Postcard from Berkeley, CA: BPFNA at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship
October 26, 2008| bpfna
October 19, 2008
I was a real curiosity at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Interestingly enough, the gala was held at the St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, CA. I've always heard about the open, laid back, progressive, and accepting lifestyle of Berkeley and I guess this event demonstrated it. It was a warm and friendly gathering of about 120 people; most of them Buddhists, I suppose; and apparently, except for me, nearly all from around the Bay Area.
When I responded to the invitation, I indicated that not only would I be in town and be pleased to attend, but that I would also especially like to bring greetings "from the other BPF — the BAPTIST Peace Fellowship." The leadership was expecting me and provided a gracious welcome. Others I met seemed astonished that I was there at all. It was evident that many had preconceived notions about Baptists and couldn't quite understand my presence. In every case, I was allowed to explain who we were, how we were different, and how we shared many of their concerns about issues of peace and justice. Once we were past the introductions and preliminaries, I felt well received, often with gratitude.
It was a delightful experience and, once again, I was honored to represent our membership among this good group.
Bob Spinks is Networking/Development Coordinator for BPFNA. He can be reached through our contact page.