Salt Lake City. Oct 15th - 19th
Mormon Tabernacle and city skyline...
Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity
Pre –Parliament Event
14th April 2015, Global Co-operation House, London, UK
Organised by the World Congress of Faiths and the Brahma Kumaris UK
This pre-parliament event brought the spirit of the Parliament to around 50 people of all faiths.
In her welcome Sister Jayanti, European Director of the Brahma Kumaris, remembered how her first exposure to the issue of climate change was at the 1993 Parliament in Chicago, not realizing that years later this would become the major issue of our times with still very few people willing to do anything about it! She talked of the increasing recognition of the importance of the role of religions in this. She quoted Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change: 'if anything is going to change climate change it has to come from the heart'.
She guided us in a meditation on emerging love, truth and compassion within the heart, so that these qualities keep guiding us in life and our work for humanity.
Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke, President of the World Congress of Faiths shared greetings from the planning group in Chicago. He went on to share how the reason for bringing the world’s religions and spiritual traditions together is so that we can unlock the spiritual riches and resources we all have for the healing of our world. And this is both spiritual and practical. He shared his aim for the Parliament where a world society is created, that embodies the mystic and interconnectedness and of all things related to the Divine, and he quoted Jane Goodall, anthropologist, that 'the ultimate destiny of our species is a state of Compassion and Love'.
A video was shown of the history of the Parliament from 1893 to the present day which conveyed the wealth of culture, tradition, faith, dialogue and the celebration that took place in Chicago, Capetown, Barcelona and Melbourne.
Mrs Mary Braybrooke, retired social worker and Mr Vinod Kapashi, President of the Mahavir (Jain) Foundation, shared their special memories of the parliaments of how the generous listening and sharings meant that many lasting friendships were made.
Enthusiastic group discussions followed on the following questions:
Reclaiming the Heart of our Humanity: working together for a world of compassion, peace, justice and sustainability:
- What does this mean to me personally on my life’s journey?
- How is this theme relevant to the interfaith work that I am engaged in?
Each group was then invited to construct one sentence that would be their message to the Parliament.
In chairing the following discussion, Rev Canon Dr Alan Race, Chair of the World Congress of Faiths noted:
- not just words are shared, but short term inclusive projects are created to bring the aims into reality
- neighbourhoods of community in the human world family continue to be developed
- by drawing together the ancient wisdoms of compassion and respect, a new language of tomorrow can be developed.
- that we can reclaim a world that we have lost, as well as embark on a journey exploring who we are and where we are going as part of the Parliament process.
Rabbi Jackie Tabick, Co-President of the World Congress of Faiths, closed the evening with a prayer……a time to meet in courage and truth and in this we share the common prayer of humanity....and may our courage match our convictions and our integrity our hope…..
Everyone was asked to write their personal hopes for the Parliament. The most outstanding one was as follows...
A Chance for the world’s people to CONNECT to:
- Compassionate hearts emerging
- Openness to all religions
- Newness in the vision of unity
- Nurturing a feeling of a world family
- Engaging in learning about common goals
- Create friendships
- Tolerance for all people