Community Conversations: Living Well Dying Well

Sundays, 2 – 4:30 p.m., monthly sessions January to May 2018

Doors Open 1:30 p.m. (street parking)

1600 Cook St., corner of Cook & Mason

Free Registration online: Eventbrite: Community Conversations

The world’s faith traditions offer a veritable mountain of wisdom on this theme, their teachings enshrining eternal truths and reinforcing each other’s strengths and unique insights into the spiritual nature of living well and dying with dignity.

The Victoria Multifaith Society launched the Living Well Dying Well project at its 2017 Annual General Meeting and will hold 5 monthly sessions between January and May 2018. The idea arose in collaboration with Kim Holl of the Centre for Earth and Spirit.

“In many communities and families, aging, death and dying are often topics we avoid.  In the absence of these meaningful conversations, there is a good chance that we will face end of life issues in crisis, with fear, anxiety and isolation.  What if we could talk openly about aging, death and dying as part of living vibrantly?”

FORMAT

Kim Holl will act as project leader and facilitator for the sessions, which will feature keynote speakers for each theme and small table “community conversations”, followed by refreshments and time to socialize.

1:30 p.m.      Doors open

2 p.m.           Welcome, Sacred Opening

2:20 p.m.      Keynote by guest speaker

2:30 p.m.      Small table conversations

3:45 p.m.      Sharing highlights

4:00 p.m.      Sacred Closing, Social, refreshments

SCHEDULE

21 Jan.         Entering the Forbidden Conversation  

Normalizing the conversation around aging, death and dying

18 Feb.         Aging in our Culture – Role of the Elder

Wisdom from our culture & beliefs that offer a gift for navigating aging, death & dying

25 Mar.         Transforming Grief

 Exploring creative ways to transform grief, honour emerging wisdom, and affirm life

22 Apr.          Life Beyond Life

What do we believe?  What is our experience?

27 May         Legacy—Living Well Giving Well

What is our Legacy? How do we move towards it?

FACILITATOR KIM HOLL

As a storyteller, social entrepreneur and compassionate communicator, Kim spent a decade and a half in the USA working with a diverse group of non-profits leading social change initiatives. She has worked with urban, rural, inner-city and First Nations communities, facilitating innovative, arts- and adventure-based programs that focus on bullying prevention and anti-violence, restorative practices, community engagement, and using philanthropy to inspire social change.

SPECIAL THANKS

The VMS board would like to thank the planning team: Kim Holl, Rev. Terri Woolgar, Cathy Nilson and Sheila Flood. We would also like to thank the Open Door Sanctuary Spiritualist community for offering their beautiful and very comfortable space on Cook St. to host the series.

Facebook Event Page

Lunch & Learn – New Series

Lunch & Learn: 5 weekly sessions

Multifaith Perspectives on Modern Issues

Noon – 1 p.m., Thursdays, 18 Jan – 15 Feb. 2018, Doors open 11:40 a.m.

Chapter Room, Christ Church Cathedral, Burdett entrance

The new series titled, “Lunch & Learn:  Multifaith Perspectives on Modern Issues” is scheduled to be offered over lunch times on the five Thursdays between 18 January and 15 February, inclusive.  This is a follow-up to a successful series held in the Fall and Winter of 2016 / 2017 (An Introduction to Religions of the World).  Participants are invited to bring lunch if they wish. Tea, coffee and juice will be provided, thanks to the generous support of Christ Church Cathedral. Last year several attended as part of their workday lunch time.

Each week a panel of three or four leaders of diverse world faiths will respond to a predetermined, current topic or theme that has contemporary relevance.

The intent of this series is to move beyond introductions to religions and look at how faith communities hold beliefs informed by the scriptural authority of their faith.  This process maybe described as “Scriptural Reasoning” or “Scriptural Reflection” – reflecting together on sacred texts.

