Parliament of the World's Religions E-Newsletter Archive 2014

For other Parliament Newsletter & Eblast archieve, please click here.

Date: 2014-12-31
Title: Eblast - The Year of the Parliament. Let's Make it Count.
Details: 2015 is the Year of the Parliament! But Today is Your Final Chance. Support your sisters and brothers through the interfaith movement before we say goodbye to 2014. Please open your heart. No gift is too small. 

Date: 2014-12-30
Title: Eblast - As We Look Toward 2015
Details: New Year's Hopes and Resolutions There have been a lot of tears in these last months—school girls stolen and missing in Nigeria, young men abducted and killed in Mexico, youth leaving their homes and joining ISIS, young men killed on the streets, and the mass murder of students in a school in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Date: 2014-12-31
Title: Eblast - Homework for the Holidays
Details: Dear Friends, Happy Holidays!  The holiday season is a great occasion to share memories and hopes for the future. As hate, anger, and fear is rising in the world, we all must rise with loving human relationships to create space for hope. We must work together for peace, justice and sustainability. The 2015 Parliament is one such occasion where more than 10,000 interfaith networkers will come together from 80+ nations and religions come together to share and learn from each other for the betterment of the world. 

Date: 2014-12-09
Title: Eblast - Today's Discounts Expire Tomorrow!
Details: The Super Saver Ends Tomorrow. Are You In? A few short months ago, we issued a short questionnaire seeking to know more about you, what kind of 2015 Parliament you hoped we would be planning, and the most essential question: 

Date: 2014-12-18
Title: Eblast - 5 Years Ago in Melbourne
Details: 5 Years Ago, the Melbourne Parliament Made Interfaith a Staple of Society  Five years ago the Parliament of the World’s Religions convened in Melbourne, Australia. It was a grand occasion made colourful literally and spiritually by the presence of the richest diversity of religions, faiths, spiritualities, and ways of life. In the process of preparing for and conducting the 2009 Parliament, interreligious relations in Melbourne and the State of Victoria were greatly enhanced. Building on decades of positive interfaith leadership and political leaders from all major parties committed to promoting a multicultural and multifaith society characterised by intergroup understanding grounded in mutual respect, the 2009 Parliament drew together new and younger people who had not worked together in making harmony real. They joined those who had gone before and added their own dimensions to the effort.

Date: 2014-12-08
Title: Eblast - Reminder: 2015 Parliament Super Saver Ends Wednesday!

Date: 2014-12-08
Title: Eblast - Welcoming the 2015 Parliament Community
Details: Welcome to the 2015 Parliament! And welcome to a global community of people working to change the world. Congratulations on being among the first 2,000 people to register for the Parliament! Thank you for bringing your energy and excitement, your gifts and resources as we gather with the shared intention of our theme -- “Reclaiming the Heart of our Humanity”. 

Date: 2014-12-10
Title: Eblast - Announcing the Inaugural Women's Assembly at the 2015 Parliament
Details: The Parliament Proudly Announces the INAUGURAL WOMEN'S ASSEMBLY FOR GLOBAL ADVANCEMENT The Women's Task Force of the Parliament of the World’s Religions invites YOU to the Inaugural Assembly for Women's Global Advancement, Oct. 15 and Program Initiative at the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions, Oct. 16-19, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Join with women of diverse faiths and spiritual traditions to:

Date: 2014-11-26
Title: Eblast - Extending Super Saver Deadline for the 2015 Parliament!
Details: Super Saver Registration is Extended 'til December 10! - With great enthusiasm, respect and gratitude to our host city of Salt Lake, we are meeting our registration goals and extending the Super Saver registration period of 60% - 70% savings to December 10!

Date: 2014-11-18
Title: Eblast - His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Karen Armstrong are coming to the 2015 Parliament!
Details: It is with great pleasure that we announce  two of the esteemed keynote speakers of the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions: His Holiness The Dalai Lama & Dr. Karen Armstrong *Both of these acclaimed leaders will be featured in the Get Golden Banquet at the 2015 Parliament. Who better to help lead the interfaith world in reclaiming the heart of our humanity than two of the most acclaimed teachers of compassion?

Date: 2014-11-24
Title: Newsletter - Unmasking Violence
Details: The Unmasking of Violence - The Rev. Shanta Premawardhana discusses the dire circumstances surrounding some of Chicago's socioeconomically depressed neighborhoods, which, he unravels, can consequently lead to the tragic death of a young teen and countless alike. Fifteen-year-old Deon Gilbert was killed in the south side of Chicago on the night of November 7th by a single gun-shot to his abdomen. This promising young man attended Ellis Avenue Church almost every Sunday since he was about 3- years-old, had hopes of playing football and studying architecture perhaps at Florida A&M.

Date: 2014-12-02
Title: Eblast - For #GivingTuesday, Help Young Leaders Reclaim the Heart of Humanity
Details: A Lifetime of Leadership Begins at the Parliament - Sponsor an Emerging Leader on #GivingTuesday - Exclusive 70 Percent Student Savings End December 10 - Today we are facing an almost overwhelming number of choices that constantly vie for our attention. The 2015 Parliament is bringing three major themes into focus to drive results that will help humanity. The sustainability of our planet, economic disparities, and global violence are raising intense concern around the world, but especially among young people.

Date: 2014-11-13
Title: Newsletter - How Faith Can Impact the Environment
Details: As the World Turns, Local Science Facilities Lag on Climate Change Facts - The latest report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change provides evidence for climate change’s “widespread impacts” on the environment: • Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are now higher than ever and are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.

