INTERFAITH UNITY NEWS     

June 10 11 issue   –   Deadline for next issue:  June 28, 2011

 

www.interfaithunity.ca  416-8015597   info@interfaithunity.ca

 

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Links above are to our Interfaith unity web pages  

 

Member of: North American Interfaith Network

Member of: Toronto & Area Interfaith Council

Associate Organization of: United Religions Initiative

 

CONTENTS LISTING (click titles below to go to listing)

Note:  Links on your computer may have to be permitted to operate

 

NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER

COMING HOME TO THE PLANET EARTH

“I have seen the enemy, and it is Us!”

 

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

JOIN US IN PHOENIX THIS SUMMER  

“GOD OF LIFE LEAD AFRICA TO PEACE, JUSTICE AND DIGNITY”

TORONTO & AREA EVENTS

 CEASEFIRE: DISARM AND ENGAGE OUR YOUTH

 

YOUTH - HIKE & PRAYER: 

THE GREEN SPIRIT OF THE CITY

 

YORK-NOOR LECTURES  

 

Canadian Premiere

JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE

 

High Park Labyrinth

WORLD PEACE FESTIVAL

 

THE INTERFAITH MOVEMENT DEEPENS

A CALL FOR GLOBAL SPIRITUAL CITIZENSHIP

 

FOLLOWING SOUND INTO SILENCE
Saturday June 18 @  7:00pm

 

Snow Lion Co-Supported Event
"HAPPINESS, HEALTH AND RELATIONSHIPS"

 

            SPIRITUAL DIALOGUE CIRCLE

Location: Don Heights Unitarian Congregation  

 

ONTARIO WIDE EVENTS  

WATERLOO

EDUCATION TO GLOBALIZE THE HUMAN MIND

WATERLOO , ONTARIO CONFERENCE

CANADA WIDE EVENTS

The Dalai Lama returns to Montreal

SECOND GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON WORLD’S RELIGIONS AFTER SEPTEMBER 11

 

INTERNATIONAL EVENTS  

2011 NORTH AMERICAN INTERFAITH CONNECT CONFERENCE

 

Pluralism Project

SECOND ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST

 

EUPHRATES SUMMIT : OUR WORLD BEYOND 9/11

 

RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT BETWEEN TERROR AND TOLERANCE  

    

      NORTH AMERICAN 

    INTERFAITH NETWORK

     Member Showcase:

      Scarboro Missions,Toronto

     CATHOLICISM AND OTHER FAITHS

 

       CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS  

ONTARIO MULTIFAITH COUNCIL ON SPIRITUAL

AND RELIGIOUS CARE 2011 EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS

 

HISTORY AND INTER-RELIGIOUS ENCOUNTER:

CALL FOR ARTICLES SUBMISSIONS

Christina Liggins 

RESOURCES

HONOURING DIVERSE BELIEFS IN OUR COMMUNITIES: A CONVERSATIONAL TOOLKIT

The Spring 2011 issue of the Ontario Multifaith Council newsletter is now available

 

ESSAY

MUSLIM WOMEN ARE AT THE CROSSROADS

              between freedom and oppression

 

Chil dren of Abraham

“That you may know one another…..”

 

ONLINE INTERFAITH MEDIA:
ODYSSEY NETWORKS’ JOURNEY

 

  NEWS   

NEWS – New York

U.N. COMMISSION DISCUSSES ETHICS BEHIND

THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS

Claremont School of Theology

$50 MILLION GIFT CREATES INTERFAITH SCHOOL FOR CLERGY

    

NEWS - New York/Paris

  U.N. LAUNCHES FACEBOOK CAMPAIGN TO ‘DO ONE THING FOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION’

 

NEWS – Boston

GOLDEN AGE’ FOR CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS:

Centre for Christian-Jewish Learning promotes interreligious dialogue, research

 

 

 INSPIRATIONS    

What is serious to men is often very trivial in the sight of God.  What in God might appear to us as "play" is perhaps what He Himself takes most..  

 

DISCLAIMER

 

 

 

 

EDITORIAL

COMMITTEE:

Rev.Terry Weller

Interfaith Minister, Writer, Lecturer, Spiritual Counsellor

Publisher,

Editor

416-801-5597  

 

Christina Liggins

Librarian

Interfaith Unity Intern,

Editorial Assistant

 

Rev. Leslie Mezei

Interfaith Minister, Writer, Speaker,

Founding Publisher,

Contributing Editor

416-226-2869

 

Paul McKenna

Director of the Interfaith Department of Scarboro Missions, Toronto

Contributing Editor

416-261-7135

Ext 296

 

Raheel Raza

Film Maker, Lecturer,

Author of 

“Their Jihad,

Not My Jihad”

Editorial Consultant

416-505-6052

 

Chander Khanna

Vice President of the

Hindu Institute

of Learning

Editorial Consultant

416-590-9645

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interfaith Unity News & Resources:

A Free E-Mail Newsletter of:

Interfaith, Multifaith & Interspiritual Activities, News And Resource

  Toronto , Southern Ontario , Canada ,  International

________________________________________________________________________________

FROM THE PUBLISHER’S CORNER  

COMING HOME TO THE PLANET EARTH

“I have seen the enemy, and it is Us!”

