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UN World Interfaith Harmony Week 2021

Covid-19 Note:

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Interfaith Harmony Halifax has chosen to publish on this website the opportunities offered by the participating faith communities during World Interfaith Harmony Week in 2021. Anyone wishing an In-Person visit may notice that some community websites may provide options for both online and In-Person visits, depending on the NS Health Authority regulations at the time. Interfaith Harmony Halifax accepts no liability if someone chooses an In-Person visit and subsequently contracts the Corona-19 virus. Assess your own risk of acquiring COVID-19 and decide whether you should visit a faith community by doing a self-assessment: have you travelled, been in contact with someone who has and is self–isolating, do or feel unwell? If you answered yes to any of these questions, do not make the In-Person visit. If you plan an In-Person visit, follow the directions of those specific faith communities. Wearing a mask and observing social distancing are fundamentals. Specific directions for visitors are found under the Guide for Guests for the faith communities that offer In-Person visits.

Notes on Using Zoom and Netiquette:

A number of the faith communities will be available online via the free platform, Zoom. If you have never used Zoom before, please give yourself an extra five minutes to download it. For the best experience, use the app or a computer rather than just the audio. We ask that you follow some simple guidelines while in the sessions to make this an enjoyable event for all:

  • Mute your microphone once you have arrived in the group. This will prevent people from talking over each other or picking up background noise.
  • There will be no recording of any of the sessions allowed.
  • Be patient if there is a lag or freezing, or if you lose connection and need to rejoin the meeting. The internet is in high demand right now and is thus causing some issues.
  • And, please be courteous and respectful.

February 1–7, 2021 | Calendar

Monday, February 1st

Brahma Kumaris Meditation

7:00 to 8 p.m.

Website: halifax.brahmakumaris.ca

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/406922998?pwd=RmtnQWhUVElHUmd3bEEwZGhHRXNiQT09
Meeting ID: 406 922 998      Passcode: yogapower

Our Community: Everyone wants peace. At this time the world needs peace. Brahma Kumaris is a worldwide spiritual movement dedicated to personal transformation and world renewal. Founded in India in 1937, Brahma Kumaris has spread to over 110 countries on all continents and has had an extensive impact in many sectors as an international NGO.

Their real commitment is to helping individuals transform their perspective of the world from material to spiritual. It supports the cultivation of a deep collective consciousness of peace and of the individual dignity of each soul. Meditation centres offer programs free of charge with the intention of creating peace in the world – one thought at a time through the practice of meditation. By changing our thinking and feelings, actions, and impact can become peaceful.
Spiritual awareness through the practice of meditation gives us the power to choose good and positive thoughts over those which are negative and wasteful. We start to respond to situations, rather than just reacting to them. We begin to live with harmony, we create better and happier, healthier relationships and change our lives in a most positive way.

Tuesday, February 2nd

Mi’kmaq Ceremonial Life

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Presenter George Doyle-Bedwell

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87384048654?pwd=VythZlNnUmhreE5rT3U0UUZQZ2Mydz09
Meeting ID: 873 8404 8654     Passcode: 668313

Wednesday, February 3rd

Jewish Study as Spiritual Quest: Sharing Common Ground in Uncommon Times

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Rabbi Gary Karlin, Shaar Shalom Congregation

Website: theshaar.ca

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3370193781

Our Community: The first Jews arrived in Halifax in 1750, only a year after the city was founded. They were merchants from Newport, Rhode Island and little is known about them or their offspring. The Halifax Jewish community, as we know it today, took form in the 1890s when Jewish immigrants fleeing from the Pograms in Russia settled in the city. In 1895 the first synagogue, an orthodox synagogue, was established in Halifax. As the Halifax Jewish population grew, Jewish religious practice diversified and in 1953 a conservative congregation, the Shaar Shalom Congregation, was established. On October 5, 1954, the Shaar Shalom Congregation broke ground for its synagogue on the corner of Oxford and Pepperell Streets where it continues to serve the needs of Halifax’s Conservative Jewish community today.

The Shaar is an egalitarian congregation where both women and men participate fully in the spiritual, ritual and social life of the community. To enhance communal connection and support, the congregation offers a variety of activities and organizations: religious services on Friday nights, Saturday mornings and holidays, Jewish education and religious training for young and old alike, which includes a religious school for preschoolers to grade 7, a Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society) and cemetery, a library for community use, kosher kitchens, function rooms, and a Tree of Life.

In addition to the Shaar Shalom, the Halifax Jewish Community includes: Beth Israel Synagogue (Orthodox), Chabad-Lubavitch of the Maritimes, Atlantic Jewish Council, and Hillel Atlantic – Jewish Students Association.

Thursday, February 4th

Universalist Unitarian Service

7:00 p.m. Universalist Unitarian Church, 5500 Inglis Street, Halifax

Website: uuch.ca

In-Person: To attend in person, contact Norm Horofker (nhohofker@aol.com) in advance.