Date: 2014-11-06
Title: Eblast - RSVP for Interfaith Weekend of Pre-Parliament Festivities!
Details: A weekend for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world is coming! Before the winter holidays flurry in, let us take time to come together and recharge our interfaith spirit in style! The Parliament is elated to share that the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago is hosting A Pathway to Peace - an Interfaith Conference Service on Saturday, November 15. Our staff will be present to share information about the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions. Discussions with speakers of several faiths will take place, and a delicious langar will be served to guests in the gorgeous Palatine gurdwara that evening. 

Date: 2014-11-04
Title: Eblast - Building the Global Beloved Community
Details: Building the Global Beloved Community - It was the next to the last day of the fifth Parliament event in Melbourne, Australia, 2009. I was standing on the third level of that magnificent convention center looking down on the crowd of people streaming up and down on the stairway and the escalators. They were Buddhist, Christians and Hindus, Indigenous people, Jains and Jews, Muslims, Pagans and Sikhs, Seekers, and Zoroastrians - all mixed together. They were locked in animated conversation. They were obviously enjoying one another. They were respecting each other, listening and learning from each other, and planning together for a better world. 

Date: 2014-10-31
Title: Newsletter - Countering Prejudice at the Dinner Table
Details: Interfaith Theater Counters Prejudice at the Dinner Table - When we encounter systemic racism, we know where our moral obligation lies. We speak out. But what happens when prejudice finds its way into the most intimate setting, the dinner table? “Well, you know how they are. They can’t be reasoned with. Could you please pass the salt?” Disparaging comments about another group are unfortunately common in many communities. When these kinds of off-hand remarks emerge in our own homes or in the homes of our friends, how are we supposed to respond? Abe’s Babes, a group of six Jewish, Muslim, and Christian women in Sydney, Australia, may have found an answer. Read more... 

Date: 2014-10-23
Title: Eblast - Meet Gandhi’s Grandson at Our Festival of Faith
Details: Join with the Parliament of the World's Religions on November 13 as we meet to strengthen the interfaith movement. Faith is a force of good; people of faith working together for the common good is the interfaith movement. This benefit is going to be unique treat. Not only you will get to greet and hear the wisdom from Dr. Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Gandhi, but you will get to learn about Chicago’s diversity of faith through the faith tables. 

Date: 2014-10-17
Title: Eblast - Put Your Name on the World's Largest Interfaith Gathering
Details: HIGHLIGHT YOUR ORGANIZATION AT THE WORLD'S LARGEST INTERFAITH GATHERING! The Parliament of the World's Religions invites prospective sponsors, advertisers and exhibitors to learn about the opportunities awaiting you at the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 15-19. The 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah provides a cost effective way to maximize (or reinforce) your organization’s exposure to 10,000 participants from 80 different countries and over 50 faith and spiritual traditions.

Date: 2014-10-28
Title: Eblast - Harvesting Hope in 2015
Details: Harvesting Hope- Along with approximately 7000 people, I shared in the profound and moving experience of the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago. There is a story from the 1993 Parliament that is at once a reminder and metaphor about the power and promise of interfaith engagement. In one of the 1993 Parliament workshops, a Sikh separatist argued vehemently against the Hindus saying that the Sikhs should have their own state in India. He became very strident, and not surprisingly, a Hindu fundamentalist presenter became angry.It was an electric moment as workshop onlookers witnessed this fiery exchange. Fear filled the room. Hoping to contain the conflict, the security people locked the doors. As the clash intensified, many of the others in the room became visibly fearful. People were not feeling safe

Date: 2014-10-23
Title: Newsletter - Sanctuary, Solidarity, and Service
Details: How Churches and Synagogues Are Stopping Deportations - In "How Churches and Synagogues Are Stopping Deportations," multifaith social action site Groundswell Movement schools us in the revival of the official Sanctuary movement in the United States. Through powerful storytelling, writer Esther Merono helps advocates brush up on the faith-based call to protect immigrant families. Historical and legal tips come into focus through graphic, text, and video components perfect for social sharing.

Date: 2014-10-21
Title: Eblast - Meet Gandhi’s Grandson at Our Festival of Faith
Details: Join with the Parliament of the World's Religions on November 13 as we meet to strengthen the interfaith movement. Faith is a force of good; people of faith working together for the common good is the interfaith movement. This benefit is going to be unique treat. Not only you will get to greet and hear the wisdom from Dr. Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Gandhi, but you will get to learn about Chicago’s diversity of faith through the faith tables. 

Date: 2014-10-14
Title: Newsletter - Things We Knew
Details: Thinking creatively about non-violent options Rev. Robert V. Thompson first published this article in the
Chicago Tribune in  December 2001 while serving as Parliament chair. In it, he presciently considers alternative methods of bringing about peace using creative thinking and being attentive to conflicts at their earliest stages. His arguments and advice still resonate today amidst many of the conflicts we now face. Because we Americans are suckers for the quick fix we want to believe the war on terrorism will be won through military action, improved intelligence, stemming the flow of terrorist money and stepped-up national security.While most of us believe these policies will solve the problem, many of us are plagued by a palpable uneasiness and persistent ambivalence. Read more...

Date: 2014-10-09
Title: Eblast - Call for Programs for 2015 Parliament
Details: CALL FOR PROGRAMS - The Parliament of the World's Religions invites proposals for programs for presentations at the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 15-19. Thousands of people submit program proposals for the Parliament and a team of interfaith and subject experts select about 10% of those proposals to be a part of the Parliament programing. Everyone who attends the Parliament has wisdom to share - from those who are having their first interfaith experience to those who are steeped in interfaith. The purpose of this gathering is to support relationships, connections, and inspired calls to action which can then ripple out from the Parliament into hundreds of grassroots organizations, networks, and communities. And, the Parliament is a real place for “discourse.”

