Archive for the ‘URI Multiregion Blogs’ Category

Hope In Life Foundation – Video

Sunday, October 4th, 2015


Please view the following video from Hope In Life Foundation, a Multiregion Cooperation Circle.  This is a wonderfully informative video about the state of women in India

To view the video please click here. 


Chair - Orange County Cities for CEDAW Task Force
Phone: 949-284-6730


Parliament of World’s Religions – October 2015 Salt Lake City – Wisdom Circle Ministries

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Greetings All,

Wisdom Circle Ministries is a Multi Region CC, and is hosting the Interfaith Exhibition on the second floor concourse of the Salt Palace. This exhibition space will run for the entire length of the Parliament and offers an open 900 sq. ft. space for meeting, conversations and even small presentations. The URI Multi Region is a sponsor of this space and this is a wonderful central location for face-to-face-conversations. For any requests, suggestions or questions regarding participation and use of the space, please contact Rev. Robert Hrasna at

We are also hosting a presentation titled: Interfaith Digital Communications and Fostering the Language of Interfaith. It is scheduled for October 17th from 11:45 am -1:15PM room 251C.

Looking forward to meeting you there.

Rev. Robert Hrasna
Chair: Interfaith Exhibition, Wisdom Circle Ministries
Ambassador: Parliament of World’s Religions
Phone: 732-604-1856

Parliament of World’s Religions – October 2015 Salt Lake City

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Greetings from California! 

Much as we love e-mail communication, there’s nothing like face-to-face conversations. I was wondering which CCs are attending the Parliament event at Salt Lake City next month? Please share. Our CC is interested in building a stronger network and bond with CCs from across the world via Face-to-Face meetings during the event. If you are attending, we will make it a point to meet with you and learn more about your work.  Thanks to the contacts list and technology that has brought us together. Maybe it’s time to take this interaction to a whole new level.

Our CC will be presenting on Friday, October 16 at 7:00 am at Ballroom B on the following topic:

PEACE WITHIN FAMILIES – The human approach. We request your graceful presence and participation in the interactive session. We would love to hear from all you wonderful souls! Looking forward to meeting you next month.


Thank you,

Chair - Orange County Cities for CEDAW Task Force
Phone: 949-284-6730

URI Affrms Pope’s Strong Interfaith Message

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Pope Francis is welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and receives flower bouquets from children of UN staff members at the start of his visit to UN Headquarters. UN Photo/Mark Garten.


United Nations, NY:  Pope Francis delivered a stirring address for the opening of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, in which he called on world leaders to “set aside partisan and ideological interests, and sincerely strive to serve the common good.” 

Pope Francis emphasized that, “The ecological crisis, and the large-scale destruction of biodiversity, can threaten the very existence of the human species.” He said that a “right of the environment” exists because human beings are part of our environment and because every living creature has an intrinsic value. He also highlighted the misuse of the environment as a cause of economic and social exclusion, “a complete denial of human fraternity and a grave offense against human rights” in today’s “culture of waste.”

The United Religions Initiative (URI), the world’s largest grass-roots interfaith organization, working in 91 countries with over 600,000 members, is a Non-Governmental Organization at the United Nations. URI Executive Director Victor Kazanjian was present at the UN on September 24 for a religious leaders’ meeting on the Moral Imperative to End Extreme Poverty to support the Sustainable Development Summit. URI strongly supports the Pope’s call for peace and environmental protection: “War is the negation of all rights and a dramatic assault on the environment. If we want true integral human development for all, we must work tirelessly to avoid war between nations and between peoples.”

Especially important to note today, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, His Holiness strongly endorsed nuclear abolition. “An ethics and a law based on the threat of mutual destruction – and possibly the destruction of all mankind – are self-contradictory and an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations, which would end up as nations united by fear and distrust. There is urgent need to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the Non-proliferation Treaty, in letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons.” URI is also a strong voice against nuclear weapons. URI President and Founder The Right Rev. William E. Swing works with Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons (one of URI’s grassroots groups), and has spoken at the United Nations Headquarters on the topic, as well as popularized a “Prayer for Those Whose Hearts Carry the Weight of Nuclear Weapons.”

We affirm Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s welcome to the Pope when he greeted the UN staff members: “Regardless of faith, we draw inspiration from your humility and humanity – and from your global call for action on social justice, climate change and ensuring a life of dignity for all.“  The Secretary-General referred to the General Assembly hall, saying, “This chamber is sacred space.” This reflects the URI’s purpose in bringing diverse voices of faith from around the world to the United Nations where countries gather in the pursuit of peace and the common good and for sharing the agenda of the UN with our members

Two specific UN Resolutions observed annually by URI members with programs and actions are the International Day of Peace (September 21) and World Interfaith Harmony Week (February 1-7).  URI looks forward to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted today by the world’s leaders at the United Nations following the Pope’s address.   

We also applaud the organizers of the inspiring interfaith service at the site known to New Yorkers as “ground zero” since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It was heartwarming to see the eyes of the world on this deeply moving gathering of faith and hope. 

