Dalai LamaAn Open Letter to the Dalai Lama
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Comments about: An Open Letter from Norm Phelps to the Dalai Lama

By Cathleen - 23 Nov 2016

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well.

After a conversation with a friend last Monday, I searched the web for something Iíd remembered only partially. It turned up in ďAn Open Letter from Norm Phelps to the Dalai Lama - 15 Jun 2007,Ē http://www.all-creatures.org/letters/20070615-np.html. While on that page, I read the associated letters and commentary, including your own at http://www.all-creatures.org/discuss/dalailama-20070617-fmh.html.

Back in the 90s I shared your dismay with the almost total religious silence where animals are concerned. In 2000 I went to work at the historically Unitarian Universalist seminary in Berkeley. The seminary is called Starr King School for the Ministry and it's part of the Graduate Theological Union. At the time I had hopes of furthering compassion for animals there. That was because Iíd been told UUs were a little more open to the relevant conversation than most Christian denominations. That proved to be little more than a rumor, but itís also fair to say SKSM wasnít really run by UUs. One faculty member, Susan Ritchie, became a trusted friend. Susan is a UU minister from Columbus, OH and an incredible person. She took an interest in what I had to say about the animals. Then skip ahead. After an ongoing scandal in 2014-15, there were many resignations, including Susanís in 2014, and I resigned in April of 2015.

Susan remained disenchanted with SKSM, and was less than satisfied with the progressive outlook of Unitarian Universalism. Early this year, she founded the ĎUU House of Studiesí at the Methodist Theological Seminary of Ohio. Reading your comments, I thought you would like to know that recently, Susan established an Animal Ministry there, and itís fabulous! This spring there will be an online course tentatively entitled ďAnimals and Religion.Ē It hasnít been announced yet, but if you like, watch for it at https://www.mtso.edu/academics/unitarian-universalist-house-studies/.

So thatís all for now. Between your comments and the times in which we live, I thought you might welcome happy news. Thank you for all you do!

Yours truly.


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