Marylhurst University Partners in Peace: Forum for Interfaith Dialogue

06 Mar
March 6, 2009

Saturday March 14 & Sunday March 15th , 2009… … …
Art Reflection -by Vicki Shuck.

(Continuing Education,, undergraduate or graduate credit may be earned in connection to these Marylhurst University Ministry Partners in Peace events).

Sat. March 14th
Parish Without Borders: Starting and Strengthening Social Ministry in your Parish
Office of Justice and Peace Archdiocese of Portland
-Catholic Relief Society –West
9:30 am -3:30 pm
Marylhurst University’s Flavia Hall Salon. Continental Breakfast and Lunch Provided.

Justice for the World- Celebration of the Eucharist…4:00pm. -5:00 pm – Flavia Hall Salon. (Presider Fr. Rick Ganz, S. J.)
Liturgical Artists: students Jenny Pixler, William Perry, Crystal Larsen, Sr. Carol Higgins, SNJM and Dr. Sheila O’Connell-Roussell- University Ministry.

Sun. March 15th
Seeking a Just Peace- Gaza, Palestine and Israel
Prayer, Discussion and Community Sharing.
Marylhurst Forum for Interfaith Dialogue
Presenters from the Jewish, Islamic and Christian Communities.
2:00pm -4:00 pm Marylhurst University’s Flavia Hall Salon.
Table: display materials.
Reception with Refreshments Provided.

You are invited to Our free University Ministry Partners in Peace Events.

Parish Without Borders: Starting and Strengthening Social Ministry in your Parish

This workshop helps participants to start a parish social justice ministry that is (1) rooted in Catholic Social Teaching, (2) connected to other ministries in the parish, and (3) a leaven to invite all parishioners to participate, not just a motivated few! These effective (and realistic!) steps are also helpful for strengthening or renewing the social justice ministry that already exists.

1 – Inspiration: Being a Leaven of Social Justice
2 – Organization: Moving People to Action & Keeping it Going
3 – Collaboration: Building Connections across the Archdiocese
4 – Transformation: Building Solidarity with the whole Human Family!

Presenters:

Tom Ulrich -Catholic Relief Services, Director of Constituency Relations and Support Department in US Operations.

Joe Hastings -Catholic Relief Services

Catherine Willett -Office of Justice and Peace Archdiocese of Portland

Jeanine Boucher-Colbert -Catholic Relief Society -West

Marylhurst Forum for Interfaith Dialogue

Sunday March 15
Seeking a Just Peace- Gaza, Palestine and Israel
Prayer, Discussion and Community Sharing.


Panelists
Dr. Masoud Kheirabadi, Ph.D – Marylhurst Professor

Sr.Elaine Kelley, Friends of Sabeel–North America

Robert Abramovitz- Marylhurst M.Div student and Rabbi to Business

Joe Hastings- Catholic Relief Services

Catherine Willett—Office of Peace and Justice Archdiocese of Portland.

A Prayer service, discussion and reception for the community to address peace and justice with a focus on the current issues in Gaza, Palestine and Israel. We gather as an interfaith community to pray, and to express our grief over the distress among our brothers and sisters of all faiths and cultures, and to find hope in our shared humanity.

Opportunities in our Community: We would also like to make you aware of another event scheduled for the same weekend. If you are not able to join us at Marylhurst, the Sisters of the Holy Names have sponsored -Christian-Muslim Understanding (ICMU) –
“Connecting for the Common Good: Moving from Common Word to Common Works” by Dr. John Borelli (Georgetown) and Dr. Amir Hussain Loyola Marymount) at 1:00 pm, March 13-14, 2009 at Portland State University. More information can be found at http://www.icmuoregon.org & info@icmuoregon.org


The Catholic Campaign for Peace in the Holy Land is part of an unprecedented interreligious initiative. This initiative engages Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders and communities in a coordinated effort to promote a just peace in the Middle East. The following is adapted from the USCCB site for Peace and Justice. http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/holyland_peace.shtml

Since Dec. 27 08, the Israeli initiative to stop the Palestinian militant group Hamas from launching rockets, more than 1,000 Palestinians and 13 Israelis have died.

