Destination: Buddhism

The 2nd in our Travel the World’s Religion Series will be a visit to a Buddhist Centre here in Victoria: Poster TWR-2

“Meditation with a Whiff of Zen”
2033 Belmont St., Victoria
This event has occurred.

Wayne Codling, a former Zen monastic and a lineage holder in the Soto Zen tradition, will provide a short talk and opportunity for Discussion and Q&A. There will be short seated and walking meditation followed by tea, light refreshments and socializing/sharing time.

Travel the World’s Religions

Following the successful weekly Lunch & Learn series — thanks to a great collaboration with Christ Church Cathedral — a session was held for input on people’s interests – “Where should we go from here?” A lot of creative ideas and thoughts were expressed, many coalescing along certain lines, which was a great help in planning the year. As a result we’re launching a few new programs, one of which is “Travel the World’s Religions”.

Travel the World’s Religions

All welcome!

This new educational series visits the world’s great religions in all their diversity and their unity, right here in Victoria!  The goal: to create opportunities for people to familiarize themselves with each faith, mingle with people of other religions and feel comfortable and welcome within each space. VMS plans to create passports that can be stamped at each visit.

First stop:

Chabad Centre for Jewish Life and Learning

2955 Glasgow St., Victoria

Thursday, June 8th

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Visit the Chabad Centre for Jewish Life and Learning for an inside view of the beautiful new synagogue, the first to be built in Victoria in 153 years. Learn the basics about Judaism from Rabbi Meir Kaplan, followed by light refreshments.

Parking is available at the synagogue or at Topaz Park across the street. Or walk from the #6 bus which runs every 10 minutes on nearby Quadra Street. Men can wear the head covering (kippah) provided or their own hat in the synagogue’s sanctuary. Chabad looks forward to welcoming VMS and members of the public who would like to attend.

Poster TWR

180 Attend Event 5 Feb.

The VMS board sends heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to this wonderful event, in honour of UN World Interfaith Harmony Week! Healing the World: Appreciating Diversity, Creating Community was a huge success, with 180 attending (in the rain, on Superbowl Sunday…) The panel and presenters were inspired, insightful and articulate, and the response of the audience was lively and enthusiastic.

Kudos to our MC, coordinators, to Gettin’ Higher Choir, all who manned the colourful and well stocked displays and refreshment tables, and to those who acted as ushers and security.

The spirit of the event was amazing! From the message from the Muslim community presented by Ali Hemani, to the beautiful story by Shoshana Litman, wisdom of the panelists, the poignant questions of the audience, the songs of oneness and unity by Siobhan Robinsong and the choir and the closing song of Shana Lynngood, the event had an enchantment all its own.

Special thanks to MC Elaine McCreary and also to Jim Flood for the video below and Linda Coyne for the photos.

VMS Board at WIHW 5 Feb


Video link, Healing the World, WIHW, 5 Feb. 2017 View all or any segment individually.

Link to photos, Healing the World, 5 Feb. 2017 Panelists, displays, etc.


Panelists, Sun. 5 Feb. 2017

We have a wonderfully diverse group of intelligent and articulate panelists for this Sunday’s event. Each will speak for a few minutes and all will be present for the Q&A at the end of the program (see schedule below).


Healing the World, 5 Feb. 2017

PROGRAMME, in honour of UN World Interfaith Harmony Week

David Lam auditorium, Maclaurin Building, UVic (Free parking Lot E) Healing the World 2017 flyer (1)

(See below for details)

1:00 p.m.         Displays; refreshments

1:30 p.m.         Welcome by MC, Dr. Elaine McCreary, MFS

Storyteller Shoshana Litman, VMS

“What tools & teachings in your tradition are needed for humanity to heal & flourish?”

