Regional news

 — Sept. 30, 200330 sept. 2003


People of Faith gathered at St. Stephen’s United Church in Qualicum Beach,
, May 9-11, for the third annual weekend gathering, Nurturing Deep
Under- standing and Hope, to pray, learn, share eat and play so that they might be
nurtured on their ecumenical Pilgrimage Towards Right Relationships. The four behaviours
identified by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples as being essential to
“righting relationships” between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples are:
mutual recognition, mutual respect, mutual responsibility and mutual sharing. During the
first two years, participants learned about the complexities surrounding Indian
Residential Schools and heard individuals’ stories. Dialogue circles provided an
opportunity for each participant to be heard and to hear from others. Woven throughout
were prayer, spiritual and theological reflection, music, dance and lovingly prepared
food. The May meeting was blessed with resource people from the Hupacasath First Nation,
the Nuu-chah-nulth Healing Project, a KAIROS Aboriginal Rights Policy Advocate, a
Huu-ay-aht treaty negotiator and hereditary whaling chief, leaders of the final input
session on “Learning from Esgenoopetij/Burnt Church” and many others. For more
information, call Rick at 250-248-1174 or visit the Pilgrimage Toward Right Relationships

During Holy Week a series of 17 paintings titled Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin – The
Creator’s Sacrifice
were displayed at the Indian Métis Christian Fellowship
(IMCF) in Regina, Saskatchewan. The paintings, portraying events from the Last Supper
through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, were created by aboriginal artist
Ovide Bighetty. Bighetty consulted with elders and fellow aboriginal artists while he
worked on the paintings and according to IMCF’s director Bert Adema, the series resonates
faithfully with both the biblical story and aboriginal culture. IMCF, an urban aboriginal
ministry, hopes the sale of reproductions will recover the commission and related expenses
and also allow the exhibit to be displayed in communities throughout North America. For
more information, e-mail Bert Adema at [] or phone 306-359-1096. To read
more about the aboriginal ministry, go to [

A Baptist mission to Belize to build an ecumenical education centre
has asked Father Len Hagel of St. Michael’s Parish in Calgary to travel with them to
assess mission work and the possibility of helping the poor in that country. “I was
the first Catholic priest to travel with them,” said Hagel. “Our task is to
build an ecumenical education centre. This has the full blessing of Bishop Henry and will
be named after our parish,” he added. St. Michael the Archangel parishioners have
given of their time and talent in support of the 16 teens and nine adults in this mission
experience. “The faith dimension in St. Michael’s is strongly focused on a
relationship with Jesus Christ and learning to see Jesus in everyone,” says Arnie
Bushulak, one of the adult volunteers. “Every Sunday we have an old tin bucket up by
the altar and little kids run up and put a coin in the bucket. That old bucket has raised
over $18,000. The teens work at a cappuccino bar after Sunday Masses to pay for the
airfare. An anonymous family has donated $40,000 for building the education centre in
Belize,” said Bushulak.

With help from the Jubilee Fund, an ecumenical investment fund
supported by a dozen Winnipeg church groups and religious orders, neighbourhood
associations are working to revitalize the inner-city area. Volunteers help convert
abandoned lots into community gardens and green spaces. Salvageable houses are being
renovated. People who come to the area see the garden lots and green spaces and think,
“This is a place where people really look after their neighbourhood,” says
housing coordinator Inonge Aliaga. The Jubilee Fund was launched in 2000, the Jubilee
Year, as a means of putting the resources of Manitoba Christians at the service of groups
and individuals who are trying to make a difference in depressed or under-resourced


Habitat for Humanity, the Christian house-building organization, has
launched a newsletter to help members of faith communities do something about the lack of
low-cost housing. Faith Relations News is a four-page booklet with information about how
different churches have become involved in Habitat projects, and word of volunteer
opportunities with future projects. Habitat for Humanity will provide as many copies as
necessary to any church free of charge, said Deborah Bernardino, Habitat faith relations
co-coordinator. The newsletter will be published three times per year. Habitat had plans
to build 14 homes in May and another 40 in August this year – the most ambitious year of
building since the international organization came to Toronto in 1988. To order copies of
Faith Relations News, contact Bernardino at (416) 755-7343 ext. 34, or e-mail her at [].

At the second annual gathering of Toronto’s Catholic and Anglican bishops
May 5 at the Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga, the problems of
homelessness, alcoholism and addiction among native people in Canada’s biggest city were
on the agenda. The bishops agreed to work with native agencies to find ways of better
serving a vulnerable population, many of whom have been alienated from the church. ”
It’s not that we haven’t talked about the issue,” said Anglican Bishop Bedford-Jones
of York-Scarborough. “It’s that we haven’t talked about it together.” Auxiliary
Bishop John Boissonneau, who oversees the western region of the Roman Catholic archdiocese
of Toronto added, “It’s more than just a discussion. We will begin the process of
making some joint plans.” The bishops of two of Toronto’s largest Christian
denominations appointed two staff members to explore ways to involve the churches in
services to aboriginal people. The contact team will report back to the bishops by

The fourth annual Priests’/Rabbis’ Day, organized by the Office of Ecumenical
and Interfaith affairs
of the Archdiocese of Toronto and the Toronto Board of
Rabbis was held May 28, 2003. The theme this year centered on understanding the Sacredness
of Life in Our Respective Traditions and the Emerging Contemporary Moral Issues. On the
Roman Catholic side, presenters included Rev. Ron Mercier, S. J., Dean of Regis College in
Toronto and Rev. Leo Walsh, C.S.B., professor emeritus from the University of St.
Michael’s College. The Jewish presenters were Rabbi Roy Tanenbaum of Beth Tzedec Synagogue
and Rabbi Sharon Sobel, Executive Director for Canadian Council for Reform Judaism.
Previous topics included Marriage, Preaching on Difficult Texts In Our Scriptures, and
Bar/Bat Mitzvah and the Sacrament of Confirmation.


Earth Day was celebrated ecumenically, April 22, at a gathering in
Campbell Park in Montreal. A potluck supper at the Wampam Centre followed the ecumenical
ceremony. The Earth Day event was sponsored by the Religion and Spirituality Centre of
Montreal, the Non-Violence Resource Centre, Pastoral Work in the south central district of
the Montreal Catholic Archdiocese and the Wampum Centre.

Portions of three of the first Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered by Bedouin
shepherds in 1947 in a cave near Qumran east of Jerusalem, are part of an exhibition
running from June 17 until Nov. 2 at the Montreal Museum of Archeology and History at
Pointe à Callière. Organized with the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, where
it will be presented later, and in collaboration with the Israel Museum and the Israel
Antiquities Authority, the exhibition will include close to 100 other artifacts. The
scrolls help fill an important gap between the Hebrew Bible and the earliest books of the
Christian New Testament and of rabbinic literature. The exhibition coincides with a
conference on Christianity, Judaism and other religions in Greco-Roman antiquity at McGill
University from Sept. 15 to 18. The scrolls reveal that the Mediterranean world of Jesus’
time was “almost unbelievably complicated and dynamic,” said Ian Henderson,
professor of New Testament at McGill and one of the conference organizers. For more
Tel.: (514) 872-9150.

Posted: Sept. 30, 2003 • Permanent link:
Categories: CCEIn this article: Centre Canadien d’œcuménisme
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Catégorie : CCEDans cet article : Centre Canadien d’œcuménisme

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