The Silsilah 1st National Assembly
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement and the 10th Anniversary of the Silsilah Forum, the movement held its 1st National Assembly Attended by many members and friends, and forum participants from Davao, Jolo, Iligan, Manila, Basilan, Cagayan de Oro, Sibugay, Antipolo, Siasi, Cotabato and Pagadian.
International recognition of Silsilah, as a peace movement in Asia, from Japan and Jordan inspired the celebration with the theme: Moving Together with Courage, convinced that the Silsilah vision and mission on dialogue and peace have become more relevant and urgent in the face of many current incidents of extremism, violence, apathy and fear among different cultures and religions, not only among muslims and Christians in the Philippines, but also around the world.
The celebration was held from November 6-9, 2014 at the Oasis Training Center in Harmony Village, Pitogo, Sinunuc, Zamboanga City with the following objectives:
1. To share good stories of Silsilah in these 30 years since the beginning of the movement and the 10th year of the Silsilah Forum.
2. To reflect by areas, groups and programs on what we are doing and what we can do more and better in places where Silsilah is present.
3. To study and plan together forms of collaboration on local, national and international level in promoting the Culture of Dialogue in more creative ways, including social media.
4. To renew our commitment together and take the Harmony Chain Initiative as a challenging program to internalize the spirit of this initiative and spread it around the world.
5. To reach out to many, especially those alumni and friends of Silsilah who are not active now.
A highlight of the 4-day celebration was the bonfire on the 3rd night where the participants felt free to socialize with the other groups in the open field around the bonfire and shared songs and personal stories on dialogue.
On the morning of the 9th, the members, guests and friends of Silsilah renewed their commitment to the culture of dialogue as a path to peace:
STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT
On the 30th Anniversary of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement and the 10th Anniversary of the Silsilah Forum, we recognize the fruits of living a life- in- dialogue in the different parts of the Philippines through the sustained commitment of the Silsilah members, alumni, and friends. We are grateful for the national and international recognitions of the movement which further give us courage to move forward towards our vision. We are challenged to respond to lack of awareness, fear, apathy, self-seeking interests, which cause injustice, violence and extremism.
We, the participants of the 1st Silsilah National Assembly, coming from different religious traditions and cultures, do hereby commit ourselves to:
• Nurture our spirituality of life-in-dialogue through consistent renewal and deepening of our relationship with God, self, others and the whole of creation;
• Appreciate our commonalities and respect religious and cultural pluralities through continuous education and formation;
• Strengthen the collaboration among the Silsilah Forums, including those who are not active members, through regular communication and sharing of resources, experiences, and reflections;
• Promote in all possible ways the Culture of Dialogue as a path to peace to families, work places, schools, groups and other institutions;
• Use social media and other technologies responsibly to further spread the spirit of dialogue, particularly the Harmony Chain Initiative; and
• Expand the culture of life-in-dialogue beyond the Philippines by gathering and organizing those who are inspired by and those who share the vision of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement.
In God’s will! So help us, God!