Last week I attended the festive opening of the Guibord Center at St. John’s Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles.Founded by the Rev. Dr. Gwynne Guibord, former Officer of Ecumenical and Interreligious Concerns for The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, the center’s mission is “to bring people together, to challenge assumptions, unleash The Holy and affirm the faith that transforms the world.”
Now, I have been to lots of interfaith programs that brought people together, challenged assumptions and affirmed faith. What got my attention was “unleash The Holy.” That and the tag line that follows the center’s name in its literature: “Religion Inside Out.” These were hints that an aspect of religion that had been virtually absent in interfaith gatherings — in Western religion in general, truth be told — was being affirmed. I refer to the inner experience of the Divine that has, historically, been associated with mysticism but is really the beating heart of every spiritual tradition.