Date: 2014-10-07
Title: Newsletter - Heeding Earth's Call
Details: Religions for the Earth Promises Action on Climate Issues - Nearly half a million people marched to save the only planet we have on the 21st of September at the People's Climate March in New York City. After exceeding goals to stage the biggest climate march in history, the day ended with an interfaith service packing thousands into the largest Cathedral in the World, St. John the Divine. Leaders spanning the faith traditions of the world vowed there to commit unprecedented action to disrupt climate change. Read more...

Date: 2014-10-02
Title: Eblast - What is Next
Details: What is next? Of course the Parliament is next. And here is our theme.“Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity” Yes, indeed people of faith working together must claim the heart of our humanity so that we live up to the higher ideals, for which our distinct faiths and spiritual communities aspire and to which we are all committed. We gathered feedback from Salt Lake City, our Parliament Board, and our Program committee. We then went back and forth considering about 20 different themes. Finally, we voted on adopting this theme.

Date: 2014-09-16
Title: Eblast - Volunteer for the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions
Details: CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS - The Parliament is moving full steam ahead in preparations for the 2015 Parliament, October 15-19th in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Volunteers are needed starting immediately to assist staff in our Chicago offices during these initial stages. This is an exciting opportunity to stretch your worldview, to work with people of a variety of religious and spiritual traditions, to be a part of making something significant happen that can move us towards a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.  Check out our website:

Date: 2014-09-08
Title: Eblast - Tuesday Press Conference Will Announce the 2015 Parliament
Details:  PRESS CONFERENCE TO ANNOUNCE THE 2015 PARLIAMENT - On September 9, 2014, the leaders of the interfaith movement will hold a press conference to announce the dates and the location of the 2015 Parliament. Top leaders of the Parliament, URI, Charter for Compassion and the Grandson of Gandhi will address the press conference. As the hate, anger, and fear is rising in the USA, the interfaith movement with its loving compassionate relationship must rise to the occasion.  


Date: 2015-09-09
Title: Eblast - ✔ 2015 Parliament ✔ Salt Lake City ✔ Oct 15-19
Details: THE 2015 PARLIAMENT WILL BE IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH IN OCTOBER 2015 - Salt Lake City, USA – Sept 9, 2014 - The Parliament of the World’s Religions announced today that it will bring the world’s largest and most historic interfaith gathering to Salt Lake City in October 2015, marking its return to the United States for the first time in 22 years.

Date: 2016-09-04
Title: Ebalst - Last Call for 2015 Parliament Survey
Details: Respond Now to Have Your Say 2015 Parliament USA - The announcement of the next Parliament city in the United States is coming! Since sharing the news three weeks ago, more than 600 people have taken the survey which is guiding our planning, pricing, and programming for the next Parliament. Expect the next city and dates to be announced as early as next week. But we need to hear from you today.

Date: 2014-09-04
Title: Eblast - Confidential Exciting Message for You
Details: We will never forget how you helped us out last year with your donations when the Parliament faced a challenge to retire the Barcelona debt. Once again thank you for being a true champion of interfaith. We learned our lessons. Now we are stronger and wiser. We are moving forward with resolve and confidence.

Date: 2014-08-22
Title: Newsletter - Fill Out Parliament 2015 Survey
Details: Planning the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions in the United States is sparking excitement all around the world according to mounting responses to the survey released last week. By sharing your preferences on themes, cost, and speakers you will make your voice count!

Date: 2014-08-14
Title: Eblast - Downtown Chicago Prayers for Peace
Details: The Time Is Now: Urgent Prayers for Peace - Join the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago for an Interfaith gathering in witness of peace at this time of great violence throughout the world and in our city: All are welcome! The program will include prayers from different religious traditions as well as prayers and hymns in common. The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (CRLMC), a non-profit organization, is comprised of the head religious leadership of practically every major religious tradition in the broader Chicago area, representing nearly six million people.

Date: 2014-08-15
Title: Eblast - The 2015 Parliament Will Be Held in the USA
Details: The World of Interfaith, Parliament 2015 Coming to America - The Board of the Parliament voted this weekend to hold the next Parliament in the United States in 2015. The next Parliament marks the fifth modern Parliament and the first American Parliament in 22 years.  "America is the home base of the interfaith movement and it's about time the Parliament come back home. The Parliament in 2015 will strengthen the interfaith movement through our listening, sharing and networking with each other," says Chair of the Board Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid.

Date: 2014-08-08
Title: Eblast - The Parliament Will Be Held Every 2 Years
Details: The Board of Trustees of the Parliament of the World's Religions has decided to convene the World Parliament every two years. As the interfaith movement has doubled and tripled in interfaith action and services in the last decade it has become necessary that this largest summit of people of faith working together for a just, peaceful and sustainable world come together more often. The board also moved by the extraordinary desire throughout the interfaith movement to engage younger people for whom a five-year Parliament cycle is very long. 

