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  Interfaith Unity 

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in Toronto, Southern Ontario, Nationally and Internationally

Event listings are run free of charge. Please submit by the deadline date shown on the current newsletter.

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Associate of: United Religions Initiative


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Rev. Terry Weller

Publsher/Editor, Layout




Rev. Leslie Gabriel Mezei






are welcome

to do some



& expand the Resources

Section, start

a Directory

of Interfaith Organizations,

help maintain

the subscriber list, etc.


interfaithunity .ca


















(Canadian) MULTIFAITH INFORMATION MANUAL -- 4th EDITION. Ontario Multifaith Council on Spiritual and Religious Care. An invaluable information resource on a wide range of faith groups, their beliefs, holy days, rituals and other practices, with contact information.
www.omc.ca/ or e-mail thelibrary@omc.on.ca

(Canadian) A WORLD RELIGIONS RESOURCE GUIDE. Tony Muhitch, 416-944-2726, silverbooks@idirect.com and Paul McKenna. 164 serlox-bound pages, 8.5" by 11.0" - FIFTH EDITION -- May 2004.
A resource guide for world religions teachers, educators and “interfaith practitioners, congregations, faith leaders, academics and the general public.” This edition brings an expanded and updated wealth of reference information and contact data about organizations, places of worship, individuals, print and other media sources, websites. Also many teaching materials and sample retreat-day programs.


Community resources
Teaching resources, workshops & lessons
World religions retreat day
Computer-related resources
Field trips to places of worship, centres of meditation
Speakers resources
Print and article resources
Text resources
Audio-visual resources
Music, art, culture & dance resources; using art to teach world religions
Environmental ethics of world religions
University courses in world religions
Interfaith resources, the Golden Rule, interview assignment
11 Religious personalities (throughout history)
10 Resource packages by world religion, including sections on early religions and on religion in the New Millennium (books, websites, human resources, films, audio-visual media, photopacks, etc.)
Children’s books
(U.S.) AWAKENING THE SPIRIT, INSPIRING THE SOUL: 30 Stories of Interspiritual Discovery in the Community of Faiths
Edited by Brother Wayne Teasdale and Martha Howard. SkyLight Paths, US$21.99 (224p) ISBN 1-59473-039-3 Book review from Publisher’s Weekly

"This ambitious anthology of spiritual autobiographies steps toward “building the foundation for a viable spirituality that can serve to unite rather than divide humanity for the countless millennia ahead.” This lofty goal is an evolved passion of Teasdale (The Mystic Heart), a member of the Parliament of the World’s Religion’s Spiritual Life Circle that spearheaded this publication. Filled with short accounts by diverse contributors, many under 30 years old, this volume celebrates “the collapse of boundaries that have separated the religions and cultures for millennia... [through the] rediscovery and recovery of the mystical dimension universally present in all the great world traditions.” Most of the stories recount the lives of those who experienced some version of an early spiritual awakening. They also express the fruits of first-hand exposure to other traditions through experiences of practice and dialogue. These heartfelt stories reveal an openness of spirit unafraid to be informed and transformed by new experiences and can be enjoyed by the spiritually sympathetic as well as the curious or even cautious. Blank pages invite readers to write their own spiritual autobiography, a worthwhile endeavor complementing the book’s quest. (Aug.)
This balanced and loving book will be launched at the Barcelona Parliament of the World’s Religion this July."
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This book includes the life story of your Editor, Leslie Gabriel Mezei.]
(U.S.) "HER VOICE, HER PATH" by Arvind Sharma and Katherine K. Young.
Book review at: < Here >"Nine leading women academics present their own religious experience and traditions from a variety of perspectives -- as scholars, as believers, and as women. How have religious traditions embraced and enlightened women throughout history? How might religious traditions have excluded or confined women? These are challenging, yet vital questions for women of faith who strive not only to live their faith daily, but also to fully understand the ways in which their gender experiences shape their religious experiences.... In covering Primal Religions, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Goddess and Wiccan beliefs, 'Her Voice, Her Faith' evocatively reveals how religious traditions enter and shape women's lives."
Organized by age group, with activity suggestions.
* "How Do You Spell God? Answers to the Big Questions from Around the World."
* "In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World"

