Interfaith Liaisons are laypersons or clergy who represent their spiritual community or faith group at monthly liaison meetings. Membership is open to all spiritual communities and congregations in the area.
Members gather to share, support and learn from one another. Time is allocated for announcements, sharing on a spiritual teaching or practice, discussion, and informal socializing. Member communities rotate hosting, facilitating and providing refreshments.
Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month, from 10:30 a.m. to Noon.
The Interfaith Liaison Network (ILN – history below) decided in 2017 to ally itself with the Victoria Multifaith Society, to benefit both organizations. ILN is able to act in an advisory capacity to VMS and also as a conduit for communications both to and from the many faith communities it represents. The Victoria Multifaith Society Board is very grateful for this support.
ILN and VMS have complementary functions. The Interfaith Liaison Network has a more informal structure and provides an invaluable resource to VMS since its liaisons come from an unlimited number of local faith communities. ILN provides outreach to, and input from, those communities as well as providing fresh ideas and human resources. The VMS board is restricted by its by-laws to nine members, with one seat per major faith group: Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Bahá’í Faith, Unitarian and First Nations Spirituality. Its mandate is largely educational and program or event oriented.
If this sounds like something you’d like to be part of, or you know someone who would, we would love to hear from you and hopefully see a new face at our next gathering! Email us c/o VMS, at email@example.com and we’ll let you know the next meeting location.
Spiritual communities are invited to provide an Interfaith Liaison (and possibly a back-up person if desired), who:
- Is an active participant in his/her faith community
- Can access communication channels within his/her faith community
- Is interested in interfaith matters and
- Is available to attend ILN meetings
ILN developed out of a series of conversations in 2015 and early 2016 between Beth Gibson, co-chair of the Downtown Churches Association, and Rabbi Harry Brechner of Congregation Emmanu-El. These conversations revealed the desire for diverse spiritual communities to share, consult, develop authentic relationships and serve together.
The original group was given the provisory name of Interfaith Leaders Group. The first meeting was held at the Congregation Emmanu-El synagogue on 24 Feb. 2016 with 15 representatives of 12 different faith groups. It was agreed that there was a need for collegial support and informal networking, to learn about events, reduce isolation, emphasize commonalities, become known within the community and reduce misconceptions regarding our respective faiths.
At its September 2017 meeting, it was decided that the group would come under the umbrella of the Victoria Multifaith Society, to give greater focus and fit within an existing structure whose vision and mandate were compatible. At the November 2017 meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding was considered. At this time, the name was also changed to the Interfaith Liaison Network, to reflect the fact that members could be either clergy or lay people who are active in their own spiritual communities and interested in interfaith matters.