We want to let you know of a special event we are putting on Wednesday evening, October 13th at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.  We hope to give religious leaders an opportunity to express the significant role they play in our world.  Because the event is happening at the Schnitzer and outside all of our religious churches, it is an opportunity for all of us to forge new partnerships demonstrating the good that religion does in the world and in our community.  Religion can be a powerful voice for peace in the world; in the Middle East and also here in Oregon.  The Institute is asking all churches to please support our effort by discussing this event with your church community and by encouraging them to come.  Consider encouraging your high school students to come to this event, as a Field Trip to hear the dialogue and to be inspired by the wonderful musicians who will play the concert for peace.


The Wholistic Peace Institute is offering this event to cultivate harmony between Oregon’s religious and spiritual communities and to foster their engagement with the broader issues of the Middle East.  We hope to create an atmosphere of peace and dialogue so that a “community of peace” can be nurtured in Oregon where we can all work together to bring hope that our differences will become our strength.  Please come to this event and learn of how the following senior Oregon faith leaders will demonstrate the wisdom of listening among themselves and the power of commitment to work for a better world.  The Institute is honored to host the following faith leaders and their dialogue as well as Oregon’s famous “peace musicians”: Aaron Meyer, Bill Lamb, and Katherine Jun.  The faith leaders as well as the musicians are available for interview and this can be arranged by contacting Gary Alan Spanovich at 503-266-8996.  The Institute will also hold on November 9th in Rome, Italy a dialogue with Nobel Peace Laureates on “New Approaches To Peace In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”.  The Inter-Faith Dialogue and Concert For Peace on October 13th and the November 9th World Peace Conference, are linked together to explore peace in the Middle East with a “Wholistic Approach”.



The Faith Leaders


  • Mr. David Leslie, Executive Director, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon: David’s passions are Inter-Faith organizing and bringing faith-based perspectives and resources to the issues of peacemaking, poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and community development.  David has worked for the World Council of Churches, Ohio Council of Churches, Inter-Faith Ministries for Greater Houston, and Texas Impact.  He is an Advisory Board member of the Wholistic Peace Institute, a member of the Inter-Faith Council for Greater Portland, Governor’s Advisory Board on Global Warming, and the National Council of churches Human Genetics Committee.  Dave can be contacted at dleslie@emoregon.org.


  • Rabbi Emeritus Joshua Stampfer, Congregation Neveh Shalom: Rabbi Stampfer was born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1921.  Rabbi graduated from the University of Chicago received his M.S. from the University of Akron, M.H.L. from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and his D.H.L. from the University of Judaism. He received an honorary doctorate from Pacific University in 1987.  Rabbi has served three congregations for 51 years.  Rabbi is a Middle East expert, has three books published, is the editor of three periodicals and recently had an autobiography published, “To Learn and to Teach”.  The Rabbi is also Chair of the Wholistic Peace Institute’s Advisory Board.  Rabbi Stampfer can be contacted at jstampfer@nevehshalom.org.


  • Al-Hajji Mikal H. Shabazz, an American and Vietnam Veteran converted to Islam in 1973: Al-Hajj-Shabazz is Head Chaplain of the Oregon Islamic Chaplains Organization and was the first Muslim leader to open the Oregon House of Representatives in prayer in 1986.  Al-Hajj-Shabazz is well known for his lectures, workshops and seminars on the commonality of the Abrahamic Religions, inspiring people to seek common ground for peace and justice.  For over 23 years, he was director of the Muslim Community Center in Northeast Portland, as Imam motivating his community and reaching out to Muslims of all races and ethnicity, supporting diversity and tolerance within the Islamic community.  Al-Hajj-Shabazz is a member of the Institute’s Advisory Board.  Al-Hajji Shabazz can be contacted at mikalshabazz@bigplanet.com.


  • Rt. Rev. Joseph Wood, O.S.B., former Abbot, Mt. Angel Abbey & Pastor, St. Paul’s Church, Silverton: Abbot Joseph is a founding member of the Wholistic Peace Institute and was involved in the planning for the Dalai Lama’s visit.  Abbot Joseph sat with His Holiness for a dialogue on how “religions can work for world peace”.  He has been a priest for over 50 years, is an inspiring speaker, and has been active member of Rotary International, being a member of the Silverton Rotary Club.  Abbot Joseph is a frequent speaker at Inter-Faith events and often quotes the Gospels as to how a central message is to see the other, whether it is cultural, religious, or historical as our “neighbor”.  One of Christ’s central messages to humanity was, “love thy neighbor”.  In today’s small world, bound together by communication, we are all neighbors.  Peace can happen in the Middle East and the Abbot offers timely and educated suggestions. 


