Katrina relief benefits: Peace United Church of Christ in St. Cloud, Minn., will host a benefit dinner – New Orleans style – to raise money for families dislocated by the Hurricane Katrina. Live music and New Orleans cuisine will be served up from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, for a $10 donation. Tickets are available at Coborn’s on 5th Avenue in St. Cloud. All proceeds will go to the United Church of Christ’s Hope Shall Bloom Fund for Katrina relief. Dr. Ned Taylor, member of the congregation, currently is in Baton Rouge assisting with the relief effort. He is expected to share his first-hand experiences and the status of the recovery effort at the benefit. Peace United Church is located at the corner of 4th Street South and 8th Avenue South near the St. Cloud State University campus.

Loaves & Fishes: Loaves and Fishes, a private, non-profit, charitable organization that provides hot meals evenings in seven different locations throughout the Twin Cities, is expecting increased numbers as Katrina victims come to the Twin Cities. Serving teams are anticipating an influx of evacuees and will be prepared to provide meals to everyone who comes to one of the sites. Hot, nutritious meals are served to more than 1,300 people each evening by volunteer serving teams from local communities. There are 270 serving teams representing businesses, corporations, civic groups and faith-based organizations. Meals are served Monday through Friday, from 5-6:30 p.m. at three sites in Minneapolis, three in St. Paul and one in Bloomington. Everyone is welcome to eat dinner at any of our locations. There are no qualifiers for eligibility and no one is turned away. Respectful behavior is the only entrance requirement. For more information, visit www.loavesandfishesmn.org or call (612) 377-9810.

PEACE EVENTS

Local peace activists will discuss international law and the effects of illegal weapons – and an exploration of non-violence in action – in honor of International United Nations Day: Rejoining the World Community, from 12:30-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, in Baumgartner Auditorium at the University of St. Thomas Brady Education Center near Cretin and Grand avenues in St. Paul. Speakers will share information about the effects of the illegal weapons produced by Alliant Techsystems, including cluster bombs, landmines and depleted uranium munitions, on soldiers, civilians and the environment. At 6:30 p.m., keynote talks will be delivered by Polly Mann, co-founder of Women Against Military Madness, and Marv Davidov, activist and Honeywell Project founder, with music by Sara Thomsen. For more information, visit www.circlevision.org or phone (651) 644-8118.

Other efforts to promote world peace in the Twin Cities include:

– Sunday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. – Minnesota Poets Against War event, featuring readings by Sam Hamill, Robert Bly, Wang Ping, Heid Erdrich and Rich Broderick, at Unity Unitarian Church, 732 Holly, St. Paul. For more information, call (651) 699-0890.

– Sunday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m. – Karen Armstrong will speak on "The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam," at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1917 Logan, Minneapolis. Admission is $20-$30. For more information, e-mail saintpaulschurch@earthlink.net or call (612) 377-1273.

NEWS FROM EDGE LIFE

Angel Dogs

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Best-selling Minnesota authors Allen and Linda Anderson, creator of the Angel Animals network [www.angelanimals.net] will be in Eden Prairie on Saturday, Oct. 8, to launch their new releases, Angel Dogs: Divine Messengers of Love, and Rainbows & Bridges: An Animal Companion Memorial Kit. The event will be at 2 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 3000 Eden Prairie Center. People are invited to bring photos of their pets and share stories. Local contributing authors Richard & Marjorie Douse and Lyndra Hearn Antonson will also be in attendance. Call (952) 944-5683 for directions.

Whispers of Spirit Expo

ST. PAUL – A new St. Paul-based holistic publication, Whispers of Spirit, will host its first Whispers of Spirit Expo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel on St. Paul’s Midway. The event will feature 30 holistic, spiritual and intuitive exhibitors and free workshops.

Whispers of Spirit will feature its writers and advertisers, as well as many other local and regional practitioners and businesses that are holistic or spiritual in nature.

"St. Paul hasn’t had an expo of this size for many years, so we thought it natural to find a great location here for one," said Jennifer Salness, co-editor and St. Paul resident.

"Alternative medicine and spirituality is a quickly growing focus, and many people are seeing balance and health for mind, body and spirit," she said. "Western medicine certainly has its place, but other natural modalities and products are becoming more important to people as they slow down, evaluate their lives and health, and seek a more deeper spirituality."

The expo will include acupuncturists, herbalists, chiropractors, aromatherapists, metaphysical shops, energy healers, psychic intuitives and other practitioners who offer services and gifts. Free hour-long workshops will take place all day on such topics as the Emotional Freedom Technique, energy healing and psychic development.

