Past Events and Ongoing Activities
Over 300 people came together on June 14th at the Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue for an evening hosted by IofC and representatives from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and other faith communities.
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Adventures in Retirement
Home from Asia Plateau, India
I returned to Canada recently after being away from August 2008. I don’t take long to get back to “normal.” Here, conversations are different and so are the issues. We talk about the weather, checking the forecast throughout the day; in Cambodia it’s never mentioned.
It’s great to be back but a shock to be away from the Action for Life participants. The days were always long, starting with quiet times at 7 p.m. and, when we were at Asia Plateau, not ending until close to 10 p.m. When traveling, it meant moving from one place to another without much time to get to know people well. I remember getting into our vehicle seven times on Christmas Day when we were moving around the tea plantations of Assam, in the north east part of India.
IofC in South East Asia is made up mostly of young people. Their enthusiasm and the simple way they see IofC is refreshing. One challenge is how to link the older people with those who are younger. Culturally, when senior people are present, the young people remain silent. I’m hoping this changes so that we can combine the experience of the older people with the excitement the youth can bring.
Action for Life is not meant to be an easy life, but I can recommend it to anyone who feels the need to stretch his or her mind. The young people bring joy and laughter into my life and I feel as if old age has moved a bit further back.
Peter Heyes, retired teacher, Edmonton, Alberta
(a facilitator with Action for Life 4)
The second annual Care of the Earth event drew over 100 people to the displays and workshops. To read a report on this click here.
On March 30th, Daryl Deklerk pastor of Congregational Life and Youth from First Christian Reformed Church in Barrie , Ontario, welcomed two people from IofC. Iman Al Ghafari and Shaneeza Nazeer had gone to Barrie to show the film 'The Imam and The Pastor' to the youth group. 11 young people and 3 adults showed up from the Church. Pastor Deklerk wanted the youth to learn about the differences and similarities between the two religions and how to build peace instead of hatred. Iman Al Ghafari introduced the movie and she and Shaneeza spoke about IofC. Following the screening of the film, questions were asked related to the movie and the history of Islam and its relation to politics and the media. Pastor Daryl concluded the meeting by saying the evening was to share the peace that the prince of peace Jesus has taught us about and also the Quran has emphasized. Brochures giving information about Initiative of Change were available for people to take home.
A graduate from the International Baccalaureate class at a Calgary high school, arranged with her former teacher to have a presentation on Initiatives of Change and the IofC@UofC club to this year’s graduating class.
She feels that students who have been exposed to the ideas before they graduate will be much more likely to respond to the club when they see it being promoted during “clubs week” at the University in the fall.
The presentation took place on June 2.
Keith Newman, Regional Coordinator, Southern Alberta
A weekend gathering and a ceremony of healing on the Plains of Abraham took place in Quebec City over May 23- 25 weekend. To read a full report of the gathering and events over the weekend please click here. March 18, 2008 Canadians took part in the "Meeting of the Americas" conference in Brazil. Sonja Bergen writes of her experiences.
The Global Indigenous Dialogue (Canada) and the Sombrilla Refuge Support Society were pleased to present:
A Dialogue Circle on Indigenous Peoples Rights and Relationships
With Special Guest Speaker: Hilaria Supa Huaman, Quechua, Congress of Peru February 21 at the Canadian Native Friendship Centre - 101 Street and 112 Avenue. Other speakers included: Dr. Makere Stewart-Harawira, Waitada Nation, Aotearoa (New Zealand) Trevor Gladue, Vice President, Metis Nation of Alberta Muriel Stanley Venne, President, Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women Danika Littlechild, Cree, Vice-chair Sectoral Commission on Culture, Communication, & Information at the Canadian Commission of UNESCO
On February 5th and 12th at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum the Multi Faith forum of Regina are hosted an event titled 'Care for the Earth'. In their invitation the organisers wrote ..." Through our Scriptural teaching and the example of responsible environmental practices in our places of worship, we can encourage lifestyle changes in our city that will create a more sustainable world for our children and grandchildren. For further details, please click here to see the poster.
In the Footsteps of Gandhi, January 30th 1948 - January 30th 2008 - Celebration in Montreal
To mark the occasion of the death of Gandhi, an extra-ordinary evening was organized by the Gandhi committee (which IofC is part of) composed of several peace organizations www.surlespasdegandhi.ca, and was held at the Centre l’Emergence in Montreal. Thanks to the creativity of artists, an ‘interactive pact’ was suggested to the 160 participants, inviting them to integrate Gandhi’s message into their own lives. To read the full report please click here.
Imam and Pastor Warm Calgary Hearts in Minus 49 degree Windchill-to read about their 2 1/2 day visit to Calgary click here.
Saturday January 26th at the AlSalaam Mosque at 5060 Canada Way. Imam Ashafa took part in the "Reach Out" program - dialogue with Muslims and Christians.
A community event with the Imam and the Pastor on Wednesday, January 30th at the Semiahmoo House Society on 24th Ave. A short version of the film was shown with an opportunity for dialogue with Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye around the issues of peace and reconciliation in our own lives and community.
January 31st, 2008 dialogue with the Imam and Pastor at the University of Victoria. More information can be found on the Peacemakers Trust website. February 2nd - A Fund Raising Luncheon put on by LINK International Ministries was held at the Embassy Inn. Pastor James and Imam Ashafa spoke.
On Friday January 18th in Richmond Pastor Wuye and Imam Ashafa spoke to a crowded City Hall. The event was hosted by IofC, RIAC and the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunrise . A 12 year old boy brought chuckles from both men when he asked them if they always got on together. They spoke about their need to talk honestly and 'go for clinic' ,as they say in the film. They encouraged him to always be true to himself but also reach out to others because building relationships is so important. Georgina Patko, chair of the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunrise said that the club had provided a grant to IofC to enable a copy of the film to go into all the schools in Richmond.
Justice Institue of British Columbia Filled to capacity the auditorium at the BC Justice Institute was the venue for the film followed by a dialogue with Pastor Wuye and Imam Ashafa, facilitated by Jessie Sutherland of Worldview Strategies. Following the screening of the film, as the men approached the platform the audience spontaneously gave them a standing ovation. Questions from students, social activists, youth workers, university professor, volunteers with new immigrants, kept the men sharing from their rich experiences for an hour and a half. The evening began with a First Nations Elder giving a welcome and traditional blessing, then a choir of First Nations sang a prayer song in Arabic and Latin. Paul Ndukwe, who initially invited the men and partnered with IofC, gave a short overview of Nigeria to set the scene. Chris Hartnell gave a brief overview of the film and the international team who had put it together. Two local newspapers carried photos and an interview with James and Ashafa and mentioned other public events. Read about this special event on the JIBC website.
The Imam and The Pastor Film Viewing January 10th at the Richmond Hospital in the Ralph Fisher Auditorium.