07b918-a1b2-11ea-81bb-c2f70f01034b_story.html
but this is a case where it may also be interesting to see Fox News'  take on it:

https://www.foxnews.com/us/supreme-court-rejects-challenge-to-limits-on-church-services-roberts-sides-with-liberals

     Covid-19 Testing is still very sparse outside major cities. As an illustration, look at Tiptonville, TN, north of Memphis. Weather.com has charts of cases reported by county; the chart at

https://weather.com/coronavirus/l/f6226ee03ce3a625c76eb94c0f32fe2891c5d2c5a39b27e8a9b6708937b27e7c    (scroll side to side on the bar graph) makes it painfully clear that we have no information at all on how many cases there are in that county right now, we only know when a carload of people came through administering tests.

There is fear that there was a major virus spreading event at Lake of the Ozarks a week ago (Memorial Day Weekend)

https://www.foxnews.com/us/lake-of-the-ozarks-pool-party-reveler-tests-positive-coronavirus

    Baron Hirsch Congregation  (orthodox Jewish)  has a nicely organized page for information on its on-line activities, at
https://www.baronhirsch.org/virtual
Observant traditional Jews do still practice periodic ritual immersion (yes, the practice that led to John the Baptist's practices, and the baptism iof Jesus)  and following the "Mikvah" links on the Baron Hirsch page will lead to information on how they are coping with that during the epidemic.  (If you are just learning about other religions, note also that they also still have provisions for immersing cooking vessels etc. for making them kosher.)  These are among the more interesting examples I've seen in Memphis of the need to keep a building open even if there will be no group assembly.

   COGIC, the Church of God in Christ, a large denomination headquartered in Memphis, had planned its annual Convocation thisd November in St. Louis, planning to return to Memphis next year. The November convocation has been cancelled.    
http://www.cogic.org/
 
https://dailymemphian.com/article/14484/cogic-holy-convocation-covid-19-coronavirus
COGIC has joined the groups of churches that do not plan in-person group worship until at least the end of June.

The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis 
https://lynchingsitesmem.org    has issued a statement about the death of Floyd. It begins
"On behalf of the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis, we write to share our profound distress over the totally unwarranted, unnecessary, and theatrical murder of George Floyd.  We stand with our brothers and sisters protesting in the streets over this egregious, outrageous murder. "     

May 29.
       With riots in several cities 
over the Floyd death in Minneapolis, Memphis' demonstrations have been relatively calm. The Friday morning Commercial Appeal piece is at

https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/local/the-901/2020/05/29/the-901-the-stark-difference-between-minneapolis-and-memphis-protests/5281695002/
As I write on Friday evening, the situation on the street is ongoing.

      FACING HISTORY has issued a statement about the Floyd death in the ciontext of teh pandemic and with links to Facing History's lessons on reconstruction, among other materials:
https://www.facinghistory.org/about-us/stories/reckoning-amidst-pandemic

      St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral is presently planning NOT to resume in-person services in June.  At the moment this is not on their web page at

http://www.stmarysmemphis.org/    but an e-mail from the Rev. Canon Patrick Williams explains in part "we approach this task from the standpoint of trying to follow what Jesus called the greatest commandments - love of God and love of neighbor. The way that we seek to live into these commandments is by keeping YOUR health and safety as our utmost priority. To state it plainly, YOUR health, safety, and overall well-being is our highest concern in our decision making process."  They urge continued participation in on-line events and call attention to their dasily on-line music offering.

Crosstown Arts is unable to host live events at the Crosstown Concourse but had an on-line event Friday evening that should soon be online at http://crosstownarts.org
The e-mail said 
the full concert video premiere of Don Lifted with Blueshift Ensemble performing in The Green Room at Crosstown Arts. The video will also be available at crosstownarts.org after the premiere.

    Idlewild Presbyterian will host the "Presbytery-wide Pentecost service on Sunday. While many other Presbyterian churches will still hold their usual on-line services, the Idlewild wservice will be live-streamed at 11 AM and then available online for those wanting to watch later.

Presbytery-wide LIVE STREAM Link
Link for the Worship Guide for the Presbytery-wide Service



 
May 28

      The Unity Church of Practical Christianity
will be having an on-site Sunday Service, June 7, 10:30 AM.  Their announcement of procedures and the cautions they are taking is at https://www.unitymemphis.org/uploads/2/0/0/2/20022045/reopening_webpost.pdf     Like many other houses of worship, they will continue to live-stream services on Facebook and upload the service to YouTube as soon as they can after the service.  I continue to be reluctant to attend public meetings in person and continue to urge people to support their houses of worship and other local organizations through contributions and active participation by Zoom, e-mail, telephone, and other means.
    
      You may recall that the "Poor People's March on Washington" had been scheduled for June 20.
Of course, it won't happen that way. There is going to be a "mass" online program on that date.This 2 hour program will be broadcast on Saturday, June 20th at 10:00am EST and 6:00pm EST and again on Sunday, June 21st at 6:00pm EST. Visit http://June2020.org to tune in.

      On coronavirus, Tennessee continues to rank very low in the list of states in "cases per 100,000 population" and in "deaths per 100,000". It is, unfortunately,  much higher in the list ranked by "new deaths in the last week" and  "percent of new cases in the last week". Mississippi is substantially worse off, on all these criteria. There are nice interactive charts at
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/coronavirus-us-cases-deaths/
 
 May 26
      The New York Times data set
shows the number of covid-19 cases in the Memphis "area"  has generally averaged 100 a day or a little more for six weeks now, still on average rising slowly. Deaths continue to average about 2 a day, over time.  By contrast, as the disease spreads to smaller places, the Fayetteville, Arkansas area is one of the fastest growing, with cases still doubling every 6 to 7 days.  
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/23/upshot/five-ways-to-monitor-coronavirus-outbreak-us.html

      The Jewish Foundation of Memphis  has an online "needs list" of requests from multiple Jewish organizations trying to adjust to the pandemic.  Are there other similar lists out there?
       Temple Israel has its full summer newsletter online at
https://issuu.com/timemphis/docs/the_voice_summer_2020

   St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral is still putting up a "musical offering" each day, at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHvNiaiHLY6CYNJtFrrVTpw

      Playhouse on the Square continues to post excerpts from past musicals, a new one each Friday, at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoWT5YXEvVOChKhYR-XOBiA  
Coming next Friday: "The Gospel at Colonus"

       Chabad Memphis  (an orthodox Jewish group) is trying an innovative solution to a memorial prepare that Jews normally recite in a congregation, honoring loved ones who have died. People may be interested in reading this idea, at

https://www.jewishmemphis.com/tools/subscribe/email/view_cdo/i/6D0807F8C5F2D68C:A840FEF260E71514925634A47B547B54C1C8B17C5D0C5773C5FBF9BE0C5F98F
 (it has a very minor typo - he copied it from a similar Passover message so at one point it says "Pesach" instead of "Shavuot")

      Lynching Sites of Memphis Project has put one of the talks from their "Virtual Meetings" online - the May 11 talk on how to construct landmarks to counter Confederate iconography.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLvVeab91Yg&feature=youtu.be      (33 minutes)

May 25
     The NEW YORK TIMES has a remarkable article praising Wendi Thomas and her news project MLK50.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/25/opinion/memphis-journalism.html         https://mlk50.com/
Much of the information at the MLK50 website will be of interest to readers of this page.

A great deal of local information about the epidemic is on the Shelby County  Health Depoartment website at

https://insight.livestories.com/s/v2/shelby-county-health-department-covid-19/db01f01b-3f9d-460a-9548-1db37ed0ccbd
 
May 24
     NPR has an interesting article about the spread of misinformation about the epidemic.
 
https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/20/859814085/researchers-nearly-half-of-accounts-tweeting-about-coronavirus-are-likely-bots 

      A Church service in Germany caused infections, according to the NY Times.  Some days after a service where everyone was supposed to stay five feet apart, 40 attendees were diagnosed with the virus, six hospitalized. The church, which had resumed live services when the government permitted it, has gone back to on-line-only as a result.  (This was in the live feed about 10 AM Sunday and did not seem to have a separate link as of that time.)
     To quote from elsewhere in the NY Times live feed, speaking of a federal medical official, "Asked about President Trump’s announcement on Friday that he had deemed houses of worship “essential” and directed governors to let them reopen immediately, Dr. Birx said, “Although it may be safe for some to go to churches and social distance, it may not be safe for those with pre-existing conditions,” and urged vulnerable people to stay at home.

      Many seasonal areas continue to exclude outsiders, even in the US .
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/22/nyregion/beaches-ny-coronavirus.html

May 22

      Rabbi Micah Greenstein, in his Friday evening sermon, paraphrased: Our houses of worship are essential. Our congregants are not expendable. -
in explaining why Temple Israel was not hurrying to resume large-gathering services.  Like many houses of worship, Temple Israel continues to have both "large-audience" streamed services, programs and recorded sermons and talks avaiklable on its web-site and Youtube, and small-group Zoom meetings where people can speak up, interact with both clergy and individual friends.  
      Rev. Mickey Quinton, Associate Minister at the Unity Church of Practical Christianity, has recovered from coronavirus, now has a clean bill of health and will be preaching again this Sunday (10:45 AM) on Youtube. 
       I've heard several sermons I might describe as "forward-looking", in that they raise the question of what changes we might make in society as a result of the pandemic that woukld be constructive: good lessons to be learned.  One proposal: there are small ways in which we could decide that public health outweighs productivity.  Large-scfale or univerality of sick leave would be a very good idea. Encouraging sick people, especially contagious people,  to not be out interacting with others not only aids to the recovery of the person who is sick, but protects the health of many others.  Have other people heard constructive ideas worthy of repeating? If you have extra time available at home, or any spare time, do consider listening to sermons and classes and ideas from houses of worship you might not otherwise have time to visit.

May 21
      I skipped yesterday and not much time today -
with doctors and dentists now scheduling appointments again, I'm catching up on several months of missed stuff in those areas. Many of these offices are having to reschedule lots of people (e.g. space them further apart to avoid crowds in the waiting room) and a couple have scheduled me on very short notice when a patient called in sick just before an appointment. If you've put off such things, now is the time to be in touch with your doctor(s).
     The Census is going distressingly slowly - Germantown estimates that only 77% of its population has been counted. PLEASE contact your clergy and suggest that they urge everone in the congregation to be counted at https://census.gov
      Chabad - Rivky Klein is having a class at 11:45 AM Monday May 25. "Leadership: Served Strong", with live music. http://JewishMemphis.com/Zoom
      St John's Episcopal - Father Jay Biedenham is doing Wednesday evening 8 PM classes on the Episcopal Prayerbook- "How to Pray the Daily Office.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86386461721   
      Temple Israel still has on-line Zoom Bible study Saturday morning 8:45 AM and a servuice Saturday evening at 8 PM, but to get the link yiou need to e-mail a day in advance; details at http://timemphis.org.    The Friday evening 6 PM is streamed, no advance prep needed, start at the same website. 
            

May 19,

Memphis entered "Phase 2" of reopening today; it will be at least 21 days to phase 3. 
If anyone is interested in the extremely long details of the phase 2 rules, they are at

http://www.shelbytnhealth.com/DocumentCenter/View/1738/Health-Directive-No--4?bidId=   -- no, I have not read the very long document.  

While the rules permit "purposeful" gatherings of up to 50 people, and I know some churches will be experimenting with services limiting the number of people in the room and sopacing them adequately apart, I must admit that I'm skeptical about how safe it really is - I'll be sticking to on-line meetings and have been very much enjoying Youtube programs and Zoom or similar discussions. Most houses of worship I know of are keeping their main activities online and some are keeping their buildings essentially closed for another week or five (to be determined, in some cases.)

Catholic churches are, I think generally, offering masses again. St. Louis Church, for example (203 S. White Station Rd.), http://stlouischurchmphs.org  has  masses that can be attended in person or watched live-streamed at 4:30 PM Saturday, 9 and 11 AM Sunday, and "Drive-thru" communion at 5:45 PM  Saturday and 12:15 PM Sunday

Rabbi Feivel Strauss, the Senior Educator at Temople Israel, and his wife Abbie Strauss, the Cantor, will shortly be leaving Temple Israel for posts in Florida.  This is the last week to see them live on-line or particpate in Feivel's on-line discussion groups. There will be an online farewell party May 28, 5-6 PM; sign-up details are at  https://timemphis.org/

The Very Rev. Laura Gettys, as I mentioned previously, will be leaving the post of Acting Dean at St. Mary's Episcopal on  May 31 for Grace-St.Lukes.  There is expected to be be a live party in her honor at a later date, since she'll still be in Memphis, but there will be chances to give her best wishes by Zoom on May 28(noon)  and May 31 (3 PM) - her last on-line service will be May 31.  Anything to go into a book for her (cards, message, drawings...) 
may be sent by May 31 to  amusick@stmarysmemphis.org

The mosques in Memphis have issued a joint statement saying that they will not have an in-person gathering for Eid.
Eid el-Fitr, the feast of the completion of Ramadan, is one of the most important Muslim holidays. The turnout for mosque attendance istypically so large that there would be no way to have the service in any of the mosques and it has often been held at the Convention Center. Tonight is the 27th night of Ramadan, "The night of power",  and there will be a major on-line program at 9:30 PM. Anyone interested in watching a major Muslim event is invited.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_v8VqSdQrA&feature=youtu.be
On Sunday, May 24, the Memphis Islamic Center will be having a "drive-through" Eid celebration, 11 AM - 1 PM, with goody bags  passed in through car windows! Last I heard is $7 for hamburgers, $10 for barbecue, reserve in advance.  The call is to dress up, decorate cars, drive through a route with stations, stay in the car.  Info / registration at

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/drive-thru-eid-celebration-tickets-105671032904 

June 17-20 there will be a major classical music festival online,
the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival by Nova Luna Music and the Beethoven Club. Details at

http://www.belvederefestival.org/2020program.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3h8uPmV7gnj8XBfsL2-aKUCf7ALqeoDfBfO-Sz6pyc8mHuy8SBfk47x
The Facebook link is
   https://www.facebook.com/events/1180804548935877/

May 18.

      While it does not address houses of worship, t
his essay by a professor of health policy is one of the best I have read on re-opening.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/14/opinion/reopen-america-coronavirus-lockdown.html
       I've mentioned before the importance of supporting our local charities at this time. The Commercial Appeal has a piece by the Boys and Girls Clubs: 

https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/opinion/2020/05/18/stimulus-enables-nonprofits-continue-aiding-communities-during-pandemic/5188319002/
       Does your house of worship have immigrants, minorities, or others who are nervous about the census? An article about the importance of the census is at

https://dailymemphian.com/article/14038/memphis-partners-with-census-bureau-to-get-accurate-count    You can get further information,
and fill out the form if you have not yet done so, at 
https://www.census.gov/    
     The Memphis Islamic Center  will have a major online event for the 27th night of Ramadan,  Tuesday May 19 at 9:30 PM.

Announcement  https://www.facebook.com/events/586316988739325/    Live link will be   https://youtu.be/U_v8VqSdQrA       
     St. Mary's Episcopal has posted a video of a chikld reading the Lord's Prayer:    
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZzsU3NQ16U
     Calvary Episcopal 
https://calvarymemphis.org/worship-2/livestream/  has an on-line coffee hour after its 10 AM Sunday morning prayer: at 11 AM at
https://calvarymemphis.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5472ab64f8f0fa71714dbebcb&id=25da7ccf62&e=2f75c3ec8d
      Chabad (orthodox Jewish)  has its on-line events listed at
https://www.jewishmemphis.com/virtual.   There is a noon class on Tuesday, among several others. I also enjoy the
on-line videos of past vevents that they link to at  
  https://www.facebook.com/myjli/live
    
May 17.

      The online "Historically Black Colleges and Universities" commencement
TV program is online at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=TapYJBMgn1E&feature=emb_title
Barack Obama's 8 minute remarks start at time 1:47 into the 2 hour program. 
(Of course, schools had their own online commencements in addition to this.)

      Ramadan celebrated in a video game: 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/video-games/2020/05/15/ramadan-animal-crossing/

  The Jewish holiday of Shavuot, also called "the feast of weeks" or "Pentecost" ,the fiftieth day after Passover, starts at sunset May 28 and ends at sunset May 30. (in the Bible it is  a one-day holiday, but outside of Israel Jewish one-day holidays became two day holidays in the centuries when no one was really sure what day the new moon would be sighted in Jerusalem. The Muslims keep one-day holidays as one-day holidays  but sometimes you can't find out which day it will be until the last moment...)  COming seven weeks after Passover, it celebrates the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. Absent the current epidemic, it is celebrated with ice-cream parties (and, of course, reading the ten commandments in synagogue services.) Services will of course be available online. If anyone would like some readings, I like those at
https://ajws.org/who-we-are/resources/holiday-resources/shavuot/.  The "haftarah", what some Christians call "the second lesson" or the "reading from the prophets" is the Book of Ruth.

     The Christian holiday of Pentecost will be Sunday, May 31.  This is the only holiday that retains much the same date calculation and meaning between Judaism and Christianity; Shavuous is of course when the apostles next gathered in Jerusalem after the crucifixion, seven weeks after Passover, hence seven weeks after Easter.

 
May 16.

      I was quieter than usual yesterday
since a bad storm came through the rural area where I'm living just now - a tornado 50 miles south or so, numerous trees down in the enxt village over, and electricity and internet service spotty much of the afternoon and evening,
      The thought that there would be a cell phone app that would keep track of who was near who, to facilitate infection tracing and let authorities notify people they had been near a covid-19 case, seems to be fading in the face of invasion-of-privacy concerns.  There is even an issue now of to what extent the police are entitled to know who has been diagnosed. There is an interesting point of view at https://tri-statedefender.com/privacy-rights-and-protection-safety-needs-clash-over-covid-19/05/16/
      The Memphis "Group of 18" clergy have called for continued delay in large in-person worship gatherings. Among them are Imam Anwar Arafat, Rabbi Micah Greenstein, Bishop Pheobe Roaf, Rev Dr Scott Morris, Rev Rufus Smith, and others most of us know. There is an article about this at
https://dailymemphian.com/section/metro/article/14035/clergy       with a delightful picture of all 18 in face masks - it is fun to see how many you can recognize!  There is a wonderful video of the 18 of them, well worth the brief time to see it, at
https://vimeo.com/417386522
        I don't often get to delve into Buddhist history here, but my friend V.V. Raman, thinking about women in religious stories, has sent an essay about Buddha's wife (I hadn't even known he was married1)  I've put it here.  (let me know if you want more of VV Raman's writing)
       Other groups might be interested in seeing one way the local Jewish community involves teens in charitable work, giving a group of them a choice in where to distribute some charitable funds.
https://mailchi.mp/jcpmemphis/donor-strong-5-14-12437063    I think some  churches do this on an individual-church basis but hadn't seen a similar group effort elsewhere.



