Introduction

What People are Saying

The Scarboro Missions Golden Rule poster is making a global impact. Here at Scarboro Missions, we are constantly receiving e-mails and letters about the poster. And they are coming from all over the globe. We also receive newspaper articles about the poster from various parts of the world. Here are some recent samples of these e-mails, letters and articles

Letters from Around the World

“This poster just keeps on giving. We use the poster with our patients, staff and in the community.”
— Jeff Archambeault, Chaplain, North Bay Psychiatric Hospital, North Bay, Canada

“I just want to let you know that I included the Golden Rule Poster and the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule in a scripture study (instead of a Bible study) I did for a gathering of Asian religious educators in Taiwan early this month. The study group was so delighted to know that in fact there is this common bond among the religions that ties us all together despite our differences.”
— Hope Antone, Christian Conference of Asia, Hong Kong

“Here at the prison, the men and their families read and reread the poster on a regular basis. On more than one occasion, I have seen a man who was packing for his release take the poster off the wall and photocopy it piece-by-piece so that he could take it home with him. 
Kate Johnson, Frontenac Institution, Kingston, Canada

“Thanks for sending the posters to our seminary here. The poster will be displayed in a number of our classrooms. In one of our community houses (Oblates of St. Francis de Sales) in Bangalore, India, the poster is hanging in our novitiate. The message of the poster is very timely because Muslim-Christian relations here are very tense, particularly in the South.”
Fr. Anthony Ceresko, OSFS, Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City, Philipines

“Our Interfaith Alliance was hosting a display table at an event this past Saturday. We have the Golden Rule poster framed and on display at all our interfaith events. People just can’t stop looking at it and talking about it.”
Kay Lindahl, Los Angeles, California, USA

“I work with Interfaith Ministries of Wichita, Kansas. We base all our work on the Golden Rule that you present on your website.”
Maria Bustamante-Brown, Kansas, USA

“Inspired by the Scarboro Missions Golden Rule poster, our church has, for the last 3 years, sponsored Lenten series on interfaith themes. The series, presented to the entire Belleville community and region, has thus far been enthusiastically received and well-attended. We, the organizers, believe that this kind of education is contributing to inter- and intra-faith understanding, tolerance and friendship. We commend you and your colleagues at Scarboro Missions for your timely and helpful highlighting of the Golden Rule as a way of moving beyond ignorance and suspicion among peoples of different cultures and faiths.”
Rev. Peter Joyce, St. Thomas Anglican Church, Belleville, Canada

“I just wanted to let you know that the Golden Rule posters have been sent to many of our local hospitals here in Albuquerque. And I must say, they have been well received. It has been a delightful experience for me as our patients who come to our chapel make positive comments on the content of the poster. I can’t thank Scarboro Missions enough!”
Fabian Gagnon, Lovelace Hospital, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

“Please send copies of your wonderful Golden Rule poster for use in our school here in England.”
Phylliss Ellis, Essex, United Kingdom

“Early this morning, I passed through the airport here in Munich, Germany. When I saw your beautiful poster, I was so deeply touched in my soul that I immediately looked up your homepage on the Internet. How can I get one of these posters?”
Konrad Goddemeier, Germany

“Thank you very much for the Golden Rule Poster. We intend to have it laminated and displayed in our main reception hall here at the consulate.”
Chander M. Bhandari, Consulate General of India, Toronto, Canada

“Your Golden Rule poster has been forwarded to me as chairperson of the Board of School Trustees of School District No. 36 (Surrey). Scarboro Missions is to be commended for its dedication and the outstanding quality of this poster. We are considering placing this educational tool with its powerful message in some of our 117 schools.”
Heather Stilwell, British Columbia, Canada

“When I first saw your poster, I stopped in my tracks. I was amazed at how quickly it had touched me even from my peripheral vision. The message of the poster is incredibly powerful in its simplicity. The poster manages to unite every corner of the planet with one essential statement.”
Jennifer Bartok, Welland, Canada

Gold in a Minnesota Mall

Excerpted from, the Scarboro Missions Newsletter of July/August 2004.

The following article was published in the Summer 2004 issue of the newsletter of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN). The article reports on the stunning way in which the poster is being used at the largest tourist attraction in the United States of America. It was written by Rev. John Chell, President of the Mall Area Religious Council.

