This year’s interfaith Thanksgiving chapel service held Nov. 17 gave Associate Pofessor of Religion and Philosophy Richard Rose and Learning Enhancement Services Coordinator Steve Kinzie an opportunity to share their experiences in the fourth annual interfaith conference in Amritsar, India, held Nov. 1 to 7.
During the Thanksgiving service Rose and Kinzie reflected on their experience at the forum and tied their talks with the intent of the service.
“We are living in one city called humanity,” Kinzie said. “London, Uganda, Los Angeles are one part of that city. We need to learn to share.”
After each shared their experiences to the nine in attendance, Jane Dibbell, associate professor of theatre arts, interpreted a poem. Deborah Roberts, campus minister, then invited the attendees to join her in a period of silence to reflect on what they were thankful for and to light a candle. The service concluded with a song played by Kinzie.
“(The services) are always small but meaningful,” Roberts said.
The small audience in the interfaith chapel service did not compare to the larger turn out for the interfaith conference, sponsored by the Goldin Institute, which Rose and Kinzie attended last month. With about 120 delegates from 25 countries, the forum brought religious and peace leaders to participate in a forum for enhancing the peace, justice and stability movements in their respective communities.
Rose and Kinzie were two of three delegates that represented Los Angeles. The third representative was Jon Lamirault, ULV alumnus. Each group was assigned a time during the week to give a presentation to whomever was interested since three to four delegations were scheduled to present at one time.
Kinzie and Rose spoke on the pathways to peace course and Lamirault spoke on his work against gangs. Groups of delegates, according to region, were formed to discuss other topics to the entire congregation.
During the week-long event, Rose noticed leaders from different countries, some in conflict with each other, eating together, laughing together and having a good time.
“I’m thankful because what I saw made me hopeful,” Rose said.
Aside from presentations, the congregation was provided with entertainment from music to cultural dances. Delegates were also taken to the Golden Temple to witness the Diwali, one of the most important seek celebrations. They also visited an orphanage and an all girl school as well as sites of historical and religious significance.
This was Rose’s second time attending the interfaith conference. He said the second conference allowed him to notice more of the interrelationships that were occurring.
He has stayed in contact with members from the congregation and is working with them in sharing information regarding their communities and its problems. Rose has received information through the Columbia delegation of the ongoing threat that drug trafficking has on the country.
Similar issues were raised from the delegation in Uganda through correspondences. The middle class has collapsed and the education system is not working properly. Resources are not available to the youth.
Rose is working with the Uganda delegation in acquiring resources, like computers, for the youth.
“They are making us aware,” Rose said. “Raising our consciousness of problems in other areas. I think it’s important.”
In order to inform others of peace conference, a 20-minute video was made and will be used during a presentation held in Pasadena during the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.
Andres Rivera can be reached at email@example.com.