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Building Bridges cover art 2016 On Sunday, January 31 at 2 p.m. the Interfaith Centre will be holding our annual “Building Bridges Among Faith Traditions” multifaith concert at the Royal Alberta Museum, 12845 – 102 Avenue. This 20th anniversary event includes: UCE’s Chorealis; The Braille Tones; Akolada and Typica Ukrainian Choirs; Darla Daniels, Metis Fiddler, Gordon Ritchie; U of A Michael Frishkopf; and poet Roylin Picou. Tickets cost $ 20 for members, seniors and students, $ 25 for others. Donna Entz will receive our Interfaith Advocate Award. Tickets are $20 (members), $25 (non-members) and available directly from the EICEA office and board members. Tickets will also be available at the door.

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Roxanne Maguire, director of Elizabeth House will be speaking, perhaps with one of the women who lives there; Elizabeth House is a program of E4C, the building

itself was a priory for Anglican women workers a couple of decades ago. No Room at the Inn chose them for last December’s appeal to churches, to help them build a new kitchen and dining room.  There are 24 women living there at a time, and last year they had 42 women in the program who were able to leave and live independently.

Entrance and some parking in the back lane across from Tim Horton’s, bring your lunch if you like, hot and cold drinks provided, $2 donation gratefully accepted.


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EICEA board member Dr. Randolph Haluza-DeLay, along with student Ashley Fischer, released a report on faith, science and climate change on December 2 at our 20th Anniversary Open House. A video of their presentation is below. As well, you can download the report and executive summary:

When the Sacred Canopy Burns: Edmontonians talk about Faith, Science and Climate Change

Executive Summary: Edmontonians on Faith, Science & Climate

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This fall, Edmontonians of all backgrounds will come together to reflect on and celebrate peace during the city’s first ever YEG Peace Fest. With the aim of fostering a city-wide promotion of peace, unity and human rights, this festival hosted by the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights and the Mahatma Gandhi Canadian Foundation for World Peace will run from September 21 to October 2, commemorating the International Day of Peace, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and the International Day of Non-Violence. The Edmonton Interfaith Centre will hold our annual peace flag – raising at noon outside city hall on Monday September 21st, with speakers and music.

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From the Letter of support for the City of Edmonton, written in Oct. 2013,  and re-sent in July 2014 as the City of Edmonton faces discrimination charges.

The Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action would like to applaud the City of Edmonton for removing the ETS bus ads which target the Muslim community (see Edmonton Journal October 29). Tragically, gender-based violence exists, world-wide, in all communities, regardless of ethnicity, religion, culture or socio-economic status. We are proud to work with many local cultural and faith-based organizations which have faced up to this reality and are working very hard to combat it. But to target any one religion is destructive and unhelpful. The ads were placed by SIOA (Stop Islamization of America), a well-known and controversial group who are considered to be extremely Islamophobic. Sadly they, and some others, are misconstruing the removal of the ads as a capitulation to either political correctness or pressure from Muslims, rather than because their discriminatory nature makes them unacceptable.  

From the board of the Edmonton Interfaith Centre

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“Faiths Coming Together through Compassion, Awareness & Justice” is a three-day multifaith event being hosted by the Edmonton Interfaith Centre and the Edmonton Committee for a Parliament of the World’s Religions May 1 – 4 on the U of A campus. The brochure highlights our two keynote speakers and hints at the exciting line-up of workshops planned for the event.

Thanks! Netta for the and the Edmonton Committee for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (ECPWR)

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interfaith-concertposter-2014 On Sunday, February 9 at 3 p.m. in the Royal Alberta Museum, 12845 – 102 Avenue, the Edmonton Interfaith Centre presents “Building Bridges Among Faith Traditions” an afternoon of inspirational music, prayers and chants from our diverse communities. Artists include Anna Beaumont, Andrew Glover, Karim Gillani Sufi Ensemble, Soka Gakkai Buddhist chant and Debbi Spence. We will be honouring this year’s winners of the Edmonton Interfaith Advocate Awards, Avau Fast and Amarjeet Sohi, and there will be  a silent auction, door prizes and refreshments.