Date: 2014-08-01
Title: Newsletter - 'We Refuse To Be Enemies'
DetailsDeclaration of the Vision Camp of Israeli, Palestinian and global peacemakers held July 24 - 29 in the West Bank. Photo: 'Sorry' spelled in candles at a sister vigil in Tel Aviv. "As peaceworkers from Israel, Palestine and various other parts of the world, we have been holding a peace vigil in the middle of a war in the West Bank over the last several days. We are gathering here under very simple conditions, creating community life, sharing from our hearts, in silence and in tears, in the midst of shootings and bombings. We are bearing witness and trying to stay in Grace. We have been faced with this senseless killing every day. There have been more than 1000 human victims during the last three weeks. In the last days three Palestinians were shot in the village near the place where we are staying. In these days, we have been faced with untold pain, suffering, desperation and speechlessness; we are also coming face to face with many different opinions and inner and outer struggles. What we all agree on is: Enough! Stop this killing. No solution can come from war! Each innocent victim of this war is one too many! We refuse to be enemies. We are calling out to all parties. Read more...

Date: 2014-07-24
Title: Eblast - The Parliament Stands with Peace and Justice in the Holy Lands
Details: Interfaith Leaders Must Promote Compassion and Justice - The Parliament of the World’s Religions grieves whenever violence and conflict flares, as is now occurring in Palestine and Israel. Grief, however, must not paralyze faith communities and the interfaith movement into silence and inaction. Instead, we are called to serve as moderating agents in the cause of sustainable justice, unconditional compassion, and enduring peace by raising our voices against those who seek the annihilation of their enemies. The Parliament, therefore, asks religious and spiritual communities across the globe, and the interfaith movement specifically, to be vocal and active in

Date: 2014-07-18
Title: Newsletter - Pray for Peace
Details: More than 100 faithful from a variety of religious traditions gathered at Milwaukee's All Saints Cathedral on Wednesday to pray for peace in the Middle East, a response to the escalating hostilities in Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The service was organized by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, which works to find common ground among religious traditions.Here are excerpts from the prayers offered Wednesday, in the order they were spoken: The Very Rev. Kevin Carroll, dean of All Saints Cathedral: We can pray for peace in far off lands. But our prayers will ring hollow if we ourselves fail to model what peace looks like -- in our homes, in our families, in our relationships and in our communities. ...Peace starts with prayer. But it also starts right here, right now, with all of us sitting in this room.

Date: 2014-06-27
Title: Eblast - Share Interfaith Events in Chicago
Details: July 4 Weekend | Summer of Faith and Action Continues - Please join us this summer in amplifying the City of Chicago's call for compassionate action to "take back our communities" and "put down the guns." Interfaith advocates are encouraged to collaborate to make peace happen in our neighborhoods, to make strangers into neighbors, and to transform fear and anger into compassionate relationships!

Date: 2014-06-27
Title: Newsletter - Fasting, Faith, and Friendship
Details: There simply was no diversity in the small southern [American] town where I grew up. Virtually 100 percent of the population was white, middle class Baptists. The most “exotic” people in town were a small number of Lutherans, including my close friend Laura and her family. Hearing how people talked about Lutherans, I wanted to defend them, and I started seeing myself as an outsider like them.  From that time onward I have identified with outsiders. As an adult, my life has taken me around the world (for example, I lived in Armenia for two years, working with the Peace Corps). I’ve been to Egypt, Turkey, Russia, India, and all over Eastern and Western Europe. And in all these places I have witnessed expressions of hatred and superiority that one group of people directs at another. No country is free of it. But in those same countries I witnessed extraordinary acts of kindness, sympathy and respect for outsiders. Read more...

Date: 2014-07-18
Title: Eblast - Host the Next Parliament in Your City
Details: It is exciting! The global Interfaith Movement has tripled during the last ten years. And now its time for it to come together again to learn, share, coordinate and strategize for a better future for humanity. We are pleased to announce the opening of the bid process for a city to host the 2017 Parliament of the World’s Religions. A Parliament event showcases ways in which religions shape positive action to address the challenges of our times, and seeks to develop new tools for implementing those actions in the years to come. 

Date: 2014-06-13
Title: Newsletter - When is the Next Parliament?
Details: Religion is often accused of causing much of the polarization in the world. Those who perpetrate violence through words and actions often point to religion as justification. However, the Parliament supports the notion that religion is a powerful force for good, bringing out the best in both individuals and communities. Adam Taylor of the World Bank and Cheryl Tupper of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation joined the Parliament leadership on a panel presented at the Council of Foundations 2014 Philanthropy Exchange Conference on Monday, June 9. The breakthrough session called “The Role of Religion in an Increasingly Polarized Society," attracted more than 40 engaged representatives of grantmaking organizations.

Date: 2014-05-29
Title: Newsletter - For Faith (and Everyone's) Sake
DetailsOver 300 persons died in Cook County in the past year and were buried by the Medical Examiner’s office because no friends or family were available to receive their bodies. Their names were read in solemn dignity at a memorial service held in their honor at the Chicago Temple, on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. The following post is based on the sermon by Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, SCUPE President and Parliament Trustee, preached at that service. Dr. Vincent Harding died this week. This hero of the civil rights movement was a friend of SCUPE. This professor of theology, a Mennonite, from the peace church tradition is credited with influencing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to speak out against the Vietnam war and with writing the sermon he preached exactly one year before his death at Riverside Read more...

Date: 2014-05-19
Title: Eblast - EVENT: Parliament and City Calling for Your Faith in Action
Details: Faith and Action Movement Kickoff Empower Compassion in Chicago - As partners of the Charter for Compassion, the Parliament stands with the movement to stop hate and violence. Please join us this summer in amplifying the City of Chicago's call for compassionate action to "take back our communities." Interfaith advocates are encouraged to collaborate to make peace happen in our neighborhoods, to make strangers into neighbors, and to transform fear and anger into compassionate relationships!

