A look at some of the praise of Nelson Mandela.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Nelson Mandela was honored in church sermons across South Africa Sunday, which has been declared a national day of prayer and reflection to commemorate the country's anti-apartheid leader who died on Dec. 5. Here is a look at some of the praise of Mandela:
— "We felt it important that we should have a day where all of us as South Africans can come together and pray for our first democratic president and reflect on his legacy. But it is also to pray for our nation ... to pray that we not forget some of the values he fought for ... Mandela distinguished himself for good things and good things only." — President Jacob Zuma, speaking at the Bryanston Methodist Church in Johannesburg.
— "Mandela was like moonlight in the dark night ... God sent us this man to show us the depths of the human heart, he sent us this man to show us that despite what was going on at the time, light could shine ... He showed the heights to which humanity can rise. Madiba (Mandela's clan name), in his own life, laid the foundation. He paved the way for a better future. But he cannot do it alone. He needs you, he needs me, he needs the world." — Reverend Sebastian J. Rossouw of Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Soweto.
— "What helped the white people of South Africa was Mr. Mandela's attitude. He said let's forgive, and he forgave. That created a space for people to feel safe and change at a time when the expectation was that there was going to be a war ... May we as Christians in this Afrikaans church surprise the world by not responding with hate but with love and forgiveness. Mandela completed the journey. We thank God for this person in our history." — Pastor Niekie Lamprecht of the Dutch Reformed Church, Pretoria East.
— "He was more than just an individual soul, he was the exposition of the African spirit of generosity ... He's only a reference and a marker to the better possibilities of our humanity." — Dean Michael Weeder of St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town.
— "Those of us who are battling to make ends meet every day and who had hope, when he was still around, everything will be OK. If the old man has passed on, life will continue on, and God will be our God ... Traditionally when a person passes we believe he hasn't left. He is going to be an observer of the familial and community on a spiritual level although he is no longer with us. So we have to abide by the rules and elders as if he's there." — Joshua Mzingelwa, leader of Morians Episcopal Apostolic Church in Qunu, Eastern Cape (the village where Mandela spent his childhood).
The creation of Global Oneness day began as a simple petition drive by Humanity’s Team in 2008. Members of Humanity’s Team created a Oneness petition with the goal of obtaining 50,000 signatures that could be delivered to the United Nations (U.N.) with a request that the U.N. support the focus on awakening Oneness. By the time Humanity’s Team approached the U.N. in May, 2010, over 52,000 signatures had been obtained from more than 150 countries.
When members of the Global Council for Humanity’s Team met with the U.N., the signatures, the Oneness petition and supporting material were presented. The U.N. was invited to take the Oneness petition up as a discussion. In addition, Humanity’s Team requested that the U.N. create a Global Oneness Day that could be celebrated around the world.
Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, who hosted the Humanity’s Team Global Council on behalf of the United Nations, graciously thanked the group for coming, and spoke about the mission, vision and purpose of the United Nations including its focus on and solidarity.
He said, “until there is a sense of solidarity among the peoples of the world all of our efforts for peace and security will go nowhere."
Ambassador Chowdhury invited Humanity’s Team to create a Global Oneness Day. He agreed that it was a very important day, and that Humanity’s Team should create that day because it would take too long for the United Nations to take up discussion and come to consensus. Chowdhury also encouraged Humanity’s Team to return to the U.N. when there were more signatures.
In July of 2010, the Humanity’s Team Global Council discussed the earlier U.N. meeting and decided to create Global Oneness Day on United Nations Day, Oct. 24. United Nations Day and Global Oneness Day share common visions for a compassionate and sustainable world and this would be acknowledged in celebrating the two days together.
The first Global Oneness Day was celebrated in 2010. A thousand people from around the world celebrated on Oct. 24 with an inspiring global phone call. Others throughout the world celebrated with community events, drum circles, service events and performances.
In the ensuing years Global Oneness Day grew in its scope and activities. In 2011, in Fort Collins, Colo, USA, there were speakers, musicians and entertainers, all centered on Oneness. There were classroom activities, outreach with the homeless, youth programs, and above all, signings of the Oneness Declaration. Global Oneness Day events also took place Canada, England, France, Portugal, Argentina, Columbia, South Africa, and many other countries.