“Religious tensions play a minor role in fueling world conflicts; rather, countless economic and social injustices are what foment violence,” said Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

“Stop the Violence, Start Building Peace” is the plea of the Episcopal Conference of the Mother Church of Jerusalem – a divided and suffering land.

“There can be no peace unless people believe in peace. There can be no security unless there is security for all. There can be no justice unless there is justice for everyone in this land,”(Bishops in the communiqué of Jerusalem).

To the world’s leaders the bishops pleaded, “Work with Israelis and Palestinians to stop the violence in Gaza and provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance. But do not stop there. With one voice press Israelis and Palestinians to build a just peace with security for Israel and a viable state for Palestinians.”

Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., said, “”Both Palestinians and Israelis have experienced hurt, violence, death of loved ones, have seen suffering of children and have a shared experience of pain,…” whether by Hamas rockets or Israeli military actions—is only “furthering bitterness and desire for revenge in an endless spiral.”

“Violence begets violence”.

“Israeli families are terrified of rocket attacks. Palestinians families agonize over the hundreds dying in Gaza and the dire humanitarian situation. Violence only breeds violence. The United States with the international community must help break this spiral of violence.” He added, “Throughout this trip I witnessed vibrant faith: Muslim calls to prayer, Jews bowing in prayer, Christians celebrating the Eucharist with joy. Faith must play an important part in resolving the conflict. Religious leaders must emphasize our common belief in peace and the human dignity of all.”

January 15, 2009
Bethlehem – Jerusalem

The People’s Voice Peace Initiative
An Israeli-Palestinian civil society Initiative developed by Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, President of Al Quds University in Jerusalem and Ami Ayalon, former head of the Israeli security service, Shin Bet.

In early 2004 the Initiative had more than 150,000 Israeli and 125,000 Palestinian
endorsers. This initiative, like the Geneva Accord, offers benchmark principles and ideas for realistic compromises for mutually acceptable peace, including on crucial, sensitive issues such as borders, security, settlements, refugees and Jerusalem.

The Palestinian people and the Jewish people each recognize the other’s historic rights with respect to the same land.

The Jewish people has for generations wanted to establish the Jewish State in all the Land of Israel, while the Palestinian people has similarly wanted to establish a state in all of Palestine.
The two sides hereby agree to accept a historic compromise based on the principle of two sovereign and viable states existing side by side. The following Statement of Intentions is an expression of the will of the majority of the people. Both sides believe that through this initiative they can influence their leaders and thereby open a new chapter in the region’s history. This new chapter will be realized by calling on the international community to guarantee security in the region and to help in rehabilitating and developing the region’s economy.

The People’s Voice- Statement of Intentions
1. Two states for two peoples: Both sides will declare that Palestine is the only state of the Palestinian people and Israel is the only state of the Jewish people.

2. Borders: Permanent borders between the two states will be agreed on the basis of the June 4, 1967 lines, UN resolutions and the Arab peace initiative (known as the Saudi initiative). – Border modifications will be based on an equal territorial exchange (1:1) in accordance with the vital needs of both sides, including security, territorial contiguity, and demographic considerations.
- The Palestinian State will have a connection between its two geographic areas, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. – After establishment of the agreed borders, no settlers will remain in the Palestinian state.

3. Jerusalem: Jerusalem will be an open city, the capital of two states. Freedom of religion and full access to holy sites will be guaranteed to all. – Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem will come under Palestinian sovereignty; Jewish neighborhoods under Israeli sovereignty. – Neither side will exercise sovereignty over the holy places. The State of Palestine will be designated Guardian of the Temple Mount for the benefit of Muslims. Israel will be the Guardian of the Western Wall for the benefit of the Jewish people. The status quo on Christian holy sites will be maintained. No excavation will take place in or underneath the holy sites.

4. Right of return: Recognizing the suffering and the plight of the Palestinian refugees, the international community, Israel, and the Palestinian State will initiate and contribute to an international fund to compensate them. – Palestinian refugees will return only to the State of Palestine; Jews will return only to the State of Israel.

5. The Palestinian State will be demilitarized and the international community will guarantee its security and independence.

6. End of conflict: Upon the full implementation of these principles, all claims on both sides and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will end.

