Posted by: smstrouse | October 17, 2015

PWR: Day 3

IMG_0569What a way to spend my birthday! Wow!

Started the day with a workshop called “Kill Them (Qur’an); Do Not Spare Them (Torah); and Cast Them into Everlasting Fire (New Testament): Context of Difficult Religious Texts.” Panelists addressed the “texts of terror” in the Abrahamic traditions. Karen Armstrong and Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb were great, but my favorite was Jonathan Brown, director of the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. He wisely advised us on how to deal with all these problematic passages: “Stop taking them literally!”

And then for something completely different; my second workshop was “My life is My Message: a Time for Community, Contemplation, Inspiration  and Commitment,” a lovely mix of music, meditation, story telling and conversation. I left feeling totally uplifted. IMG_0570

Then off to Langar again with two students from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Sikh hospitality is so incredibly generous and wonderful – and so is the food! We agreed that we Lutherans would be hard pressed to pull off a meal for thousands of people everyday for a week (there was no Jello in sight!).IMG_0585

And then, after a quick rest break: “JourneyDance.” This was “an interactive, healing free-styling dance modality that invites people of all faiths and traditions to dance together to celebrate their hearts and the hearts of each other.” It was a blast! I got totally exhausted, sweaty and happy! Here’s our inspirational leader.

Tonight’s plenary, “Focus on War, Violence and Hate Speech, ” included Alan Boesak, Medea Benjamin, Karen Armstrong and Jane Goodall. It was a long, long evening, but super inspiring.

And when we exited the Salt Palace, it was raining! How refreshing it smelled and felt after drought-plagued California.

All in all, a fabulous way to turn 65.

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