Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11 Day-First Day of Peace Week: UNITY

To observe the 11 Days of Global Unity - Peace Week 2017, YAC in collaboration with the Casady Service-Learning Program bring UD speakers, videos, and performances connected to the theme of day.

Unity: Peace Silhouettes made by After School Care, Boys & Girls Club and Stanley Hupfeld Academy children
Peace Week 2016 

On September 11th, Unity Day, YAC freshman, Sofia M. introduced the following UD chapel speakers:

Dr. Carl Rubenstein is a retired OKC physician, after 42 years of cardiology practice and research.  He graduated from Princeton University, and from the Duke University School of Medicine.  Dr. Rubenstein has been on the Board of The Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma for almost 15 years and was its president from 2014-2016. Dr. Rubenstein is currently on the  Advisory Board of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice.  He is a member of Temple B'nai Israel, the Reform Jewish congregation in Oklahoma City.


9-11-17 Chapel talk, Casady High School

 What in the world is “global unity”?

            I’d like to start with my thoughts about what it is not.

            Unity is not synonymous with uniformity or homogeneity, and unity and diversity are not opposites and are not mutually exclusive. The idea of our nation as a “melting pot” implies homogenization of people coming from diverse countries and backgrounds. Slowly, we have come to realize that diversity actually is a strength in society, that our differences make for a richer tapestry of society, a stronger and more creative society. Our unity is best when our common values allow us to appreciate our differences and to benefit from our differences.

Cyclone at Boys and Girls 
            Homogeneity in society, when you think about carrying it to logical extremes is not a pleasant picture.  Think of the things you like to eat, and then transform them to a homogenized slurpy in which you can not distinguish the various components, and that is what you eat 3 times a day, day after day after day. It would not take long for you to be bored by, even repulsed by, this diet.

God created diversity,  not homogeneity, and our unifying factor is that of being human.
            The National Day of Prayer is an example of an idea that may have been intended as a unifying event, but in fact has become one of division and exclusion. The initial wording invited all people to pray or meditate about the safety and success of our nation and our freedoms. In the 1980s, however, an evangelical organization progressively took over organization of the National Day of Prayer in states across the nation, with the result that it has become a totally exclusive Christian event. For the past 20 years or so, The Interfaith Alliance has organized a totally INCLUSIVE Day of Reflection as an alternative to that exclusive and religiously divisive event.

  Unity includes the acceptance that we all have a responsibility for the well-being of others.  True, effective unity occurs when people of diverse backgrounds and characteristics agree to focus on a common value, a common goal.  The responses we see to major disasters provide good examples of societal unity. Progress toward a nationwide appreciation of diversity, commitment to true freedom and true equality for all would be a healthy unity for us to achieve. 

And a closing reminder, a quote from Shimon Peres - “for democracy in our time is not only the right to be equal, but also the equal right to be different.”

Carl J. Rubenstein, MD

Reverend Shannon Fleck is the Director of Program Development, Events, and Communication of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches.  She attended the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond where she received a bachelor of arts in sociology.   Reverend Fleck began seminary at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa.   Reverend. Fleck was Ordained by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 2011.
Rev. Fleck serves on the Board of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice. Rev. Fleck has a passion for Social Justice and Interfaith Relations. Standing-up for the marginalized and ensuring dialogue and understanding among all people are at the heart of what ministry means for Reverend. Fleck.

UD Cyclones are invited to write letters of gratitude to those who serve at Harper throughout the school day. During the double and after school, UD students and faculty are helping the PD faculty assemble the PD pinwheels.

MD chapel viewed,

LD Chapel viewed

We have critical information for you from Agent HQ...
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Agents, yesterday we started to explore the idea that we are living in the rare space between two stories. When people no longer believe in where their Story of the World is taking them, it begins to fall apart. When this happens, a space is left behind, which actually allows for something more vibrant and beautiful to grow instead.

In fact, it takes a lot of time and energy to keep a story in the world that doesn’t work or want to be here anymore. We can actually observe this effect happening all around us.

Observe a time, for example, where you had to do a job or activity you didn’t love or want to do. You may have done the job, but how did you feel afterward? Exhausted? Stressed? Did time feel as if it dragged on and on and on?

On the other hand, when you do something that really interests you, how do you feel? Energized? Alive? Do you even remember to look at the clock?

Our mission today, Agents, is to observe and interact with what fills you with life and energy, and what doesn’t.
Do you dislike maintaining your lawn?
(Who says we need grassy lawns, anyway?)
Do you miss seeing butterflies in your neighborhood?
(Why not turn your lawns into patches of wildflowers so they will return?)

Notice how you feel throughout the day, and where your mind wanders to. You can make a list to keep track of your experiences. We’re going to return to your observations for tomorrow’s mission!

Remember...share your insights and experiences on the
Compassion Report Map!

Good luck, Agents!

The Champion Spotlight illuminates outstanding organizations and individuals around the world whose work is contributing to a more peaceful, just, and compassionate planet. These entities are known as Champions of Compassion.

We are excited for Day 3 of the Unity Games Relay to highlight 9/11 Day!

On September 11th, 2001, I lost my courageous brother, Glenn Winuk.

Glenn was an attorney, volunteer firefighter and trained EMT who died in the line of duty during the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City.

As hard as the anniversary of 9/11 is for my family and me each year, I am so inspired by the fact that, because of your support and kindness, and that of countless others, 9/11 has grown to become one of the largest days of charitable service in America, an observance now widely known as "9/11 Day."

This Monday, when our nation joins together again to mark the 16th anniversary of the attacks, millions of people will once more pay tribute by being kind to others, promoting a spirit of unity, and engaging in good deeds to help those most in need.

9/11 Day has truly become an extraordinary and inspiring symbol of our nation’s collective resilience, goodness, and compassion.

I know this about my late brother:  He would have really appreciated what we're building together!

So I hope you'll join me in participating in 9/11 Day this year. Here are a few helpful suggestions: 
  • Share a personal message of tribute or support on our website,
  • Donate $9.11 to support the September 11 National  Day of Service and Remembrance. (This year we're planning to use a portion of these proceeds to provide emergency food relief to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.)
  • Observe the official moments of silence that will happen on 9/11.
  • Do any kind of good deed today or this week, and encourage your colleagues, friends and family members to do the same. If you're not sure what to do, start by being especially kind or helpful to those you encounter, and check out our web site for other ideas.
For those of you who, like me, lost a loved one on 9/11, or are survivors or first responders, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Please take comfort in knowing that millions of people will be remembered by making a difference, in honor of you and those you may have loved and lost.

My family and I wish you peace and comfort this 9/11, and we pray for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Best wishes,

Jay Winuk, Co-Founder

Donate $9.11
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