INTERFAITH UNITY NEWS     

 

March 04 2012 issue  – Deadline for next issue:  March 26 2012

 

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

 

Home l From the Editor l Resources l  

Contact l Mission l Peace Poetry l Event Reports l

 

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  

PUBLISHER'S MESSAGE

A VIDEO AND A STORY OF AN AMAZING MAN!

<  >

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

QUEEN ELIZABETH RECOGNIZES JAINISM

AS A MAJOR FAITH IN BRITAIN

<  >

 

TORONTO & AREA EVENTS

ISARC Presents

HEALTH AND POVERTY:

WHAT IS THE COST OF POVERTY 

AND ITS IMPACT ON HEALTH?

 <  >

Scarboro  Missions Lecture

ONE EARTH, MANY RELIGIONS

 <  >

CULTIVATING 

THE COMPASSIONATE HEART:

A CHRISTIAN/BUDDHIST 

RETREAT AND DIALOGUE

<  >

TORONTO: MULTI-FAITH SUNDAY WORSHIP

<  >

AURORA / NEWMARKET : PEACE MEDITATION GROUP

        <  >

          TORONTO : SPIRITUAL DIALOGUE CIRCLE

     <  >

GAN-GSS Fourth Annual Forum

GREEN CHOICES FOR FAITH COMMUNITIES

<  >

Spring Rain Sangha Presents:

1-DAY LOVING-KINDNESS (METTA) MEDITATION RETREAT

<  >

 

BRITISH COLUMBIA

SURREY NEIGHBOURING FAITHS

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

<  >

INTERNATIONAL

Second International Conference of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality
SPIRITUALITY IN A FRAGMENTED WORLD

Highgate House, Northampton , UK

<  >

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIA

FOR CONTEMPLATIVE STUDIES

<  >

TIDE CONFERENCE: 

A WAVE OF CHANGE FOR TEENS

 

NORTH AMERICAN 

INTERFAITH NETWORK

North American Interfaith Network
YOUNG ADULT SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

<  >

 

BOOKS OF INTEREST

 

MINEFIELDS AND MIRACLES:

A Global Adventure in Interfaith

 

RESOURCES

STATE OF FORMATION (SoF) AND THE INTERFAITH OBSERVER (TIO) COLLABORATE TO EXPLORE: “MEANING MAKING”

<  > 

New Video: World Premiere  March 2012

THE THREE LIVES OF PANDITJI

<  >

SCARBORO MISSIONS RELEASES NEW GOLDEN RULE VIDEO

 

IN MEMORIAM

Rabbi Gunther Plaut

"WE WERE BLESSED THAT HE WAS IN OUR MIDST"

 

NEWS

AMERICA ’S INTERFAITH INFRASTRUCTURE

– A PILOT STUDY

<  >

BECOMING GOOD 

WHILE DOING GOOD

<  >

FAITH LEADERS, POLICYMAKERS

TO DISCUSS ROLE OF RELIGION IN DIPLOMACY

<  >

RELIGION IS UNDER-APPRECIATED

SAYS THE QUEEN IN MULTI-FAITH SERVICE

<  >

A BRONX TALE OF

A MOSQUE AND SYNAGOGUE

 

INSPIRATION

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing… .

<  >

We build too many walls…

 

DISCLAIMER

            

 

 

EDITORIAL

COMMITTEE:

Rev.Terry Weller

Interfaith Minister, Writer, Lecturer, Spiritual Counsellor

Publisher, Editor

416-801-5597  

 

Rev. Leslie Mezei

Interfaith Minister, Writer, Speaker,

Founding Publisher,

Contributing Editor

416-226-2869

 

Rev. Michelle Singh

Interfaith Minister,
Group Facilitator,

Editorial Assistant  

416-801-5597  

 

Christina Liggins

Librarian

Interfaith Unity Intern,

Editorial Assistant

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLISHER'S 

CORNER

Rev.

Terry 

Weller

INTERFAITH:

"Never Instead of; Always in Addition To..."

"Honouring Differences; Embracing Oneness..."

 

A Video and a Story of an Amazing Man!

Acharya Shiv Shankar Dwivedi

During the last week I was in two situations where person asked me what it was I do. This happens occasionally, and I notice that they never define what the word "do" implies. My response is automatic: "That depends on what day you are talking about." I reply. They laugh slightly and I try to elaborate. "Some days I am publishing a publication or two; other times I am counselling alcoholics and drug addicts; still other times I am a speaker at an Interfaith event, or teaching an interfaith class. Other times I am in ministerial mode: consoling a widow after performing her husband's funeral; spiritually counselling some one who feels lost; marrying a couple who wish to share a lifetime together. I generally use a little less description, but they get the point.