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(U.S.) "AN ANTHOLOGY OF NONVIOLENCE: HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY VOICES.” Ed. Krishna Mallick and Doris Hunter. Greenwood Press, Westport CT, USA. 2002 (ISBN 0-313-31879-4)
"This is an incredibly valuable anthology. Interfaith readers will appreciate that the ideals of non-violence rise out of the soil of many traditions..." From review in NAINews, Fall-Winter 2003.
(U.K.) "1000 World Prayers." Compiled by Marcus Braybrooke. O Books, Alresford, U.K. 2003. (ISBN 1-903816-17-3)
"The five organizing themes, God, Times and Seasons, Through All the Changing Scenes of Life, The World and Society, and The Natural World, reflect the commonalities of our experience, and the selections are wide-ranging, drawn from representative sources of different traditions and viewpoints." From review in NAINews, Fall-Winter 2003.
(International) "GENESIS MEDITATIONS" By Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz, scholar of religious studies and psychology, and a Sufi teacher. www.genesismeditations.com.
"The New Story about the Oldest Story in the World... Uniting Judaism, Christianity and Islam, 'The Genesis Meditations' teaches how early mystics, including Jesus, may have meditated in all three great religions springing from the Middle East."
(U.S.) "A TAPESTRY OF JUSTICE, SERVICE AND UNITY: LOCAL ECUMENISM IN THE UNITED STATES, 1950-2000." Edited by Arleon L. Kelley. National Association of Ecumenical and Interreligious Staff Press, 2004 (253-759-0141, naeisjan@aol.com )
In many communities ecumenism among Christian denominations evolved into interfaith activities and organizations. " White [Charles White in a chapter entitled Local Interfaith Ecumenism] captures well the tensions and obstacles existing when a local ecumenical organization transitions to an interfaith organization. Among these tensions are the limits to interfaith prayer, worship and celebration, church-dividing theology, concerns about intermarriage, and the difficulty of bringing Evangelicals and the "Religious Right" to the table. For the most part, in White's chapter and others' on interfaith work, these challenges and tensions seem to be met with sensitivity, resolve and a commitment to unity and service that overwhelms possibly divisive and debilitating circumstances." [Extracted from review by Christa Mazzone, in NAINews, Spring-Summer 2004, Newsletter of the North American Interfaith Network]

(U.S. and India) “RELIGIOUS ETHICS – A SOURCEBOOK.” Dobrin, Arthur, Hindi Granth Karyalay: Mumbai, 2004. ISBN 81-88769-01-0 Review by Joseph Romain, IN OMNI: JOURNAL OF SPIRITUAL AND RELIGIOUS CARE June 22, 2004 www.omni.omc.ca/archives/000077.html .
"Dobrin, Professor of Humanities at Hofstra University in New York, has presented 'a compilation of short answers to complex questions, a kind of introduction to religious ethics...' And as a starting point for a study of religious ethics, it is successful." Includes 55 questions asked and answered by members of 34 faith groups or denominations.
“Drawing upon the insights of the Pluralism Project to understand increasingly diverse business organizations, Hicks lays out a framework of "respectful pluralism" in which employees are able to express their religious, spiritual, moral, and other commitments to a significant degree while seeking to understand the world views of their coworkers. Hicks addresses topics such as religiously-based dress and speech, holidays and holy days, time for prayers, and official workplace policies on diversity.” For more information: http://www.pluralism.org/affiliates/hicks/index.php

