Buddhist-Christian Dialogues

Third National Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, Nov. 5, 2019

by Dr. Lo Sprague

The Guibord Center – Religion Inside Out continues to team with the National Council of Churches (NCC) to co-convene the NCC’s National Buddhist-Christian Dialogue. Serving as local co-conveners are Hsi Lai Temple, University of the West and Claremont School of Theology.

The purpose of the dialogues is to create deep understanding and relationship between these two communities and their leaders. The ease with which people greeted one another is an indication of how well it is succeeding. Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights extended its warm and generous hospitality as the monastics, known as venerables, welcomed the team into the exquisite space.

This was the third NCC Buddhist-Christian Dialogue and the first without the Rev. Dr. Gwynne Guibord. Though Gwynne was no longer physically in the room, her presence was evident throughout the meeting. From the first recollections and acknowledgements in the morning to the kind and generous stories shared throughout the day, it was clear that Gwynne will forever be woven into the fabric of this dialogue.

Participants to a person offered their unwavering support to Dr. Lo Sprague as she took her place at the table. Many voiced their appreciation that The Guibord Center would continue with her strong presence. Lo is not a stranger as she has been a partner in this work for many years.

The day together ended as beautifully as it began, with a sense of having shared in an exploration of issues that helped each person leave with a better understanding of the others’ faith, leading to a deeper appreciation of her or his own faith.