A Resource from the
National Interreligious Initiative for Peace
Telephone/Fax: (360) 652-3736
E-mail: usicpme@aol.com or
Office

Envision Marylhurst

30 Jan
January 30, 2009

“In the beginning”, is a treasured phrase that honors our shared cosmology, preserves the belief that our Creator from beyond time imaged us -all of us- gifted with life and the longing to co-create our lives together.

In identifying the interconnectedness of each generation, C.S. Lewis wrote, “This moment contains all moments” (The Great Divorce). Our Marylhurst foundresses, the Sisters of the Holy Names, the sisters today and those of the future have entrusted all of us with their vowed mission. We all play essential roles in the story of our mission. Each of us is called to educate and empower, to build a community that works for the good in each generation.

As I pray for our Envisioning process, as I pray for the discernment each of you contribute. And I’m excited about the future we will create, the legacy with which we will bless future generations. I believe with St. Paul, that the “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard nor has it entered into the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor 2: 9-10) and that “imagination is more important than knowledge…(Albert Einstein).

It is a privilege to create the future together. I pray blessings on Envision Marylhurst.

Reflections in Ordinary Time

14 Jan
January 14, 2009

Interfaith Liturgy:

New Light and Life Prayer for Peace and Prosperity
Thursday January 22, 2009 at 5:00 pm
Wiegand Recital Hall,- BP John Bldg.

Love in Action Outreach: Please bring food items or funds to support our Second Wind Drive for the Oregon Food Bank. Now that the Holiday season is over, the poor still need our help.

P.S: Scroll Down to find our Links.

Reflections in Ordinary Time:

I got up this morning, spoke to my Lord, poured the coffee and turned on the news. …
There it was again, images of a world whirling in panic, war, and financial hysteria. As I listened to the day’s toxic prediction, the report was a cascade of chaos. The forecast was dreadful, terrible, a plunging stream of loss and fear. The numbers who suffer loss of life, liberty and happiness escalated with each report.

I can’t wrap my brain around it. Grief numbs what could become overwhelming. Yet, the very thought of Blessed Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. gives hope beyond words. I am old enough to remember him, to have found my own call in light of his commitment and courage. Martin’s radical commitment to the path of Christ as an embrace of peace and justice for all, has long nurtured my spirit. What once was a vision, what once was his dream of a better world -even in the midst of crisis- has become reality in our life and times. Barack Obama is soon to be anointed President of these United States.

This reflection goes beyond politics. Dr. Obama is far more than our first black President, he is an icon of all of us and our ancestors. Although we still have work to do, Dr. Obama evidences that the dream of equality is manifesting in our lives. He is black. He is white. He is an icon of the Native people, the Hawaiians, the Irish and all who dreamed the dreams of freedom and equality. The time is now to work to further justice and provide happiness, prosperity and dignity for all people of earth.

Can We Do It?
To be clear, there are always two versions of the human story that compete for our allegiance. The first is displayed across the crisis. Denial is foolish. The crisis is real, demanding our attention and healing. I don’t offer one of those “think positive and it will be” magical formulas.

With that said, this chaos does not possess the final definitive word in the story of our lives. We have an essential part to play in the healing of this drama. As Blessed Mother Marie Rose Durocher wrote, “We are guardians for the future.”

You and I are writing the story of life on earth. We do it together and everyone plays a part in the deconstruction or the building up.
… As I offer this reflection, I’m looking at my little three year old Jack. I find a depth of motivation for the commitment in his eyes. Let’s keep on keepin on with the dream of Martin, for Jack and all the little one’s who will inheirt our grace and wounds.

Education Holds the Key. We who are privileged to embrace the vocation of education- whether as student, teacher, staff, or administrator- offer a vision of possibility, a wellspring that nurtures the very fabric of society. Together, we unleash the healing power of vision and -through the interconnected wisdom of our disciplines- provide the tools to weave the world of tomorrow.
… Every day, in everything we do, and by who we are- we reconstruct harmonies of hope. We begin with ourselves then reach to those with whom we share life. We teach the good, shape character and refine skills that change our human destiny, one person at a time.

The unimaginable power of a liberal arts education is in its ability to celebrate the present, while honoring the past and directing the creation of a new future.
.. Our ancestors offer wisdom for these times of financial insecurity.
… Benjamin Franklin said, that “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” ...