Zoom link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89164133865?pwd=NHFaV1diS1RoOVp5Tkhyc0hVZ25DQT09

Meeting ID: 891 6413 3865 Passcode: nXjK78

Our Community: The Universalist Unitarian Church, part of the religious landscape of Halifax since 1837, is founded on the idea that people of diverse religious faith or none can unite in community and support one another in the quest to give meaning to life. A special service at 7:00 p.m. will give an introduction to our faith tradition. (Our normal services are on Sunday morning at 10:30). Our congregation welcomes people of all faiths or none and builds a loving spiritual community and celebrates spiritual diversity.

Friday, February 5th

Muslim Jummah Prayer

1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Website: ummahmasjid.ca

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ummahmasjid

Our Community: The history of Muslims in Canada is as old as the birth of Canada itself. According to the 1871 Canadian Census, four years after Canada’s birth, there were 13 European Muslims in this country, and by 2011 (National Household Survey, 2011) around 3.2% of Canada’s population were Muslims. While early Muslims settlements were concentrated in Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec, the history of Muslims in Nova Scotia dates back to the late 1960’s and early 1970’s with the settlement of a handful of Muslim families primarily in the Halifax-Dartmouth area. On December 26, 1966, six newly-arrived Muslim migrants to Nova Scotia signed a Memorandum of Association known as the Islamic Association of the Maritime Provinces of Canada, one of the oldest Muslim organizations in Canada.

The years following saw a significant growth in the number of Muslim immigrants especially from the Indian sub-continent. Most of these newcomers were professionals including doctors, engineers, university professors and school teachers. In the 1990s, Canada opened its immigration doors to entrepreneurs and with the upheaval caused by the Gulf war, a large number of Arabic speaking Muslim immigrants arrived in Nova Scotia. According to Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey, approximately 1% of Nova Scotia’s population are now Muslims. Muslims are among Canada’s most highly educated and productive citizens, with 45% possessing at least one university degree.

In Nova Scotia, Muslim population is deeply ingrained with the social, economic, and cultural fabrics of the society. From medical doctors, university professors, teachers, and engineers to public servants, entrepreneurs, and social workers, the Muslim community has been a productive and positive constituent of Nova Scotia for more than half a century. The shared history of Muslims and Nova Scotia is deeply cherished and constantly celebrated by Muslims in the Halifax-Dartmouth regions in every facet of their lives.

Meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist Tradition with Bob Gailey

7:00 to 8:00 p.m. (Opens at 6:45)

Website: halifax.shambhala.org

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81077946226?pwd=aWI4UzIyTlUyMDFZcXBld2dGcm1TUT09
Meeting ID: 810 7794 6226     Passcode: 696431

Shambhala is a global community of people inspired by the principle that every human being has a fundamental nature of basic goodness. This nature, our innate wisdom, can be developed so that it benefits our own lives and helps meet the many challenges facing the world.

Shambhala welcomes people from all walks of life, faiths, and backgrounds. They come together to practice meditation, gather, and celebrate in order to develop a global culture that cultivates dignity and sanity in an increasingly chaotic and stressful world.

Saturday, February 6th

Bahá’í Community Devotional

2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Website: halifaxbahai.org

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86509235997?pwd=YWpoY2NxNU9hZHR5V2t5RDFRSFFvZz09
Meeting ID: 865 0923 5997       Passcode: 224047
Dial by your location :   +1 647 374 4685 Canada

Our Community: The Bahá’í Community of Canada is made up of some 30,000 Canadians from backgrounds that are truly representative of Canada’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity. Canadian Bahá’ís live in every province and territory and are spread among 1200 localities. Their economic and social backgrounds are as diverse as their cultural and religious heritage. The Bahá’í Faith has more than five million members worldwide. Bahá’ís are the followers of Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892) whom they regard as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad. The fundamental vision of the Baha’i community is that the nations of the world will become unified in a manner that respects the diversity of people but recognizes that we are all the members of one family.

The Halifax Bahá’í community was established in 1942 and has been contributing to the development of Halifax Region for 75 years. Today there are Baha’is in virtually every part of the city; living in, and contributing to their neighbourhoods through charitable acts and service. The Baha’is of Halifax offer to all: Classes for the Moral Development of Children, Programs for Junior Youth and Youth, Study Circles for Spiritual Development and Service to others, and Devotional Gatherings. We extend a warm and heartfelt invitation to you to make contact with the Halifax Bahá’í Community: (902) 425-8188 | http://www.halifaxbahai.org

A Celebration of Imbolc Hosted by Earth Spirit Society

6:45 p.m. Welcome and introduction 7:00 Celebration of Imbolc

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82398574245?pwd=ZjJUamVZVnBaNTdOZmdvcnR4OW5Gdz09

Password is Imbolc

Join us for an evening in celebration of Imbolc, or February Eve. This is a time of reawakening, both of the Earth and ourselves as we celebrate the midway point to spring.