In the year 2013, Global Oneness Day will dawn in Australia, with potentially live-streaming footage of the first country to celebrate our Oneness that day. Momentum will spread all over the world as the sun rises.
The impact of Global Oneness Day is immeasurable. Every movement begins by taking private conversations and making them public. Our Oneness is a timeless, ancient truth that has been marginalized over the millennia. On Global Oneness Day, Humanity’s Team invites people to take this awareness of our Oneness public for one day, to remind others of our interconnectivity and interrelatedness.
Whether it’s going into a homeless shelter or an orphanage, or whatever we’re doing in honor of this day, we encourage everyone to speak this universal truth, to share this awareness of Oneness with others. Celebrations of our Oneness are limited only by our own imagination and creativity.
This movement is far from just beginning. People around the globe are awakening to Oneness every day. Recently, during a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Pope Francis stated:
“And the Brazilian people, particularly the humblest among you, can offer the world a valuable lesson in solidarity, a word that is too often forgotten or silenced, because it is uncomfortable. I would like to make an appeal to those in possession of greater resources, to public authorities and to all people of good will who are working for social justice: never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity! No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world!
“Everybody, according to his or her particular opportunities and responsibilities, should be able to make a personal contribution to putting an end to so many social injustices. The culture of selfishness and individualism that often prevails in our society is not what builds up and leads to a more habitable world: it is the culture of solidarity that does so, seeing others not as rivals or statistics, but brothers and sisters.”
The words of Pope Francis punctuate our interrelatedness, our Oneness. They illustrate that when we awaken to Oneness and begin to see the sacredness in all of life, it is impossible to judge or marginalize people. When life is sacred, no one can be taken for granted or left behind.
Now in 2013, more than 86,000 signatures have been collected for the Oneness Declaration. Once the 100,000 signatures benchmark is achieved, Humanity’s Team will once again approach the U.N. and seek its endorsement.
You can help to achieve this goal by celebrating Global Oneness Day in ways that feel authentic for you. Encourage others to sign the Oneness Declaration, discuss our Oneness with people in your community, at the grocery checkout, at home, in church, at school and work. Our Oneness is reality, and it’s necessary that we take this timeless truth to the light of day.
To learn more about Global Oneness Day, visit https://www.globaloneness2013.org/. From there, you can register for over a dozen programs that will engage in heart-opening conversations with inspiring spiritual leaders from around the globe. These programs are live and freely available at no cost as part of our celebration of Global Oneness Day 2013.
To read and sign the Oneness Declaration, please visit http://www.humanitysteam.org/sai/oneness-petition/document
In Oneness, and with so much love,
For Immediate Release
Aug. 16, 2013
Contact: Nannette Kennedy, Worldwide Communications Coordinator
100,000 People to Celebrate 4th Global Oneness Day, Oct. 24
The countdown is on. Humanity's Team and The Association for Global New Thought, along with many partners worldwide, present the fourth annual Global Oneness Day on Oct. 24. On this day, tens of thousands of people around the world will enjoy community events such as concerts, service events, drum circles and performances in celebration of humanity’s Oneness.
Additionally, organizers believe 100,000 will participate in a free, 24-hour, live online summit exploring the profound realization that we are One. Summit speakers will include spiritual leaders such as Neale Donald Walsch, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Panache Desai, Joan Borysenko and Ken Wilber, to name a few, who will join Humanity’s Team’s Steve Farrell for an inspiring discussion about bringing Oneness into our daily lives and the global community.
Many believe that one person cannot make a difference but we know this is not true. Look at what Earth Day has become, a snowball gathering mass and speed as it charges downhill.
Likewise, Global Oneness Day asks the people of Earth to acknowledge what many know to be our ultimate reality, that nothing is separate, we are all interrelated, inter connected, part of a larger whole. When we see our Oneness, we come into service to each other. It then becomes impossible to ignore the plight of others. Global Oneness Day encourages the people of earth to see themselves as part of a larger whole, as a drop in the ocean is part of the whole.
Humanity’s Team invites churches, schools and organizations to become involved in Global Oneness Day by participating in our summit or hosting a service project in the name of Oneness. Recently, during a visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Pope Francis stated, “…The culture of selfishness and individualism that often prevails in our society is not what builds up and leads to a more habitable world: it is the culture of solidarity that does so, seeing others not as rivals or statistics, but brothers and sisters.”
