It’s been the kind of week that I can’t cram into a single blog post. In fact, even though I’m having this blog automatically posted, the week isn’t even over. I’ve been on the road at the Parliament of World Religions in Salt Lake City.
It’s a HUGE conference with representatives of all kinds of religions from all over the world. There are almost 10,000 people in attendance. Programming starts with religious observances at 7am. Each workshop session has 20+ presentations to choose from. Additionally there is a track of films. There are also performances. Scattered through are Plenary’s – topics with very big name speakers which many attendees are likely to want to see.
The opening ceremonies, for instance, are a Pleanry. They were impressive, moving, powerful and controversial. The wonderful piece of the opening ceremonies was from the Native community. There was a processional, lead by representatives of the Native tribes of the areas, with multiple tribes acknowledged. The parade continued with representatives of the other religious systems present at the Parliament. It was surprisingly powerful and moving.
Then the Native elders and Grandmothers took the stage and welcomed us all onto their land. They offered blessing on the work of the Parliament and on its participants. They spoke of the trauma in their history and still embraced us with open arms. It was a profound expression of the theme: Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity”.
Being here has been a remarkable experience. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in doing faith-based activism. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in doing interfaith work. I would recommend it as an opportunity to learn more about world religions.
More later this week!