Whispers of Spirit was launched in early 2004 as a publication, and is now expanding as a presenter of expos in St. Paul. The quarterly publication’s intent is to educate and inspire people to look at their lives and the world with new eyes, to open to possibilities of spirituality and wellness. It features articles and advertisements from many types of practitioners and businesses, in print available at local shops and natural food stores, as well as online. For more information about the publication and its expo, visit www.whispersofspirit.com.

Spiritual Jazz Concert

MINNEAPOLIS – The Rodney Jones/Fred Lipsius Quartet will present a special Spiritual Jazz Concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at The Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Ave. S., in downtown Minneapolis.

Guitarist Rodney Jones is a spiritual jazz pioneer and veteran of the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Smith, Lena Horne, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, James Brown, Maceo Parker and Ruth Brown. Fred Lipsius is a Grammy award-winning saxophonist and pianist from Blood, Sweat & Tears. Joining them will be local jazz firebrands Kevin Washington on drums and Jeff Bailey on bass.

For tickets or reservations, call (612) 332-1010 or visit www.dakotacooks.com

Health Freedom

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The public will have a unique opportunity to learn in-depth about health freedom and how to make a difference locally and regionally during the third annual Conference for Health Freedom Advocates and World Health Freedom Assembly Oct. 28-30 at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel.

The annual conference of the National Health Freedom Coalition (NHFC) trains people on legislative changes needed to ensure the public’s right to access healers, and the right to practice healing modalities. In addition, the conference will feature leading activists monitoring CODEX and other federal legislation to ensure public access to herbs and supplements.

Keynote speaker Dan Haley, author of Politics in Healing, will talk about heroes who have pioneered healing therapies and the political actions that have prevented their therapies from being available to the public. Keynoter Diane Miller, J.D., NHFC Director of Legal and Public Policy, will present, "Leaders Becoming Leaders, Teams Becoming Teams."

The Saturday night awards banquet will honor outstanding health freedom leaders, followed by Kevin Miller’s new documentary film on CODEX. Keynote speaker Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., is the author of the highly acclaimed books The Miracle of Magnesium, Natural Prescriptions for Common Ailments, and, her latest, Death by Modern Medicine.

Other speakers will include: Jim Turner, J.D., Citizens for Health; David Hinde and Rob Verkerk, Alliance for Health; Scott Tips, J.D., National Health Federation; James Gormley, Nutrition 21; Trueman Tuck, Friends of Freedom International; Suzanne Harris, J.D., The Loft; Tim Bolen, Jurimed; Clinton Miller, Sunshine Health Freedom Fund; and Burton Goldberg, publisher.

Sunday will be "A Global Health Freedom Assembly – A Solidarity Summit" of health freedom organizations.

Sponsors include Dr. Clark Research Association and Sunshine Health Freedom Fund, National Guild of Hypnotists and Mastel’s Health Food.

The public is invited to attend. For more information, visit www.nationalhealthfreedom.org or contact Jerri Johnson at (651) 688-6515 or e-mail jerrijohn@aol.com.

Breast cancer benefit

MILWAUKEE – In celebration of National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, and as a kick off for its 20th anniversary celebration on October 29-30, Lakeside School of Massage Therapy will donate all the money from the school’s student clinic for the week of October 23-29 to the American Cancer Society.

The student clinic is open to the public, and offers 50-minute massages to the general public at the reduced rates of $30, or $20 for those over the age of 55. An appointment is necessary and can be made by calling the school at (414) 372-4345.

Lakeside School of Massage Therapy was the first massage therapy school in the State of Wisconsin both to become accredited and to offer federal financial aid for those who qualify. The institution is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) and has continually provided quality massage therapy education for 20 years. Lakeside has locations in both Milwaukee and Madison.

For more information, call (414) 372-4345 in Milwaukee or (608) 274-2484 in Madison, or visit www.lakeside.edu.

Reel Inspiration online

A new website has been launched to encourage and promote the production and theatrical success of a diverse array of films with entertaining, powerful stories that uplift, challenge, give hope, or inspire the human consciousness. Reel Inspiration, at www.reelinspiration.org, will promote meaningful films and cultivate and train filmmakers who make these films.

Its first major event is the Reel Vision Filmmakers Conference on Oct. 21-23 at Radisson City Center in Tucson, Ariz. It will feature noted instructors who will help filmmakers realize their vision. Linda Seger, author of Making a Good Script Great and consultant on more than 2,000 scripts, 40 feature films and 35 television projects, will present workshops on "Your Voice as a Filmmaker" and "The Transformational Arc." Registration is is $100 at www.reelinspiration.org, reelinspiration@hotmail.com or (520) 325-9175.

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