2.b. Let it sing: General Assembly

Presbyterians and the World’s Religions

We’ve done a great job sharing the PC(USA) study document about antisemitism and Islamophobia at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Our discussion was super cool, with scholars and activists from different religious backgrounds, including Jewish and Muslim leaders. We really made some awesome connections with some amazing folks in this interreligious setting.

Curious about what’s in that study document? Check it out here: Denouncing antisemitism and Islamophobia.And don’t forget to dive deeper into it with this article on Presbyterian Outlook.

This document got the stamp of approval from the General Assembly of PC(USA), and the friends at GACEIR (General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations) decided to share it with the Presbyterian family and a wider audience.

This thing didn’t just pop up overnight; it was the result of years of hard work by a writing team. Our colleague Whitney Wilkinson Arreche gave us the stories on that for the panel. We also spread the study document through an online survey with some local Presbyterians, in cahoots with Research Services of PC(USA). Nanette Sawyer, a pastor from Chicago, not only put the finishing touches on it but also shared it with her own local communities. Then, we took it on the road, getting all sorts of reactions in different places like D.C., and the greater Boston area. Each stop gave us unique insights. We even checked out the awesome work of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) in witnessing how interfaith relationships might play out in different local contexts.

At the Parliament, we had a panel chat about how we shared and talked about this document within the PCUSA.

What is the limitation and prospects of this document? Plus, we got feedback from Rabbis and interfaith leaders, which gave us some great ideas for making it even more enlightening for Presbyterians.

But wait, there’s more! We had a blast reconnecting with more diverse religious communities at the Parliament of the World’s Religions event. The Langar Lunch event was a standout, bringing together folks from all sorts of backgrounds.

Shoutout to Philip Woods for leading us to that awesome space of communal harmony.

We also got to hang with some Presbyterians in Chicago who are all about climate justice and tackling gun violence. And let me tell you, the women’s religions programs were super inspiring, as were the discussions about East Asian religions, Native American people, and the harm of the Doctrine of Discovery.

Now, let’s dive into the big question: What’s Christianity’s role in this spirit-driven world of spirituality? It’s a head-scratcher, but we’re on it.

Honestly, this Parliament felt much more vibrant and community-driven compared to the formal ecumenical gatherings held worldwide. These are the kinds of events where church leaders convene in private settings and sometimes get caught up in ecclesiastical hierarchies, often associated with more traditional and rigid customs.

In contrast, this Parliament truly embodied authenticity and inclusiveness, making it a remarkable experience! 🌟