- SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2017 – SOUTH WINNIPEG SINGS FOR PEACE
The 12th annual community Remembrance event of music and reflection for peace was hosted this year by the faith communities of Good Shepherd (Anglican) and Trinity United Church in Fort Richmond on November 12, 2017.
Each year, on the Sunday nearest to Remembrance Day, the churches and schools of Fort Richmond, Richmond West, and St. Norbert come together to sing and pray for peace. Included this year were choirs and bands from Mary Mother of the Church (Roman Catholic) Parish, Good Shepherd (Anglican), Trinity United, Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Collège St. Norbert Collegiate, Fort Richmond Collegiate Wind Ensemble, and special guest choir from St. Kateri Tekakwitha Aboriginal Catholic Parish.
Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship offered a special presentation by Dora Maendal of the Fairholme Hutterite Colony. Dora told the story of the Alcatraz Brothers. These four Hutterite men experienced difficult challenges as a result of their faith-based decision to be conscientious objectors during World War ll. (Next year is the centenary of the arrival of Hutterites in Canada.)
The Sing for Peace is an inclusive ecumenical and community concert, with an emphasis on praying for peace, and sharing reflections and stories of working for peace and justice.
Written by Pat Mathews, Mary Mother of the Church Parish
- MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 – TOGETHER IN SILENCE FOR PEACE
An ecumenical and interreligious celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday at the ruins of St. Boniface Cathedral emphasizing the importance of human gathering for peace. The program starts at 7:30 PM.
- TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 19 & 26, 2017 - THE NEW TESTAMENT FROM A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE
A series of three sessions to explore the New Testament from a Jewish perspective. Presenter will be Ruth Ashrafi of the Gray Academy in Winnipeg. Sessions to begin at 7 PM at Mary, Mother of the Church, 85 Kirkbridge Dr., Winnipeg, MB.
- SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2017 - THE COMPASSIONATE CAREGIVER
An ecumenical service and dialogue starting at 9:30 AM to provide support to the members of Epiphany Lutheran Church and of Mary, Mother of the Church faith community. Will be held at Mary, Mother of the Church, 85 Kirkbridge Dr., Winnipeg, MB.
- SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2017 - 200TH - ANNIVERSARY OF LORD SELKIRK SETTLEMENT
Ecumenical Service at St. Boniface Cathedral to celebrate this anniversary. Service starts at 2:30 PM.
- JUNE 20, 2017 - TOGETHER IN CHRIST: LUTHERANS AND CATHOLICS COMMEMORATING THE REFORMATION
On June 20, 2017 a group of Lutherans and Catholics came together at the 1st Lutheran Church to celebrate the fifth and last session in this series of dialogues between Lutherans and Catholics.
The evening began with a Bar B Q hosted by Pastor Michael Kurtz and the members of 1st Lutheran Church. After a relaxing supper we moved into the church and the program for the evening began. It was an evening of music, scripture, video presentation and prayer. During the evening the group broke into five discussion groups and discussed the video on the Five Ecumenical Imperatives.
These discussions provided an unusual opportunity for people to come together and share their faith perspectives. Groups were very animated and judging from the laughter and earnest voices emanating from the discussion clusters it was very much enjoyed – so much so that people demonstrated a reluctance to break up their dialogue and return to the larger assembly. In the reporting session the following themes were articulated by the discussion leaders: A need and desire to work on projects together; there is more held in common than divides us; desire to break down unnecessary barriers; a receptivity to learn and a need to get beyond ourselves.
In a candle ceremony closing the evening, the participants affirmed the following five ecumenical imperatives:
To begin from a perspective of unity
To be transformed by encounter
To seek visible unity
To rediscover the power of the Gospel
To witness together
As was indicated above, this session was the last in this series. It is fitting therefore to now express gratitude and appreciation to the five faith communities who hosted these dialogues; to the participants in the dialogues who took the time to attend and engage; and for the leadership of Bishop Elaine Sauer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, RichardGagnon Archbishop of Winnipeg and to Albert LeGatt Archbishop of St. Boniface.
MANITOBA MULTIFAITH COUNCIL – ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
TUESDAY, MAY 16, 2017
SAINT JOHN XXIII ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
After conducting the formal business of the Annual General Meeting there was a presentation by Belle Jarniewski, President of the Manitoba Multifaith Council, introduced Anita Neville of Shaarey Zedek Congregation, who opened the discussion of Operation Ezra.
Operation Ezra is a comprehensive Yazidi refugee relief project whose current goal is to sponsor and welcome, house and support ten (10) Yazidi families . It began as an initiative of the Jewish community currently headquartered at the Jewish Child and Family Services. However, Operation Ezra has evolved into a mutifaith endeavor and is now supported by a wide range of partners – faith communities, business, medical and educational. – as well as a cadre of 50 volunteers coming from all parts of the Winnipeg community.
One of the oldest religious and ethnic minorities in the world the Yazidis have faced religious persecution for over 700 years. The Yazidis are seeking to bring their families out of segregated refugee camps that are often life threatening to them and their children. They are hungry for a normal and safe life here in Canada free from persecution.
Three members of the Yazidi community addressed the meeting as did representatives of the volunteers, Jewish Child and Family Services, the Salvation Army and Grant Park School. In their remarks the community representatives made the following critical points:
- That they have come to understand that working with the Yazidis is an investment not a cost – a strengthening gift not a deficit;
- The Salvation Army representative reflected on the fact that it is amazing what can be done when faith communities come together and work collaboratively – a good example of “side by side” faith dialogue;
- The Vice Principal of Grant Park High School reflected on his experience as a newcomer to Canada and now, a short time later, is in a place to help others.
The Manitoba Multifaith Council has declared that the Yazidis are being persecuted and killed on the basis of faith alone. Operation Ezra is a community response to this tragic situation.
Multifaith AGM (left to right): Mohammad Rezai, Vice Principal Grant Park High School; Belle Jarniewski, President Manitoba Multifaith Council and two gentlemen from the Yazidis community.