The Halifax Pagan Community at the Yule Celebration

Our History: Pagan Presence Committee was created by Earth Spirit Society of Nova Scotia (ESSNS) in January 2008 to apply for participation in World Religion Day. It was created as on open committee: we accepted anyone who wanted to participate, not only members of ESSNS (pronounced ‘essence’). From its original inception our purpose has expanded to include Pagan participation in all multifaith events as well as educational presentations. Our involvement includes: World Religion Day, Festival of Lights, World Interfaith Harmony Week, Pride, King’s County Historical Society, and events of ecological support. Earth Spirit Society began in 2006 as a means of supporting Pagan involvement. It was organized as a roundtable; all had a voice; the only fees were time and energy. We registered under the Societies Act in 2009 with bylaws consistent with our original purpose, leaving the roundtable intact. Our community has many roots with as many histories. Other organizations have preceded us and before them we were stigmatized and secretive. Paganism is an umbrella term and includes Druids, Eclectics, Heathens, Wiccans, Witches, and many others and like other religions; we have varieties of each.

Our traditions come from varied sources such as Greek, Celtic, Egyptian, or Norse. Many follow The Wiccan Rede, an ethical principle, the short version being “An it harm none, do what thou will.” Respect and reverence for nature is very common. Pagans may be pantheists, dualists, or other. Many are solitaries. Between one and two percent of those you see and know are from our community. Today, Earth Spirit Society is composed of individuals from multiple Pagan spiritual paths. We provide public rituals such as Imbolc, Yule, and Beltaine and support for Pagans, as well as hosting social events and interfacing with the media. We gather for our mutual growth in the upward spiral that is Life.

Sunday, February 7th

Christian: The Presbyterian Church of Saint David

11:00 a.m. 1544 Grafton Street, Halifax

Website: saintdavids.ca
In-Person: May be able to accommodate those who wish to attend.

To join the Zoom service, send an email to stdavids.office@ns.sympatico.ca before 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning and we will send you the link and service script.

The service will be recorded and available on YouTube the following Tuesday night at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCipRgWoI93qkZvVBZTTdI0Q

Guide for Guests: Enter by the main doors. The friendly greeter will social distance and not shake hands or hand you a bulletin. The bulletin will be on the table for you to pick up. Allow extra time to get seated as we practice social distancing and obtain your name and contact information. Masks are mandatory once you enter the sanctuary. Use the hand sanitizer when you enter. You will be directed to a seat. You are encouraged to greet one another by waving or bowing. There will no congregational singing, but you may hum along. Following the service you will be directed to leave by rows and we ask that you exit the building immediately, following the floor markings, Move away from the doors, so that those coming behind you may exit as well. Thank you for observing social distancing.

Our History: Saint David’s is a family-centred Christian community known for its special ministry to children and youth no less than for its mighty ministry of word and music. It joyfully shares with all people its long tradition of evangelical preaching and the public worship of God in spirit and in truth.

The Presbyterian Church of Saint David was born in 1925, when its parent, The Presbyterian Church in Canada, was in danger of disintegrating in the face of inter-denominational church union among Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregationalists. None of the eight Presbyterian congregations in metropolitan Halifax voted to opt out of the new united Church of Canada, so those Presbyterians who did not wish to ebb and flow with the ecclesiastical tide found themselves within an emaciated Church and without a congregation or church building. Those who resisted union did so positively and constructively by first forming the Halifax chapter of the Presbyterian Church Association in 1924 and then establishing The Presbyterian Church, Halifax (incorporated, 1925).

Soon afterwards, the Presbyterians leased and then purchased the former Grafton Street Methodist Church as a congregational home. Built in 1868-69, the building was designed by David Sterling, architect of Fort Massey United Church in Halifax, and is a registered municipal heritage property. It stands over and in the midst of the Old Methodist Burying Ground of Halifax, one of the most sacred sites of Maritime Methodism. In 1930 the Presbyterian Church, Halifax, was renamed in honour of the saintly King David I of Scotland, who reigned from 1124 to 1153. In 1975 the Church celebrated its centenary and the Congregation its golden jubilee.

Interfaith Celebration

A celebratory conclusion of the events on February 7th at 2 p.m.

Other Sacred Spaces Contacts

Hindu Puja (Ritual Worship)

Hindu Temple, 6421 Cork Street, Halifax (Just off Oxford Street)

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/hindutemplehalifax

The Maritime Sikh Society

10 Parkhill Road, Jollimore

Website: https://maritimesikhsociety.ca/

The Sikh Gurdwara has been under extensive reconstruction and hopes to be open again later in the year. Visit their website for details of the project.