News Story

Mormons Join Interfaith Groups to Support Habitat for Humanity

“Building Sacred Bridges: An Interfaith Musical Experience” welcomed audiences to Knox United Church and the Beth Tzedec Congregation in Calgary, Alberta for two concerts marking the end of World Interfaith Harmony Week in the city. The concerts, held on February 11–12, 2017, featured choral and instrumental performances by various interfaith music ensembles, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Calgary Institute of Religion Choir. The event supported the Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta initiative to build homes for local families in need of affordable housing.

Performers included:

  • Corpus Christi Male Chorale
  • Interfaith String Trio
  • Kol Sasson
  • Lutheran Church of Our Saviour Praise Singers
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Calgary Institute of Religion Choir
  • The YYC Campus Ministry Drum Troupe
  • United in Song
  •  Zimran

The evenings of traditional and contemporary sacred music culminated in a finale that brought together all performers in a mass choir.

Karen Baker, one of two conductors of the Latter-day Saint Institute Choir, said, “Our event coincided with UN [Interfaith] Harmony Week, and the bonds of friendship that were formed through this wonderful event are unparalleled. We worked side by side and communicated heart to heart. What a thrill it was to lead a group of about 150 people from seven different faiths in singing Oscar Peterson’s ‘Hymn to Freedom.’ We truly did build ‘sacred bridges’.”

Rabbi Shaul Osadchey, who welcomed the Sunday evening audience to Beth Tzedec Congregation, said, “We’ve been creating really warm and positive relationships, and in this day and age when there’s so much conflict, prejudice and things that divide us, this is truly an important time for us to be together and to collaborate towards something that’s very important — providing homes for people who are in need of them.”

One of the event organizers and Mormon volunteer with the Interfaith Clergy Leadership team, Dalton Harding, said, “It’s an immense privilege to rub shoulders with our brothers and sisters of other faiths.” Members of the Mormon faith welcome and seek out opportunities to work with other religious groups and organizations in an effort to provide service to those in need, regardless of faith.

“For me, the most enjoyable and significant outcome of this interfaith musical event is the feeling of unity and support among faith groups,” said Harding. “It’s a testament that there is such good in the world and a desire to have good feelings and work toward common good.”

The event was endorsed by Calgary Council of Christians and Jews, Calgary Interfaith­­­­­ Council, Calgary Jewish-Muslim Council and Faith in Canada 150.

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