The staff of the Parliament of the World's Religions recently announced its ascent one floor from its home at 70 East Lake Street in Chicago to an airier, larger, and more multi-functional office. Celebrating 25 and 125 years since the first and centenary Parliaments, the organization welcomed visitors to Suite 320 for an open house May 17 to gather in co-creating a future Parliament plan that even better serves the world, and more actively engages its hometown neighbors in ways that tap into the visionary Chicago spirit that conceived so much history for the global interfaith movement.
Approximately 50 nearest and dearest supporters of the Parliament came to say congratulations, share ideas, and contribute suggestions to curate a "museum" space, a meeting space, a media space, and meet the America-based team working to produce the forthcoming 7th Parliament of the World's Religions coming to Toronto in November this year.
Enjoying interfaith art games, appetizers and mingling, guests got to know each other and Chicago-resident Trustees of the Board before gathering to hear Executive Director Larry Greenfield and team welcoming a diverse community of supporters in advance of learning about the ways they can shape our new Chicago interfaith action plan (applying a reinvigorated promotion of its landmark document, Towards a Global Ethic), and contribute to a critical impact campaign launched to fund targeted, effective programming to serve Chicagoland and reach new advocates worldwide.
Bringing faith and promise into mind, Larry's dedication issued an invitation to neighbors to feel part of the growth and direction of the Parliament in a milestone anniversary year:
Please join me in a [time of] dedication of this new space for the work of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
We call to our consciousness the presence of that sacred reality, infused in the world but made known to us in wondrously diverse ways and expressions. It is a reality that, by its presence, can make even the most ordinary and even banal space powerfully sacred.
Today we dedicate this space – this new space of the Parliament of the World’s Religions – to the will and work of that sacred reality, committing it to be a place where people and peoples of different faiths and spiritualities can recognize it as their own, and yet also find wisdom, truth, and knowledge of faiths and spiritualities other than their own; to be place where the cultivation of harmony among the faiths and spiritualities of the world can be nurtured; to be a place where people of faith and conscience can join together to enlarge and make powerful the spheres justice, and peace, and the earth’s flourishing.
In the presence of this sacred space, we recognize that we, individually and together, can represent the sacred reality to the world and be agents of that sacrality’s justice, peace, and flourishing.
May it be so now, and as we continue to discover our harmony into the future.
Future gatherings in Suite 320 will be announced soon, in addition to Chicago-centered observances of 25th anniversary of the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions, and the 125 year anniversary of the first World Parliament of Religions, which animated a global interfaith dialogue for the first time in Chicago in September, 1893.