May 15  
     Episcopal Bishop Phoebe Roaf's letter
about progress toward reopening churches is at
https://mailchi.mp/episwtn.org/covid-19-update-may-7-2020?e=5613cdf873

 
May 14.  

    The local Episcopal Diocese is considering resuming live worship services in early June 
subject to medical advice as that time approaches. According to the the notice from St. John's Episcopal, they will still live-stream services but are   considering having two Morning Prayer services June 7  (8 AM for seniors and vulnerable,  10:30 for others, individual printed programs and no prayer books or bibles in the pews, seating spread out through the prayer hall and social hall, no touch contact with anyone, face masks, no communion, no nursery, no cookies or coffee hour, and other  provisions to encourage safety.         (But see the note above, May 15)
      I must admit to some personal skepticism about this; I go to services largely for the human contact and conversation around the service, and I have close friends who don't care about those things but do care about communion.  But UI do assume there are those whose ned is met by being in the same rooms and singing/praying with others. 
      We'll see how things develop. As I've said too often already, two weeks ahead is too far to make a forecast.
    
   The largest group of Reform Jewish summer day camps (including the one that serves Memphis)
have announced they will remain closed this summer.
    Jewish communities often have "Free Burial Associations" to bury those without family or where the family has no  funds for a burial. A report recently from New York City said that in April and early May the Association there has done 134 burials, four times the number in the same period last year.

May 13.

    The Turkish (Muslim) community will hold an online Zoom event May 15, 7:30 PM,
in lieu of the usual "Iftar" dinner they would hold during Ramadan. They are a very congenial group and love visitors. COnsider participating.     Meeting ID: 872 4313 1268  Password: 032501 
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87243131268?   

An article on how epidemic models have evolved,
in the New York Times, makes me feel I've been right all along when I said "I can't even guess what will be going on two weeks in the future."
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/05/12/upshot/coronavirus-models.html

Some odd bits of "religious" news that may be of interest to some:
      In some instances, German prisoners of war were buried in US military cemeteries. In several instances, the "religious" symbol used on the grave was a swastika. Someone is demanding that these be removed; the VA says it will not removve them as they are a piece of history and it is supposed to preserve history.
https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/tombstones-with-swastikas-are-historic-resources-and-will-not-be-changed-va-says    (I agree with the VA on this one.)
       In Lakewood, NJ, a fundamentalist Jewish rabbi and a Christian minister have sued the state saying it cannot ban large religious gatherings. I happen to agree with them as a constitutional matter - I don't know how the courts will rule -  but I also think they are real dangers to public health if they hold large gatherings.  The rabbi held such a gathering and was arrested.
https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/new-jersey-rabbi-arrested-for-violating-social-distancing-on-the-holiday-that-celebrates-the-end-of-a-plague
(I had not mentioned the very minor Jewish holiday of Lag B'Omer here this year  since the customary outdoor  events in Memphis did not happen and I got word of on-line events too late to post.) 
      An excellent and interesting editorial by an orthodox rabbi, giving a lot of interesting Judaica and critical of the rabbi who held the service and was arrested, is at
https://www.jta.org/2020/05/08/opinion/the-minyanim-happening-in-our-community-are-a-dangerous-violation-of-jewish-law
   ("minyanim" is the plural of "minyan", a meeting of at least ten men.)

May 12, 

The Muslim holiday Eid El-Fitr,
the completion of Ramadan, is sunset May 23 to sunset May 24.   As with Jewish and Christian holidays, mosques take up special collections to try to provide funds so that everyone in eed can have extra food or whatever else is needed for the holiday.  A typical mosque in town is requesting donations of $10 per family member; part of the phrasing of the request for "Zakat-ul-Fitr", the "charity for the festival"  is  "It is obligatory on each Muslim young or old, male or female, rich or poor to give Zakat-ul-Fitr if he/she has food exceeding his and his dependents' needs for one day and one night. A Muslim must pay on his own behalf and on the behalf of financial dependents that he is obligated to support such as his children and wife."  (Jews will notice the Arabic "Zakat", cognate to the Hebrew "Tzdakah". 
Jews will perhaps also not be surprised that good deeds in the last ten days of Ramadan count double, as do good deeds for the Jews between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.)

While I'm not sure there is anything really new here, these may be worth reviewing: (Links courtesy of Jewish Family Services)

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-caregiving-for-the-elderly
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
https://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/info-2020/sanjay-gupta-brain-health.html


May 11.

       "J Street"
is an American Jewish organization that works for liberal policies in Israel; e.g. it lobbies for the "two-state" solution and rights for Palestinians.
It has a series of online videos and streams, at
https://jstreet.org/j-stream/.     In particular, upcoming streams include
Weds May 13, 2 PM (Eastern, so 1 PM Memphis) - the Bereaved Families Forum (talks by activists on both sides who have lost family members in the fighting - Eunice and I have met with the two main speakers) and Thursday May 14, 2 PM Eastern = 1 PM Memphis, Palestinian leaders talk about the threat of annexation.
 
May 10.

9 am      I've previously mentioned Story Corps,  an organization that records video interviews -
memoirs, for NPR and for the Library of Congress. In the past these were recorded in a studio by appointment. During the virus, they have arranged to record video interviews online - you can interview a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend, about the experience of this year or about family history or the like.  I've urged people to keep diaries; this is another step in documenting this period of time for future generations. 
https://storycorps.org/participate/storycorps-connect/
     Incidentally, that page has a link to a "great questions" list, that is useful for memoir or diary writing. And I highly recommend this as an online activity for youth groups and adult on line Sunday school classes or similar.

The argument against reopening houses of worship is made very effectively here (the virus spread article I mentioned yesterday drew on this:)
https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-03-29/coronavirus-choir-outbreak

Another very interesting essay, by a Canadian, on the lockdown question: https://quillette.com/2020/05/08/enough-with-the-phoney-lockdown-debate/
 
May 9,
  
     An outstanding article on how the virus spreads: 
(OUCH - since I listed the link below, Norton has tentatively listed it as an infected website (computer analysis, no human attention). So I've disabled the link.
Then again, shortly later, McAfee says they have checked carefully and it is safe.  Are we confused yet?)
https://erinbromage.wixsite.com/covid19/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them?fbclid=IwAR06m1E-y2-QcD3y4lQZVQERo8bBnYXfE3Hn5I0F5uk2tggBfYgUMcGeEqk 
Instead, I've provided the text of the article  as a pdf, HERE      That unfortunately deletes the diagrams which I'll get online shortly after cleaning them.
An apparently safe article with much the same data, but less readable, is at https://quillette.com/2020/04/23/covid-19-superspreader-events-in-28-countries-critical-patterns-and-lessons/
  
    
I try to read the Tri-State Defender partly on the assumption that many readers of this page do not. It currently has two interesting articles about local colleges that I enjoyed.  On U of M on-line teaching, a piece that might interest church youth groups: https://tri-statedefender.com/pandemic-yields-from-many-one-lesson-for-u-of-m-podcast-students/05/09/
      And about the situation at LeMoyne-Owen College. I've often said that I'm not sure Memphis works without the leadership in the Black community that comes from graduates of leMoyne-Owen, so I worry about it during the epidemic.  https://tri-statedefender.com/lemoyne-owen-college-matching-resources-with-targeted-needs-of-students/05/09/

    And a reminder of the Memphis Islamic Center on-line program tonight at 9:30 PM -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsNyC_XqN5Q
(If non-Muslims are puzzled by the late hour - it is to give people time to eat dinner after sunset and evening prayers, during Ramadan)

May 8.

    Youth groups, Sunday School classes, home schoolers, or various equivalents might enjoy some of the short videos
in the "Kindness 101" series on CBS: 
https://www.cbsnews.com/feature/kindness-101-steve-hartman/?fbclid=IwAR3ssN5YJx_aeJbYPqPY-aWLGU6nC4zxx819NPkdapNQgpFe7u_JdfwGDF0
    A website that might be useful to some educators - Disabilityscoop.com. 
Here is an article on a program by Apple to assist homeschoolers with disabilities:
https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2020/05/07/apple-boosts-assistance-for-those-with-disabilities/28295/
     Laura Gettys, who has been Acting Dean at St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, will be leaving there at the end of May. Beginning July 1, she will be the Associate for Outreach and Engagement at Grace-St. Luke’s Church, Memphis. (St. Mary's is searching for a new Dean.)  Her video statement is at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwhIU3e0mus&feature=youtu.be
     The National Civil Rights Museum has an on-lione survey asking advice of supporters on reopening. It may be helpful to them for you to fill it out; it might also be a model for houses of worship who may want to gather similar information.  It apperars in a pop-up window at 
https://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/

May 7
   
      The churches I've heard from so far are still planning on staying closed through May, and deciding later in May on future plans.
     
      For the continuing closure statement issued by the mosques, collectively, see 

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Statement-from-the-Memphis-Muslim-Community.html?soid=1102207134857&aid=OKo3NFPQLnE
 
     
Some churches  are feeling the pinch, as no collection plates are being passed. A few are organizing on-line events instead of more traditional fund-raising events.
The Memphis Islamic Center will be doing a major on-line fundraiser, in lieu of a dinner, May 9, 9:30 PM, on Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsNyC_XqN5Q

May 6

     The Indian Cultural Center and Temple
is opening very slightly. An individual or family (maximum 6 people) may be appointment coem to the temple for a ceremony perormed individually for them by one of the priests.

       I've had a very interesting discussion with one friend, with her wondering how her church could possibly function at 25% of capacity - it is a catholic church whose Spanish-language mass was already bursting at the seams. Multiple services, surely - but would you need to make reservations and have tickets?
     
       Ida B. Wells, Memphis Civil Rights icon, has receibved a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.

https://tri-statedefender.com/pulitzers-honor-ida-b-wells-an-early-pioneer-of-investigative-journalism-and-civil-rights-icon/05/05/

      A great many restaurants in and near Memphis reopened as soon as it was possible, and I think a lot of other things are opening.  New Covid cases in Shelby Couty are down.  I've said before: this situation has changed so rapidly that  it is viry\tually impossible to say what the situation will be two weeks in the future.  We hope and pray that the reopening will not cause an increase in cases, but it may well take two to four weeks to tell. I continue to urge everyone to be very cautious and avoid being in groups of more than a few people for the next several weeks. And I hope I'm being more cautious than necessary.  Nationally, cases seem to be on the rise almost everywhere excwept the big cities that had the initial surge, so the country isn't out of this yet.

May 5.
    
 There is an excellent article on the legal/constitutional questions
about freedom of religion and church closings, which addresses questions much wider than those in New York and goes across multiple religious groups and practices, at
https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/coronavirus-public-health-religious-freedom

A judge in Davidson County has ruled the the Tennessee school voucher program due to go into effect this fall in Davidson and Shelby counties violates the Tennessee constitution.
https://dailymemphian.com/section/metro/article/13674/school-voucher-law-chancellor-strikes-down
This is a question of intense interest to many of us, and there are sharply differing views.  I believe strongly that a good, well-funded, public school system is essential to American democracy. It is also true that the Catholic Schools are important to our society and are in great financial difficulties; their collapse would severely burden the public schools. And of course Memphis has Jewish and Muslim day schools as well as the many other church and private schools. I don't think that we, as a society, have at this time any consensus as to how to handle the cost of education.

The Benjamin Hooks Institute at the University of Memphis gives an annual book award.  The hour lecture on the occasion of last November's award is now online at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxkKmHkRjuE&feature=youtu.be

Temple Israel has a nice way of putting its full week program online. Here is this issue:
https://mailchi.mp/timemphis.org/this_week_at_temple-2135664?e=0b2f5806a0
It includes, for example, music May 6 (Wednesday) 7 PM,  services Friday 6 PM and Saturday 8 PM, classes Wednesday noon, Thursday 10 am, Saturday 8:45 AM,
a career transition group, and links to several sermons and talks.  Several of these programs require you to check in in advance by e-mail, so look in advance.

In my view, it continues to be almost impossibel to guess what the situation will be two weeks in the future.  If President Trump actually thinks "it is over" and a lot of states try to resume "normal life", including gatherings of large groups of people, I think matter could get much worse than they are now.

 
May 4.

A significant number of synagogues, nationally,
have announced they will not reopen, even if their governors permit it, regarding it as too unsafe.
https://www.jta.org/2020/04/23/united-states/some-governors-are-letting-houses-of-worship-reopen-synagogues-arent-going-for-it
In New York, Mayor deBlasio's denunciation of the large crowd that gathered for a Jewish funeral has led to interesting discussions, with a lot of support for the mayor from the Jewish community. There is a fascinating article on the relationship between the  traditional (maybe read this as  "fundamentalist") Jews of New York with the government there, at
 
https://www.jta.org/2020/05/04/united-states/new-york-city-mayor-bill-de-blasio-has-a-long-relationship-with-the-citys-orthodox-community

A request - I find the Jewish Telegraphic Agency an interesting source of information, Are there any coparable Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Busshist, or other sources that I should be reading?  Recommendations requested.      admin@memphisirg.net

It is the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shooting. James Michener wrote an excellent book on the subject.  Very briefly, the National Guard was sent in to try to control a demonstration against  the Vietnam War on a college campus which some expected to get out of hand. The young National Guardsmen, probably not having been adequately trained for such a situation, got scared and opened fire, killing a bunch of students. I recall this now because  due to the coronavirus and resulting emergency restrictions,  and due to armed demonstrators in some state capitals, demanding "reopening" with the apparent support of President Trump,  governors are necessarily aware that the Police and National Guard forces available to them are increasingly faced with situations far different for the situations for which they have typically been trained.

Chabad (orthodox Jewish) will again have a Tuesday Zoom discussion, "Cultivating Character, 12-12:30 PM Tuesday
and a Wednesday cooking class, baking some sweet desserts, 11-11:30 Wednesday .    They will be at 
JewishMemphis.com/zoom

The Lynching Sites of Memphis project has put two fascinating pieces online. One is a video from their recent virtual meeting:
A Presentation by David Johnson, Thomas Watson Fellow '19 to the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis (LSP) on his independently designed global exploration of how countries reconcile with their past in Northern Ireland, Germany, Rwanda, South Africa, Chile, and Peru. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBXrdutS3Sw&feature=youtu.be  (1 hour 21 minutes)
The other is a presentation by the Hattiloo Theatre and Ballet Memphis, Lola's Southern Fields", about the life of Ida B. Wells. Ida B. Wells is one of the major figures in the history of Memphis and of the US civil rights movement. Online at

https://vimeo.com/402987808?campaignID=376914&patronID=1139954119&linkNum=2&memberID=58a88124c419df0da3a8b9a5927a1520    (1 hour 12 minutes) 

 
May 3.   11 AM

    The present time gives us a chance to see  a variety of religious services and sermons online.  This morning I enjoyed the very different techniques employed by two churches -
St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral which has various parts of the liturgy read by a variety of people, each in their own home, and Balmoral Presbyterian Church, which puts its worship bulletin and hymnbook pages online,  has a very small choir perform (with appropriate spacing) in the church sanctuary and uses a variety of still pictures and movie clips as background for the service.
Balmoral:   https://www.facebook.com/BalmoralPC  
for a sample online worship bulletin:     https://files.constantcontact.com/0b14821c001/dccc64d9-a8b5-4c63-b19b-8d91f2c3e935.pdf
Services online live and archived
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNzNSRbZrcTgGhfq0r6KNqA      (or on a smart TV, search for Balmoral Presbyterian Church on Youtube.)
St Mary's:
has its services at  http://www.stmarysmemphis.org/worship/ 
and musical offerings at  https://www.facebook.com/pg/stmarysmemphis/videos/    
Youtube search
https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=mAEB&search_query=st+mary%27s+episcopal+cathedral++memphis+tn    even turns up an interesting history of the church.
 


May 2       9 PM

You can watch the Hindu ceremonies at the Indian Cultural Center and Temple
online at
https://www.facebook.com/ICCTM
I believe there are live-streamed events, as well as a collection of recorded cermonies and events at 
https://www.facebook.com/pg/ICCTM/videos/

The city is considering what venues can reopen sooner.  I;'m obviously not an expert on many things, but it would seem to me that outdoor exhibits at the zoo and outdoor areas at the Botanic Garden might possibly be able to be enjoyed without the forming of closely-packed groups. Then again, with schools not open and a limited number of places to go, the result might be unacceptable crowding.  There are times I'm glad that I'm not the one who has to make the decisions.
https://dailymemphian.com/section/metrocity-of-memphis/article/13610/city-could-allow-some-tourist-attractions-museums

The Memphis YMCA is planning to move its headquarters offices to a vacant office building in the Goodlett Farms Office Park and establish a new "resource center", 71 Goodlett Farms Parkway. No information on when.

The Memphis Women's Foundation, unable to hold its scheduled fundraising luncheon, did a food and medical sup0ply give-away instead.
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2020/05/01/covid-19-memphis-womens-group-host-food-supply-giveaway/3044776001/

Covid Testing sites still seem to pop up relatively unpredictably, but the tests are getting somewhat easier to find.
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2020/04/28/walgreens-kroger-offer-coronavirus-testing-memphis-area/3041103001/


 
May 1, 6 PM

Gov. Lee has ordered that cities not restrict houses of worship. 
So while Shelby County mayors had agreed not to significantly reopen church services (they would allow groups of up to ten in house of worship, but not full services) Governor Lee has taken the position that the government should not restrict religion, and that while the government may ADVISE small groups and social distancing, it cannot REQUIRE houses of worship to do that. They may have usual services if they wish.  I'm going to editorialize. This is a very bad idea.  I'll comment below on my agreement with Gov. Lee in principle.  But it would be a terribly bad idea right now to hold  services that put groups of people close together and endanger both those attending and the general public health, for the reasons I've given in the last couple of days.  Please, Please, do not hold or go to large gatherings.  We've seen a remarkable range of  on-line and virtual programs spring up in the last month - from online religious services, classes, lectures, to beautiful and memorable online memorial services for the deceased and online movies with lively sidebar and post-movie discussions. Let's continue this for at least a few more weeks, and taper off slowly as cases of virus decline significantly.

At least some pastors in the "group of 15"  (see April 28 below) have said they will wait at least until mid-May to decide about reopening; at least one church has said they will reconsider toward the end of May. 
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2020/05/01/tennessee-gov-bill-lee-order-overrules-shelby-county-coronavirus-church-restrictions/3060772001/

     I highly value the freedom of religion in the US. I recall a time around 1990 when  students from Eastern Europe (communist bloc countries) began to arrive at the University of Memphis and someone sent a delegation of them to me with a question - "Why is there a church on every street corner?"  That's almost  true just west of the University of Memphis campus, and of course in communist countries churches were few and far between.  Abbreviating my longer answer: in the 1500's and 1600's, Europe had religious wars. Sometimes the king chose a church and persecuted people who did not go to the church the king chose. So sometimes people who did not want to go to the king's church packed up and moved to North America. North America was selectively settled by people who did not want to be required to attend a church someone else chose.  From the earliest times, our laws have been written to make it as easy as possible to go across the street from a church you don't like and build one that you do like.  The government never says "there are too many churches in this neighborhood."   Early state constitutions are fun to read: one said approximately "we will allow the freedom to assemble and worship peacefully to any group that does not interfere with the right of other groups to assemble and worship peacefully."  
        So there is something to be said for Gov. Lee's position that the government should not say "you cannot assemble to worship."  But let us not be foolish and endanger people.

