World Interfaith Harmony Week 2017 Feb. 1st – Feb.7th
Sacred Spaces: Meeting Our Neighbours: an opportunity to visit sacred spaces in Halifax to observe, meet, and engage with diverse faith communities. View Calendar.
Guide for Guests: Are you visiting Sacred Spaces this week? Check here (Guide for Guests (pdf)) for a detailed guide to help you know where to go, what to expect, and what to do. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
Interfaith Engagement Program: Looking to deepen your experience with Interfaith Harmony Week? Perhaps the Interfaith Engagement Program is for you. IE2017…
Pre-Week Sunday January 29, 10:30am - Meeting for Worship
Pre-Week Sunday, January 29
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Meeting for Worship
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location:660 Francklyn Street Halifax
Atlantic School of Theology Library, (lower level)
Guide for Guests: A brief introduction to the Quaker religion will be followed by a Meeting for Worship. Guests are invited to participate as we sit in a circle in silence, listening to the voice of the Spirit. One or another Friend may be moved to speak, perhaps on a spiritual subject, perhaps about a moving experience she or he may have had. We leave a space of silence between spoken ministry to allow the group to absorb the testimony. The Meeting closes with an elder taking the hands of his or her neighbours as we form a circle holding hands. A social time follows with light refreshments, friendly conversation, and questions.
Our Community: The Religious Society of Friends is a denomination flowing from the Christian tradition, founded in England in 1652, by George Fox and his followers. Friends believe there is direct communication between God and Man. By worshipping in silence, Friends experience the voice of the Divine in their hearts. Since every person has that of the Divine in them, all are equal. Women as well as men preach. All races and ethnicities are welcomed as equals among Friends. Friends avoid material objects and rituals that may distract from the spiritual. There are no scheduled prayers recited, no choir or organ, and no paid minister, since all the congregation are considered ministers. In worship, listening to the voice of the Spirit, one or another Friend may be moved to speak, perhaps on a religious subject, perhaps about a moving experience he or she may have had.
Some Quakers came to Nova Scotia in 1761 from Nantucket in Massachusetts. and another group arrived in 1785 in Dartmouth, and established a whaling industry. But due to conflicts with the British government, most left in 1792. It was not until 1964 that another Quaker Meeting in Nova Scotia was established. Quakers came from other parts of Canada, the United States, and England. In the 1970s, the Halifax Meeting was considerably strengthened by war resisters opposing the war in Viet Nam who left the United States. Halifax Friends celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2014. Our current Meeting includes the main worship group meeting at the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, plus a worship group on the South Shore, and one in Antigonish.
Further information about Halifax Monthly Meeting may be found at our Web Page, halifax.quaker.ca and our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HalifaxQuaker
Contact: Maida Follini, 902-435-3784, email@example.com
Pre-Week Sunday January 29, 11:50am - Hindu Puja
Pre-Week Sunday, January 29
Hindu Puja (Ritual Worship)
Time: 11:50 a.m. A meal follows the service.
Location: Hindu Temple, 6421 Cork Street (just off Oxford Street)
Guide for Guests: Visitors remove footwear and wash their hands on the first floor, and then are escorted by a volunteer to the main temple on the second floor. Men sit on the right side and women on the left side. At 12:20 guests will be asked to introduce themselves. Guests can do Arati, the showing of lighted lamp to God. Guests have the option to take the holy drink which is a mixture of milk, honey, sugar, etc. After puja (ritual worship), a gourmet vegetarian meal follows on the first level. Guests will be introduced to the executive board of the Temple.
DAY 1 Wednesday, February 1, 6pm - Taste of Shambhala
DAY 1 Wednesday, February 1
Taste of Shambhala: Open House Soup, Social, and Mindfulness Meditation
Time: 6:00 p.m. Soup and social; 7 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. Mindfulness meditation instruction, practice, and discussion
Location: Shambhala Centre, 1084 Tower Road, off Inglis Street
Guide for Guests: Taste of Shambhala is the weekly Open House. Follow hearty soup and social time, with an introduction to Mindfulness meditation, plus open conversation about this increasingly respected practice and tradition. All welcome.