These great words from the catholic spiritual leader inspire all to the realization of our Oneness, demonstrating that people around the world from all spiritual traditions are hearing this message and being asked to live in Oneness.
Astronauts, scientists, religious leaders, business people, entertainment professionals, government leaders, United Nations leaders and others have acknowledged this as our true nature. It is a timeless truth that we are all One.
Whether it’s going into a homeless shelter or an orphanage, or whatever we’re doing in honor of this day, we encourage everyone to speak this universal truth, to share this awareness of Oneness with others. Celebrations of our Oneness are limited only by our own imagination and creativity. Together, in the name of Oneness, we can co-create a mature and compassionate society.
To register for the free, 24-hour online summit and invite your friends to participate in this Global Oneness Day virtual event, click on the following link: https://www.globaloneness2013.org/
To follow Global Oneness Day on Facebook, visit https://www.facebook.com/G1Day.
By Sri Aurobindo - BANGALORE
The Shastras use the same word for man and the one divine and universal Being-Purusha-as if to lay stress upon the oneness of humanity with God. Nara and Narayana are the eternal couple, who, though they are two, are one, eternally different, eternally the same. Narayana, say the scholiasts, is he who dwells in the waters, but I rather think it means he who is the essence and sum of all humanity. Wherever there is a man, there is Narayana; for the two cannot be separated. I think sometimes that when Christ spoke of himself as the Son of Man, he really meant the son of the Purusha, and almost find myself imagining that anthropos is the only clumsy Greek equivalent, the literal and ignorant translation of some Syrian word which corresponded to our Purusha.
Be that as it may, there can be no doubt that man is full of divine possibilities - he is not merely a term in physical evolution, but himself the field of a spiritual evolution which with him began and in him will end. It was only when man was made, that the gods were satisfied - they who had rejected the animal forms, - and cried sukruthamev, “Man indeed is well and wonderfully made; the higher evolution can now begin.”
He is like God, the sum of all other types and creatures from the animal to the god, infinitely variable where they are fixed, dynamic where they, even the highest, are static, and, therefore, although in the present and in his attainment a little lower than the angels, yet in the eventuality and in his culmination considerably higher than the gods. The other or fixed types, animals gods, giants, Titans, demigods, can rise to a higher development than their own, but they must use the human body and the terrestrial birth to effect the transition.
Excerpts from the book Essays Divine and Human by Sri Aurobindo
From The New Indian Express Thursday, September 26, 2013
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, made his first visit to a mosque in New York City and it was the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center in Tompkinsville where he met with Muslim and other faith leaders.
The cardinal spent more than two hours touring the mosque and the Miraj Islamic School and having lunch with about 40 clergy and laity.
"I thank God that this day has arrived," the cardinal said. "I thank you for your welcome, I thank you for making me feel like a friend and a member of a family."
The cardinal asked questions about the Muslim faith and emphasized throughout his visit how much the two religions and their members have in common.
"You love God, we love God and he is the same God," the cardinal said of the Muslim and Roman Catholic faiths.
Cardinal Dolan stressed that Catholics and Muslims have a mutual love of the United States and of the religious freedom that this country affords, especially the ability to meet with people of different beliefs that would not be possible in some other nations.
"Your love of marriage and family, your love of children and babies, your love of freedom -- religious freedom particularly-- your defense of life, your desire for harmony and unity and your care for others, your care for God's creation and your care for those who are in need," the cardinal said, were Islamic values also shared by Catholics and areas where there could be mutual cooperation.
He likened Muslims to earlier waves of Roman Catholic immigrants who some 150 years ago faced the same challenge of "how to become loyal, responsible, patriotic Americans without losing their faith."
As those Catholic immigrants did, Muslims have learned the value of religious schools, he said. "Education without faith is missing something dramatic," the cardinal said.
The cardinal's trip to the mosque was in response to an invitation by leaders of the center who visited the archbishop in Manhattan in January.
"Thank God that we are a country that welcomes everybody and, as you mentioned, your eminence, only in America, and we want this example to be spread because we can do many more things when we eat together as brothers than when we stay against one another," said Imam Tahir Kukiqi of the Albanian Center.
