Unity to host peacemaking retreat

Shariff Abdullah will be the keynote speaker at Unity's weekend retreat, May 5-6.

What is inclusivity anyway? Is it when you smile at a stranger? When you encourage your child to invite the child who's "different" to the upcoming birthday party? When you attend a same-sex marriage? Is it when you drop your guard and allow yourself to be hugged by someone you hardly know? Or, is it when you take a homeless man job-hunting if he is willing to go? Do you "include" yourself in knowing you are a spiritual being worthy of immeasurable greatness? Does inclusivity encompass kindness, compassion, letting go old ideas, even love?

Are each of us capable of giving more, of being more, when it comes to inclusivity? There are many forms and paths to take when talking about inclusivity, but it takes more than talk; it takes action, and may require you to dance outside of your comfort zone.

A Sioux Indian prayer asks, "Great Spirit, help me to never judge another until I have walked in his moccasins." Surely, that would be walking the talk. While St. Augustine writes four words, "Hear the other side," Doug Floyd writes, "You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note." Surely, that would ring the sound of beautiful inclusivity. 

Being a peacemaker is definitely a move up the ladder; they say there is one in every family, and it would seem peacemaking encompasses inclusivity. Shariff Abdullah can be described as an expert at peacemaking and inclusivity. He is the author of the award-winning book, "Creating a World that Works for All," and "Seven Seeds for a New Society." Creating a world that works for all living things is no easy task, but Shariff takes on the challenge each time he gives his message at retreats that include the topics, "A New Perspective" and "Oneness in Diversity: A Deeper Dive." Abdullah's peacemaking efforts have spanned over 100 different cultures, in over 30 countries, with everyone from rice farmers to members of militias.

Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake invites all to come learn how changing your consciousness can be a way out of our world dilemma on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6. Abdullah will be the keynote speaker at the Friday evening event, 7-9 p.m.; the Saturday workshop is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. This is the second annual Unity of Northern Ohio retreat of its kind, where participants will be lovingly guided to examine the issues that confront today's world, and explore methods of growth, and transformation. All are welcome for both days, or just one. The retreat will be at Unity of Westlake, 23855 Detroit Road. Cost for early registrants is $30. Tickets and more information are available online at unityspiritualcenter.com or by calling 440-835-0400. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Sharon Fedor

 I enjoy writing about USC's events. Everyone is welcome at Sunday services, or at our numerous classes, and worshops!

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 9:50 AM, 04.18.2017