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Religious Review
Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
by: Patrice A. Kelly

The Shroud of Turin will be on display at Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin. The cloth will be removed from its casket for a rare public display until May 20th, 2010.

The Shroud is a linen cloth believed to have been placed on Jesus at the time of his burial. It became property of Louis of Savoy in 1453 and moved around Europe until it arrived in Turin in 1578. The Shroud belonged to the House of Savoy until 1983, when it was given to the Episcopal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome. Since then, the cloth has gone on several displays attracting worshippers and curious people alike. Over two million visitors are expected in Turin in 2010 for this rare opportunity to see the Holy Shroud.

Numerous tour operators have designed special tours and packages for the occasion. Travelers and worshippers interested in catching a glimpse of history can start planning their trip with religious journeys and pilgrimages organized by specialty operators. Independent travelers will also be able to pre-book a visit to the Shroud starting in December 2009 at

A collaboration between the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) and the Macy's Music Festival, the popular annual weekend of R&B concerts, adds gospel music to the star-studded Festival lineup.

GMWA's 2009 convention, in Cincinnati July 25-31, will overlap the Macy's Music Festival with a July 30 GMWA Gospel Festival concert. The event will feature Yolanda Adams as mistress of ceremonies and musical performances by Dorinda Clark-Cole, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr., Kirk Carr & the Kirk Carr Singers, Dottie Peoples, Byron Cage, J. Moss, JJ Hairston & Youth for Praise, Bishop Neal Roberson, The Tommies, Bishop Albert L. Jamison & ENYSC and the Charles Fold Singers.

The GMWA's week-long gathering includes academic classes, evangelism and outreach, nightly music services, showcases, radio and television executives and promoters, exhibits and seminars. For more information, visit


The Evangelism Team of the California Northeast Jurisdiction, Church of God in Christ (COGIC) held its Annual Conference April 29 - May 1 at the Mingleton Temple Church of God in Christ, in Oakland, CA. This year's theme was Yes, We Can - Phillipians 4:13. Dr. Cynthia James of Oakland, evangelist Shirley Landfair of Chicago, and Pastor Darnell Thomas of Sacramento were among the conference participants. Nightly sessions discussing lay evangelism, child & young adult evangelism, and leadership were led by Supt. Sherman Harris, Greater East Side COGIC (San Jose), and Dr. Debra Page, TH.D., Greater Refuge, ,b>Whittington Temple COGIC (Oakland, CA).

The Michigan NAACP celebrated its 100-year anniversary with Gospel Fest 2009 at Fellowship Chapel in Detroit April 25. The competition featured solo singers and gospel groups, church choirs, college and youth ensembles, dancers and local recording artists. Proceeds from this fundraiser will assist Michigan students competing in the national ACT-SO competition at the NAACP's National Convention in New York City, July 8-10. This production was presented by the Vinson Chapel A.M.E. Church, in collaboration with the Michigan State Conference NAACP and the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice.


June 3-6 "Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference," United Methodist Church (UMC) - Illinois Great Rivers District, Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, Illinois. Contact Rev. Dr. Kent Lolling at (217) 529-2040 for information.

June 4-7 "Oklahoma Indian Missionary Annual Conference," UMC, Hog Creek Tabernacle SW Regional Center, Anadarko, Oklahoma. Contact Rev. David M. Wilson at (405) 632-2006 for information.

June 10-13 "Urban Network Music-Entertainment & Marketing Summit - The 21st Anniversary Celebration Part II," Urban Network, Memphis Music Foundation & Memphis CVB, Memphis Cook Convention Center, Memphis, Tennessee. Contact David Mitchell at (213) 388-4155 Ext. 105 for information.

June 11-13 "2009 Preaching Woman Empowerment Conference," sponsored by BreakForth Ministries and Consulting, Washington Dulles Airport Marriott, Dulles Virginia. Contact Nichelle Early at (571) 282-5222 for information.

June 21-24 "AMEC Convocation of General Board and Council of Bishops," African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana. Contact Bishop William P. DeVeaux Sr., at (770) 220-1770 or (615) 254-0911 for information.

June 22-26 "National Baptist Congress of Christian Education 104th Annual Session," National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan. Contact Penny Howell at (850) 222-8440 for information.

June 24-27 "IMPACT Conference 2009," Comfort Inn and Suites Conference Centre, Orland Park, Illinois. Call Apostle John Eckhardt at (708) 922-0983 for information.

June 26-28 "ABC, USA 2009 Biennial Convention," American Baptist Church, USA, Hilton Pasadena, Pasadena, California. Contact Doreen Willover at (800) 222-3872 Ext. 2234 for information.

June 29-July 3 "COGIC International Auxiliaries In Ministry Convention," COGIC, Renaissance Hotel, Tampa, Florida. Contact Auxiliaries in Ministry at (414) 371-2500 for more information.

July 3-July 6 "ISNA 46th Annual Convention," Islamic Society of North America, DC Convention Center, Washington, DC. Contact Bisharah Saleem at (317) 839-8157 for information.

July 6-9, 2009 E. K. Bailey International Expository Preaching Conference," E. K. Bailey Ministries, Fairmont Hotel, Dallas, Texas. Contact Rev. Bryan L. Carter at (214) 331-8522 for information.

July 10-12 "Vajrapani Family Camp," Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), Vajrapani Institute for Wisdom Culture, Boulder Creek, California. Contact Gandhi Moreno at (831) 338-6654 for information.

July 11 "Diva Day - Special Singles Event," sponsored by HeartWing Ministries, Park Community Church, Chicago, IL. Contact Michelle McKinley Hammond at (866) 391-0955 for more information.

July 13-16 "National Fellowship Convocation," The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, Hilton at Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida. Contact Elizabeth Redman at (800) 952-for information.

July 23-26 "Vajrapani Family Camp," Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), Vajrapani Institute for Wisdom Culture, Boulder Creek, California. Contact Gandhi Moreno at (831) 338-6654 for information.

July 26-30 "AME Connectional Lay Biennial," AME Church, Peabody Hotel, Little Rock, Arkansas. Contact Dr. Clement W. Fugh at (501) 906-4000 for information.