The Memphis College of Art is having its last commencement (online) this week.
It has produced a remarkable legacy website, including a "catalog", a memorial book about the college which is viewable and downloadable for free.
As sorry as I am to see the Memphis College of Art pass away, I am extremely impressed and proud of the way they have carried the process out.
https://memphiscollegeofart.com/          On the closing process:  https://dailymemphian.com/article/7309/The-art-of-closing-MCA-takes-high-road-to-the-end

May 1  8 AM

The detailed rules for "phase 1" reopening
are at
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2020/04/30/memphis-shelby-county-back-business-phase-1-reopening/3056838001/
I'm afraid I stand by my advice of yesterday - on the whole, stay at home.  When testing increases and number ofd new cases reported locally shows a distinct downward trend, we can be much more confident that a spike in cases will not overcrowd local hospitals; the mayors seem to have decided that the risk iof overcrowding local hospitals is now small. But as happ yas I am that we may not overcrowd local hospitals, I'd still rather not be one of the patients. Apologies for editorializing that way, but I couldn't help myself.

I will clarify  my statistics of yesterday somewhat - it was late at night and I botched the calculation, As  of April 27, about 2.7 people  per 1000 in Shelby County had been confirmed as having the virus. That number had doubled since April 12. Since many people are considered to have recovered after about 14 days - and are then believed to be no longer contagious, the number of diagnosed cases not yet considered recovered is somewhere around  1.3 per 1000.  The number of undiagnosed cases is, of course, unknown, but most estimates put it much higher than the number of diagnosed cases. Luckily, many cases seem to be so mild that they don't get diagnosed.


April 30

A nice Hebrew singing group (thanks to Rabbi Feival Strauss for the link)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yhk_obX7CQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1CnoPHf0MJhAwyMr_UH2n2kZfun717oLXCDVLpe8jbmbOGO65rSrr1tIM

the film "Viral" about Antisemitism which was shown on-line on April 30   will appear on WKNO-TV May 26 at 8 PM.
A very interesting film with sections about England, France, and Hungary among other things.
 There was an excellent Zoom discussion after the 90 minute movie, with  a very large particularization.
Special thanks to Johnathan Judaken, Dimitry Anselme, and March Stagner, the panel.

THE NUMBERS I PUT UP YESTERDAY HERE WERE WRONG. I'M TRYING AGAIN (I amended this paragraph this morning.)
I'm trying to understand statistics
about the coronavirus, in attempting to understand the issues about reopening. Very roughly (my calculations) in Queens, New York, about 23 people per thousand have been diagnosed with the virus.  In Shelby County, about 2.7 in 1000.  In many rural areas, an average of about 1 or less per 1000.  (In Tennessee as a whole, about 1.5 per 1000.)
Now, suppose your house of worship has a service attended by 100 people. It is entirely possible that none of them have the virus. But if one does and is actively contagious (not necessarily showing symptoms yet) it would be very easy for 5 or 10 to be exposed to it, and if those 5 or 10 come the next week, it would be very easy for  25 to be exposed - and if a bunch of churches (etc.) do that, it would be easy for local hospitals to be overwhelmed with cases, as they were in Queens.  Now those "1 in 1000" numbers may just mean that people in rural areas have not been tested yet, we don't know.  My own thinking is - I think if I go to enough meetings, I'll get it. I will not give up going to meetings (churches, theaters, etc.) indefinitely - but in September they will know how to treat the disease much better than they did in March, and we are already seeing signs of that.  So if I'm going to get it, the later I get it the better. I want to resume going to meetings, but I'm in no hurry.  When Germany loosened restrictions, the number of new cases started to grow again; the trick is to do reopening slowly enough that cases don't increase to the point where hospitals have trouble coping.  The two-week delay in being able to see responses to changes in social activities makes it hard to do this. Do keep in touch with friends, watch on-line events and participate in Zoom meetings and the like, and do find ways to support the local economy - on-line purchases, carry-out meals, donations to local charities - but, on the whole, stay at home.


April 29

    
On April 30th, 2020, at 6:00pm CDT, six community organizations are joining forces to make the new PBS documentary “Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations” accessible for an advanced public online screening, followed by a discussion with Professor Jonathan Judaken of Rhodes College and Dimitry Anselme of Facing History and Ourselves. The discussion will be moderated by Marcy Stagner, M.A. Ed. and Program Director of Cultural Arts and Adult Services at the Memphis Jewish Community Center.
    the Press Release is here, and the Poster is here.   You have to go in advance to the link   https://ovee.itvs.org/screenings/6jjrt  to RSVP and open an account to sign up. Given the sponsorship (Rhodes College, Facing History, WKNO) I believe that the sign-up site has been properly vetted.

      A lawsuit settlement in Memphis supported the right of workers to wear a hijab at work
.  Since it is a settlement rather than a legal ruling, its value as precedent may be limited. But it is of considerable interest. 
https://dailymemphian.com/section/business/article/13458/memphis-warehouses-ban-on-hijabs-nets-settlement

Temple Israel has put together a large collection of its recent videos at 
https://timemphis.org/media/
The Friday evening 6 PM service is online each week, http://timemphis.org
While many houses of worship have their services online, the interesting item here is that the full prayerbook is now online, for free, at

https://www.ccarnet.org/publications/mishkan-tfilah-for-shabbat/?utm_source=Temple+Israel
(If you are a first time user, you may think turning the pages does not work. Be aware that in a Hebrew book, pages turn in the other direction. Use the < arrow to go forward and the > arrow to go backwards!)  The table of contents is on page 7; you can just type a 7 between < and >.

The Memphis Jewish Community Center has a speaker on "Unity without Uniformity", 10 AM April 30.
To register, please CLICK HERE.

St. John's Episcopal has a "Tour of the Pipe Organ" at 
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=657278814838069

Calvary Episcopal will stream its Evensong this Sunday
May 3 5 -6 PM 
https://calvarymemphis.org/event/evensong-2/

Since I'm Jewish,
I feel I should point out that it is not just a few fundamentalist Christians whose refusal to "Social Distance" is a problem. For a Jewish funeral that got out of hand, see

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/29/rabbi-funeral-coronavirus-deblasio-jews/

       Massachusetts has joined the list of states that tells new arrivals in the state to quarantine for 14 days. I must admit to bewilderment at the notion in so many places that the infection comes from "elsewhere". Apparently the more serious the problem already is in a given place, the stronger the desire to prevent it entering from "elsewhere."  Perhaps more productively, several cities in Massachusetts have now enacted local ordinances requiring wearing face masks in public, with substantial fines for violation.  Massachusetts says they will continue the full stay-at-home system until at least May 18.

    At least one airline now requires passengers to wear face masks, which I'd have thought would have been one of the first places to require them. 

April 28

A large group of local clergy, including many most of us know and respect, have signed a letter "calling for what they label a moral, thoughtful approach to move the community forward instead one driven solely by political, economic or even health concerns." They stress 
paying attention to scientific and medical principles . There is an article on this at
https://tri-statedefender.com/tsd-covid-19-flash-faith-leaders-and-reopening-dems-and-voting-cancelled-live-at-the-garden-todays-music-vibe-toosie-slide/04/28/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tsd-covid-19-flash-faith-leaders-and-reopening-dems-and-voting-cancelled-live-at-the-garden-todays-music-vibe-toosie-slide&mc_cid=64329dbdd4&mc_eid=fbe7bf3555
The letter itself is HERE.

   An example of future planning: Good News from Luna Nova Music!
This summer Luna Nova Music will present our 14th Annual Belvedere Chamber Music June 17-20. Because of Covid-19 we will be offering these concerts only online by means of Facebook, YouTube, and other digital services. Each evening a new concert will be presented and the content will remain online subsequently. Some of the composers represented will be Bach, Bartok, Debussy, Poulenc, Boulanger, Prokofiev and others. We are so grateful to be able to carry this tradition into its 14th year despite these completely unexpected circumstances.

On the other hand the Botanic Garden has had to cancel its :"Live at the Garden" summer concert series.


The University of Memphis says it hopes to reopen in the fall but is "studying all scenarios."

April 27  9 pm
     Chabad  (orthodox Jewish) has two zoom classes in the next couple of days -
if it is not a group you usually go to, it is a nice chance to look in -
        Tuesday Noon, 1/2 hour - Rabbi Klein, Cultivating Character: Life Wisdom from the Ethics of Our Fathers  (The "Ethics of the Fathers"
           is a traditional Jewish text often studied between Passover and Shavuot, and fun to read for anyone.)
        Wednesday 11 AM, half hour , Baking with Mrs. Rivka Klein, Yummy Bars, find the ingredients list here.
         Both classes are live-streamed at  
JewishMemphis.com/zoom

April 27   9 AM

      The Daily Memphian reports that Memphis now has enough tests available that people can be tested even if not showing symptoms.
The
Commercial Appeal has an article suggesting that pastors (etc.) be tested as a way of urging members of their congregations to be tested.
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/breaking/2020/04/24/memphis-pastors-want-their-congregations-get-tested-covid-19/3023006001/
In my judgement, those who have a need to deal with multiple people in a typical day, even indirectly (e.g. grocery store and restaurant employees) should probably want to be tested as soon as they can make an appointment.  While Tennessee yesterday had its largest increase in number of cases to date, this may be a reporting result due to increased testing rather than increased spread.  Maybe we will know better in another two weeks.

      I've commented earlier on the differences between Kentucky and Tennessee in covid statistics. There is finally a serious article on this, at
https://dailymemphian.com/section/metro/article/13353/road-to-recovery-how-does-memphis-fare-with
comparing Memphis with Nashville as well as Tennessee with Kentucky. It does not answer many of my questions, but does better than I could do alone.
And it is important data for those trying to understand race and poverty in Memphis.

I'm continuing to enjoy the orthodox Jewish live-stream and recorded lectures at
https://www.facebook.com/myjli/live
and the current Muslim lectures at   
http://www.memphisislamiccenter.org/     Their older videos are at  https://www.facebook.com/watch/memphisislamiccenter/

     The next ELECTIONS in Shelby County will be August 6 and November  3.  Deadline to register for the August 6 election
(if you have not registered in the past, or haven't voted for a few years) is July 7,
 Helpful links are at 
https://www.commercialappeal.com/storytelling/election-2020-voter-guide/register-to-vote//
There may be additional reasons this year to vote early (smaller group of people at the polls) or vote absentee.
Absentee voting information is at
https://www.shelbyvote.com/absentee-voting-faqs
If you are new in town, be aware that you can register by mail, or vote by mail, but that for your first vote here either the registration or the vote must be done in person.

      While there has not been the big wave that my partner Heidi feared of bans on interstate travel, one coastal town in Massachusetts (Salisbury) is presently refusing to turn on town water for residents who had their water turned off when they went away for the cold season.  Some other towns with large seasonal populations are imposing two-week quarantines on arrivals, in addition to the several states that request two-week isolation of arrivals (without legally compelling it.)  The US Department of Defense still has mandatory isolation orders in place on most of its military and overseas employees.

April 26


A friend who works with the visually disabled
passes on this website of helpful resources. Does anyone know of a church (or other...) youthgroup (or other...) that works with or wants to learn to work with blind or low-vision people?  If so, I have access to more resources. 

https://www.aph.org/athomewithaph-webinars/?fbclid=IwAR2Cgwk43bKYSQpqywWxyqLIkGnkhh-9VM6HjyafEgV9UrQ2XIPXBV2cp2Y
The blind of course often depend on touch to get around, which is complicated by coronavirus social distancing. There is
an article at 
https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-social-distance-blindness-coronavirus-20200408-54klzu5hujg43i7zfvkiee3ezm-story.html

A few more places have begun restricting people from traveling to seasonal homes.

According to Breitbart (but it seems plausible anyway) Britain is expanding the use of 14-day quarantines and threatening to criminally prosecute those who violate quarantine.
https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/04/26/britain-set-to-begin-mandatory-quarantines-for-airport-arrivals/

There is a fancy all-day Israel Indendence Day celebration on April 29, charge is $18 and up.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/israpalooza-registration-103066972088

April 25

The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis will have its regular (virtual) meeting
Monday April 27 at 6 PM. 
Speaker is ,David Alan Johnson.  David is a native of Brownsville, TN, and is a graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Politics with a minor in Economics. In March of 2019, he was selected as 1 of 41 Thomas J. Watson Fellows throughout the United States, for a project he independently designed exploring how countries reconcile with their past in Northern Ireland, Germany, Rwanda, South Africa, Chile, and Peru.
By Zoom;  

Email RSVP to 4/27/20 LSP Zoom Meeting
Click here to learn more about our speaker, David Johnson


MICAH will be having a major (virtual) meeting
on Monday April 27, 6 PM. (Each 4th Monday) The link for information and to register is at
https://www.micahmemphis.org/calendar
Also, MICAH is collecting stories of what is happening to individuals -  how the current crisis interacts with major MICAH interests and initiatives.
To have an individual interview, see 
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeIg5Zjn7eVBE_ckFHI6SuOlBCLUljoGrHs82uNZN5VBvR5mQ/viewform


April 24   11 AM

Ramadan Mubarak!  (Have a blessed Ramadan). 
Today, Friday, is the first day of the month of Ramadan, when observing Muslims fast (no food or drink) from sunrise to sunset, if they are able (there is a lot of flexibility for those who are pregnant, ill, and so on.)   Ordinarily, there are many extra prayers at the mosques during this time. Also, the mosques typically have "Iftar", a break-the-fast just after the sunset service, which can vary from something equivalent to a church coffee-and-doughnuts to a full meal.  This year, of course, all these things will have to be done online via Zoom, Facebook, or similar media.
       The mosques do want to do food distribution for those in need, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Masjid As-Salaam, at the top of Stratford Road, to give one example, is distributing boxed meals on a drive-up basis between 6 and 7 PM for people to take home and eat after sunset. Memphis Islamic Center will do this 6-7 PM Fridays through Sundays and is hoping for donations so they can do it more evenings.   Present estimated cost is $1000/day.
       Of course, for many years the Islamic community in Memphis has has a large celebratory Interfaith Iftar dinner with speakers one evening; that is also impossible this year. I expect there will be talks and sermons that readers of this page will want to look at on-line in lieu of that wonderful evening, and I'll post links here from time to time. 
      If you'd like to see a local Muslim Imam explaining the rules of fasting, a talk at the Memphis Islamic Center is at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-4UZdbBuCQ

The Shelby County Health Department now says that covid-19 testing is available to anyone "having even mild symptoms"
https://insight.livestories.com/s/v2/shelby-county-health-department-covid-19/db01f01b-3f9d-460a-9548-1db37ed0ccbd

St. John's Episcopal has services available online at
https://www.facebook.com/StJohnsMemphis
Beth Sholom synagogue has some classes and groups on line at  
https://www.bsholom.org/lljlonline
   (If you are puzzled by a word on that page, "Meditations on the Parshah", the Parshah is what Christians would call "The first lesson", the first Bible reading in the Saturday morning service. It is the same text in traditional synagogues throughout the world, roughly six chapters; in the course of the year synagogues read the entire first five books of the Hebrew Bible.  Since the lesson is a long reading, the discussion usually is based on a smaller selection from it. )
The Jewish Community Center has an every-Thursday 8 PM  program,
https://www.facebook.com/events/596127580979155/  
The Indian Cultural Center and Temple has a calendar page which has links to descriptions of many of their ceremonies.
https://icctmemphis.org/events/

Crosstown Arts  has a website where local musicians can (for free) post performances, and viewers can (for free or a donation) watch them.

https://crosstownarts.org/againstthegrain/

An increasing number of churches are having Zoom meetings or the equivalent of small groups so that one can have discussions, keep up with friends, etc.  If they are advertised too widely there have beem occasional problems with "Zoom bombing", e.g. a Jewish meeting that suddenly had a large number of trolls displaying Hitler faces sign in. So often they are publicized only on a church's own mailing list, or there is a "register in advance" provision so that only known real people can get in.  St. Mary's Episcopal, for example, is doing Sunday School with a passworded sign-in, and a "Meet with Clergy and Friends" on a basis of  "sign in in advance a way that we can see your name and recognize it."  So if you are interested in those and are not on their regular e-mail list , call the church (or e-mail me of the church for help).   If other houses of worship are having any troubles in this regard, I suspect that St. Mary's has a tech person who could help.

An interesting feature of modern times
is the availability of many whole books for free on the internet. I've recently found myself browsing in Academia.com (which keeps trying to sell me a full membership so I can see who is reading my papers, but the free membership is quite adequate since I'm not doing much mathematics research these days.)  I recently found the book Paradise & Paradigm: Key Symbols in Persian Christianity and the Baha’i Faith (SUNY Press, 1999) available for free download, which interested me since I don't much about Baha'i in many places, and comparisons between otherwise quite different religions intrigue me.
You can just go to
https://www.academia.edu/  , do a search on a few words of interest, and browse.

Some US government organizations are taking quarantine orders much more seriously than others.  On Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/myusfk/photos/pcb.10163397226425223/10163397221005223/?type=3&theater  
is notice of a disciplinary action by US Armed Forces Korea (USFK)  against a civilian employee.
(In explanation, being excluded from the US military base for two years, for a civilian, means "you are fired"; that is the typical term of civilian contracts on such bases.)


 April 22, 7 PM

Daily Musical offerings from St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral
are at  
https://www.facebook.com/watch/stmarysmemphis/

Calvary Episcopal Church has a weekly podcast series, perhaps an attempt to make up for the cancelled part of the Lenten Lecture Series.
The current one is at 
https://soundcloud.com/user-553399813/a-conversation-with-jemar-tisby
Topics this week include the effect of Covid-19 on communities of color.  This link also provides further linkls to other talks from Calvary.
Calvary still needs clothes for its clothes closet for the homeless, 
https://calvarymemphis.org/helping-others/
 
The Memphis Theological Seminary will award degrees in May but the commencement ceremony will be postponed, probably until October 3.
President jody Hill says: I will be offering the sermon at our virtual chapel service at 11:10am on Thursday, April 30th. We will use this worship opportunity to give thanks to God in celebration of our graduates. Please join us on Zoom:   https://zoom.us/j/95128178190?pwd=MmVBL1NINmo4N1o2S2xoUG01bFY4QT09
Meeting ID: 951 2817 8190    Password: MTS2020

The Church Health Center is being very successful in adding telemedicine meetings. They have been able to connect with patients who rarely manage to come in in person, improving care in such cases.  They have partnered with the Food Bank and are able to passout food boxes to qualified people who come to their drive-through corona-testing.

