The Abbey of HOPE initially organized as a URI Cooperation Circle, as we loved the Principles, Preamble and Purpose and were particularly drawn to the idea of organizing like a circle and not a hierarchy. While we have been hard at work creating and living into our identity, we recently began returning to our URI roots to draw on wisdom and activities of other CCs and highlight our affiliation.
We have been building momentum and providing a consistent presence in our community and have recently found added energy and attention from the community specifically as a result of our URI identity. Being organized as something bigger than a group of well-meaning interfaith people strikes a chord within the broader faith community and community at large. People who may not have embraced interfaith in general or have been welcoming to the Abbey seem to recognize URI for its mandate and principles and allow space for dialogue, where they may not have been space before.
We have always embraced the identity and are grateful for the richness it brings!