On Sunday, August 9th, the Turkish Cultural Center of Pennsylvania was honored at the Golden Rule Awards Ceremony, presented by the Antioch Assembly Church. The Turkish Cultural Center, represented by President Sait Onal, was recognized for its efforts in furthering the idea of global outreach and unity represented by the award.
The event was organized by Pastor Dr. Joseph and First Lady Gwen Green of the Antioch Assembly Church. Pastor Green welcomed the guests by stressing the importance of cultural cooperation and understanding, and emphasized that such programs were necessary to promote global peace.
The event began with opening remarks and hors d’oeuvers, accompanied by a Silent Auction of various cultural gift baskets to promote the Golden Rule. Pastor Green was joined in his sentiments of global tolerance by other speakers including Dr. Reuben Egolf, who also outlined the place of the Golden Rule in every major world religion. Rather than being divided by religion, they argued, humanity should work together using its shared values to promote true understanding.
The Golden Rule is simple: treat others the way that you want to be treated. A major theme of the event was values. People have to value themselves and each other to prevent conflict, because all conflict is born from a lack of understanding of the Golden Rule. This idea was presented and expounded on by keynote speaker Ambassador Dr. Clyde Rivers. Ambassador Rivers spoke of his time in the US diplomatic corps and the examples of suffering in the world resulting from peoples’ lack of interest in each other’s well-being. Ambassador Rivers noted his own work combatting gender and racial inequalities in the world, and outlined the core of what the Golden Rule represents. The Golden Rule is about connecting peoples’ hearts. By putting ourselves in another’s shoes, Ambassador Rivers articulated, we can become invested in each other and work together, which will benefit people across the world.
We at the Turkish Cultural Center of Pennsylvania are proud to receive this award due to our efforts in promoting tolerance and dialogue. We believe that people around the world, of whatever race, ethnicity, religion, or persuasion, have nothing to lose and everything to gain from accepting and understanding each other. We will continue to work to promote these ideas, and we are honored to follow the Golden Rule.