North America Cooperation Circles Prepare for World Interfaith Harmony Week

27 January 2016, 5:08 PM
singing

A choir sings during the 2015 World Interfaith Harmony Week Assembly in Syracuse, NY. 

World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW), the first week of February each year, is just around the corner! Cooperation Circles around the world annually make plans to observe this special time by celebrating the UN Resolution, which aims to promote global interfaith harmony.

Please share your World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) events and photos with us. We look forward to featuring them on our website, map and social media. Make sure to also submit a description of your event here for a chance to win a $25,000 prize sponsored by WIWH and King Abdullah II of Jordan. (P.S The King himself will be involved in presenting the prizes!)

It takes people everywhere observing this special week to bring it to life! So, consider sharing your World Interfaith Harmony Week plans with your community and government officials to show how your community is connected to this resolution. Not yet sure how you're going to celebrate? Check out WIHW events from 2015, our International Day of Peace Program Bank the World Interfaith Harmony website for more information and inspiration. 

Below is a list of events organized by Cooperation Circles from the U.S. and Canada. To learn about activities from around the world, click here.


Sacred Spaces PosterBritish Columbia:

United for Humanity and the Spirit of the Earth, a Cooperation Circle based out of Vancouver, is organizing a Sacred Spaces guided bus tour taking place in greater Vancouver area, on Thursday, February 4th, from 9:30am-5:30pm. With the ongoing reception of refugees and immigrants to Greater Vancouver, and in the spirit of bridging the divides, the Sacred Spaces Tour is being offered as an opportunity to dispel myths and misconceptions that give rise to fear, polarised worldviews, hatred, and violent extremism. Open to all. Space is limited. Cost: $50/person (lunch included). Register by calling 604-682-3848 ext.30 or emailing dwj@thecathedral.ca. For more information contact Donna Wong Juliani at dwj@thecathedral.ca or Ellen Vaillancourt at info@ellenvaillancourt.com.

 

New York:

 

  • Two Cooperation Circles in central New York are joining together to celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week. InterFaith Works and Women Transcending Boundaries invite guests to help spread a message of harmony and tolerance by showcasing and celebrating Central New York's many faith traditions. This year's 6th annual World Interfaith Harmony Assembly is centered around the theme “Opening Windows of Understanding” and will be held on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mosque of Jesus, Son of Mary (Masjid Isa Ibn Maryam). This event and reception are free and open to the public. 
  • The University of Rochester Interfaith Chapel is preparing for a series of events to celebrate WIHW. 

On January 31, Muslim and Jewish student groups are sponsoring an outing to an ice skating rink. Students will gather at the Interfaith Chapel for hot chocolate and some icebreaker conversations and then go skating. Students of other religious traditions, including Christian, Hindu, Atheist/Agnostic/Humanist, will be participating too. 

"This is an opportunity to bring Jewish and Muslim students (and any others who wish to come along) together in a non-threatening environment to facilitate [the] formation of friendships and relationships," said college chaplain The Rev. Dr. C. Denise Yarbrough. "These students do not often socialize together and the intent is to offer them a way to 'play together' so that they can form relationships that will later enable deeper conversation on topics of importance between the religious traditions that they represent.

This event is designed to let them get to know each other as human beings and fellow students and hopefully to help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions or fears that they might harbor about the other."

On February 3, the Student Association for Interfaith Cooperation, will host their weekly Interfaith Cafe focused on spiritual practices, such as mindfulness and meditation, as tools to build compassion and harmony in our world. Students who have a regular meditation practice will share about how that practice affects their lives and how their own religious/spiritual tradition uses meditation to help build a world of harmony and peace.

On February 7, the will take a group of students to the Islamic Center of Rochester for midday prayers and a chance to tour the center and speak with their youth group about Islam. "Given the steep rise in Islamophobia, our interfaith student group wants to encourage people to learn more about Islam and Muslims and this trip to the Islamic center is part of that effort," said one of the group's leaders. 

North Carolina:

  • On Tuesday, February 2, the URI of Henderson County, NC Cooperation Circle will celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week with special music, a presentation of the Charter of Compassion and practical ways of implementation, and Interfaith fellowship. The purpose is to learn about the Charter, make new friends, and celebrate Interfaith harmony. The celebration will include those of Unitarian Universalist, New Age, Christian, Jewish, Baha’i, and Buddhist beliefs. Learn more at the http://www.urihc.org webpage.

Washington:

  • Rev. Karen Lindquist will host a worship service at the Interfaith Community Sanctuary on Sunday, February 7. This morning worship service will include a spiritual message shared by Ann Holmes Redding (Christian/Muslim Spiritual Guide) and Squi qui Ray Williams (Swinomish Elder). John Hale (Call of Compassion NW)and Jon Ramer (Compassion Games) will also share about their work during this week of Interfaith Harmony. Music, song, and chant will be shared by devotional artist Suniai and Jon Ramer. 

Multi-Regional: 

  • The Compassion Game's World Interfaith Harmony Week Coopetition is a 7 day global challenge to promote acts of peace, collaboration and tolerance between people of all faith, spiritual, and humanistic traditions. Beginning on February 1st and going through February 7th, individuals and teams will use the spirit of coopetition to inspire acts collaborative acts of service to give back to their communities and strengthen mutual respect, understanding, and harmony between people of all backgrounds. The Interfaith Community Sanctuary, Silicon Valley Interreligious Council and Charter for Compassion Cooperation Circles are already signed up to play. (The Compassion Games are an initiative of the Compasisonate Action Network Cooperation Circle.)
  • The Charter for Compassion will host a special weeklong series of presentations during World Interfaith Harmony Week, inspired with the work of Muslim-Christian dialog. Each of these five calls will explore the need for developing compassion to understand and benefit from a world that is marked by diversity and pluralism—in life forms, in cultural patterns, in faith pathways, in physical characteristics like skin color and body shapes.

    This WIHW, URI North America is proud to sponsor three Cooperation Circle members to visit the United Nations. The participants each submitted an application, along with a report of their participation in International Day of Peace 2015. During the trip, they will spend time with URI UN Representative Monica Willard, participate in an WIHW event at UN Headquarters and have time to get to know one another. Keep an eye out for a report from them in mid-February! 

    • Jaya Priya Reinhalter (Kashi Foundation CC)
    • Aspyn C Adams (Sun Devils Are Better Together)
    • Shayda Sales (Silicon Valley Interreligious Council)
    Cooperation Circles Involved

    Interfaith Community Sanctuary

    "Our purpose is to create a genuine interfaith community by celebrating diversity, respecting one another and embracing compassion, as well as to evolve into the fullness of being—spirit and potential—through experience, education, worship, dialogue, fellowship, and charitable service."

    Charter for Compassion

    "Our purpose is to support the emergence of a global movement that brings the Charter for Compassion to life. To do so, we are a network of networks: connecting organizers and leaders from around the world; providing educational resources, organizing tools, and avenues for communication; sharing lessons, stories, and inspiration; and providing the umbrella of the Charter for Compassion for conferences, events, collaborations, conversations and initiatives to create compassionate communities and institutions."