Voices from Melbourne
How has the 2009 Parliament of Religions made a difference in your life?
Parliament participants from around the world weigh in…

Photo of Valarie KaurFaith Translates to Action
"Interfaith dialogue for its own sake may have been novel 100 years ago, or even 20 years ago, but my generation have done it all our lives....  We need a way to translate our shared progressive values from our multiple faith traditions into political and social action.  We need the Parliament to help organize religious practitioners committed to the same issues into global grassroots movements that apply real political pressure."
–Valerie Kaur, Writer/Producer of Divided We Fall (2008)
Photo of Sean RoseEcumenism at Its Best
"One of the most touching moments for me was being part of a Catholic Mass celebrated in someone's apartment on the Sunday of the Parliament.  Being surrounded by thousands of people who subscribe to an amazing variety of religions, faiths and philosophical traditions was itself inspiring, but a vital part of a gathering like the Parliament is being able to meet and share with those from your own faith group. For me, it's not about religion, it's about relationships."
–Sean Rose
, Faith Acts Fellow

Photo of Pritipal KaurBeing an Agent of Change
"My campaign, the Faith Act Fellows encourages people of faith from all over the world to work together in their local communities toward the millennium development goals. Our particular aim is to help eradicate deaths from malaria. In the 'coffee shop' at the Parliament, I met a Christian Religious Education teacher from Singapore. She said that she was inspired to teach the children in her classes about the devastation caused by malaria around the world. She wanted to help her students understand what they, as young people from a variety of faith and non-faith communities, could do in a practical way to challenge the disease.

I also met a Jewish father from Sydney, Australia, who said his daughter now wants to organize a fundraiser with her friends to buy bed-nets to protect people in malarial areas. A bed net costs around £5 and will protect a family from malaria for five years. It means a lot to me that we are making an impact.  The world needs to know that, at the very least, it is possible to halt and reverse the spread of malaria by 2015, and it seemed the world had crowded into that Convention Centre. The Melbourne weather turned cooler that night, but the excitement, the debate and hope, meant we hardly noticed."
–Pritpal Kaur, Faith Acts Fellow

Post-Parliament Events
Since the Melbourne Parliament, Post-Parliament Events are being organized around the world.  If you or your community are planning to host or have hosted a Post-Parliament event, please let us know.

Portland-Vancouver–Feb. 21, 2010
The Portland-Vancouver Post-Parliament Event began with Native American drumming and a moving choir performance by the New Thought Church. Presentations focused on women’s leadership, indigenous wisdom and wisdom traditions, reflecting on our own faith through the lens of other traditions, and connecting with the world at the Parliament.

One of the city’s main goals is to continue engaging with one another in ways that will strengthen social cohesion across the region and provide individuals and communities with an interfaith experience that they can build upon over the coming year, and beyond.

Los Angeles, California–February 27, 2010
Over twenty members of the Southern California Committee
for a Parliament of the World’s Religions attended the 2009 Parliament.  Since returning to the states, members have been giving presentations at churches, mosques, synagogues, schools and colleges to share their experiences from Melbourne.  (Read more)

Chicago, Illinois–March 10, 2010
At McCormick Theological Seminary, Parliament attendees, seminary students, religious leaders, and current and past Council staff members gathered to celebrate the vibrant interfaith movement around the world as experienced at the 2009 Parliament. The service included prayer, scripture and song from the Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. In addition, Robert Cathey, Professor of Theology at McCormick Theological Seminary and Susan Pudelek, Director of Pilgrimage Ministry at The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, shared their own personal reflections of the 2009 Parliament.

Read Prof. Robert Cathey’s full report

Council Updates

  • In March, former CPWR board chair, Rev. William Lesher and the Council’s Grantwriting Consultant, Kathleen Hurty attended the Kalliopeia Foundation’s Emergence Conference.

  • CPWR will host an exhibit at the Religion Communicators Congress 2010. CPWR Board Chair, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid will be a featured speaker.

  • April 14-16, CPWR Communications Director, Alisa Roadcup and CPWR trustee John Pawlikowski will attend Educating Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Leaders for Service in a Multi-religious World at the Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE) at Andover Newton Theological School.

  • CPWR trustee, Kusumita Pederson was recently published in Interreligious Insight: a Journal of Dialogue and Engagement. Dr. Pedersen addresses the impact of the 2009 Parliament with special focus on issues of climate change, Indigenous peoples, women in Afghanistan, and the growth of the interreligious movement.

  • Chicago Community-based Initiatives:
    Please join us on April 14 for Critical Encounters Book Salon at Columbia College in partnership with the Project on Civic Reflection, Interfaith Youth Core and the Illinois Humanities Council for a discussion featuring “Hearing the Call Across Traditions: Readings on Faith & Service” to explore how the act of service to others is informed by spirituality and religion.

  • Thank you for helping CPWR reach our goal of 2,000 PeaceNext members by April 1!

Over 2000 members from 5 continents representing over 80 faith traditions.  Join the dialogue today at

2009 Parliament Brochure
This informal report provides an overview of the 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions, Melbourne.
Official 2009 Parliament Report coming soon!
Click here to download the report (pdf, 5M)

Parliament in the Press

Theologian Paul Knitter and Matthew Weiner on FaithView at Reuters

The Elders Speak: Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter And Mary Robinson with Marianne Schnall at the Huffington Post.

UPCOMING Post-Parliament Events

Adelaide, Australia

Bali, Indonesia

Capetown, South Africa

Cochabamba, Bolivia

Dearborn, Michigan, USA

Guadalajara, Mexico

Helsinki, Finland

Hong Kong, China

Port Phillip/ Mornington Peninsula, Australia

San Jose, California, USA

Seattle, Washington, USA

Thank you for helping us Make a World of Difference.


Charter for Compassion




  peacenext   facebook   twitter   youtube  

Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions
70 East Lake Street, Suite 205
Chicago, Illinois 60601 USA
Tel: + 1 312.629.2990
Fax: + 1 312.629.2991

The 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions was supported by the Australian Government’s Multicultural Affairs program, which aims to articulate and promote the benefits of balancing unity and diversity. For more information, visit

Forward this email to a friend | Unsubscribe from this list | Update your subscription preferences