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).
T.B.R. (Thomas Buchanan Reginald) Westgate (1872-1951) was born in Watford, Ontario. He was a graduate of Huron College and was ordained as a priest in 1897. He spent a year in a parish in Comber, Ont. before starting his missionary career. He served as a missionary with the South American Missionary Society in Paraguayan Chaco, 1898-1901, and with the Church Missionary Society (1902-1919) in several places in Tanzania and Uganda in Africa. After returning to Canada, Westgate served as the Field Secretary for Indian and Eskimo Residential School Commission, MSCC (Winnipeg, MB), 1919-1943.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of correspondence and manuscripts, printed material, photographs, sermons and diaries relating to his experiences with the South American Missionary Society; Africa, including being a prisoner of war in Africa during WWI; and Indian Residential Schools.
Fonds arranged in the following series:
Series 1: Westgate correspondence and papers, 1892-1950
Series 2: Westgate manuscripts, articles and clippings, 1913-1930
Series 3: Westgate photograph collection, 1895-1933
Series 4: Westgate Diaries, 1902-1949
Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada (MSCC) fonds