World Interfaith Harmony Week Schedule of Events (7597)

In Canada by


Interfaith collaboration on events during WIHW

At Various


Surrey Interfaith Council / 1-604-808-4867

“The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord.” “All nations should become one in faith and all people as brothers and sisters; the bonds of affection and unity should be strengthened.” “Let all associate, therefore, in this great human garden even as flowers grow and blend together side by side without discord or disagreement between them.” 1. Celebrating our Differences: Creating Positive Change in a Divided World (January 28, 2018) Daughters of the Drum and the Naad Foundation came together with stories and songs from many spiritual traditions to celebrate our differences while exploring how courage, self-reflection, and understanding how connected we truly are, can empower us to create positive change. Together they acknowledged the reality we are all facing today and the growing momentum of voices that are speaking out; that while some people choose negative change, more people are choosing positive change; and the courage of the women and men who are sharing their me-too stories. The program included a yarn-exercise with Daughters of the Drum to understand how connected we are and inspiring music with members of the Naad Foundation. The celebration was co-sponsored by the Multifaith Action Society and Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara. 2. Interfaith Food and Clothing Ministry (February 3, 2018) The public was invited to bring warm, homemade food to serve to the people living to the homeless living in tents on an avenue in North Surrey. Approximately 150 – 200 people were served a warm lunch and given warm socks, sweaters and coats as well as personal hygiene products. This initiative demonstrated positive interfaith collaboration on serving our community. 3. The Music and Spoken Word Interfaith Concert (February 3, 2018) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted a concert where the audience could enjoy performances by a variety of Faith communities. This collaboration gave everyone the opportunity to experience the joy and fellowship of a united community. During the following social, friendly conversations were had where people of different Faiths were able to get to know one another better and make connections. The Church also offered short tours and answered questions about their faith. The Surrey Interfaith Council co-sponsored this event. The LDS Church used the opportunity of the event to present a humanitarian award to Jonquil Hallgate. 4. Interfaith Pilgrimage: Paths to Peace (February 4, 2018) The Multifaith Centre at Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Surrey Campus and the Surrey Interfaith Council jointly organized the third annual WIHW pilgrimage. The Surrey Interfaith Council was initially inspired by the Abrahamic Faiths Pilgrimage where pilgrims walk from the place where Abraham was born to where he died, stopping at numerous holy spots along the way. The SIFC organized the first Interfaith Pilgrimage only days after two terrorist attacks back in 2015 - This first pilgrimage took place on Friday, November 20, 2015 to honour those who lost their lives in the attacks in Paris and Beirut and to foster friendship and understanding between people of different backgrounds and world views in Surrey. This year’s WIHW pilgrimage now includes the Thien Ton Buddhist Temple, the Northwood United Church, the Laxmi Narayana Hindu Mandir, The Brookside Gurdwara, The Sri Singh Sabha Gurdwara, the Jamea Muslim Masjid, and the Guru Nanak Gurdwara. The experience of walking together, of being extended such amazing and generous hospitality, reinforced the understanding that we have the ability, individually and collectively, to be compassionate, selfless, and loving. These attributes are strengthened by religious values taught by all the world's great religions. Together we can create a better world by concentrating all the thoughts of our heart on love and unity, then aligning our actions to reflect that thought. 5. Interfaith Devotional Gathering – Celebrating Unity in Diversity! (February 6, 2018) The Surrey Bahá'í Community hosted an interfaith devotional gathering that included prayers and readings from the sacred scriptures of some of the world’s Faiths and Traditions. Over light refreshments and during the informal conversations after, many were heard to say how much the prayers and readings seemed as if they came from the same Book, reinforcing the understanding that there is really only one religion, one God, and one humanity. 6 - Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Paths to Peace Closing Ceremony (February 8, 2018) Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Surrey’s Faith communities celebrated a week of meaningful events with a closing celebration at KPU's student cafe, Grassroots. We shared a meal, enjoyed looking back over the week's events with pictures and stories, heard music and poetry from KPU students, and finished with a sing-along of Bob Dylan songs focusing on peace and justice. It was a fitting and joyful conclusion to a full week of walking the interfaith path to peace. This was co-hosted by KPU Multifaith Centre and Surrey Interfaith Council. 7. Interfaith Celebration – Together We Can Attain Peace. (February 10, 2018) The Global Clergy Association, Northwood United Church, and Multifaith Action Society held a gathering with a fusion of peace prayers, spiritual singing, and talks. The gathering was opened and blessed by Wendy Bonazew, the granddaughter of Dorothy Maquabeak Francis, a well-known First Nations woman that dedicated her life to the betterment of the lives of First Nations people. Wendy mentioned that her grandmother was honoured for her work by being appointed to the Order of Canada in 1978 - Dorothy Francis was an artist, and some of her work has been exhibited in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. She also hosted a weekly Native cultural programme for CBC, published a book on Native legends and recorded Native lullabies. Her memorial totem pole is in Queen’s Park in New Westminster. Interfaith Dinner Program (February) The Interfaith Dinner Program is an initiative of the Surrey Interfaith Council and provides a chance for people from different religious, spiritual and secular backgrounds to share a meal together in someone’s home. To celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week, the dinners took place at different locations around Surrey during February and into March. This year, one dinner was held in a public accessible location in order to be more inclusive. The other dinners were held in private homes. Library Display (January – February 10, 2018) The Library displayed the WIHW Proclamation by the mayor, the pilgrimage poster, and the Interfaith Concert poster at the entrance of the City Centre Library Public Relations and Media Coverage: 1. ZeeTV Coverage: The interview at the Concert begins at 9:29 minutes. The report on the Interfaith Devotional Gathering begins at 3:33 2. Surrey Now Newspaper: 3. Our View: Interfaith pilgrimage a step in right direction 4. South Asian Link Newspaper: (Zile Singh) Interfaith Harmony Can Lead The Way To A Truly Peaceful World (February 10) 5. Mormon News: 6. Jamea Muslim Masjid News: reporter, Hassan Mallam 7. KPU Student Newspaper: City Proclamation: “Whereas United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of religious tolerance, misunderstanding or ignorance and bring opportunity for mutual self-reflection, open-mindedness and respect to all religions; and “Whereas the City of Surrey respects the equality of rights and privileges of residents from all its diverse communities, and encourages dialogue among different faiths to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among its people; and “Whereas upholding a zero tolerance for discrimination and supporting programs and projects that inspire residents to practice and observe one’s religion, individual conviction, or beliefs without fear is a priority of the municipality and community partners in Surrey; “Now, therefore, be it resolved that I, Linda Hepner, do hereby declare February 1 to 7, 2018 as ‘United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week’ in the City of Surrey.”

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