It takes faith to believe that we can create the world that we envision. It takes faith to bind our resolve to the Omega Point of Reality, that unchangeable Presence –Who is known by many names. Those who have dared to offer language to describe such Mystery have named the Holy with words that describe our our human hungers for refuge,compassion, liberation, sustenance, love and life. It is Life Itself who calls us to craft our own healing. The Spirit relentlessly calls us into hope, calls us to believe that we have the gifts to turn this dark night into a new dawn for all people, if we believe and work like Martin.

In union with the Spirit’s grace filled audacity, we are invited to dare to believe that our work will shatter the darkness and fill the world with the Light of Hope. I believe that together we can do it. I believe it’s God’s will that we do it.

God’s will has never changed. We are called to be what we were created to be, and nothing less. We are creatures made in the image and likeness of God, created as co-creators hard-wired with the ability to recreate, to forgive, heal, learn and love.


In the beginning was the Word
The Word was with God
And through this sacred Word
All that is came to be.

The beginning is Now. The Word is love, is justice.
All that exists, all that has been or will be-coming is …Now.

In the Present Moment fully lived,
God is….
we are ….
in God….
Now.

Outside… inside time… the Holy One is…
in our experience…in our memories. Now.. in the present moment, tomorrow is not, not yet.

The Good News is, we are liberated and empowered to change the story of earth’s destiny. With Martin, we can see the promised land and dare to believe that the reign of God is at hand, is coming soon.
..The mind-blowing truth is, it is! If we have eyes to see and ears to hear we’ll recognize its incarnation into our world -even as the chaos threatens to swallow us in its rage.

Reflection

And the Teacher said, “Be not afraid, the Truth will set you free.”

The Teacher was a dreamer like Martin.
And his students cried, “Truth! The truth is, the world is whirling in panic, war, financial hysteria and grief. If you want us to believe that -truth, justice and compassion can heal this world- then show us.”

The Teacher saw their fear and blessed those who would not see the dream take flesh in their lifetimes, yet who were willing to believe. I know he thought of Martin, could imagine his coming. I know he’s proud of him today.

The Teacher was not naïve; he knew the road would be hard. He had tasted fear. He stood before his students hiding nothing of the truth and promised to go before them in all things. Every scar from his journey was visible. He wore no mask to cover the wounds of his passion. Injustice, evil and hatred had ripped at his soul and had torn his body.

Martin followed his teacher in the ways of peace in defense of justice. On April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, Martin was murdered as he planned his protest against the injust conditions of the garbage workers. The Teacher had taught Martin that there were truths worth living for, worth dying for. The Teacher taught Martin how to change the world. … And Martin did. In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed a revolution of the the heart.

I remember how it was. I remember the day I stood with my friend and my Mother at the bus stop. Two little 1st grade girls waiting for a ride to school in a North Carolina winter’s cold. Both little daughters of US Marines whose fathers were gone, off defending our America on some foreign soil. She was black, I, Irish.
“She can’t ride!”, the man yelled down to us.
“Well then neither will we!” said Momma. Mom and I walked with Christiana that day through the North Caroloina snow. then Momma worked to change the law. Even the military was segregated at this time and the law would not change until the 60’s with the Civil Rights Act.
Oh I remember Martin, taught his truths to thousands of students over my 30 years of teaching. But I imagined that the dream he sang would take flesh in another age.

On January 20th, 2009 the United States turns the page of history as we call forth Dr. Barack Obama in service of our people.

If we want to heal the world, like Martin we can. Even now, The Teacher stands before his students in timeless glory. Gogotha’s humiliation could not darken the power of his light or steal the depth of his love. He taught us the way. He taught the truth, the truth that will set us free.

The Teacher said, “Love one another, as I have loved you. Love the enemy. Heal the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty. Free those in bondage, protect the gifts of creation, and bring peace to the world. It is my peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you. Go in peace.”

Truth is a power not contained by time or place. When injustice is identified and evil named, it dissolves in defeat. It’s only a matter of time. And contrary to current political thought, we are not running out of time.