The healing of the wounds of September 11th combined with the UN’s inauguration of the Sustainable Development Goals are signs that Pope Francis – a towering yet humble religious leader – is helping the world to usher in a new era of interfaith cooperation and a global culture of peace.

May peace prevail on Earth.


United Religions Initiative
PO Box 29242, San Francisco, CA, 94129
Phone: +1 415 561 2300

International Day of Peace – A Message From Executive Director Victor Kazanjian

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Sisters and Brothers of URI,

uri_logo 2 

Blessings on this International Day of Peace.

The General Assembly of the United Nations has declared today as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace. (See the UN Secretary-General’s message here.) This theme is exemplified by the actions of URI Cooperation Circles around the world who are living out URI’s mission through International Day of Peace actions, some of which can be found here.

On this International Day of Peace, I have been reflecting on the importance of pursuing peace within ourselves as we also pursue peace in the world around us. 

There is no question that to participate in the global movement for peace and justice, a movement which is so powerfully exemplified by the International Day of Peace, requires our attention to those systems that shape our lives as human beings. This is the work that so many of us have been engaged in for so long. It is crucial work. And in the face of so many urgent external threats in areas of health, the environment, economies, human rights, political instability, mass dislocation, and regional and global aggression, it is understandable that our focus would be drawn to the world around us – the external world – and that therefore our work would focus on conceiving of nonviolent instruments of peacebuilding that engage these issues and create the conditions for peace and human security. This is essential work, and only accomplished if we come together across lines of religious, cultural and national differences and see our diversity as a recourse rather than barrier to our collective action.  

But in addition to focusing on the external, instrumental mechanisms of peacebuilding, let us also harness what may be the greatest power at our disposal to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings as we say at URI – a power that emanates from the world within. It is the sacredness of life expressed through the power of love and compassion for those with whom we share this planet, and with the planet itself. Love and compassion connect us to one another, forming a powerful movement for peace and justice that cannot be denied.

On this International Day of Peace, may we join the peace that we seek around us, with the power of love and compassion that flows from within us, and may our efforts move us closer to that world in which our partnerships for peace bring dignity for all. 


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

Sept 24, Culver City event

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

Thursday, September 24th, 7:00 pm at Agape International Spiritual Center
5700 Buckingham Parkway, Culver City, CA 90230

Our ability to create a future worth living essentially depends on rediscovering our sacred relationship with two basic sources of life: healthy water and vivid love. What water is to nature, love is to humanity. Our modern culture has been following systems incompatible with the true nature of both water and love. Today’s world is marked by progressive desertification and thirst – in nature as well as within people’s hearts – which poses a serious threat to our common future. However, this is not the way our future has to be!

We are excited to announce that two global pioneers will be speaking in Los Angeles, who have been working for decades on revolutionary answers for these pressing crises, showcasing concrete models for the future:

Rajendra Singh, also known as “Water Gandhi.” is a well-known water conservationist from Rajasthan, India. Using a traditional method for retaining rainwater, Rajendra led a popular initiative that transformed approximately 8,600 square km of India’s Thar Desert into fertile land, providing a hundred thousand people with a decent living, and causing dried-up rivers to flow throughout the year again. As a result of this project, regional weather patterns changed causing overall precipitation to increase and extreme storms and droughts to dramatically decrease. The principles used are not limited to India, but tackle the global roots of our current water crisis and could be applied in California as well. Honoring his outstanding initiative, Rajendra just received the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize, an award commonly referred to as “the Nobel Prize for water.”

To him, water is more than only a chemical substance; he sees it as an ensouled being with which we can communicate.

Sabine Lichtenfels, is peace activist, spiritual teacher and co-founder of Tamera Peace Research Center in Portugal, where she heads the “Global Love School.” She is a source of profound feminine wisdom and peace knowledge, grounded in nearly forty years of experience co-leading one of the most radical experiments in community building and healing love of our times. She is the author of many books (among them Temple of Love and Grace. Pilgrimage for a Future without War) and has led international peace pilgrimages through Israel-Palestine and Colombia. Sabine was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as one of the “1000 Women for Peace” in 2005.

The event will be introduced and accompanied by Benjamin von Mendelssohn, director of The Grace Foundation and one of the next-generation leaders of Tamera, offering a brief insight into the “Healing Biotopes Plan,” the global peace strategy of the heart of Tamera’s work. Operating in the frame of holistic sciences, the plan starts from the premise that a few highly complex model centers around the world might suffice in replacing the informational matrix of violence that steers this planet within a relatively short time with a new global matrix of trust, compassion, and peace; creating a new morphogenetic field of global peace.

Purchase tickets in advance for $15 at Eventbrite. Or for $20 at the door.

