By Geraldine Guilfoyle
Published: Oct. 20, 2012
An enthusiastic crowd filled Squamish United Church on Saturday September 29for the 2nd annual “Unity in Diversity Dinner” hosted by Squamish Multifaith Association.
The church had been transformed into a dining hall with brightly colored tablecloths and large buffet style serving tables to accommodate and feed the 87 attendees.
The Squamish Multifaith Association, which has representation from six different faith traditions on its board of directors, was delighted with the response and the level of collaboration and fellowship that was evidenced throughout the evening.
The dinner was an opportunity for easy fellowship along with a topic for learning and discussion.
Guest speaker, Graham Fuller provided an overview of religion as a motivating force for the advancement of social justice as he addressed the topic “Justice: Faith in Action.”
Graham is a historian and scholar of the Muslim world. His career and life experience includes 17 years overseas during which time he gained a wide knowledge base of different societies and how religion has influenced them.
While most people are aware of what their own faith tradition teaches and practices on social justice, this was an opportunity to illuminate some of the common threads running through all faith groups.
Some of the practical aspects referred to in Fuller’s talk were the giving of alms, the sharing of wealth as seen in tithing and the system of infusing spiritual principles into economic development as proposed in Muslim Economics.
An earnest question and answer period followed the talk and also allowed for comments from the floor.
Squamish Multifaith Association was formed on the belief that faith has a central role in community development, progress and cohesion.
In recognition that our diverse faith traditions have rich histories of addressing poverty and caring for the earth, the association was formed to provide a platform for collaboration on these and other social and humanitarian issues in Squamish.
Squamish Multifaith Association was a participant this year in the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive.
An initiative of The Church of Latter Day Saints, Christian, Sikh and Baha’i came together to increase the number of volunteers and neighborhoods canvassed this year, resulting in a doubling of food collected to over 7000 pounds.
This, of course, was only made possible by the generosity of the residents of Squamish who responded bountifully.