Ministers never simply take part in religious services and then just coast through the rest of the week. A vow to God saying you will serve Him is a bit like signing a blank cheque. I am told He will never assign anymore than I am able to do. But I do sometimes think He has a strange idea of how much I can do. But everything always unfolds as it is meant to unfold.

Occasionally a person's story comes over my publishing desk and in reading it I feel underworked and rather spoiled.

Such is the life of Acharya Shiv Shankar Dwivedi. The Vedic pandit, or priest, at the Edmonton Hindu Cultural Centre. He is a man who came from India with the dream of building a Hindu community in Alberta Canada. He also wanted to be of service to the wider community in Alberta as well building a school in India. And the dreams came true, and more!

The community is called: The Maanaw Seva Association. 

Maanaw Seva means: "In service of mankind" in the Hindi language.

The community's purpose is: to provide service in several main directions, including:

1) promoting public health through educational and informative presentations

2) helping the underprivileged in Canada and overseas

3) fostering greater understanding of the cultures that originated on the Indian subcontinent

This was a tall enough order, but he also had to learn to raise a family in a secular, multi-cultural environment; and to claim a place in the growing world of Interfaith understanding and co-operation. 

I invite you to take a tour of this Holy Man's three worlds. Visit the community at: Maanaw Seva Association

Read about and order a DVD video about the life and work of this man by going to the listing below: CLICK HERE

 

We hope you enjoy this latest issue of Interfaith Unity News!

Peace and Blessings

Terry Weller

 

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LETTER TO EDITOR

QUEEN ELIZABETH RECOGNIZES JAINISM

AS A MAJOR FAITH IN BRITAIN

We would like to share with you the successful event on 15th February where the Queen has recognized Jainism as one of the nine historical major faiths in Britain. In the UK, the nation is celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year.

The nine historical major faiths (Christianity, Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, Islam, Jain, Jewish, Sikh and Zoroastrian) celebrated this event by showing the treasures to Her Majesty & the Duke of Edinburgh and by gifting ‘A Year of Service’ to Her.

The Archbishop of Canterbury invited Her Majesty on the 15th of February to show the treasures of the respective faiths where Dr Natubhai Shah led the Jain delegation that included Mr Tushar Shah (President Oshwal Association UK), Mr Harshad Sanghrajka (Secretary IOJ) and Mr Kamal Mehta (Trustee Jain Samaj Europe). All Non-Christian faiths were treated equally and allowed 4 persons for the presentation.

PICTURE: Jains displayed the Kalpa Sutra, one of the most auspicious sacred text as their treasure. The Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury look on with interest.

With Kind Regards
Yours Sincerely
Dr Natubhai Shah MBBS PhD
Chair/CEO Jain Network
Jain Centre, London England

Website: www.jainnetwork.com

(Be sure to see the Queen’s speech about world religions in the NEWS section below CLICK HERE)  

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TORONTO AND AREA EVENTS  

 

TORONTO

ISARC Presents 

HEALTH AND POVERTY: 

WHAT IS THE COST OF POVERTY AND ITS IMPACT ON HEALTH?

"On March 29, 2012, ISARC is hosting the Religious Leaders’ Forum 2012 at Queen’s Park, Toronto from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The theme of this year’s forum is “Health and Poverty: What is the cost of poverty and its impact on the health of people in Ontario communities?

AGENDA
8:30 Registration Opens
9:00 Opening Remarks
9:15 Theological Reflection (Rafael Vallejo)
9:45 Keynote Address – Health and Poverty (Dr. Rosana Pellizzari)
10:30 Break
10:45 Panel Discussion
11:45 Lunch
1:00 Panel Discussion – Members of Provincial Parliament
2:20 Closing Remarks

The cost of the event is $40 to cover registration and lunch will be provided.

To register, please email info@isarc.ca and please mail payment to:
P.O. Box 25067 SDM, Kitchener , ON N2A 4A5

FOR MORE INFORMATION http://www.isarc.ca/"

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TORONTO  

Scarboro  Missions Lecture

ONE EARTH, MANY RELIGIONS

Professor Heather Eaton, Ph.D.   

Saturday, March 24, 10:00 a.m.

Scarboro Missions, 2685 Kingston Road, Scarborough, ON 

416-261-7135   Toll Free: 1-800-260-4815 

email: gcouncil@scarboromissions.ca  or  mtraher@scarboromissions.ca  

www.scarboromissions.ca  

“The spiritual quest for a sustainable and just future. 

