Theme – Memory
As I write this, I am preparing to head out the door to join more than 10,000 persons of faith and conscience from 80 nations and more than 200 unique spiritual traditions at The Parliament of World Religions. The Parliament only gathers every 3 – 4 years in different parts of the world each time. We are fortunate that it’s relatively close in Toronto, Canada this year, so I could not pass up this opportunity for interfaith learning and dialogue.
The Parliament was actually started by some Unitarian ministers in 1893, who invited religious leaders like Swami Vivekananda from around the world to Chicago, to share more about their faiths. This marked the beginning of international interreligious dialogue. It was ground breaking at the time and set the stage for the Parliament’s 125-year goals of justice, compassion, peace and sustainability. Here we put religious differences aside to work together for a world that is more inclusive and loving to all.
This year’s theme is: “The promise of inclusion. The power of love. Pursuing global understanding, reconciliation and change.” Parliament presenters include clergy, interfaith leaders, scholars, Nobel Laureates, city mayors, spiritual luminaries, best-selling authors, thought leaders, and more. It will feature more than 500 programs and events across six major tracks:
- The Women’s Track: The Dignity of Women Across the World’s Wisdom Traditions
- Countering War, Hate & Violence Track: Peace and Love: Not War, Hate & Violence
- Climate Action Track: Care for Our Earth, Responsibility for Our Future
- The Indigenous Peoples’ Track: The Spiritual Evolution of Humanity & Healing Our Mother Earth
- The Next Generations Track: Interfaith Has No Age, Youth Voices for Change
- Justice: Advancing Concrete Change Toward a Just, Peaceful, and Sustainable World
It will be a stimulating week with lots to learn and work towards together. In many ways, this Parliament is the living embodiment of our Unitarian Universalist faith. We need not believe alike to love alike… I look forward to sharing my experiences from the Parliament when I return to the pulpit on Sunday, November 11th. We will explore our collective memories and share our vision of a better world in which we co-operate across cultures, religions and national borders.
Meanwhile, should you have any pastoral or other concerns, please contact the office at 805-498-9548 or firstname.lastname@example.org . For emergencies, please contact Board President Tom Wolf at email@example.com. Meanwhile, if you’re curious to find out more about The Parliament of The World Religions, please go to this link: https://www.parliamentofreligions.org/parliament/2018-toronto/2018-toronto
I look forward to seeing you on the 11th.