Imam Kukiqi praised attendee Sarah Sayeed of the Interfaith Center of New York for "working tirelessly with Muslim communities and Catholic communities, especially to bring them together."
Imam Ghulam Rasul of the predominately Pakistani Masjid al-Noor in Concord led a prayer "to bring peace, harmony and understanding between the communities ... guide us so that we may be the souls of goodness, peace and harmony and understanding for the people of this country and for the community of this Island."
The cardinal is following on a local level the example of Pope Francis who has begun efforts to deepen and strengthen the relationship between the Islamic and Christian communities in Italy and other parts of Europe, said Monsignor James Dorney, a co-vicar of Staten Island. His co-vicar, Monsignor Peter Finn, announced that Wednesday was the 37th anniversary of Cardinal Dolan's ordination.
The Rev. Liam O'Doherty, pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church in Tompkinsville, was instrumental in arranging the visit and brought along many members of his parish council. Leaders of the Albanian Center and Masjid al-Noor invited the cardinal to visit their mosques during the month of Ramadan.
Click here to watch related video.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Reuters
Published Saturday, Jun. 08 2013, 5:20 PM EDT
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed on Saturday to cooperate in fighting climate change by cutting the use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, the White House said a statement.
“The United States and China will work together and with other countries to use the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons,” the White House said on the second day of the informal U.S.-China summit in Southern California.
U.S. National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon told reporters the two countries had done most of the work in advance of the California meeting on Friday and Saturday, when the two presidents discussed climate change.
“It was agreed that we have strong joint interests in addressing the climate issue ... from a lot of perspectives including sustainable economic growth,” he told reporters.
HFCs are used in refrigerators and air conditioners. They came into wide commercial use to replace ozone-depleting chemicals that are being phased out under the 1987 Montreal Protocol, but they are a big source of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
“The U.S. and China are the two biggest players in the international climate arena, and the fact that they’re talking about cooperation is a pretty big deal,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund, a U.S. environmental group.
“It’s only one step forward, but a very positive one,” he said in a written statement.
According to the White House statement, phasing down HFCs worldwide could reduce some 90 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050, an amount equal to about two years’ worth of global greenhouse gas emissions.
On Wednesday, leaders of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change in the U.S. Congress wrote a letter to Obama urging him to raise the HFC issue with Xi at their California summit.
The lawmakers warned Obama that with the United States and China responsible for 43 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, “cooperation with China is essential if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.”
They urged Obama to lobby Xi to support a proposal launched in 2009 by the United States, Canada and Mexico to amend the Montreal Protocol to reduce the production and consumption of HFCs. The plan makes funds available for developing countries to reduce their use of HFCs.
Global Oneness Day, an annual event and telesummit conceived of and organized by Humanity’s Team Worldwide, is a bountiful treasure to all who are seekers of personal development, on the ground calls to action, and much more.
Steve Farrell, Executive Director, Worldwide Coordinating Director of Humanity’s Team, said in a recent interview, “It is important to identify spokespeople for Oneness on all levels, science, education, business, and invite them to talk about it and have their voices inspire and impact.”
Humanity's Team is working to unite humanity in building a future we will feel honored to leave to our children. Yet the vision does not occupy the future alone. The movement is committed to awakening people to a new world of oneness in this generation, right now, today. They are working hand in hand with other like-minded organizations and people to help birth this new way of seeing the world as One.
Together, Humanity’s Team and Global Oneness Day has become a global movement consisting of more than 100,000 volunteers, members and supporters from over 150 countries on six continents. Global Oneness Day and its free all day telesummit, combined with events set up locally in communities all over the world, exposes people to key truths and concepts that are vital to our greater understanding, builds optimistic collaboration by connecting individuals to a larger mission, and educates us about the concept of Oneness, the truth that life and all living things, including ourselves, are sacred, interconnected, and interdependent.
Children and adults everywhere know what Earth Day is. They participate in it in their schools and homes each April, making posters, planning events, talking about it to each other, inspiring action and change. Global Oneness Day is poised to also be richly regarded by children and community in much the same way.
