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Walking the Interfaith Talk (SoCal’s Grand Parliament Reunion)

Written by Ruth Broyde Sharone
February 17, 2016

Inspired by the Salt Lake City Parliament and eager to move into more collaborative ventures with government officials and ecological organizations because of a sense of crisis, the Southern California Parliament of the World’s Religions (SCCPWR) recently held a Grand Parliament Reunion on Jan 31. They also launched a new initiative called SEEDS OF PEACE: LA LIGHTS THE WAY, scheduled for 2017.
On hand to speak and lend their support were: Marianne Williamson and Mallika Chopra, keynote speakers at the Salt Lake City Parliament, Eugene R. Shirley from Pando Populus, Susana Reyes from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Sustainability Committee and Councilman Paul Koretz. They unanimously offered their future support to SCCPWR’s broad-based initiative that would link the local interfaith community with government and ecologically oriented organizations.
Held at the IMAN CENTER, both a mosque for the Iranian Muslim community and a hub for multiple interfaith activities in Los Angeles, the Grand Parliament Reunion was also designed to create a forum for Parliament participants to share their individual experiences from Salt Lake City where some 10,000 interfaith activists gathered last October.
A heavy rain and a sudden power outage could not dampen the spirits or the wattage of the participants at the IMAN Center. Candles were lit and the show went on. The mikes didn’t work and a video of the Salt Lake City Parliament that had been prepared couldn’t be screened, but the participants agreed it was an inspiring event that introduced fresh ideas of how they might take their interfaith commitment and merge it with greater ecological awareness in their own lives. Music was provided by Peace Troubadour Stephen Longfellow Fiske; Emma’s Revolution with singers Pat Humphries and Sande O and drummer Eli Lester; and by Sura Das and Friends from the International Society of Krishna Consciousness.

Event Images

Participants offer candlelight testimonials of their Parliament experience in Salt Lake City

Executive Director of Pando Populus, Eugene R. Shirley, Jr. describes the planned Pando City Hubs.

SCCPWR Co-Chairs Joseph Prabhu (l) and Ruth Broyde Sharone (r) flank LA Councilman Paul Koretz

Susana Reyes from LA Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainability Committee gives participants an update on the mayor’s new ecological initiatives

Rev. Bill Lesher, a Chair Emeritus of the global Parliament’s Board of Trustees and his wife, Jean, attend the Grand Parliament Reunion