Multi-Faith conference featured at Luther College

By Costa Maragos Posted: July 15, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the hit sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie, is one of the featured speakers at the North American Interfaith Network Conference, July 19 – 22
Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the hit sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie, is one of the featured speakers at the North American Interfaith Network Conference, July 19 – 22 (Photo courtesy of Zarqa Nawaz).

People of various faiths are coming together at a unique conference hosted by Luther College.

“Restoring spirit through sacred listening” is the theme of the North American Interfaith Network Conference, July 19 – 22.
People are coming from across Saskatchewan, Canada, the United States and Mexico.  

“The opportunity for Luther College to co-host this conference with Regina Multifaith Forum is the result of Luther’s decade’s long working relationship with people of many faith backgrounds in Regina,” says Dr. Brenda Anderson, conference co-chair and professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Religious Studies at Luther College.
 
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to hear speakers from around North America from different faiths to address social justice issues from a faith perspective,” says Moses Kanhai, Vice-President of Multifaith Saskatchewan and Past President of Regina Multifaith Forum.
 
The North American Interfaith Network Conference has been around since 1988. The host cities have included Toronto, Detroit, Seattle and Phoenix. It’s the first time this Conference is being hosted in Saskatchewan.

“The Conference is a great example of the partnership of many agencies and faith groups coming together for mutual benefit,” says Dr. Bryan Hillis, President of Luther College. “In that way, the conference is very much like the partnership Luther College enjoys with the University of Regina and its federated colleges.  So, it’s no surprise that the conference enrollment has already reached its maximum limit, an indication that such partnerships have great value for all concerned.”

The conference will feature workshops on social justice issues, community building and multiculturalism.

The speakers include Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada; Lori Petruskevich, an education and wellness consultant based in Saskatoon; and Zarqa Nawaz, author and creator of the hit CBC sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie. Nawaz will speak to the issue of humour and healing.

“Humour has always been the way I communicate with the world. It helps me break down barriers and get people to laugh together and see the people around them in a different light,” says Nawaz.
 
While many of the sessions are open only to registered delegates, there is a free event on Sunday, July 19 called “An Evening of Sacred Listening” at Luther College beginning at 7:30 p.m. that is open to the public.

Please visit here for more on the conference and sacred listening event.

This event is made possible through the support of Luther College, Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, The University of Regina, Regina Multifaith Forum, Multifaith Saskatchewan and the Diversity Unit of the Regina Police Service.

Luther College is a federated college of the University of Regina. While administratively independent, Luther is academically integrated with the U of R.