Reflections in Ordinary Time

14 Jan
January 14, 2009

Reflections in Ordinary Time

14 Jan
January 14, 2009

Winter Quarter

06 Jan
January 6, 2009

Happy New Year.
Dare to Dream, the Impossible Dream-Peace on Earth, Justice for All.
We invite you to enter your sacred imagination as together we create this new year of 2009. What mysteries lie ahead? What opportunities and challenges. The privilege of the vocation of education and the ministry of presence, is that we are given the great, humbling and tender vocation of changing people’s lives and permitting student to change our own. We can see in the student what lies hidden. We can empower and uplift, direct and encourage.
As we enter 2009, I wish to give thanks to my teachers. As a young single mother my university teachers told me that I could choose my path. At this point in life, I can’t image the journey without their encouragement, critique, challenge and direction. I stand in gratitude for the graced opportunities offered by the sages, teachers, and ministering souls who continue to give so much so that we can live out our dreams.
Happy New Year!
I pray that all your dreams come true. I pray that you dare to dream. And Most importantly, I pray that we all dare to speak our dreams, to give them flesh.
Blessings,
Sheila
PS: The use of this art is gifted to us by the respected North West artist Victoria Shuck.

Snow Storm Blessings

19 Dec
December 19, 2008

Hello Marylhurst Community,

The snow softly falls around us, whispering, mocking, teasing, mandating that we all stay still and listen to nature’s song, a lullaby sung by Mother Earth.

We can venture out as our did our skilled ancestors, who slowly, carefully -minding each step- challenged the slip and slid of December.

How do we silence the voice of culture that screams unrelentingly that time is of essence, there is work to be done? Our kind administrators have asked us to relax. Can we? Should we? Will we?

Should we climb into the antiquated vehicle and skid- hopefully safely so – in attempt to accomplish business as usual, even though the wise ones have retired to their abodes. They enjoy the evening sipping tea, warming soup, grading papers, calculating grades that are due tonight!

Well, we have computers! Thank you, God for all those geniuses you created, who in turn created this tool that permits us to cast our thoughts as if by the power of bi-location.

Tonight, Wisdom sings a haunting song of timeless gift. I intend to listen to voices of the grand children. My Stella and Jack know. They know it’s time to play.

We are gently reminded to slow down, to take time, to be kind to self and other.
Isn’t it delightful. We have no choice. We need to stay home, stay off the roads and live another season to work.

This beautiful photo of our BP Johns Administration building looks like the work our own VP Michael Lammers. Thank you Michael for this beautiful meditation.

Snow storm blessings,
Sheila

Blessings for the Holy Season

13 Dec
December 13, 2008

Link List

Seasons Greetings
We evoke our God’s mercy and blessings on all the peoples of earth. And in this holy season, we petition our Creator to empower us with wisdom so that in this approaching New Year, our gifts will give birth to new ways to create prosperity, to preserve the peace and to provide paths of justice to be enjoyed by all.

We pray for the poor, for the lonely, for the sick, for the alienated and for the end of suffering.
May the hope of this holy season provide healing, give opportunities for joy, richly nourish us all with love, fill us with happiness and provide a time of restful play that will ignite our energies for the work ahead.

With hearts filled with gratitude for blessings received, we give thanks for the privileged gift of education and pray for joy to cover our interfaith community of students, staff, administrators and faculty. And pray blessing on our friends, families, benefactors and all the people of God.

In this sacred time, we bind our prayers to all the followers of Jesus who honor the holy season of Mother Mary’s maternity, who mark the time of sacred waiting in these last days of Advent and celebrate the festival of Christ’s birth at Christmas.

With the native peoples, we honor this time of holy darkness, give praise for the gifts of creation, and wait in sacred anticipation for the first light as winter embraces the earth. We join our Jewish brothers and sisters who honor Hanukkah, the Festival of Light and Hope, pray for peace for Israel and petition God for shalom for all.

We pray with the Parses who in this season mark Zarathosht Diso in honor of the passing into eternal life of the holy Zarustra /Zoroaster, the great saint of Peria. We pray for peace and blessing with our Islamic brothers and sisters as they enter the holy watch of Hijra – Muharram to welcome the New Year.

And with all people, we give thanks for the year that has past and place our hope and faith in 2009.

We pray in gratitude for the 25 years our Archbishop John G. Vlazny has served as bishop and join with our archdioces to honor him on December 14th.

And we give thanks for the speedy recovery of our own University Minister Sister Cecilia Ranger.

Happy Holidays to all.