  • Geshe Kelsang Damdul, Founder of the Shakyamuni Buddhist Center, Portland and Vice-Principal of the Buddhist Dialectic School, Dharamsala, India: Geshe Kelsang is a Tibetan Buddhist and as a Geshe holds a Ph.D. in the subject of Buddhism. He is an educator, a teacher of the Dharma, and a skilled orator who has offered teachings on compassion, love and kindness to both large and small groups, both in the US and all over the world.  Geshe Kelsang often travels with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and served as his representative for the Dalai Lama’s visit to Oregon in 2001.  Geshe Kelsang is also a member of the Institute’s Advisory Board and is involved in the Institute’s world peace conference, including the upcoming conference in Rome, Italy, at the University of Rome, November 8-9, 2004.  Geshe Kelsang can be contacted at either: kdamdul@hotmail.com or ibdcc@yahoo.com


  • Shahriar S. Ahmed: Shahriar Ahmed is the President of the Bilal Mosque Association of Oregon.  Especially after 9/11, he has been heavily engaged in Interfaith discussions between Churches, Synagogues, Schools, Colleges and Universities. During the last two years he has been part of 178 Inter-Faith events that have either been hosted at Bilal Mosque or have had delegations sent from Bilal Mosque. Shahriar firmly believes that without dialogue we, people of faith, do not live up to the fundamental teaching of all faiths that to be tolerant, patient and just to others. He is blessed with a wonderful family, his wife Shamima Banu and daughter Sumaiya and two sons Shehab and Hamzah, without whose support, good humor and understanding nothing would be possible.  Shahriar can be contacted at shahriar.ahmed@intel.com.


  • Gary Alan Spanovich, Adjunct Faculty, Religion & Philosophy Department, Marylhurst University, Will Moderate The Event: Gary has been a member of the faculty of Marylhurst University, Religion & Philosophy Department since 1992 and will lead a meditation on world peace and MC the event.  He has taught for 14 years a method of meditation focused on listening to “the still small voice within” and his first book was published in 1995 and is entitled, “A Book Of Gentleness: Developing A Dialogue With God”, it is college textbook on this approach.  Since then he has developed a curriculum in the Wholistic Approach and written a manuscript entitled, “Workplace Spirituality”.  His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written a two page foreword endorsing the approach as, “will have a compelling appeal to anyone interested in creating a more peaceful and happier world, whatever work they do”.  Gary is also editor of the Institute’s book, “How To Achieve World Peace: Six Nobel Peace Laureates Answer The Question” and has served on the adjunct faculty of both the University of Portland and Western Oregon University. Gary can be contacted at worldpeace@canby.com and the Institute holds a monthly world peace luncheon, with local speakers and anyone can be added to the email list for this luncheon.


    Nobel Peace Prize Winners the Wholistic Peace Institute Has Worked With

    His Holiness The Dalai Lama, 1989; Adolfo Perez Esquivel; Betty Williams, 1976; Amnesty International (Dr. William Schulz), 1977; Physicians For Social Responsibility (Dr. Robert Musil), 1985; Lech Walesa, 1983; Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez, 1987


The Musicians


  • Aaron Meyer: Aaron is one of Oregon’s most talented musicians whose musical diversity is evident in that he has performed for world leaders and dignitaries as well as held solo appearances with major U.S. orchestras and ballet companies.  He has opened and or performed with several major artists and bands, including Everclear, Smokey Robinson, Pink Martini, The Temptations.  He has performed internationally in concert halls around the world, at the United Nations as well as the 2001 World Peace Conference and for the Dalai Lama’s Public Talk in collaboration with Tibetan musicians.  He debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 11.  Aaron and Bill Lamb will lead the Oregon Symphony Orchestra in a concert in November, also at the Schnitzer Concert Hall.  Aaron can be reached at aaron@aaronmeyer.com


  • Bill Lamb: Bill is a guitarist par excellence, born and raised in Portland, Bill has gone on to perform throughout the globe and record with accomplished artists Elton John, Johnny Mathis, members of the band the Eagles and Crystal Gayle.  Guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist, and songwriter; multi-instrumentalist Bill Lamb has had much success with his original songs recorded by Kenny Rogers, Nicollet Larson, Ronna Reeves, The Spinners, Randy Meisner of the Eagles and Ian Mathews. Bill Lamb can be contacted at: billlamb@aaronmeyer.com.


  • Katherine Jun: Katherine was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1964. The outstanding soprano Katherine Jun studied with Ruth Donson, Carmen Pelton, and Ellen Faull and is now a candidate for a Doctoral degree from the School of Music at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.  Katherine Jun's lyric soprano voice has captivated audiences, making her one of the most acclaimed Oregon singers. Katherine has given a number of recitals in Asia and the USA. Recently she performed a concert at the National Theatre of Korea; her doctoral recital at the University of Washington; and Vivaldi's Gloria with the Portland State University Philharmonic Orchestra.  She began her career as a choir director at several churches and has given voice lessons to many students. Jun is now an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.  Katherine can be contacted at kyongsookjun@yahoo.com.

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