Conspiracy of Hope: Reclaiming our Public Square

    October 20, 2018 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
    St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church
    4625 E River Rd
    Tucson, AZ 85718

    “The Convergence of Spirituality and Politics.” a lecture by Dr. David Wilkinson, retired former pastor at St. Francis UMC.

    The third in a series of lectures/events at St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church (River/Swan) designed to educate, confront, inspire and celebrate our politics and our democracy. For generations, St. Francis UMC has been known as a spiritual community devoted to social justice, activism, building awareness and supporting those who are disenfranchised and disempowered. In this critical lead-up to the most important general election of the past 50 years, it remains fully committed to those ideals and principles.

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Dr. Wilkinson spoke on the convergence of Spirituality and Politics, by first defining Spirituality as “oneness with Cosmos”, the experience of Wholeness. Then he outlined the Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley as the “simple, metaphysical truth from which all esoteric knowledge has grown, that there is only 1 reality, that each of us is manifested in this reality but identifies with a tribe, which causes anxiety/unnecessary suffering, cultural competition & violence. Anything that causes separation does not equal spirituality. He urged contemplation & then action, to rediscover peace, compassion & justice in humankind. He quoted from an Up With People poem to “arouse conspiracy of hope”. Questions from audience were about environmental tribalism, praise for his inspirational talk, how to deal w/ discomfort around us when compassion/communication needed, “First Man” film of faith by Neil Armstrong on the Moon, Moses’ passion/fire to take action to free his people in Egypt, oneness we all share to work out differences between tribes, awareness possible, how begin by turning off TV news & re-centering your self, how to re-earn trust when so much hatred/disgust/anger out there in the world, how find moral authority & wisdom to act/reconciliation? As for action, Dr. W said that US going in wrong direction, urged people to please vote on Nov. 6, 2018. We were inspired by his concept of Wholeness and Oneness, as something to be sought as spirituality, common in most religions.


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