The three events, September 20-22 will honor Mahatma Gandhi 150th birthday and how he preached and practiced “AHIMSA”, which the world has named “NONVIOLENCE”. Ahimsa is a multidimensional concept, inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy; therefore, to hurt another being is to hurt oneself.
George Wolfe is guest speaker and musician at each September event. Dr. Wolfe is Professor Emeritus at Ball State University where he served as director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. He is a certified mediator and was trained to conduct interfaith dialogue at All-Faiths Seminary International in New York City. His fellowship from the Eli Lilly Endowment made possible his first trip to India where he became interested in the nonviolent philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. Wolfe is a classical saxophonist and poet. He will read some of his poems and play saxophone at each event.
September 20 | 7:00-8:30 PM Laskey Hall - Scarritt Bennett Center 1027 18th Avenue South Nashville “Conflict to Cooperation: Interfaith Fellowship in Middletown USA” will be led by George Wolfe and sharing the change in Muncie, Indiana from a city of divisive controversy to a thriving interfaith progressive community.
September 21 | 6:00-9:00 PM Ganesha Temple Nashville 527 Old Hickory Blvd Nashville “Peace Making with the Arts and Dialogue” highlighting Gandhi’s non- violence teachings as well as poetry and music. A Hindu dance group will perform prior to dinner. George Wolfe will speak about how Gandhi’s life influenced his life and work.
September 22 | 10 AM Worship Service at Unity Church 5125 Franklin Pike Nashville George Wolfe will play his saxophone during this service.
2018 URI/ NCC Events:
Religion & Science: Universe Story Feb 2019 Religion & Science: Universe Story MayHandout
The Journey of the Universe materials invite participants to step back to explore and assimilate our cosmological context. Just as scientific cosmology is giving us an understanding of the origins of the universe and the unfolding of life on Earth, philosophical and poetic reflection on this cosmology brings us a fresh perspective regarding our place in the universe. This resources provide an unusual braiding of sciences and humanities, weaving empirical data with poetry and fact with metaphor. They combine three intersecting objectives: understanding the evolution of the universe and Earth by drawing on current scientific research; relating the evolutionary narrative as a whole (cosmic, Earth, human); and reflecting on the story with a sense of awe and wonder. From this there emerges a new integration of scientific facts, story, and connection. Within this integrated perspective we can ask: What is humankind in relation to 13.7 billion years of universe history? What is our place in the framework of 4.6 billion years of Earth history? How can we foster the continuity and the integrity of life processes? "Unless we live our lives with at least some cosmological awareness, we risk collapsing into the world. For we can be fooled into thinking that our lives are passed in political entities, such as state or nation, or that the bottom-line concerns in life have to do with economic realities of consumer lifestyles. In truth, we live in the midst of immensities, and we are intrinsically woven into a great cosmic drama." Brian Swimme Matthew Fox, priest and theologian believes cosmology means three things: a scientific story about origins of our universe; mysticism that is a psychic response to our being in a universe; and art,which translate science and mysticism into images that awaken body, soul and society." Cosmology needs all 3 of these to come alive: joyful response(mysticism) to the awesome fact of our being in the universe (science) and our expression of that response by the art of our lives and citizenship (art). Whole universe story has come into being because God is a treasure who longs to be known. Cynthia Bourgeault “Both education and religion need to ground themselves within the story of the universe as we now understand this story through empirical knowledge. Within this functional cosmology, we can overcome our alienation and begin the renewal of life on a sustainable basis. This story is a numinous revelatory story that could evoke the vision and the energy required to bring not only ourselves but the entire planet into a new order of magnificence." T Berry, Dream of the Earth AXIS MUNDI “Although we are moving toward the global community, we face what seem to be insurmountable obstacles: ecological disaster, economic injustice on a worldwide scale, widespread warfare. Against these forces we must individually and globally devote ourselves to “building the earth’,,, we must recapture unity of tribal consciousness and see humanity as a single tribe; and we must see this single tribe related organically to the total cosmos. This means that the consciousness of the 21st Century will be global from two perspectives. First from the horizontal perspective, cultures and religion must meet each other on the surface of the globe, entering into creative encounters that will produce complex collective consciousness. Second, from a vertical