Most of our back yard is a garden which Andrea tends with great care and joy every year. Each year I enjoy watching the rhythm of the seasons expressing themselves in this small patch of the world. Spring of course is the most magical; the perennials come alive at the appropriate times; my beloved dandelions spring out of the grass almost in unison showing off their yellow blooms. All things on a schedule I am not aware of, run by an energy I do not understand, and following an ancient purpose

I can only guess at.

This year a pair of Chickadees nested in a small bird house we had secured to the fence. We would not have known except for the endless airlifts of food undertaken by both of the diligent parents who carefully, and watchfully, took turns flying in to feed their chicks.

I am always feeling like a stranger in a strange land when I sit and watch the ways of nature. How did these birds choose this nest? How do they know how to find food in the surrounding trees? And do they share some communication beyond my recognition in order to alternate their arrivals at the small home that houses their precious chicks?

These birds, plants, squirrels and a host of varied insects I experience are connected to the world in a manner lost to me. They do not have to puzzle their next move, ponder and/or fear their future, grieve their losses, argue their positions, or rationalize their behaviours. And above all they do not spoil or endanger the environment which gives them life.

… And yet I do, even when I try not to. As do the billions who see the earth as a soulless, non-entity resource, supposedly endless in its potential to fulfill our wants and needs.

I forget often that earth is an entity, a unified life giving source for all of the living organisms it has birthed, evolved and supports, and has done so throughout millennia. It has not been until the modern era that earth has faced a ruthless and intelligent enemy. And as Pogo once said in a comic strip, “I have seen the enemy, and WE ARE IT!”

Psychologists tell me that the first step in making someone else our enemy is to make that someone an “Other”. That means the enemy is separate from me and my own. I have no investment or attachment.

My study of world religions shows me that the greatest goal of religions is for us to overcome our sense of feeling separated. So through our ceremonies and beliefs and readings we attempt to come to a sense of oneness. This is a goal that says to me “No longer are you made just to trudge the earth frightened and alone.”

My back yard chickadees do not feel separated. This is why they can do what they do without thought, without planning, even without Googling! They have never been in a “disconnect from reality”. They are at one with the earth and their environment.

There are moments in my back yard mini-world when I can feel connected to the living Gaia. And in those moments I feel perfectly safe in a world that created me and all who came before me. The moment leads me to a sense of deep compassion for all that lives and holds a place on this great earth. And for the earth itself which, through complex means, maintains the present and future of all life.

In a flash of insight I feel what our ancient ancestors must have felt when they entered each day knowing, without conceptualizing, how to live and survive successfully through each day. And when the flash of insight is over, I sense what a heavy weight, even a curse, my ego-driven sense of self truly is.

It is small miracles such as this that leads me back to the Green Rule Poster created by Toronto ’s Faith and Common Good. It presents the Green Rule: "Do unto the Earth as you would have it do unto you." derived from the classic Golden Rule. And it demonstrates its expression of compassion in 14 of the world’s major religions.

Find it by CLICKING HERE

 

Enjoy our selections for this Newsletter:  There is Love, Compassion and Gentle Strength in the work of Unity!

Terry Weller

   

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR  

Arizona

Interfaith

Movement       CLICK HERE FOR INFO & TO REGISTER!

 

2011 NORTH AMERICAN INTERFAITH CONNECT CONFERENCE

My dear Interfaith friends,

“I want to personally invite you to join us here in Phoenix for the 2011 NAIN- CONNECT on July 24, 25, and 26. 

Our theme is, “Many People, Many Faiths, One Common Principle, THE GOLDEN RULE. We are seeking to make it an outstanding opportunity for growth, fellowship, and inspiration for everyone involved.

We hope you’ll check out our website for complete details and plan to join us!

It is quite unique to host this national conference, with international leaders bringing their expertise to us. Mussie Hailu, International Golden Rule Ambassador from Ethiopia, Paul McKenna, Golden Rule educator from Toronto, Professors Jeffery Wattles and Harry Gensler from Ohio, Young Adults from around the nation – all with insights and perspectives that will provide opportunities of a life time.

Special feature visits to a Hindu Temple, Sikh Gurdwara and the Mormon Institute at AZ State University will be included highlights.

We really hope you can join us for this exciting experience and we look forward to receiving your reservation and seeing you at the NAIN Connect!”

With a passion for UNITY,

Dr. Paul Eppinger

Executive Director, Arizona Interfaith Movement

 

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“GOD OF LIFE LEAD AFRICA TO PEACE, JUSTICE AND DIGNITY”

From: AACC GENERAL SECRETARY OFFICE

Nairobi , 10th June, 2011

Dear Friends

In preparation for international negotiations meeting on Climate Change UNFCCC (COP17) to be held in Durban, South Africa from 29th November to 9th December 2011, the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) in partnership with Programme for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA), and later joined by the South African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) organized a Pan-African Interfaith Conference on Climate Justice and Sustainable Peace in Africa, which took place from 6th to 9th June 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya. The AACC has engaged its constituency in the Climate Change process since 2008.