Date: 2014-05-05
Title: Eblast - Introducing Rebecca Bryan and New Featured Articles
Details: Introducing 2014 Contributing Scholar: Rebecca Bryan We are excited to introduce you to Rebecca Bryan, one of the 2014 Contributing Scholars at State of Formation. Having already provided some excellent content for our site, and fruitful fodder for interfaith dialogue, we are happy to welcome Rebecca aboard this year.

Date: 2014-04-28
Title: Eblast - Just Two Days Remain...
DetailsHere’s what your support has made possible just this month:  In early April, the Parliament announced a strategic partnership with Charter for Compassion International to establish Compassionate Cities around the world. This commitment unites us in efforts to promote a golden rule that is relevant, measurable, and attainable.

Date: 2014-04-28
Title: Eblast - Welcome Laura Brekke and Recent Articles
Details: 2014 Contributing Scholar: Laura Brekke We are pleased to welcome Laura Brekke as one of the 2014 Contributing Scholars at State of Formation. Laura Brekke is the Director of Religious Diversity at Santa Clara University, a Jesuit Catholic university in Santa Clara, CA. She is both the chaplain to Protestant students, and to all non-Christian students at on campus. She earned an M.Div from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and a Certificate in Theology for Ministry from the University of Cambridge. She is currently a Certified Candidate pending a call in the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

Date: 2014-04-23
Title: Eblast - Welcome DeShannon Bowens and Recent Article
Details: 2014 Contributing Scholar: DeShannon Bowens We are pleased to welcome DeShannon Bowens as one of the 2014 Contributing Scholars at State of Formation. DeShannon Bowens, MS is an interfaith minister, sexual trauma therapist, professional development trainer and founder of ILERA Counseling and Education Services. Through ILERA, DeShannon has implemented workshops and programs at various agencies focusing on: sexuality & spirituality, sexual abuse, vicarious trauma & wellness. She is also the author of Hush Hush: An African American Family Breaks Their Silence on Sexuality & Sexual Abuse. She received a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Missouri - St. Louis and a Masters in Counseling from Pace University. 

Date: 2014-04-23
Title: Eblast - You Can Still Join Today's 'Bystanders' Webinar
Details: Parliament Executive Director Dr. Mary Nelson calls today's webinar a "moving and powerful reminder of how easily we become bystanders." Pictured here, today's presenter Beth Lilach schools participants of the Faiths Against Hate Day of Learning and Relationship last summer in Long Island, NY about cultural silence before the Holocaust and ways this silence continues around hate and violence today.

Date: 2014-04-20
Title: Eblast - Join Now in the Global Prayer for Community Peace
Details: We, the global interfaith community, cherish the principle of shared humanity and champion the Golden Rule as the guiding principle of each of the world's great spiritual and religious communities. We unite as neighbors in our call for harmony, compassion, and peaceful relationships everywhere. Sunday's tragic hate shootings in the Kansas City area urgently signal why interfaith cooperation must become stronger to ensure all people are exposed to the beautiful lessons we learn from each other in diverse communities. We invite all people to join with the United Religions Initiative (URI) and the Parliament of the World's Religions in coming together to amplify action for peace. Read more....

Date: 2014-04-21
Title: Newsletter - New Contributing Scholars write about Family Heritage and Pop Culture
Details4 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 sticks of butter. Combine these 3 ingredients with your hands. Add some sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in milk, 2 eggs, and vanilla. Mix well, roll out, and cut into shapes, then bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. This is the simple sugar cookie recipe that has been passed on from my great-grandmother, Ferne, to her daughter, who shared it with her daughter, who passed it on to my sister and me. A few days ago I tried this recipe for the first time, and as I felt the ingredients squeeze and mix through my fingers, I couldn’t help but think of the many other female hands that lovingly prepared these same elements over many generations. These hands belonged to many mothers, sisters, daughters, and aunts who endured hardship and pain, yet their strength, courage, and faithfulness has been passed down in my family, much like a recipe. These women have shaped me into the faith leader that I am today, in more ways than one.

Date: 2014-04-17
Title: Newsletter - Parliament and URI Issue #LoveAlert for Kansas
Details: We, the global interfaith community, cherish the principle of shared humanity and champion the Golden Rule as the guiding principle of each of the world's great spiritual and religious communities. We unite as neighbors in our call for harmony, compassion, and peaceful relationships everywhere. Sunday's tragic hate shootings in the Kansas City area urgently signal why interfaith cooperation must become stronger to ensure all people are exposed to the beautiful lessons we learn from each other in diverse communities. We invite all people to join with the United Religions Initiative (URI) and the Parliament of the World's Religions in coming together to amplify action for peace. From Thursday, April 17 through Sunday, April 20, we call for #LoveAlert messages to spread the goodness of interfaith cooperation around the world. Read more....

Date: 2014-04-16
Title: Eblast - You can be the HEALING!

Date: 2014-04-14
Title: Newsletter - New Contributing Scholars and Passover Reflections
Details: In the United States, it's common to hear frequent and impassioned references to the concept of 'Judeo-Christian' culture, ethics, or values. Any cursory review of American media will demonstrate that the concept is used on both sides of the proverbial aisle - this nebulous Judeo-Christian ideal is evoked in defense of both liberal and conservative political agendas on a routine basis. Rarely does this conflation of Judaism and Christianity seem to be questioned. More often than not it is held up as representing the belief system of America's founders (who, in fact, were quite idiosyncratic in their religious doctrines). Despite its omnipresence in political discourse, I believe that the concept of Judeo-Christian tradition is bizarre, imprecise, and most importantly - dangerous.


