Archive for the ‘URI Multiregion Blogs’ Category

Happy International Day of Peace

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Today, on this year’s International Day of Peace, I walked along a dusty road in a long line of children and teachers from the Karickam School, a URI Cooperation Circle in Kerala, India. These young peacebuilders marched through the village chanting “Peace, Peace, Peace – We want peace” and “We want peace – No more war!” Their faces shining with hope and promise of a peaceful future. (See attached photos.) Interspersed in the line carried along by the sea of children were the participants in this year’s Traveling Peace Academy – forty peacebuilders who spent a week together sharing our stories, learning new tools for engaging conflict, and creating strategies for peace.

Young and old, people of different nationalities, cultures, and religions, we walked side by side connected to one another by our common desire for peace in our lives and in our communities and in our world. Around the world, in communities large and small, URI peacebuilders march and chant and sing for peace. They hold workshops and forums. They engage in community action projects. The International Day of Peace gives us an opportunity to see and celebrate the global peace movement, and remind ourselves that there are millions upon millions of people working for peace every day in every corner of our world, and that peacebuilders far outnumber those who seek power over others through violence and injustice. 


From the southern most part of India, I wish everyone blessings on this International Day of Peace. May Peace Prevail on Earth.

In peace… Victor

The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian Jr. 
Executive Director
United Religions Initiative

Invitation to CARAVAN’s Artistic Celebration in New York opening of the UN International Day of Peace

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

The Key - NYC General Invitation UN Day of Peace

Eid Mubarak

Monday, September 12th, 2016


Dear URI Family, Eid Mubarak to all our sisters and brothers around the world.
May this auspicious occasion bring warmth, happiness and joy to our lives. May the Almighty give us the strength to challenge hatred and violence and to bring peace and understanding to our world. 

Prayers and blessings,
Kiran Bali MBE JP  –  Global Chairperson


Celebrating IDP and sharing information

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Dear URI friends,

Greetings of peace!

We are excited to be celebrating the International Day of Peace (IDP) on Wednesday, September 21, 2016. This year’s focus is on the Sustainable Development Goals as the Building Blocks of Peace.

If you are planning an event or activity to commemorate this occasion, we invite you to submit a report online by filling out this form:

This year, we encourage our global network to take note of the specific impact your activities and events are making in your community. This is why we ask that, along with a description of your event, you please include the following information which is requested on the form:

  • Total # of Volunteers
  • Total # of Hours for the Activity/Event
  • Total # of People Served in the Community
  • A short reflection on how your event impacted yourself, your CC or your community.

We have partnered with The Compassion Games and UNIFY (a URI Multiregion CC) to help share these reports with a wider audience this year. Once you submit the report of your event or activity, that information will appear on the URI website at, on the Compassion Games’ map that you can see here, and on the UNIFY interactive map that will be embedded in the IDP section of URI’s website. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email them to Thank you for your important work; we look forward to hearing from you!

Peace and gratitude,

The URI IDP Team


A Birthday Proclamation, August 26, 2016

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

At today’s meeting of the Standing Committee of URI’s Global Council the following resolution was moved and adopted.

Be it resolved that on this day the URI community celebrates the birth of a person whose remarkable life has advanced the causes of peace, justice and healing throughout our world.
Be it further resolved that from this birth flowed a stream of wisdom and daring, unfolding over an extraordinary career, that eventually led to the creation of the United Religions Initiative.
The URI Community proclaims a collective HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY to our beloved Founder and President, The Right Reverend William “Bill” Swing.


A Virtual Our HOUSE and MORE

Saturday, August 20th, 2016



THANK YOU. My birthday was a fantastic time with family and friends on Sunday, July 31st. More than that, it took place at one of “our” Our House Artist’s place, Heather Davis aka Lemon Bar Lady. But, like all of us, there is no limit to our ability to pursue our dreams and Ms. Davis proves that every day. The Library #notthatlibrary hosted friendship and family in love and joy and I was honored and humbled. It was sort of a roast (smile), but I was honored by the outpouring of respect and love shown to me.

Some have asked, what’s next? That’s a good question (and the right question) because I’ve been thinking about it a lot. In today’s technological times, we have the ability to build a new place where all of us can thrive, no one is left out. Therefore, we are taking Our House by Artists virtual. Every artist has an opportunity to continue to share their work with patrons of Our House at PRH and beyond. Think of it as thinking outside of the box … because virtually, there is no box. 

