The Gifts of Pluralism Ongoing Work
Suggestions from David Nelson
for the Three Task Forces
"Here in Kansas City interfaith relationship shall be honored as a way
of deepening one's own tradition and spirituality, and the wisdom of many
religions shall help to successfully address the environmental, personal,
and social crises of our often fragmented world."
— Conference Declaration
THE THREE CRISES -- QUOTING FROM THE DECLARATION:
" The gifts of pluralism have taught
us that nature is to be respected, not just controlled. Nature is a process
that includes us, not a product external to us that can just be used or
disposed of. Our proper attitude toward nature is awe, not utility.
When we do use nature as we must - for food, housing, and other legitimate
purposes - we should do so with respect and care, preserving its beauty
and mindful of its connection to the Sacred and ourselves.
" We have also learned that our true
personhood may not be in the images of ourselves constrained by any particular
social identities. When we realize this, out acts can proceed spontaneously
from duty and compassion, and we need not be unduly attached to results
beyond our control.
" Finally, when persons in community
govern themselves less by profit and more by the covenant of service, the
flow of history towards peace and justice is honored and advanced."-- From
the Conference Concluding Declaration
-- From the Conference
1. Each person shares name, religious community
and a reason they have agreed to be part of the Nature/Personhood/Community
2. Tell of successful religious gatherings
and responses to the challenges identified above concerning the environment,
personhood and community. Who was involved? What made these
work? Why were they examples of the vision shared in the above statement?
3. How can we create more of these types
of responses and make Kansas City a welcoming community for all people
4. Develop "provocative propositions" which
define the way we are in the Heart of America. Provocative Propositions
describe an ideal state of circumstances that will foster the climate that
creates the possibilities to do more of what works. The purpose of
provocative propositions is to keep our best at a conscious level.
They are ways to describe the archetypes (patterns or symbols) of our community.
They are symbolic statements because they have meaning well beyond words,
reminding us of what is best about faith communities and how everyone can
participate in creating more of the best. These will be distributed
to all participants in the "Gifts" Conference and others. These propositions
are derived from stories that actually took place, therefore are grounded
in history, tradition, and facts.
5. Identify, celebrate, and support those
groups and individuals who are doing this work in our area. This
includes listing in Many Paths and on CRES web site.
6. Explore further plans where gaps appear
between our vision and current reality.
7. Select the time and place for the next
8. Share a report of the meeting with the
a Council through email through the CRES office or other means.