Earlier this week, URI partner the Council for a Parliament for the World’s Religions announced that its signature conference would be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, US in October of 2015. The Council has not held its gathering in the US for 22 years.
At a press conference in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, URI North America Chair Sande Hart joined the Council’s Chair Imam Malik Mujahid, Executive Director Dr. Mary Nelson, and Andrew Himes of the Charter for Compassion International to give the much-anticipated announcement. Dr. Arun Gandhi, Founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, was also in attendance.
“I am as proud as I could be to have represented the URI at the press conference to announce this great news to the world,” Ms. Hart said. “I believe in the critical need to work shoulder to shoulder with any organization whose values, ethics and vision promote and embody our own.”
Attendance, Ms. Hart says, allowed her the opportunity to live into URI’s mission of “promoting enduring daily interfaith cooperation.”
“I expect this parliament will impress upon our interfaith world the critical need to come together in unprecedented unified action to heal all that we consider sacred: our climate and clean water, nuclear disarmament, our women and children, the imbalance of wealth and poverty, food security, restorative justice, etc.,” she said.
This year’s Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions gathering gives faith and community leaders a unique opportunity to come together and share new models of work through hundreds of workshops and plenaries. This will allow them not only to build new relationships, but also to learn about the needs and patterns of interfaith cooperation outside of the immediate scope of their work.
Interested interfaith leaders are encouraged to submit proposals for workshops by visiting www.parliamentofreligions.org. They are also encouraged to take advantage of dramatically reduced ticket prices before September 30th.
“I expect people will not just come for the wonder and awe of being in community with thousands of diverse people, but will also come with their sleeves rolled up and ready to have difficult conversations and make commitments to working together in smart and dynamic ways,” she Hart said.
At the Salt Lake City press conference, Ms. Hart said:
"The Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions is a safe space. And when we're in a safe space, what wants to emerge is a sense of wonderment where curiosity replaces fear and judgment. And because we're in that safe space, that place of wonder, we're more likely to understand ‘the other.’ And when we understand ‘the other,’ we're more likely to trust them, and isn't that what our world needs right now?"