For religious meeting planners, life will be more hectic than usual for the next three months. Here is a sampling of what is happening inin the United States and beyond.
•One of the first big youth gatherings of the season already has taken place. Youth Convention Alberta, held May 28-30 in Edmonton, attracted 16,000 attendees. The event is billed as Canada’s largest annual youth gathering. Check out how meeting organizers used Facebook to create community before, during, and after the event.
•The Every Nation World Conference, which takes place every three years, attracts more than 13,000 pastors, missionaries and church planters and members from around the world gather together for a time of worship and fellowship.This year's conference is July 22-24, 2010, in Manila, Phillippines. Of course the conference has a logo and a theme song, and organizers are inviting attendees to be part of the conference video. Instructions have been posted on YouTube.
•The Charlotte Observer writes about religious meetings that will be held in Charlotte this summer. They include: the National Baptist Congress; the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Church of God In Christ; National Gathering for Black Catholic Women, and the “About My Father’s Business” conference, which draws leaders of churches, nonprofits, and community-based organizations.
•In a reminder of how transformative religious meetings can be, the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on June 21.Council members comprise Chicago’s Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish, Islamic communions and institutions, and now non-Abrahamic faiths such as Hinduism, Bahih'i and Sikh. Under the guidance of its first-ever Muslim leader, Imam Kareem M. Irfan, the inter-religious body discusses issues affecting all of Chicago and the surrounding metropolitan area.
The council hopes that its efforts to promote the universal human values shared by all religious traditions will help the city of Chicago come together and provide a powerful model for peace that other cities may emulate.