2015 – Justice

Speakers

“Do your little bit of good where you are: it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”

                                                          Desmond Tutu

 

The Community Conversations

Each year after the speakers present information on how the traditions might approach the topic, everyone participates in Table Discussions. This year we have organized the discussions in a new way. We have divided the space into four related justice topics. Two groups deal with specific justice issues facing Davis and Yolo County: homelessness and people from other countries who lack the documentation to legally reside in the United States. The other two topics focus on building an inclusive just community: restorative processes for resolving conflicts in our community and building a coalition among those individuals and groups who are working for equal justice for everyone. The five groups represented in the Interfaith Fair for Justice have worked with us on developing the table conversations. (See more below) We will invite individuals attending the Celebration to sit in the area they most would like to discuss.

The Ritual

At the first Celebration of Abraham, we shared a small ritual to emphasize that we believe this work is a sacred responsibility. The two-part ritual comprised washing each other’s hands and breaking bread together. Each action is preceded by a Christian, Jewish and Muslim prayer. We have included this hand washing and bread sharing each year. All communities have rituals and this one has brought us closer together and reminded us of how blessed we are to be able to come together to discuss our differences.

The Service Projects

From the beginning the Celebration of Abraham has closed with an act of love toward the larger community. Some years we have raised funds for local groups like the Yolo Food Pantry. Other years we have raised money to help the survivors of the Super Hurricane Haiyan. This past summer, when we chose who we would support with our donations, Israel and Gaza were at war. Hoping to help the people living through those wars we chose two educational groups working with children and youth to support.

 

The two groups are— Seeds of Peace and reGeneration.

Because Abraham is working on its non-profit status, Care for God’s Creation is acting as our fiscal sponsor, so please make all checks out to Care for God’s Creation. They will deposit the money in their account and then send checks to the two groups

Pottery for Peace

When a group of potters representing many faiths heard that the Celebration was going to support groups working to build bridges to peace in the Middle East, they approached the Celebration and proposed Pots for Peace. Using materials donated by the University of California, Davis Craft Center, this group under the leadership of Renee Dryfoos produced 100 pots for peace! Anyone who donates $20 to the two groups working for peace will receive a “Peace Pot.” Of course donation less than $20 will be much appreciated and those who want to replenish their soup bowls may purchase more bowls.

Seeds of Peace

Seeds of Peace inspires and equips new generations of leaders from regions of conflict with the relationships, understanding, and skills needed to advance lasting peace. From 46 American, Egyptian, Israeli and Palestinian teenagers in 1993, we have expanded our programming to include young leaders (“Seeds”) from across the Middle East, South Asia, Cyprus and the Balkans. Our leadership network now encompasses over 5,000 Seeds. Currently, we are actively working in the Middle East, South Asia, and the United States. http://www.seedsofpeace.org/about#sthash.smzlynsT.dpuf

reGeneration

ReGernation is an interfaith non-profit seeding the Middle East with an educational philosophy that embraces life, learning, the arts, the earth and all the children. http://regenerationeducation.org/ One of their primary projects is Ein Bustan the first Jewish/Arab Waldorf kindergarten in Israel, and is situated in the small Arab village of Hilf, near Kiryat Tivon, in the lower Galilee. The educational framework, which is based on Waldorf Education, accepts both Arab and Jewish cultures equally.  (http://www.ein-bustan.org/

Interfaith Community Justice Fair Organizations

The Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter of Davis (IRWS) is a community based-effort enabling member congregations to provide cold-weather shelter and hospitality on a rotating basis to persons who are homeless in the Davis community. The spirit of the program is to provide a bridge between those with shelter and those without. http://www.interfaith-shelter.org/

Davis Community Meals (DCM) is a nonprofit, non-denominational organization whose mission is to provide low-income and homeless individuals and families with housing, food, and human services to help them rebuild their lives. http://daviscommunitymeals.org/

The Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network (YIIN) is a group of people serving and advocating for immigrants in Yolo County. We believe that by working together, we can make our community a better place for all of us to live and thrive. https://www.facebook.com/YIIN.Group

The Yolo Conflict Resolution Center provides community mediation based on the principles of Restorative Justice regardless of the parties ability to pay. They also train people in restorative processes. http://yolocrc.org/index.html

The mission of the Phoenix Coalition is to gather and engage the Davis community in ongoing efforts to eliminate intolerance, for the purpose of preventing hate motivated violence and thus cultivating a broader civic culture that embraces and promotes all aspects of the city’s diverse community. https://www.facebook.com/DavisPhoenixCoalition

2 Comments

  1. Martha Teeter

    What time?

