Global Interfaith Made Visible. Last week, the URI (United Religions Initiative) brought its Global Council and Global Staff to the Bay Area for a week-long meeting. They came from over 25 countries representing over 600 Cooperation Circles and hundreds of initiatives – peacebuilding, saving the environment, stopping religiously motivated violence, addressing poverty and women’s issues and so much more. The Interfaith Center was honored to host the welcoming ceremony for the Council in the Presidio Chapel on Sunday, June 22nd. Gathering in this sacred space, the Council members lit candles, prayed, sang, and celebrated the work URI has been doing to bring people around the world together to address local need for peacemaking, environmental action, empowering women and training youth.
ICP and the URI have worked closely together over the years. Many of the early organizational meetings for URI were held at ICP and 9 members of ICP’s Board have served on the URI Global Council, more than from any other organization. Don Frew, ICP Treasurer, currently serves as a URI Council member. The next evening, ICP Managing Director Linda Crawford and Board Members Rita Semel and Andrew Kille joined Don, the other Council members, Global staff, and local friends for the opening banquet, held in the Mission Gardens at Santa Clara University.
Sitting in the shadow of the adobe buildings and wall that were built in 1822, one could not help wondering what those early missionaries would have made of this gathering of friends and co-workers from around the world, committed to working across boundaries of religion, culture, and geography to make this world a better place for all.
Don Frew has chronicled the events of the week at the COG Interfaith Reports blog; it’s well worth checking out. You can also find photos of the welcoming ceremony on the ICP website.
This is the archive for the Bay Area Interfaith Connect, the former newsletter for the Interfaith Center at the Presidio .