This lecture discusses the global efforts for an adequate vision for our times: 

Where there is no vision, the people perish. Prov. 29:18. 

Dr. Heather Eaton, Professor, Conflict Studies, Saint Paul University,  Ottawa, ON,  Canada. 

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in ecology, feminism and theology from the University  of St. Michael's College,  Toronto School of Theology, and a Master's of Divinity.  

Engaged in religious responses  to the ecological crisis, particularly the relationship between  ecological, feminist and liberation theologies. Committed to inter-religious responses to ecological crisis.  Recent work focuses on evolution, Earth dynamics and religious imagination. 

Dr. Eaton  is the co-founder of the Canadian Forum on Religion and Ecology. 

1st talk, March 23, 7:30 p.m.  St. Jerome ’s University,  Waterloo .” 

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TORONTO

CULTIVATING THE COMPASSIONATE HEART:

A CHRISTIAN/BUDDHIST RETREAT AND DIALOGUE

The Dharma Centre of Canada presents

Cultivating the Compassionate Heart: A Christian/Buddhist retreat and dialogue with

Michael Hryniuk Ph.D., Sharon Davison & David Berry

May 4-6, 2012

For more information contact: Michael Hryniuk at mhryniuk@yahoo.com 

"Compassion is the heart/mind quality that creates and holds space to be present and bear witness to your own and another’s suffering. Everyone has suffered; it is part of the human experience. What causes suffering and is there a way beyond suffering? How can we focus on cultivating the qualities of kindness and friendship and living spiritually? Both Buddha and Christ spoke about moving beyond suffering to peace, joy and loving-kindness.
Join Michael, David and Sharon as they guide a weekend of connecting with these universal questions, resulting in time for reflection, coming home to your own experience, and an interfaith exploration of suffering and the peace and well-being that is beyond suffering."

Michael Hryniuk is a Catholic theologian, author, speaker, and consultant specializing in the field of contemporary Christian spirituality, ministry development and spiritual formation. He is the author of Theology, Disability and Spiritual Transformation (Cambria Press, 2010) as well as numerous academic and popular articles on the themes of youth ministry, contemplative spirituality, and Trinitarian theology.

David Berry is one of those rare individuals who can not only connect the dots but does so with the clear-seeing of a long-time practitioner dedicated to Buddha dharma. He has chaired high-level NGO and governmental working groups on sustainability and the environment from California to Iceland

Sharon Davison is a facilitator, educator (B.Ed.Adult) and coach. She teaches courses including those based on MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) which was developed at Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical.

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TORONTO  

 

MULTI-FAITH SUNDAY WORSHIP

Universal Oneness United Faith Canada

905 929 LOVE (5683) www.uoufc.org 

Are you seeking spiritual community?

Come join us for our Non-Traditional

Multifaith Sunday Service

Every 1st and 3rd Sunday 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Trinity St. Paul’s 427 Bloor St. W., Toronto”

 

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 TORONTO

 

The ZSO and the OZCF jointly present

THE PASSAGE OF TIME AND 

ITS INFLUENCE ON ZARATHUSHRIAN TRADITION

NAMC Seminar 2012

3590 Bayview Avenue  

The seminar is open to all.   

Saturday April 7 th  9:30am to 5:00pm

The attendance fee of $7/person covers lunch and coffee. 

Space is limited to the first 160 paid registrants. 

To register, please contact  Meher Panthaky  meherpanthaky@yahoo.com  905-568-4946 

OR Parvez & Roshan Rabadi prabadi@aol.com 647 341 6731   

Delivered by four knowledgeable mobeds, the lectures will specifically focus on:  

·         Zarathushtrian Connection in Pishdadian and Kyanian  

·         by Ervad Soli Dastur 

·         Rise of Zarathushtrian Faith in Achaemenian Times 

·         by Ervad Cawas Desai 

·         Revival of Zarathushtrian Faith in Sasanian Era 

·         by Ervad Brigadier Behram  M. Panthaki 

·         Zarathushtrian Religion in the Post-Exilic Era in India 

·         by Ervad Gustad M. Panthaki 

·         Saturday April 7 th  9:30am to 5:00pm 

·         Mehraban Guiv Darbe Mehr 

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AURORA / NEWMARKET

PEACE MEDITATION GROUP

Our Peace Meditation group will be meeting on Fridays in Newmarket . We welcome anyone who would like to join us for this evening of meditation, prayer and community.”

Please email Erika Allen at erwassif@gmail.com if you are interested in joining us.”