AACC and PROCMURA are encouraged by the positive responses given by the representatives of Faith and Ecumenical partners. UNEP took seriously this initiative and hosted the conference in the UNO offices in Gigiri, Nairobi Kenya . The Conference benefited from the support of the Government of Kenya through the input of H. E. Hon Kalonzo Musyoka EGH – the Vice President and Minister for Home Affairs of the Republic of Kenya who addressed and officially opened the Conference.

The Conference agreed on a plan of action to engage all Faith organizations who will in turn mobilize all believers in the continent for practical involvement in bringing about climate justice and sustainable peace. While affirming the past efforts on climate change by Global and African leaders, the Conference called upon these leaders to break the deadlock in the negotiations and come out with concrete and equitable actions.  The AACC will send high level emissaries to share the concerns, convictions and commitments of the Faith leaders, calling on negotiators to take decisive measures to reverse the current trend of climate change.

“God of life lead Africa to Peace, Justice and Dignity”

(The statement of the 10th AACC General Assembly to take place in Kampala Uganda in June 2013)

 www.aacc-ceta.org · Tel: +254 - 20 - 4441483, 4441338/9 · Fax: +254 - 20 - 4443241, 4445835 · Email: secretariat@aacc-ceta.org

General Secretariat: Waiyaki Way · P.O. Box 14205-00800 Westlands · Nairobi · Kenya

 

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TORONTO AND AREA EVENTS

The Toronto Area Interfaith Council (TAIC)

Annual Interfaith Breakfast

CEASEFIRE: DISARM AND ENGAGE OUR YOUTH

GUEST SPEAKER: The Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo MPP for Parkdale-Highpark, http://www.cheridinovo.ca/  speaking to our theme.

We will also hear from Mishach McNichols, a youth who has moved from the place of being homeless to the reality of being a Student in the Police Foundations Course.

We will have opportunity to respond to questions related to the importance and place of the diverse interfaith community within the fabric of the city of Toronto and their response to theme of: CEASEFIRE: DISARM AND ENGAGE OUR YOUTH.

This year the TAIC Annual Breakfast will be held:

Thursday June 16th, 2011 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Doors Open 7:00 am; Registration 7:30 am

Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East    

Cost $20/person  please specify dietary requirements.

Make your cheque payable to THE TORONTO AREA INTERFAITH COUNCIL.

Mail to: our Registrar: The Rev. Dr. John Joseph Mastandrea

56 Queen St. East , Toronto , Ontario ; M5C 2Z3

Please confirm your attendance at the Mayor’s Breakfast by June 16, 2011. Confirmation can be sent electronically to Chairperson of the Mayor’s Breakfast Steering Committee,

the Rev. Dr. John Joseph Mastandrea johnjosephm@metunited.org,  www.metunited.org

Church Phone no. 416-363-0331 ext 24,

fax no. 416-363-7586.

 CLICK FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

 

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TORONTO

YOUTH - HIKE & PRAYER: THE GREEN SPIRIT OF THE CITY

Saturday, July 9, 9:30am

CLICK FOR FULL INFORMATION

“Faith Connections invites young adults (18-39) to join us for a refreshing eco-friendly morning of clean air, beautiful spaces and good company! We'll be hiking at the renovated Evergreen Brick Works, a community environmental centre that inspires and equips visitors to live, work and play more sustainably. We'll enjoy its surrounding trails and local farm-fresh foods.

— Meeting at Broadview Station (Danforth & Broadview) at 9:30am to take the 9:40 shuttle bus to the Brick Works.” [Poster link]

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TORONTO

YORK-NOOR LECTURES 

Sat June 18 & Sun. June 19, 2011

The York-Noor Lecture Series 2010-2011: Recent Publications on Islam and Muslim Societies presents:
“Two lectures by
Professor Muhsin al-Musawi, author of The Islamic Context of the Thousand and One Nights (Columbia University Press, 2009)
The Islamic Context of the Thousand and One Nights
Date: Sunday June 19, 2011 Time: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Auditorium, Noor Cultural Centre Admission: $5
Panel co-sponsored with Luminato:

Modern Takes on Old Stories  
Date: Saturday June 18, 2011 Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm Location:Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario   Admission: Free 

http://www.luminato.com/2011/moderntakes  

Muhsin al-Musawi is an internationally renowned scholar and literary critic who joined Columbia University with over 20 years' experience teaching at a number of institutions in the Middle East . Described by The Chronicle of Higher Education as "one of the Arab world's leading literary critics," al-Musawi's teaching and research interests span several periods and genres. He is the author of 24 books (including four novels) and over 60 scholarly articles.”  

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CANADIAN PREMIERE

http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/ 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

Muzzo Family Alumni Hall (Room 100)

University of St. Michael ’s College,

121 St. Joseph Street , Toronto

With an introduction by two key contributors to the film:

Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, executive producer and co-writer

John Grim, Yale University, special consultant

Followed by a discussion.

This film project and companion book is a collaboration of evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme and historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker.  They weave a tapestry that draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, and biology with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe.