(U.S.) TEENSPIRIT: One World, Many Paths, Rev. Paul Rauschenbush, Associate Dean of Religious Life at Princeton University.
“Pastor Paul uses teens' letters and questions as springboards for greater exploration of the different religions teens encounter and how spiritual diversity effects their lives: be it on their sports teams, in their relationships, their friends' homes, in the school cafeteria. Teen Spirit is replete with basic tenets, celebrity testimonies, teens' own stories on why they like practicing their particular religion, specific roles and rites of passage for young people, etiquette for how to behave when invited to an unfamiliar religious event, and more. From questions about traditions and conversion, to interfaith dating and tough times, Pastor Paul demystifies misperceptions and shows teens how to embrace and accept different religious beliefs while remaining faithful to their own core values.”
His popular column, Ask Pastor Paul: Spiritual Answers to the Multi-Faith World, appears on www.beliefnet.com
[Thanks to: Religions for Peace - USA E-Newsletter #9,
newsletter@uscrp.org www.rfpusa.org ]

(Canadian) CANADIAN SUBSIDIES DIRECTORY is now available.
“This publication contains more than 2,600 listings of grants and loans offered by government departments, foundations and associations. It sells for: $69.95. To obtain a copy please call: 450-224-9275 or e-mail products@bvimailbox.com The American Grants and Loans Directory is also available for the United States.”
(International)"A toast to 2004's best religion books - and a lament for the worst. Richard N. Ostling, CP. December 28, 2004. At the Centre for Faith & the Media website: http://www.faithandmedia.org/articledetails.php?docid=1104388960
The past year was an unusual one in religious publishing because some fine books stemmed from Islam and Judaism, while Christians bore the blame for the very worst ones. About the Website: We hope that whether you are a journalist working on a religion story, an editor, or a person of faith seeking to work with the media, you will find the resources, contacts, and information you need at this site. Come back weekly for updated articles, links, a celebration of the best religion journalism in Canada, and tips for improving reporting - whether you are a journalist, a member of a religious community, or are just concerned about the way in which Canadians learn about each other. Our media guides and contact search database will continue to grow, helping journalists connect with religious groups. If you want your organization to be added, please contact us.
Currently available:
Search of contacts and articles by faith
Journalist's Guides to Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism.
Photos of religious sites and traditions from around the world, available at: www.peterlanger.com Note especially: www.spiritualphotos.com


Chris Lowney, Free Press/Simon & Schuster. www.chrislowney.com
“The book draws important lessons for troubled modern times from the remarkable multicultural civilization forged by medieval Spain’s Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Their pioneering innovations forever changed the West—how we count numbers, pray, practice medicine; and in architecture, paper manufacture, cowboy culture, and religious movements like Sufism and Kaballah. This unique civilization unraveled tragically--in jihad and crusading reconquest, the Inquisition, and the forced conversion or exile of Spain’s Muslims and Jews.”
“…a meaningful book about interfaith cooperation and interfaith antagonism as evidenced in medieval Spain…Can we learn from this story so that we can shape a better, more harmonious world? Can we afford not to learn from this story?” Rabbi Dr. Marc D. Angel, Congregation Shearith Israel, The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York City
“A Vanished World provides a walking journey inside the astonishing history of Medieval Spain’s life for Muslims, Christians and Jews….A fascinating historical lesson about an era that reflects the best and the worst of humanity’s attempts to co-exist.” Fajri Ansari, President, Network of Religious Communities of Western New York and Resident Imam of Masjid Nu’Man, Buffalo.
“… an important reminder of the West’s first multireligious society under Muslim rule in multicultural Spain. Lowney uses history and life stories to masterfully tell this engaging and compelling story of a time when for some seven hundred years Muslims, Christians, and Jews co-existed and flourished religiously, intellectually and civilizationally.” — John L. Esposito, author of What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam; Founding Director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University
“The most fascinating aspect of Chris Lowney’s story is his thesis that each of the three great religions profited from the ability to tolerate and accept one another. This historical tract reads like a good novel, but more importantly, gives us hope that, far from being a potential disaster, the mixing of peoples and traditions from the Middle East and the West can bring us closer to an age of true peace and cooperation.”— Fr. Michael Garanzini, President, Loyola University—Chicago
The Story of the United Religions Initiative (URI). Charles Gibbs and Sally Mahe, Lakeshore Publishing, Cleveland, OH, 2003.
”The birth of the United Religions Initiative (URI) is the story of how hundreds, then thousands of people across cultures, oceans and faith traditions began to share a common call to make the world they lived in more like the world they yearned for in their dreams. This book tells how one person's vision and conviction evolved to include a global community working together to make their dreams real -- dreams reflected in a call of the sacred within a world-wide, faith-based organization.

