Poway Ministers Dr. Abigail and Dr. Stephen Albert just returned from spending their 10th wedding anniversary in Rome and Florence, Italy where they participated with religious leaders from throughout the world in the Awakened World 2012 Conference. They were two of 16 facilitators who led dialogue sessions for the 225 global leaders from all faiths and cultures who participated in a 10-day conference geared to building spiritual insights and energies to service the entire planetary community. The Alberts, who are two of the founders of the Poway Interfaith Team (POINT), intend to use what they have learned in Italy to strengthen POINT and increase the impact of their own All Faith Center which is based in Poway.
Rev. Dr. Stephen said, “We are making a systematic shift in our ministry to exchange sermons for dialogues and to further evolve our community with engaging synthesis so that each faith no longer fears another faith but rather chooses to engage them in friendship and respect.” Rev. Dr. Abigail continued, “In Rome we spent time with many incredible, world-known and respected individuals who are working to make a difference in their city and country as far as peace-building and “Engaged Spirituality” as it was coined by The Association for Global New Thought which was one of the 3 groups that coordinated the conference.” The two other conveners of the conference were The International Interreligious Peace Council and The Interreligious Engagement Project. Rev. Dr. Abigail went on to say, “The Dalai Lama said that today’s technology is giving us a global awareness about who we are as a people on this planet beyond just our immediate family and friends and that this awareness is bringing about an increased caring which is the key to improving the world for everyone.”
The overall goal for the conference was to develop a ‘plan of action’ for the next decade of evolutionary activism. The Alberts’ plan of action is to share their Italy experience with any faith group which would invite them to present their PowerPoint summary and to eventually acquire a building in which start-up religious centers of any faiths can not only hold their faith’s services and rituals but where they can intermingle and gain understanding and respect for other faiths. This “All Faith Center” will also provide space for spiritually based groups, an interfaith library and bookstore and a coffee house where interfaith dialogue can occur 7 days a week. Dr. Steve, who teaches Comparative Religion courses at the University of Phoenix, sees their All Faith Center as becoming a vital link of peace and education for our entire San Diego religion. He said, “I would hope that we would attract many young people who are the key to creating a safe and healthy social environment in their communities and between other people.