perspective, they must plunge their roots deep into the earth in order to provide a secure base for future development. They must develop anew spirituality of the earth and of the material aspects of human existence. This new spirituality must be organically ecological, supported by structures of justice and peace. The voices of the oppressed must be heard and heeded; the poor, the women, racial groups, and all other minorities. These groups, along with the earth itself, can be looked upon as the prophets of the 21st century. This emerging global consciousness is not only a creative possibility; it is an absolute if we are to survive.” - from COMPASSION, A Millenia Music Production, original music and inspired messages by Dalai Lama and Thomas Merton to bring the world together in compassion seewww.voicesofcompassion.com Axis Mundi written by - Ewert Cousins, editor of the Classics of Western Spirituality. Ewert Cousins, a world-renowned theologian and pioneer in interreligious dialogue who brought Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists together at gatherings around the globe, from the United Nations to the University of Madras. “The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept. Not that we have to discover a new unity. We discover an older unity… We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are. “ - Thomas Merton Ilia.Delio@georgetown.eduBio Ilia Delio, OSF is a Franciscan Sister of Washington D.C. and Director of Catholic Studies at Georgetown University. She is a recipient of the Templeton Course Award in Science and Religion (2000) and has participated in Science and Religion workshops at Washington Theological Union as well as Oxford University, England and Palacky University in the Czech Republic. Praxis overview for 2019 UNIVERSE SERIES
Carl Anthony – founder, Breakthrough Communities, who talks about the uprooting of African peoples through the institution of slavery and how some have found new meaning and a new set of ethics by thinking about sustainable urban communities
Belvie Rooks – empowering African American youth from inner city ghettos to image envision healing and better future, broader sense of self and of place, and puts racism and slavery into the framework of the universe story.
Marya Grathwohl OSF - founder of Earth Hope, how prayer and ritual helped change understanding even on Death Row and with other prisoners
Richard Register - development of eco-cities, Ecocity Builders
Richard Norgaard -vision for ecological economics
Penny Livingston – Regenerative Design Institute power of permaculture as a way to grow food and to enhance biodiversity and Native American practices
Melissa Nelson - American Indian Studies, San Francisco- sustaining power of ritual and celebratory acts that locate humans in the rhythms of Earth's transformative systems
Bindu Mohanty - Teacher in Auroville, an international city in South India with dynamic experiment in human unity and community , recognized by UNESCO as such. More than 2000 people that includes 400 children from 43 countries.
SPIRALING COSMIC DANCE Imagine nothing—not space, not darkness, not even a vast emptiness, but nothing. Now imagine everything. In a stupendous explosion of light, heat and energy radiating out in all directions the universe came into existence. Everything that ever was, is, or will be was compressed into a seed --tinier than a tear, more miniscule than a molecule. All space, all time, and the potential for everything that would ever exist started as a single point. Science has discovered what indigenous people have known all along We are all one—We are all connected—We all come from the very same source. This massive fireball continued expanding —eventually cooling enough for the very first atoms to form. If the expansion had been a tiny bit slower, the universe would have collapsed into an enormous black hole. If it had been a bit faster, it would have expanded too fast for the galaxies to form and we'd have simply dust. This suggests that there is a profound wisdom at work in the universe. The supernova embodies the archetype of death and rebirth. It is a cosmological moment of grace and it is a sacrificial moment. The death of the star is what enables all future life to evolve. It is a mythic moment on a cosmic scale. Out of these clouds of stardust, billions of second generation stars were formed. One of them was the star we call our sun. Left over from the formation of the sun was a wisp of debris that swirled itself into a necklace of spinning planets, the jewel of which was the swirling mass of molten lava that was to become our home the Earth. The force that set the galaxies spinning and ignited the stars performed its next miracle—a universe within the universe. It was the birth of life. Then the universe created its next surprise - an upright, tool-using primate with an opposable thumb and a remarkable ability to reflect on its own existence. After 13 plus billion years, the universe had created a way of becoming aware of itself. We are the universe reflecting on itself. We are earth become conscious. And this changes everything. The earth was once molten rock and now sings operas. All creativity and consciousness