Date: 2014-05-02
Title: Newsletter - Refreshing Relationships
Details: For more than a decade, my life as a Christian has been enriched and my commitment to the Christ Way deepened through my study of the world’s great religions and my relationships with many followers of other faiths.  To use a biblical metaphor, there have been times when my soul was parched and I drew water—thirst-quenching and invigorating—from these “alien wells.”

Date: 2014-04-09
Title: Eblast - 20% of our goal! Change Conflict to Compassion!
Details: You have already gotten us 20% of the way to $10,000 in 30 Days! Together, we will reach this World-Changing goal! The possibilities for peace are everywhere! Last night, the Parliament and our Faiths Against Hate Campaign had the opportunity to spend time with five French students who are literally travelling the world promoting the work of Interfaith. It was inspiring to hear their stories, and to share our own as members of the Parliament staff and board were interviewed. The air was charged with possibility as we participated in peace circling the globe, moving from Conflict to Compassion, bringing Healing to Hatred! Become a part of this Healing with your gift to our 30 Days to Stop Hate Campaign!

Date: 2014-04-09
Title: Eblast - United States Holocaust Memorial Museum hosts Contributing Scholars
Details: On Thursday, April 3rd, State of Formation had the privilege to partner with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for a day-long tour of the museum followed by conversations about genocide, the roles of religious institutions during the Holocaust, and the complicity of ordinary citizens. This unique opportunity came about as a result of historian Victoria Barnett being the guest curator for the May 2014 issue of the Journal of Inter-Religious Studies.  As part of the upcoming issue, we wanted to be able to highlight voices of emerging leaders who are dedicated to inter-relgious education.  Dr. Barnett’s own work focuses on teaching about the Holocaust in interfaith settings, and we were very lucky to have such a knowledgeable guide and thoughtful pedagogue for the day.

Date: 20114-04-25
Title: Eblast - Gandhi, Dada, and Compassion in Chicago (EVENTS)
DetailsTomorrow: Naperville’s Anderson’s Bookshop is welcoming Parliament Trustee Arun Gandhi to a book-signing featuring his book "Grandfather Gandhi," his latest picture book for young readers.  Priority numbers to reserve a place in the book-signing line are available with the purchase of the author’s new book at Anderson’s.

Date: 2014-04-11
Title: Newsletter - Announcing Parliament's Charter for Compassion Partnership
Details: The Parliament of the World’s Religions and the Charter for Compassion announce their
strategic partnering to collaboratively support the Compassionate Cities movement around the world. Charter founder Dr. Karen Armstrong Parliament Chair Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid signed the strategic partnership announcement April 3 in Atlanta, affirming Read more...

Date: 2014-04-01
Title: Eblast - We are Changing the Headlines from Hate to Harmony...
Details: 30 Days... $10,000! Right now, you can change the headlines from Hate to Harmony. Your gift of 5, 10, or 20 dollars will help our Faiths Against HateCampaign give communities the tools to stop hate.

Date: 2014-03-31
Title: Eblast - Recent highlights on State of Formation
Details: As the conflicts in Syria and Iraq have become increasingly sectarian over the last few years, feeding off one another's dynamics and international rhetoric and involvement, stories about the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians have become more and more common in the English-language media.  I first started studying Middle Eastern forms of Christianity during college and was astounded at how hard it was to find anyone talking or writing about the topic except for scholars of medieval apology texts or activist groups such as International Christian Concern, which have long viewed Christianity as under threat worldwide.  Other than on the part of voices like these, the Middle East tended to be identified solely with Arabs and Islam.


Date: 2014-03-27
Title: Eblast - INVITE: Welcoming "The Interfaith Tour" to Chicago!
Details: Please join the Parliament of the World's Religions in welcoming to Chicago "The Interfaith Tour" on April 8 - a group of five french young adults traveling the world to learn about interfaith, and sharing what the world has taught them.  After 70 cities and 49 countries, they will have much to share with us on our evening together.   The Parliament looks forward to a multi-generational experience! All are welcome!

Date: 2014-03-24
Title: Eblast - Currently trending: Westboro and Healthcare
Details: As a resident in the ICU, I’ve spent 160 hours over the last two weeks treating pneumonia, respiratory failure, alcohol withdrawal, and dozens of other diagnoses. I have spent less than precious few of these hours in reflection, discussion with families, or thinking hard about the underlying reasons my patients are admitted to the hospital. Oddly enough, in healthcare, the more emotionally charged the work, the less time and attention is given to responding to emotions and thinking effectively. Is this because highly technological fields require less emotional competency – or that emotions have no role in treatment? To frame the issue more broadly, what is the role of emotions in clinical decision making? Read more here.

Date: 2014-03-21
Title: Newsletter - The Feminine Rising (copy 1)
Details: It seemed like a good idea at the time. The church in Seneca Falls had a For Sale sign in front with a “Price Reduced” banner across it. The structure, built in 1871, stood next door to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, which was established to commemorate the first women’s rights convention in 1848 and to preserve the Wesleyan Chapel where the gathering was held. Read more...

Date: 2014-03-19
Title: Eblast - Our Apologies
Details: We owe you an apology. Yesterday, you received communication from us that referenced the season of Spring. We realise that, where you live, it is not Spring. We understand that it is the end of Summer. It was not our intention to offend, and we ask your forgiveness for our insensitivity. While we are a global organisation, our staff is locally based in Chicago where we have struggled with a particularly brutal winter. Perhaps we are so excited at the distant promise of Spring that we did not give appropriate consideration to our partners in the southern hemisphere.

