17 Mar 2017

Looking for the Pot of Gold

St Patrick's Cathedral
            Today's St Patrick's Day. In New York City, that's a big thing. Admittedly, the traditions of the city seem to be more cultural than religious! Bars opened at 8am, everyone was wearing green, and the 4-leaf-clover-kitch was omnipresent (sigh, not even shamrocks). Popular re-appropriation of the holiday is nothing new, but here in NYC it's extreme.
            When I was a child my Grandma used to hype-up St Paddy's - she assured me  of the magic of the day, and that leprechauns were seeking their pot of gold, and I should try to find it before them. So I did.
            Today was no different. I spent the day searching for nuggets of goodness in my encounters. Unlike my childhood searches, however, today I had delightful success!
            The morning brief today was a Townhall that included UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, whose passion for gender justice was evident, as was his commitment to parity at all levels of UN leadership.  It was a privilege to hear him address us and respond to questions from us as NGOs.
            A friend and I went to witness the St Patrick's Day parade, which was quite an exposure to personal and community pride. In a world where fear and exclusionary actions are increasing, the emphasis on celebrating commonalities (we're all Irish on 17 march!) was helpful.
            This afternoon the Canadian Anglicans had the privilege and honour to meet with Cameron Jelinski, First Secretary (Human Rights and Social Affairs), Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations.  We were able to discuss matters of importance to both the government of Canada and Canadian Anglicans notably Indigenous Rights and Human Trafficking. Additionally, the youth were invited to share some of their learnings from the CSW and concerns for the betterment of society.
            Mr. Jelinski's generosity with his time and commitment to hearing from our group. He was interested in learning about our work at parish and national levels, including our ecumenical work, our development work (specifically through PWRDF and KAIROS), and other possibilities. We discussed how the joint efforts of government and Anglican Church during the TRC might continue into new possibilities as the Calls to Action continue to be addressed.

            A relaxed evening included laughter with new friends over dinner, and of course finding a local pub for a pint!  Many we encountered may not have seen the faith-based goodness in the day, but it was certainly here for me - as God (not leprechauns!) provided richness (a spiritual pot of gold!).

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