he birth of the United Religions Initiative (URI) is the story of how hundreds, then thousands of people across cultures, oceans and faith traditions began to share a common call to make the world they lived in more like the world they yearned for in their dreams. This book tells how one person’s vision and conviction evolved to include a global community working together to make their dreams real– dreams reflected in a call of the sacred within a world-wide, faith-based organization. The book also tells the story of how an emergent process of organizational change – the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) process – came along at just the right time to provide the engine for the new organization and its development. AI as a process lent the ability for an organization to be formed which would be: inclusive, decentralized and self-organizing. AI and the URI together embarked upon a “spiritual journey”; the theme of this narrative. Benefits: · Provides a blueprint of a working, Global, vibrant community; one that is ongoing and sustainable. · Details (with worksheets and other tools) the application of an emergent, powerful methodology for inducing Positive Change: the model of Appreciative Inquiry in Action. · Provides a readable narrative, interspersed with application tools, of how the organization grew from idea to a practicing set of Cooperating Circles embracing 26,000+ members, worldwide. · In these uncertain times, as Peacebuilding efforts gather momentum worldwide, this book provides a Bridge to an Uncertain Future. TABLE OF CONTENTS Foreword (David Cooperrider); I. Birth of a Vision; II. URI meets AI; III. URI and AI meet the World; IV. Growing “Appreciative Genes”: Pregnancy of the Organization; V. The Birth; VI. Living into the Questions and the Ideals of the URI; VII. URI and AI dance into the future. VIII. Afterword and Appendices (“The Surprise of Friendship”).