Date: 2014-03-18
Title: Eblast - Join the Parliament in a Season of Transformation
Details: Spring is a time of awakening, of possibility, of growth and TRANSFORMATION. In Spring, as snow melts and the world turns from grey to green, it is easier to believe that a new world is possible - a world where peace and justice are increased; a world where hate and fear are decreased. in the Spirit of Spring, HELP US GROW into new and greater possibilities. Your gift will help us reach more people and have real impact on the lives of individuals and communities. YOU WILL CREATE peace by putting tools to combat hate in the hands of communities and individuals through our Faiths Against Hate Campaign. YOU WILL REACH the next generation of religious and secular people of faith and spirit through our Emerging Leaders Initiative. YOU WILL EMPOWER our ambassadors to live out the mission of the Parliament all over the world every day in new and inspiring ways. Together WE WILL BUILD that new world where peace, justice, and sustainability have the last word, and we are counting on your partnership. Your tax-deductible gift will help unprecedented TRANSFORMATION to unfold!

Date: 2014-03-17
Title: Eblast - Staff Transitions at State of Formation
Details: It is with gratitude and thanks that we announce the departure of our Managing Director, Honna Eichler. After nearly three years of working to increase the capacity of the forum and establishing sustainable internal processes, Eichler will conclude her leadership position on May 31, 2014. Benjamin Barer is assuming the role of Managing Editor and Esther Boyd is slated to become the new Communications Assistant in April. “Being part of State of Formation these past four years, both as a Contributor and staff member, has been a truly a remarkable experience,” said Eichler. “I am grateful to the initiative’s advisors, my colleagues, fellow contributors, and readers for all working to make State of Formation what it is today. I am thrilled to see where it will go next.” Eichler plans to focus more her new position as Grants Manager for the Golden Apple Foundation in Chicago, IL.

Date: 2014-03-21
Title: Newsletter - The Feminine Rising
Details: It seemed like a good idea at the time. The church in Seneca Falls had a For Sale sign in front with a “Price Reduced” banner across it. The structure, built in 1871, stood next door to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, which was established to commemorate the first women’s rights convention in 1848 and to preserve the Wesleyan Chapel where the gathering was held. Read more...

Date: 2014-03-14
Title: Eblast - Register for Spring Webinars!
Details: You are invited to participate in Parliament Webinar Series offerings in March and April! Registration is free and now open. Choose one or all! Become a smarter interfaith activist by learning common Abrahamic themes of the Exodus story just in time for Passover, go through a one hour Compassion camp to join the worldwide movement, and learn to stop being a bystander to hate spreading through cultural silence, as it does now, and did before the Holocaust.

Date: 2014-03-10
Title: Eblast - Recent articles on State of Formation
Details: This week we begin a new book in our annual cycle of public Torah reading in the synagogue. We turn to Leviticus, which begins with words that are at once evocate and ambiguous: “And He called unto Moses...” (Lev. 1:1). I find myself asking familiar questions: Why is God’s name not mentioned immediately? Why is the aleph of the word va-yikra (“and He called”) purposefully written smaller than all the other letters? And, since the Torah is eternally relevant, I ponder the notion of being called by the Divine. Is it really possible to hear the voice of God?

Date: 2014-03-07
Title: Eblast - Women Join Us in NYC Tuesday | Parallel UN-CSW Event
Details: Join in an evening of prayers from many faith traditions and circle dialogue exploring your commitment to women and girls and your intentions for this 58th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW). All are invited to Remembering the Sacred Heart of Your Activism: An Evening of Prayer, Reflection and Inspiration on March 11.

Date: 2014-03-03
Title: Eblast - Recent articles on State of Formation
Details: Many artists will tell you: limits foster creativity. Staring at a blank canvas or a blinking cursor on a white screen can be agonizing, but throw some boundaries around your space (mental or otherwise) and things immediately become more manageable. Maybe it is because our creativity needs something to bump up against, or a box to think outside of, or just a place to start. Either way, we can do our best work within seemingly constraining limits. This is exemplified perfectly through the Six Word Essay. I recently performed this exercise with my students on the campus interfaith council, and it just so happens to have coincided with a similar exercise promoted through World Interfaith Harmony Week's daily challenges. The gist is simple: You can only use six words. Preferably, these words should be arranged in some grammatically sound order rather than rattled off independently. Read more here.

Date: 2014-03-06
Title: Newsletter - Women Make Peace Possible
Details: Amid 39 active conflicts over the last 10 years, few women have actually been at the table of peace negotiations. Out of 585 peace treaties drafted over the last two decades, only 16 percent contain specific references to women. Furthermore, around the world 1 in 3 women are subject to “non peaceful” or violent situations, including sexual and physical abuses. Read more...

Date: 2014-02-24
Title: Eblast - "Beyond a Corporate Model of Healthcare" and Contributing Scholars Wanted
Details: As a resident physician, I find it interesting that the most prominent public role models for medical humanism are all dead: Maimodedes, William Carlos Williams and Oliver Wendell Holmes come to mind first. I, like all doctors, have my own medical idols whom I keep cloistered until periods of ennui or desperation. The few that come to mind also happen to be writers: David Hilfiker, an activist for HIV and palliative care patients, and Bernard Lown, a prominent cardiologist who received the Nobel prize for activism on antinuclear weapons. Speaking philosophically, my idols are central to my subjectivity. I mention my own role models as a preface to a few larger questions. What is the response of the medical profession to a renewed call to humanism? How do we understand the forces that shape medicine’s response – ethical, legal, economic? Finally, should we be satisfied with it?