Contact: Dennis O’Hara at: dennis.ohara@utoronto.ca

Map at: http://stmikes.utoronto.ca/maps/default.asp

Donations to offset costs gratefully accepted.

 

 

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TORONTO

 

High Park Labyrinth joins with World Peace Associates for

WORLD PEACE FESTIVAL

Sunday, June 19, 2011 from 3:00 pm-10:00 pm

Candle-lit Labyrinth Walk at 9:00 pm

High Park (just north of Grenadier Restaurant)

Inquiries:  Cathy Allon (416) 694-0232

Email:  ccawaken@ca.inter.net or lutialausane@sympatico.ca

Bring a blanket, a picnic, your family and friends and your Hopes and Dreams for World Peace!

“A Summer Solstice Festival in the Park uniting communities in the Spirit of Peace, Raising Awareness through Song, Dance, Poetry, Storytelling, Laughter and Meditation” 

CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

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TORONTO

THE INTERFAITH MOVEMENT DEEPENS

A CALL FOR GLOBAL SPIRITUAL CITIZENSHIP

Monday, July 18, 7:00pm

Inner Garden , 401 Richmond St. W. (at Spadina) Suite 384 , Toronto .

416-537-1413. www.theinnergarden.ca

All welcome, suggested donation $10, no one turned away

For more information, contact Jari Dvorak dvorakj@sympatico.ca

Philip Goldberg will SHARE with us his experiences on the cutting edge of interfaith and trans-traditional spirituality.  He will challenge us to broaden and deepen the interfaith movement by turning it “inside out.” Along the way he will illuminate the profound influence of India ’s spiritual teachings on North American religion in general and interfaith in particular, based on his extensive research for his new book, AMERICAN VEDA. And he will share with us A Call For Global Spiritual Citizenship, building a bridge to our collective future, www.globalspiritualcitizenship.org. There will be ample opportunity for questions and for participants to express their views on these vital matters.

Philip Goldberg  www.philipgoldberg.com  is a spiritual counselor, meditation teacher and ordained Interfaith Minister. The author or coauthor of 19 books, he lectures and leads workshops throughout the U.S.  A novelist and screenwriter as well, he lives in Los Angeles , where he founded Spiritual Wellness and Healing Associates (SWAHA). He is Director of Outreach for SpiritualCitizens.net  and blogs regularly on the Huffington Post and ELEPHANT JOURNAL.  His latest book, AMERICAN VEDA: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West, chronicles the history and influence of India 's spiritual teachings in America . Huffington Post named it one of the top ten books on religion for 2010.

 

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TORONTO

FOLLOWING SOUND INTO SILENCE
Saturday June 18 @  7:00pm
Institute of Traditional Medicine
553 Queen Street West 2nd floor Toronto

Suggested Offering: $20

An evening of music, voice and sacred chants

with :

Om Kailash - Sanskrit Chants
Mutamba - Mbira
Michele George - Voice

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TORONTO

Snow Lion Co-Supported Event
"HAPPINESS, HEALTH AND RELATIONSHIPS"
with: Geshe Michael Roach

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Time: 7:00PM to 9:00PM*   $20.00
  at the Still Light Centre - 276 Carlaw Ave ( Ste 209 )

Register at www.diamondcutterinstitute.com

“In this exciting talk, Geshe Michael will unravel the Meaning of Life and how it pertains to you personally, professionally and spiritually. He will ask the question, "Why are we here?" and work with you to set your motivation to create the highest return. Learn how to make the world in which we live sing with success and grace.”

 

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TORONTO

SPIRITUAL DIALOGUE CIRCLE

Location: Don Heights Unitarian Congregation, 18 Wynford Drive, Suite 102, Toronto, 416-444-8839

Date: first Monday of the month, January 2011 to June 2011

Time: 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Contact: Reverend Michelle Singh, mailto:michelle_singh@rogers.com

Pre-Registration is Required

"This multi-faith Spiritual Dialogue Circle is committed to bringing diverse people together for conversation, prayer, sacred music and meditation. In this Circle, participants are invited to share readings and experience from their unique spiritual traditions. We encourage everyone to share 

  to foster peace within ourselves and our world. This is a safe and open community in which everyone is welcome to explore, grow and be supported."

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ONTARIO WIDE EVENTS

 

WATERLOO

EDUCATION TO GLOBALIZE THE HUMAN MIND

WATERLOO , ONTARIO CONFERENCE

8:30am July 16 to 5:30pm July 17

Ron Eydt Village , Conference Centre, University of Waterloo

Cost:  July 13 or before $49, students $29; July 14 and later $69, students $39
Inexpensive meals and residence accommodations available

For Registration:

Call: Shiv at (519) 884-2351 or Shirish at (519) 279-5718

E-Mail: SHENMeet2011@spiritualeducation.org

On the web: http://guestlistapp.com/events/47145

For details, please visit:

www.spiritualeducation.org/Events/Info/Meet2011/Frame.htm

“An opportunity to collectively explore inclusive education in universal spirituality for the integration of humanity both locally and globally:

Shiv Talwar, SHEN Director: Welcome and Opening Address - Exploring Our Relationship With God

Sandy Westin, Tennessee , North American Coordinator, URI: Globalizing the Human Mind: Think Globally, Act Locally

Rory Dickson, Wilfred Laurier University : Learn from Ibn 'Arabi and the Sufis to Globalize Your Heart

Philip Goldberg, California , Interfaith Minister and Writer: How Vedanta-Yoga Globalized My Mind, and How It Can Globalize Others’

Nahed Squires, Social Worker: Walking a spiritual path with practical feet

Professor Darrol Bryant, Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Spirituality in the World Religions at Renison University College/U. Waterloo . : Raids on the Ineffable Or Pointing to the Moon in the World Religions

·         Small group meditations and mindful listening to each other about the presentations

·         Contemplative Youth Panel Discussion and film clip

 

Spiritual Heritage Education Network Inc. (SHEN) is a Waterloo , Ontario based organization dedicated to the promotion, development and delivery of education in the spiritual heritage of humanity to promote human integration both locally and globally.”

 

Success of their last year’s conference encouraged SHEN to organize another one this year. Here are some quotes from what they said about it last year:

·    "I lost a lot of pre-conceived ideas and gained a bit more open mind and even more open heart”

·    "I have hugely increased my understanding and appreciation of other religious traditions. I will be more open minded now"

·    "The combination of in-depth presentations with periods of meditation and discussion to process the material was very effective"

·    "I am delighted to know people are working to promote appreciation of each other, harmony and peace"

 

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CANADA WIDE EVENTS  

 

MONTREAL

SECOND GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON

WORLD’S RELIGIONS AFTER SEPTEMBER 11

The Dalai Lama returns to Montreal later this year on September 7, to address the Second Global Conference On World’s Religions after September 11, which will meet at the Palais des Congrès, almost after a decade following the events of 9/11.

Other renowned speakers include Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, world-famous author Deepak Chopra, Professor Tariq Ramadan, and Professor Robert Thurman. Professor Gregory Baum, recipient of the Order of Canada and Swami Dayananda Saraswati will also participate in the conference.

Under the theme of “Peace Through Religion”, the one-day event will include the unveiling of the latest version of a proposed Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions, which has been on the anvil since 1996 and which is designed as a complement to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

“The aim of the conference is to bring together the various religions of the world in an ecumenical spirit to address the many issues facing the world today, in the hope that this will help all of us become better human beings”, emphasized the convenor of the event, Arvind Sharma, Birks Professor of Comparative Religion at the Faculty of Religious Studies of McGill University.
Panel discussions with the speakers will seek to generate consensus around two fundamental social and religious issues:

·         Should a course on world religions also be taught whenever the confessional study or religion is carried out?

·         Should violating the sanctity of the scripture of any religion be considered tantamount to violating the sanctity of the scriptures of all religions?

The Conference is co-sponsored by McGill University and Université de Montréal.”

Click here for more information

 

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VANCOUVER

ZEN MASTER THICH NHAT HANH COMES TO VANCOUVER

August 8-14

“Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most beloved and respected Buddhist teachers of our time. He is also a peace activist and environmentalist, who addresses contemporary issues and teaches how we can engage our spiritual practice in the world. From August 8-13, Thich Nhat Hanh will be presenting a residential mindfulness retreat at UBC. There is a children’s program as well, so the kids will be taken care of while parents participate in the retreat. On August 14, he will be giving a public talk at the Orpheum theatre. Both events are open to people of all backgrounds, faith traditions, and levels of experience. Thich Nhat Hanh’s visit to Vancouver is being coordinated by Justin Love, a member of the Buddhist community that helped out with our Multifaith Storytime Project with the Surrey Public Library. For more information about both events, visit www.TNHVancouver2011.org

 

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INTERNATIONAL EVENTS  

INTERNATIONAL

Pluralism Project

SECOND ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST

 

“We invite you and your students, networks, and organizations to participate in our second annual Pluralism Project Photo Contest. We are looking for high-resolution digital images that convey the vibrancy of religious diversity in the USA . We are particularly interested in images in the following categories:

* Religious practices and rituals
* Religious centers, including festivals, center openings, and parades
* Participation of religious groups in American civic life
* Interfaith encounter or social action
* Women’s leadership and participation
* Emerging leadership within Muslim and Sikh communities
* Historic and present day images of the Atheist/Humanist, Bahá’í, Confucian, Native American, Shinto, Taoist, and Zoroastrian communities in the US

One grand-prize winner will be selected; the winning photographer will receive a $250 cash prize and an extended exposé in the spotlight on our homepage,

Entries must be submitted via email to contest@pluralism.org by 5 PM on August 1”

FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION GO TO: http://www.pluralism.org.

 

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INTERNATIONAL

ST. LOUIS , MISSOURI

 

“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.” - Einstein

EUPHRATES SUMMIT: OUR WORLD BEYOND 9/11

Friday and Saturday, October 28 – 29, 2011

at Principia College , Elsah , Illinois (near St. Louis , Missouri )

Inquiries: (202) 503-4634 or info@euphratesinstitute.org

http://euphratesinstitute.org/911-summit/

Registration opens August 15

“Bin Laden is gone…The Arab Spring is on…

It’s time for a new chapter with the Middle East .”