Global Oneness Day events encompass diverse fields of knowledge and learning, and speak to different ways of knowing, including science, philosophy, and direct experience. In this way, the events are working to reach people everywhere, awakening the ability to see our interdependence and effectively shifting our priorities. There are inspirational speakers of all sorts and from all walks of life, spiritual leaders, scientists, thought leaders, philosophers, educators, world leaders; all of these come together on Global Oneness Day and throughout the year to share their wisdom with us that we might realize and enact our Oneness.
David Bohm, a well-known physicist and young contemporary of Einstein’s, when speaking of modern physics, said that the profound implication of Bell’s Theorem is the paradoxical reality of “separation without separateness. We are all one.” “Fragmentation consists of false division, making a division where there is tight connection.” Instead of seeing wholeness, we see separateness. “Fragmentation is the hidden source of the social, political, and environmental crisis facing the world.”
We are constantly bombarded with the seemingly insurmountable paradigm of a fragmented, dysfunctional world, violence, conflict, an inability to come to agreements, a paradigm that, deep inside, we realize radically dishonors ourselves and each other.
The events of Global Oneness Day, and the entire year of events offered by Humanity’s Team, work to break the boundaries of perceived separateness and reduce the fragmentation it creates. Hailed as a call toward a new spirituality, the events are designed to foster personal experience, wisdom, and change, gleaned from the inside out.
All of the programs are about, or speak to, the why, what, when, where and how of inner process, the only real way to break through the boundaries of our current way of seeing into the next phase of consciousness evolution, that state in which we fully recognize and act in accordance with Oneness, our interconnectedness with all of life and with the Source of all Life. One soon discovers, through the cultivation of the self, that consciousness and spirituality are inseparable, and therein lays the felt sense and recognition of the interconnected nature of the Universe.
Global Oneness Day and the Humanity’s Team movement gives us access to wisdom needed to transcend the current worldview and awaken to a new view, a view in which together we become the stewards, the heroic protectors, the lovers of all life on earth. We not only accept, but rejoice in “a shared responsibility for a shared community and shared world.”
Take a moment to notice, do you feel a call within you; can you hear the still, small voice that is quietly appealing to your deep sensibilities, or perhaps an urge that is getting louder and louder, hailing you from within to be of compassionate service to life on this planet? You are not alone. That call is within each of us, stirring. How do we hear it? How do we heed it? And once we do begin to hear its voice and we yearn to give to the world our own unique gift, where do we begin?
Humanity’s Team supports, encourages and gives life to that call with its current and potential collaborations, global projects, awareness raising events, and dialogs that Global Oneness Day delivers. Global Oneness Day, and indeed year round efforts coordinated by Humanity’s Team members world wide, supply energy and know-how in myriad ways to awaken, enliven, and answer that call.
J. Krishnamurti, a world speaker and a close friend of Bohm’s said, “The crisis is in our consciousness, not in the world. The turning point is not in politics, in religion, in the scientific world; it is in our consciousness.”
Humanity’s Team, with numbers growing greater each day, will soon consist of hundreds of thousands of people paying attention. Never before has the wisdom needed to leap into our greater future been so accessible to so many all at once. Through Global Oneness Day and events all year, utilizing the magnificent interconnecting vehicle of the internet, Humanity’s Team is working everyday to acknowledge and birth this consciousness shift into the world.
This year 2013, The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT) is co-producing the Global Oneness Day Summit with Humanity's Team.
D. Bohm and M. Edwards, Changing Consciousness: Exploring the Hidden Source of the Social, Political, and Environmental Crisis Facing the World (San Francisco: Harper, 1991)
J. Krishnamurti, The Network of Thought. (San Francisco: Harper & Row. 1982)
Written by teammate Jewel Alexander
Interview with Steve Farrell, Worldwide Coordinating Director and co-founder of Humanity’s Team
Gil Dekel (of Poetic Mind): The ideas for ‘Humanity’s Team’ came to Neale Donald Walsch in a dream?
Steve Farrell: Yes, and I had a chance to listen to Neale describing his dream, and to be part of it from the start in March 2003. Neale wanted to start a movement that will focus on one thing and one thing only: our oneness with God and humanity.
How a grass-roots spiritual movement has flung itself into action with unprecedented enthusiasm.