Friday, October 30, 2009

Upcoming Inter-Faith Network of Calgary meeting at Calgary Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre

The next meeting of the IFNC for this year will be hosted by the Calgary Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre (1128 45th Ave. NE ) on Sunday, November 15 2009 at 2:30pm.

Our theme for this year is:‘How is your faith tradition responding to the challenges of life in 21st century Calgary?'

The discussions will be lead by Rani Murji and her topic is "Expression of faith through literature".

Inter-Faith 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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Catholic World Religion Students Visits Calgary Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre

On October 7 and 8, 2009 Chaplain Mike Javier accompanied Grade 11 and 12 students from Father Lacombe High School (Calgary) and St. Martin de Porres School (Airdrie) to visit the Calgary Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre, as part of the Canadian Centre for Diversity's "Discover Religious Diversity: Full day guided outing" program.

The Catholic tradition is inclusive and respectful of other faith traditions. Based on this tradition, the Calgary Catholic School District has a course entitled "The Study of Other Religious Traditions" as part of its high school curriculum.


Student from St. Martin de Porres School (Airdrie)
at the Calgary Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre

I met Chaplain Mike three years ago when he first brought students to the Jamatkhana. He always requests that I share with the students from Father Lacombe High School my experience as an immigrant to Canada who grew up in that neighborhood and attended Forest Lawn High School.

Chaplain Mike Javier with Almoonir Dewji at
the Calgary Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre

Friday, October 16, 2009

Inter-Faith Network of Calgary meeting at the Beth Tzedec Synagogue

On October 15, 2009 the Inter-Faith Network of Calgary (IFNC) met at the Beth Tzedec Synagogue.

Azim Jivraj, the Muslim representative on the executive of IFNC, provided the following summary of the session:

Topics to be discussed were "What is the spiritual significance of climate change and humanity's role in it; what can I and my faith group do about climate change, etc."

The evening started with a short presentation by Mishka Lysack, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary. He briefed us on the then upcoming Meeting and Retreat on "Climate Change as a Moral Issue" on Oct 25 and 26 respectively.

Rabbi Saul Osadchey mentioned it was the ethical responsibility of all faiths to look after the environment as mentioned in all major scriptures. He mentioned the following:

  • Shabbat Noach, when Jews around the world read the Torah portion about the Flood, the Ark and the Rainbow, comes on October 23-24. Torah passages remind Jews to focus on the danger of destruction of life on our planet and actions they need to take to preserve life
  • The Rabbinical Assembly, in conjunction with Shabbat Noach, cosponsored Global Climate Healing Shabbat on October 23-24
  • Suggested Jews should pledge to integrate education, action and advocacy about environment and sustainability
  • Shared "Greening Synagogues Resources" compiled by Rabbi Fred Scherlinder e.g. use programmable thermostats divided by zones in buildings, reduce heating and cooling by 1 degree, reuse and recycle, teach children about nature and Judaism together, teach adults Creation topics together with Torah teachings
  • Jewish law has long dealt with environmental matters e.g Bal Tashkhit prohibits needless destruction of resources, Human beings are "shomrim" i.e. protectors or guardians of earth
  • Shared some Jewish texts from Deuteronomy, Talmud of Babylonia, Maimonides on biodiversity and human responsibility

General discussion followed the presentation. Items discussed included environmental impact of the oil sands, urban sprawl, responsibility of individuals and institutions, changes must be made at home, current trend towards materialism i.e. enjoy resources but at what cost, practice moderation, etc.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Presentation on Islam at Knox Presbyterian Church

The parishes of St. Martin's Anglican and Knox Presbyterian have organized sessions on World Religions. They have invited speakers from various world religions to come and talk to them about their faith tradition.

On October 7, 2009 it was an honour and a privilege to have been asked by Rev. Christine Conkin to present on Islam. The session was held at Knox Presbyterian Church (3704 – 37 St. SW).




I was touched when one of the participants found the following closing prayer that I prepared to be very moving and asked for a copy:

O our Lord,

Bless us with peace, good health, happiness, and serenity day and night.

Grant us the wisdom to utilize our intellect, our talents, to serve our fellow human beings.

Inspire us with those thoughts, those sentiments which bind us together, and which remind us of our common humanity.

Enable us all to come together in a spirit of mutual understanding, cooperation, and goodwill so that we can leave this world a better place.

Amen

It was also interesting to find out that the next session (Wed, Oct 21), on Buddhism, is being conducted by D. Leslie Kawamura who is a colleague on the Inter-Faith Network of Calgary.

The balance of the program is as follows:

Nov 4: Judaism with Rabbi Yisroel Miller
Nov 18: Coptic Orthodox Christianity with with Kamal Botros
Dec 2: Hinduism

Further details can be found here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Upcoming Inter-Faith Network of Calgary event at Beth Tzedec Synagogue

The next meeting of the IFNC for this year will be hosted by Beth Tzedec Synagogue (1325 Glenmore Tr. SW) on Thursday, October 15 2009 at 7:30pm.

Our theme for this year is:‘How is your faith tradition responding to the challenges of life in 21st century Calgary?'

Rabbi Saul Osadchey, the new Rabbi at Beth Tzedec, will be discussing the Jewish response to Gender issues and to the Environment.

If you would like a tour of the synagogue, please come at 7:10 pm.

Inter-Faith 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.