A Message From Our Kahu
Study Leave in Illinois
After visiting family in California for a couple of days in early August, I spent two weeks in Illinois on study leave with friends, Cathy, Barbara and Kitten. We began in Chicago, learning about the history, culture and art of the largest city in the midwest. We participated in several tours, which covered art, architecture, culture and history—beginning with a private tour of the Art Institute of Chicago. One of the interesting things I learned was that the very first Parliament of the World’s Religions took place in the Institute’s main building on September 11, 1893. I then spent an entire week at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions. I shared some of my thoughts about both of those events on Sunday morning in church.
You can click HERE to see the short and impactful speech of Swami Vivekananda at that gathering and click HERE to watch my message on video if you missed church on Sunday. (Note, we have had technical difficulties uploading the video this week, but it should be there any time now.)
We then drove to central Illinois to the Allerton Park and Retreat Center, where Robert and John Allerton designed and created a majestic mansion, formal gardens and forest trails. After a brief stop in the town of Arthur, home to one of the largest Amish communities, we drove to Springfield to learn all about Abraham Lincoln, his life and legacy, which included a visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Lincoln Home (National Historic Site). After Illinois, Cathy and I said “goodbye” to Barbara and Kitten and flew to Quebec City where we learned about the history and culture of French-speaking Canada, including the life and history of the Indigenous people of the region.
I look forward in the coming weeks to continue sharing with you on Sunday mornings about my experiences during this time of learning and reflection!
Oh, and before flying home, I spent some time with my son Palani and daughter-in-law Isobel at their new home in New York City. Palani has begun his “Frontiers in Science” fellowship at Columbia University where he will be lecturing and continuing post-doctoral research in ecology. Isobel is also teaching ecology at Baruch College in NYC!
I hope to see you soon!
Aloha Nui Loa!