September 2023 ~ Ministerial Miscellany Rev. Annie Kopko

When I was in Chicago 2 weeks ago for the Parliament of World Religions, one thing that surprised me was the huge number of spiritual groups and communities, including many seminaries, that almost seemed like separate Religions on their own, and yet were obviously part of larger groups as well. Some examples of these which I would like to find out more about are ProSocial Spirituality (with Wayne Teasdale’s work), Greenfaith, a movement for climate justice, and Passageways to Elderhood Alliance.  To me there was an acknowledgement that we are all part of one human family expressing our spirituality in different ways, getting together to share ideas that may not ever be shared as directly-face to face- at any other time. People were very welcoming to one another, openly sharing what beliefs and expressions were working for their spiritual and physical lives. It was especially interesting to meet people from all over the world.

I was glad that the sharing was in the spirit of Interfaith, and that this word was used widely, along with Interspiritual. The program book states that the “Parliament seeks to promote interreligious harmony, rather than unity”.  This approach respects each tradition as it is. I felt this was very much in line with our belief here at the Interfaith Center for Spiritual Growth.

The first Parliament in 1893 in Chicago is considered to be the founding event of the movement toward Interfaith, gathering people of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions.  It took another 100 years for the second Parliament to convene in 1993. This 9th Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Chicago welcomed 7000+ attendees from 95 countries, representing 210 traditions.

The theme of this meeting was “A Call to Conscience, A Call to Action”. The vision of the Parliament of the World’s Religions is a just, peaceful, and sustainable world. I will share much more about the parliament later.

There are some really great events coming up for our spiritual community. You will find more details on our website:  

September 9th, 7-9 pm, Cafe 704 features the Celtic group Nutshell, featuring 6 voices with many instruments including Linda Teaman, Tom Voiles, Glenn Simon, Susie Lorand, Josh Burdick and John Lloyd.  

September 10th, Marianne Williamson will deliver a message entitled “The Spirit of America” at our Sunday Service. Come early for a good seat. 

Sending Blessings for a great month,   Annie

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