World Interfaith Harmony Week 2018
Feb. 1st – Feb.7th
Exploring Similarities – Celebrating Diversity
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?
A detailed guide to help you know where to go, what to expect, and what to do has been provided from the hosts in the Guide for Guests (pdf).
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. IE2018…
Sunday, January 28
Sunday, January 28 Fung Loy Kok Taoist Tai Chi® Arts (Taoist)
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p. m. 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 hall on the ground floor. We begin at 9 a.m. with chanting. Guests are very welcome to join in. Handbooks will be provided. At 10 o’clock, our guests will be encouraged to join us as we continue with Taoist Tai Chi® practice. Guests are invited to share lunch with us at 11:30. 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 Arts were brought to Canada in 1970 by our founder, Master Moy Lin Shin. These arts include chanting, Taoist meditation, temple rituals, as well as the 108 move Taoist Tai Chi® set, the lok hup ba fa and hsing-I sets, the Taoist Tai Chi® sword and sabre sets, and push hands. Master Moy Lin Shin was a Taoist monk, deeply grounded in the Taoist principles of selflessness and compassion. It was his desire to give the arts to all who wished to benefit from them in both body and spirit.
In 1980 instruction began to be given in Halifax, held in a number of locations in the city until 1990, when the building on North Park Street was purchased. It is now the Atlantic Region Centre of the Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism. It houses a Three Religions Shrine where we observe the unified teachings of the 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.
The arts we practice are founded upon the rich tradition of Taoist training and are intended to return both body and mind to their original nature. According to Taoist teaching, the body and mind cannot be separated. Each step in the training is intended to help the mind to 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 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.
Sunday, January 28
Sunday, January 28 Sikh Kirtan (Songs of Praise) and Langar (Communal Meal)
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 or 1:30 p.m. The Maritime Sikh Society, 10 Parkhill Road,
(off Purcell’s Cove Road, 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, everyone sits on the floor; some chairs are provided. Langar (communal food) is served upstairs after the service to all those who attend the service. Food is vegetarian and prepared fresh in the morning by volunteers. Langar is an important part of the service. It provides social time and sense of sharing and seva. All sit on the floor for Langar.
Day 1 - Thursday, February 1
Thursday, February 1 Universalist Unitarian Service
7:00 p.m. 5500 Inglis Street, Halifax
Guide for Guests: There will be a special brief service at 7:00 p.m. to give an introduction to our faith tradition, followed by a discussion. Coffee, tea, and snacks will be served.
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. 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 2 - Friday, February 2
Friday, February 2 Muslim Jummah Prayer
12:00 p.m. 2510 St. Matthias Street, Halifax
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.
Day 2 - Friday, February 2
Friday, February 2 Jewish Shabbat
5:30 p.m. 1981 Oxford Street, Halifax
Guide for Guests: Enter by the door on Pepperell Street. 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.
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 3 - Saturday, February 3
Saturday, February 3, Bahá’í Community Devotional
2:00 pm, 5793 University Avenue, Halifax (CHEB), Room C170,
Guide for Guests: All are welcome to join the community for prayers, music, and devotions where creativity and spirituality meet. This will be followed by an informative video, question and answer period and refreshments. Discover a unifying vision of the future of society offered by the Baha’i Faith towards world peace and of the nature and purpose of life to know God and attain His presence by walking a path of service. Come as you are. All Welcome.
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 3 - Saturday, February 3
Saturday, February 3 Pagan Ritual Celebration of Imbolc
6:30 p.m. 5500 Inglis Street, Halifax
Guide for Guests: The United Pagan Collective is honoured to be hosting this year’s Imbolc Ritual, which will be in a Wiccan format, celebrating the return of the light half of the year. 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 4 - Sunday, February 4
Sunday, February 4 Christian Worship at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection
10:00 a.m. Corner of Windsor and Allan Streets, Halifax
Guide for Guests: Enter at the Allan Street entrance where there is also an accessible entrance for those with mobility concerns. You are welcome to wear regular everyday clothes. There will be a printed service guide to help you through the service. All are welcome to take part in Holy Communion. Visitors are not expected to make offerings. A fellowship hour for refreshments and conversation follows the one-hour-fifteen-minute service. Washrooms are located directly ahead as you enter the Allan Street entrance.