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TORONTO  

SPIRITUAL DIALOGUE CIRCLE

7:00pm to 8:30pm 

Location: Don Heights Unitarian Congregation, 18 Wynford Drive, Suite 102 , Toronto ,

Contact: Reverend Michelle Singh, michelle_singh@rogers.com or 416-895-3932.

Join us the first Monday of every month.

March 5:  Multi-Faith Social Justice

April 2:  Death & Dying

May 7:  Honouring Children

June 4:  Forgiveness

"The 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 own spiritual traditions. We encourage everyone to share their personal inner wisdom connecting spiritual practice with everyday life. Ultimately, our goal is 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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TORONTO

GAN-GSS Fourth Annual Forum

GREEN CHOICES FOR FAITH COMMUNITIES

Date & Time: Sunday, March 25, 2012, 12:00pm to 5:15pm 

Location: Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford Drive , Toronto , ON

Registration Fee: $35, Pre-registration Deadline: March 21, 2012

For more information or to register, please call 905-771-5124 x25 or email greenawakening@tucc.ca

“You're invited to attend Green Choices for Faith Communities, GAN/GSS Fourth Annual Forum.

Organized by the Green Awakening Network and Greening Sacred Spaces. The forum features a keynote address from Elizabeth May, member of parliament and leader of Canada 's Green Party, and workshops on Eco-Justice, Eco-Spirituality and Eco-Praxis.”

CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION: Green Choices for Faith Communities

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TORONTO

Spring Rain Sangha Presents:

1-DAY LOVING-KINDNESS (METTA) MEDITATION RETREAT 

When:  Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Where:  Society of Friends (Quakers) House, 60 Lowther Ave. (2 blocks north of Bloor St. West off Bedford Rd. ), Toronto , ON

Time:  9:00 am - 4:00 pm (please arrive before 9:00 am to sign in)

Sponsored by Spring Rain Sangha

Facilitators:  Jim Bedard and Randy Baker 

Cost:  $30 (No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.  Please contact us if cost is a problem.)

Registration:  Pre-registration is necessary.  Application forms can be found in the "Retreats" section of www.SpringRainSangha.com  

Contact: For more information, please contact us at one-dayretreats@springrainsangha.com

“This 1-Day Loving-Kindness (Metta) Meditation Retreat introduces practices that help us become more loving individuals.  By gently re-orienting the heart and mind to focus on the positive energies of loving-kindness and well-being, the practice of metta helps to gradually open our hearts to unconditional love for all beings, including ourselves.  People of all faiths are welcome to attend this unique event.”

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BRITISH COLUMBIA EVENTS

SURREY B.C.

SURREY NEIGHBOURING FAITHS UPCOMING EVENTS:

March 4 – Community Interfaith Series: Dr. Jagessar Das on Kabir

Dr. Jagessar Das is a well known multifaith activist in Surrey . He has appeared on television, presented at numerous conferences, and authored numerous books. He leads worship at the Guru Kabir Centre in Surrey . Come and hear Dr. Das speak about Guru Kabir at the fifth session of the Community Interfaith Series sponsored by the South Fraser Unitarian Congregation. All are welcome. Note: This service starts at 10:00am and takes place at the Guru Kabir Centre ( 208 - 14770 64th Ave )

March 4 – March Multifaith Action Social at Northwood United Church

Multifaith Socials provide an opportunity for people of all ages and all faiths to get to know their neighbours in a relaxed environment, make new friends and explore areas of collaboration. March's Multifaith Social will take place Sunday, March 4, 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Northwood United Church , located at 8855-156 Street, Surrey .  Admission is free, but donations are always welcome. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Marcus at admin@multifaithaction.org or 

604-321-1302.

March 8 – Holi Celebration at Lakshmi Narayan Mandir

Join the local Hindu community in celebrating and promoting harmony and understanding in our diverse community. Holi is a unique South Asian celebration of colours that encourages you to forget differences and celebrate our oneness with your neighbours in music, dance, laughter and celebration. The celebration takes place Thursday March 8 at 5:00pm at the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir (8321-140 Street Surrey). Wear old white clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty! There will be live music and free food stalls. For more information, contact Vinay Sharma at surreymandir@gmail.com

May 10-11, 2012 – Workshop at 2012 “Cities Fit for Children” Provincial Summit

The 3rd Annual Cities Fit for Children Provincial Summit is dedicated to the sustainable development of our cities and urban and rural areas. The event will bring together local, municipal and regional leaders involved in policy decisions and designing and building healthy safe communities for children and families. Come and hear how multifaith networks can play an important role in this process

 

 

VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT: http://snfp.ca/

 

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INTERNATIONAL EVENTS  

 

Expanding The Range Of Ideas , Fields, And Locales Of Spiritual Work
SPIRITUALITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY:

AT THE INTERFACE OF THEORY, PRAXIS & PEDAGOGY
2nd Global Conference: Wednesday 21st March – Saturday 24th March 2012, Prague , Czech Republic

The contemporary study of spirituality encompasses a wide range of interests. These have come not only from the more traditional areas of religious scholarship—theology, philosophy of religion, history of religion, comparative religion, mysticism—but also more recently from management, medicine, and many other fields.

