"Anglican churches joined the broader Peterborough, Ont., community in an outpouring of support and generosity for the members of the city's only mosque, the Masjid Al-Salaam, which was torched by arson in a probable hate crime late in the evening of November 14 . The clericus of the regional deanery of Peterborough donated an initial $250 and called on all deanery parishes to match this amount, which should bring in several thousand dollars, according to Dean Gloria Master". "All Saints' and St. Luke's Anglican parishes offered to provide the mosque's members with worship, meeting, and educational facilities". "'The community has responded very admirably to declare its opposition to this act', said [Bishop Linda] Nicholls, area bishop for Trent-Durham (diocese of Toronto). She drove to Peterborough and personally delivered a letter of support and condolence to the mosque". "On Twitter, the Peterborough mosque tweeted this comment: 'There are no words to describe how amazing[ly] our community has represented itself as a giving, loving, peaceful and supportive community'."
"'What do we who are not Muslims really know about what Muslims believe ?' This was the question that inspired the Rev. Natasha Brubaker Garrison to invite Imam Syed Soharwardy to participate in an Imam-in-Residence program at St. Martin's Anglican Church in Calgary, where she serves as rector. Soharwardy, who follows the Sufi tradition of Islam, chairs the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly and is the founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada". "(In 2011, there were 25,920 Muslims living in Calgary, representing 2.6 per cent of the population.)" "But the dialogue has gone both ways, and Soharwardy says that his community has also learned much through the experience. 'There are many Muslim people who have never been in their entire life inside a church. They have never had the opportunity to see what a church looks like from the inside'."
"A Leamington, Ont., church is renting out space in its basement to local Muslims for use as a mosque. Since this spring [, Muslim worship has been held in the basement of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, diocese of Huron, says the church's rector, the Rev. Andrew Wilson". "Najam Jutt, who leads prayers for the group, says the church basement is a big improvement over the rented office space they were using before. It's roomier, and, more importantly, it's a powerful symbol of religious tolerance, he says". "It originated ultimately from the church's work sponsoring and assisting refugees in the area. In September 2016, the church invited some Syrian refugees to attend its annual picnic, including a tour of the church. As Ramadan -- the Muslim holy month of dawn-to-dusk fasting -- approached this spring , a member of the group inquired about renting space in the church".
Hope Bear is a teddy bear sent by the Anglican Foundation of Canada sent to anyone making a donation of $20 or more to Canada's Kids Helping Kids Fund. "Originally, Hope Bear came with just a bowtie. ... Two or three years ago, the Foundation started receiving requests for bears decked out in clerical garb, as gifts for the newly ordained. Foundation executive director Canon Judy Rois knew where to go" (p. 8-9). The clothing was eventually designed and sewn by Shafiq Beig, assistant production manager at Harcourts Ltd., a Toronto robe-making and tailoring company. "All together, Beig estimates he's made close to 250 Hope Bear surplices, 30 or 40 mitres, and 100 vests. He says he feels honoured and privileged to be contributing to the work of the Foundation, whose work he admires" (p. 9). "He also believes in the coexistence of religions -- he says he loves Christianity as much as his own religion, Islam -- and in the importance of love for people's common humanity" (p. 9).
In the face of violence, 'A Common Word' sows common ground : The Anglican Church of Canada could soon join a global movement on Christian-Muslim dialogue -- but 'A Common Word' has already brought Albertans together
"For the Rev. Scott Sharman, animator for ecumenical and interfaith relations for the Anglican Church of Canada, such incidents [as the March 2019 Christchurch] underscore the need for Christians to take a stand against hate and promote dialogue between the world's two largest faiths. At the November 2018 meeting of the Council of General Synod (CoGS), Sharman presented a resolution calling for the council to affirm efforts by the department of faith, worship and ministry to support Christian-Muslim dialogue under the banner of 'A Common Word Between Us and You', working in parallel with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) as a full-communion partner project. A global initiative inspired by a letter signed by 138 Muslim leaders in 2007-2008 -- subsequently endorsed by more than 200 Christian leaders, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams -- 'A Common Word' invites Christians and Muslims to come together for open dialogue and seek common ground to work towards peace" (p. 1, 12). "Incidents such as the [March 2019] New Zealand massacre, the acts of intimidation targeting Edmonton mosques, and the two-year anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting 'highlight again how important that is, and that this isn't just a problem that exists in other parts of the world', Sharman adds" (p. 12). "'One of the unique things about 'A Common World Alberta' is that it is an annual event that brings in the same people over and over again', says Ibrahim Long, a Muslim chaplain and teacher who has attended the dialogue for five years" (p. 13). "Jane Samson, an Anglican lay reader at Holy Trinity Old Strathcona and a history professor at the University of Alberta, describes growing hate crimes as the result of complex global processes and events, from 9/11 and the Syrian refugee crisis to economic and technological changes" (p. 13).
"Canadians are grappling emotionally with the events in Montreal and Ottawa. Individuals, who claim ideological reasons, took the lives of two Canadian soldiers. ... How do we avoid stereotyping groups based on the actions of a violent few ? It is important to realize that even though terrorists cloak themselves in religious principles, the very religions they represent do not stand for violence. .... Gandhi rightly said that we need to embody the change we seek for our world. Stepping out and visiting mosques, temples, churches and other faith communities will help dispel malicious myths and build bonds of friendship and understanding. Building bridges of understanding and hope will help us withstand acts of terrorism".
"I would like to praise most English Canadian media for their restraint in [not] creating a potential backlash against people of Muslim faith. It is vitally important that we strengthen our interfaith relations at this trying time, when we could easily be tempted to abandon mutual respect and peaceful dialogue. I am a member of one of our Christian denominations, and the onus is on all of us to maintain our traditions of peaceful dialogue". [Text of entire article.]
"'Calgary church reaches out to Muslims' (Nov. 2014, p. 3) was immensely encouraging in showing us how brotherly love and respect, taught by all religions, can triumph over distrust and hatred. .... It was discouraging to read about the verbal assault on Imam Soharwardy, but such ethnic (or other) slurs tell you nothing about the person assaulted, but a lot about the person who uttered them. I would like to thank both the Rev. Natasha Brubaker Garrison and Imam Soharwardy for their leadership in showing us the power of brotherly love. They are an inspiration for us all".
"As reported, representatives of Canadian churches met in February  to discuss 'issues affecting peace in the Middle East' ['Muslims and Christians seek peace', April 2013, p. 1]. Perhaps a good place to start, and to indicate that they are really sincere, would be for the Muslim representatives and the Canadian Friends of Sabeel to immediately call a stop to the ongoing persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Egypt".
"With great interest we read the article, 'Arab/Muslim leaders meet with Canadian church reps' -- online Feb. 14, 2013, www.anglicanjournal.com; print version, 'Muslims and Christians seek peace', April 2013, p. 1]. We applaud the intent of this meeting, which is to increase the level of dialogue that exists between churches and the Muslim community. The impulse to dialogue is noble and certainly good things can come from it. We note also the desire here to emulate the relationship structure that many churches have developed with the Jewish community, primarily through the Canadian Jewish Congress and its successor organization, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. We represent organizations of Canadian Muslims proudly dedicated to the traditions of our faith while at the same time fully embracing the Canadian values of human rights, tolerance and respect for all faiths. With the greatest of respect, we urge church leaders to choose their Muslim interlocutors with care, for fear that they would consider extremists to be representatives of mainstream or moderate Islam". [Text of entire article.]
The writer is "Director, Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow".