Multi-Faith Workshops and Fair-University of Regina
In cooperation with Regina Multi-faith Forum and Luther College, Multi-Faith Saskatchewan sponsored three evenings of interactive discussions/workshops featuring six world religions. Representatives from different faith groups were invited to deliver presentations in a classroom based environment.
There was an average of 30 people per evening and very positive evaluations were received. Multi-Faith Saskatchewan also held a Multi-faith Fair at the University of Regina which was open to the public. More than 100 hundred people were in attendance to view booths from more than ten religions and groups.
Designated Sacred Space Project
This project provides a memorial depicting unifying quotes from scriptures in different faiths. For sustainability, care of the earth pillars are installed depicting faith and cultural messages of interconnectedness and interdependence. The project provides a location where visitors passing through Louis Riel Trail can relax, learn, reflect, pray and meditate in the peaceful and natural environment of the Arm River Valley in Craik, Saskatchewan.
Time and place are needed for quiet reflection.
The idea of a “permanent prayer site off road between Saskatoon and Regina” 1 came from two meetings initiated by Edward Spratt, chair of the Three Rivers Trail Association (T.R.T.A.). Ed Spratt,a local resident of Mid-lakes Region with extensive personal and professional knowledge of the area, helped to develop the criteria that was used in the choice of the sacred site and organized tours of the area for the selection committee to view potential sites. Once the site was chosen, he worked with Multi-Faith Sask, Craik Sustainable Living Project, Craik Eco-Centre and the T.R.T.A to have a public ceremony to announce the choice of the Sacred Site. A granite marker was unveiled by the Saskatchewan Minister of Tourism on November 1st, 2008 to indicate the establishment of the Sacred Site overlooking Arm Lake near the Craik Eco-Centre. See photo
The development of the Sacred Site is a reflection of the depth of Ed’s inner being and awareness of that which ties us to the land, to nature and ultimately the connection to the “spiritual.” Though a trained research scientist with a doctorate in agricultural chemistry, Ed was a man of faith and spirituality. His family farm was his source of inner peace, his connection to the land and his touchstone to the universe. His spirituality came from the land and from the tenets of his faith. He understood the significance of a sacred site for those who had no place for spiritual renewal. Sustainability of the land and spiritual renewal are linked just as the objectives of TRTA and Multi-Faith are linked.
Multi-Faith Saskatchewan sought a place for spiritual renewal; TRTA sought to promote the ‘spirit of the land’ through exploration of trails. As a member of Multi-Faith Sask, Ed knew that Three Rivers Trail Association could assist Multi-Faith Saskatchewan in the selection of a sacred site. Thirty-five people from Multi-Faith Saskatchewan and T.R.T.A. attended the initial meeting held July 29th, 2007 at Arm Lake Birding Site. Subsequent meetings in 2007 and 2008 resulted in site selection, the marker unveiling and the final plan for the Sacred Site near the Craik Eco-Centre.
*The message of sustainability and renewal of resources was clear to Ed.
To be connected to the land, one must have a sense of wholeness. To care for the land, to care for ourselves, to see what is before us, to understand the power and the fragility of the earth and to understand why we must look for ways to sustain it and ourselves, we must feel a part of the whole. If we are not part of the whole, we cannot know how to make the earth sustainable.
In 2009, Ed spent as much time as he could at his family farm to reconnect to the ‘spirit of the land’- his inner source of strength and peace and to be in the company of his family, especially,his children and grandchildren who were a cornerstone of his life.
Edward Duncan Spratt-November 21,1936-January 31,2010.
The time to slow down and just be is often missing in our lives and to seek the place of connection often is just another thing we add to our ‘to do list.’ The Sacred Site has been provided for us if want to slow down and reflect. The time is at our choosing.
1 Spratt, Edward. Three Rivers Trail Association Newsletter #14, October 27,2007.
Multi-Faith Saskatchewan has sent the following letter to the Premier of Saskatchewan suggesting a moment of spiritual reflection to open legislative sessions.