The Memphis Botanic Garden is still selling nursery plants, order on-line and pick up in your car. 
https://mbgnursery.ecwid.com/

By extending the stay-at-home program for two weeks at this time, Mayor Strickland seems to be agreeing with what I said yesterday (in agreement with so many others) - life is changing so rapidly that it is unreasonable to make guesses more than two weeks in advance.

April 21, 8 AM

It remains impossible to predict what life will be like, even two weeks in advance. 
Gov. Lee wants to reopen as much as possible in a week or two, saying there are enough virus tests available. Urban counties will probably come later, but no idea how long. Shelby County still can only test health workers and people with symptoms or known exposure, and is unlikely to open many places as soon. (I'd rather not go into a store unnecessarily if the employees have not been tested, at least at present.  )
    Houses of worship, because people tend to be close together, may come later rather than sooner. At least one church has announced they are planning on keeping the building closed at least through May, although of course that too may change.  Mosques, incidentally, tend to closer contact than even churches and synagogues; for prayer the men stand in rows  with feet  touching the feet of the man on either side (feet slightly spread, to give adequate space to prostrate at the appropriate times.)

    Online music group at Temple Israel April 22 at  7 PM.  Annual meeting online and services online Feb 24.  Details and more at
https://mailchi.mp/timemphis.org/this_week_at_temple-2135584?e=0b2f5806a0
    I encourage more houses of worship to put newsletters online; it is easier for me to link. Note that I list the home pages of many houses of worship on my address page.

It is interesting to watch the different approaches to emergency needs  taken by various religious groups in the city to help those hurt by the unemployment surge and coronavirus-related problems.  Many charities are issuing the expected pleas for added donations, and the needs are very obvious, from churches handing out packaged meals to the homeless (e.g. St. Marys), a meal program for unemployed restaurant workers (Caritas), added need for meals-on-wheels and other packaged meals (https://www.mifa.org/ourprograms) and far too many others to name. 
Church Health Center https://churchhealth.org/        now has Covid-19 testing among its services.

The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis (
https://www.cfgm.org/) and Jewish Foundation of Memphis (https://jcpmemphis.org/foundationare two examples of places maintaining lists of special needs and helping to raise money for them or route money to them.

 Two organizations that have "political" complications need mentioning too: 
     The state has been trying very hard to starve Planned Parenthood
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-tennessee-and-north-mississippi   of funds and state cooperation,
     As an alternative the state has been routing funds to Christ Community Health, but as a result it is Christ Community Health
https://www.christcommunityhealth.org/  that gets to do the Covid-19 testing, and really does have special needs as a result.

While Jews and Christians have at least an inherited tradition of "tithing", that is, donating ten percent of income to charity, the Muslim tradition is different. Called "Zakat" (an obvious relative of the Hebrew word "Tzedaka" for charity)  the traditional amount is two and a half percent of capital, or more technically,  of "capital less what you need for present living expenses". One of the major fund-raising times for Muslims is the run-up to the fasting month of Ramadan, which begins the evening of April 23.  One appeal presently being made by local mosques is for anyone who has the cash on hand to donate $300, which they figure will provide food for a typical family for the month of Ramadan.
    

April 20, 10 PM

The evening of April 21 is celebrated buy many Jewish Groups as "Yom HaShoah", a day of remebrance of the Holocaust.
There are a number of forms of online celebration this year. Information of the Memphis Jewish Federation's program is at
https://jcpmemphis.org/yomhashoah
The program starts at 6:30 PM Tuesday evening, but check out the site before that for any necessary preparations (e.g. downloading the program),
and plan to sign in about 6:15 PM to go through the check-in process.

Has everyone found the census questionnaire online, and filled it out?
https://2020census.gov/en
The "national origin" question turns out to be optional - a very interesting fact for some immigrants and those with nationally-mixed immigrant backgrounds (me, for example).
There is an interesting article on this at 
https://www.jta.org/2020/04/08/united-states/a-census-question-poses-a-dilemma-for-american-jews-are-you-white-and-if-so-what-are-your-origins
(The article discusses  Middle Eastern and North African - origin immigrants as well as European Jews.)

Another page with covid-19 statistics, which includes the number of tests administered, is
https://covidtracking.com/data

There is an exceptionally well done article on civil liberties implications of cell phone ocation tracking  (which may be important to control virus spread) at
https://dailymemphian.com/section/coronavirus/article/13110/drilling-down-which-memphis-neighborhoods-are
 
April 19  3 PM

 You have to sign up in advance for the April 30 movie -details fixed in the April 18 entry below.

I remain bewildered about virus testing.
  Reportedly,
President Trump feels there are enough tests out there. Governor Lee appears to agree, having announced that anyone can be tested, for free, without regard to symptoms. https://www.tn.gov/governor/news/2020/4/15/gov--lee-announces-aggressive-statewide-covid-19-testing-effort.html
However, that website talks in terms of pop-up National Guard testing centers weekends in rural counties.  So far as I know, the test centers in Shelby County still require appointments and prioritize those with appropriate symptoms or insist upon appropriate symptoms.  A recent example is 
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2020/04/18/cornavirus-memphis-latest-news-and-updates/5157590002/   about a test center in Frayser.   It is obvious (at least to me) that we can't get back to anywhere near normal unless a large numbert of symptom-free people have been tested (as a simple example, medical establishment employees, grocery store employees,  then almost everyone who has to have contact with considerable numbers of the public.) 
I assume that the testing information at 
https://covid19.memphistn.gov/resources/covid-19-testing-sites-in-shelby-county/   remains correct.

Senator Alexander's office has provided a link to the list of schools, colleges and universities  receiving federal grants to allow them to help students with COVID-19 related expenses (The University of memphis is on the list but hard to find - alphabetized under "U") 
https://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CARES%20Act%20Section%2018004(a)(1)%20Allocation%20to%20TENNESSEE.pdf

Memphis Islamic Center has daily online classes at 2 PM as well as every evening. Evenings are mainly 8 PM.  http://memphisislamiccenter.org     

Have you ever wondered how Ramadan (the month of fasting sunrise to sunset) works? There is a werokshop this evening at 8:30 PM
at 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mRrpNkVGNg&feature=youtu.be

April 18, 9 PM

On April 30th, 2020, at 6:00pm CDT, six community organizations are joining forces to make the new PBS documentary “Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations” accessible for an advanced public online screening, followed by a discussion with Professor Jonathan Judaken of Rhodes College and Dimitry Anselme of Facing History and Ourselves. The discussion will be moderated by Marcy Stagner, M.A. Ed. and Program Director of Cultural Arts and Adult Services at the Memphis Jewish Community Center.
    the Press Release is here, and the Poster is here.   You have to go in advance to the link   https://ovee.itvs.org/screenings/6jjrt  to RSVP and open an account to sign up. Given the sponsorship (Rhodes College, Facing History, WKNO) I believe that the sign-up site has been properly vetted.

The Unity Church of Applied Christianity, which hosts many interfaith events, has a new Associate Pastor, Rev. Mickey Quinton. Since going to meet him in person is impractical, I note that he'll be introduced on the livestream 10:45 Sunday morning at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOyk1Wj7N9gLwxAR0jOiG6g
and the message will be available later at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOyk1Wj7N9gLwxAR0jOiG6g, the pages of Unity Church.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has a coronavirus fact sheet for kids, at

https://uthsc.edu/coronavirus/documents/coronavirus-kids-fact-sheet.pdf

One religious group that covers the news in interesting ways is the American Friends Service Committee. You might enjoy looking at their website at 
https://www.afsc.org/

Chattanooga has decided to allow drive-in church services, everyone to stay in their own car, no passing of collection plates or camparable contacts. Last week some people were charged with improper assembly after a similar service.

I'm not sure whether to be pleased or distressed when someone else notices something I noticed earlier. On March 23 on this page I noted that in early March the US was still shipping medical equipment to  China, to fight the virus in China. The Washington Post had an article on that this evening.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/us-sent-millions-of-face-masks-to-china-early-this-year-ignoring-pandemic-warning-signs/2020/04/18/aaccf54a-7ff5-11ea-8013-1b6da0e4a2b7_story.html
(and no, I'm certainly not claiming that "I knew better". My March 23 remark was about the fast rate of change in the situation catching everyone by surprise).

With the press so polarized, it is easy to see how badly each side misunderstands the other's beliefs.  It is so very easy to assume the best of one's own side and the worst of the other. I am unable to resist quoting a story from an on-line Orthodox Jewish class I listened to a few days ago, on the subject of how our preconceived ideas cloud our vision: Two older Jewish women are sitting on their porch, from which they can see the door of a whorehouse down the street.  One day they observe the local priest go in. “It’s a shame to see a man of the cloth backsliding”. The next day they see the local minister go it. “That’s terrible, He’s married. How awful. His poor wife.”   The third day they see their rabbi go it. “Wow, one of those poor girls must be really sick, if they’ve had to call the rabbi.”

April 17, 3 PM

Bridges, unable to do in-person gatherings, is developing on-line activities.
If you know a high-school student, or have contact with a church youth group, scout group,  or the equivalent, point them at 
https://choose901.com/lite-memphis-hosts-virtual-pitch-contest-open-to-local-high-school-students/  where Bridges is looking for good ideas to help Memphis.

An article about MIFA and Meals-on-Wheels is at 
https://dailymemphian.com/section/opinion/article/13039/mifa-sally-heinz

Idlewild Presbyterian Church has its services online (live and recorded) at 
https://livestream.com/idlewild

Apparently, Shelby County is not doing quite as well at social distancing as it was two weeks ago.  Many people in the interfaith community will know Dr. Manoj Jain, quoted in the articles, an interfaith activist and a founder of the Gandhi-King conferences in Memphis.
https://dailymemphian.com/section/metro/article/12958/shelby-county-earns-d-in-social-distancing-matrix
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2020/04/16/manoj-jain-vanderbilt-say-memphis-region-having-fragile-success-fighting-covid-19/5146935002/

The latest word on getting tested (from the Commercial Appeal article)
"    "As it stands right now, we are testing only those individuals who are presenting symptoms of the virus (i.e. running a fever, cough, body aches, etc.). In the future and as our supply of tests increase, it is our goal to be able to test asymptomatic patients; however, we are not there yet," Strickland wrote in his update.
"      While COVID-19 tests may not yet be plentiful enough to start testing asymptomatic individuals, the testing availability for symptomatic individuals is underutilized, officials said on Wednesday and reiterated on Thursday. "

Johns Hopkins has a map with statistics by county, and some details I had not seen elsewhere, at 
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map

April 17. 8 AM

St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral is not having the 8 AM prayers and breakfast with the homeless, but they still need food.
They are passing out food packages at 8 AM Wednesday mornings,
you can bring or send prepackaged food   to Constance Abbey - 215 Hamlin Place, 38105.  Further info on how to help,  call 901.336.1103
St. Mary's daily musical offerings are at
https://www.facebook.com/pg/stmarysmemphis/videos/?ref=page_internal

As long as you have a car, it is now increasingly easy to be tested for coronavirus. 
If you've been out of the house at all in recent weeks, it is a good idea to get tested. A good article on this is at 
https://dailymemphian.com/section/metro/article/13018/declining-demand-for-covid-19-testing-doesnt-match
(But the authorities now say - IF you have symptoms, get tested.)
 
As of 9 PM Thursday evening, the number of reported cases in the US was 675,640
, per the unofficial site https://ncov2019.live/data. Looking back [in my comments below]  to March 23, at that point there were about 30,000 cases, and the growth rate was such that if unchecked we'd have reached a million cases by about April 7.  The  growth rate has slowed, considerably (although the actual number of new cases stil increase daily). The numbers of cases and deaths was up about 4.5 % yesterday, compared to about 20 to 26% a day in late March.  Tennessee's growth rate is also in the 4% range, evidence that social distancing is helping considerably. If the daily increase remains about 4.5% the United States will be at a million cases in two weeks; we all hope that the rate will continue to slow.
  
I've commented earlier on the discrepancies between Tennessee's statistics and Kentucky's. They have a comparable number of deaths (141 and 129, respectively) but a huge difference in diagnosed cases - Tennessee reports 6,262 and Kentucky 2,429.  But in the site just mentioned  there is a column for number of tests done: Tennessee 85.049 and Kentucky 29,747. I don't know why Kentucky has tested so many fewer, but one may now reasonably guess that the number of cases in the two states is comparable (since the death totals are so close) but that Kentucky is testing only the gravely ill, and Tennessee is testing more people who are not quite as sick, and getting a smaller percentage of positive results. Of course, the local press also conjectures that many of the Tennessee results are false negatives, that the tests are not accurate enough.  But the approximate 2% death rate in the early stage (2% of 6,262 would be 124) is very comparable to what was experienced in the early stage in other places. That rate seems to lower as experience is gained, as testing and treatment become better.


April 16

There are interesting animated charts
(of the virus) at 
https://www.statmap.org/data/movies/ 
They are downloadable if you want to save one for a computerized diary.

There have been security problems reported with Zoom.  If you have a zoom account, be sure the password is completely unlike any of your other passwords.  I've heard from at least one church that says that because of these security concerns, it is not listing Zoom meetings on its website, just sending notices by e-mail to those on its mailing list.  So I may start to have trouble linking to information about Zoom meetings. If that happens I'll try to find some other way to help (e.g. saying "xxx has a Zoom meeting, call yyy for details".)

With the Memphis Botanic Garden closed,
it cannot have its usual Spring Plant Sale. But you can order plants from its nursery online, and they'll bring them out to your car. It's a way to support a local organization and get yourself some exercise planting things. (But do remember MIFA,, Bridges, Church Health Center, Union Mission, and so many other local charities bearing an extra burden now. And if you haven't donated blood in six weeks or so, check if you are eligible to give now.)  Plant sale:
https://mbgnursery.ecwid.com/

I'm a bit frustrated that MIFA does not put is excellent monthly newletter, the MIFA MINUTE, online. They want people to subscribe, and I urge people to do so, at
https://www.mifa.org/
(the signup is at the bottom right of that page).  But I'll quote a bit here to give the flavor:
"     One of the first changes we made in March in response to the growing coronavirus threat was moving our emergency assistance and housing applications online to decrease traffic in our building. Since then, we have received more than 1,200 applications for assistance, more than twice the requests in the same period last year. Of those applicants, 86% cite coronavirus as their reason for applying; 65% of them report job losses, and another 15% have had their hours cut. The volume of requests has created a backlog, but our staff have approved 230 households for assistance since they started working remotely.
"     The meals team rewrote their entire program model to ensure continued service to our senior clients. They scaled back deliveries to three days a week but have managed to deliver even more meals, adding shelf-stable and frozen boxes to their hot meal deliveries. As a result, staff and volunteers, with the help of City of Memphis employees, have delivered more than 50,000 meals in the past four weeks. Each home-delivered recipient has received a supply of 15 extra shelf-stable and frozen meals, which they can store until they need them."
  And their newsletter has lots else worth knowing, including e.g. lists of cooperating restaurants.

     Where I am now, in central New Hampshire, it is below freezing at night, we had fresh snow this morning, but hopes of  getting above 50 degrees one day in the next ten.  The state of New Hampshire has less cases of coronavirus reported than Shelby County. But our small village has just had its first case reported, so it is arriving. Obviously, below-freezing weather does not stop the virus completely.

      Several meat-packing plants have closed due to virus among the employees. The FDA so far reports that the virus is not spread through packaged meat. Fresh fish is unavailable where I am, the delivery system having broken down. Heidi (who was right when she said some travel between states might become limited) suggests that some meat products might get into short supply; you might want to lay in a few canned goods in case there are short days.  Most states, including Tennessee,  have said schools will not reopen before Fall, if then. While social distancing is slowing the spread quite a bit, it is not stopping it, at least yet. All the evidence available from my reading  suggests that we are in this for quite a few more months. A friend on Facebook posted "Our parents or grandparents were called to go to war. We are called to stay home and sit on the couch. We can do this."  If we view this as a wartime situation, with milder shortages and without the blackouts of a major war, it may seem less distressing.
 
April 15

One of my favorite preachers in Memphis is Imam Anwar Arafat, who teaches at the Memphis Islamic Center.
He gave a class a couple of days ago in his series on "Dawah", which Christians would translate as "Mission": How you convey or explain your faith to others?
It is at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ9jTVlSjdk. 
 I hope he won't be offended if I recommend this talk to anyone who wants to convey a message of belief to others, or explain a belief, whether the belief is Islam or Christian or Jewish or other. His talk is of course also educational about Islam, but I think members of other faiths will enjoy it..

Going there on Youtube also led me to a series of discussions on the Memphis Islamic Center website a few years ago, between Yasir Qadhi, the major Muslim scholar then in Memphis, and Rev. Dr. James White. These  rather long discussions on the similarities and differences between Christianity and Islam start  at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=updtj99Fp80

VV Raman's reflections on the Lotus are here.   (my Hindu theologian friend)
 
April 14

Tomorrow, April 15, at 2 PM     The Church Health Center is having a web seminar on ministering to families during the pandemic.
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_905yH3gnQVu1wxb9l-b-Qg

Church Health Center resource information:  https://emailinteractionss21.sky.blackbaud.com/j/D4DEE8DA-3F68-4F62-89CA-51EC7E51068D/r/D4DEE8DA-3F68-4F62-89CA-51EC7E51068D_923c3ea7-4a9e-49a4-9f8e-f9f69c26f658/l/E7B4C97E-0946-4732-8BFE-E1196C89DEF3/c

Coronavirus testing locations: 
https://covid19.memphistn.gov/resources/covid-19-testing-sites-in-shelby-county/
Telephone first
for arrangements or appointments. The ones I know require you to coem by car, but I don't know if all do.

The Benjamin Hooks Institute is continuing its local history series of quick videos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjFjwWYjXxU&feature=youtu.be
 
If your writer's group is not meeting, or you'd like more,
you might enjoy the flash writing program being put on by Playhouse on the Square:
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#all/FMfcgxwHMjwVzxDnRkqKPfQmhbSswxWN
    They are also doing readings for children, at
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLljRh0fyRWAKHC4JMCRpDKEqKLf7fQ240
 
Obviously, large gatherings of people now are dangerous.
In some places, people have been arrested or charged after there were large religious services.
A more interesting question is whether a group can gather, each person or each couple in their own car. Apparently, we are going to see that question tested.

https://wreg.com/news/coronavirus/mississippi-churchgoers-fined-500-while-attending-drive-in-service/

I can't resist a few other notes on the odd intended or unintended consequences.  A few governments in areas that have nude beaches have announced that in addition to staying six feet apart, the bathers must wear face masks. In Georgia, there is a law forbidding wearing face masks in public, enacted years ago to control the Ku Klux Klan. The Governor has announced that while it is unfeasible to have a legislative session to amend that law, the police will not arrest anyone wearing a face mask for health reasons.

