Calgary Interfaith Breakfast 2023

We are pleased to share reflections and pictures from the Calgary Interfaith Breakfast.

Dr. Grandmother Doreen Spence OC, the keynote speaker at the Calgary Interfaith Breakfast, made the following reflection after the event: 

“I believe the more we understand about each other as humans, the more tolerant we will be toward one another. My gift from the breakfast meeting was heartfelt gratitude for creating space for the Indigenous voice. My ancestors will be happy. I am hopeful we will meet again in the near future.”

It is indeed the hope of the Calgary Interfaith Council to create space for the vibrant, ever growing chorus of faith communities that make Calgary home. It is our hope that the ancestors from whom we have each received life and faith will be happy with the kind efforts of the breakfast we shared. 

After Dr. Grandmother Doreen Spence OC finished speaking, she received a standing ovation — perhaps a moment of reconciliation. The words of Mayor Gondek honouring the contribution of the faith communities to the city and the partnership with the Office of the Mayor in hosting this breakfast confirmed the value of faith communities as part of Calgary. And if there was any doubt about this, it was dispelled by Rabbi Glickman’s rousing proclamation of the contributions of each faith community. 

The flow of goodwill and kindness at this gathering was nurtured by the careful attention of the volunteer committee of CIC members who made it all happen, the welcome and hospitality of the table hosts, and the support of our donors and sponsors. 

What was most important was that we all showed up willing to meet strangers with open hearts and friends with gladness!  

As the breakfast slowly eased to its conclusion, there was a palpable sense of joy:

  • Joy flowing from renewing old friendships and making new connections
  • Joy flowing from a feeling of belonging — we are part of what makes Calgary a good city
  • Joy flowing from the happy pride of being part of something bigger than ourselves, which demonstrates the possibility of connection across difference and the generativity of diversity. 
  • Joy from making space for the Divine (by whatever name) who invites us to creative acts of kindness and greater compassion

A joy that bubbles up when we pay attention to “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (Christian Scriptures)