We must tend to forgiveness in the same way that we would care for a tree in a garden. In a garden we water our trees, add mulch, prune them, check for pests and diseases to keep our trees healthy, but what must we do to keep our forgiveness going strong? Join us as we consider what communities of people have done in such diverse places as New York after 9/11 and Beirut after the civil war to sustain a sense of forgiveness.
As the US Presidential campaigns heat up, we all are called to consider America’s place in the world. Eighteenth century German philosopher Immanuel Kant said, “the greatest problem for the human species, the solution of which nature compels him to seek, is that of attaining a civil society, which can administer justice universally.” Ever since ancient Greeks and Romans and before, people have articulated the desire for a true world citizenship. We have made many important advances and have a long way to go. How do we respond spiritually and politically today?
Recently, Rev. Kent Matthies initiated the celebration of the 150th birthday of the Unitarian Society of Germantown, highlighting some the extraordinary ways people have lived out the mission of our church, in the past. Reverend Dick Fernandez will look toward the future. What are the hopes, challenges, and opportunities that lie ahead? What is needed to fashion a new day for these challenging times, inside our spiritual community and beyond its walls?
Reverend Richard R. Fernandez is a minister in the United Church of Christ and until 2002, served for 22 years as the Executive Director of the Northwest Interfaith Movement (NIM). In 2004 he was among a small group of eight that founded the now flourishing Philadelphia Interfaith Center. Dick has also served as a consultant to congregations and nonprofits these past years and is active on a number of nonprofit boards.
Before coming to NIM he was involved in a number of peace and justice efforts including being the Director of Clergy and Laity Concerned, a national interfaith organization that arose in opposition to the war in Vietnam. It was in this role that Dick was then primary organizer for Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous speech at Riverside Church in New York.