SCHEDULE:

  • January 18 Reconciliation / Forgiveness
  • January 25 Environmental Stewardship
  • February 01 Caring for the Vulnerable
  • February 08 The Education of Children
  • February 15 The Afterlife

PROJECT COORDINATOR: Malcolm Read Ph.D., Member of Warden Team, Christ Church Cathedral

This series is a collaborative effort of Christ Church Cathedral and the Victoria Multifaith Society.

 

UN World Interfaith Harmony Week 2018

Creating our Future: Visioning a Sustainable, Compassionate World

1:00 p.m. Sunday, 4 February, 2018

David Lam Auditorium, MacLaurin Building, University of Victoria

How can the sacred wisdom of the diverse peoples of the world assist us in building a sane, peaceful, compassionate world civilization?

To be held in honour of UN World Interfaith Harmony Week and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Creating the Future is co-sponsored by UVic Multifaith Services and VMS. It will feature a diverse panel drawn from the world’s great spiritual traditions, storytelling, song, displays and refreshments.

Seventy years ago, the UN General Assembly, echoing the strongest values of our spiritual traditions, proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This ground-breaking document speaks of “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

For all our amazing material progress, since the time of the Declaration in 1948, we’ve slid towards insularity, polarizing ideologies, and ecological crisis. Our increasing inter-connectedness has forced the issue of ethics. As noted by human rights lawyer Payam Akhavan in the most recent series of CBC Massey Lectures, “our survival depends on acceptance of a transcendent ethos of human dignity for all.”

Panelists from 8 spiritual traditions will give succinct 7-minute presentations on the question: “What teachings from your tradition can help to guide our vision of a sustainable and compassionate world?”,  followed by a 20-minute Q & A period. Interspersed throughout the program will be storytelling, song, and displays, with an opportunity for mingling and refreshments at the end. All are welcome.

WIHW 4 Feb 2018 Poster

Online memberships and donations

VMS now has the ability to accept membership fees and donations online, by clicking on the “Donate” button. Contributors can pay either through PayPal or credit card. Please complete the “Donate” form for both memberships and donations. When complete, you’ll be redirected back to this website.



The Victoria Multifaith Society is a registered charity, run completely on a volunteer basis. Our main sources of funds are membership fees and donations. Membership fees are $10 per year for individuals and $50 per year for organizations and congregations.  

We are also appreciative of all donations, which allow us to continue to provide our many events and programs. Receipts are available for donations of $20 or over, memberships excluded.

Thank you for your support!

Board Re-election

The VMS board was re-elected at the recent 26 November AGM, with 2 new members. Parminderjeet Virk rejoined the board in the Sikh seat after an absence taken to pursue her studies, and Henri Lock of the United Church replaced Malcolm Read, who stepped down as the Christian board member. The board is very grateful to Malcolm for his exemplary service over the past year, as he launched and hosted the very successful Multifaith Lunch & Learn series at Christ Church Cathedral. We’re very happy to report that Malcolm will again host the noontime series at Christ Church Cathedral, in a slightly different format, from Jan. 18 – Feb. 15, 2018.

Henri Lock, a chaplain for over 20 years with the University of Victoria’s Multifaith Services, is warmly welcomed as our new Christian board member. Henri’s experience is especially appreciated, with VMS seeking to involve and serve greater numbers of youth.

The AGM also served as the project launch of our upcoming monthly Living Well Dying Well program, (Jan – May 2018). Many thanks to expert facilitator Kim Holl, of the Centre for Earth & Spirit!

L-R Sridevi Ganti, Janine Theobald, Christine Johnston,Shoshana Litman, Ali Hemani, Sheila Flood. Parminderjeet Virk. Missing is the new VMS Christian board member Henri Lock of the United Church.

 

VMS Membership Renewal

VMS membership can be renewed at any time, at $10 per year for an individual member, or $50 per year for an organization or faith group. VMS is a completely volunteer group with charitable status; membership provides the majority of its funds. Tax receipts are available.

Our Annual General Meeting on Sunday, 26 November, will provide an opportunity to renew or begin membership. AGM details are below.

