Today is the last of our week of reflections for Interfaith Harmony Week. This week of reflections is dedicated in remembrance of the love and wisdom shared with us by Rev. Andrea J. Goodman, Co-founder and President of The Interfaith Peace Project.
World Interfaith Harmony Week is an annual event observed during the first week of February. The General Assembly of the United Nations designated this week to point out that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace. The General Assembly established World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.
REV. ANDREA J. GOODMAN
August 30, 1950 – December 31, 2021
Cofounder and President of
The Interfaith Peace Project
May her memory be for a blessing!
THE INDIGENOUS TRADITION
Interfaith Harmony Week
February 6, 2022
Support Indigenous Environmental and Human rights
Cultural Survival provides support and resources to grassroots, indigenous movements across the globe. The mission is to support Indigenous People’s self-determination and the advocacy of their human rights—the right to their lands and territories, the right to practice their cultures and speak their languages and the right to control and sustainably manage their natural resources—so that they may determine their futures.
Andrea petitioned the powerful on behalf of the poor
If we need to find our voice, we need to find our power. I might ask my employer or benefactors to support me in the cause of what is right, just, good, true, and beautiful. I have an obligation to invite others to stand with me in the quest for justice. My closest associates might not know the passions burning in my heart. I must not deprive them of the opportunity to share in my heart’s quest to be a force for good on behalf of the poor and hurting in this world.
Today I might ask those closest to me if they would share in my heart’s desire to help others in need. They might have power, influence, or resources which could benefit the poor I love. I will practice being a bridge between the disenfranchised and those who have resources. I will break down the walls of ignorance and unknowing in ways gentle, honest, and courageous. I will practice the sacred act of asking not for myself but to those who have touched my soul.
What would an Indigenous Grandmother Do?
I don’t want to change my thoughts.
I want to change the way I think.
I want to think in images, in stories
spun as threads arising long and
slow out of culture and out of the
Grandmother Spider of Indigenous mind.
I want to learn to live the old ways,
the ways of spirit.
I want to see signs and the deep,
precise wisdom of the true ones–
ancestors, elders, any and all trying to inform us
that there is a way—there is a way to heal,
there is a way to see, there is a way
to change direction,
there is a way to give the children what they need
to be safe, to be listening, to be healthy, to be whole.
I, too, want to be whole, all the way into death
and yes, I’ll say it, beyond death, beyond it
but not beyond the cycle of being—
the ring, the hoop of being together.
This is the place where Love remains,
where Love sustains, where Love comes into
and through all things.
Love is spirit flowing into the life of the world.
Knowing this I am left with one question:
What would an Indigenous grandmother do?
The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.