RESTORING SPIRIT THROUGH SACRED LISTENING
“Restoring Spirit through Sacred Listening” is the theme of this year’s North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) Connect, July 19-22, being held in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. It is being planned by a thoroughly interfaith coalition of leaders, with strong input from First Nations communities.
The conference will bring together people of faith and non-faith, members of religious communities, academics, teachers, students, people who work in social development, health care professionals, people from the volunteer sector, and other members of the local community and from across Canada, the United States, and Mexico who are interested in social justice issues and cultural awareness.
An intriguing set of 26 workshops will be presented, though you only have a chance to attend six, or a bit fewer if you take advantage of several tours which are also available. Workshop titles include “Listening from Within: An Interspiritual Exploration of Our Spiritual Styles and Practices,” “What Happens When Academia and Faith Listen to One Another?” and “Building Close Relations: Regina Police Service’s Cultural and Community Diversity Unit.”
Three tours will be featured. One will visit the First Nations University Healing Garden, made up of plants that are indigenous to the prairie landscape. A second one takes you to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Heritage Centre. The third one visits the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.
As usual at NAIN connects, a large contingent of young adult interfaith-activists from around the country have been given scholarships to attend and bring with them a sense of hope and newness.
Since 1988 NAIN has been meeting once a year, a consortium of grassroots interfaith activists from across North America. Participants largely come from Canada and the United States, though relationships are being developed with Mexican colleagues and a Mexican connect should be possible in the future. The workshops tend to be engaging, and the plenary presentations, tours, and banquets tend to find themselves onto your highlights list.
But old-timers and newbies usually agree that the best aspect of NAIN connects is making and renewing friendships with grassroots leaders from around the continent who care about interfaith culture in their own communities as much as you do.