    Reply
  2. Samuel Stuart Maynes

    If you are interested in some new ideas on religious pluralism and the Trinity, please check out my website at http://www.religiouspluralism.ca, and give me your thoughts on improving content and presentation.

    My thesis is that an abstract version of the Trinity could be Christianity’s answer to the world need for a framework of pluralistic theology.

    In a constructive worldview: east, west, and far-east religions present a threefold understanding of One God manifest primarily in Muslim and Hebrew intuition of the Deity Absolute, Christian and Krishnan Hindu conception of the Universe Absolute Supreme Being; and Shaivite Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist apprehension of the Destroyer (meaning also Consummator), Unconditioned Absolute, or Spirit of All That Is and is not. Together with their variations and combinations in other major religions, these religious ideas reflect and express our collective understanding of God, in an expanded concept of the Holy Trinity.

    The Trinity Absolute is portrayed in the logic of world religions, as follows:

    1. Muslims and Jews may be said to worship only the first person of the Trinity, i.e. the existential Deity Absolute Creator, known as Allah or Yhwh, Abba or Father (as Jesus called him), Brahma, and other names; represented by Gabriel (Executive Archangel), Muhammad and Moses (mighty messenger prophets), and others.

    2. Christians and Krishnan Hindus may be said to worship the first person through a second person, i.e. the experiential Universe or “Universal” Absolute Supreme Being (Allsoul or Supersoul), called Son/Christ or Vishnu/Krishna; represented by Michael (Supreme Archangel), Jesus (teacher and savior of souls), and others. The Allsoul is that gestalt of personal human consciousness, which we expect will be the “body of Christ” (Mahdi, Messiah, Kalki or Maitreya) in the second coming – personified in history by Muhammad, Jesus Christ, Buddha (9th incarnation of Vishnu), and others.

    3. Shaivite Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucian-Taoists seem to venerate the synthesis of the first and second persons in a third person or appearance, ie. the Destiny Consummator of ultimate reality – unqualified Nirvana consciousness – associative Tao of All That Is – the absonite* Unconditioned Absolute Spirit “Synthesis of Source and Synthesis,”** who/which is logically expected to be Allah/Abba/Brahma glorified in and by union with the Supreme Being – represented in religions by Gabriel, Michael, and other Archangels, Mahadevas, Spiritpersons, etc., who may be included within the mysterious Holy Ghost.

    Other strains of religion seem to be psychological variations on the third person, or possibly combinations and permutations of the members of the Trinity – all just different personality perspectives on the Same God. Taken together, the world’s major religions give us at least two insights into the first person of this thrice-personal One God, two perceptions of the second person, and at least three glimpses of the third.

    * The ever-mysterious Holy Ghost or Unconditioned Spirit is neither absolutely infinite, nor absolutely finite, but absonite; meaning neither existential nor experiential, but their ultimate consummation; neither fully ideal nor totally real, but a middle path and grand synthesis of the superconscious and the conscious, in consciousness of the unconscious.

    ** This conception is so strong because somewhat as the Absonite Spirit is a synthesis of the spirit of the Absolute and the spirit of the Supreme, so it would seem that the evolving Supreme Being may himself also be a synthesis or “gestalt” of humanity with itself, in an Almighty Universe Allperson or Supersoul. Thus ultimately, the Absonite is their Unconditioned Absolute Coordinate Identity – the Spirit Synthesis of Source and Synthesis – the metaphysical Destiny Consummator of All That Is.

    After the Hindu and Buddhist conceptions, perhaps the most subtle expression and comprehensive symbol of the 3rd person of the Trinity is the Tao; involving the harmonization of “yin and yang” (great opposing ideas indentified in positive and negative, or otherwise contrasting terms). In the Taoist icon of yin and yang, the s-shaped line separating the black and white spaces may be interpreted as the Unconditioned “Middle Path” between condition and conditioned opposites, while the circle that encompasses them both suggests their synthesis in the Spirit of the “Great Way” or Tao of All That Is.

    If the small black and white circles or “eyes” are taken to represent a nucleus of truth in both yin and yang, then the metaphysics of this symbolism fits nicely with the paradoxical mystery of the Christian Holy Ghost; who is neither the spirit of the one nor the spirit of the other, but the Glorified Spirit proceeding from both, taken altogether – as one entity – personally distinct from his co-equal, co-eternal and fully coordinate co-sponsors, who differentiate from him, as well as mingle and meld in him.

    For more details, please see: http://www.religiouspluralism.ca

    Samuel Stuart Maynes

    Reply

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