This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference seeks to examine and explore issues surrounding spirituality in regard to theory, praxis and pedagogy. Our first Conference, held in March 2011, was highly successful, with more than 50 presenters from greater than 25 countries around the world participating.

We seek to expand the range of ideas, fields, and locales of Spiritual work for the 2nd Global Conference. Perspectives are sought from those engaged in the fields of Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation, Business, Counseling, Ecology, Education, Healing, History, Management, Mass/Organizational/Speech Communication, Medicine, Nursing, Performance Studies, Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology, Reconciliation/Refugee/Resettlement Projects, Social Work, and Theatre. These disciplines are indicative only, as papers are welcomed from any area, profession and/or vocation in which Spirituality plays a part.

[READ MORE…]

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Second International Conference of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality
SPIRITUALITY IN A FRAGMENTED WORLD
Highgate House, Northampton , UK
Tuesday 15 May – Thursday 17 May 2012

A conference which provides ample opportunity to explore the role of Spirituality in a fragmented world, especially in the areas of: Politics, Health, Religion, Ecology, Humanity and Social Justice

Keynote speakers:

Sister Jayanti (Brahma Kumaris) - Spirituality & Ecology
Professor Grace Davie (University of Exeter) - Spirituality & Religion
Professor Paul Gilbert (University of Derby) - Spirituality & Humanity & Social Justice Professor Chris Cook (Durham University) - Spirituality & Health

Cost (fully inclusive) before 31 January 2012 £475
after 31 January 2012 £550
[READ MORE…]

 

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INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIA FOR CONTEMPLATIVE STUDIES

April 26-29, 2012 | Hyatt Regency, Denver , Colorado

http://contemplativeresearch.org/

“The International Symposia for Contemplative Studies will bring together academics and other interested attendees for presentation, discussion, and collaborative networking in the emerging field of contemplative studies, which includes contemplative basic science, contemplative clinical science, contemplative philosophy and humanities, contemplative education, and those domains of contemplative practice that relate to and interact with these fields of research and scholarship.”  

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TIDE CONFERENCE: A WAVE OF CHANGE FOR TEENS

May 27-29, 2012, Memorial Day Weekend Northeastern University, Boston , MA

May 27-29, Memorial Day Weekend,  Northeastern University, Boston , MA

“The Teenage Identity Diversity Education (TIDE) Conference is organized and led by teens who hope to spread pluralism, increase the impact of teenage voices, and have their presence felt as a positive force in the global community.

The goals of TIDE are to train teens to communicate respectfully and use their skills in discussions about highly charged issues; develop leadership and facilitation skills; and foster bonds and lasting friendships among the youth in attendance.

Conference attendees will participate in workshops, dialogues, and other activities throughout the weekend that allow them to discover more about themselves and their own understanding of personal identity; learn about the beliefs and identities of others; and make their voices heard. The TIDE conference has been selected as a Post-Parliament Event by the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions (CPWR), an event that cultivates harmony among the world’s spiritual and religious communities to achieve a just, peaceful, and sustainable world.” [READ MORE…]

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERFAITH  NETWORK

 

By Judy Lee Trautman jltrautman@sbcglobal.net

North American Interfaith Network
YOUNG ADULT SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

2012 NAINConnect
July 15-18, 2012
Atlanta , GA
Application deadline: April 15, 2012

“The North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) offers a unique opportunity to include younger representatives (ages 16-35) in a valuable interfaith encounter during the 2012 NAINConnect in Atlanta , Georgia .  This scholarship recognizes young adults across the continent who are actively engaged in important work at the high school, college, graduate, and professional level.

If you are passionate about interfaith work, we welcome your energy and enthusiasm and encourage you to apply!  You do not need to be part of a NAIN member organization to apply.  Recipients are selected by the NAIN Young Adult Committee, according to the directives of the NAIN Board of Directors.  See below for complete information about the application process and requirements.

