Interfaith Scotland's AGM and Public Talk took place on 4th November at Linlithgow Burgh Halls. John Wilkes, Director of the Scottish Refugee Council gave the public talk on the current plight of Syrian Refugees and Scotland's response to this. Those gathered engaged in dialogue on ways that faith communities could support asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland.
The annual networking seminar for local interfaith groups took place at the Bield at Blackruthven in Perthshire on Wednesday 7th October. Those gathered explored the theme of Scottish Interfaith Week, 'Care for the Environment' and facilitation skills for running dialogue events.
The First Minister called an Interfaith Summit on 8th September to find out more about the work being done by interfaith organisations and faith communities. Nicola Sturgeon met with a cross-section of religious leaders from diverse faith traditions along with the Director of Interfaith Scotland and project managers of Interfaith Glasgow and the Edinburgh Inter-faith Association. Ms Sturgeon said, "Interfaith work and the contribution of faith groups is essential in transforming lives and building a strong, fairer and equal Scotland. By working together with all communities I want to see a safer, stronger and more inclusive society which we are all able to fully contribute to and benefit from".
Read more about the summit from the Office of the First Minister here.
Interfaith Scotland held a Peace Conference in Inverness on 9th August. Justine Huxley from St Ethelburga's, London's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, spoke eloquently about Peace and Conflict issues. Liz Weir, an international storyteller from Northern Ireland shared stories from her homeland to inspire dialogue. A Members Meeting took place on 20th April in Stirling. Brian Pearce OBE spoke to those gathered. A members dialogue event took place on Sunday 25th January in Glasgow. Members heard from Ela Weisberger and Hasan Hasanovich who had been invited to Scotland to speak at the national Holocaust Memorial Day events.
Interfaith Scotland celebrated International Women's Day with a Women's Interfaith Dialogue in Dumfries on Sunday 8th March 2015. The theme was 'Health and wellbeing for body and soul'. Interfaith Scotland, Interfaith Glasgow, Scottish Refugee Council and Women of Faith teamed up to host a Women’s Interfaith Fair on Wednesday 17th June at St Francis Centre, Glasgow. The event was to celebrate ‘Refugee Festival Scotland 2015’ and was open to women of all faiths and none. A women's dialogue took place at 'Punjabi Junction' in Edinburgh on 16th September on the theme of 'Health and Wellbeing for Body and Soul in Scotland'. A women's interfaith dialogue took place in Dunkeld and Birnam on 24th November. The dialogue took place during Scottish Interfaith Week and focused on the interfaith week theme of 'Care for the Environment'.
Participants from six faith traditions enjoyed an interfaith week on the Isle of Iona, exploring aspects of interfaith dialogue, lead by Maureen Sier and Frances Hume from Interfaith Scotland. A highlight of the week was an interfaith service, created and lead by participants, which took place in the Abbey on the theme of 'Care for Creation' which is the theme for Scottish Interfaith Week 2015.
Interfaith Scotland held the National Scottish Holocaust Memorial Day event on Tuesday 27th January at Ayr Town Hall with special guest speakers Ela Weisberger, a Holocaust survivor and Hasan Hasanovich, a survivor of the Srebrenica massacre. 2015 marked 70 years since the liberation of the death camps and 20 years since the Srebrenica massacre so it was particularly poignant to have our guests share their personal stories. During their 8 day visit to Scotland, Ela and Hasan spoke at schools in Glasgow, Ayr and Edinburgh, the Glasgow City Chambers and the Scottish Parliament.
Our blog can be found at https://interfaithscotland.wordpress.com
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