From Fear to Hope

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Geraldine Guilfoyle presents Fr. Mark Bautista with the 2018 Multifaith Calendar

The 2017 Unity in Diversity Dinner took place Friday October 27th at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. This was the first time that St. Joseph’s had hosted the event. A wonderful turnout and welcome from their congregation provided the opportunity to meet and forge new friendships. The food, as always was a sharing event with a variety of dishes being served by the Sikh Temple, St. Joseph’s, Baha’i Community and bannock made by Squamish Nation elder, Donna Billy.

This year instead of having a speaker, we showed a Ted talk about an initiative in Kenya to overcome the fear of terrorism through multifaith solidarity that culminated in painting houses of worship yellow. Following the viewing, each table was asked to discuss a series of questions around fear and ways of overcoming fear of the unknown and those they knew little about.

Recurring themes in what created fear included; fear of exclusion, being misunderstood, prejudice and lack of understanding of the other’s worldview. Ways of overcoming fear and creating environments of understanding included; creating spaces for people to come together and learn about each other such as the Multifaith dinner. More collaborative events and more education can create the desire to know one another and to understand and accept each other as humans. Choosing hope over fear was seen as a commitment to the the process.

The 2018 Multifaith calendar was on sale at the event and Fr. Mark was gifted one as a thank you for offering St. Joseph’s as a host for this year’s dinner.

 

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