Scholarship recipients will receive:

-          A $500 stipend to help cover the cost of registration, housing, travel, and meals.

-          A reduced registration fee of $125 for attendance at the summer Connect.

-          The option of sharing a hotel room with another scholarship recipient.  We encourage scholarship recipients to take advantage of this opportunity, which will enhance the Connect experience and save money.”

[READ MORE, & APPLICATION]

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BOOKS OF INTEREST

 

MINEFIELDS AND MIRACLES:

A Global Adventure in Interfaith

 A new book by Ruth Broyde Sharone

QuantcastRuth Broyde Sharone, Nain Associate Member and longtime friend of the North American Interfaith Network, has published a new book to be released soon, MINEFIELDS AND MIRACLES: A Global Adventure in Interfaith, in which she writes about NAIN as one of the first interfaith organizations in the US .

Marianne Williamson interviewed Ruth on her talk radio show. They discussed the global interfaith movement, religious ignorance, Muslim stereotypes, and grass roots interfaith engagement. CLICK TO VIEW THE INTERVIEW

The book is endorsed by a very impressive list of faith and interfaith dignitaries: Marianne Williamson, Jack Miles, Rabbi David Rosen, Reza Aslan, Swami Swahananda, Eboo Patel, Valarie Kaur, Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi, Rev Dr. Marcus Braybrooke, Amir Hussain, Rabbi Leonard Beerman, Jaylani Kirpalani, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Varun Soni, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Dr. Mehnaz M. Afridi, Reuven Firestone, Lee Baca, Rev. Paul Chaffee, The Rev. Dr. Gwynne Guibord, Dr. Marc Gopin, Reverend William Lesher, Gustav Niebuhr, K.L. Seshagiri Rao, Rabbi David Wolpe, The Rev. Canon Charles Gibbs, and Yoland Trevino.

More details and the release date are available at www.minefieldsandmiracles.com

 

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RESOURCES 

RESOURCES

STATE OF FORMATION (SoF) AND THE INTERFAITH OBSERVER (TIO) COLLABORATE TO EXPLORE “MEANING MAKING”

Over the past few months, contributors from State of Formation (SoF) and The Interfaith Observer (TIO) have been exploring “Meaning Making” from their respective backgrounds. 15 stories, ranging from ‘life is meaningless’ to ‘everything has meaning’ have been published by both organizations. “State of Formation is a forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders. Founded by the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, it is run in partnership with Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School , and in collaboration with the Parliament of the World’s Religions.” [READ MORE...]“The Interfaith Observer is an electronic journal created to explore interreligious relations and the interfaith movement as a whole.”

[READ MORE...]  

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 RESOURCES

New Video: World Premiere - March 2012

THE THREE LIVES OF PANDITJI
The Three Lives of Panditji is a first-person account of the extraordinary voyage of discovery that is the life of Acharya Shiv Shankar Dwivedi. The Vedic pandit, or priest, at the Edmonton Hindu Cultural Centre was born in a small, remote Indian village and sent off to an ashram when he was eleven, after his mother died. Shiv Shankar became an all-India Gold Medal Sanskrit scholar, but then was plucked from his deeply spiritual world to become a Canadian Hindu priest.

The story moves back and forth between snow-covered Alberta and rural India where we see into Panditji's old life. We witness his first-ever return to his ashram, experience a rare Vedic cow ceremony, and join him as he visits his school that has changed the lives of so many.

As Shiv Shankar unfolds his story, we see into the mysteries of the world’s oldest religion, and how one man struggles for balance on his extraordinary path towards moksha, spiritual liberation - while living in the material world ...

(The Three Lives of ) Panditji is a fascinating personal story of a man who is a teacher and a student, a guide and a seeker, a much-loved and respected priest. He has a foot in two worlds and a heart set on a timeless third - being perfectly at home everywhere by cultivating a permanent state of grace.

(The Three Lives of) Panditji is the first in what is being called The Heritage Series - documentaries that highlight the contributions of members of Canada ’s South Asian community to the country’s multicultural mosaic.”

[READ MORE…]

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RESOURCES

SCARBORO MISSIONS RELEASES NEW GOLDEN RULE VIDEO

Scarboro Missions, 2685 Kingston Road , Scarborough , ON

inquiries: 416-262-7135 ext. 296 or interfaith@scarboromissions.ca

www.scarboromissions.ca

In their ongoing commitment to catalyzing interfaith dialogue, Scarboro Missions recently released a new Golden Rule video. According to Paul McKenna, “Interfaith organizations and religions are co-operating on everything from soup kitchens to spirituality, to social justice, to scholarship, and everything in-between. There are now thousands of interfaith organizations. 60 years ago, there was a handful.” You are invited to view the video and share it with your communities.