arises in some mysterious way from the depths of the earth itself. Why, out of stardust, has this come to be? Why the bird’s song? Why the color green? And why the oceans with their billions of teeming life forms? We see that we are not just Americans or French or immigrants or any small category. We are the universe in the form of a human. It's true of everyone. This is an amazing new understanding of ourselves that is profoundly inclusive - and everyone is part of this. Everything is part of this. We discover a profound kinship - no matter what being we are talking about on the planet. We are related---related in terms of energy---related in terms of genetics--- all in one way or another a form of kin. The universe arose and gave rise to the galaxies—the galaxies gave rise to the stars—our sun gave rise to the earth—and the earth gave rise to life and to all that we are. This calls us to awaken our dream of lonely isolation, so we may rejoin the great community of life and take on our part in this stupendous unfolding story - a spiraling dance! NOTE: The poetic dramatic reading was inspired by the poems of Drew Goddard and the writings of Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (page 195-6) When I pause and reflect on our expanding universe, with its galaxies hurtling away from one another, embedded within the every stretching, four-dimensional fabric of space and time, sometimes I forget that uncounted people walk on this Earth without food or shelter, and that children are disproportionately represented by them. When I pour over the data the establish the mysterious presence of dark matter and dark energy throughout the universe, sometimes I forget every day --every twenty-four-hour rotation of Earth---people kill and get killed in the name of God, and that some people who do not kill in name of God, kill in the name of needs or wants of political dogma. When I track the orbits of asteroids, comets, and planets, each a pirouetting dancer in a cosmic ballet, choreographed by the forces of gravity, sometimes I forget that too many people act in wanton disregard for the delicate interplay of Earth's atmosphere, oceans and land, with consequences that our children and our children's children will witness and pay with their health and well being. And sometimes I forget that powerful people rarely do all they can to help those who cannot help themselves. Dates: February 3rd, May 5th, August 4th & November 3, 2019 Times: 2:00-3:30 pm Location: Kreitner Room, Laskey Building on Scarritt Bennett’s campus (1027 18th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212) Cost: Free and open to the public The Journey of the Universe materials used in this series invite participants to step back to explore and assimilate our cosmological context. Just as scientific cosmology is giving us an understanding of the origins of the universe and the unfolding of life on Earth, philosophical and poetic reflection on this cosmology brings us a fresh perspective regarding our place in the universe. These provide an unusual braiding of sciences and humanities, weaving empirical data with poetry and fact with metaphor. They combine three intersecting objectives: understanding the evolution of the universe and Earth by drawing on current scientific research; relating the evolutionary narrative as a whole (cosmic, Earth, human); and reflecting on the story with a sense of awe and wonder. From this there emerges a new integration of scientific facts, story, and connection. Within this integrated perspective we can ask: What is humankind in relation to 13.7 billion years of universe history? What is our place in the framework of 4.6 billion years of Earth history? How can we foster the continuity and the integrity of life processes? Dr. Craig E. Philip Civil and Environmental Engineering Dr. Keivan Stassun Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Research Tamara Marshall Whiting MS Environmental Studies Joyce Wilding, TSSF Science & Religion URI Resource Consultant
Topics for monthly programs are based on key ideas from Journey of the Universe book and DVD series developed by Brian Swimme, professor at California Institute of Integral Studies and Mary Evelyn Tucker*, senior lecturer and research scholar, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Divinity, co-founder and co-director of Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. See highlights of *Tucker's work on this link https://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/ Note: you will find link to universe story on Ted Talk and how to take free universe classes on line from Yale FORE* is great monthly news letter for updates about current science and religion programs. See * Forum on Religion & Ecology at Yale<firstname.lastname@example.org>
“Let Us Work Together for Peace”is the theme of September 17, 2018 URI/ NCC annual interfaith service. Representatives of different faiths will share readings from seven religious faiths that speak to working for peace in communities and in the world. Committed to building bridges between peoples and transforming hate into hope and love, we come together to pray and work for peace as members of the world’s religions.