Date: 2014-02-17
Title: Eblast - State of Formation is accepting applications for Contributing Scholars
Details: Over the past three years, State of Formation has welcome new and emerging religious and ethical leaders to engage in dialogue via an online format. While unorthodox in its approach, the forum has created a place for emerging scholars to articulate their voices in the public sphere. A 2011 Contributing Scholar, Simran Jeet Singh, says, “I had never felt comfortable writing publicly, and State of Formation was the first forum in which I began testing the waters. It was such a great opportunity to practice and hone my skills -- little did I know that it would serve as a launch pad for me to write for national outlets like The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and Newsweek's The Daily Beast."

Date: 2014-02-13
Title: Newsletter - Spirituality and Greed Don't Mix
DetailsThe following is a synopsis of the Greeley lecture on peace and justice given by Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana at the Center for the Study of World Religions of Harvard University on February 3, 2014. Rev. Dr. Premawardhana is President of the Seminary Consortium of Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) and a Board Trustee of the Parliament of the World's Religions

Date: 2014-02-10
Title: Eblast - Grant opportunity and Scholars Highlighted in CFR Religion and Policy Bulletin
Details: I have to admit that sometimes I get weary of those Christians who, upon learning I am actively involved in different forms of interfaith dialogue, judge me as not being Christian enough.  The assumption goes that if you can “get along” and dialogue with those who believe and practice other religious faiths, you must have compromised, even given up,  all that is important to your faith – especially those distinct aspects that are not acceptable in another faith.  Anyone who actually does interfaith dialogue, on the ground, knows this is not the case, in fact, the opposite is usually true.

Date: 2014-02-03
Title: Eblast - Recent Posts on State of Formation
Details: Managing Director's Note: all Contributing Scholars begin writing by answering the following question as their first post: Why are you committed to building relationships with those from different religious or ethical traditions? Their answer to this question is below. Interfaith engagement can be more than just a goal for emerging religious leaders, it can be the path itself. I have been shaped at key moments on my journey towards becoming a rabbi by encounters with people from other religious traditions, and at each turn I have only been enriched by them.

Date: 2014-02-03
Title: Newsletter - Parliament Expands Young Adult U.N. Challenge
Details: The Interfaith Young Adult Challenge will award two young adults selected the chance to serve as the 2014 Parliament of the World’s Religions Youth Delegates at the United Nations through the United Nations Department of Public Information NGO body. This contest is now open to all young adults living in the North America aged 18 through 24.  Applications must be received by February 12, 2014.

Date: 2014-01-29
Title: Eblast - You are Invited to 3 Sacred Space Interfaith Community Events
Details: Suzanne Morgan, Sacred Spaces Ambassador of the Parliament of the World's Religions, invites you to three interfaith community-building programs happening this February at Fourth Presbyterian Church: Through March 3: Suzanne Morgan's Religious Architecture Model Collection Exhibit  February 14: Suzanne Morgan Talk "Congregations Seen Through Their Sacred Spaces"  February 16: "Sharing Sacred Text: Messages of Peace and Non-Violence"

Date: 2014-01-27
Title: Eblast - "Why I Keep Coming Back, or: Hooked" and other stories
Details: This past semester, I completed an ethnographic project on a Sacred Harp singing group in the Boston area, motivated by one central question: what is it about this old-timey style of music with its archaic language, conservative Protestant theology, and downright depressing subject material that has managed to hook a bunch of largely progressive folks of all ages, many of whom have left evangelical Christianity behind and some of whom aren't even Christian at all?  And so, yes, I did my good participant-observer ethnographer anthropologist rigamarole, but really what I wanted to know was-- why do I keep coming back?

Date: 2014-01-24
Title: Eblast - YOUTH CONTEST TODAY: Become a Parliament Rep at UN!
Details: Is it your dream to become a diplomat? Do you have both the poise and guts necessary to stand up for peace, justice, and sustainability in our world? Do you believe in the principles of a global ethic? Do you believe that faith-based and secular partnerships can achieve positive social change? If this sounds like you, an interfaith savvy young adult between the ages of 18 - 24, living in the United States, The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions would like to hear from YOU.

Date: 2014-01-20
Title: Eblast - On Genuine Interfaith Dialogue and Job Opportunities
Details: Interfaith dialogue is typically a tame affair: good liberals know that religious beliefs are to be shared and celebrated, but not criticized and certainly not ridiculed -- at least in polite company. In the real world, interfaith relations aren't so well-behaved.  Take Jon Stewart: this Jewish comedian makes some of his best jokes at the expense of conservative Christians, mocking them for their inconsistency, their hypocrisy, sometimes their manifest absurdity.  

Date: 2014-01-23
Title: Newsletter - 10 New Trustees Perking Up Parliament in 2014
Details: The Board of Trustees of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions is announcing the election of ten new trustees. Ushering a new era for the Parliament, this year’s board comprises 19 denominations of 11 global religious, faith, and spiritual traditions, constituting a more robust 27-member body. News is spreading about the elections of returning trustee emeriti (who have served in the past and chosen to return), including Dr. Kusumita Pederson who is currently co-chair of the Interfaith Center of New York, Andras Corban Arthen, founding and spiritual director of the EarthSpirit community, and Swami Varadananda of the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago, who was among the three incorporating trustees of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Date: 2014-01-13
Title: Eblast - Recently on State of Formation
Details: As a seminarian doing my field education, I had the honor of preaching on the first Sunday of Advent (December 1) and the first Sunday of Christmas (December 29). The scripture readings appointed for the day led me to the theme of each sermon. At the beginning of Advent, we focused on Pilgrimage. At the beginning of the season of Christmas, we focused on Poetry: Names and Images of God.

Date: 2014-01-06
Title: Eblast - Job Opportunities and Call for Submissions