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IN MEMORIAM

 

Rabbi Gunther Plaut

WE WERE BLESSED THAT HE WAS IN OUR MIDST

Carolyn Blackman, Staff Reporter,

Monday, February 13, 2012 The Canadian Jewish News

… “He was a source of inspiration and guidance to the Jewish community and the wider Canadian community. A brilliant scholar, he was an active adviser to provincial and federal governments on human rights, interfaith understanding, and social justice and international affairs.”…

TORONTO — We are all blessed with the privilege of having had Rabbi Gunther Plaut in our lives, said his son Rabbi Jonathan Plaut in a eulogy at his father’s funeral at Holy Blossom Temple on Sunday.

Senior rabbi at the temple from 1961 to 1977 and a senior scholar at the synagogue after that, Rabbi Gunther Plaut died on Feb. 8 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 99.

“Holy Blossom was blessed for having had him in its midst for 51 years, blessed is the city for knowing such a leader, blessed are the immigrants for having such a champion of human rights, blessed is Israel for having such a strong supporter and blessed is God for having such a loyal servant,” Rabbi Jonathan Plaut said.

Born in Germany , Rabbi Gunther Plaut, a scholar and writer, was a law student at the University of Berlin in 1934 when the Nazi party came to power.

He moved to the United States the following year, and came to Toronto in 1961 after serving as a U.S. army chaplain during the war, and a rabbi in St. Paul , Minn. He was with the American forces that went into the concentration camps and saw first hand the remnant of those brutalized by the Nazis.

In keeping with the social responsibility he taught from the pulpit, Rabbi Plaut was a former president of Canadian Jewish Congress and of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, He also helped found Toronto ’s Urban Alliance for Race Relations and served as vice-chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission for seven years.

[READ MORE…]

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NEWS

 

AMERICA ’S INTERFAITH INFRASTRUCTURE

– A PILOT STUDY

Posted on The NAIN blog March 2, 2012 by Bettina Gray

QuantcastHarvard’s Pluralism Project has released a report of its pilot study of America ’s Interfaith

 

Diana Eck
Director of the

Pluralism Project

Infrastructure covering 20 US cities. The report website (Click Read More below) includes a rich interactive menu with a directory of organizations, case studies, practices and profiles Infrastructure Study, a pilot initiative of The Pluralism Project, documents this exponential growth of interfaith initiatives and considers the implications of our multi-religious reality for citizenship and leadership today and in the future.

America ’s Interfaith Infrastructure: An Emerging Landscape is the web-based result of this study, incorporating quantitative and qualitative analysis of interfaith initiatives in twenty American cities. The promising practices, leadership profiles, case studies, stories, and maps from these cities reveal a kaleidoscope of individuals and communities who engage with one another to tackle issues of social import, invite each other to share in acts of hospitality, and learn from one another about the traditions and inspirations that bring them to a common table.

[READ MORE…]

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BECOMING GOOD WHILE DOING GOOD

Marmur: Toronto Star Sun Jan 8 2012

“Mary Jo Leddy is a religious leader, a Catholic theologian and a social activist. For the last two decades she has been the moving spirit of Romero House, now a community housed in four buildings in the west end of Toronto that provides shelter and advocacy for refugees. Here she has fused her three vocations into one monumental project.

In addition to telling moving stories about some of the people who’ve gone through Romero House since it was established, Leddy’s new book, The Other Face of God, is a fascinating account of the creative interaction between her faith, her thinking and her commitment to what Jews call tikkun olam, mending the world.

The book tells how working at Romero House reflects and renews her faith. She writes: “My faith was strengthened by those whose faith was different from mine.” We of other faiths sit at her feet in humility and admiration.

As a token of esteem, Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto honoured her last year with its W. Gunther Plaut Humanitarian Award. One of Rabbi Plaut’s great contributions to Canada has been his work for and with refugees.

This Jewish tribute was paid to her as a distinguished exponent of contemporary Christianity. Leddy writes in The Other Face of God: “The type of spirituality I have attempted to describe is the discovery of Christ as our spirits are awakened by something or someone entirely other than ourselves.”

One of the issues that concern her as a theologian is how to be true to your own faith yet reach out to others. She writes that “some type of personal boundary is essential to personal identity” — on condition that it’s drawn out of shared commitments, not as a way to exclude the other.”