2 Days. 3 Sessions.  INFORM. INSPIRE. TRANSFORM.

Keynote and Pulitzer Prize Winner: Lawrence Wright

“A first-of-its-kind gathering for all seeking to move the world beyond the 9/11 era of clashes to an age of cooperation.  More than a conference, this event is a meeting of the minds-- thought-leaders, policymakers, and peacebuilders from around the globe to share, strategize, and usher in a new way forward.  Part talks and panels, part working sessions, the summit will feature a dramatic line-up of visionaries and experts.” CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

 

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INTERNATIONAL

RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT BETWEEN TERROR AND TOLERANCE

http://religionandconflict.org/rc2/

 

Project Summary

The Center for Sustainable Development and International Peace at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies conducted a project from 2007-2010 on the theme of religion, conflict, and peacemaking in deeply divided societies, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation’s Initiative on Religion in International Affairs. The project unfolded in a research track, a policy dialogue track, and a curriculum development track. …

… The Research

The project involves a research track that yielded the edited volume Between Terror and Tolerance: Religious Leaders and Conflict Management in Deeply Divided Societies (Timothy D. Sisk, ed.; Forthcoming, Georgetown University Press, 2011).

The book presents the research and findings of an international team of scholars regarding religious leaders’ roles in the thematic and case-study chapters. The volume explores how religious leaders in divided societies interpret the relationships among religious doctrines and human rights (to include group or minority rights); defining exclusive and inclusive national identities; articulate the connections among religion, state control, and state policy; rhetorically justifying and/or mobilizing for war or in undermining pursuit of violence by political elites; and religious leaders’ participation in peace processes.

The research features case studies from several major conflict-affected countries, including Iraq , Israel and Palestine , Lebanon , Northern Ireland , Sri Lanka , South Africa , and Tajikistan . The concluding chapter presents the integrated findings of the research and draws the implications for policies and programs of the United Nations and international non-governmental organizations in seeking to promote and enhance the capacity of religious leaders to promote tolerance and coexistence.

The Curriculum Materials

A third track of the project focuses on education in religion and international affairs and the development of new upper-division undergraduate and graduate-level course materials. This work features six new course modules for under development by the Josef Korbel School Center in collaboration with the Conflict Resolution Institute at the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology. The curriculum unit themes are:

A more detailed Table of Contents regarding these materials is also available, as well as additional information on religion and conflict topics from news sources and from the Web.

 

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERFAITH 

ASSOCIATION NETWORK

Member Showcase:

Scarboro Missions, Toronto

CATHOLICISM AND OTHER FAITHS

“…from Paul McKenna, Scarboro Missions Interfaith Dept., Toronto , Ontario In this short but poignant article, Canadian dialogue theologian, Fr. Ovey Mohammed S.J., outlines the Catholic Church's evolving historical stance toward other religions. Before the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, the Church's attitude toward other religions was negative. Since the Council, the Church's attitude has ...”

READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE

                                                                     MORE NAIN SHOWCASES OF INTERFAITH PRACTICES

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CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

ONTARIO MULTIFAITH COUNCIL ON SPIRITUAL AND RELIGIOUS CARE 2011 EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS

Theme:  Diverse Voices: Building Bridges

WHEN:  Monday and Tuesday, September 26 – 27, 2011

WHERE:  Salvation Army Conference Centre, Jackson ’s Point, Ontario

“This year’s conference will feature talks by Regional Chief Angus Toulouse, of the Chiefs of Ontario and Dr. Cynthia Wesley Esquimaux, member of the Chippewa of Georgina Island First Nation and Liberal Candidate for York-Simcoe.  Workshop presentations illustrating the diversity of religious experiences among Ontario ’s faith groups will help spiritual and religious caregivers in health, corrections, youth, long term care, mental health and members of allied occupations, to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the spirituality and faith practices of Ontario’s faith communities.   

REQUEST:  We are seeking proposals for presentations in the form of workshops, seminars, audio-visual and live demonstrations by groups and individuals.                                                      

These presentations should be approximately 45 minutes in length with an additional 30 minutes for discussion. 

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS:  Limit your proposal to a maximum of 500 words and   an introductory page with the title of your presentation, presenter(s) name(s), presenter(s) affiliated organization, address, email, phone numbers, space required for visual display and AV equipment requirements.”

For full details: Click here for the CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS  

 

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HISTORY AND INTER-RELIGIOUS ENCOUNTER:

CALL FOR ARTICLES SUBMISSIONS

http://irdialogue.org/submissions/

""There is no surer basis for fanaticism than bad history, which is invariably history oversimplified," notes Diarmaid MacCulloch. Is the history of religious encounter largely one of disagreement and violence? How have sacred histories created – or closed off – possibilities for engagement between religions? What can the past tell us about the possibilities and perils of current efforts at dialogue? The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue seeks articles from students and scholars of history and religion to shed light on these and other questions. Case-studies are particularly welcome, but pieces with broader focuses will also be considered."

