Sunday, December 6, 2009

COG National Youth Interfaith Representative Report

Yesterday I co-presented “Women of the World at the Parliament of Religions, Chicago, 1893” with Allison Stokes, Founding Director of Women's Interfaith Institute in NY. I intend to make my presentation available from the COG website.

Pagans are involved in youth programming. Isobel Arthen was on panel of environmental activists of faith, with Christian Australian and a few indigenous people (including a Native American from Montana named Leo and indigenous Australian who plays the didgeridoo well). There are service projects most days youth can sign up for. A bus picks them up at the conference site. Youth go as a group for a service project.

At a women’s prayer for the Earth morning observance, I wanted to move around. I realized how important ritual actions, sympathetic magick, and movement were to our tradition. I felt unequipped to direct movement or ritual on the spot without another Pagan there to help. I offered a prayer statement informed by Riane Eisler’s work on creating a caring economy--that I believed a radical restructuring of society was needed to heal the Earth. I wanted to focus on healthy growth, education, communication, and relationships, often considered “women’s” areas.

I was asked to “Chair” Andrew Cohen’s presentation. This involved introducing him: “Andrew Cohen is a spiritual teacher and founder of EnlightenNext magazine (formerly What Is Enlightenment). A visionary thinker, Cohen is widely recognized for his original contribution to the emerging field of evolutionary spirituality.” Paul Chaffee from the Interfaith Center at the Presidio said positive things about Cohen’s later Open Space.

Tomorrow I preside on a panel of multifaith women. The session is from 2:30-4. Shortly afterwards is an Open Space session with the same women.

Michelle Mueller

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