Interfaith Vision of Hope

As part of the Interfaith Community, we at the Temple of Understanding believe that we have a responsibility to share our vision of hope to heal the world.  I see racism as a disease that has been used for thousands of years by power hungry individuals to dehumanize another people, culture, religious following, skin color, etc. in order to take over their land and destroy them. This is the time for the Interfaith Community to stand together and not just oppose racism, denial of religious freedom, and oppression of the poor in all its ugly forms, but to present to the world a vision of hope, a vision of an alternative way of caring about each other and the planet. 
Photo credit: Alison Van Dyk

As an Interfaith Community, we are coming together  to call on religious leaders and actors to work in concert to promote a shared vision of a world where racism in all its forms is condemned; nuclear weapons are abolished; alternative energy is promoted; local organic farms and co-ops are supported; women, especially women of color, are respected, not abused.    
Read the full statement by Temple of Understanding Executive Director Alison Van Dyk. 

On October 16th and 17th 2020, the Temple of Understanding and Marble Collegiate Church are hosting a virtual Forum2020 event that includes the leaders of the major interfaith organizations, spiritual leaders and environmental actors.  We seek to strengthen and unify the interfaith response to the climate emergency. An interfaith prayer service and concert will lift our spirits.  Save the dates!
Our colleagues at Religions for Peace, Parliament of World's Religions, United Religions Initiative and the Interfaith Center of New York have held an online seminar, Addressing Systematic Violence Against the African American Community, and released a statement, This Perilous Moment.

"We write together and in one voice, with urgency, as people of faith and as religious and spiritual leaders that represent the diverse faith traditions of United States of America. We are Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Indigenous, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Taoist, Unitarian Universalist, Zoroastrian, and many others.
Our words come in an hour of peril informed by a sense of crisis. Racial injustice, deep inequities, hate speech, brutality, and authoritarian power converge in a vulnerable moment when millions are infected and affected by a global virus that we have yet to find either a vaccine for or any medication to deliver us from. This endangers the fabric of our society.
Recent recurrent violence against African Americans made inescapably public has brought to a head long - stewing, justified, and righteous anger. 
Our wicked scourge of discrimination and racism is structural, systemic, systematic, and institutional. We live with its legacy daily in a myriad of forms, seen and unseen.
We soberly own up to the fact that our religious communities have been complicit for far too long. We have upheld in far too many ways the false tenets that enable racism to continue in our society."
Join us on Facebook Live Thursday June 18 at 2 pm (EST) for "Getting Under My Skin: Anti-Racism 201 for Faith Leaders" or register to join us with Zoom.

As an educational organization, the Temple of Understanding suggests WBUR's
5 Podcasts to Listen To If You Really Want To Know About Race In America

Chief Arvol Looking Horse and World Peace & Prayer Day - 
June 21
Photo credit: Alison Van Dyk

Chief Arvol Looking Horse invites everyone to join from their own sacred sites as well as their churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and other places of prayer for World Peace & Prayer Day, Solstice, June 21, Livestreaming June 18-21, 2020.
"In this present time there is a lot of anger, hatred and racism. We need to create change in all our lives and respect one another's ways of prayer. We know in our hearts that good will always overcome if we stand in unity.
These are now the crossroads: either be faced with global disasters, earth changes, climate changes, different sicknesses causing tears from our relatives eyes - or we can unite spiritually, globally - All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer.
It is time all People understand Mother Earth is the Source of life, not a resource."
Hear the wisdom of Chief Arvol Looking Horse and his wife Paula Looking Horse in the recording of the recent conversation hosted by Tribal Link.

Highlights from UN 2020 World Oceans Day
Photo credit: Alison Van Dyk

Hope comes in many forms, including these inspiring  "Spotlight Solutions for the Ocean" featured at the UN's recent 2020 World Ocean Day. The whole program will be online soon.
We create a bubble screen by pumping air through a tube with holes in it, which is located on the bottom of the waterway. The Bubble Barrier creates an upwards thrust, which brings waste to the surface of the water. By placing it diagonally in the waterway, the Bubble Barrier uses the natural current to guide the plastic to the catchment system at the riverside. Both ships and fish can pass the Bubble Barrier, but plastic will be stopped.
Restoring coral reef and coastal ecosystems... collaborating with local stakeholders from grassroots organizations to the private sector, to governmental bodies to achieve long-lasting results.
Clean water desalinated by renewable energy from ocean waves.
We deploy our robotic fleet to explore and document deep-water ecosystems in support of their conservation and management.
Towards integrated and inclusive ocean governance, mirroring the connectivity and capacity of the ocean.
Provides "mission therapy" for former combat divers by retraining, retooling and deploying them on missions of conservation, preservation and restoration, uniting them with marine scientists and conservationists.

Human Rights and Transnational Corporations
Please sign on to this statement by the Treaty Alliance  about the treaty to protect human rights being negotiated at the United Nations. "We call on states to actively participate in upcoming negotiations of the international treaty to ensure protection of human rights from the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises."

Mass Poor People's Assembly & Moral March on Washington: a Digital Justice Gathering - June 20
"On June 20th, we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation's history. On June 20, 2020 we will lift the voices and faces of poverty in the midst of pandemic for a massive, historic online gathering that will embolden us, strengthen us, and prepare us to fight for the kind of society we so badly need and deserve.

Will you rise with us? What will you give and do as we prepare for this generationally transformative gathering on June 20, 2020 to speak to the heart and soul of this nation?"


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