The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minneapolis has become the number one tourist attraction in the USA, with 41 million shoppers and visitors from around the world. The Mall Area Religious Council (MARC) – with NAIN membership and consisting of 36 local Twin Cities congregations and world religion groups – uses the Golden Rule Poster as one way to effectively bring a spiritual presence to the Mall. The poster produced by Paul McKenna and Scarboro Missions, (Canada) presents 13 sacred versions of the Golden Rule along with symbols of each religion. MARC uses the poster in very unique Mall Interfaith events which create considerable attention, conversation and mutual understanding.

Here are four examples.

Example One: in a development resulting from the 9/11 tragedy, Mall Management contacted MARC to work with them in the development of an interfaith Employee Meditation Room. At the Opening Ceremony in 2002, MARC presented a matted, framed copy of the poster to Mall Management. It is now the focal point in the “chapel” readily telling folks of all religions that this “sacred space” at Mall of America is for use by all faith traditions. Mall press releases on the Meditation Room have prompted inquiries to MARC from throughout the world, on how to secure copies.

Example Two: an interfaith event known as Eleven days for Understanding held at Mall of America, included diverse faith groups: the Immortal Chaplains Foundation, the Guto Wheel of Dharma Monastery, the Mendota Dakota community, the Minnesota Council of Churches and the Mall Area Religious Council. It presented an extraordinary series of exhibits and performances for 11 days from any traditions – calling for peace and compassion. MARC’s interfaith volunteers created a Golden Rule Poster exhibit located in the large Macy’s Court as a place for interfaith conversation. Thousands of visitors were drawn to this Exhibit and considered the increasing need to understand and respect our neighbours’ religion and diversity. Many purchased the poster for use in offices, homes, schools and congregations.

Example Three: the MARC Golden Rule poster exhibit has expanded and is now used frequently at the Interfaith Holy Days of Thanksgiving Around the World. MARC expositions are held at prominent Mall of America locations. These days of dialogue with shoppers, visitors and employees heighten the awareness and understanding of the significant Holy Days of our many world religions. MARC Volunteers from many Faiths become a “living exhibit” for neighbourly compassion and respect among all peoples and religions.

Example Four: MARC has a signboard at the Mall with placards available for each member group directing visitors to local Places of Worship. It has just expanded to the Mall’s four guest service centres, including sample copies of the Golden Rule poster.

The Golden Rule poster and MARC volunteers are eloquent “interfaith voices” in America’s largest Mall.

Ethiopian Gold

Excerpted from the Scarboro Missions Newsletter of November/December 2004.

The Scarboro Missions golden rule poster continues to make its way around the planet. And wherever it goes, it performs its magical task of healing, unity and reconciliation. Africa is one place where it is making a splash.

Scarboro missioners in Malawi have presented the poster to the bishop of Mzuzu. Beverly and Ray Vantomne have given a copy of the poster to a priest who is also a professor in Muslim studies in Malawi.

Using the texts and symbols of the poster, a mission society in Tanzania has created their own poster in English and Swahili. In Nigeria, Fr. Martin (St. Paul’s Missionary Society of Africa), who has stayed here at Scarboro in recent years, uses the poster in his retreats for priests and seminarians.

In August 2004, we received this rather stunning e-mail reporting on the progress of the poster in Ethiopia:

Dear friends at Scarboro Missions,

Many greetings of peace from Ethiopia. It was good to meet you at the Parliament of World Religions in Barcelona.

The golden rule poster is the backbone of our interfaith work here in Ethiopia. It is the main tool we are using in our work. Whenever we have seminars, meetings, or workshops, we use the poster to start and end our meetings. I am happy to inform you that I have translated the poster’s 13 golden rules into the local language here which is Amharic. This way, many people can understand the message of the poster.

If I get the funds in the future, I am planning to print the poster in our language and distribute it through all the country. From my experience, I strongly recommend the golden rule as a necessary tool for any interfaith group. The golden rule is the key to so much and we are very grateful to Scarboro Missions for producing this very useful poster. Without the poster, I really don’t know how I would have promoted interfaith in a country where even the word “interfaith” itself is new.

In peace and gratitude,

Mussie Hailu
Board Chairman
Interfaith Peace-Building Initiative (IPI)
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

United Nations gets the Golden Rule poster

The Scarboro Missions Golden Rule poster is now on permanent display at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. On January 4, 2004, Mrs. Gillian Sorensen (pictured here), Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, accepted the poster as a gift from the North American Interfaith Network.

The presentation was part of an interfaith ceremony in which it was pointed out that the Golden Rule is not just a moral ideal for relationships between people, but also for relationships among nations, cultures and religions.

In presenting the poster to the Assistant Secretary-General, a statement was read by a representative of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN). Read the full statement.

