The Surrey Interfaith Council is an “Affiliate” of the international interfaith organization “United Religions Initiative.”
The purpose of the United Religions Initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.
The URI convenes regular teleconferences to support collaborative relationships between interfaith organizations around the continent. Patrick represented the Surrey Interfaith Council on the last teleconference and offers this report. Thank you Patrick!
It was a very edifying and enlightening conversation, though our 1 hour together was devoted to getting to know each other a bit. After a brief introduction and a laying out of some guiding principles for our continued online collaboration, we each spent 5 minutes introducing ourselves, where we live and the interfaith community we are a part of. The URI using the nomenclature of Cooperation Circle, and I am just getting used to that. The participants in this weeks chat came from all sorts of places from the USA. A University campus in Arizona, a state capital in Rochester New York, Culver City, a remote town in Maine, a village in West Virginia bearing all the marks of the social struggles facing America.
All of these places had a unique story, and could claim serious victories in bringing people of different faith backgrounds together in environments where you might imagine it to be impossible to do so. They also face common problems, be it indifference, push back from different faith communities or funding.
So I shared our story as well. I identified our mission and values. How many of us come from robust organizations to collaborate on interfaith projects and share information on our own initiatives. I shared perhaps a challenge in reach a wider audience to convince yet more people of the necessity of our work and passion.
This seemed like a great first step to future collaboration in our monthly meetings. We will have time to discuss some of the challenges we face and what kinds of solutions we’ve found. If there are any avenues that our council members wish to explored with the URI or any questions to be asked, I suppose they can contact me. I am utilizing this a resource we can tap to improve our own efforts here in Surrey, making connections and providing my own insight to other interfaith organizations