Friday, April 16, 2010

Religion: How it Affects and is Affected by the Economy

On the evening of March 31, four people from IofC’s were in Cochrane, Alberta, a town near Calgary, for the 4th Annual World Religions Conference organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The theme was Religion: How it Affects & is Affected by the Economy. Speaking on behalf of Aboriginal Spirituality was Tina Fox from the Stoney Nakoda Nation at Morley; and speaking on behalf of Christianity was Dr. Warren Harbeck from Cochrane. (Some of you may get his weekly newspaper column Coffee with Warren). There were also speakers for Judaism, and Islam.

Tina started the talks, and focussed on how aboriginal beliefs were not first of all about the individual, but about the community, which must include respect for Mother Earth. Each of the other speakers reinforced Tina’s remarks during their presentations with readings and practices from their own faiths, focusing especially on the equitable distribution of wealth and concern for the stranger within one’s gate.

During the question & answer portion, someone asked if religions were able to work together, and Warren took the opportunity to draw to peoples’ attention the fact that there were four members of IofC in attendance and that IofC was a classic example of how persons of different beliefs could work together to create community. So there’s a challenge!!!

We were pleased that, after the meeting we were approached by three people with whom we had worked in the past, but had lost touch. They are interested in being in touch again. Keith Newman, Regional Coordinator, southern Alberta