April 13.

UNITY FILM PRODUCTIONS,
A major producer of educational films with Muslim sponsorship, is making uits films available online FREE at this time, primarily in the hope that they will be used in home schooling programs. But we all are allowed to watch them, send the link to children or garndchildren, or to use them, for example, in online Sunday School classes and the like. I strongly encourage people to make use of this opportunity.  If you have not seen, for example, "The Sultan and the Saint", now is your chance. Go to
https://www.upf.tv/vip/     If it wants a password,
use    BY3$2T6  



For people interested  in technicalities of religious law and practice and how religious authorities deal with medical emergencies, there is an excellent article on how some groups of Orthodox and Conservative Jewish rabbis are dealing with the present problem. 
https://www.jta.org/2020/04/02/united-states/for-jewish-law-authorities-the-coronavirus-has-caused-an-unprecedented-flurry-of-questions

There have been interesting interfaith discussions in Memphis on medical ethics, with an inteest in whether religions differ on these in some cases. Here is an article on this issue in the present crisis:  https://www.jta.org/2020/04/02/opinion/what-happens-when-we-run-out-of-ventilators-jewish-law-and-state-guidelines-may-have-different-answers

Music:
A reader recommends
https://www.facebook.com/andrerieu/,  in particular his post of April 11, 11:51 AM, of a musical excerpt "O Fortuna"
             lower down on that page, at least at present, are an "Ave Maria" and an "Ode to Joy".
 
Note on the below - I'm finding some of the advertising on Youtube rather offensive (political. ethnic)

 I'd love to find music and dance from other religious cultures, preferably with some explanation.  Quick searches turn up performances such as  these three presumably Hindu performances, but they lack explanations and are nowhere near as evocative of religious stories (to me at least) as the performances I have watched in person at the Indian Cultural Center and Temple in Memphis. 

         https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2079456358772312
        
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2006179622996345  
         and    
https://www.facebook.com/travelwithkatvonb/videos/1670530019930504/?v=1670530019930504  

There is a Buddhist monastic dance at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBOhiTOiUdE

Muslims do not customarily use music in their religious services (there are a few hymn-like chants in some of the Eid services). But there is a Muslim musical tradition close to Christian hymn-singing. An example is at 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjGE6ZI5xVg

There are some Sufi (Muslim Mystic) dances at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkuimX1bh6g   and
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jglf7N5RXQ  

Have you been to any of the Muslim comedy shows in Memphis? You can also find "Muslim Comedians" on Youtube, e.g.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjGE6ZI5xVg
(but I'd love to have someone point out one or ones they recommend! Are any of the ones who have been in Memphis on Youtube or another web place?)

       Cecil Rousseau has died. Many in the interfaith community will know his (surviving) wife Jane Rousseau, who was a very early interfaith activist, especially when visits between houses of worship were organized shortly after the 9/11 attacks.  There will be  a virtual memorial online presented this morning and then available to watch, link at

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1102752268720&ca=5b3256a1-3d32-441b-b993-c989ab4a5b8b    

     While the map in the Washington Post yesterday is striking in showing the concentration of the virus in the US  -  several are around  airport hubs which are international entry points - the virus is spreading "everywhere".
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/coronavirus-us-cases-deaths/
 We've just had the first report of cases in the little village of New London, New Hampshire where Heidi and I hope to stay for "the duration".
 
April 12.  Have a Happy and Blessed and Healthy Easter!

    I'm sure there are many services and sermons worth listening to, and many will remain online.
     
I particularly like Episcopal  Bishop Phoebe Roaf's  sermon at 21:30 of   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfJIdsQ5ld8&feature=youtu.be 

   Have you watched a Black church service? It's a long video, but First Baptist Church Broad put online a rather spectacular Easter Service, including a small but remarkably talented live musical performance. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4i94Ay4jBs

    Information about streaming of Roman Catholic Masses in Memphis is at
https://cdom.org/direct-streaming/
A great deal of downloadable material is found at
https://cdom.org/ 
I found Bishop Talley's Easter service at
https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=catholic%20diocese%20of%20memphis%20in%20tennessee&epa=SEARCH_BOX,
with the homily starting at about 19:20 into the video

The last day of the Jewish holiday of Passover is     April 15, and there is a solemn "memorial" service called "Yizkor".  10 AM
Temple Israel will stream its Yizkor service at 
https://timemphis.org/event/streaming-yizkor-service/

Temple Israel's next "Coffee and Conversation" with Rabbi Feival Strauss will be at noon April 16,   10 -11AM, by Zoom or phone.
    
https://timemphis.org/event/virtual-coffee-conversation-via-zoom/2020-04-16/

The vocabulary of very orthodox Judaism may have a few words that are a bit hard to follow at first, but the website of the Lubavitcher Chassidim (the very orthodox group represented by Chabad in Memphis) put up an hour-long lesson today on the issue of "Tolerating Tolerance", at
https://www.facebook.com/myJLI/videos/1305226833200930/   that is worthwhile.  This may involve a style of Jewish story-telling that will be new to some.

    Close to twenty years ago I wrote an essay about economics in the time of Jesus. I was reminded it of when thinking about the eventual economic consequences of the present pandemic. I have grave fear that our government is thinking about preserving capital and may arrive at a system which leaves many of our poorer people in great debt and workers in a far weaker position relative to employers.  My essay, which may actually be timely in thinking about Easter and the time following, is at
http://ordman.net/Edward/Economics.html

J Street, an organization describing itself as "pro-Israel and anti-occupation", is running an online     (Zoom) virtual Passover Seder on  Sunday, April 12, at 4 PM Eastern (3 PM Memphis.)
I believe you register for it at
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/u5MqcO-sqT0jO3n3y3Qh84qJXLoQN9ngKw
The haggadah - the text for it - is at
https://jstreet.org/fifteen-steps-to-freedom/#.XpNbg8hKiUl
   I'll download and save a copy of the haggadah in case that link goes away and someone wants it later.

I continue to find many of the published statistics bewildering. According to the tables in the Washington Post today, Kentucky has about one-third as many coronavirus cases diagnosed as Tennessee, but almost an equal number of deaths. Since I cannot believe that the difference in care of coronavirus cases is that dramatic, it seems more likely to me that Tennessee is much better at diagnosing (testing for) less serious cases, or (less probably) that Tennessee is being much less active in assessing coronavirus as the cause of death.   But I do have friends (in other states) whose doctor has said "yes, you seem to have coronavirus. But testing you would not affect how we treat you, so we won't get you tested unless your symptoms get much worse."  I don't know how much that affects the statistics.


April 11


The Christian Science Monitor
has a nice piece on understanding the difference in virus spread estimates.
https://www.csmonitor.com/Daily/2020/20200409#1106225
The New York Metropolitan Opera is streaming operas on line, free. Information is at 
https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/

A brief video introduction to "Hindu Temples of India" is at 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yiupwfu_h0k   (some adult images)
A longer piece - 50 minutes - on Buddhism - is at 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlMSpvS__Lo

North Carolina has prohibited people from going to second homes on the outer banks.
 
April 10

     "Combating Extremism Using People Power" -
as a somewhat similar talk in Memphis was cancelled this Spring, you might be interested in this talk put online by the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire. The talk was given yesterday, April 9.  
https://wacnh.org/WACNHLive

Turkey has stopped using ethanol to add to gasoline, and is instead using it to make hand sanitizer.

If you are interested in current theory about Free Will  there is an interesting series of videos Here on BBC,

I am thrilled to see many places
showing rates of increase (in infections and deaths) only 6% to 12% day-over-day.  While those are still major increases compared to most epidemics, they are much less than the 20% to 26% a day reported from around March 25 to April 3 or so. So social distancing (which is believed to take 14 days to show its most major effects) is seeming to show progress. Data from
https://ncov2019.live/data. The number of US deaths in a day has less than doubled in a week, compared to doubling in 4 days a week or so ago.
 
Michigan has prohibited people from traveling to second homes. So Heidi's decision to move us to New Hampshire in a  hurry, 3 days ago, seems a justifiable use of "hurry". I've been lucky to have some extremely wise women in my life.

A video tour of St, Peter's Basilica, at The Vatican, is at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BguJhRML108
The Vatican newsletter about adjusting Easter to the epidemic is at

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2020-04/celebrating-a-unique-easter-with-pope-francis-during-covid-19.html
I have not figured out how to get all the Vatican streams but as I write this there is one at
https://www.romereports.com/en/2020/04/09/live-pope-celebrates-holy-thursday-mass-in-st-peters-basilica/
and it may provide links to others. 
(voices are in Latin or Italian.)
    If you prefer a brief video as a sample, 
https://www.romereports.com/en/2020/04/10/pope-prays-a-moving-way-of-the-cross-with-texts-prepared-by-prisoners/
 
April 9

  (late evening -) There is an excellent Passover seder under curfew
essay at 
https://www.csmonitor.com/Daily/2020/20200408#1106162

I have not been able to find a link for the Good Friday service being streamed from Notre Dame in Paris (ceremony done in the rubble inside)
https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/09/830655985/nearing-anniversary-of-devastating-fire-notre-dame-to-host-a-good-friday-service   
 In New Zealand,
where the lockdown is so tight that the Prime Minister is working from home, the Easter Bunny has been declared an essential worker and can visit homes without reference to social distancing.
    
    (at time of writing) There is still time to sign up for Temple Israel's Passover Seder this evening (Thursday).
See under April 8 immediately below.
Rabbi Micah Greenstein has a very brief (3 and a half minutes)    Passover talk,  of interest to anyone , at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2NOYRqIbFM

Many local churches will have their Easter Services streamed online and/or placed on Youtube.  Just as one example, there is a full menu (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday. Words From the Cross, Saturday, eve of Easter Vigil, Sunrise Service, other Easter Services, at 
http://www.holycommunion.org/

Going beyond the local area, there  are many things online for a special weekend:

    Jesus Play: The "Sight and Sound Theater", a religious showplace from Lancaster, PA and Branson, Missouri, has a stage show about Jesus that is supposed to be outstanding. They are streaming their on-stage production  free on-demand from April 10 to April 12. 
https://watch.tbn.org/sight-sound-theatres-presents-jesus

     Andrew Lloyd Webber     will be streaming his Broadway shows for free during the time of social distancing - one a week, as I understand it. The information comes from

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/andrew-lloyd-webber-live-stream-140223912.html .      One show is available each weekend, 24 hours starting  Friday at   1 PM (Central time) .
The show for this weekend is Jesus Christ Superstar.     The link is      
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpO4ohqx3os
Some information (with advertising) on watching other Broadway shows online is at

https://hellogiggles.com/news/watch-broadway-shows-from-home-pbs-coronavirus-outbreak/   
In particular, consider supporting WKNO at this time; a $60 donation gets you lots of on-line access.  
https://www.wkno.org/passport/

Want to spend a bit of time on something "interfaith"?  Well,

A half-hour visit to Jerusalem that is of interest to interfaith people (frim German Television, but in English) is at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3inhQffPlAI

An informal video made by a Muslim visiting the Dome of the Rock and El_Aqsa Mosque is at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktNn6jkJtLk

An architect's design proposal for a competition for The Iconic Mosque in Dubai
is at 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3bQiVtW4kc

An architectural/historical tour of the Santa Sophia Mosque in Istanbul  is at 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfpusWEd2jE  (much of this is of its history as a church; it is now a museum).

A travel-oriented piece about The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is at h
ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXNDCZOw4RY
     (Can someone find  me some  more religion-oriented videos about major mosques?)
 
April 8

The Jewish holiday of PASSOVER    
begins this evening  Wednesady April 8 and continues for 8 days; observant traditional Jews refrain from work teh first and last two days.  (In Israel in ancienmt times, the refraining from work was one day at each end; as Jews scattered over the world, they were not  always sure when the new moon was being declared in Jerusalem and took to ibserving two days as a precaution.  The same problem is reflected in the modern Muslim practice of sometimes not being sure in advance exactly which day will be, for example, Eid-el-Adha, as this depends on when the moon is sighted in Arabia - if I understand the custom correctly. But the Muslims know that they can spread the word quickly!   
     Passover commemorates the Jews escaping from slavery in Egypt, as reported in the Bible book, Exodus. It is traditionally celebrated at home, with an elaborate dinner ceremony called the "Seder" (pronounced"say-der") on the first two evenings.  Temple ISrael for many years has had a large group Seder on the second night (April 9 this year). As they cannot do that this year, the Temple Israel Sisterhood is organizing a "virtual, progressive" Seder, with many homes participating in contributing a small paert of the ceremony. Anyone interested is invited to watch and listen on-line; there is a link to further information and the registration page (and a way to download the printed program for the service, called the "Haggadah", which means "the story", at Temple Israel's page, http://timemphis.org.  (a more direct link is now at )
https://tisisterhood.org/
 
New Tax rule: 
I don't know that it will affect the behavior of readers of this page, but the new emergency economics bill will allow anyone who takes the standard deduction to deduct an additional amount up to $300 if they make cash (or check, but apparently not in-kind) deductions to most charities (direct charities, not donor-directed funds.)  I do hope my readers are donating more than that, whether or not the take the standard deduction. 

Heidi and I have retreated to our summer place in central New Hampshire, a small village with no crowding problems and where we have  a large yard instead of our tiny condo patio in Memphis.   Last week we  saw real growing threats to the ability to travel. The Governor of Kentucky advised people not to visit Tennessee; Ohio erected signs at the state line with Kentucky asking people entering Ohio to isolate for 14 days;  Vermont erected signs on the state line from New York requiring people entering the state "in order to to stay" to isolate for 14 days;  and New Hampshire has closed all hotels and BnB's (they say they may use them for health workers and domestic violence victims).  So w
e came earlier than planned, driving 1340 miles in 22 hours.   The highways were almost empty of cars (between cities), and had many fewer trucks than usual. Toll booths were not manned.  I'm back working on this website now, still reachable by e-mail and phone. "working from home" like so many others. 

Since traveling is not easy right now, I think those of us who like visiting houses of worship might like to do so "virtually", as that word now seems to be used.  Heidi Tobin points out that there are some remarkable Youtube videos. A  good starter might be the Architectural Digest video, "21 Beautiful Houses of Worship",  at 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qwU67Svl68.  But I'm hoping we can find interesting interior tours of selected mosques, churches, synagogues, Hindu and Sikh temples, etc.  Suggestions (and especially pointers!) are welcome/. e-mail to admin@memphisirg.org

April 5
     
     My friend V.V. Raman, a retired physics professor and Hindu theologian,
occasionally sends me drafts of chapters of books he is working on. (If anyone is excited by this example, I can get you on his mailing list).  He has just sent out an essay on "Dance:", the history of dance. Since dance plays such an important role in the life of the Indian Cultural Center and Temple, I thought people might enjoy an essay on the subject by a Hindu.  I've put it here, at Dance.pdf.

   For news I usually read (online) from the NY Times, Washington Post, Commercial Appeal, Tri-State Defender, Daily Memphian, sometimes the Atlantic or New Yorker.  Heidi checks Yahoo, CNN, NBC, etc.   But in the present crisis I also check in at Fox News now and then to see what "that side" is saying. Typically, the whole mess is the fault of (a) The Chinese, (b) the Governor of New York, (c) The Communists, or (d) the Democrats, not always in that order. But I just did discover there a piece by James Otteson, a few days ago, on the importance of friendship. Despite its location and context, some might like it:
https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/coronavirus-crisis-opportunity-happiness-james-otteson

 One of the perhaps lesser-known religion-sponsored organizations around is Brigham Young University TV, an internet TV channel.  I mention them at this time since with local concerts canceled, you might like to know that they will broadcast the Mormon Tabernacle choir performing Handel's Messiah on April 11 at 8 PM and April 12 at 3 PM.
Links are at
https://www.byutv.org/post/0fec2883-cc3e-4a37-900e-3b6b6ce180b6/handels-messiah-2020.   The general program guide is at https://www.byutv.org/programaz

St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral has a facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/stmarysmemphis/

Nancy Berry has died.
She was very active in Balmoral Presbyterian Church.  I'm giving the link to the virtual funeral service video here not only for those of you who knew this wonderful woman, but as an example for anyone else trying to design on-line ceremonies.  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdRCrLupcPA&feature=youtu.be

The New York Times article
on "How to Self-Quarantine" was updated March 30: 
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/06/health/self-quarantine-coronavirus.html

April 4.

     The livestream of the MLK  commemoration at the Civil Rights Museum is running now (April 4 afternoon) at
https://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/april-4th-commemoration    

     Last Night's Medical panel discussion put on by the Memphis Islamic community is online at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tARoYRVgCQU

      Recent videos from Temple Israel are at
https://www.youtube.com/user/TIMemphis/videos    but    I don't yet see the expected "Rabbi Wax" talk.

      Calvary Episcopal has its sermons and services at 
https://www.youtube.com/user/CalvaryEpiscopal.
Their livestream links and April 5-12 schedule (Palm Sunday to Easter) are at https://calvarymemphis.org/worship-2/holy-week-and-easter/  

   I've found one local Catholic Mass online, at St Patrick's, 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqex8bg40ug   but need help finding more.  I'm a big fan of Father Val.

      (Anniversary of the death:)What I think was the last Sunday sermon of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., (in Washington, DC) is at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFmP3YA3i9g
            I find it very stirring at present.

      American politicians sometimes quote the phrase "A city upon a hill", dating to 1630, in describing the United States. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_upon_a_Hill
The closing of our borders makes me wonder if some people want us to be "an impregnable  fortress on a hill." On the other hand, the possibility that China will ship us significant quantity of medical supplies, may make some of us realize that thinking broadly of "who is my neighbor?" cuts several ways.

       A fairly complete article on the rules in effect in Memphis is at
https://dailymemphian.com/article/12597/in-crackdown-nonessential-businesses-have-til
In particular, it points out that single day-to-day totals in Memphis display some inaccurate variation depending on at what hour hospitals etc. submit reports later than expected. If a large numb er of reports come in late in a day, they are added in to the next day's report.

April 3.
     I've been busy today, getting ready to get out of town
(e.g. took the car in to be serviced. Instead of sending me to a waiting room, they had me sit in the car the whole time to push any buttons that needed pushing, turn engine on and off as needed, etc., so that they did not have to get in the car,  It seemed an intelligent solution,) 

     My land-line telephone is out of order and AT&T seems to have given up trying to find the loose connection (they think it is in a flooded manhole); my cell phone is 913-755-8453 if you need it.
     Many notices I get of on-line events come only an hour or two before the event.  So I'm not able to post as many as I like.  This evening the local Muslim evening on-line program got a bunch of doctors online to answer questions.  They are now doing a daily 8:pm session (new time). I think you can get it via
https://www.youtube.com/user/MemphisIslamicCenter  

    Do spend some time telephoning friends (local or distant) you know you have not been in touch with for awhile, or friends with health problems, for telephone visits.

