Podcast features interview on the Golden Rule: “See the other as a gift.”

This month, the URI North America Affiliate Scarboro Mission officially closed its doors. But that does not mean that their work has stopped!

Scarboro Mission’s r incredible resource libraries on the Golden Rule and Interfaith Dialogue are still accessible via their website.

In addition, the former director of the Scarboro Mission, Paul McKenna, was recently interviewed on the Legacy Cafe Podcast where he shares about the iterations of the Golden Rule in different religious traditions, the spread of the Golden Rule poster around the world and the power of this ethical cornerstone to improve our world.

Click the play button below to listen to this fabulous interview!

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Honoring the Female Principle in the (Male-Female) Dance of Life

Every year, Unity and Diversity World Council, a URI Cooperation Circle based in Los Angeles, CA, holds an Interfaith Celebration of light.  This year, the theme for 2017 was “Honoring the Female Principle in the (Male-Female) Dance of Life.” The event was a full-fledged celebration with food, music, and speakers.  We were honored to send in the following reflection, written by URI North America Leadership Council members Adeola Fearon and Valeria Vergani, to be read that evening. To see more photos from the event, click here

The purpose of URI is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing  among all life in our Earth community. One of URIʼs principles states, “We practice equitable participation of women and men in all aspects of URI.” Why is this equitable participation of women and men fundamental to achieving URIʼs mission? There is a Divine balance given to humanity in both the male and the female. It is the glue for lifeʼs concert for the enrichment, empowerment and healing of community. Continue reading “Honoring the Female Principle in the (Male-Female) Dance of Life”

United Religions Initiative North America Seeks Spring Intern

We are seeking a Social Media intern to join our team for the Spring 2018 semester.  This intern provides vital support to our communications work and, specifically to the #TangibleHope campaign. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis with a priority deadline of January 4, 2018.

What do previous interns say?

“An internship with URI was an incredible opportunity to further advance my career.  Talking with folks from all backgrounds and beliefs was an extremely humbling and educational experience.” – Ryan Polsky, Spring 2017 Storytelling Intern

“I interned with URI North America the summer after I graduated from college. Very aimless, trying to figure out my future, writing regularly as a storyteller grounded me and showed me that journalism was a field I really did want to pursue. Writing long form prepared me for the local reporting position I hold now. Learning about people from different religious backgrounds working towards a common good was a bonus and is an interest I will continue to pursue for the rest of my life.” – Grace King, Summer 2017 Storytelling Intern

Keep reading for position descriptions!

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Rothko Chapel hosts conversation on “Concept of the Divine: A Navajo Perspective on Reverence for Life”

Suzanne Benally, the first Indigenous Executive Director of Cultural Survival. Photo Credit: Runaway Productions

In a recent event at the Rothko Chapel, a Cooperation Circle member of the United Religions Initiative, hosted Suzanne Benally, the first Indigenous Executive Director of Cultural Survival to share her personal spiritual journey as a Navajo and Santa Clara from New Mexico and how this shapes her understanding of the concept of the divine. Benally explored the meaning of the Navajo concept “Hozho,” which is centered on living responsibly in a web of relationships emphasizing reciprocity with and reverence for all beings.

Suzanne Benally is the first Indigenous Executive Director of Cultural Survival, an organization that advocates for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and supports Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures and political resilience since 1972. She is Navajo and Santa Clara Tewa from New Mexico.

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Joy to the World: Chair of URI North America Shares Holiday Greetings

Joy to the World! Joy to you and your families and friends!

As I sit with these words, I reflect on how much joy it gives me as a person and as the Chair of the North America Region to say these words to you! You are making the difference in our world in this time of great change. So, I say thank you for your caring and thoughtfulness!

In a compilation of Interfaith Dialogue Quotations sent to me by Paul McKenna, one of the quotes was by Cuban-American author, Anais Nin (1903-1971):

“Each friend represents a world to us, a world possibly not born until he or she arrives, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.’

Continue reading “Joy to the World: Chair of URI North America Shares Holiday Greetings”

Laughter, Learning and Listening: Stories from a Gathering of Southern Peacebuilders

laughter southeast URI gathering

Laughter, listening and learning — these are the three things that came flooding back to me as I looked at photos from the weekend  I spent at Kashi with peacebuilders from half a dozen southern states. This gathering was convened by the United Religions Initiative and brought together nearly 30 grassroots activists from  12 different URI member organizations, called Cooperation Circles, and from a handful of groups that were just finding out about URI. I invite you to come along as I tell you about our weekend of laughing, learning and listening!


Sari Heidenreich, North America Regional Coordinator


As the weekend began, many of us were meeting each other for the first time and what brought us together was a shared passion for peacebuilding in the southeast United States.

From the very beginning, it was clear this group of people was special. There was so much laughter, and oh was it good! It was good for our souls. It opened our hearts to one another.  It set the stage for an environment in which learning was meaningful — but far from boring.

Continue reading “Laughter, Learning and Listening: Stories from a Gathering of Southern Peacebuilders”

URI members from US, Canada gather to reflect on 2017 and look forward to 2018!

With 2017 nearing an end, URI’s Executive Director and North American Regional Coordinator convened a call with URI members in Canada and the US to share highlights from 2017 and a few sneak peeks of what’s ahead in 2018.

A few of the highlights:

  • Globally:
    • URI launched a new website in 2017. Check it out at www.uri.org
    • 4 strategic planning working groups have been active globally, looking at growth and impact, capacity building and leadership, global connectivity and visibility and organization sustainability. You can learn more about their work here.
  • In Canada and the US:

To hear all of the updates, check out the full video below!

During the call, participants also moved into small group discussions, where they were invited to share what they were most proud of in 2017 and what they were most energized to do in 2018.

“It was absolutely delightful,” said Ardey Turner, who participated on the call and is also the chair of the URI North America Leadership Council.

A Three-Legged Stool: The Salish Sea Bioregional Gathering

In October, I participated in the Salish Sea Bioregional Gathering in Vancouver, which was co-sponsored by the Interspiritual Centre of Vancouver Society, a Cooperation Circle member of the United Religions Initiative. Representatives from 17 different URI Cooperation Circles and Affiliates attended this gathering, which was monumental for URI as the first gathering for URI members that has taken place in Canada. We took this little video to share our greetings and love with the global URI community!

Below I have shared my personal reflections from participating in the transformative weekend — I hope you’ll continue reading!

Sari Heidenreich
North American Regional Coordinator

Attending the Salish Sea Bioregional Gathering felt like sitting on a well-balanced three-legged stool of learning, relationship-building, and contemplative practice. And that combination was unique and special in a way that I have never before experienced.

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Reimagining Interfaith: $70 registration discount through Dec. 14!

You’re invited to join us for:

Reimagining Interfaith July 29 to August 1, 2018 in Washington, DC

 Reimagining Interfaith is a global gathering for grassroots activists and interfaith peacebuilders focused on skill-building, networking, and organizing.

Early Bird registration —a $70 discountis available through December 14.

    • $100 registration for children and young adults  
    • Applications for additional financial assistance open through December 5.

Continue reading “Reimagining Interfaith: $70 registration discount through Dec. 14!”