Come Before Winter for the 7th Annual Fall Interfaith Festival on Oct. 18th
Oct. 1, 2014 (Tampa, Fla.) – The community is invited to join in an interfaith celebration to pray for children, literacy, and peace during Esperanza Interfaith Center’s Interfaith Festival on Saturday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Al Lopez Park (Shelter 312) 4810 N. Himes Ave., Tampa. The festivities will feature dancing, singing, healing arts, and children’s activity booths with arts, crafts, reading, writing, and drawing.
Rev. Maria Serrano, executive director of Esperanza Interfaith Center, welcomes the community to bring chairs, blankets, and picnic lunches to enjoy this outdoor event. Fun, peace, and joy abound for those of all faiths during this festival supporting children’s literacy and Interfaith fellowship. There will be a free gift-book for every child who writes a thank-you card to the Jean Millard Literacy Fund, which has been collecting books and school supplies for the festival.
“Some children never own a book,” said Rev. Serrano, a bilingual Harvard graduate with decades as a respected businesswoman and Interfaith minister in Tampa. “My recent work on a Masters of the Art of Teaching has inspired me to make children’s literacy the special focus of my 7th Annual Interfaith Festival.”
Love offerings and donations are requested for clothing, school supplies, and gently used books for children. Rev. Serrano invites individuals and families to “Come Before Winter,” as children are now in need, especially in need of shoes, sweaters, and jackets before the cooler temperatures arrive.
“When I was seven years old, my family came to New Jersey from Puerto Rico without money to spare for closed-toe shoes and warm clothing,” said Rev. Serrano. “Crying and shivering from the cold, my school teachers sent me home one afternoon with shopping bags brimming with clothing donations for my family.”
Rev. Serrano understood how these donations helped her, and she has encouraged her friends and family to join her regularly for community service and delivering donations to families in need. Adding to her commitment in recent years, a social worker at a Tampa elementary school reminded her that it gets cold in Florida, too. This struck home with Rev. Serrano, who has made it a life’s purpose to give back to various charities, including the Clothes Closet at local elementary schools.
“My heart will be warm this winter, and giving back will also warm your heart,” added Rev. Serrano.
When Rev. Serrano isn’t doing charity work or providing services through Esperanza Interfaith Center, she is busy guiding students through an innovative Seminary Training Program for Interfaith Ministers and Spiritual Counselors.
Esperanza Interfaith Center and Seminary is a complete source for spiritual advisory, spiritual business counseling, seminary programs, and celebration services. The center is committed to serving all who seek a personally meaningful experience of connection with the Sacred, whether within or outside of an established religious tradition. The center’s website, www.esperanzainterfaith.org offers additional details about interfaith ministry, seminary coursework, and services. For more information, contact Rev. Serrano at 813-293-9410 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.