1:45 p.m.        Panel #1:

  • Aboriginal Spirituality  Alex Nelson
  • Buddhism                   Soshin McMurchy
  • Bahá’í                         Gita Badiyan
  • Unitarian                    Shana Lynngood

2:30 p.m.         Getting’ Higher Choir

2:40 p.m.         Panel #2:

  • Islam                        Dr Farouk Mitha
  • Judaism                   Sharon Kobrinsky
  • Christianity               Michelle Slater
  • Hinduism                  Sridevi Ganti

3:30 p.m.         Questions & Answers with all Panelists

3:50 p.m.         Closing, Shana Lynngood

Facebook Event page with poster

Lunch & Learn Part II

Every Thursday between 19 Jan – 16 Feb, presenters will give an overview of their faiths and answer questions, in the Chapter Room of Christ Church Cathedral (rear of ground floor). Bring a bagged lunch; coffee and tea provided. The Chapter Room is easily accessed from the car park on Burdett Ave., between Quadra and Vancouver streets.

Overview elements:
• The essence of my faith
• A VERY BRIEF history
• Core beliefs / key concepts
• Principal practices / customs
• Holy books / texts

Healing the World event, 5 Feb. 2017

In honour of the United Nations’ World Interfaith Harmony Week, the event “Healing the World: Appreciating Diversity, Creating Community” will be held

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Sunday, 5 February, 2017                 vms_logo-2016-logo-only

David Lam Auditorium, MacLaurin Building A144, UVic

Recognizing the many enormous challenges that the world currently faces, our greatest need may be for wisdom, sanity and social discourse. A panel of local leaders from 8 world faiths will discuss the tools & spiritual teachings that are most needed for humanity to heal and flourish.

The program will run from 1:30 – 4:00 p.m. including short artistic performances, and will open with displays and refreshments at 1:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Victoria Multifaith Society and UVic’s Multi-faith Services




Annual General Meeting

Our AGM was held 2 – 4 p.m., Sunday, November 6, 2016, in a relaxed and joyful atmosphere, at the beautiful Ismaili Jamatkhana situated at 1250 Esquimalt Rd.

Fifteen people attended, including 12 VMS members and 3 from the general public. Board chair Ali Hemani officiated. Board members for the upcoming year are: Ali Hemani (Muslim); Sheila Flood (Bahá’í); Christine Johnson (Unitarian); Sridevi Ganti (Hindu); Janine Theobald (Buddhist); Malcolm Read (Christian); Shoshana Litman (Jewish). The VMS board is currently seeking to fill the seats for the Sikh religion and First Nations Spirituality.

The annual report was given in the form of a colourful Powerpoint Presentation facilitated by Ali Hemani. Another highlight of the meeting was a stakeholder engagement exercise facilitated by Janine Theobald, including ice-breaker, introductions, discussion on what the term “multifaith” means to us, and what we’d like to see happening in the coming year.

The afternoon ended with time to socialize, with refreshments generously provided by the Ismaili Muslim community.


Lunch & Learn, Noon – 1 p.m.


On successive Thursdays at Noon in the Chapter Room of Christ Church Cathedral (rear of ground floor), presenters will give an overview of their faiths and answer questions. Bring a bagged lunch; coffee and tea provided. The Chapter Room is easily accessed from the car park on Burdett Ave., between Quadra and Vancouver streets. The series will be continued with other faiths in the new year.

Sept. 29    Intro to World Religions: Dr Michael Hadley

Oct. 6        Islam: Imam Ismail Mohamed Nur

Oct. 13      Christianity: Rev. Ansley Tucker

Oct. 20      Unitarian: Rev. Shana Lynngood

Oct. 27      Bahá’í Faith: Garry Antinuk

• Participant arrival at Noon
• Introduction of the speaker at 12:10
• Speaker from 12:15 – 12:40
• Questions / comments 12:40 – 12:50
• Session closed at 1:00 pm.

Overview elements:

• The essence of my faith
• A VERY BRIEF history
• Core beliefs / key concepts
• Principal practices / customs
• Holy books / texts
• Recommended reading