A rally in defense of religious freedom will be held at noon today outside the Robert H. Jackson Federal Courthouse, 2 Niagara Square. The gathering will include prayers, presentations by five speakers and music by St. Luke’s Voices of Mercy.
Buses transporting participants will leave in the morning from St. Jude the Apostle Church in North Tonawanda and from St. Gregory the Great Church in Amherst.
The Marian Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo will lead a pilgrimage to the basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Monday through Thursday. Cost is $390 and includes bus travel, accommodations in the Washington Retreat House and several meals.
Spirtual director for the pilgrimage is the Rev. Michael Burzynski, pastor of St. John Gualbert Church in Cheektowaga. Call 875-3689 or 803-7489 for more details.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, 128 Pearl St., will offer a new worship service, “Mysterium,” beginning next Saturday. The service, to be held at 5 p.m. on Saturdays, will engage music, art and the senses to enrich the worship experience. Fellowship will follow the service.
Marsha Stevens-Pino, contemporary Christian singer and songwriter, will perform a free concert at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Church of the Nativity, 1530 Colvin Blvd., near Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda. A free-will offering will be accepted. Call the church office for details. 875-3365.
Stevens-Pino was the first major singer in contemporary Christian music to come out publicly as a lesbian.
Church of the Nativity member Jeannine Campbell, who spent six years singing with the Osmond Brothers in Branson, Mo., will join Stevens-Pino for several songs.
Fall study day
Scott Alexander, who teaches Islamic Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, will be the presenter for the Catholic Biblical Studies Program’s 2012 Fall Study Day, “An Introduction to Islam for Students of the Bible,” 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Millennium Airport Hotel, 2040 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga. Call the Catholic Biblical Studies Program at 871-9180 or click on www.cbstudies.org for registration information and recommended readings.