Regional news

 — Dec. 31, 200331 déc. 2003

The West

Activities of the Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action included a first “Multifaith Music Celebration and Sacred Rhythms Concert” with participating choirs from the Baha’i, Hindu, Jewish, Unitarian faiths; a dialogue among Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Zoroastrians on “Samskaaras” or “Passages of Life.” The Edmonton Interfaith Centre with the Alberta Teacher’s Association authored a booklet “Safe and Caring Schools for Students of All Faiths.” These booklets are available for teachers across Alberta or anyone who wishes to order from the Alberta Teacher’s Association in Edmonton. The Edmonton Interfaith Centre is located at 11148-84 Ave., Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 0V8, tel.: 780-413-6159, fax. 780-413-6143, e-mail: .

The Community of Emmanuel is an off-shoot of the Inner City Pastoral Ministry, a 25-year-old interdenominational faith outreach program for inner city people in Edmonton. Its congregation includes low-income residents, single moms and homeless people. “They accept you exactly where you are at that moment,” a mother of two said. “Basically they treat you as Jesus would, with love and respect.” The church service is always followed by a hot lunch for those who attend as well as those who only come for the meal. Over the past year, some seventy-eight church organizations and city groups have donated and prepared food for the weekly service. “The ICPM is a respectful, effective presence to inner city people,” said pastoral associate, Sister Marion Garneau. She said the fact the ICPM is a “church without walls” is not only appropriate, but very much in keeping with the reality of many of those it serves. “It’s not unlike the way of ministry of the Jesus of the Gospels.”

“Practical Helps for Encouraging Ecumenism in your Parish” was the theme of a workshop for Parish Ecumenical representatives, Pastors and other interested persons organized by the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Regina October 25. After two sessions led by keynote speaker, Rev. Bernard de Margerie, small groups tackled the questions of “What has worked well and why?” and “What have been the major obstacles?” Ecumenical kits ($10.00) are available: c/o Susan Klein, sec. Archdiocese of Regina, 445 Broad St. N., Regina, SK., S4R 2X8, Tel.: (306) 352-1651, fax: (306) 545-0510, e-mail: .


Habitat for Humanity, the Christian housing ministry, is building forty new homes with the help of hundreds of volunteers from churches across the city of Toronto. At Habitat’s Home Building Factory, crews assemble walls, floors and frames for an entire new neighbourhood of single-family homes which will open in east Toronto next spring. Pastors and faith leaders set an example Sept. 15 to 21 as priests and ministers swung hammers and cut lumber during Habitat’s “Building on Faith Week.” To volunteer or get your church involved, call Deborah Bernardino at (416) 755-7353 or e-mail her at .

The 5th annual Theodore Ratisbonne Lecture Series was held at Madden Hall in Toronto, October 29, on the theme: “Living Hope & Courage in Turbulent Times.” The evening event, sponsored by the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, featured lively discussion with the members of an Interfaith Panel: Jessie Caryll, Mary Ellen Sheehan and Barbara Siddiqui.

Let There Be Peace on Earth: an Inter-faith Service of Prayer for Peace was held, October 16, at the Church of the Holy Trinity near the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto. In the spirit of Assisi, the ecumenical office of the archdiocese of Toronto and the Franciscans organized the service with participants from various faiths that can be found in one of the world’s most multicultural cities. Faiths represented at the prayer included Judaism, Islam, Baha’i, Buddhism, Taoism and more, along with the Christian churches. A smudge ceremony by First Nations people was also part of the event.


The Earth and All That Is in It, a public panel on biotechnology and faith sponsored by the Canadian Council of Churches and the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism, was held October 7 in Montreal. Speakers included Devlin Kuyek, Margaret Somerville and François Pouliot with theological reflection by Paul Fayter. Among the topics discussed were: the ownership of life forms, the Supreme Court of Canada and bio-patenting, genetically modified foods, the possibilities of human cloning and harvesting of human tissues, new technologies and ethical considerations.

A Ceremony of Presentation of the Sacred Relics took place October 9-13 at the Huyen Khong Buddist Social and Cultural Centre in Montreal. The world’s highest Buddhist religious authorities chose the Huyen Khong Centre for the exposition of the Relics of the Great Budda Shakyamouni and the Great Lama Masters who are venerated as saints. This relic collection will travel around the world until 2008 when it will be placed in the reliquary inside the 150 metre high statue of Buddha Maitreya in Koushinagar, India, site of the paranirvana of the Great Buddha Shakyamouni. It will be a pledge of peace for a whole millennium.

Inter-church Marriages: Today’s Reality and Changes was the theme of an ecumenical dialogue held on November 22 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at St. Francis of Assisi parish hall, St. Lambert. The event, organized by the Diocesan Ecumenical Committee of St. Jean, Longueuil, featured a panel representing Catholic and other Christian Churches, as well as two couples followed by an open forum for questions and sharing. For more information, call 450-679-1100 extension 277.

The First Ecumenical Family Picnic organized by The North Shore Ecumenical Committee of Churches, took place September 21 on the spacious grounds of the Terry Fox Park, D.D.O. Close to 300 people, from eighteen parishes on the West Island, responded to the invitation of the Ecumenical Committee. A total of forty-seven church members from several denominations worked on six subcommittees to provide a variety of activities from music and sing-alongs, games for young and old, and complementary refreshments for all. Indeed, this wonderful gathering of Christians seemed animated by the ecumenical spirit. Enthusiastic picnickers suggested broadening the base of operations for all the denominations to share what they have in common with each other through more unifying activities, such as an annual Ecumenical Concert and ongoing charitable work.

Posted: Dec. 31, 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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