Email us at if you are interested. I will forward you the form to sign up and become a part of an Our House future. In the meantime, the next two Saturdays will be the continuation of the Long Goodbye. We’re packing up and you have a chance to eat and fellowship with all those who have enjoyed life at Our House. Next Saturday (August 20th) is Project Row Houses’ Festival and Summer Studios Opening from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the PRH Campus. Artists interested in setting up at Our House, give me a call for both. Thursday, Our House artists will be at Artists Global Vision event at the International Center, 11110 Bellaire Blvd. (see Facebook event) on Thursday, August 18th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

August 27th is the BIG SO LONG. We’ll have food and farewell gifts. You can also sign up for the virtual Our House debuting on the same day. You can sneak at peak at Remember, I’m part of this community, whether or not I’m at the 2501 Holman address. It’s a new journey, but one you’re invited to participate in. As always, try to think of the impossible as an opportunity to prove otherwise.

~ P. K. McCary

Introducing the #TangibleHope Campaign!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

From our friends in URI North America:

URI Tangible Hope

We are excited to announce the #TangibleHope Digital Campaign and wanted you to be the first to know about it!

The past several months of conversations with Cooperation Circles and Affiliates have inspired us. The innovative ways you have been addressing the fear- and hate-based rhetoric and violence present in your communities give the world Tangible Hope that together we are cultivating cultures of peace, justice and healing by confronting fear and hate. 

And, guess what?

We want to share this hope with the WORLD! 

How will we do this?

By tapping into the powers of storytelling and social media, we will inspire people to create their own moments of Tangible Hope through sharing written and audiovisual stories on our social media channels using the hashtag #TangibleHope. This hashtag is one of our campaign’s biggest assets and is the easiest way for YOU to participate. For more information about the power of hashtags in social media campaigns, click here.

#TangibleHope is a campaign of…

  • GRATITUDE: You deserve recognition, so we are revamping our social media channels to amplify the work you’re doing. We’ll also be highlighting stories of #TangibleHope from other like-minded organizations to recognize and thank them for their work.  
  • AWARENESS: Your work tells incredible stories of values-based collaborations across all lines of difference. These stories change the hearts and minds of people who then turn around and change their own communities. 
  • ACTION: Hope spurs action. When others hear about the work you do, they will be inspired to create their own moments of #TangibleHope, ranging from community picnics to random acts of kindness. 

Want to get involved? Here’s how: 

    • Starting TODAY, use the hashtag #TangibleHope in your social media posts. Use #TangibleHope to “tag” stories or moments that highlight values-based collaboration across lines of difference on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and beyond. (If you don’t know how to use a hashtag, click here for a tutorial.)
    • Do you have a story of #TangibleHope in mind? Reach out and let us know about it, so we can share it with the world! Send Anissa an email at
  • SHARE:
    • Tell your friends, family and colleagues about this campaign. 
    • Forward this announcement to other members of your Cooperation Circle. 
    • Share the news with your e-mail list or in your next newsletter. We will send you sample social media posts and graphics in the coming weeks.
    • Do you have contacts at other organizations we should invite to join the campaign? Email

In the meantime, check out the stories that have been inspiring #TangibleHope around North America by clicking here and following us on Twitter at @urinorthamerica

Stay tuned for more information on how to contribute your moments of Tangible Hope.



Anissa Abdel-Jelil

Message of Peace from URI

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Dear Friends,

In times of uncertainty or conflict, it can be easy to give up hope, despite the silver lining of opportunity to do better together. URI’s Cooperation Circles choose strength, resilience, and unity in driving progress in their local and global communities. Our 791 CCs build bridges around the world based on the belief in the goodness of humanity for a better peace for us all. We are so grateful to all our CC members and supporters for their efforts in bringing change and hope to the world, and are proud to share their work with you!

As always, we invite you to share your news with the worldwide URI community. We would love to hear from you.

uri_logo 2


May peace prevail on Earth!

Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings: Prayers for Peace

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings: Prayers for Peace

I would like to share that this morning during the Holy Mass on August 6, the Nuclear Prayer of the Rt. Rev. William E. Swing was read jointly by a group of Dominican priests and students at St. Albert’s Chapel in Lahore, Pakistan. Each one of us found this prayer very moving. For the Holy Mass, I was the Main Celebrant, with Fr Marcus Daniel OP and Fr Roccus Patras as the Co-Celebrants. 

We also prayed for all 140,000+ people who were killed and those who are still suffering as result of atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

I pray that our human race may never ever again experience such kind of destruction caused by nuclear weapons. May the dream of the Rt. Rev. William E. Swing and URI CC ” Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons” become a reality! 

Thank you very much Bishop Swing for your dream! 

May Peace Prevail in Japan!
May Peace Prevail On Earth! 

In peace,

Father James Channan OP

URI and!

Friday, August 5th, 2016


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