Our email distribution list can also be joined by emailing victoriamultifaith@gmail.com; you can unsubscribe any time at the same address.

Don’t forget to add yourself as a member of the Facebook page, even if you’re on the email list. Quick updates and notifications are sent that way more often than any other.

AGM 26 November 2017

“Living Well Dying Well”

The world’s faith traditions offer a veritable mountain of wisdom on this theme, their teachings enshrining eternal truths and reinforcing each other’s strengths and unique insights into the spiritual nature of living well and dying with dignity. VMS has chosen this as the theme for its 2017 Annual General Meeting in order to launch a program based on this theme early in the new year.

The AGM will be held from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m., Sunday, 26 November, at the Ismaili Jamatkhana, 1250 Esquimalt Rd., Victoria.

The theme came out of a greatly appreciated project of the same name by the Centre for Earth and Spirit: “In many communities and families, aging, death and dying are often topics we avoid.  In the absence of these meaningful conversations, there is a good chance that we will face end of life issues in crisis, with fear, anxiety and isolation.  What if we could talk openly about aging, death and dying as part of living vibrantly?”

Project leader Kim Holl, co-chair of the Centre for Earth & Spirit, will give the keynote address at 3 p.m. following the administrative portion of the AGM and a refreshment break. Small facilitated table discussions will explore the topic. The project will continue with monthly “community conversations” on various aspects of this theme, between January and May.

SPEAKER KIM HOLL

As a storyteller, social entrepreneur and compassionate communicator, Kim spent a decade and a half in the USA working with a diverse group of non-profits leading social change initiatives. She has worked with urban, rural, inner-city and First Nations communities, facilitating innovative, arts- and adventure-based programs that focus on bullying prevention and anti-violence, restorative practices, community engagement, and using philanthropy to inspire social change.

Destination: Bahá’í Faith

VMS Travel the World’s Religions Series:

Bahá’í Community invites all to attend “The Gathering”

Experience the Bahá’í Faith through a musical drama called The Gathering, commissioned by the Bahá’í Community of Victoria to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet-founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

This is a rare opportunity, since Bahá’í communities the world over will be celebrating this event on the weekend of October 21 – 22, 2017, and our Travel the World’s Religions series happens to coincide with this celebration.

When: Choice of Friday, Oct. 20th or Saturday, Oct. 21st The performance starts at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Glenlyon Norfolk School Theatre, 801 Bank St.

What: Travel the World’s Religions: BAHÁ’Í FAITH – “The Gathering”, a contemporary blend of story, music and dance, inspired by Bahá’í teachings

​Free tickets are general admission and can be obtained by contacting thegathering200@gmail.com Please mention VMS when registering.

Deloria Bighorn performs in the upcoming premiere of The Gathering

 

 

Capacity Crowd at Hindu Temple

The “One Spirit” devotional and supper held at the Hindu temple on 16 Sept. 2017 was a truly joyful event! The hall was filled to capacity with a community of communities of all ages, faiths, and cultural backgrounds. Devotions were offered from many beautiful traditions, in song, chant, poetry and prayer, with drums and guitars, with the audience often singing along or clapping with the music. The wonderful Indian meal offered by the Hindu community afterwards was delicious and plentiful. VMS gratefully thanks all the multi-faith presenters and the many volunteers (cooks, sponsors and dish washers) at the Hindu Parishad & Cultural Centre – as well as the wonderful multi-faith audience who demonstrated such unity of spirit and diversity of praise!

Destination: Hindu Temple

You’re invited to join us on Saturday, 16 September 2017, at 6:30 p.m. All welcome! The VMS Travel the World’s Religions series will feature the One Spirit Hindu Devotional Evening, at the Victoria Hindu Parishad And Cultural Center, 1934 Cultra Avenue. The devotional nature and inclusiveness of One Spirit has made it one of the most inspiring and uplifting events of the year. As with last year’s program, various faiths will participate in offering devotions from their own traditions.

Poster TWR-3 Hindu visit