Louise Todd Cope passed away peacefully in her sleep on February 2, 2020. She was an enthusiastic volunteer who gave URI a boost at its inception and countless hours of care and service through the years.
A thoughtful, compassionate woman, brimming with caring curiosity and bubbling with intelligence and fun, is how I remember Louise. I met Louise at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Capetown, South Africa in 1999. She was sitting amid moving throngs of people, calmly creating ribbons on which people were invited to write their prayers. Multi-colored bands, carrying individual prayer ribbons made by hundreds of people, transformed the conference lobby into a place of warmth, spirit and hope.
When Louise heard about URI, she enthusiastically jumped onboard. She initiated a group called Tablecloth. Her handmade tablecloth, complete with little pockets sewn at each person’s place, inspired dinner conversation. The host would invite 6-10 people from different faith backgrounds to share a meal together. The host would set out Louise’s tablecloth, placing a special question invoking diverse perspectives in each pocket of the cloth. For dinner conversation, rich dialogue emerged from reading and responding to each question. New friendships formed.
Through the years, Louise volunteered with URI in myriad ways, but her URI legacy gift was a piece of fabric art she sewed with love and care called “Indra’s net.” Each jewel in the net represented a URI Cooperation Circle (which is a large or small self-organizing group of people from diverse backgrounds). Each group pursues URI’s shared purpose in their own creative way. Each Cooperation Circle gives its unique light to the whole and receives the whole within itself. URI’s map of the world, with the southern hemisphere on top, indicated that it was time to serve the world in new “upside down” ways that bring benefit to all.
Louise’s fabric art depicting Indra’s Net hangs in URI’s Global Support Office today. URI is deeply grateful that Louise brought her brilliant art and generous heart to URI. In ways best known to volunteers who give often in unseen ways, Louise helped URI shine like a true cosmic net of light in service to peace, justice, and healing of the Earth.