"A Place to rest our hearts and hold them with Us." A silent meditation and prayer in way of support for the immigrant Children separated from their parents. Jun 26th 6:30 pm
"An Evening with Rumi" An evening of “Rumi” poetry reading with live ambient world music by Sacred Moments Ensemble Friday June 22 7-9 pm Scarritt Bennett center Nashville
Mar 20 Tuesdays in Chapel at SBC - Joyce Wilding will talk about URI Purpose, Principles and Practices and prayers for peace March 1 thru April 5 - Howard Thurman programs at Christ Church Cathedral -- Rev Edwin Sanders, H Thurman Scholar Guest speaker Howard Thurman was an African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, preacher, poet, and civil rights leader known for his ethical and cultural criticism. Thurman’s theology of radical nonviolence shaped a generation of civil rights activists, including the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Thurman served as dean at Howard University and Boston University, and he co-founded the first major interracial, interdenominational church in the United States. His embrace of wisdom from other religious traditions, including Hinduism and Buddhism, emboldened interfaith cooperation and understanding.March 26-May 27 -- , a community-wide initiative centering on a collection of instruments played by J Nashville Symphony and the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee present Violins of Hopeewish musicians interned in concentration camps during the Holocaust. This months-long initiative is designed to foster a city-wide dialogue on music, art, social justice. See www.violinsofhopensh.com/events/ April 13Interfaith Justice Event at Jewish Temple hosted by Vanderbilt, FCC, URI NCC and other interfaith leaders . See http://www.scarrittbennett.org/events/mobile-course-on-theology-activism/ to learn and time for this event. UR NCC is a sponsor) April 14-5 Baisakhi Festival April 14-15 hosted by Sikh leaders April 14 - Franciscan spirituality and interfaith retreat see http://www.scarrittbennett.org/events/4-14-2018-beyond-the-birdbath/
Many people have learned about St Francis of Assisi via water and bird statues in gardens. Too few people know St Francis’ lifestyle and teachings laid solid foundation for interfaith work along with attention to contemplation and action. During this retreat, we will examine key teachings of St Francis that inspire Pope Francis, Richard Rohr and his Center for Action Living School, and contemporary Franciscan nuns who work with people in jail. The retreat time will be equally divided into telling and listening to spirituality stories, art as meditation, and silence. We will examine how Francis stood barefoot on the ground and yet touched heaven, how he participated in a Larger Knowing that many call God. We will walk the SBC labyrinth and Franciscan Creation Canticle “trail”. Bring your journals for recording how you might expand attention to Franciscan Spirituality beyond birdbath to beauty of selfless care giving engagement in a multi-faith world. Joyce Wilding is a Third Order Franciscan (TSSF), associate member Society of Ordained Scientists (SOSc), and spiritual retreat leader. She is the resource consultant for United Religions Initiative (URI) and recently developed a URI interfaith Cooperation Circle that is hosted at SBC. Many of her Franciscan programs include Yale’s Ecology and Religion Journey of the Universe resources that re-imagines the universe story and reframes the human connection to the cosmos.
