A Three-Legged Stool: The Salish Sea Bioregional Gathering

In October, I participated in the Salish Sea Bioregional Gathering in Vancouver, which was co-sponsored by the Interspiritual Centre of Vancouver Society, a Cooperation Circle member of the United Religions Initiative. Representatives from 17 different URI Cooperation Circles and Affiliates attended this gathering, which was monumental for URI as the first gathering for URI members that has taken place in Canada. We took this little video to share our greetings and love with the global URI community!

Below I have shared my personal reflections from participating in the transformative weekend — I hope you’ll continue reading!

Sari Heidenreich
North American Regional Coordinator

Attending the Salish Sea Bioregional Gathering felt like sitting on a well-balanced three-legged stool of learning, relationship-building, and contemplative practice. And that combination was unique and special in a way that I have never before experienced.

Continue reading “A Three-Legged Stool: The Salish Sea Bioregional Gathering”

Vital Elements Community Welfare Services celebrated International Day of Peace by coming together in community

Vital Elements Community Welfare Services in Toronto, Canada, celebrated International Day of Peace on Sept. 23.

Peace loving people must become agents of peace.

This was the focus of the celebration on International Day of Peace by Vital Elements Community Welfare Services in Toronto, Canada on Sept. 23.

The celebration started with releasing three “peace doves,” one by a child, one by a woman and the final by a man in representation of the three important links of a family.

President of “A Better Community For All Canada” Yuel Bhatti introduced the theme of the day “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for all.” The theme for International Day of Peace is established by the United Nations every year.

“There is great need to spread the message of (United Religions Initiative) in multicultural regions of Canada to create more peace and harmony,” Bhatti said. He thanked the participants of Canadian, Indian and Pakistani cultures who were there to participate in International Day of Peace.

Together, attendees sang songs of peace, worshiped and lit a peace candle.

“Peace can be found within and without: within ourselves, within our neighborhoods and communities, but most importantly, without discrimination, hate and disrespect,” said Sylvia Ghori, CEO of Vital Elements Community Welfare Services.

President of Vital Elements Jasper Ghori said during his speech that for peace to really happen, people need to seek the “source of peace,” rather than looking to into the source of a conflict.

Tony Zekveld of Hope Centre in Toronto said that sustainable peace will come when we accept “the Kingship of our Creator God.”

Other speakers included Nadia Atif, women Coordinator of “A Better Community For All Canada,” who recited poetry and Jay Banerjei.

“Moving into All-Inclusiveness:” The Spiritual Heritage Education Network’s 7th Annual 2-Day Conference


The Spiritual Heritage Education Network, a URI North America Affiliate based out of Ontario, is getting ready to host their 7th annual 2-day SHeN* conference. This year’s conference theme is “Bringing Oneness to All” and highlights elements from certain practices that promote oneness, inclusion and the spirit of oneness.

Over the course of two days, panelists from a variety of faith traditions will draw from their experiences, expertise and practices to share tips for fully embodying the spirit of inclusion.

Click on the image below for an in-depth look at the agenda.


shen conference

Canadian Cooperation Circle Organizes Conference on “Navigating Peace Through Faith.”

Peace Making and Peace Building Through Faith

By Acharya S.P.Dwivedi

Peace Making and Peace Building Through Faith

The United Nation’s General Assembly has made several  important resolutions against discrimination based on race, gender, color and ethnic orientation; injustice, violence and terrorism to  create and peaceful environment on earth. The October, 2010 resolution set a new trend in promoting interfaith peace building by declaring the first week of the year to be celebrated as a World Interfaith Harmony Week. This provides a platform to all interfaith  and faith organizations, institutions and groups   to enhance  dialogue, cooperation and interaction among themselves towards creating  respect, understanding, love and harmony to each other faiths; and  even people of without faith. Since then during the first week of February all around the world conferences, prayers,  peace- walk, art-musical fair and celebrations are organized to develop harmony and sustainable world peace.

The Global Clergy Association of Canada (GCAOC), a URI Cooperation Circle, provided the leadership in Metro Vancouver  in organizing the interfaith conferences since 2011. This year the conference was jointly arranged by GCAOC (GCAOC) and North Wood United Church  of Surrey on February 6, Multifaith Action Society also supported the event. The theme of the conference was-“Navigating Peace Through Faith.” Representatives  of ten faiths  presented their faith perspective on the theme.

Rev. William Thomas Sparks  being the host offered the opening prayer  and Dr. J. Das, president of GCAOC welcomed the guests. Acharya S.P.Dwivedi acted as MC and moderator of the conference. He invited  the  faith panelist alphabetically. Liv Anita Dahl  (Baha’i) emphasized on friendship, respect and exploring each other faith;  Lama Tse Wang ( Buddhism) said that  traditions are different but goal is the same and that we should share experiences of faith; Rev. Scott Reynold (Christianity) focused on love for neighbor and teaching and healing; G.S.Singhai (Jainism) thought that non-violence is the only way to attain peace , and harmony; Rabbi David Mivasair (Judaism) felt that we should try to learn from others stories and experiences; Acharya Dwivedi (Hindu Bodhidharma)  advocated for equality, oneness of all and practice of spirituality  in establishing peace.

Dr. J. Das said , “We should ignore external labels and strengthen our inner consciousness to promote peace while Rev. Susan Kerr (Scientology) suggested, “Tolerance and respect  needed for open faith dialogue.” Sukh Johal (Sikh faith) told, “Peaceful  interfaith cooperation is only possible  through  respect, openness and love for others” and Firdosh Mehta ( Zoroastrian) found that peace can be attained through- Right action, and meditation.

Rev. Sparks was honored with  an Indian tradition – Pitaambar(Shawl) by  Dr. Das and Acharya Dwivedi.

Rev. Will T. Sparks offered the closing peace prayer in which everyone joined him. The guests were entertained, at the end, with refreshment.

Scarboro Mission Releases Interfaith Curriculum Resources

Scarboro Mission Releases Interfaith Curriculum Resources

Scarboro Mission Releases Interfaith Curriculum Resources

Scarboro Mission, a URI North America Affiliate, has just re-designed their interfaith curriculum resources section to make it more user-friendly.

“While it is easy to get interfaith information, it is much more challenging to find good interfaith curriculum,” said Paul McKenna from Scarboro Missions’ Interfaith Department. “My sense is that good curriculum is the missing piece in the interfaith movement.”

The new design is very user-friendly. You can explore this rich collection in nine theme areas: schools & youth groups, peace–building, ecology & social justice, prayer & meditation, colleges & universities, interfaith toolkits, young adults, Golden Rule and bi-lateral dialogues.

There is also an extra added bonus: most of these resources can be downloaded free of charge. These resources include online courses, best practices, do-it-yourself workshops, activities, multifaith prayer services, starter kits, guidelines, games, meditations, slideshows.

Featuring resources from around the world, this compilation is one of the most comprehensive collections of interfaith curricula on the Internet. Click here to start exploring the resource library:https://www.scarboromissions.ca/Interfaith_dialogue/student_resources.php