The book also tells the story of how an emergent process of organizational change - the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) process - came along at just the right time to provide the engine for the new organization and its development. AI as a process lent the ability for an organization to be formed which would be: inclusive, decentralized and self-organizing. AI and the URI together embarked upon a "spiritual journey"; the theme of this narrative.”

“A completely revised seventh edition of the standard guide to the field, recently released by Religion Communicators Council, an interfaith organization which includes many NCC-related professionals. Practical in focus, Speaking Faith has 16 chapters with such hands-on help for houses of worship as 'Graphic Identity,' and 'Getting Out the News.' For an extensive review and table of contents, see www.religioncommunicators.org/handbook_7thed.html
Published with assistance from the National Council of Churches, the handbook may be ordered for US$19.95 plus $6 shipping and handling from RCC Handbook, c/o UMR Communications, 2400 Lone Star Dr., Dallas, TX 75212.

Chapter Fourteen: “America is Interfaith”
Seeing the other
Guidelines for meeting people of another faith
Forms of Dialogue
Interfaith options
A code for interfaith conduct

“This Publication contains more than 3,000 direct and indirect financial subsidies, grants and loans offered by government departments and agencies, foundations, associations and organizations. In this new 2005 edition all programs are well described….
Assistance from and for foundations and associations, guidance to prepare a business plan, market surveys, computers, and much more!” The Canadian Subsidy Directory is sold for $69.95 (CD-ROM), $149.95 (Printed 430 pages). To obtain a copy call toll free 1-866-322-3376.”

A. Jean Lesher, ed. Paper, Cowley Publications, 1-800-225-1534 www.cowley.org/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=172
“Religion can be a realm of extraordinary power,” says U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. “It can offer solace in troubled times. It can make sense of the seemingly senseless.” In Pathways to Peace, A. Jean Lesher, a dedicated participant in interfaith dialogue initiatives and an accomplished editor, has collected sayings from many of the world’s religious traditions and leaders. Thematically structured according to a Jain chant for hope, love, and peace, Pathways to Peace envisions the transformation of conflict in our world into hope for the future through the wisdom of the world’s faiths. It will be a source of discussion and reflection among members of all traditions who yearn for peace and greater understanding all over the world.
A. JEAN LESHER is a collector of readings and has edited books of devotional literature including Prayers for the Common Good and O Holy Night: Timeless Meditations for Christmas. She has attended the Parliament of World’s Religions several times, and is a former editor of trade and professional books. She lives in Berkeley, California.”

Published by Westminster John Knox Press (2005). ISBN: 066422914X.
“Is it possibly to have a theology that can see the truth in other religious traditions and yet not neglect the very real differences amongst religions? You know about the so-called pluralist theologians, such as John Hick, but what if a school of theological thought applied its wares to the questions of pluralism? That is exactly what "Deep Religious Pluralism" attempts to do. It is based on the conviction that the philosophy articulated by Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne encourages not only religious diversity but “deep religious pluralism.”
Contributors include David Ray Griffin, Steve Odin, John Shunji Yokuta, and John Cobb. And a wide cast of process theologians work to outline Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, Evangelical Christian, Daoist-Confucian, and Asian Christian versions of “deep religious pluralism.”
“Jay McDaniel, author of "Ghandi’s Hope" says, “If peace in the world requires peace among religions, then this anthology is an important step toward such peace."
From: Religions for Peace – USA, December 2005 E-Newsletter