     A resident of The Villages in Germantown tells me her physical therapy center told her not to come there as residents of complexes for the elderly are presumed to be high risk. She is not convinced she is - she is basically alone with her husband in her apartment, all group activities have been cancelled, if there are any cases at The Villages she has not heard of them.

     My first cousin in Massachusetts, age 71, was diagnosed with coronavirus about March 23 - fever of about 101.4 for three days, "a very bad flu" he called it. Not hospitalized, now pronounced cured. His wife said she felt she had a milder flku and presumed she had it, but the authorities refused to test her since her fever was not high enough and they were short of testing ability. this is one anecdote suggesting that the number of cases is much higher than actually reported - but also that the mortality rate is much lower than reported, since mild cases don't get into the statistics.

     As I rather suspected might happen, the press is starting to downplay the statistics, presumably so as not to scare people. I did not see a yesterday's death total for the US on the front web pages of the NY Times, the Washington Post, or the Commercial Appeal. Do note my links given at March 29, below - the page at
https://ncov2019.live/data      which aggregates data from health departments etc. is reporting 1263 deaths in the US in the past 24 hours, when I just looked (10 PM).  That was up 20.6 percent, which coincidentally is exactly the percentage my model I mentioned a few days ago was predicting.  This is one time that I really regret being correct (for several reasons). I really am interested in these numbers, as well as the local numbers at http://weather.com, in trying to get an idea of where social distancing and shutdowns seem to be working.

April 2. 
      Well, today may well be the first day with 1000 US deaths in a day. 
I'm afraid the earlier predictions - an increase of 20% to 26% a day, for at least a week or two, is being accurate. One hopes that social distancing will start to show a reduction in that rate within two weeks from now. The rather depressing Washingto Post article is at

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/02/grim-death-toll-projections-white-house-offered-monday-have-already-been-revised-upward/

      I'm seeing a lot of interesting on-line efforts at "virtual events".  Temple Israel Sisterhood is doing an on-line discussion group and an on-line "progressive" Passover Seder - a few minutes each at a lot of consecutive dinner tables.  But many of these events are still primarily intended for the group's own members.  One to which clearly anyone is invited is a "virtual havdalah", an end-of-the-sabbath ceremony at Temple Israel on Saturday evening April 4 at 8 PM,
https://www.facebook.com/events/173357676996151/?event_time_id=173357686996150    

One local Muslim group has a daily 2PM Zoom session which may be of interest. CLICK HERE for the notice. I think the log-on is via 
https://zoom.us/j/543532813
 and the question link is  https://onlinequestions.org/   but I haven't found the session number for the question link. (I'm still not very good at Zoom.)

    One event that is specifically interfaith, nationally, is by The Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality ("WISE"). The information for the April 6 event is here (click here)  . M impression is that one gets info via twitter -but I do see the event on their Facebook page at 
https://www.facebook.com/WISEMuslimWomen/   

April 1.  (No jokes here, although I do have one on my Facebook page,.. Edward Ordman).
    An interesting (but potentially controversial) Roman Catholic essay
on Covid-19 and the absence of communion-
https://churchlifejournal.nd.edu/articles/the-churchs-response-is-saying-no-to-deaths-dominion/
     As the following article about St. Corona appeared six days ago, I think it is not an April Fool's joke:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-germany-saint/german-cathedral-dusts-off-relics-of-st-corona-patron-of-epidemics-idUSKBN21C2PM?fbclid=IwAR0qMqufQV6GqznB747A1XeSQ8S1GtvdpcY4FZYOgAUWKRvM2jEn_eBH3zA
   I know little more about her: e.g.  
http://catholic.net/op/articles/3654/cat/1205/st-corona-the-martyr-.html

One of a number of local maps of  concentrations and testing problems in our area:

https://wreg.com/news/coronavirus/map-of-shelby-county-coronavirus-cases-highlights-areas-lacking-testing/

I'm starting to receive advertisements from internet companies seeking church business, e.g. http://covid.acstechnologies.com/

A letter from Temple Israel/ Jewish physicians about the need for STRICT self-quarantine: 
https://mailchi.mp/55438eb307cc/continuing-faith-and-community-at-temple-2135480?e=0b2f5806a0
Again, those who do not need to strict self-quarantine should look for ways to assist those who do -
  e.g. delivering food to leave on the doorstep.

I understand that many Muslim authorities are urging people not to go on the Hajj to Mecca this year.
An interesting source of explanation of fine points of Islamic practice, in language that makes sense to those who have an interest in (for example) Jewish or Roman Catholic religious law, is a site of the Kingdom of Jordan - the English language version is at https://www.aliftaa.jo/DefaultEn.aspx
.    
By way of illustration, one of its statements on group activities during the epidemic is at  https://www.aliftaa.jo/Question2En.aspx?QuestionId=3563#.XoT90ohKiUl

A nice musical hymn from St Mary's Episcopal. 
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1222297344640735
I think they put one up every day, but have not yet figured how to access them (or presentations from other Memphis churches) as a group. Help?

March 31.

     Pastor Tim Russell of Second Presbyterian Church has died of covid-19 complications.
There are many news reports, easily found on Google. For example
https://wreg.com/news/coronavirus/local-pastor-dies-from-complications-of-covid-19/

https://www.facebook.com/2PCmemphis/photos/rpp.179009078792869/3426073910753020/?type=3&theater


     I don't know how authoritative it is, but  http://weather.com now has a "covid-19" tab.
It has a graph of number of infections, if data is available, for each county and state. A map lets you click on counties throughout the US. A rather remarkable site, created by a high school student,  that tries to give world-wide data, is at
https://ncov2019.live/data     An article about the student who built that site is at  https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/03/30/the-high-schooler-who-became-a-covid-19-watchdog

     Many in the Memphis Interfaith community are fans of CARITAS, the restaurant/community center in Binghampton.  Like other places, it is now carry-out only - but providing free meals to out-of-work restaurant employees, among others.  Nice article at
https://dailymemphian.com/article/12094/caritas-once-again-answers-the-need-and-this-time  The fact that so many restauranteurs are contributing food is one of the nice things about Memphis. 

      Rev Carla Meisterman, the pastor at Balmoral Presbyterian, has written a wonderful piece on the technological problems that the pandemic causes a pastor. It is at
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1102752268720&ca=affafa8b-2823-4c94-9bf4-baedc626c4be

Monday evening the Memphis Islamic Center held a "virtual" community meeting. It is online at
https://bit.ly/2wFpfCj 
The slides are also online at  shorturl.at/uxAJ2
I find them of interest in themselves, but also as a model of what other groups who can't hold congregational meetings might do.

The local Tibetan Buddhist community (Pema Karpo Meditation Center) has sent a very interesting email, which they have allowed me to reproduce here.
   I don't think I could make the attachment link there work, so the attachment is here.   If you've never been to the Pema Karpo Meditation Center, here is your chance for a virtual visit!

     There is a remarkable article about the epidemic of 1918 in the Denver Post: 
https://www.denverpost.com/2020/03/29/pandemic-1918-spanish-flu-colorado-coronavirus/?utm_source=thisistrue.com


     I rather enjoyed this little "devotional" and "visit from the country" from the President of Berea College, who admittedly is in a lucky situation. If you don't know of Berea, it is an excellent small college in Southeast Kentucky which accepts ONLY students from families too poor to send them to college. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7I986Qp6GQ

Reminder: 
Many local houses of worship, and other charities, are signed up to get donations from Kroger and from Superlo foods. If you have a loyalty card at either, you must RE REGISTER EVERY YEAR to make a percentage of your purchases go to your selected charity. Sign up using your loyalty number at either or both of kroger.com and superlo.com.   Re register now and very year on your birthday, or some other day you choose to remember.
(So far as I know,  your registration at smile.amazon.com is permanent, no re registration required.)

 

March 30
The one-week increase
in diagnosed cases in Tennessee, 615 to about 1500, is significantly less than doubling every three days, which was the experience in New York and California in their early weeks. I'm taking it as encouraging that social distancing may be giving us a less steep curve, one that our medical facilities may be able to cope with.

      The need to close Tom Lee Park one evening due to people being too close together (I hope this as a one-time problem) and to close things like dog parks can be taken as encouragement that people are trying to get fresh air and exercise. (Note: given my writing for The Christian Science Monitor, which you can find at http://ordman.net, I've sometimes been described as a paid professional optimist.  I try to see the good side of things.)  The few tinmes I've driven around, I have not seen the smaller local parks being crowded; you can get fresh air and walks while maintaining social distancing. Heidi and I had a picnic a few days ago, in Marquette Park, with carryout meals from Taziki's on Mendenhall. Like many other restaurants now, you can order online, pay online, they hand in the food through your car window.

      Memphis in May is hoping it can take place in October. I assume most of our other Spring outdoor festivals will try for similar arrangements. Obviously, the October plan is "if conditions then allow."  The Brooks Museum is still having its sidewalk art festival, but now people do it at their own place and send in pictures.

March 29. 
       Well. President Trump has displayed a bit more realism; it won't all be over by Easter.
I was quiet yesterday in part since this is, after all, still the "regular" flu season, which is scarier than usual. Within the last few days, my brother, my daughter, and I have all been sick. His apparently was a mild food poisoning, over in 24 hours; my daughter's a mild "normal" cold  or  flu, recovering nicely after three days. Mine seems to be an absolutely normal ear infection, responding well to antibiotics.  The rate of growth of coronavirus infections seems to be slowing in Italy and Seattle as well as (substantially) in China, providing hope that the worst of the epidemic may be time-limited. Of course, here in Tennessee it is just getting started but we hope that social distancing will slow it.  Mayor Strickland's talk on May 27 is at 
https://www.facebook.com/mayormemphis/videos/580505829217335/?v=580505829217335

    The Pema Karpo Meditation Center in Memphis has put some material online:  They wrote
"Not everyone is on FB. Here is the YouTube link,   https://youtu.be/zM6Qdcn4Bfg,   if you would like to listen to or share today's talk by Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche on the Prayer to Guru Rinpoche to Clear Obstacles on the Path, also known as The Prayer in Six Vajra Lines to Guru Rinpoche, revealed by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
A PDF of the practice can be found at our website: http://www.pemakarpo.org
Please continue to take care of yourselves during this time of the corona virus. It is, as Rinpoche said in the talk, a great obstacle for the people of this world right now. "

     Essentially all religions have now agreed that large meetings have to be avoided; Jews who need a minyan of ten for ceratin prayers may use a "virtual minyan" online, Catholics do not have to go to Mass, Muslims may listen to sermons online.  Local Imam Anwar Arafat, a excellent speaker, addresses this in his sermon last Friday; if you've never listened  to a Muslim sermon, this is a good chance to: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LDvdIww8NE

The Civil Rights Museum is retooling its Martin Luther King Commemoration on April 4 to be online:   See also
https://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/april-4th-commemoration
a virtual broadcast entitled, “Remembering MLK: The Man. The Movement. The Moment.” The program airs at 5:00pm-6:30pm Central Saturday, April 4, on the museum’s website, YouTube, Facebook, Livestream platforms.


Of course some of the usual accusations are beginning to appear: it is a judgement for sin, it is caused by the Jews, it is God punishing the Jews, etc.  If anyone is amusede by such things, an example of the reports is at 
https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/conservative-pastor-says-spread-of-coronavirus-in-synagogues-is-punishment-from-god
    (In several places, including Lakewood, NJ and Antwerp, Belgium, the Jewish community seems to be exceptionally hard hit, perhaps due to a large number of communal activiteis not stopping early enough.)
 
March 27
     
I've been thinking of some of the stories of the Yellow Fever epidemics in Memphis of the late 1800's. One of the less noticed items on the University of Memphis Campus is the monument to eight "Muted Belles", women in Memphis History. One of them is Annie Cook, who was the madam of a house of ill repute on Gayoso Street. In the 1873 and 1878 epidemics, she converted the large house into a hospital and apparently asked some of the girls working there to stay on as nurses. Her services were widely appreciated and she received messages of thanks from groups of Christian women in both Memphis and Louisville. Annie Cook eventually succumbed to Yellow Fever herself, in September of 1878. The Memphis newspaper (then "The Appeal") wrote of her "she ventured all she had of life and property for the sick...Surely the sins of the woman must have been forgiven..."

 
March 26  late.
     The State of New Hampshire
issued a particularly complete and interesting list of what functions it considers essential. In case you've wondered, here it is:

https://www.wmur.com/article/essential-businesses-new-hampshire-list-coronavirus-response/31947963
     Putting on my math professor hat: There may be a slowdown in Italy, based on the numbers I'm seeing: a Thursday evening report has "
..., with Italy reporting 6,153 new infections.  Italy now has 80,539 cases, almost as many as China. Italy’s Civil Protection Agency reported 662 deaths on Thursday, bringing the country’s death toll to 8,165, which is the highest in the world." The striking fact is that each of these daily numbers (cases and deaths) is well under 20 percent of the total-to-date, so shows a rate of doubling much slower than the "doubling every three days" that New York is still experiencing.
    In contrast, New Orleans reported a 28% increase in cases, suggesting that it is very early in the outbreak (or just starting to test in earnest.)

March 26.
      Cancellations continue to come in.
The rate of infection continues to grow ab 26% per day in most places.  The annual  large Ramadan (interfaith) dinner has been postponed, no replacement date set. Ramadan begins this year April 23; observant Muslims fast sunup to sundown, and frequently have large meals, often with friends or in groups, after sunset.  Absent changes in the epidemic, they will largely be confined to their own families this year, just as the Jews are for the traditional large meals and group meals on Passover (which begins April 8 this year.)

Sample resources:
St. Mary's Episcopal cathedral is setting up an online "prayer care package" on its website.
http://www.stmarysmemphis.org/worship/  They also have an on-line signup age for prayer requests for Sunday.  They have a page with a guide to  interesting daily prayer opportunities at http://www.stmarysmemphis.org/sites/574/uploaded/files/BCP101_DailyOffice.pdf   Their onlinme videos of services and music can be found at https://www.facebook.com/watch/stmarysmemphis/
Masjid Ar_Rahman
has its library of videos at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXfMPAjkjTo8ghKT6hzDH_w
Masjid As_Salaam's are at  
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgDPib2sixzQ4EKR8VDJDDA
Chabad Memphis has videos including "Parenting in a Pandemic" at 
https://www.facebook.com/85884249410/videos/2040723576071856/
     This is part of a course, online, live, free, at 
https://www.myjli.com/index.html?task=location&lid=12608&fbclid=IwAR3L59l0jya65dkPgKMxjNY4o_gF0upSEEf-brBJmQJDTq1jQFAxG33oyiw
A central point for local Jewish corona-virus news is at https://jcpmemphis.org/caring/corona
There are a variety of Jewish on-line classes
of the sort Christians call "Sunday School" - examples
       Noon Wednesday,  Baron Hirsch. https://www.baronhirsch.org/virtual    (this site has multiple ideas)
       Noon Thursday  Beth Sholom.  https://jcpmemphis.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c8af885f6c902b29d35b88f50&id=9ca09ed39f&e=82879e28a2  (link for noon Thursday)


March 25. 

      I can't resist quoting a bit of orthodox Jewish response.
As you may know, many strictly orthodox Jews interpret the biblical prohibition against kindling a fire on the Sabbath (or certain Jewish holidays) as prohibiting throwing an electric switch.  Passover (which has a historical connection with the Christian Good Friday) begins the evening of April 8. From the Jewish press on-line:
     "A group of Orthodox rabbis in Israel has declared that it will be permissible for separated members of the Jewish community to join each other at Passover seders via video.
According to the scholars — including Rabbis Eliyahu Abergel, head of Jerusalem’s rabbinical court; Shlomo Ben Hamo, chief rabbi of Kiryat Gat; and Aharon Cohen of Yakir — people who will be alone on the first nights of the holiday because of coronavirus isolation can use the popular Zoom webinar technology if it is opened before the start of the holiday.   The rabbis state in their ruling that there is no need to worry about violating the sanctity of the holy day by operating the program, since it is launched before the start of the holiday. The use of electronic devices is normally forbidden on Passover, Shabbat and other holidays. "

     Bizarre advertisements received: (1) Lawyer: "Men, now is the perfect time to file for divorce, your wife will get less..."  (2) Tree pruning service: "We can still do your landscape work, just remember to ask us to plant a few vegetables or herbs so it classified as an essential food delivery, then we can do anything else you want."   I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.

     To understand if there is a change in trend in the coronavirus numbers - if the infection rate doubles every three days, then each day the number of new infections  or new deaths will be about 26% higher than the number the day before. If those aren't stated together, and what they say is for example "3400 new cases for a total of  30,000", then the new cases will on average be 20.6 % of the new total, or 26% of the previous day's total-to-date. (So if the number reported on today is 60,000, expect 15600 = 60000 x 0.26 cases tomorrow, total will then be 75600,  15600 = 20.6% of 75600.  Obviously these are very approximate numbers, and some variation up or down each day doesn't mean too much. But it may help to understand if someone says the rate of increase is decreasing, or some such statement. At this rate, going from 60000 to a million takes 13 days. One hopes, of course, that it will taper off.  And it can't continue at this rate in any small region; after all, Memphis has under a  million people, so we can't have a million cases locally.  

March 24
      Well, it seems a lot of places will remain open;
I still hope most of us will stay home most of the time.
       The City of Memphis notice site for   the epidemic is at 
https://covid19.memphistn.gov/ 
       Many churches seem to be deciding not to stream services from their sanctuary this coming Sunday. We'll see during the week how that develops. E.g. Balmoral Presbyterian and Unity Church may not be  live or online this Sunday. Pastors of course remain available, usually from home. Various churches are trying interesting ways to cope.  For example,
      -  you might be interested in seeing this on-line effort by Unity Church:
https://www.unitymemphis.org/prayer-request.html   
      -  or this blog and discussion from Calvary Episcopal:
https://wisdomofthedesert.blogspot.com/2020/03/bootstraps-hermits.html      
     -Chabad (orthodox Jewish) is posting videos at
https://files.myjli.com/emails/tc_16-20/Crisis_2.html

The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis is continuing to meet via Zoom. Other organizations may be able to learn from them
https://mailchi.mp/aaeafb427495/monday-zoom-meeting-reminder?e=d430cebda2

The Indian Cultural Center and Temple is still performing ceremonies there (the priests live there, I think), but live-streaming them.

 I've received a letter that tells much more about how the virus gets around than I'd seen before - e.g. why to use soap instead of other cleansers and temperatures for washing clothing. Ifound it very helpful; I've put it at 2020-03-24virus.html

      Pope Francis has called for worldwide prayer at noon Wednesday Rome Time (6 am Memphis, March 25)

       Despite President Trump's  idea that life can return to normal after Easter, things continue to cancel - the annual "JuneTeenth" festival was cancelled today.