DAY 2 Thursday, February 2, 7pm - Universalist Unitarian Service
DAY 2 Thursday, February 2
Unitarian Universalist Service
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Unitarian Universalist Church, 5500 Inglis Street
Guide for Guests: 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. There will be a special brief service at 7 pm to give an introduction to our faith tradition, followed by a discussion. Coffee, tea, and snacks will be served.
DAY 3 Friday, February 3, 12:00pm - Muslim Jummah Prayer
DAY 3 Friday, February 3
Muslim Jummah Prayer
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Ummah Mosque, 2510 St. Matthias Street (at Windsor and Chebucto)
Guide for Guests: Female guests enter the mosque through a door across the green area leading to the prayer space dedicated for women. Male guests enter the facility through the door facing St. Matthias Street. Both male and female guests are encouraged to dress modestly. Female guests are also encouraged to bring headscarves. All guests are welcome to listen to the sermon and watch the congregants performing prayer. Chairs will be available.
Tour and Socializing: Both women and men may meet in the back of the prayer hall to learn about this weekly prayer and about Islam and Muslims in general. Given the distinctive Islamic architecture, this will be followed by a short tour of the prayer hall and the new gym in the basement where there will be socializing.
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.30
DAY 3 Friday, February 3, 5:30pm - Jewish Shabbat
DAY 3 Friday, February 3
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Shaar Shalom (Jewish Congregation), 1981 Oxford St., Halifax
Guide for Guests: Thank you so much for joining us at the Shaar. When we observe Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, we traditionally refrain from writing, using non-medical electronics (such as cell phones and cameras), smoking, and handling money, in and/or near our synagogue. We invite you to help us celebrate Shabbat by affirming the world in its natural state and warmly engaging with those around us.
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.
DAY 4 Saturday, February 4, 2pm - Baha’i Community Devotional
DAY 4 Saturday, February 4
Baha’i Community Devotional
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m
Location: 30 Fairfax Drive Halifax, (Future Inn – Main meeting room)
Guide for Guests: All are welcome to join the community for prayers and devotions with social time and refreshments. Follow the signs to the room (go straight ahead upon entering the main entrance).
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:
The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Halifax
DAY 4 Saturday, February 4, 6:30pm - Celebration of Imbolc
DAY 4 Saturday, February 4
Pagan Presence Committee: Ritual Celebration of Imbolc
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Universalist Unitarian Church, 5500 Inglis Street
Guide for Guests: The Druid Grove of Nova Scotia will preside over Imbolc, the Celtic Celebration of Brige, the Triple Goddess, at ewing time – the first sign of oncoming Spring. At 7 p.m. there will be a welcome, introduction to our community and instructions regarding the ritual, followed directly by our celebration of Imbolc. Some chairs will be provided for those who cannot stand during ritual. There will be displays representing many of the traditions and a brief introduction before the ritual. Our community will wear festive and comfortable clothing and this can be as varied as our people. Please dress as you feel is appropriate. Please note that we do not allow any form of recording during ritual. Snacks and chat with the community will follow.
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.
DAY 5 Sunday, February 5, 9:00am - Taoist Tai Chi®
DAY 5 Sunday, February 5
Fung Loy Kok Taoist Tai Chi® Arts (Taoist)
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism Atlantic Region Centre,
2029 North Park Street, Halifax
Guide for Guests: Our guests will be welcomed as they enter the front door of the Centre. The sessions for the morning will be held in the practice hall on the ground floor. We begin at 9 a.m. with Confucian chanting. Guests are very welcome to join in. Handbooks are provided. At 10 o’clock guests are encouraged to join us as we continue our practice in a Taoist Tai Chi® class. At 11:30 our guests are invited to share lunch with us. Lunch is prepared at the Centre by volunteers each Sunday, and provides a time of conversation and fellowship.
About Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism: The Taoist Tai Chi® Arts were brought to Canada in 1970 by our founder, Master Moy Lin Shin. He was a Taoist monk, deeply grounded in the Taoist principles of selflessness and compassion. It was his desire to give the Taoist Tai Chi ® Arts to all who wished to benefit from them in both body and spirit.
In 1980, Taoist Tai Chi® classes began in Halifax, held in a number of locations, until 1990, when the building on North Park Street was purchased. It is now the Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism Atlantic Region Centre and houses a Three Religions Shrine where we observe the unified teachings of the three great religions of China – Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. The Shrine is opened and closed daily; chanting is held every Sunday morning, and is open to the public.
Taoist Tai Chi® Arts are founded upon a rich tradition of Taoist training and are intended to return both body and mind to their original nature. According to Taoist teaching, body and mind cannot be separated. Each step in the training is intended to help the mind return to stillness, clarity and wisdom and the body to a balanced, relaxed and healthy state. At the physical level, the whole physiology is exercised, including tendons, joints, connective tissue and internal organs. At the mental and spiritual level, the Taoist Tai Chi® Arts are a method of “taming the heart” and developing inner calm, compassion and reduced self-centeredness.
The mission of the Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism is to deliver all from suffering. It emphasizes spiritual development through the cultivation of both mind and body with the ultimate goal of achieving harmony with oneself and with the world. Fung Loy Kok promotes the principle of all cultures and religions moving together in peace and harmony. Individuals of all backgrounds and beliefs are welcome to participate in Fung Loy Kok.
DAY 5 Sunday, February 5, 9:30am - Christian Worship
Sunday, February 5
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. (Storm date-Sunday, February 12)
Location: 205 Lacewood Drive, Halifax.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon),
(The chapel is up a long driveway, on top of a hill. There is an entry door off the driveway at the top if you are walking, or an entry door on the opposite side of the building if you are parking in the large parking lot.)
Guide for Guests: This Sacrament Meeting is the first meeting in a three-hour block of meetings each Sunday. The purpose of the meeting is to partake of the bread and water in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s great sacrifice. His blood was shed, his body broken, as he gave his life for the redemption of all mankind. Visitors are welcome to partake of these emblems, or not partake. There are hymns, prayers, and speakers. This is a family congregation with people of all ages. There are several families with young children. Dress is Sunday best. There is no collection of money during the services. There is no clapping during the meeting. There is no smoking, nor alcoholic beverages, permitted on the premises. After the sacrament meeting members go to Sunday School classes so there is not a meal. However, visitors are invited to have light refreshments.
Our Community: We believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a new church, but a restoration of the church that Jesus Christ established when He lived on the earth. It was formally organized in April of 1830 in upstate New York. Missionaries came to the Maritimes shortly after but many who joined the church eventually migrated to the valley of the Great Salt Lake with the main body of the church. In the 1920s missionary work began again in this area. Today there are 15 million members worldwide, with about 8500 in Atlantic Canada. In Nova Scotia there are 13 congregations, with five of them in HRM. The chapel on Lacewood Drive was built about 1980. The first Mormon temple in Atlantic Canada was dedicated in November of 1999 in Dartmouth.
The Church today is led by apostles and prophets, with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ, is studied, along with the Bible. It was translated from an ancient record of peoples who migrated from Jerusalem to the North American continent in Old Testament times.
We believe that there is a God in heaven and that the human family lived with Him in a premortal existence. We are all God’s children. He loves us and has prepared a plan whereby through His Son, Jesus Christ, and with the blessings of the Holy Ghost, we will enjoy blessings beyond this mortal life. These blessings include an immortal, glorious, resurrected body for all mankind and the opportunity to return to our Heavenly Father’s presence as eternal families for those who have faith in Jesus Christ and are obedient to the conditions of His gospel.
The Church of Jesus Christ is a tithe-paying church so there is no money collection at meetings. Members give ten percent of their income which provides the funding to build chapels and temples, print scriptures, etc. Members live a health code called The Word of Wisdom, which includes abstaining from alcohol, tea and coffee, smoking, and drugs, and eating healthy foods.
