Religion columnists, well-known gospel singer are upcoming multicultural events

12:38:37 PM CDT - Friday, February 25, 2005

By Amy Geiszler-Jones

Lectures by two religion writers and a concert with gospel singer Vickie Winans are on the upcoming schedule of events being sponsored by WSU's Office of Multicultural Affaris.

Tom Schaefer, whose column appears Saturdays in The Wichita Eagle, will talk about Religion and the Media at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3, in 215-217 Rhatigan Student Center. Kansas City Star commentator and Pulitzer Prize winner Bill Tammeus will talk about Inter-faith or Inter-faithless Dialogue at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in 203 RSC. Both lectures are free.

The gospel concert with Winans as the headliner will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 5, in St. Mark United Methodist Church, 1525 N. Lorraine. Cost is $15 for the general public with discounts for WSU students. Tickets are available in the University Bookstore and weekdays in the RSC Activities Office in room 219.

Schaefer, who heads The Eagle's body and soul team, will talk about how the relationship between religion and the media has changed over the years. Schaefer, who has a master's in theology and was a Lutheran clergyman for 12 years, said in the past newspapers shied away from covering religion or treated it as a secondary issue. Now papers often have regular features dealing with religion.

"It has come more to the fore because of its influence nationally and internationally," Schaefer said.

Winans, who headlines the March 5 concert, has been called "the hardest working woman in gospel music." Winans, who has been singing in the church for more than four decades, since she was 8 years old, has won Dove awards and starred on Broadway. Among her recent performances was the Super Bowl service in Jacksonville, Fla. Winan's concert is presented by WSU's African American Student Association and co-sponsored by the Student Government Association, the Student Activities Council and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Tammeus, who will talk March 30, has worked for The Kansas City Star since 1970 as an opinion page columnist, editorial board member and currently as a columnist and religion-ethics reporter for The Star's faith section. He was a member of The Star's staff that won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting on the collapse of skywalks that killed more than 100 people at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City. His column, "Starbeams," was syndicated for 10 years by the New York Times and is currently syndicated by Knight-Ridder.

Tammeus' first book, "A Gift of Meaning," was published by the University of Missouri Press in 2001. It is a collection of columns that center on the meaning of people, places, objects and life's transitions.

On March 30, he will talk about the breakdown of communication among people of different faiths.

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