Saturday, February 28, 2009

Multifaith Network Lunch

On February 26 2009, I had the pleasure of representing the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Group at the Multifaith Network Lunch.

The lunch was sponsored by Faith and Common Good and was held at Temple B'Nai Tikvah.

The objective of the meeting was to learn about and to celebrate all the wonderful interfaith work that is taking place in Calgary, and to collaborate with one another on various initiatives, which will enable us to build a healthy community in Calgary.

The 30 participants represented the following organizations:
  • Calgary Bahá'í Community
  • The Canadian Council of Christians and Jews (CCCJ)
  • Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan
  • Citizens Advocating Using Sustainable Energy (CAUSE)
  • Deer Park United Church
  • Faith and Common Good
  • F.O.C.U.S. on Seniors
  • InterFaith Network of Calgary
  • KAIROS Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
  • Muslim-Christian Dialogue Group of Calgary
  • The Pembina Institute
  • Project Ploughshares
  • Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Scarboro United Church
  • Temple B'Nai Tikvah
  • Ten Thousand Villages
  • Unitarian Church of Calgary
  • The United Church of Canada - The Calgary Presbytery
  • Woodcliff United Church

The meeting ended with the following lovely prayer on Mankind led by Glen Little from the Calgary Bahá'í Community:

O Thou kind Lord! Thou hast created all humanity from the same stock. Thou hast decreed that all shall belong to the same household. In Thy Holy Presence they are all Thy servants, and all mankind are sheltered beneath Thy Tabernacle; all have gathered together at Thy Table of Bounty; all are illumined through the light of Thy Providence.

O God! Thou art kind to all, Thou hast provided for all, dost shelter all, conferrest life upon all. Thou hast endowed each and all with talents and faculties, and all are submerged in the Ocean of Thy Mercy.

O Thou kind Lord! Unite all. Let the religions agree and make the nations one, so that they may see each other as one family and the whole earth as one home. May they all live together in perfect harmony.

O God! Raise aloft the banner of the oneness of mankind.

O God! Establish the Most Great Peace.

Cement Thou, O God, the hearts together.

O Thou kind Father, God! Gladden our hearts through the fragrance of Thy love. Brighten our eyes through the Light of Thy Guidance. Delight our ears with the melody of Thy Word, and shelter us all in the Stronghold of Thy Providence.

Thou art the Mighty and Powerful, Thou art the Forgiving and Thou art the One Who overlooketh the shortcomings of all mankind.

Some pictures from the event:

Martha Mottahedeh from Calgary Bahá'í Community addressing the group

Reverend Meg Roberts from Unitarian Church of Calgary addressing the group

Reverend Clinton Mooney from St Matthew's United Church addressing the group

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Calgary's Sikh Society Gurdwara hosts the InterFaith Network of Calgary

On February 12 2009, the Calgary's Sikh Society Gurdwara (Old Banff Coach Road/81 St SW) hosted the InterFaith Network of Calgary:

Azim Jivraj, the Muslim representative on the executive of the InterFaith Network of Calgary, provided the following summary of the session:
  • The session was conducted by the Priest Joginder Singh and facilitated by Mr. Jit Jandu in the lower area of the Gurdwara. Most of us covered our heads as we thought the session would be conducted in the prayer hall.

  • Sikh means student of Religion

  • Sikhism was established by Guru Nanak and nine other Sikh Gurus over the period of 1469 to 1708. The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, nominated the Sikh holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib as the final and eternal Guru of Sikhism. All Sikhs are required to follow the teachings of the Gurus. The Sikhs respect Guru Granth Sahib in the same manner in which they revere their Ten Gurus.

  • Sikhism emphasizes the importance of truthful living i.e. truth, love, humility.

  • All are brothers and sisters as we are children of God.

  • One should know Punjabi to understand Guru Grant Sahib. Gurdwara holds classes to teach Punjabi.

  • There are differences in interpretation by community members and makes it hard to integrate sometimes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

1st Annual Interfaith Youth Festival

This will be a historic event!

We are launching the 1st Annual Interfaith Youth Festival on March 15, 2009.

So please invite your family, friends, favorite teachers as well as your community youth leaders to our March 15 celebration.

This will be an interfaith celebration of food, art and faith. We will have an exhibition on the shared value of compassion. Come to be inspired and learn from the next generation.

Where: Kahanoff Centre, 200-1202 Centre Street SE, Calgary
Who: Interfaith Youth Council Calgary
When: March 15, 2009, 1.00 - 4.00 p.m.

Please send your RSVP.

Presented by IDEA (Interfaith Dialogue, Education and Action) Youth Initiative

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Discover Religious Diversity - Calgary Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre

On February 18 2009, Chaplain Mike Javier and students from Father Lacombe High School visited the Calgary Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre:

The tour was organized as part of the Canadian Centre for Diversity's "Discover Religious Diversity: Full Day Guided Outing" program. The following is a description of the program from their website:

Canada has a great diversity of faiths and religions but most of us are barely acquainted with them. So, in a single day, we take students to three houses of worship where they learn about the history, customs and traditions of each religion. Interactive questions and answer sessions are part of each visit and a brief concluding session led by Centre staff.

At the end of the tour, we presented to the students a copy of Dictionary of Islam and The Ismailis: An Illustrated History for their school library:

The students then visited the Calgary Buddhist Temple and Beth Tzedec Synagogue.

I am grateful once again to Kari Grain (Regional Program Coordinator for Calgary) for providing me the opportunity to participate.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Upcoming InterFaith Network of Calgary event at Calgary's Sikh Society Gurdwara

The next meeting of the IFNC for this year will be hosted by Calgary's Sikh Community on Wednesday, February 12th 2009 at the Sikh Society Gurdwara (Old Banff Coach Rd. & 81 St. SW) at 7:30pm.

The issue for discussion will be "Engaging our youth"

The 2008 - 2009 schedule can be found here

The theme for this year is: Issues Arising When Practising Your Faith in 21st Century Calgary

InterFaith Network of Calgary (IFNC) is an informal and grassroots group of Calgarians, belonging to several faith traditions, who have come together to promote goodwill and mutual understanding.

We believe that this objective is best achieved by interaction and dialogue among the followers of different faiths. This belief is based on our conviction that while the general tendency is to highlight the differences among different faiths, a deeper study would reveal that we have more in common than is generally believed.

We hope that through these gatherings, we will encourage mutual respect and peace in our community.

We meet once a month to discuss questions related to our personal spirituality and religious practice.

The venues of the gatherings rotate among the places of worship.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bridges Interfaith Potluck - Sunday, February 15 2009

Bridges to a common future
Building a common future founded ontrust and understanding.
Let’s make Calgary a city that shines with hope for future generations.
Learning from each other
Muslim and Christian friends invite you to join them in an
Inter-cultural Potluck Supper
Sunday February 25, 2009 - 4 pm - 7 pm
South Calgary Community Association
3130 16th Street SW
Calgary, Alberta
Bring your favourite food to share!
Prayer room will be available
Sponsored by:
The Anglican Diocese of Calgary
Initiatives for Change
Muslim Council of Calgary