Starting today I am flying to Geneva, Switzerland to speak to the United Nations at their International headquarters – specifically through the UNAIDS: Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS. Since May 2010 I have been involved in on-going discussions with UNAIDS surrounding what it means to build bridges with conservative faith communities, as well as on the topics of faith, sexuality and HIV/AIDS.
This past July I took my first trip with UNAIDS to Vienna, Austria where I spoke to a number of world leaders connected through the UN on the broad topic of what it means to seek reconciliation with the ‘other’. It was an unreal experience, and it made me quickly realize that there is a whoooole different and bigger world out there that could care less about faith and how that intersects with anything, really. But it looks like it went so well in Vienna that I got invited out to the UN’s International Headquarters to continue these discussions further.
I am looking forward to this week to meet with and speak to more folks curious about what this bridge building lifestyle looks like. I just pray that I can represent this Movement and you all, to the UN/UNAIDS executives and other leaders from around the world, with honor and dignity in such a way that they will, if nothing else, respect what we’re all about. While I’m out there I’m also excited that I have the opportunity to speak with the heads of the World Council of Churches and the Ecumenical Advocay Alliance.
As always, I will try to blog about my experiences. However my track-record from these types of trips show that probably won’t happen. So in my place I will have The Marin Foundation’s Director of Community Relations, Kevin Harris, and Director of Pastoral Care, Nathan Albert, blog in my place. Looking forward to talking soon.