"There are lots of reasons to support the Council right now. I'm one of them."
My name is Sharad Creasman. Just one year ago, I attended the 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne; the memory of that week is with me still. Those of you who have been to a Parliament know what the experience is like. For those who have yet to come, I can only tell you that it's something you will never forget.
I am writing to you now to ask you to help ensure that people like me, who would not otherwise have been able to attend this past Parliament, are able to attend future Parliaments. I am writing, in other words, to ask you to provide generous financial support to the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions.
Given the condition of the world today, with religious conflicts in the news almost every day, the work of the Council is more crucial than ever. And the impact of the Parliament on peacemaking, cooperation and greater understanding among the world's religions and spiritualities can hardly be overstated.
With over 600 presentations, panels, speakers, exhibitions and performances — plus countless informal and impromptu conversations — the Parliament does something no other organization or event does, by bringing people together in a spirit of warmth, openness, safety and goodwill.
As I'm sure you know, an event like the Parliament, as well as the worldwide work of the Council, requires a strong financial base, especially given the Council's unswerving commitment to enabling people like me to attend.
We therefore turn to you, our friends, advocates and supporters, for the financial support required to continue the Council's work, both in producing Parliaments and defraying the cost of students, and others, of attending.
If you believe in the promise of the Parliament of the World's Religions and what the Council stands for — what it has already achieved and can achieve in the future — please donate now, and give generously.
On behalf of all those who have been fortunate enough to attend a Parliament, but particularly those who will be able to come to future Parliaments, I thank you. You are truly making a more harmonious, just, sustainable and peaceful world possible for everyone, everywhere.