TORONTO — The Parliament of World Religions kicked off its 2018 conference in Toronto last week. The theme for this year is “The Promise of Inclusion & the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change.” In a statement on its website, the Parliament states that theme was partly inspired by this year’s host city and its focus on inclusiveness and how the programs it endorses reflect the values of the Parliament’s practices and ideology. Among the notable keynote presenters are Alisa Starkweather, founder of the Red Tent Temple Movement, and Priestess Path Apprenticeship, and Phylis Currott author, Wiccan Priestess, and founder of The Temple of Ara. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the conference. TWH will have a full story on the conference next week.
SAN FRANCISCO — On September 8, 2018, tens of thousands of people took part in at least 900 actions in 95 countries, as part of the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice marches. They were demanding significant action on climate change, demanding that the world shift from the use of fossil fuels to the use of renewable energy. In the U.S., marches occurred in Boston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Portland, and other major cities. In San Francisco, about 30,000 people marched from Embarcadero Plaza to the Civic Center. The people of faith contingent, which included Pagans, had an estimated 3,000 marchers and formed about 10 percent of the entire march.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Members of the Covenant of the Goddess held their annual Merry Meet and Grand Council Meetings here from Aug. 9 – 12. Grand Council functions as the organization’s national decision-making body, while the Merry Meet gathering consists of workshops and rituals. 47 people registered to attend both events, while 15 registered only for Merry Meet.
UNITED STATES — This past weekend saw yet more rallies and protests in both Portland, Oregon and Berkeley, California, two cities that are targeted by right-wing groups due to their reputation for being the most liberal areas in the country. The Portland rally, held Aug. 4, was sponsored by Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys, and hosted by Joey Gibson. The Aug 5 rally in Berkeley was dubbed “No to Marxism in America 2 / Exposing Communism” and was organized by Amber Gwen Cummings. Sunday’s rally was relatively small with only minor skirmishes and reportedly 17 arrests for carrying banned weapons. Coru Cathudobua priest Brennos was on site as a medic along with five other members of that group; he said there were only about 20 rally supporters, and that the counter-protesters outnumbered the group.
FLORIDA — Florida Pagan Gathering has been rescheduled again and will be held during the original dates, Nov. 7-11. As previously reported, the Florida board of directors of the Temple of Earth Gatherings had moved the dates of their popular Samhain Florida Pagan Gathering to Oct. 31 through Nov. 4 due to an unexpected need to relocate the festival.