The Church For the Fellowship of All Peoples as a Landmark, continued

Today the stakes are so high.  Our species has come a long way, but we seem to be losing our way as well.  True elegance seems displaced by loudness and bragging, bigotry and bombastic appeals to the reptilian brain, to more hatred and wars and projection and “I win, you lose” mentalities.

Starhawk speaks at a 2009 rally in memory of nonviolent protestors who died standing up for peace with justice between Israel and Palestine. ISMPalestine

In the Middle East today, decades of violence toward Palestinians are coming home to roost.  What Bishop Helder Camera called the “spiral of violence” is in full swing. 

The first violence is poverty and oppression; the second is the rebellion against it, often led by young people (and in Gaza today 80% of young adults are unemployed and the average salary in Israel is $55k and in Gaza is $1200 annually).  The third is the repression of the rebellion.

There is no excuse for the barbarism of Hamas attacks last week; but neither is there any moral justification for destroying the lives of all 2.3 million Palestinians in response. 

Ancient ancestors: Chris Stringer, Human Origins expert of the Natural History Museum, discusses recent genetic discoveries of Neanderthal legacy surviving in modern DNA.

I am moved by what science is learning today, that our species is in league with at least 15 other hominid species who were our cousins, Neanderthal, Denisovan, and 13 more that we have recently identified. 

But the hard fact is this: They are all extinct.  All our hominid brothers and sisters are gone.  We who call ourselves Homo sapiens are the last ones standing.

What do we say to that?  That a church–a Gathering–of the Fellowship For All Peoples is possible.  It has been incarnated in the city of SF for 79 years.  

Singer Yael Deckelbaum tours the world with a tune composed by an ensemble of Jewish, Christian and Muslim women.

It was a vision 79 years ago and it is today, and by this honor being bestowed upon it becomes more than ever a vision for our future:

That Fellowship of all peoples is possible wherever we are, however we worship, whomever we love, whatever our culture or language or music or dress or cuisine. 

Has there ever been a more pressing time for a Church or Gathering For the Fellowship of all peoples?


“Landmarking the Past: Preparing the Future – 79th Anniversary Celebration” Matthew Fox speaks at the 79th anniversary ceremony of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, at which the City of San Francisco named the Church an historic landmark.

See Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion.  

And Fox, Christian Mystics, pp. 203-217.

Banner Image: Compassionate human hands. Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash.

Corrections: Yesterday’s DM omitted to credit the ensemble of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim women who composed the music in Yael Deckelbaum’s video. Also, the banner image caption was inadvertently exchanged with that of another women’s circle led by Jalaja Bonheim: the banner photo was taken in Ithaca, NY. We regret the errors.


Queries for Contemplation

What does a “Church or Gathering for The Fellowship of All Peoples” mean to you?


Recommended Reading

A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice

In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox delivers a profound exploration of the meaning and practice of compassion. Establishing a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing, Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence which is the substratum of all compassionate activity.
“Well worth our deepest consideration…Puts compassion into its proper focus after centuries of neglect.” –The Catholic Register


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3 thoughts on “The Church For the Fellowship of All Peoples as a Landmark, continued”

  1. Avatar

    The Gathering Of All Peoples

    Feel the ancient rhythmic beats drumming
    The hearts desire of our Divine Mother
    As She dances with rattling shells on Her feet
    Rocking our souls awake to Her essence
    That we may begin to move together
    In unison with Her Sacred dream for all.

    Link our voices as one that we may begin
    To sing a Universal song of the power
    And joy of peace between all nations
    Invoking faith in the healing virtues of
    Love, compassion, mercy and justice
    Your fragrant perfume broken open.

    Become in us the breath of new life
    Blowing through hollow soul reeds
    Harmonious tones of transformation
    Fluttering in the winds of Your Spirit
    A wave of hope rising across barren
    Blood stained lands drenched in despair.

    Gather all together in Your comforting
    Consoling embrace as vines growing
    within the branches of the Sacred Tree
    Rooting all brothers and sisters as the
    Landmarkers of the past preparing the
    Way of the future peace yet to come.

  2. Avatar

    It means a friendlier world; which will affect us personally in a big way. The only time I meet people of other races and cultures is on the street when I am passing them; or in a work, business setting (clerks in stores; aides in hospitals}. To have a church like this, means that we would be gathering together to get to know each other. Novel concept.

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