Monika Alleweldt 
Institute for Global Peace Work (IGP) 
c/o Tamera Peace Research Center 
Monte do Cerro, P-7630-303 Colos, Portugal 
Ph: +351-283 635 484 


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There’s No Stopping LOVE

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

Think Peace IDP


I don’t often take credit for anything because I know that I do nothing in and of myself alone. I know that a village surrounds me and that while that village might suffer from lack of sustainability sometimes, the truth is that WE fair better than most (because we’re still here). For those who don’t struggle with finances or find themselves scrapped for cash, I say this: to whom much is given, much is required. And I take that philosophy serious because I’ve been given gifts that I know are to be shared with the world and so, I have to keep moving forward INSPITE or DESPITE (despite being the chosen preposition) of the hurdles before me. Why? Because I’ve been given much more in the grand scheme of things than money can buy. AND … in truth … I can’t be bought.

And, so having done with so little, I’ve still managed to be on a team of individuals who helped bring 100 youth to India from several countries to talk about interfaith — and that they have grown and those relationships are stronger than even. I’ve been part of a network of teachers s in Salinas, California, and helped young people, 9th and 10th grades, find their voice in both podcast and film, and also prepare them to speak before city council and today … they take the air waves by storm. I’ve helped young artists find their calling, including one who helped to create an international photo competition called 1000KALEMA, and I’ve helped young activists find their direction. YEP, I helped to do that. And before you think I’m patting myself on the back as if I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF … know this: What I’ve done best is cultivate the love and support of those who LOVE and SUPPORT, too, and WE rise and are rising to the challenge … including this one to building “PARTNERSHIPS FOR PEACE: DIGNITY FOR ALL.”

THIS IS THE MAIN EVENT. This is a culmination of efforts over the last twenty years from storytelling to teaching, from teaching to guidance, and from guidance to the ultimate legacy of service to humankind. And, through the struggles, sometimes tripping over the hurdles, I get up and I move on. I keep getting up and know that I will for a while.

So, let’s stop with the “I” and finish with the WE. On Monday, September 21st … WE begin something that culminates all of our efforts for the past two decades. And, it is a joy to behold because we’re standing together to finish the work of the gathering. After more than 6 months of work and planning, THE EVENT, celebrating the International Day of Peace is happening. And nothing and no one will stop it. These events are NEVER what I think they will be because despite a great imagination, something better ALWAYS happens and because I am not alone, SOMETHING BETTER ALWAYS HAPPENS.

So, join us this during this week-long series of conversations. The schedule is available at where you can sign up for every day or singular days depending on your schedule. Know, however, that whatever days you attend will be the days you are supposed to be there. And know that how it shapes up at the end of the week (September 26th) is only the BEGINNING of something wonderful. Together we stand. There is no division because those who are working to build a better world will have the last LOVE because of the greatest of all of the things we desire, LOVE outshines them all.

~ P. K. McCary, Founder

UN-International Day of Peace Celebrations

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

On September 21 at 10:00 am, you are cordially invited to celebrate United Nations – International Day of Peace at the Exposition Park – Rose Garden, where Louis Gossett Jr. Oscar and Emmy Winner & Founder, President, Board Chair of Louis Gossett, Jr.’s Eracism Foundation will release a Live Dove with messages of peace.



Saturday, September 19th, 2015

From our friends in the Middle East:
IDP Multi – Faith Gathering, Walk for Understanding and Non-violence on the Eve of Yom Kippur and Eid Al Adha  September 21, Jerusalem

At a time of escalating violence in Jerusalem our Abrahamic Reunion CC on September 21, the International Day of Peace, will have rabbis, sheiks and imams leading us in the study of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur and the Muslim holiday of Eid Al adha - both being celebrated next week.  In the past the different modes of observing our holy days has led to mis-understanding, and even clashes.  Our event will demonstrate inter-religious harmony and understanding. We will have small group discussions of how we personally celebrate this holiday in our homes and communities.  Then we will have men and women Christian, Druze, Jewish, and Muslim religious and spiritual leaders walking together and giving blessings for peace on the Haas Promenade on the seam between East and West Jerusalem — demonstrating unity and strengthening non-violence in preparation for our holy days.  We will have participants from Israeli, Palestinian, and European CC’s. 

Blessings to everyone for the strengthening of peace and non-violence in Jerusalem, Israel, Palestine, and the whole world!




Elana Rozenman

Making a Movement – Elders in Partnership

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015




For those who complain “Those young people don’t know nothing,” I’d like to point out that: ”Yes, they do.” What THEY KNOW they learned from US. What we are seeing in the young people today is imitation, pure and simple. The problem is that they are imitating those of us who aren’t worth imitating. Young people are learning from individuals who continue to exacerbate the barriers that separate us rather than imitating those of us who have crossed barriers of race, creed and origin. The barriers that have stopped us from working together to find solutions to centuries-old problems must be re-examined. These aren’t new problems. I believe that one of the solutions to issues of conflict is for those of us who are elders (or just plain oder), who know not only what we did right, but KNOW what we’ve done wrong start being someone to emulate. Healing will come when those of us old enough to know better start dealing with those wrong moves of the past, those incomplete actions of yester-year, and start channeling a higher sensitivity to others, a more adroit sense of ways to forgive and let go, and a willingness to partner with young people to accomplish it … This is NOT another group or organization, but a movement. Let’s give the generations behind us something else to imitate. It could be JUST that simple.


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