The Ambassador Advisory Council (AAC) is made up of Parliament Ambassadors who dedicate their time, effort, and professional experience to develop and improve the Ambassador program.
Each month Ambassadors will be introduced to a member of the AAC. This month we interviewed Rev. Dr. Peggy Price of Huntington Beach, California, USA.
Meet Rev. Dr. Peggy Price! Peggy where do you live?
My permanent residence is in Huntington Beach, California, but we are temporarily living in Kapa'a, Kauai in Hawaii
Hawaii, that's exciting! Tell us a little bit about yourself Peggy?
I'm a happily married mother of four children and two stepchildren; all are grown. I am a proud grandmother of five young men and two young women. They are the most important people in my world.
My work is as an ordained minister with Centers for Spiritual Living, a transdenominational spiritual community that is part of the New Thought movement. I have been Senior Minister to two different congregations in the last 20 years, and now serve as Minister Emeritus of the Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living. I'm also serving as a visiting minister for the Center for Spiritual Living, Kauai. I love ministry, and especially appreciate the centers I serve because we are open, affirming and inclusive of all people. We believe that each person's beliefs are to be respected. I've been involved in Interfaith work for a very long time, and consider it to be the heart of my ministry.
As for hobbies, I practice Yoga, and I enjoy painting with watercolor and acrylics. I also love to travel.
You've spent your life working in interfaith, what is some interreligious work you are engaged in?
Number one is working with the Ambassador Advisory Council for the Parliament. I am a founding member and past president of the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, and also participate with several other Interfaith organizations, including the Interfaith Round Table of Kauai. I'm also part of SARAH, and Women of Spirit and Faith.
My personal mission statement is to serve as a bridge of peace between people of all faiths.
That's beautiful Peggy, what do you most enjoy about working with people from faiths outside of your own?
I'm always curious about how people of different faiths regard their Higher Power, how they practice, and how their faith impacts the manner in which they live their lives. Working side by side with Interfaith colleagues allows us to discover our commonalities, learn new ways of seeing the world around us, share the values that make us strong, and often get to enjoy some really good food! My life has been greatly enriched by the friendships I have built. We truly care about each other, pray for each other, and feel deep affection for one another. My life would not be as fulfilling without my Interfaith community.
Interfaith work is very fulfilling but it does come with its challenges, what do you find most challenging in your interfaith effort?
Dispelling misinformation with people who have been indoctrinated to call those who are "different " as wrong. So many have been infused with fear, some from their families, others from their religious leaders, many from the media. I look for a little window where I might be able to let some truth shine in. It takes listening and patience. People didn't learn bigotry overnight, so turning their fearful thoughts into understanding takes time, too. Over the years I've invited many people of diverse traditions to visit my congregations and meet with them in order to promote understanding.
And how did you come to involved with the Parliament?
I was in ministerial training during the 1993 Parliament, and wanted to go. It wasn't possible then, but I made it a personal goal. I finally succeeded in 2009 when we were in Melbourne. I was part of a contingent of people from the Association for Global New Thought. We apparently had the largest delegation of any religious group that year. It was quite an accomplishment for such a small organization. I served on a panel that year on " The Common Enterprise of Peacebuilding". I was delighted when the 2015 Parliament was in Salt Lake, as it allowed a large contingent of people from our Interfaith Council as well as my church to attend. I also served on a panel for Ambassadors that year.
Why did you choose to become an Ambassador and a member of the AAC?
Prior to the 2009 Parliament, I hosted a pre-Parliament event at my church. Ruth Broyde Sharone spoke and invited me to be an Ambassador. At that time, there was no formal organization of Ambassadors, but I joined with the others in Melbourne. When the Ambassador program was formalized in 2012, I signed up immediately and was invited to serve on the Advisory Council.
What is the most important thing you have learned through your involvement with the Parliament?
I've learned that when 10,000 people of every different belief system gather together, there is a great possibility for peace. We show the world that we can and do get along. We set an example of a powerful vision for how the world can be.
And what is the most rewarding thing you have experienced with the Parliament?
Making friends with people from all over the world ... feeling part of something so much bigger than any one of us, and knowing that we all want a world that works for all people everywhere.
You've been deeply involved in a number of Parliament events, what has been your favorite moment?
There are so many. In Melbourne in 2009 it was hearing His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak and interact with the Aborigine Woman who served as the representative of Australia at the opening of the plenaries.
In 2015 I loved the Langar meals that were served to everyone at the Salt Lake City Parliament. Seeing hundreds of people seated on the floor enjoying delicious food, and sharing rich and meaningful conversations - being served by the Sikh community was the most generous demonstration of service I'd ever witnessed. I still think about that with deep gratitude.
In both Parliaments, there were so many moments of inspiration from the world renowned speakers who informed us and encouraged us to continue our work long after the events were over.
Thank you, Peggy, for sharing with us. What would you tell someone who hasn't attended a Parliament and is maybe thinking about it?
If you are reading this and have never attended a Parliament, I enthusiastically encourage you to be in Toronto in November 2018. If there is anything that will give you hope for the future of our world, it is joining with thousands of loving, compassionate human beings from all over the planet in a beautiful expression of community.