      I'm going to start listing some on-line events, experimentally. See events coming from  Temple Israel March 25 and April 3 below.
      But when something is likely to remain online, it seems silly to list it by date. For example, the Benjamin Hooks Institute is putting presentations online, See for example  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhZcawWHboI&feature=youtu.be    
     
The Beethoven Club is putting classical concerts online, see 
https://mailchi.mp/11b489b5f8ce/beethoven-club-newsletter?e=053a4e2a7d

        MICAH has issued this message:  While our April 20th Spring Soirée will be postponed to a later time, our monthly meetings (Issues Nights- 4th Mondays; Monthly Meetings- 2nd Tuesdays) will be moved to Zoom so that our leaders can still connect with each other in fellowship as well as to plan for the needs ahead.    Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at info@micahmemphis.org with any information or needs that you would like to share with us so that we can best support the many needs of our partners, friends, and the greater community.

      Comments, please, on what I might do helpfully with online resources at this time?

March 23
    Mayor Strickland has ordered "shelter in place
closing many more businesses as of Tuesday evening, tomorrow. The full order is at

https://covid19.memphistn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Executive-Order-No-03-2020.pdf
and is much more complex in what it allows than most news summaries suggest.  But the general principle is clear - stay home whenever possible. Those young and healthy enough should continue to volunteer to help those who cannot go out - help with food shopping, meals-on-wheels, blood donations , etc.
     The rate of change is phenomenal, and so fast that it is hard to realize how fast it is, and hard to predict even a week or two ahead. Two weeks ago, on March 9 I read a newspaper article raising the question of whether the US could ship enough face masks fast enough to China to be a help with the epidemic in Wuhan. Today Wuhan is still locked down but there are few new cases there (but they don't dare stop the lockdown for fear it will start another epidemic.)  By now the US has something like 30,000 cases., By two weeks from now we will probably have (if we continue testing and reporting) over a million; one hopes that the present shutdowns will begin to slow the rate of increase a week or two from now, but since the disease is often not detected until two weeks after exposure, he growth rate is unlikely to slow much in the next week or two. To see where I got the million estimate, look at the graph in
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/health/coronavirus-data-logarithm-chart.html   


March 22
     Some reports have come in that the internet is being slow Sunday morning
due to all the streaming church services. Any local reports of that?
    (As a result, some churches are recording their services for later viewing.)
    Many stores are closing or adjusting hours. Get current information before you go, if possible. (Office Depot, open but closes each day at 6PM. Best Buy, open for phone or mail orders, doorstep but no indoor delivery, you can go to the parking lot and they;ll carry items out to the parking lot for you.
     The Beethoven Club is naturally cancelling or postponing concerts for the next month or so (and will decide later about later). But if you need a classical-music fix, they have arranged to put several of their past concerts on-line as videos. Many of these were done in local churches.  
http://www.beethovenclubmemphis.org/video.html
     FOOD BANKS  will be increasingly important in the next few weeks (and probably longer). Two interesting articles on two different sorts of food banks are at
https://tri-statedefender.com/meeting-the-need-to-feed-in-frayser-and-beyond/03/22 
https://tri-statedefender.com/tiger-pantry-program-adjusts-its-operation-to-help-students/03/22/
     MIFA news is at https://www.mifa.org/coronavirus.   I rather suspect that they will need extra volunteers in the near future. They no longer can accept walk-in requests for help;
Homeless families with children whose need for shelter is immediate should call the homeless hotline, which is available 24/7, at (901) 529-4545.
     TEMPLE ISRAEL has a list of volunteer and donation requests, at

   https://mailchi.mp/425af583cc30/temple-serves-volunteer-and-giving-opportunities?e=0b2f5806a0

 March 21
     Shelby County has now conformed with the city of Memphis
and closed restaurants (carry-out allowed), theaters, gyms, and so on.
     The plan to distribute lunches to children at the (closed) public schools has been cancelled due to coronavirus in a school system kitchen worker.

March 20
     A story from the 1918 epidemic,
worth recalling, from the Jewish press.  Can people provide me stories from other houses of worship, or other stories?

https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/276310/influenza-1918-albuquerque-rabbi
   The Church Health Center's message to faith communities:
https://churchhealth.org/fce.
    They also have a facebook group with church-related covid-19 news: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/clergycovid19/
    The local Episcopal Bishop, Phoebe Roaf, issued a statement on March 17:
https://www.facebook.com/episwtn/posts/1570945459726780?hc_location=ufi
 
  Memphis Islamic Center has moved its daily evening live stream to 7:45 PM 
https://www.youtube.com/user/MemphisIslamicCenter    http://www.memphisislamiccenter.org/
    There is an unusual Stations of the Cross meditation online here:
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=209248523746862
     Indie Memphis (the movie group) is trying to organize on-line screenings and discussions of interesting movies.
https://www.indiememphis.org/movie-club

March 19
      Notes rather by way of diary, to show how fast things are changing today.
     
Cases in most parts of the US are rising 40% to 60% per day. Some parts of the country are issuing "shelter in place" orders, that is,
         leave home only to go to the doctor or to get groceries.  Several European countries did this in the last few days.
         There is a bit of a scandal over the fact that some Florida beaches have no tyet closed, allowing Spring Break croiwds of young people for a few more days.
         Colleges and schools will not return from thgeir previously extended spring breaks and are trying to arrange on-line classes.
    Here in Memphis,
     The zoo is closing (I  had been hoping it would close buildings but keep outdoor exhibits open, but no.)
     Pink Palace has closed (including historic homes and Lichterman nature center - again, I'd hoped to keep the outdoors at Lichterman.)
     YMCAs closing, Wolfchase Galeria (the large shopping center) is closing.
     Memphis Restaurants closed effective this evening (take-out allowed), unsure yet about the rest of Shelby County.
     State parks are open but no group activities (e.g. no guided walks.)
      Most City buildings in Memphis and Germantown closed.
      Greek Festival, Memphis in May, Beale St Music Festival, many fundraising events canceled or postponed for an unknown period.


Match 17

      More churches are closing. 
I don't think it is practical for me to list them individually, and I've decided not to list the few that have said they will continue to hold regular Sunday services since I'm not convinced that increasing attendance ther would be a good thing.
      The National Civil Rights Museum has closed. The Southern College of Optometry has closed, making its routine eye services unavailable to patients.

Many churches (and other places) have online services and prior sermons available online.  Previous years lectures from the Calvary Lenten Lecture series are online.

The Memphis Islamic Center is continuing programs essentially every evening, but they are now online, I think at 8:15 PM. Look at
http://www.memphisislamiccenter.org/      Previous programs are on youtube.

 For those looking to fill time at home, or for religious school equivalents: I recommend the college-level courses from the "Great Courses" ( thegreatcourses.com).  I have a very large collection of these myself, mainly religion and history oriented but some math and others, left over from days when Eunice was laid up. I'm happy to lend them, give me a call if interested. (If I get more than one or two calls, I'll make a list of what I have.)

      Keep a diary. Your grandchildren's grandchildren will be fascinated.  While we all expect that in a few months society will return to normal, there are at least two alternatives. (a) if things get back to normal, people will want recollections of the crisis - like the dramatizations by St. Marys school of the Memphis Yellow Fever epidemic. (b) If the new normal is different from the old, people will want to know about the "old days".   My librarian contacts tell me that it is worth preserving both hard copy and computer files for family; a pdf file is more likely to be readable years from now than a .doc or .docx

A WEBSITE YOU MIGHT ENJOY (PODCASTS): 
https://www.unitedandtogether.com/

      One of the more bizarre stories of these days is told by Dr. Scott Morris of the Church Health Center. A patient came in with breathing problems, saying he wouldn't come in if he thought it was a cold, but came in for fear it might be the new virus.  The diagnosis: lung cancer.  A very serious problem, but actually caught earlier than it might have been due to fear of coronavirus.

       To motivate diary-keeping, a yellow fever recollection story:  I was visited a few years ago by a lady from South Africa seeking information on her grandfather, who had moved from Memphis to Port Elizabeth. He was orphaned about 1890 in the Memphis Yellow Fever epidemic, turned up on a church doorstep, and was taken in. We found a record in the record book at St. Bridget's Catholic Church, the original handwritten note (in Latin) by the priest. It said the priest had given a conditional baptism, having no knowledge of whether the child had been baptized previously; he believe he was about nine years old.   In about 1903-04, the British were losing hundreds of thousands of horses in the Boer War in South Africa; they were buying large numbers of horses in Tennessee and gathering them in the seasonally-empty tobacco and cotton warehouses in Memphis. The young man was hired to care for the horses on a boat sailing from Memphis to Port Elizabeth, and stayed there enlisting in the British army (which promised to give the soldiers land after the war, but never did so, my informant says.)

March 15.

With so many churches not meeting, many of the usual bloodmobile visits and blood drives are being cancelled.
Consider going to Lifeblood to donate blood.

In the last two days, deaths in Italy have more than tripled, t
he Washington Post reports 368 in a day. The virus got started later in the US, so those numbers are ahead for us - and we hope that big group meetings were shut down fast enough that the growth rate will be slower here. In Memphis, the Symphony, Playhouse on the Square, etc., have cancelled. The reaction in stores has been spotty - my local Aldi had practically bare shelves (e.g. no produce), Kroger was well stocked except in a few departments (shortage of paper towels, toilet paper, orange juice, eggs, for example) and all of the things missing at Kroger were in full supply at the nearby SaveALot (Stephersons) at least when I looked.

The Memphis Jewish Community Center is closing; kosher food will still be available from the "Holy Cow" restaurant there, on a basis of phone in your order and they will carry it out to your car, between noon and 1:30 PM. (For the daily special, phone in by 9:30 AM).  The kosher restaurant at the Jewish Home remains closed except to residents.

The Civil Rights Museum is open as of March 15.  (then changed and closed)

The Brooks Museum has closed, as of Sunday 5 PM, for two weeks. They have much more material on their website than they used to, by all means enjoy that!

http://www.brooksmuseum.org/

PLEASE keep in touch with your neighbors, especially the elderly and those with health conditions, and see if they are OK and (if you are going shopping) can you help them avoid a trip out among people.  I've been getting an "all circuits are busy" signal on my phone at times, so I hope people are maintaining social contacts by phone, e-mail, and so on. Many houses of worship have the services on-line and have sermons available on-line and on-demand; discuss them or give feedback.

I was impressed with the letter Temple Israel sent out a few days ago, on-line at
https://timemphis.org/our-response-to-covid-19/
The letter from Calvary Episcopal is not online on their site but they gave me permission to reproduce it here.
Balmoral Presbyteriuan has an excellent reflection on Lent (Our Lenten Jounau as Sabbath) which is online here.
   

(Mar 13)     An excellent article (the mathematics is interesting) on the need to avoid large groups, and to cancel events with large groups, is at
https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca

(Mar 13) Deaths in Italy now exceed 100/day.  Rabbis in Israel and Italy have urged people over 60 to not attend synagogue services even if they are held.    

Most on-campus events at Memphis colleges and schools have been cancelled or postponed as classes move to on-line only.
Some but not all Episcopal churches are substituting Morning Prayer service (without communion) for the Eucharist, to avoid the passing of bread and wine.
Some (Black Baptist?) churches are using individually (pre-packaged in plastic) communion elements.
The Calvary Lenten Lecture series has been cancelled.
Most Saturday programs at the Indian Cultural Center and Temple have been cancelled. 
Most events at the Pema Karpo Meditation Center will be online-only.
So far, Chabad is still holding (orthodox) Jewish religious services. They plan a Passover Seder (charge, limited to 100 people) on April 8. http://jewishmemphis.org
Masjid As-Salaam is holding prayer services but suspending classes and other activities.

I know that Whole Foods does food deliveries, usually within two hours.
Many groceries allow you to order on-line or by phone and will carry the food out to your car (e.g. Krogers.)
What other groceries deliver?
Many restuarants now have homne-delivery options.
Kosher food can be ordered and picked up, or sometimes delivered, from Holy Cow at the Jewish Community Center.
See
https://holycownow.com/grub-hub.  

March 12
     Many events are being cancelled due to the coronavirus epidemic.
     
Temple Israel is doing most events on-line only. They will not have their large communal Passover Seder this year. Note that catered Passover meals may be ordered from, e.g. the "Holy Cow" restaurant at the Jewish Community Center.


I've moved earlier "news" postings here to the   Home Page 
   

As of March 13, the Lenten Lectuire Series is cancelled due to Coronavirus
The Calvary Lenten Lecture Series starts February 27. 
Initial speakers are 2/27 Rev Debbie Blue;
2/28 Marti Tippens Murphy (Facing History);
March 3, 4, and evening of 4 Micah Greenstein,
March 5 and evening of March 4, Rabbi Judy Schindler
The whole list, with biographical sketches, is at

https://calvarymemphis.org/learn/lenten-preaching-series/

MICAH, the Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope,
simply has too many subgroup meetings for me to list them here.
See
https://www.micahmemphis.org/

The Memphis Islamic Center now has a full  set of lecture series, Monday through Thursday evenings at 8 PM and during the day Friday.

http://www.memphisislamiccenter.org/    (available online)

Beethoven Club upcoming events:
https://mailchi.mp/c14f4393feed/beethoven-club-october-concerts-and-events-3822717?e=053a4e2a7d
  
Feb 25, March 19, March 31, April 4-5, April 19, April 25, April 27 (all free)

Holy Cow: The kosher restaurant (Kosher also implies Halal) at the Jewish Community Center now has its menus and specials online at
https://holycownow.com/.



 


Election Dates for 2020:  March 3, Presidential Primary, County Primary.  Register by Feb 3, Early voting Feb 12-25, Absentee Deadline Feb 25.
                                                          August 6
, State and Federal,  Primaries, County election.  Register by July 7, Early voting July 17 _ Aug 1, , Absentee Deadline July 30.
.                                                                   
Nov 3, Federal and State General Election.  Register by Oct 5, Early voting Oct 14-29, Absentee Deadline Oct 27.

Upcoming events:

(Some of the ongoing, Weekly or monthly events - have been moved below the listings by date-)


Current and forthcoming:


Weekly   (Most suspended due to coronavirus.)
        Wednesday dinners at Second Presbyterian, Calvary Episcopal, Holy Communion Episcopal
 (where else?) check theior calendars (links on the address page) for hours, hioliday cancellations.
         Wednesday breakfast at St Mary's Episcopal.
A good chance to visit with the homeless,
or volunteer to help, or see the excellent Yellow Fever historical exhibit in the social hall.
   (During the epidemic, the breakfasts are available outside on a take-out basis.)
         If you'd like to visit a religious service, discussion group, or class, but would like a guide or host or hostess,
wwe are happy to arrange that. Give us an e-mail ( admin@memphisirg.org ) or a call ( 901-327-9735 )
       I rarely list regular weekly services here. Often houses of worship have small services at other times, these may present a better chance to chat with clergy.
     #     Churches usually Sunday morning, often with classes or discussions available. Sometimes Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, or others.
    #     Mosques have daily services but the main sermon is usually at 1 or 1:15 PM Friday (Friday, since that's the day God created Man). Mosques have frequent classes, lectures, etc., check theri websites; I'll note occasional ones here.
    #     Synagogues (Including Temple Israel) have services Friday evening and/or Saturday morning, (the Sabbath, the day God rested), some short weekday services, often classes Saturday mornings or afternoons and/or Sunday mornings.
     #   The Buddhists have a meditation and talk Friday evenings and perhaps other times.
     #    The Sikhs have a Sunday morning service.
     #   Services at the Indian Cultural Center and Temple (Hindu) seem more irregular - I note many events in the schedule below but feel free to visit (or ask  for help visiting) most mornings and evenings - it is usally closed afternoons.


Monthly, listed by day of week.

(Many are suspended due to the epidemic. Call and ask or check online if possible)      


  on line
2nd and 4th Mondays. Lynching Sites of Memphis Project .The time is from 5-7 p.m. in the Jones Building, 3rd floor at Idlewild Presbyterian. Excellent speakers and discussions. It's OK if you can only come to part of the meeting.      NOW BEING HELD ONLINE
  x     First Tuesday evening - Potluck supper and speaker at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
, sponsored by the Catholic Ministry to Gay and Lesbian Persons. By no means are all the attendees Gay or Lesbian, all are welcome and the talks are excellent. 6:30 supper, 7 PM talk, in Marian Hall (underneath the sanctuary. It is easiest to park in in the lot in back around the block and enter from the back./ No need to brting anything for the potluck the first time. 

March 3: Fr. Valentine Handwerker, Director of CMGLP and Pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church speaking during Lent on our dying and rising with Christ

April 14th (second Tuesday due to Holy Week): Dr. John Kaltner, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College speaking on the hidden meanings of names in the Bible

May 5th: 15th Anniversary Celebration of CMGLP with Bishop Steib and Bishop Talley in attendance.  This event will be catered. Please come show your appreciation and support of our ministry by being present!

  online     Second Tuesday evening - monthly meeting of MICAH, the Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope. Meeting places vary, check their facebook page.
x      Third Tuesday evening - potluck and speaker at the Memphis Friends Meeting House, Walnut Grove and Prescott, sponsored by PAX Christi, the   Roman Catholic Peace group. Again, all are welcome, and no need to bring anything your first visit. Dinner 6:30,. speaker at 7.
x        Wednesday - breakfast and dinners, weekly, above.
  x     
2nd Thursday, noon. Healing Eucharist at St Marys Episcopal.

2020


April 20,  Cancelled  MICAH Spring Soiree at the Children's Museum. $50


April 30th, 2020, at 6:00pm CDT, ONLINE EVENT:  six community organizations are joining forces to make the new PBS documentary “Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations” accessible for an advanced public online screening, followed by a discussion with Professor Jonathan Judaken of Rhodes College and Dimitry Anselme of Facing History and Ourselves. The discussion will be moderated by Marcy Stagner, M.A. Ed. and Program Director of Cultural Arts and Adult Services at the Memphis Jewish Community Center.
    the Press Release is here, and the Poster is here

 You have to go in advance to the link   https://ovee.itvs.org/screenings/6jjrt  to RSVP and open an account to sign up. Given the sponsorship (Rhodes College, Facing History, WKNO) I believe that the sign-up site has been properly vetted. 

X   May 1-2-3 Beale Street Music Festival. Discount early tickets:  POSTPONED

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beale-street-music-festival-tickets-74474004753?aff=BSMF20Email

X   April 23, Hooks Institute Fund-raising luncheon. $75. "Join Hands for Change."   