By the Transformative Learning Centre Spirit Matters Collective, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto
“With a preface by Thomas Berry and reflective essays by Marilyn Daniels, Anne Goodman, Edmund O’Sullivan and Heather Reid. The Spirit Matters Gathering, which took place in Toronto during May 2004, brought together some of the world’s leading visionaries in conversation. Six hours of conference DVDs - with David Abram, Maliha Chisti, Larry Daloz, George Dei, Jorge Ferrer, Matthew Fox, Laara Fitznor, Ursula Franklin, bell hooks, Satish Kumar, Michael Lerner, Chief Oren Lyons, John Mohawk, Edmund O’Sullivan, Vandana Shiva, Suwanda Suganasiri, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Genevieve Vaughan, Paulo Wangoola, Cindy White, and Marion Woodman - and a book of reflective essays explore some of our most pressing global challenges while sharing a vision and passion for building a better world.”
From the preface, by Father Thomas Berry: “As I page through these essays, I am deeply impressed by the understanding shown the issues I have dealt with over the years. It awakens anew my hope that the twenty-first century will evoke a new, mutually beneficial period in our human-Earth presence to each other? This publication provides a comprehensive overview of this early twenty-first century renewal of the Earth community.”
“The Spirit Matters conference was an event combining an uncommon diversity of luminous minds with a compassionate and celebratory exuberance on behalf of our fellow species and the animate earth that enfolds us all.” David Abram, author Spell of the Sensuous
“Spirit Matters was truly a celebration of Earth Democracy -- of the sacredness of life in its magnificent diversity; of the sacredness of our human diversity as a condition of peace and human harmony.” Vandana Shiva, author of Earth Democracy.
Or call toll-free: 1-888-232-4444, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm PST

(U.S.) OIL & WATER — TWO FAITHS: ONE GOD, Amir Hussain
Theology prof challenges Muslims and Christians to discover constructive and creative ways of relating to each other
Ron Csillag, Sep. 30 Toronto Star
“Rarely does a book about religion get a boost from the news pages; a volume on Islamic-Christian relations released just as the Pope infuriated Muslims with some 600-year-old quotes could not have enjoyed better timing. Of course, Amir Hussain, a Toronto-raised associate professor of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, didn't plan it that way, but Oil & Water — Two Faiths: One God (CopperHouse) arrives at a time when many Christians and Muslims are regrouping and emerging to seek common ground, even as many others are more determined than ever to stay outraged.” ..
“Hussain's gentle and lucid book is like a cool compress. Intended as a primer on Islam for Christians, the volume works the other way, too, and challenges followers of both faiths to discover constructive and creative ways of relating to each other. …
Written from a Sunni, Western and liberal perspective (Hussain concedes strong connection to the United Church of Canada, and he tends to gloss over Muslim-on-Muslim violence), the Pakistani-born author, who lived in Toronto for nearly 30 years, defines Islam, unpacks its branches, discusses the role of women, summarizes the life of Muhammad, and explains the origins of the Qur'an and Sufism, as well as that most fearsome of words, jihad. And he doesn't shy from terrorism, referring to those who commit violence in the name of Islam as "a dangerous lunatic fringe." …
“It's a dialogue that in this country, at least, proceeds apace. At its annual awards dinner on Sept. 19, the National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee, formed over 15 years ago by the Canadian Council of Churches to promote understanding, a resolution was passed unanimously calling for continued dialogue "whatever the subsequent apologies have achieved or failed to achieve." …
"As someone who loves to eat and cook," Hussain writes, "I know that oil and water can often be combined to produce delicious results. I see oil and water as necessary ingredients, not as mutually exclusive categories."



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