THE PROGRESS OF A POSTER

Scarboro Missions’ Golden Rule poster makes its way around the world

The Scarboro Missions Golden Rule poster is making its way around the world. What began as an obscure idea in the basement of Scarboro Missions’ headquarters is now emerging as a ‘coat of arms’ for the international interfaith movement.

This striking and beautiful four-colour poster features a written and symbolic depiction of the Golden Rule in 13 religions. Scarboro Missions has been overwhelmed by both the success and the universal appeal of the poster.

Most striking is the diversity of audiences that are purchasing this piece of multifaith art. This audience includes penitentiaries, airports, seniors’ homes, corporate offices, hospitals, schools, religious institutions, universities, social justice groups, stores, Sunday schools and private homes.

Various institutions use the poster as a healing tool. For example, a network of addiction recovery homes in Calgary, Alberta, utilizes the poster in its programs. Jeff Archambeault, chaplain to North Bay Psychiatric Hospital in Ontario, has discovered some very creative ways to use the poster with patients and staff at the hospital. In the words of Archambeault, “this amazing poster just keeps on giving.”

In the weeks following the September 11 tragedy, multifaith prayer services took place all over North America. Organizers of many of these prayer services used the Golden Rule poster in a number of ways in their efforts to promote forgiveness and healing.

Schools are the biggest audience for the poster, with accompanying lesson plans now being planned for elementary and high school classes. World religions classes find the poster extremely useful. Joe Wey, a teacher at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Toronto, begins his world religions program with the poster. Says Wey, “Most of the students have studied only Christianity, so some of them are surprised to see the similarities among the religions…We teach not just tolerance, but respect for other religions.”

In tune with Scarboro Missions’ global vision, the poster is travelling the world. Fr. Tony Cereskos of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales writes from Divine Word Seminary in the Philippines: “Thank you very much for the kind gift of the Golden Rule posters. We plan to have one framed for one of our classrooms. The message of the poster is very timely for the Philippines. As you are probably aware, Muslim-Christian relations here are very tense and problematic, especially in the South.”

In the coming years, Scarboro Missions will join with people all over the world in translating the poster into several languages. Indeed, we have every reason to believe that this piece of theological art will continue to work its wonders in terms of interreligious healing, unity and reconciliation.

Statement read at the Presentation of the Golden Rule Poster to the UN

The framed Golden Rules poster was presented to Mrs. Gillian Sorensen, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations on January 4, 2002. It was presented by the Board of the North American Interfaith Network (which has sixty-five member organizations) and Scarboro Missions, on behalf of the people in the many religious, spiritual and humanistic communities who honour these Golden Rules. In presenting the poster, the following statement was read:

The Statement — Golden Rule for a Culture of Peace

Because the United Nations is a home for our highest human ideals, and because the world’s religions have a duty to articulate and promote those ideals, we are honoured to present you with “The Golden Rule.” In this poster, thirteen religious and spiritual traditions state a universal principle in elegant and distinctive forms.

These Golden Rules are evidence of a Global Ethic that transcends nations, civilizations, and religions. Yet no other statements so clearly summarize the simple practices of kindness and sustainable human conduct. In recent years, gatherings of religious and spiritual leaders have confirmed that “this ancient precept is found and has persisted in many religious and ethical traditions of humankind for thousands of years. . . [and] should be the irrevocable, unconditional norm for all areas of life, for families and communities, for races, nations, and religions” (Toward a Global Ethic).

The United Nations provides a unique forum where the subtleties of this universal principle can be translated into the realm of international affairs. We are inspired by key United Nations documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its premise that those rights we wish for ourselves shall be granted to others as well. Equally challenging is the principle that no nation will find peace until it wants for others the same peace and security it seeks for itself.

We believe that these Golden Rules, also known as the “law of reciprocity,” must be obeyed by all nations, and that, in the interests of global security, no nations or leaders may exempt themselves. Whatever is hateful or injurious to ourselves, we must not do to others.

Failure to adhere to these moral principles brings great hazards to all, ranging from unsustainable development practices to environmental crises and nuclear threats with their inherent potential for catastrophe. Nations must treat other nations as they wish to be treated.

Together, these precepts remind us that our diversity can flourish within a greater and simpler unity – the human family, with its common origins, needs, and aspirations. The Golden Rules teach that no one – no nation, culture, or religion – is an island unto itself. Drawing on time-tested wisdom and experience, they presume our interdependence and declare our personal responsibility for the common good.

Regis College
Msgr. John Mary Fraser Centre for Practical Theology
100 Wellesley St. W.
Toronto, ON
Canada, M5S 2Z5
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