[READ MORE…]

 

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FAITH LEADERS, POLICYMAKERS

TO DISCUSS ROLE OF RELIGION IN DIPLOMACY

Religion News Services Feb. 2012

U.S., Indonesian delegation of 25 Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders to meet with senior lawmakers, Administration officials.

Washington , DC — Twenty-four Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders will meet with Members of Congress on February 29, culminating a 12-day international journey across six cities exploring the role of religion in advancing peace and understanding in the world. The interfaith delegation will call on U.S. officials to support policies that utilize religion as a tool for diplomacy and a catalyst for unity over divisiveness.

Twelve religious leaders from the United States and 12 from Indonesia will travel to Washington , DC after meetings in Jakarta , Amman , Jerusalem , Ramallah and Tel Aviv with senior government officials, NGOs and other leaders from the three Abrahamic faith traditions. Reps. Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Dan Burton (R-IN), co-chairs of the Indonesia Caucus, along with Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) will host the gathering on Capitol Hill, during which participants will share their experiences from the “Interfaith Mission for Peace and Understanding.”

Earlier in the day, the delegation is scheduled to meet with senior officials from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Office of International Religious Freedom; and Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, as well as the White House National Security Council.

[READ MORE…]

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RELIGION IS UNDER-APPRECIATED

SAYS THE QUEEN IN MULTI-FAITH SERVICE

The Queen has delivered a staunch and strongly-worded defence of the Church and religion in the face of a growing divide between faith and secularism.

 

Heads of the Church: The Queen and Archbishop greet each other ahead of the multi-faith ceremony. They both used the opportunity to highlight the importance of religion in modern-day Britain

In a timely address at Lambeth Palace , the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Queen took the unusual step of highlighting the powerful role faith plays in society.

“The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated,” she said.

“Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.”

The Queen, speaking to leaders of Britain ’s nine main religions on one of the first public events to mark her Diamond Jubilee, said the Church of England was “woven into the fabric of this country” and had helped to build a better society.

The speech represented a rare intervention in the war of words between critics of the Church and faith communities. The Queen rarely speaks publicly about her religious beliefs despite being Supreme Governor of the Church. …”

[READ MORE AND HEAR THE QUEEN’S TALK…]  

 

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s Interfaith Perspective
MARTIN LUTHER KING'S LEGACY: HOW MLK CONTINUES TO INSPIRE RELIGIOUS LEADERS TODAY
Huffington Post, January 23, 2012

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was many things to many people, yet central to his identity was his role as a Christian pastor and religious leader.

Rev. King practiced his faith in a way that was both personal and public, pious and prophetic, and his commitment to pluralism and justice has influenced a generation of religious leaders from all faiths. HuffPost Religion is proud to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by offering these testimonies from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhists religious leaders on MLK's influence upon them, and how he might influence all of us as well.

 [READ MORE…]

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Muslims and Jews Under One Roof
A BRONX TALE OF

A MOSQUE AND SYNAGOGUE
by Ted Regencia and Lindsay Minerva, The Tablet, January 23, 2012

Near the corner of Westchester Avenue and Pugsley Street in Parkchester, just off the elevated tracks of the No. 6 train, Yaakov Wayne Baumann stood outside a graffiti-covered storefront on a chilly Saturday morning. Suited up in a black overcoat with a matching wide-brimmed black fedora, the thickly bearded 42-year-old chatted with elderly congregants as they entered the building for Shabbat service.

The only unusual detail: This synagogue is a mosque.

Or rather, it’s housed inside a mosque. That’s right: Members of the Chabad of East Bronx, an ultra-Orthodox synagogue, worship in the Islamic Cultural Center of North America, which is home to the Al-Iman mosque. “People have a misconception that Muslims hate Jews,” said Baumann. “But here is an example of them working with us.”

Indeed, though conventionally viewed as adversaries both here and abroad, the Jews and Muslims of the Bronx have been propelled into an unlikely bond by a demographic shift. The borough was once home to an estimated 630,000 Jews, but by 2002 that number had dropped to 45,100, according to a study by the Jewish Community Relations Council. At the same time, the Muslim population has been increasing. In Parkchester alone, there are currently five mosques, including Masjid Al-Iman.

“Nowhere in the world would Jews and Muslims be meeting under the same roof,” said Patricia Tomasulo, the Catholic Democratic precinct captain and Parkchester community organizer, who first introduced the leaders of the synagogue and mosque to each other. “It’s so unique.” [READ MORE…]

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INSPIRATION

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.

Knowing is not enough; we must apply.

Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Leonardo da Vinci

 

We build too many walls and not enough bridges

Isaac Newton 

 

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