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Newsletter from the Parliament of Religions. 2011, Oct. 21

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The Parliament Newsletter
Juvenile Prisoners Locking Our Children Away
Sermon for Erev Yom Kippur
by Rabbi Brant Rosen

Cedric Cal was born to a single mother, in a family that lived below the poverty line on Chicago’s West Side. His father had left the family, married another woman and had very little to do with him. His mother Olivia worked constantly, doing her best to keep her family together. As the oldest of four, Cedric became the de facto father of the family and was entrusted with protecting his younger brother, who was legally blind.

Click here to read the full article

Diwali takes place on Oct 26, 2011.
Diwali Illuminates
Global Pluralism

by Anju Bhargava

The festival of Deepavali, popularly known as Diwali, literally means a row (avali) of lights (deepa). In essence it is the celebration of the awakening and awareness of the Inner Light. This Inner Light, though not seen outside, outshines all darkness by removing all obstacles and dispelling all ignorance. When this inner realization blossoms then there is universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things. It awakens the individual to one's true nature, not in the physical, but as the unchanging, infinite, and transcendent reality; the Sat (Truth), Chit (Consciousness) and Ananda (Inner Joy). This, for the Hindus, is the very goal of life. Monotheistic Hinduism’s original name is “Sanatana Dharma” or Eternal Order.

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Sharing Sacred Spaces in Chicago
by Susan Schwendener

Chicago-area religious and spiritual communities are gathering this fall through May 2012 in eight downtown places of worship. The program is intended to foster a better understanding of each others' traditions and to begin to build a larger sense of community.

Sharing Sacred Spaces” is a project of the Sacred Space dimension of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, a group focused on building harmony among the world's religious and spiritual communities in order to create a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.

Suzanne Morgan, a retired architect with expertise in religious architecture, is the force behind this project. She believes that a space becomes sacred through the meaning it has for its community. Sharing that meaning can reduce social tension and cultural misunderstanding and build bridges of trust and hope.

  Trustee Corner
Sitting in the Heart of the World
Ellen Grace O'Brian by Ellen Grace O'Brian

As a practitioner of yoga, I was aware of the Parliament of the World’s Religions as the watershed interreligious event that opened the door to yoga in the West through Swami Vivekananda’s dynamic presence at the first convening in 1893. What I didn’t know was that beginning in 1993, this powerful global event was now occurring approximately every five years and was open to everyone with an interest in the interreligious movement. Although I had heard about the Parliaments in Chicago (1993) and South Africa (1999), it wasn’t clear to me how to participate and that it was something that could so profoundly affect my life and my community.

Parliament Webinar Series
Native American Earth-Based Spirituality

Christopher Peters
November 9, 2011
10:00am U.S. Central Time 

Christopher Peters
President and CEO Register Now
Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development

Christopher Peters (Pohlik-lah/Karuk) was born and raised on his people’s territories in northwestern California. Chris is President and CEO of Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development – a Native-led Indigenous Peoples public foundation. For more than 35 years his work has focused on grassroots social justice organizing, protecting sacred sites, working for holistic community renewal, rebuilding traditional economies, and supporting cultural revitalization efforts. Learn More...

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Sharing Sacred Spaces

This fall, religious and spiritual communities are coming together in partnership with the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (CPWR) to visit one another’s Sacred Spaces, a program designed to engage religious diversity and widen participation in interreligious activity across the Chicago metropolitan area. Communities are asked to sign a pledge of solidarity, promising to stand shoulder to shoulder with people of all faiths in the face of religiously motivated hatred and violence.

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