 

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 RESOURCES

 

TOOL KIT

HONOURING DIVERSE BELIEFS IN OUR COMMUNITIES:

A CONVERSATIONAL TOOLKIT

“From Atheism to Zoroastrianism, people draw on different belief systems to guide the ways they think and act. How can we respond to this important element of diversity in our communities? What are the risks involved? What do we stand to gain?

“Honouring Diverse Beliefs in Our Communities:

A Conversational Toolkit” is a documentary project that adopts a child-centered approach to responding to diverse beliefs in community. The Toolkit outlines a multi-format workshop designed to engage participants in active learning and dialogue.

The project is a partnership between the Surrey Neighbouring Faiths Program, Himar Productions, and DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society. It was made possible with funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia .

The documentary can be viewed online at: http://vimeo.com/22148547. For more information and to receive a PDF copy of the Toolkit, please contact David Dalley, Production Coordinator at davidanderin@dalley.ca or (604) 502-8661.”

 

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THE SPRING 2011 ISSUE OF THE

ONTARIO MULTIFAITH COUNCIL NEWSLETTER IS NOW AVAIL ABLE. 

You may download it by clicking on the following link:

http://www.omc.ca/newsletter.html

For those of you who have difficulty opening the files online please send an email to newsletter@omc.ca  with your address and we will see that you receive a copy of this and each subsequent issue by mail.

Please note that if you have already requested the newsletter be sent you by surface mail, you can expect to receive it in the next week or so.

Please send us your comments, suggestions and proposed content for future newsletters.

 

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ESSAY

MUSLIM WOMEN ARE AT THE CROSSROADS

- between freedom and oppression

Women's rights is one of the key aspects in the fight back against Islamism - but are they being empowered enough?

Raheel Raza writing in The Commentator - Thursday 02 June 2011 12:36:00

“Muslim women are at the crossroads - between freedom and oppression A UN Arab Human Development Report called 'Towards the Rise of Women in the Arab World, ' points out that “an Arab renaissance cannot and will not be accomplished unless the obstacles preventing women from enjoying their human rights and contributing more fully to development are eliminated and replaced with greater access to the “tools” of development.” Today, six years down the road an appalling lack of human rights and development are manifest in many stories related to Muslim women, not just...”

READ THE FULL STORY

 

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Chil dren of Abraham

“That you may know one another…..”

The International Conference of Christians and Jews in Istanbul last June brought together people of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith traditions engaged in interreligious dialogue

By Sr. Lucy Thorson, NDS  - March/April 201

 “Last summer, Sr. Lucy Thorson NDS, of the Scarboro Missions Interfaith Department, attended the annual conference of the International Conference of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) which took place in Istanbul , Turkey .   

Muslims were also invited to participate and present at the conference.”

CLICK HERE TO  Read Lucy Thorson's report on the gathering

 

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ONLINE INTERFAITH MEDIA:
ODYSSEY NETWORKS’ JOURNEY

by Rev. Eric C. Shafer

Odyssey Networks

“It was 1987 and America was riveted by the “televangelist” scandals—celebrity TV ministries collecting millions of dollars in donations that ended up supporting their own lavish lifestyles.  In response, the leaders of the cable industry met with major US faith leaders, all determined to restore the integrity of faith on television.  Together they founded the National Interfaith Cable Coalition (NICC) and underwrote what would become its Odyssey Channel, giving the new interfaith offering carriage on cable systems throughout the United States .

Fast forward to 2011:  Today the media is not plagued by scandal but fueled by it.  “Controversy sells.”  In religion this means an emphasis on conflict rather than cohesion, strife rather than working together.”

Click here to read the full article...

 

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NEWS  

NEWS – New York

 

U.N. COMMISSION DISCUSSES ETHICS BEHIND

THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS

New York , NY – “Focusing solely on the material aspects of the environmental crisis, while ignoring its moral and ethical dimensions, will not ensure humanity's long term survival.

That was among the perspectives under discussion at this year's UN Commission on Sustainable Development, held from 2–13 May.

"We have passed beyond the global tipping point that we have been anticipating for decades," Jeffrey Sachs – director of the Earth Institute and a special adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – told the Commission on 11 May.

A panel discussion – also held on 11 May and sponsored by the Baha'i International Community – sought to explore ways in which cultural, educational, and spiritual components can be brought into the sustainable development discourse.
Titled "Making the Invisible Visible: Values and the Transition to Sustainable Consumption and Production", the panel was moderated by Duncan Hanks of the Canadian Baha'i International Development Agency.
…panellists…offered thoughts about ways that the consideration of values can be brought into discussions about sustainable consumption and production, in order to motivate the changes in human behaviour needed to sustain life on the planet.”

CLICK TO READ THE FULL STORY

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Claremont School of Theology

$50 MILLION GIFT CREATES INTERFAITH SCHOOL FOR CLERGY

By Ryan E. Smith for Jewish Journal.com

May 16, 2011

“Three regional religious institutions are taking the next big step in a unique partnership to teach Christian, Jewish and Muslim spiritual leaders, thanks to a historic $50 million gift.

