News Story

Building Sacred Bridges: An Interfaith Musical Experience

“Building Sacred Bridges: An Interfaith Musical Experience” marked the end of another successful celebration of UN World Interfaith Harmony Week in Calgary, Alberta. Two concerts, held at the Knox United Church and the Beth Tzedec Congregation, supported the Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta initiative to build affordable homes for local families in need.

Featuring choirs and performers from faith communities throughout Calgary, the concerts included the All God’s Children Choir, consisting of children from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Beth Tzedec Congregation.

Other performers included United in Song, Lutheran Church of Our Saviour Praise Singers, Dr. Harjot Singh, St. Bonaventure Choir, Adorare Choral Ensemble, UUphonia, Chor Vida, Zamram and Harmony Through Harmony.

“Music has a way of reaching the soul that helps us feel closer to God,” remarked Mormon Area Seventy Elder G. Lawrence Spackman, who also serves as a member of the Calgary Interfaith Council. “In many faiths, music is a way of praying. Through music, we heard many beautiful prayers from various faith traditions that helped us appreciate each other. A highlight for me was to hear the combined choir of Jewish and Mormon children, especially when the multi-faith congregation was invited to join in and sing ‘I Am a Child of God.’ It was a wonderful evening with the added benefit that it was raising funds for a worthy cause, providing homes for needy families.”

Throughout the 2018 World Interfaith Harmony Week, Calgarians were invited to participate in events that included interfaith meals, an AJC Islamic School of Calgary prayer service, Habitat for Humanity interfaith “builds,” a KAIROS Indigenous blanket exercise and a Calgary Food Bank service project as well as multi-faith dialogues at Mount Royal University and St. John the Evangelist’s Catholic Church. Thirteen faith communities welcomed the public to open houses at places of worship throughout the city.

Rabbi Shaul Osadchey of the Beth Tzedec Congregation said: “The 2018 UN World Interfaith Harmony Week sponsored by the Calgary Interfaith Council has become the premiere interfaith event in Calgary and an example of how diverse religious traditions can promote respect, understanding and harmony to enhance the common good.”

Rabbi Osadchey further commented: “Through prayer, dialogue and social justice programs, World Interfaith Harmony Week demonstrates how interfaith collaboration can dispel the darkness of intolerance, prejudice and enmity that threatens to overwhelm our world. Rather than being the cause of conflict, interfaith relations can actually foster hope for a future of peace.”

In 2017, the Calgary Interfaith Council was awarded the King Abdullah II of Jordan First Prize for UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. Calgary delegates Rabbi Osadchey, Reverend Debra Faulk and Imam Fayaz Tilly accepted the award in Amman, Jordan, on behalf of the Calgary Interfaith Council.

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