Friday, August 11, 2017

Day 2:
Silver Lake Experience 2017

The Rev. Dr. Roula Alkhouri
The Reverend Dr. Roula Alkhouri, pastor of Batavia's First Presbyterian Church, is serving as the Silver Lake Experience's Chaplain of the Day today, August 11th. At 7:30 am, she led a twenty-minute devotional at the Asbury Deck titled, "Living in the Hearth: Act or React--Practicing the Presence of God." Then from 9:00-10:30 am, Dr. Alkhouri presented a workshop, "A Christian Perspective on the Syrian Conflict":

The conflict in Syria is six years old with no end in sight. The cost of the conflict has been staggering for the people of Syria. Syria has become one of the most dangerous places in the world because of its current civil war which started in March of 2011. How are Christians of Syria dealing with this crisis? What do we need to know? How can we respond? The Rev. Dr. Alkhouri helps us explore these questions and how God is calling us to respond.

Dr. Alkhouri grew up in Damascus and graduated from the University of Damascus with a B.A. in English Literature., Her Master of Divinity degree is from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and her Doctor of Ministry in prophetic preaching is from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. On June 15, 2017, Dr. Alkhouri was honored with the Genesee YMCA Racial Justice Award at a ceremony at Genesee Community College which featured Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as the keynote speaker.

Singer/songwriter/social justice activist asks
the question: "Can a song make a difference?"
Jen Chapin has been celebrated for writing “brilliant soulfully poetic urban folk music” (NPR) for over a decade, beginning with her debut, Open Wide, in 2002.  Nurtured in and around NYC by a large family of artists, writers, and musicians, Jen's “observant, lyrically deft, politically aware and emotionally intuitive” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) songwriting features both her "extraordinary voice” (De krenten uit de pop, The Netherlands) and “astonishing jazz band” (popmatters), the combination of which has garnered her well-deserved praise, solidified by appearances on Late Nite with Conan O’Brien, NPR’s Mountain Stage, WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, WFUV's Sunday Breakfast with John Platt, Mary Sue Twohy's Folk Village and the Bob Edwards Show on Sirius Satellite.  As much as an artistic legacy, the roots of Jen's upbringing have inspired her "potent, jazzy, layered folk" (Newsday) songs and a lifetime of passionate activism, through ongoing work with WhyHunger (founded by her late father Harry Chapin), and other food justice groups. She has performed on stage with Bruce Springsteen, on bills with Aimee Mann, Bruce Hornsby, and The Neville Brothers, her rendition of Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic" was recently featured in an episode of the SyFy TV series "Defiance" and her song, "Go Away" honored by the USA Songwriting Competition.   Jen Chapin's new release Reckoning, produced and engineered by five-time GRAMMY© Winner Kevin Killen (U2, Elvis Costello, Kate Bush) is a new collection of urban folk/jazz/pop storytelling songs, reckoning with the challenge of balancing creative ambitions with the immediate demands of mothering small children, combined with a good dose of social commentary.  (... photo by L. Penman)

Jim Montanus was born in Rochester, New York in 1961 and grew up in northwest Greece, New York and attended the Hilton School District, graduating in 1979. As the son of legendary Kodak photographer Neil Montanus, he has been around photography his entire life. But it wasn't until his college years that he became intensely interested in photography. Jim’s first job out of college was the University of Rochester Staff Photographer which he held for 8 years. At the U of R, Jim created images for the University's finest publications including The Rochester Review (alumni magazine), Currents, Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletins, and the University's Prospectus. Many of his assignments were at the Strong Hospital, Simon School of Business administration, College of Arts and Sciences, Warner Graduate School of Education and his favorite, the Eastman School of Music where he had taken both piano and trombone lessens as a youth.  He also supplied photographs of U of R various media, including New York Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Science Magazine, Discover, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and more.
    Jim took a 17 year diversion into the corporate world and had many other interests that he also pursued vigorously, including writing, graphic design, and the then new discipline of desktop publishing on Macintosh Computers. This ultimately led Jim to leave the U of  R for a career in marketing and communication at Rochester General Hospital, Frontier Corporation, Global Crossing and Unity Health System. After this 17 year diversion from his true passion, a layoff created a renaissance. It was literally the day after his layoff when Jim began shooting almost nonstop every day - for up to eight hours each day between shooting and post processing his images. During the brutally cold winter of 2014, he consistently braved up to -35 degree wind chills and traversed dangerous ice mountains on Lake Ontario and elsewhere to capture some of the hidden beauty in what was otherwise an ugly and freezing cold winter. Living on Lake Ontario, he had direct and easy access to the amazing ice world that was transforming before his eyes every day. Jim’s imagery of the brutal cold winter began to capture the imagination of tens of thousands of people across Western New York and across the country. It was this period which helped to catapult his career into overdrive. He was interviewed on national television regarding his winter photography (The Weather Channel) and was featured on local media numerous times, including a feature story on Time Warner Cable News and the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper. And his social media presence began to flourish.   Due to the explosive growth of his new business, Jim opened his own gallery in Rochester in the Anderson Arts Building in the neighborhood of the arts. His grand opening was on May 1, 2015 and was attended by hundreds of fans and well-wishers. Although it initially opened as a gallery, it also became his photo studio and photography classroom. This fulfilled a 35-year dream that Jim had to open his own gallery. Today, Jim is still vigorously pursuing his dream. He is passionate about teaching photography classes in his gallery, doing professional photography - including commercial photography, editorial, portraiture and architectural photography - and he sells his fine art photography out of his gallery in Rochester. 
     Jim was recently voted "Rochester's Best Photographer" in City Newspaper's annual reader's poll for the second year in a row.

Kayaking on Silver Lake - overcast BUT calm waters, perfect air temperature, light breeze. (... photo and caption by L. Penman)

Leonora Letchworth received her degree in Art History from Nazareth College of Rochester and received her “Boot Camp training” serving 7 years at the Landmark Society of Western New York as Assistant to the Director of Museums serving the Campbell Whittlesey House and the Stone Tolan House as well as special assignments with the Susan B. Anthony House and the LeRoy Historical Society. After a year at Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site in the Hudson Valley, she returned to Western New York to accept a position as Curator of the William Pryor Letchworth Museum at Letchworth State Park.  Leonora worked with the collection at Letchworth for 10 years, and after retiring, married Hayden Letchworth.  She has been curating his vast collection of Letchworth family archives and a “museum” of a house full of stuff.  William Pryor Letchworth was Hayden’s great uncle. 

CHET FERY is the founder of Bread Time Stories and More. Often called “The Bread Man,” he began his hobby of baking and giving away bread over 15 years ago. He promotes doing random acts of kindness.  He believes the world can be changed one loaf of bread at a time, one act of kindness at a time. He estimates he has given away over 80,000 loaves of bread, created over 50 recipes and generated over 100 inspirational “Bread Time Stories” which he shares with audiences across the region.   A former teacher, counselor and school administrator, Chet now devotes most of his time to this effort.



“With songs delivered in a style that ranges from tender fragility to unexpected steeliness, Chapin brings a jazzy edge to the folk form. Sometimes she explores a fleeting emotion, sometimes she weaves a solid narrative—not at all surprising from the daughter of Harry Chapin, a master musical storyteller.”  The New Yorker 


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