Monday, April 15, 2013

Interfaith work, when done well, has the power to transform communities. The level of trust that develops in effective interfaith groups provides a safe “container” for asking powerful questions. As that trust radiates out into the community, so does the power of those questions.

I knew very little about the communities of Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Katzie First Nations prior to accepting a position as Interfaith Bridging Facilitator with the Family Education and Support Centre. My journey so far has taught me that this is a place of social and spiritual abundance.

In February  community members gathered to explore the idea of building interfaith bridges on the north side of the Fraser River. The film The Imam and the Pastor was screened as a powerful example that identified “forgiveness” as a transcendent ideal within the community, which then served as a unifying force across lines of religious and identity difference.  

Following the screening the group considered the idea that within every community there is an interfaith story waiting and wanting to be told and were asked, “What is the interfaith story that wants to be told in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Katzie communities? “ The dialogue that followed was rich and heartfelt and various ideas emerged that will guide the development of interfaith programming in the community over the coming year.  

Interfaith work, when done well, has the power to transform communities. The level of trust that develops in effective interfaith groups provides a safe “container” for asking powerful questions. As that trust radiates out into the community, so does the power of those questions.  

As Margaret Wheatley, one of my favourite community-builders once said: “Start wherever you are and start small.”                                                                                                                     

David Dalley, Surrey, BC