Scottish Interfaith Week in 2013 took place from 24th November - 1st December on the theme of 'Values and Visions for Scotland'. With over 60 events taking place across Scotland, the week was a great success. Interfaith Scotland's Celebration of Scottish Interfaith Week took place in Kirkcaldy on Tuesday 26th November. Those gathered enjoyed a variety of speakers from different faiths and organisations including the Refugee Council in Scotland and Glasgow 2014, a book launch of Rev Finlay Macdonald's book, 'Luke Paul and the Mosque' and a new exhibition of artefacts from all the major religions. Read more here
The Religious Leaders of Scotland met with MSPs and Shona Robison the Minister for Equalities and the Commonwealth Games to discuss the Role of Religion in Modern Scotland. The Rt Reverend Lorna Hood, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland began the dialogue with a presentation from the Church of Scotland and others engaged from their diverse perspectives. For a full transcript of the presentation please contact Interfaith Scotland.
The AGM took place on 8 October at Linlithgow Burgh Halls, Linlithgow. The event included a public talk entitled ‘New Models of Community Leadership for 21st Century Scotland’ by Barbara Simpson, Professor of Leadership and Organisational Dynamics at Strathclyde University. She spoke about the importance of 'Relational Leadership' and those gathered discussed ways in which this could be of benefit in an interfaith context.
The Annual Networking Seminar for local interfaith groups took place on 29th August at Pollokshields Church Hall in Glasgow. Members of interfaith groups from across Scotland were in attendance, including members from Central Scotland, East Renfrewshire, Shetland, Edinburgh, Dundee, Ayrshire, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway and, of course, Glasgow!
In the morning, participants heard from staff about the work of Interfaith Scotland over the last year and the new Interfaith Glasgow Project. There were a number of presentations, including using Facebook and Twitter for local interfaith groups, the work of Amina MWRC in schools, interfaith primary school resources and Interfaith Scotland's 'Interfaith Days' in schools.
Members of interfaith groups had expressed an interest in learning about how to use educational interfaith resources in schools, so in the afternoon, participants experienced a variety of interfaith dialogue activities, including active listening techniques, interacting with religious artefacts and taking part in a role play, all designed to help people find out more about different faiths, what they have in common, and what it might feel like to be a person of that faith. The day concluded with a visit to the new purpose-built Sikh Gurdwara in Albert Drive, where participants were given a tour of the Gurdwara, followed by delicious food in the langar hall.
Members of Interfaith Scotland attended a formal meeting at St John's Hall Princes Street, Edinburgh on 26 August. The meeting was followed by a Just Festival Dialogue event entitled 'More Tea Imam' with contributions from Iain Stewart and Bashir Malik from the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association and Isabel Smyth, Chair of Interfaith Scotland. More information about the Just Festival can be found at www.justjust.org
A meeting for members of Interfaith Scotland took place on Wednesday 5th June at the Low Port Centre in Linlithgow. Members discussed their 'Values and Visions for the Future of Scotland' in the light of the Scottish referendum in 2014. The next members meeting is taking place on Monday 26th August at St John's Hall in Edinburgh.
In 2013 Interfaith Scotland arranged a number of women's dialogue events in different cities in Scotland. These took place in Glasgow in March, in Inverness in June and in Dundee in November. The topic was 'Values and Visions for the Future of Scotland'.
The discussion has been very lively and positive, one participant describing it as 'a very positive and nourishing experience which gave a boost to my flagging hope for humanity'.
Project Manager of Interfaith Glasgow, Rose Drew, along with other delegates, met with First Minister Alex Salmond on 19 June 2013. The group discussed recently published statistics on religiously aggravated offending in Scotland 2012-13. The First Minister agreed that interfaith projects have a crucial role to play in nurturing interfaith friendships, tackling prejudice and fear, and showing a united front to those who seek to sow seeds of division in our society.
Roseanna Cunningham MSP met with board members and staff of Interfaith Scotland and Interfaith Glasgow on 12 June. She asked those gathered, ‘How do we as people of faith relate to the secular population?’. She highlighted some of the issues facing people of faith in Scotland today. Members and staff greatly appreciated this dialogue with Ms Cunningham and the opportunity to share openly and candidly on such matters of faith.
Interfaith Scotland, in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Education Scotland and the Scottish Government, organised an 8-day programme of events in Scotland to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2013.
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