Saturday, January 24, 2009
URI BOWES AWARD
The Trail of Dreams World Peace Walkers returned to the USA on December 15th. We have been immersed in planning
activities and community building during these final days before the Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk-A-Long begins in New
York City on January 21, 2009.
5:26 pm est
The Trail of Dreams Team had the honor of accepting the URI 2008 Bowes Award in Mayapur, India. After hearing Bishop
Swing tell of the Bowes family, we all felt a deepened sense of commitment to PEACE in Action through our “walk”.
Young leaders from our CC (Michael Ware, Entwha St. Prix, Starr Muranko and Rahfiya Carrion) attended and conducted
a workshop for the Young Leaders Global Assembly. Being present at this gathering was, “life changing!”
according to Starr. Michael felt it, “ …provided a platform for young leaders to build relationships that will
not only transcend the present, but will also provide a powerful network for peace.” To make future Global Assemblies
even more powerful, Michael expressed a desire to see time built in for more sharing of each other’s “stories”.
While we were a bit overwhelmed by the shared experiences of the gathering (the people; workshops and presentations;
the efficiency of the URI staff; the ceremonies; and the location), I was also moved by the number of people from Mayapur
Iskon who committed themselves to serve the gathering in every way.
Arriving in Mumbai
(in route to Mayapur) in the midst of the Mumbai attacks was a sobering experience, one that quickly grounded us in the critical
nature of the purpose of the URI Global Assembly. It also emphasized the need for us to continue to explore and embrace ways
of getting to PEACE. It affirmed for us that our present moment in history is giving us the opportunity to seek new ways of
relating, engaging and being. Old patterned responses to conflicts (i.e., Gaza, Zimbabwe, Darfur, Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo,
etc.) are no longer tolerable – on neither personal or global levels. We must now press forward to leave a legacy of
“mastery” over our past discretions and build cultures of peace that honor diversity in all aspects of our collective
existence -- socially, culturally, politically and especially in our expressions of religious beliefs and practices.
We, the Trail of Dreams World Peace Walkers, are more convinced than ever that we have an opportunity to lay the
foundation for an evolved world where humanity and Mother Earth are valued above all else; where sustainability is infused
with viability and life is lived fully; where we are not only concerned with economic bailouts but equally concerned with
the bailout of humanity from poverty, violence and oppression; where people are valued as people and not denigrated by the
isms that lead to the violence of discrimination; where we atone for the past and move forward into the future with
grace and purpose. We now have the opportunity to demonstrate to future generations the wisdom of good stewardship of planetary
resources by being informed, standing up and speaking out to end injustice everywhere. The URI Global Assembly provided an
opportunity for all of us from around the world to stand together at a powerful moment in the history of the world and to
be recharged for the work ahead.