Spread Our Wings 2017 – Denver, CO
I am excited to report about a large event we have been planning for the last year and a half; a Regional Pre-Parliament of World’s Religions event: ‘Spreading Our Wings’ with ‘Best of Humanity’ Community. It was held on July 21-22 at Denver University and went phenomenally well. 600 people attended in person and 1300 watched online (you can watch on Vimeo and Ustream).
Our event started off with a Women’s focus and touched on many ways Interfaith Peace efforts are helping women. 3 large women’s groups in the U.S. and Canada came together in unity in the last year to present at this event and serve on a panel on how to foster inter-spiritual dialogue and sisterhood encouraging fellowship in local areas.
Victor Kazanjian: Executive Director of URI- United Religions Initiative of the U.N.; Barbara Marx Hubbard: Founder of Foundation For Conscious Evolution, Futurist and Author of many books; Bettina Gray of North American Interfaith Network; David Karchere, Gary Goodhue, and Rachel Morrison presented from Sunrise Ranch Spiritual Intentional Community and Emissaries of Divine Light; Gard Jameson, Tim Hobbs, and I of the Urantia Book Community and Best of Humanity Community/ Local Denver Interfaith Spiritual Unity Group, Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots group, Earth Guardians representatives, Davin Infinity of Designing The New World, Dr Kurt Johnson author of The Coming Interspiritual Age and Interspiritual Network; Angie Thurston of ‘How We Gather’ Project from Harvard Divinity School; Chaplain Gary Brower of Denver University and Interfaith Advocates and Council, and Ismail Demirkan (Mosaic Multicultural Foundation) and Patricia Madsen (Abrahamic Initiative), and Interfaith Youth Core reps presented. Everyone attending and presenting was very inspired, moved and engaged.
Tzadik Rosenberg-Greenberg, CEO of EarthWalk created a human Labyrinth, Ras I Ray of the Until That Day organization recited Haile Selassie’s (Rastafari movement) speech he gave to the United Nations in 1963, and Pato Banton with the NOW Generation Band, and Colorado Sikh Community held musical performances. All of our speakers did TED-talk style speeches with slides and short presentations.
Jeff Wattles, Ohio Kent State Professor of Comparative Religion Studies, Ethics, and philosophy, Tom Choquette of Truthseekers, Kaye Cooper of Parenting For Values Program, and myself, with Best of Humanity’s Families of L.O.V.E. (Living Our Values Everyday) Program shared our work in living lives of service, and teaching values programs to adults, youth, families, and parents.
Many Interfaith leaders guided attendees on skills and education needed to help foster thriving fellowship in Interfaith communities. Bettina Gray of North American Interfaith Network since 1985, shared an amazing wealth of knowledge, inspirational historical background and personal stories from her many years of Interfaith service work. Victor Kazanjian: Executive Director of URI- United Religions Initiative of the U.N. gave an inspirational speech on the progressive growth of the United Religions Initiative. He talked about how they were set up: Not like a new organization, but like a living organism, which is growing organically around the world. He also talked about cooperation circles and their unifying work and many other amazing accomplishments that are happening through the United religions initiative.
There appears to be a real spiritual renaissance, within which many leaders and people want to be part of something larger, yet still have a lot of love and respect for the cultures and religions they have come from and remain a part of. This is incredibly beautiful to witness, and I spoke about this and about much of the work of the Parliament of World’s Religions. We showed the highlights video from the 2015 Parliament of World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, USA. Then we showed the invitation video to the next Parliament of World’s Religions in 2018 in Toronto, Canada, encouraging all of our attendees to join us in Toronto next year. Parliament 2018 should be another very exciting and inspiring event as Interfaith Leaders come together for the largest Interfaith event in the world. These events inspire leaders/attendees to come together to talk about solutions and commit to working together on important causes that create a greater positive impact on our planet and people.
At this recent “Spreading Our Wings” Conference, we talked quite a bit about how people can really only gather around bigger change if we incorporate loving values, treat each other well, and hear all sides with value and respect. There are many, many values-based-tools and trainings available that corporations and organizations are starting to use with great results. Small Giants and Game Changers 500 are two examples of organizations looking to help support these groups with implementing values-based-tools. Many of these are essentially spiritual values and are often used in the Interfaith community to help groups learn how to work together better.
A growing sector of society, known as “Conscious Community” or “Transformational Community,” talked about helping bring about a “New Earth” through new ways of living and treating each other, and building new thriving, abundant social systems. This community is a very spiritual community but does not necessarily identify with one religion or another. Several representatives also spoke about advancements in Whole-systems community design, Cities of The Future, new forms of social networking, Cryptocurrencies and Meta-currencies, and emergent innovative solutions now happening on the planet. Davin Infinity, of the ‘Designing The New Earth’ project, spoke on some of this, as did leaders from Sunrise Ranch Intentional Community, one of the largest and longest standing Intentional Communities in the country. Sunrise Ranch is home to the Arise Music Festival, one of the largest, annual, conscious, transformational music festivals on the planet, where people gather for transformational experiences and solutions’ summits. We also spoke about these new solutions from the Best of Humanity Community’s standpoint. Some of the attendees experienced the creation of a Human Labyrinth creation with Earthwalk leader, Tzadik Rosenberg-Greenberg. This was a Labyrinth made of people that individuals walked through and received blessings, touch, and eye-gazing for healing and awakening to their true potential and to feel more acceptance into humanity as a whole. We also experienced synchronized meditations in connection with Unify.org and Insight Timer Meditation App with leaders of One Becoming One Ministry and Erik Lawyer and Adam Apollo, of Superluminal Systems and Guardian Alliance Academy, who did a Guardian Alliance Djedi training in connection as well.
Leaders from The Urantia Book Community played a large part in this Pre-Parliament Event as well. We want to thank The Urantia Book Fellowship, Urantia Foundation, Urantia Association International and United States, and Urantia University Institute, UrantiaNow and Urantia Book Network (UBN) for all their help and support. The Urantia Book is a spiritual book published in 1955 in the United States. It doesn’t have a religion based around it, but leaders spoke about how the book describes a new type of spirituality coming to our planet, where all people in the future form a brotherhood and recognize a spark of Spirit within them that is equal and helps unite them in Spiritual Unity and form more of a brotherhood of all humanity regardless of their Religion or Cultural background. This intention aligned beautifully with many of the other speaker’s topics at this event.
In the words of Ta’Kaiya Blaney, from the Sliammon First Nation who is 12 years old, and spoke at the last Parliament of World’s Religions,
“I feel that as humans, as participants and beings that walk upon this earth, it is our responsibility to help the earth. We all need to take steps towards a clean and healthy future regarding animals, humans, plants, and the various ecosystems. Our earth is our home. In my culture it’s a fact, and an understanding of life, that everything is connected, and we were put on this earth to be stewards and caretakers of the environment. In my culture, it’s a teaching to do more than connect the dots, to see the picture as a whole. I feel that advocating, and speaking at mere conferences isn’t enough. Actions speak louder than words.”
This conference was all about Action and the many ways we are taking action, within ourselves first, to be the most loving and consciously aware people we can be every day, then treating the people we are closest to the best we possibly can, then taking action locally and in the greater networks of the world. We can change the world for the better and are doing it together already. We have faith in a better world coming for all people and we will keep working until we get there. Thank you for all who attended or watched or participated in our event! Much love to you!
With great love and gratitude,
Miranda Clendening, Parliament of World’s Religions Ambassador
Pre-Parliament Spreading Our Wings Coordinator Denver, Colorado 2017