There was a Filipino evening in London last night at which Gene Alcantara introduced the Mindanao Peace Initiative – UK to the local Filipino community. There were several purposes for the evening:
- Launching the Mindanao Peace Initiative UK – an initiative that seeks to promote peace in Mindanao, through projects in education, youth service activities, and other initiatives to bring young and old from different communities together in this Philippine area of Christian-Muslim conflict, as well as awareness-raising in the UK. Although focussed on Mindanao, any progress we make will benefit the whole country as well as contribute to world peace.
- Introducing the Luzviminda Foundation, a new association aiming to connect Filipinos in the UK from all three main island groupings, and helping where it is needed. Many of the current Filipino organisations are already focussed on their own provinces, and Luzviminda hopes to supplement their role by not being restricted geographically. See Videos and Read more...
The UPF-UK Environment Chapter has organized a series of conferences to raise awareness of environmental issues with the first on 16 July 2009. This is the first in a series of conferences aiming to answer questions, promote discussion and bring awareness in view of the upcoming “Copenhagen 2009 Climate Change Conference” in December. Photo link
Dr. Yacob Mulugetta, Deputy Director of the Centre for Environment Strategy of Surrey University presented a thorough analysis on issues of food, water and energy crises that humankind is facing today. He described the daunting prospect of the 'perfect storm' of multiple resource deficiencies. He concluded his analysis quoting Martin Luther King’s call for change of values, ‘Revolution of values: I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. – We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society.' Read More..
Global Vision 2000 and the Universal Peace Federation jointly organised, on July 13th, an emergency seminar in a parliamentary Committee room to examine the underlying causes of the financial and economic crisis and the need for a fundamental paradigm shift to restore stability, prosperity, justice and peace. Photos Link
The seminar shed light on the terrifying nature of the death spiral of the global debt based financial and economic system and the ruinous path towards servitude and serfdom. There were parliamentary, interfaith, monetary and fiscal reform perspectives shared and brought to bear on terms of alternative radical holistic solutions offering suffering humanity hope and salvation. This event took place when Parliament is at it’s lowest ebb and it’s image has been tarnished. The event affirmed grassroot coalitions facing the urgent need for civic society to champion the values of public service and the common good and claim Westminster as the people’s shared political space. Read More... Report by Canon Peter Challen
‘Spirituality is becoming popular. Even sociologists have become spiritual!’ said Professor Ursula King while discussing her latest book, ‘The Search for Spirituality: Our Global Quest for Meaning and Fulfillment’. She referred to a cultural vision of spiritual oneness beyond diversity of race, nationality and religion that is evolving within the human species. It is an evolution that was not discussed by Darwin but it is happening nevertheless.
'Gustav Jung referred to a coming together of the interconnectedness of humanity.' Prof. King defined spirituality in terms of the web of life, through the relationship to oneself, to others, to the environment and the Divine Spirit, Creator or God. The growing edge of spirituality, she explained, was not under our control and therefore is full of mystery as we pass through the stages of our life. We need to educate children about spirituality because we need to know how to allow our spirit to flourish throughout the ‘dance of life’. Interfaith dialogue can enable a person to discover the spirituality within another faith. This can help us to develop both spiritual literacy and the awareness that we have great resources within us. Photos link here
On the first of May 2009, Paul Currie set out to walk the length and breadth of the UK from near Thurso to Southampton via Ireland, around 1000 miles. His intention was to raise funds and awareness to establish an Interfaith Youth Hostel. He took no money with him and no support. After 40 days he reached the sea at Christchurch. See his blog here.
The UN International Day of Families was supported by an enthusiastic, interfaith audience revealing the universal interest and concern for the family. There were presentations on ‘Preparation and Early Support for Family Life’ from Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, Jain and Unificationists as well as an explanation of the value of Couple Relationship Education by the Chair of the UPF Marriage and Family Committee, Eddie Hartley. The conclusion was presented by the Chair of the Westminster United Nations’ Association, David Wardop, who referred to the United Nations as a world family whose work of quiet diplomacy solves many of the world’s problems. The UN International Day of Families is one that is regularly supported by the UPF worldwide. The event in the UPF HQ is one of several occurring around the UK.