Tickets are $25, $20 for members, seniors and students, call 780-413-6159 or email for tickets.

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Harnessing the


with Carol Rose

Sunday, December 8

2:00 – 4:00 p.m. here in the Assembly Hall of Garneau United Church

11148 – 84 Avenue

In this workshop, Carol will facilitate a psycho-spiritual technique using biblical, liturgical and kabalistic images for healing, creativity and spiritual growth.
No previous knowledge or experience required.

Carol Rose is a writer, poet, educator and counselor.
She holds an MA in Theology and degrees in Religious Studies and Education. Carol teaches imagery classes and
uses imagery in her counseling.

Cost of the workshop: $20,

members & seniors $15

RSVP at or call Netta at 780-413-6159

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On Saturday evening, August 31 a rabbi, a Catholic priest and an imam walked into Beth Shalom Synagogue in Edmonton. With them were an Aboriginal elder, a Jain, and 65 guests there to hear about “Repentance and Forgiveness from Religious Perspectives”. On that evening Jews around the world began their preparations for New Year (Rosh Hashana) which begins Wednesday evening, September 4, and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), with penitential prayers known as Selichot. The new rabbi at Beth Shalom, Kliel Rose, working with the Edmonton Interfaith Centre and Elexis Schloss, invited representatives from four other faith traditions to discuss this important issue.

The service began with the late afternoon Sabbath prayers, followed by the speakers. First was Dr. Usama Al Atar, a professor of chemistry from the University of Alberta. He stressed five stages of repentance celebrated during the month of Ramadan: regret for your misdeeds, personal commitment to reform, repair of the damage done, reaching out to other people affected by your action, restoring your relationship to God to regain a life of restored peace and justice. He reminded us that the Prophet Mohammad, when he conquered Mecca, forgave the citizens for their bitter warfare against the followers of the new faith of Islam.

Elder Betty Lafferty is an Aboriginal consultant with Edmonton Catholic Schools. She said that the Cree language doesn’t have a word for “forgiveness” but practices personal fasting to restore inner peace and renewed relationship with everyone. As a child she was afraid of the Christian God, but her aboriginal faith restored her inner spirituality and communion with God and with all those around her. For her, working with children is a spiritual experience.

Jitendra Shah, one of the founders of the first Jain temple in Edmonton, reminded us that Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world. Their leaders, or Gurus, have long led the movement for non-violence, brought to a climax by Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent fight for independence from Britain. He told the story of the blind men describing an elephant by feeling different parts of the body, and of course coming to widely different conclusions. Differences are essential to life, but they can also reveal common themes or issues that bind us together. He urged time for daily meditation that restores our inner selves and brings us to the peace of nirvana.

The fourth speaker was Father James Holland from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Edmonton which has a large congregation of Aboriginal people. He emphasized that although there are many religions, they all share an inner spirituality. He believes that holding grudges is self destructive, and that forgiveness frees oneself to live fully. He felt he had learned a great deal from his association with his Aboriginal congregants.

The last speaker was Rabbi Rose. He sees elements of the Judaism in all religions that experience one God within us. For him, sinning is missing the mark of a good life, and forgiveness is essential to restoring it. A Jewish member of the audience remarked on three essentials for forgiveness: recognition of what you did that was wrong, true repentance for it, and forthright reparation to all who were affected by it.

The differing practices of all speakers actually highlighted the common recognition of the essential need to forgive in order to restore your own life, and that holding grudges of any kind was self-destructive. It seems that for many of us it is very difficult to forget anyone or anything that hurts us, but how often we forget the many good things that we daily experience from those around us.

The evening ended with Rabbi Rose celebrating Havdalah, the service which formally ends the Sabbath, and immediately after he recited the Selichot.

John G. Wright & Netta Phillet