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-benjamin-l-hooks-institutes-join-hands-for-change-luncheon-tickets-91906220981

X   April 30,  Boys and Girls Clubs fundraiser, "Steak n' Burger, Elvius Presley's Memphis SOundstage, speaker is Ryan Silverfield, coach of U of Memphis football.  http://bgcm.org/events/steak-n-burgers/
 
X    May 7, 7 PM,
( Cancelled as the Jewish Community Center has closed) Jewish  Community Center, $15. Prof David R. Dow on criminal justice reform. His book is "Confessions of an Innocent Man"
http://www.jccmemphis.org/cultural-arts/mjcc-jewish-literary-cultural-arts-series/ 

June 6    League of Women Voters, online

X    June 7, 4 PM  St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Beale Canto concert

June 8  Lynching Sites Projest, online

June 12, J Historical Society event online

X   June 16, Pax Christi meets at the Quaker Meeting House, Walnut Grove and Prescott.
   
The national director of Pax Christi will come and speak.
    
Pot luck supper at 6:30 or just come for the meeting at 7.

X June 19  JuneTeenth has been postponed until next year (announced March 24)

June 26. J Historical Society, online
 




ONGOING EVENTS 
(I am not attempting to update this section at present)

(Some places below here have bad formatting-software bug, sorry. Zoom to 200% may help.
I'll get it fixed when I can.)


Reminder: Loyalty Cards. Many local houses of worship, and other charities, are signed up to get donations from Kroger and from Superlo foods. If you have a loyalty card at either, you must RE REGISTER EVERY YEAR to make a percentage of your purchases go to your selected charity. Sign up using your loyalty number at either or both of kroger.com and superlo.com.   Re register now and very year on your birthday, or some other day you choose to remember.
(So far as I know,  your registration at smile.amazon.com is permanent, no re registration required.)
 

Farmers Market Note:
Thistle & Bee:  Thistle & Bee: Visit Thistle & Bee at the Cooper-Young Farmers Market on the first and third Saturdays of each month. The market’s summer hours are 8 - 1. You can purchase T&B’s cold lemonade and tea by the cup or growler, their amazing granola, and other products. Products are also available at Curb Market, The Mustard Seed, St. George's Book Shoppe, and Highpoint Grocery. All products are made by women employed by Thistle & Bee, who have survived sex trafficking and prostitution. Learn more on their Facebook page (Thistle and Bee Enterprises, Inc.), and at http://www.thistleandbee.org.


Current art exhibits at the Ross Gallery, Plough Library, Christian Brothers University,  (Need to check...)
 
Friday 8 PM  Lectures on the life of Muhammad, Memphis Islamic Center.

See the flier at http://memphisirg.org/2SLegalAid.pdf

Monthly:  2SLAC (2nd Saturday Legal Aid Clinic)  Every 2nd Saturday of the month | 10:00 – 12:00 pm
               Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library | 3030 Poplar Avenue Memphis, TN 38111
[Are the following still going? 
Weekly:Courthouse Advice & Counsel Clinic    Every Thursday | 1:30 pm 140 Adams Ave, Room 134, Memphis, TN 38103
Mediator of the Day  Every Thursday | 10:00 am   140 Adams Ave, Div. 4, Memphis, TN 38103
Veterans’ Pro Bono Clinic  2nd Tuesday of the month | 12:00 – 2:00 pm  1407 Union Ave, 11th Floor, Memphis, TN 38104]

Last Tuesday of the Month: 
The Mystic: Discussion at Crosstown. Crosstown concourse, Church Health Center Community Room. A monthly gathering to find connection through music, story, and dialogue. All are welcome. Stop by. Bring a friend. Hosted by Rabbi Micah Greenstein, Dr. John Kilzer, Chris Miner, Dr. Scott Morris, and Kirk Whalum.  


First Thursday, 5:30 PM.  Potluck supper, "Faith Series", St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral. Brief service in the Sister's Chapel, potluck supper, each table will discuss a faith question of the night.  Monthly event, from Oct 2018


Last Thursday of the month:6-7 PM Monthly meeting of PERL   (People for the Enforcement of Rape Laws)
At MidSouth Peace and Justice, 3573 Southern Avenue. Organization website is
http://enforcerapelaws.org/
Which also has important info such as the phone number for the YWCA Domestic Violence Hotline
(Eunice Ordman was a long-time volunteer at the YWCA shelter for abused women.)


Sunday 8 AM:  Calvary Episcopal Church Community Breakfast: 
Cook or serve breakfast between 6-8 a.m. any Sunday morning for 200 poor and homeless guests at Calvary’s Community Breakfast in the Mural Room. Contact Mary Nease: maryvnease@gmail.com

First Tuesday evening:  Catholic Ministry to Gays and Lesbians, Pot Luck supper,
all welcome. 6;30 PM. Speaker follows. Marian Hall, under the sanctuary at  Immaculate Conception Cathedral.  1695 Central Ave.    Parking lot is at the rear, around the block.

Second Tuesday: Meeting of MICAH, the Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope. Location varies.
https://www.micahmemphis.org/

Third Tuesday:   Pax Christi, the Roman Catholic peace group,
pot luck supper at 6:30 PM, meeting at 7. Friends Meeting House, Walnut Grove at Prescott.
http://www.paxchristimemphis.org 

Third Wednesday:  5:30 PM - Words3, the writers group at Holy Communion Episcopal Church. (Walnut Grove between Poplar.) 
It is nice to call in advance if you are planning to read a five minute piece. All are welcome to come listen.   http://www.holycommunion.org/events   

First and third Wednesdays, 6-7:30 PM.  meetings at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, 3573 Southern Ave.  http://www.midsouthpeace.org/   "Memphis United", discussing criminal justice reform.
But see the Mid-South Peace and Justice website for many more kinds of meetings.

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens -  many events,  at http://www.dixon.org/eventcalendar

Indian Cultural Center and Temple. It is worth checking their website as often I get rather short notice of events.
Food is served at noon on Saturdays, if you'd like a chance to visit with the people as well as see the building.
https://icctmemphis.org/icct/home/node

(daily)    St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral; The Memphis Yellow Fever Epidemics. 
As Episcopal nuns were actively involved in aiding the sick, the cathedral has in its social hall a museum-quality exhibit about the epidemic.

Every Monday, 5:30-7:30 PM. Church Health Center.  Church Health offers free Health Education from 5:30-7:30 p.m. each Monday at 1115 Union. Health Education will teach you how to manage your hypertension, cholesterol, or obesity. It’s free and open to community. Registration is not required. Can’t make it on Monday? We also offer a special session from 9-11 a.m. the second Saturday of the month. Registration is required for the Saturday class. Please call 901-259-4673 to sign up.  

Every Tuesday, 10-11 AM, Short Story Group at St. Mary's Cathedral.

Every Wednesday, St Mary's Cathedral, 700 Poplar.  A brief service at 8 AM, then a breakfast. A large turnout of homeless people, everyone is welcome, a chance to visit with people you might not otherwise meet. "a hearty breakfast as well as art classes, neighborhood prayer walk, If you've never gad a chance to mingle with the homeless community on an "equal footing", this is highly recommended.
blood pressure checks, literacy classes, computer lab & career training"...

Wednesday: How many Churches have regular Wednesday evening dinners and programs? 
Calvary Episcopal downtown 5:15 - 6:15 PM, $6 adult, $3 child, $20 family max. Discussion groups follow.
Second Presbyterian (Poplar and Goodlett) also has a very nice dinner at 5:30; excellent programs / discussion groups follow.
Holy Communion Episcopal, Walnut Grove between Perkins, 5:30  $8.50 suggested donation

We get requests for information on 5K runs,
group walks, and the like, in terms of exercise, whether or not they are faith or charity related.  Those interested should look at the calendar page of Shelby Farms Park at http://www.shelbyfarmspark.org/calendar   which has a remarkable number of events with a variety of goals and sponsorships.    5K's, bicycle events, stroller walks, nature walks, outdoor festivals, all too numerous to list here individually. If these events appeal, check their list at least monthly.


Fridays after the sunset prayer (Maghrib).  Koran, Word for Word, exposition by Imam Anwar Arafat, at Masjid Ar-Rahman.  Some  of the  Friday noon sermons at this mosque  are available online at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXfMPAjkjTo8ghKT6hzDH_w    if you'd like to listen to a Muslim sermon.  

Wednesday Nights - Memphis Islamic Center, Islamic History, "Lives of the Sahaba" lectures by Yasir Qadhi. (Check - these are sometimes cancelled as he may travel.)  8 PM. Streamed on line and available at Youtube. Sermons are also available online.
E.g. https://www.youtube.com/user/MemphisIslamicCenter
http://www.memphisislamiccenter.org/


The Hindu Temple (Indian Cultural Center and Temple, Eads.) has classes in Sanskrit and in Carnatic Music.

   Healthy Memphis - Common Table has a website on the subject of end-of-life planning at
http://www.planwishlive.org/
They can also provide speakers on this topic for houses of worship or other organizations.

 

Should I sometimes mention regular services  or events that are not at the usual hour? E.g.
St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral has a Communion and Breakfast every Wednesday at 8 AM.  St Mary's will have a new cookbook for sale from Nov 8.
Temple Israel has a regular Bible discussion group with breakfast ("Torah Study", but colloquially "Bagels and Bible") with lox, bagels, and other goodies, at 8:45 Saturday mornings - most arrive by 8:30 to start eating before class. (Yes, Temple Israel also has Sunday School classes on Sunday.)
Masjid Ar-Rahman has a Koran study Friday evenings.  (start at sunset) -
http://files.ctctcdn.com/98c2aa0a001/38a5a115-0354-454b-87b7-e6b6b116d73c.pdf
see also http://files.ctctcdn.com/98c2aa0a001/dcb49750-7b18-43c4-8958-88d32b5e15be.pdf


Allegro Music in Germantown prepares a weekly guide to musical events in Memphis. They are clearly finding out about some events (especially in churches) that I don't. They have allowed me to reproduce their weekly newsletter at   http://memphisirg.org/Allegro_Concerts_List.html

No, I don't list everything here from many of the organizations I hear from. Sometimes word gets to me too late, or the events are too numerous or too specialized.  Do check the websites of churches or other houses of worship that appeal to you, and websites of such groups as
the Church Health Center http://www.churchhealthcenter.org/  ,
MIFA http://mifa.org/specialevents   ,
Bridges http://bridgesusa.org/ ,
http://commontablehealth.org/upcoming-events.php
http://midsouthpeace.org/,      
http://www.workersinterfaithnetwork.org/  
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/lifestyles/faith-in-memphis/
The Baha'i calendar of local events is at  http://midsouthbahai.wordpress.com/calendar/
--- what others?

Sept 7 and every Sunday 2:30-4, Memphis Islamic Center, ages 13 and up. "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Muslim Teenagers."  I don't normally post house-of-worship youth group meetings, but I liked the title. Further info Br Malik at 734.644.1966
The Memphis Islamic Center provides a set of links
https://www.youtube.com/user/MemphisIslamicCenter
https://www.facebook.com/MICmemphis
https://twitter.com/micproject
Which I think well exemplifies good use of social media - it has a lot of sermons and other talks, but I didn't immediately see youth-group related material there.


(Aug 2015 notice) Traditional Indian Dance Lessons at the Indian Cultural Center and Temple:
Kuchipudi Dance Classes by Indian Ballet Theatre
Every Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Venue: ICCT Multi-Cultural Pavilion
Fee: A nominal donation of $ 40 per month
Dance Masters - Master Ramana and Chandra Prabha Vasili
Contact Master Ramana at (901) 387-9646 for additional details

6 PM Fridays - music and prayer: Award-winning musician Rev. John Kilzer hosts The Way, a service of recovery, at 6 p.m. every Friday at St. John's United Methodist Church, 1207 Peabody Ave. The Way focuses on recovery, encouragement, and hope. Music is a key component of the service with many local musicians stopping by to perform. The service, which is a joint ministry of Methodist Healthcare, St. John's, and the Church Health Center, is free and open to the public. For more information, call 901-726-4104 or visit http://www.stjohnsmidtown.org.

The Church Health Center

The Church Health Center Newsletter has too many events to list them all here. I've put excerpts from the newsletter of May 30, 2016 at http://memphisirg.org/CHCNewsletter.html
    A few examples:
*Farmer's Market Tuesdays through Oct 25/ 
1115 Union Ave. Join us at 9 a.m. for a free healthy cooking class; the market then runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
* Canoe and Kayak Race June 18

* The Church Health Center now offers free Diabetes Education, a 2-class series that will give you the skills to self-manage your condition. Classes are held each Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Church Health Center Wellness, 1115 Union. Registration is not required, and you may start at any point during the month. Can’t make it on Tuesday? Diabetes Education is presented in its entirety from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the second Saturday of each month. Registration is required for the Saturday course. Please call 901-701-2221 to sign up.

* The Church Health Center offers free Commit to Quit smoking cessation groups each month. Four-week group sessions start the first Tuesday of every month from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at Church Health Center Wellness, 1115 Union Ave. Call 901-701-2222 to enroll.

 
   .

The Memphis Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Memphis are increasingly doing things jointly, as "Jewish Community Partners." They have a calendar of Jewish events, at  http://www.memjfed.org/community-calendar


We are experimenting with putting some Quran excerpts, organized by Tanvir Kazmi, on-line. (more will arrive!) Is there interest in this?   The first very rough draft attempt is at http://memphisirg.org/quranexcerpts.html

Christ United Methodist Church (Poplar opposite Oak Court Mall) has its website (including events lists and on-line sermons)
 at http://www.cumcmemphis.org/

Which farmers markets shall we mention here?
  of course the one that runs all year: First Congregational Church.
"Year-round every Saturday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Find us at the corner of Cooper St & Walker Ave. in the parking lot of First Congo
http://www.cycfarmersmarket.org  "


On Fridays the Tri-State Defender puts out a nice "this weekend in Memphis" activities list. I think the actual web address changes weekly but you'll typically find the link somewhere on the page http://tsdmemphis.com/greater-metro


 SOUP KITCHEN: Every Tuesday at 3:30 PM  the Muslim Student Association at the University of Memphis  recruits volunteers for the Soup Kitchen sponsored by  Rhodes College which takes place at St. John's United Methodist Church, 1207 Peabody Ave., Memphis 38104.  All are welcome to come help it you'd enjoy meeting these young people. Even better, if you are out way east, meet with some of them at the Memphis Islamic Center (near Walnut Grove and Houston Levee - see our address page) at 2:45 and the carpools leave at 3 PM. For info contact  Br. Shehroz Kazmi at 901-216-1022.


The "OneCommunityCenter" (Yoga, meditation, holistic health) now has a Facebook page
at https://www.facebook.com/OneCommunityCenter



2nd Wednesday, 6-7:30 PM. Monthly general meeting of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, 3573 Southern Ave.  http://www.midsouthpeace.org/    

Facing History      maintains an events list at 
   http://www2.facinghistory.org/campus/events.nsf/events?readform

The Prizm Ensemble 
This is a musical group (classical chamber music) headquartered at Shady Grove Presbyterian Church, corner of Shady Grove and Yates, with its most important activity being a music camp and concert series (talented musicians ages 12 and up) in June each year. http://www.prizmensemble.com/

Bridges, the youth service agency ( http://www.bridgesusa.org/  ) has substantially enlarged its "Bridge Builders" program, with regular events for young people from 6th grade to 12th grade.  This is an
excellent and very intercultural program and depends heavily on having a large variety of participants. It is often the first time that an inner-city young person encounters a Muslim or a Jew (or vice-versa.) We recommend it highly. On the other hand, I don't know how many readers of this page have kids in that age range or work with youth groups. I'd appreciate feedback on how often we should be reporting on "Bridge Builders" events. On this point, mail to  admin@memphisirg.org or call 327-9735.


Have you ever visited the Memphis Sikh house of worship, 8221 Macon Rd, Cordova, TN 38018?
The web site with the schedule of services is at http://www.midsouthsikhsabha.org/  

Alternate Tuesday evenings. (Started Sept 4)  There is a program at the Memphis Islamic Center in the late evening (after the Isha prayer, which recently has been starting at 9:30 PM.) For roughly half an hour, Sheik Yasir Qadhi, Memphis's nationally known Muslim cleric, answers questions from Muslims on "Practical issues facing Muslims", questions which may run from technical questions about prayer and eating to questions about politics and civil rights. Non-Muslims who wonder how Muslims are adjusting to the United States, or want to learn more about the practical problems facing Muslims in American society, might want to go and listen.

 
Sundays 11 AM and Fridays 7PM - Buddhist Meditation and Dharma Talk - Link Here
      A friend who attends the Sunday morning program points out that following the meditation, chanting, and brief lecture, there is a free Vietnamese lunch at the Vietnamese Buddhist Temple next door.

Training programs at Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. I have a problem: they do too much for me to list, but it is scattered between their website http://midsouthpeace.org//,
their Facebook page  http://www.facebook.com/midsouthpeace, and e-mails.  I'll continue to list an occasional activity here, but I urge people to go to their website and sign up for their e-mails.



Church Health Center Events:

Free cooking classes are offered in the demonstration kitchen at Church Health Center Wellness, 1115 Union Avenue, every Thursday at 9 a.m.,10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. For more information, call (901) 259-4673, or visit ChurchHealthCenter.org.

The Church Health Center and MIFA will host a farmers market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays starting May 7 and running through September 24 at Church Health Center Wellness, 1115 Union Ave. The Market accepts credit, debit, cash and EBT. For more information, call Suzanne Ray at (901) 259-4673, Ext. 2237 or visit ChurchHealthCenter.org.

The Church Health Center is now offering Wings Cancer Support Groups at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at Church Health Center Wellness, 1115 Union Ave. For more information, call (901) 259-4673.

Award-winning musician Rev. John Kilzer will host The Way, a service of recovery at 6 p.m. every Friday at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 1207 Peabody Ave. The Way focuses on recovery, encouragement and hope. Music will be a key component of the service with many local musicians stopping by to perform. The service, which is a joint ministry of Methodist Healthcare, St. John’s and the Church Health Center is free and open to the public. For more information, call (901) 726-4104 or visit stjohnsmidtown.org.  

The Church Health Center is offering a free, six-week course on diabetes education, helping people to take control of their diabetes. Classes are Mondays at 11 a.m. or Thursdays at 6 p.m. at Church Health Center Wellness, 1115 Union Avenue. Those interested can start anytime. For more information, call (901) 259-4673. No reservation required.

The Church Health Center and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center are hosting the 2013 Women's Health Conference ("Our Bodies, Ourselves") from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, September 26, at the UT Alumni Center, 800 Madison Ave. Registration required; seating is limited. Register at churchhealthcenter.org/midsouth or call 901-701-2254.


Farmers Markets <seasonal, except for the one at First Congregational Church>
and Cooper-Young, "Year-round every Saturday, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Find us at the corner of Cooper St & Walker Ave. in the parking lot of First Congo www.cycfarmersmarket.org  "

Please let me know of things that should be included.
(admin@memphisirg.org) 
--
 We also welcome reports of events you attended.






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