The logo above captures the central beliefs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Resurrection: an empty cross echoing the Easter theme, the sun behind the cross suggesting Christ as the light of the world, the radii on the sun reminding us of individual lives focusing toward the centre of Christ who draws us closer in communion with one another, and finally the vibrant vine on the cross – rising from the rock and rubble of seeming death and reflecting the richness of our lives from God’s gift of the Resurrection.
While the primary meaning of Resurrection for us is the Christ Event, the name for this congregation has an historical note: the congregation, founded in 1915, is said to be the “resurrection” of the earlier Lutheran congregation in Halifax whose home was the Little Dutch Church on Brunswick Street, the first Lutheran church in Canada, erected in 1755 by German settlers who came to Halifax shortly after the founding of the city.
The people of the Lutheran Church in Halifax have gathered from over the world since the founding of Halifax. Since Resurrection is located in a major port city, many young men from European countries were buried from Resurrection. From 1917 and during the 1920s quite a number of Lutheran seamen died of diphtheria or tuberculosis and were cared for in hospitals, and their lives celebrated in services at Resurrection. During the Second World War, many servicemen — especially from Sweden, Holland, and Norway — died in port or at sea and were buried from Resurrection. In the immediate post war period Resurrection was privileged to assist in welcoming to Canada many who fled Europe and particularly Latvian and Estonian refugees who made epic trips across the Atlantic. The church also assisted three Lutheran World Federation immigrant workers in greeting Lutherans coming to Canada through the port of Halifax.
The congregation has a deep history of welcoming displaced persons, the founders themselves being displaced persons or refugees, and so continues its welcome through refugee projects, most recently families from Africa. The congregation becomes a home for students, for military personnel stationed in Halifax or on work-terms, or people seeking a community relationship, and for all who feel at odds with their current spiritual homes.
As another historical note, seventeen members of Resurrection lost their lives in the Halifax Explosion of 1917. Seven Lutheran sailors serving on the ship the Imo, one of the two ships involved in the collision, also died. Stained glass windows on the east wall are a memorial gift for the victims.
Day 4 - Sunday, February 4
Sunday, February 4 Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Meeting for Worship
10:30 a.m. 660 Francklyn Street, Halifax
Guide to 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 or guest 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
Day 4 - Sunday, February 4
Sunday, February 4 Hindu Puja (Ritual Worship)
11:50 a.m. 6421 Cork Street (just off Oxford Street, Halifax
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 4 - Sunday, February 4
Sunday, February 4 Interfaith Celebration
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 pm. Paul O’Regan Hall at Halifax Central Library
Doors open at 6:30 – displays and socializing.
Music Prayers, Dancing and Displays from diverse traditions and paths, along with Socializing and Refreshments.
Day 5 - Monday, February 5
Monday, February 5 Brahma Kumaris Guided Meditation
7:00 p.m. #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.
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 6 - Tuesday, February 6
Tuesday, February 6 Indigenous Talking Circle on Reconciliation
2 p.m., Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, 2158 Gottingen Street
Guide for Guests: Talking Circle led by Elder Billy Lewis. Within the context of Interfaith Harmony Week, the purpose of the Circle is to explore how we can re-establish the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous people, and restore it to harmony. The Circle will be conducted in a sacred way with a smudging and with respect for all traditions gathered in that Circle. As you come in the front door, take the stairs upstairs.
Day 7 - Wednesday, February 7
Wednesday, February 7 Taste of Shambhala
6:00 p.m. Shambhala Centre, 1084 Tower Road, Halifax
Guide for Guests: Taste of Shambhala is a 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.
Shambhala: A Global Community
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.