Inspired by the call of Pope Francis and his friend, Rabbi Avraham Skorka, to unite in peace, Julio Avruj of Buenos Aires, Argentina helped to organize one of URI’s newest Cooperation Circles: De la Unidad, la Reconciliación y Sanación (Unity, Reconciliation and Healing).
Of his new CC’s name, Julio says, “I like the name of the Cooperation Circle, I think it is round, and being guided by spiritual values is key.” He believes that being able to collaborate, share and listen to other experiences is also key — it is the path to the awareness of unity from the spiritual footprint.
This CC is made up of 12 Argentines of Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, New Unitarian Universalist and Quaker faith. All had already been working together for interfaith peacebuilding for six years with the Peace Council of Buenos Aires, and has ties to “Conciencia sin Barreras” (Consciousness Without Barriers) that dates back to 1984.
Julio is no stranger to the work of URI. He has developed a friendship with URI CC Support Coordinator Maria Eugenia Crespo, also based in Buenos Aires and his son, Ciro Gabriel Avruj, is a Global Council Trustee for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Of his father’s CC, Ciro Gabriel says:
“I feel very happy of the openness of URI to forms of interpreting spirituality that go beyond religions. De la Unidad, la Reconciliación y la Sanación will be a great contribution to the flourishing of the culture of Peace. Recognizing that we are spiritual beings and responsible of the wellbeing of the big family that all beings form, the healing of the world is in our consciousness.”
This CC hopes to spread their ongoing interfaith social work beyond Buenos Aires, reaching inland provinces such as Tierra del Fuego and San Luis. Projects include meditation workshops, seminars, art events, conferences and forums.
Enoé Texier, Regional Coordinator of Latin America & The Caribbean, says that Unity, Reconciliation and Healing is unique because, “Their work covers a broad spectrum: children’s education, economy and the common welfare, religious freedom, health and social services, sharing indigenous wisdom, spiritual depth, conflict resolution, empowerment and women’s rights.”
Unidad, la Reconciliación y Sanación CC recently worked on “Conciencia Sin Barreras,” a seminar and workshop to create interfaith understanding through dialogue and cultural exchange.
“As a Regional Coordinator I am also interested in continuing to work with them (Unidad) and the Peace Council of Buenos Aires in “Ronda de Paz (Peace Round),” Enoé says. “We will be promoting and inviting all Latin America & The Caribbean CCs to join us in the future.”