[Religion is hard work.] Its rituals are designed to effect a profound change within us. A religious ritual should be a transformative event—it can never be a matter of simply going through the motions, however, piously. Holiness demands that we change our lives and, indeed, our very selves. The sacrificer spent months in an uncomfortable hut, undergoing demanding and demeaning rites before he was permitted to perform the temple sacrifice, which itself required intense concentration. The rituals challenged participants at a profound level, insisting that in some ways the rites properly observed would change their minds.
~Karen Armstrong, Sacred Nature: Restoring Our Ancient Bond with the Natural World
We are at the precipice and need to change quickly. Last week the United Nations released a report in which scientists urged world leaders to cut emissions quickly to save lives. Unlike doom and gloom reports, this one provides advice on reining in climate change. It offers advice and possibilities. In the above quote, Karen Armstrong states that religious rituals should be transformative events, a means to help recenter or even change our minds. Is now not the time for us to reexamine old rituals to bring about new ways of thinking? Science and religion need to partner with one another. Indigenous practices need to be explored and embraced to bring about new wisdom to "restore our ancient bond with the natural world." Passionate people of faith, spirituality, and ethical convictions need to work together for a more just and sustainable world that can be cradled in peace.
The above is a prelude to inviting as many of you as possible to join us in person from August 14-18 in Chicago, IL, for the 9th global convening of the Parliament of World Religions. According to the Program Chair of this year's gathering, Rev. Phyllis Curott, this convocation "will be the most important and largest gathering of the world's religious and spiritual leaders, and practitioners, uniting in a collective, courageous and clear reply to the most dangerous crisis confronting us today...."
The Charter for Compassion team will be present, and we will offer a unique program at the Parliament, with more than twenty workshops, two series of interactive workshops that will be conducted for 2-4 days each, the launching of Ubuntu, a new film, and a Charter for Compassion Banquet during which we will present our 2023 Humanitarian Awards. As during our banquet at the Parliament gathering in Toronto in 2018, it will be a vegan menu, and the program promises a wonderful combination of speakers and a joyful celebration. We look forward to meeting you there in person!
If you are interested in participating in the Parliament, the Charter has a limited number of reduced-rated tickets. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Parliament in the subject line and we will get back to you with registration instructions.
Keep up with further announcements in this newsletter, especially as we will share information on our Humanitarian Awardees for 2023.
With warm regards,
This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 03/24/2023 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu; in the newsletter section, enter your email address and click on subscribe.