16 Days from Seoul

June 6, 2005

Getting mentally prepared for a trip to Seoul, South Korea in a few weeks... I'll be there for the URI Global Council meeting. Arriving the same day as an important diplomatic meeting between North and South, also in Seoul. And I'll be there for the 55th anniversary of the Korean War, the 60th anniversary of the UN, and the 5th anniversary of the URI. It promises to be an amazing and intense time.

I'm humbled to be attending, as staff (Regional Coordinator for North America, an adjunct-ish position), joining several dozen others staff and Global Council (Board of Directors) Trustees from literally all over the globe. Every continent, every major religion, will be represented, speaking dozens of tongues (English and Korean will be the two main languages heard, I expect, with Spanish maybe 3rd?).

Hopefully I'll be able to access the Internet and post pictures. Though I leave in a little over two weeks, I'm still trying to find a way to digitally record audio for some podcasting. There are ways, but its a matter of how much money I'm willing to spend after spending so much on the house lately. iPod is the ideal solution, but right now $300 is more than I want to spend. Any suggestions?

Below is a sneak preview of the upcoming InterfaithNews.Net (hopefully out tomorrow...)

INN - May/June 2005

Reacting to religious fanaticism and the challenges of advancing and sustaining a more equitable civilization, a global interfaith movement has sprung from the grassroots of religion and spirituality. InterfaithNews.Net (INN) seeks to chronicle this movement by focusing primarily on positive interfaith and religious news, events, and resources.

May peace prevail in Geneva! May peace prevail in Johannesburg! May peace prevail in New York! May peace prevail in Seoul! These are just a few of the locations of recent or upcoming large interfaith gatherings around the world; I am particularly looking forward to reporting from the URI Global Council meeting in Seoul at the end of June.

While there are a number of topics addressed in this issue of InterfaithNews.Net, it is particularly dedicated to World Environment Day on June 5th, as represented by an updated on the Call to Global Healing and commentary from the Archbishop of Canterbury. In addition, please check back soon for an interview with indigenous Argentinian interfaith peacebuilder, Rosalía Guitierrez.

Peace be with you,
Stephen A. Fuqua
Editor / Publisher, InterfaithNews.Net

The Call To Global Healing: A global initiative to implement the URI Purpose

For the occasion of World Environment Day (June 5th), I asked Dave Randle to send an update on the status of the Call to Global Healing. While the Call is rooted in environmental consciousness, you will find that it has moved well beyond and has led the Utah URI Cooperation Circle into the heart of conflict in working to provide aid and support to people in need.

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Rowan Williams: A planet on the brink

The Archbishop of Canterbury warns that the price of our continued failure to protect the earth will be violence and social collapse

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I Choose to Live in an Age of Transformation

In his April letter, URI Executive Directory Charles Gibbs writes "I refuse to live in an 'Age of Terror' … I choose… to live in an 'Age of Transformation'." Please read on for more of this beautiful and inspiring message.

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Developing an Interfaith Family

Rev. Paul Chaffee of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio (and of the InterfaithNews.Net Advisory Board, among other affiliations), writes about the Interfaith Family Circle, "a new kind of model for generating and supporting interfaith relations in any local community."

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Swing Honors Roman Catholic Archbishop on New Appointment

Bishop William E. Swing of California has written the following reflection to honor Roman Catholic Archbishop William J. Levada of San Francisco, who on Friday, May 13, was named prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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Women Launch Inter-Faith Campaign for a Healthy Africa

Many initiatives were born or carried farther forward at the Second Inter-Faith Action for Peace in Africa Summit, which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, in late April. Personally, I found the story of the "Mother's Cry for a Healthy Africa" the most compelling of these — calling for African women to "unite against war." Please read on for the full story; broader coverage of the event can be found at Christian Today.

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Religious leaders of Albania sign historic “Statement of Shared Moral Commitment

In a beautiful statement, religious leaders in Albania — one of the poorest nations in Europe, and one of the last released from Communism — proclaim the importance of religious harmony and shared values while carefully enunciated their own distinctness. The preservation of the belief in uniqueness of one's own religion is one of the most difficult public relations issues faced by the interfaith movement. Here we have an amazing model of how to achieve this while emphasizing the need for cooperation. "Let us treat others as we would wish them to treat us."

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Faith-Based Organizations Offer Important Assets to the Global HIV/AIDS Response

A new study from the Global Health Council cites collaboration between religious and secular groups as enabling a more coordinated and rapid expansion of HIV/AIDS programs and services. As of 2003, 40 million people worldwide were estimated to be living with HIV; 3 million more are thought to have died from HIV/AIDS that year, leaving behind orphaned families and debilitated infrastructures

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That sounds amazing! Have so much fun in Korea!

Have a really great time in Korea!

stephen, you rock. your trip is gonna be so awesome! soak it up. and represent. :)