Being involved in service in their communities, helping those in need, working together with those of other faiths, or no faith are all important and encouraged. Once a month members fast for two meals and donate the money saved to help the poor and needy, locally or globally. The Church is very involved with humanitarian work throughout the world, often in partnership with other organizations. Humanitarian efforts include emergency relief and disaster assistance, Clean Water initiatives, Maternal and Newborn Care, Vision Care, Immunization, Food Production, provision of wheelchairs. In the past thirty years LDS Charities has provided help to millions of people in 185 countries.
DAY 5 Sunday, February 5, 11:30am - Sikh Kirtan & Langar
Day 5 Sunday, February 5
Sikh Kirtan (Songs of Praise to God) and Langar (Communal Meal)
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 or 1:30 p.m.
Location: 10 Parkhill Road,
The Maritime Sikh Society, off Purcell’s Cove Rd, near Dingle Park, in the Jollimore area
Guide for Guests: Enter the prayer hall with bare feet and covered head. Please bring your own headscarf. Shoes and coats are left in the safe coatroom downstairs. In the prayer hall, everybody sits on the floor; some chairs are provided.
Langar (communal food) is served to all those who attend the service. Food is vegetarian and prepared fresh in the morning. Langar is an important part of the Sunday service. It provides social time and sense of sharing and seva. All sit on the floor for Langar.
Day 5 Sunday, February 5, 2:30pm - Celebration of WIHW
Day 5 Sunday, February 5
Celebration of World Interfaith Harmony
Time: 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., displays at 2:00 p.m.
Location: Mount Saint Vincent University, Rosaria Student Centre, Multi-Purpose Room
Guide for Guests: Let’s join our voices and hearts in celebrating ‘peace and friendship’ among people of all faiths and good will through song, music, prayer, chants, images, spoken word, proclamation, declaration, and displays.
DAY 6 Monday, February 6 7:00pm - Guided Meditation
DAY 6 Monday, February 6
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: #1 Cedarbrae Lane (between Bayview and Dunbrack on Lacewood)
Guide for Guests: Open to all. Remove shoes at front door; maintain silence while entering meditation hall. A brief introduction to meditation and the core understandings will be given, followed by a guided meditation experience, chai and chat.guided meditation
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.
Day 7 Tuesday, February 7 2:00pm - Blanket Exercise
DAY 7 Tuesday, February 7
The Mount Aboriginal Student Centre
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: The Mount Aboriginal Student Centre MSVU, 166 Bedford Highway
(#9 on the campus map)
Guide for Guests: The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history we’re rarely taught. Developed in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples—which recommended education on Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation, the Blanket Exercise covers over 500 years of history in a one-and-a-half-hour participatory workshop.
Blanket Exercise participants take on the roles of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. They are directed by facilitators representing a narrator (or narrators) and the European colonizers. Participants are drawn into the experience by reading scrolls and carrying cards which ultimately determine their outcomes. By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise effectively educates and increases empathy. Ideally, the exercise is followed by a debriefing session in which participants have the opportunity to discuss the experience as a group. This often takes the form of a talking circle.
About the Aboriginal Student Centre, MSVU: Through consultation with both internal and external Aboriginal advisory committees, Mount Saint Vincent University has moved forward on several recommendations that strive to promote an educational environment which recognizes the importance of Aboriginal culture on campus. The Aboriginal Student Centre (ASC) supports students in an educational and culturally engaging space on the Mount campus. Opening its doors in February of 2013, the ASC offers the opportunity for students, staff and faculty to learn more and engage with Aboriginal culture while also giving Mount students a place to study and hang out.
The Aboriginal Student Centre (ASC) provides an opportunity for all students of all nations to learn in an environment of Indigenous cultures and values; with respect, the Aboriginal Student Centre strives to empower, encourage and educate for the next seven generations.
The Ctr. is located on the bottom floor of the house. Parking passes will be provided, please do not park on Melody Drive