Claremont School of Theology on Monday announced the donation from philanthropists David and Joan Lincoln — the largest in the school’s history — which will establish Claremont Lincoln University . In a cooperative effort with the Academy for Jewish Religion, California ( AJR , CA ) and the Islamic Center of Southern California, it will include a consortium of professional graduate schools for religious education.

The seeds of the project were made public last year with the announcement that the Lincolns pledged $10 million towards what was then called the “University Project.” Now the Lincolns, an Arizona couple whose family fortune was built on arc welding and electric motor inventions in the early 1900s, are adding $40 million so that future religious leaders from different faiths have opportunities to study side by side.

“Joan and I are particularly pleased with the idea of creating a multi-faith university that reflects the power and potential of the ‘Golden Rule,’ which the many faith communities have in common,” David Lincoln, a member of the Claremont board of trustees, said in a statement.

“We believe the outcome of this kind of education will be tolerance and respect among religions and the ability to better address global problems where religious cooperation and cooperating are needed to reach solutions and repair the world.”…

CLICK TO READ THE FULL STORY

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NEWS - New York/Paris

 

U.N. LAUNCHES FACEBOOK CAMPAIGN TO ‘DO ONE THING FOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION’
New York/Paris, May 19, 2011“To mark the UN World Day for Cultural Diversity, UNESCO and the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) are launching a global campaign to create a grassroots movement of people who advocate for diversity. The campaign calls on individuals to take one action relevant to their lives that promotes diversity and inclusion--from experiencing another culture through film, food, or museums, to learning about other cultures or countries, or dedicating time to volunteer for that cause.
The campaign, “Do ONE Thing for Diversity and Inclusion”, will work via a dedicated Facebook page, serving as a platform for people around the world to share their experiences through posts and videos. The campaign has already won the support and participation of several major corporations from Silicon Valley , including Cisco, Intuit, True Blue Inclusion, McAfee, and Yahoo, among others. From diversity councils and employee resource groups, to cross-cultural training, these companies aim to mobilize their employees to build a worldwide movement which, every year will celebrate diversity.
‘New technologies have fundamentally changed the way we communicate and get to know each other,’ said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. ‘What better way to celebrate diversity and inclusion than by using Facebook, Twitter and all of the new social networks that are breaking through barriers and connecting people everywhere – especially  the young, who are clearly today’s drivers of change.’
Along with the corporate partners, hundreds of NGOs and foundations are also joining the campaign, that brings alive the values enshrined in UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and which will culminate at the occasion of the Alliance of Civilizations Fourth Annual Forum in Doha, Qatar on December 11-13, 2011, where the campaign will show global public support for cultural diversity and inclusion to world leaders.”
CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

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NEWS – Boston

 

‘GOLDEN AGE’ FOR CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS:

Centre for Christian-Jewish Learning promotes interreligious dialogue, research

By Ed Hayward – The Chronicle ( Boston College )

Source: The Boston College Chronicle, 4-28-11

  Boston , MA , April 28, 2011 – “As Kraft Family Professor James Bernauer, SJ, explains it, the study of Jewish-Christian relations has entered its Golden Age.  
BC’s Center for Christian-Jewish Learning, which Fr. Bernauer directs, is playing a key role in the growing dialogue and body of scholarship in this area of study that draws on experts from multiple academic disciplines.  
Celebrating its 10th anniversary year, the center has sponsored numerous events that have brought scholars from across the globe to campus to examine some of the most pressing issues in the field of Jewish-Christian relations ­ including last month’s conference ‘Are Jews and Christians Living in a Post-Polemical World? Toward a Comparison of Medieval and Modern Christian-Jewish Encounters.’ An endowed visiting professorship has brought leading scholars to BC to teach, research and collaborate with their peers.  
‘We are becoming a real center for scholarly analysis,’ said Fr. Bernauer. ‘What we are aiming for now is to combine both service to students with our service to the broader scholarly world.’  
Through a series of new projects, the center has incorporated additional opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to participate in center activities and learn from leading scholars.  
Fr. Bernauer says it is crucial for the field to encourage young students and scholars, lest this Golden Age succumb to a challenge posed by shifting demographics: many of the scholars who have led the field since the end of World War II are nearing their “golden years.”  
‘This is a veteran group of scholars engaged in understanding and encouraging Christian-Jewish dialogue,’ says Bernauer. ‘They have come out of the post-Holocaust and post-Vatican II eras. One of the real challenges is to pass this dialogue down to the younger generation.’”  

CLICK TO READ THE FULL STORY

 

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INSPIRATION
 

What is serious to men is often very trivial in the sight of God.  What in God might appear to us as "play" is perhaps what He Himself takes most seriously.  At any rate the Lord plays and diverts Himself in the garden of His creation, and if we could let go of our own obsession with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear His call and follow Him in His mysterious, cosmic dance.  We do not have to go very far to catch echoes of that game, and of that dancing.  When we are alone on a starlit night; when by change we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children; when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet Basho we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash - at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the "newness," the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.

Thomas Merton

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