Honorable Brad Wall
Premier, Government of Saskatchewan
2405 Legislative Drive,
Regina, SK, Canada,
Multi-Faith Saskatchewan commends the Government of Saskatchewan for opening its legislative sessions with a spiritual invocation. As the umbrella organization for world religions in Saskatchewan, we believe it is both appropriate and important for meetings of governing bodies such as the Saskatchewan Legislature to open meetings with some form of spiritual reflection.
We believe also that this moment of reflection should be respectful of and a reflection of all faiths as well as those who do not identify with any particular faith or perhaps with no faith.
Whereas it is a common practice to open meetings with a Christian prayer, we respectfully encourage you to consider other more inclusive alternatives for an opening invocation.
Before offering our suggestion for a possible opening reflection at legislative meetings, we propose another important practice that is already in use in some legislative bodies and one that will reflect the principle mentioned earlier and is truly reflective of our history and culture.
We recommend that the Saskatchewan legislature, and all other governing bodies, open meetings with an acknowledgement of the traditional territory of our First Nations peoples who lived and walked on this land that we now call home. For meetings held in Treat Four land, such as Regina and area, the acknowledgement will include the First Nations of this territory.
Multi-Faith Saskatchewan, therefore, is honored to share the language of a possible opening “acknowledgement” at legislative meetings. The statement is as follows:
As we open this meeting of this legislative body, we acknowledge that we are representing the people who elected us to this body. We acknowledge also that we are accountable to a greater power known by many names and reflected by many images. May we have wisdom, courage and patience to do what is good and right for all.
May we act in the spirit of collaboration, humility and kindness and a belief in the equality of all people.
We acknowledge also that we are meeting on lands that our aboriginal peoples once called home. We are all treaty people and we meet on land of the Treaty Four people, including the Cree and the Salteaux Nations and honor their stewardship of the land over generations.
(Close by inviting members to a moment of silent reflection or prayer according to their own traditions).
Multi-Faith Saskatchewan is pleased to offer to you our support, Sir, in any way you think is appropriate to consider the issue of spiritual values and public life or more specifically on the form and content of an opening reflection to open legislative proceedings reflective of the diversity of our province.
We welcome the opportunity, if you feel it is necessary or helpful, to meet with you or your representatives, to discuss how we might support you in a way that will benefit all of the people of this province.
I look forward hearing from you.
The agenda for your AGM can go here
Friends in faith,
As I begin my term as President of Multi-Faith Saskatchewan, I am overwhelmed with a range of hopes, feelings, joys and fears. When I think of the builders of the multi-faith movement in Saskatchewan, I am painfully aware of how inexperienced I am and how much I need to know about the potential for inter-faith to change the world.
As a provincial body, we are just barely scratching the surface of what we can do. At the moment, our focus is on supporting the work of multi-faith in communities across the province. I addition we are engaged in some provincial projects most notably the Saskatchewan Youth Visual Arts Program.
We have developed valuable and informative resources about how various faiths and world religions show their commitment to health and the environment.
There is so much more we can do. Our hearts and minds are bursting with ideas about how faiths can engage with each other, share, dialogue, and collaborate to express our common views on peace, harmony and belief in the Creator.
And so, through this opening message, I invite all Saskatchewan people of all faiths, or of no faith, to join us in this journey to create a stronger society and a better world through inter-faith understanding.
Wherever you are, in communities of any size, I urge you to find out who your neighbours are, what their faith traditions are, and learn from each other. This may lead to forming a multi-faith group of your own or simply to bring multi-faith understanding to your own faith community.
Multi-Faith Saskatchewan is committed to helping communities to make multi-faith a part of the fabric of your everyday lives.
If you want to get involved at the provincial level, please join us. Get in touch with us, become a member, attend our meetings, follow some of our activities described on our website.
I look forward to my limited time as president, to bringing whatever small gifts I have to share. But I know the journey will be easier if we all join together and bring the gifts of your faith communities and of your individual members.
I am so grateful for the confidence the membership has placed in me and I pray for the guidance of the Creator to help me earn your trust.
I wish you peace, shalom, salaam.