The Shift Network Blog

Welcoming 2015 -- The U.N. International Year of Light

By Rev. Deborah Moldow

Have you ever flown across the globe at night? You cannot help but notice the stark contrast between the “haves” and the “have-nots”: the difference in what they have is light. What a perfect symbol of much-needed balance to contemplate, especially in this season when so many celebrate the coming of the light. 

The year 2015 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Light and Light Technologies (IYL 2015). The IY 2015 website at http://www.light2015.org/ informs us that the United Nations is raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Light has revolutionized medicine and has opened up international communication via the Internet, providing a bridge across cultures, time and space.

The site also invites us to consider why light matters and to explore various types of light, including ways in which light supports development in parts of the world where darkness limits opportunities. Although the spiritual aspects of light are not explicitly mentioned, there is a page devoted to Cosmic Light, including stunning examples ranging from amazing skies on our own planet to images from distant galaxies.

This is a timely invitation to consider the light, especially as we head toward a new year with the traditional feeling of a clean slate on which to write a new chapter in our lives, in our world. A sense of great transition is in the air this year. In 2014 the United Nations began to plan for the Sustainable Development Goals to be launched next year, in widespread consultation that included input from civil society. The climate talks in Peru that closed the year offered hope that the impending crisis will bring nations into greater partnership in the face of a challenge that must be met together. NGOs are coming together in larger meta-networks with an increasing sense of the unity underlying our divisions. Is humanity beginning to see the light?

This expanded consciousness can also be felt at the inner level. The interfaith movement is growing in worldwide acceptance and the word “interspirituality” is being widely heard, pointing to a unified field of spirituality that underlies the apparent diversity of religions. In recognition of the emerging contemporary spirituality among both believers and secular seekers, the Garden of Light virtual gathering place at www.gardenoflight.org is launching along with the UN International Year of Light. The Garden of Light offers no dogma, no hierarchy, no structure, no holy book – just people coming together to share our experience of the powerful ways in which spirituality is manifesting in our lives.

As we welcome the New Year 2015 and the International Year of Light, let us respect the light that is the source of all life on Earth. Let us heal the imbalances in our society so that all may enjoy living in the light. Let us resolve to delve more deeply into our own spiritual path, while honoring the light in one another. Let us share our light with others, recognizing each person’s role in achieving a worldwide culture of peace. Together, let us grow a “garden of light” for all humanity.

May Peace Prevail on Earth.


Rev. Deborah Moldow is an ordained interfaith minister committed to assisting in the transformation of human consciousness that will lead to a culture of peace. She is the Representative to the United Nations of the World Peace Prayer Society, which promotes the universal prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” and she co-chairs the International Day of Peace NGO Committee at the United Nations. She is also co-director with Diane Williams of the Evolutionary Leaders circle of the Source of Synergy Foundation. Rev. Deborah is the founder and president of the Garden of Light, a 501c3 online platform for emerging global spirituality. www.gardenoflight.org