Parliament of Religions
Parliament of Religions Calls for Action
Parliaments of Religions are always exciting, inspiring and confusing events. At the most recent in Salt Lake City there were some 8,000 people from over 90 countries and of a great variety of religious or spiritual traditions – so you never know where the next conversation may take you. There are most of the time, some twenty different programs to choose from, as well as exhibitions to visit. Mary and I have been to all of the five modern Parliaments, so it was great to have our granddaughter Helen Hobin with us to help us see the amazing event with fresh eyes. Together we arranged a multi-media morning devotion called, “Peace in Our Hearts, Peace in Our World.”
The focus was on what religions can do together to “Reclaim the Heart of Our Humanity.” As the Dalai Lama said in a message, what is needed is “action not just words.” Participants were invited to make personal pledges to help reduce the damaging impact of climate change on the most vulnerable people in the world; to challenge the widening wealth gap and to provide for refugee: and to commit ourselves to do all we can to resist “hate speech, violence and war” – and especially bombing and terrorism targeted on innocent civilians.
A highlight of the Parliament was a concert of sacred music in the Tabernacle of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints of Jesus Christ (M0rmons). The children’s choir, with youngsters from most of the many faith communities in Salt Lake City, inspired everyone with their hope that a new world is possible, but that “only we can be the change.” Indeed, music can often unite, where words divide. One of our Jewish friends, who is hoping to make an interfaith musical for Broadway, played us some of her songs
We also had a chance to revisit the beautiful Centre of Thanksgiving in Dallas, which has a wonderful window by John Hutton. Thanksgiving not only reminds us of our blessings but increases our compassion for others. Marcus also gave a lecture on the importance of interfaith work at the University of Dallas.
Mary and Marcus Braybrooke