Map UnavailableDate/Time Date(s) - 04/14/2018 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
*April 21- ICN Diversity Festival *May 19 - TIPL "Opening Book of Nature Retreat" -hosted by Paul Slentz * Still waiting for info about June, July & August key interfaith events (NCC core team and associates to set retreat date, place and time to study Bishops Quest book. * August 30 - Opening of CARAVAN CC " I AM" art show at Vanderbilt's Fine Art Gallery on 21st Avenue. Time for opening event TBD (This art will be up from through August 30 - October 14) . -A strategic exhibition celebrating the rich, diverse and pivotal contribution that Middle Eastern women make to the enduring global quest for harmony and peace. Founder and president of CARAVAN* is Paul-Gordon Chandler, is an interfaith advocate, art curator, and social entrepreneur who has lived and worked in the Middle East. *He is to confirm dates to talk his newest award winning book: In Search of a Prophet is a fascinating journey through the all-embracing spirituality of Kahlil Gibran, author of the bestselling book The Prophet. Capturing our imaginations and enriching our spirits, In Search of a Prophet is not a traditional biography, but a compelling spiritual journey through Gibran’s writings, art, and the places he lived. September 17 - 6:30 - 7:30 City Wide Interfaith Service and reception at SBC hosted by NCC * Fall FCC Annual Fall Conference * Fall Annual Kathina Theravada Buddhist Tradition (Jayanthi) Oct 19 Durga Pooja - honors feminine universal goddess at Ganesha Temple * Nov 4 or 9 Diwali - festival of light, Light winning over Darkness at Ganesha Temple (Reita) Nov 23-25 Sikh Guru Nanak's Birthday at Gurudwara in Bellevue (Sunday Closing ceremony Nov 25th * December - Songs in Waiting art exhibit and talks about the art and text in Paul-Gordon Chandler's book at SBC (date and time to confirmed)
URI PAST EVENTS
Past NCC Events, Community outreach projects include: Jan 21- 2018 - Dharma talk about Ecology & Buddhism at Against The Stream Buddhist Center (2 NCC) Jan 27- 2018 6:30 - “Devi Sarvamayam” Exploring different facets of the goddesses of Hindu mythology. Venue: Ganesha Temple Auditorium (6 NCC folks attended) Feb 17 UNA CH Galen Hull hosts guest speaker to talk about challenges in Congo (3 NCC)February 27 Islamic Center Nashville "Exploring Faiths Series Program" Dr. Ossama Bahloul guest speaker (promoted by Atlantic Institute Turkish Muslim Leaders) (4 NCC)
Join Us as We Celebrate the Worldwide Release of The World Wisdom Bible June 17, 2017
An antidote to religious ignorance, arrogance, and parochialism, The World Wisdom Bible is a unique anthology of teachings drawn from humanity’s greatest saints, sages, and mystics, exploring the essential themes of spirituality.
The World Wisdom Bible is more than a collection of wise words; it is the song of the human heart. It is the cry of the despairing for solace and of the outraged for justice. It is a joyful noise, a fertile silence, a prophetic call, a beautiful fever and a blessed remedy and the promise of hope for our troubled times. It is a gasp of holy awe. – Mirabai Starr
Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity. Please join us for this amazing, enriching, and inspiring weekend of study, discussion, and spiritual practice guided by the One River Foundation faculty. Topics include Perennial Wisdom, the sacred art of lovingkindness, and other spiritual practices for moving humanity past the narrative of “us against them” toward a new story of “all of us together.” To register for this special Retreat Click the link: World Wisdom Bible
Faculty: Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Ph.D., Director of the One River Foundation and editor of the WWB is the author of Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent. Gordon Peerman, D.Min., Episcopal priest and therapist, directs Insight Nashville and is the author of Blessed Relief: What Christians Can Learn from Buddhists about Suffering.
To learn more and register see: Cup of Wisdom - FCC - A Seat at the Table events where diverse community members and neighbors break bread together and share points of view on life, faith, and culture. Participants walk away with a deeper understanding and a greater appreciation for neighbors. www.faithandculture.org
Nov 5 - Vassana and Kathina in the Theravada Buddhist TraditionNov 12 - Howard Thurman Retreat
Nov 13 - Dean's forum* at Christ Church Cathedral to hear Douglas Meeks, retired Dean Emeritus of the Vanderbilt Divinity School and Turner Chancellor Professor of Theology will speak about faith and finances and “Life in a Post Employment Society”. Meeks will also speak at Nashville Global Summit on Nov 14-15. URI NCC members can learn more ways to support the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from United Nations and World Bank guests at Dean's Forum. See http://globalactionplatform.org/
Nov 14-5 Global Summit - Sustainable Development Goals at Vanderbilt
Nov 17 - Immigrant Entrepreneurs: The Face of the New Nashville. Panel of Entrepreneurs and Professionals give presentation at Middle Tennessee State UniversityBusiness and Economic Research Center during Global Entrepreneurship Week
Nov 19 Personal Deeds of Lovingkindness from Various Faith Traditions at Scarritt-Bennett Center
Nov 20 Sikh Temple at 7673 Sawyer Brown Rd Nashville hosts Guru Nanak's Birth Day Hymn singing Celebration
Nov 23 -Sri Sathya Center event promoted by Dr. Mani Hull
Core CC team meetings were held in February, May, June, August, September, October and November 2106.