CSI Archive

2014:

Our December theme was “Winter” and there was the usual mixture of contributions – with a saxophone featuring for the very first time!

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In October we gathered to reflect on the theme of “Movement” and a wide variety of items, four of which were video clips, were shared.

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September’s theme was “Bridges” and the dozen or so who attended shared a wide variety of reflections on this topic.

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Our meeting in August was held in Jon and Lois’ living room as the weather was unco-operative.  The theme of lyrics from popular songs was a great success, with a very varied set of readings.

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The June 1st Soul Space was well attended, and the interpretations of the theme of “flourishing” were extremely widespread!

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A dozen folk attended the April Soul Space on the theme of Justice.  A wide range of contributions showed how wide a concept justice is!

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There was a larger than usual turnout on March 2, when we were joined with people from Fairtrade Stirling to hear about Get Paper Industies from Kathmandu.  Two representatives from the company outlined its history and commitment to environmental and social issues as well as supplying paper to Traidcraft, Body Shop, Lush and other companies.

The delayed AGM for 2013, and the AGM for 2014 were held at the conclusion of the Soul Space meeting.  Details and minutes can be obtained from the Secretary.

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15 people met for the first Soul Space of the new year in Stirling on Sunday January 12 to share food and reflections on the theme of “Journeys”.

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2013:

There was a larger than usual attendance at the December 1 Soul space.  After sharing a meal, those present welcomed Maureen Sier, Director of Interfaith Scotland and reflected in silence on the recent tragedy in Glasgow.  Then “Inspirations from other faiths” were shared.  For more information about Soul Space, contact stirlingsoulspace [at] irenic [dot] org [dot] uk

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CSI was represented at the Interfaith Scotland Local Groups Networking Day in Glasgow by The convener and Secretary.  It was pleasing to see the sort of activities that different groups in Scotland are engaging with, and also to try out some of the workshops which are available for children and young people.

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Members attended recent “Soul Space” evenings on Jan 20 for shared reflections on “Beginnings”, and on March 10 where the theme was “Childhood and Youth”, both in the comfort of the wee room underneath the stair at Stirling Methodist Church.  There have been members present at other Soul Space events while the secretary has been on holiday.  The Sept 1 theme was “Reconciliation” and that of Oct 6 “Colours”.

2012:

The second “Soul Space” was on November 25, and featured reflections on “Influential women from different faith traditions”.  Around 20 people were present, and we fitted snugly into Stirling Methodist Church’s “wee room underneath the stair”.

There were 19 folk at the inaugural “Soul Space“, held on Sunday, October 14, at Stirling Methodist Church.  John Butterfield describes the evening’s event in his blog: Fullness of Life  (Click here to link to the article)

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After a two month break over the summer, members met in Causewayhead in September to reflect on fasting from different religious perspectives.

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The June meeting was held in Falkirk Islamic Centre, and took the form of a discussion with members of the local Muslim community followed by a splendid supper.  The adjourned AGM was held prior to the meeting.

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Not enough members turned up for our AGM on March 25, so the business has had to be held over to a future date.  However those who did come along had a very entertaining and informative discussion about Prison Chaplaincy, ably led by Rev Donald Scott from Polmont YOI.

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In preparation for delivering a “Time for Reflection” at the Scottish Parliament in the Autumn, Jon led the 25 particiants in considering how faith communities and politicans can provide leadership in issues such as climate change.

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Our first meeting of 2012 was on Peace, with Helen Steven and Helen Moxley leading a workshop/discussion on the theme.  Twelve members were challenged to unpack how if peace is at the heart of all world religions that the world is not at peace.

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2011:

We met in St Francis Xavier Church Hall in December to share food and musical items from different faith communities.  Members of Cumbernauld Gaelic Choir sang three songs, and Carolyn Fox and Nik Sier presented contrasting items based on Baha’i scripture.  The evening concluded with all those present joining in and singing two Christmas carols.

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Our November meeting was hosted by members of the Spiritual Care Team at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital.  Ken Russell gave a most informative talk about the role of Chaplains in hospitals and a lively discussion ensued.

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About 20 people met in October at Stirling University Chaplaincy, and watched the DVD of “An African Answer”, the sequel to “The Imam and the Pastor”.  This focussed on reconciliation work carried out by the two Nigerian clerics in Kenya.  A lively discussion ensued, aided by the presence of Nigerian and Kenya visitors.

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Our September meeting discussed the relationships between faith communities and the wider local community, focussing on the role religious groups have in caring for the less fortunate around them.

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In June we met to hear about pilgrmage from a number of different faith perspectives.  Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Baha’i pilgrimages were described by a range of participants.  The common features of these journeys in faith were then compared.

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Our May meeting was led by Dr Maureen Sier, at which those present discussed what we understood by the term “inter faith“.  We also looked at the recently published Scottish Government resource “Belief in Dialogue” of which Maureen had been a member of the writing team.

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Our second AGM was held on March 27 at Stirling University.  The committee was re-elected for a further year.  The business meeting was followed by viewing a DVD of “The Imam and the Pastor”, and a discussion on some of the issues raised.  CSI now owns a copy of the DVD which may be borrowed from the Secretary.

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Our February meeting took place in St Francis Xavier Church Hall, and included a presentation on Fair Trade by Terri Paterson, the convener of Fair Trade Falkirk, and tasting some fair trade products.

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A few members met on January 30, and discovered that there were few differences in the ways that religions practised acts of charity.

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2010:

Before the litter picking started, June 5, 2010

Members of the Baha’i, Christian and Muslim communities met on Nov.9, and discussed the ways in which their faiths addressed the issues of justice.  It became clear that the three religions had much in common on this matter.

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CSI’s biggest crowd gathered in Cambuskenneth Village Hall on Sunday September 27th to share how the different faith groups present dealt with rites of passage.  Ably chaired by Dr Ishak Abu Arafeh, there were contributions from all of the faiths represented.  A grand banquet followed the discussion – thanks to all the families who contributed.

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Our August meeting included a discussion about how different religions commemorate the harvest season.  A collection in aid of the Pakistan Floods Appeal was taken and £117 collected from the eight members present. Throughout Ramadan our charity collection boxes in local shops were re-labelled for the Pakistan Floods Appeal, and a further £483 collected.  Consequently the sum of £600 was sent to The British Red Cross Pakistan Floods Appeal.

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The July meeting in Falkirk was led by members of the Unification Church, who presented their principle of the  cross-cultural family as the source of peace and harmony.

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The June meeting was held in Shieldhill, and attended by Hugh O’Donnell MSP, Stirling Provost Fergus Wood and Falkirk Depute Provost Allyson Black.  The theme discussed was the role of women in religion, with an emphasis on Sikhism.

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On Saturday June 5, we engaged in our first service project, clearing rubbish from the riverbank in Stirling starting from the Customs roundabout, along Lovers Lane to the Riverside Boathouse.

Members of several local Faith groups, including various Christian denominations and Baha’is, were joined by Bruce Crawford MSP with equipment provided by Stirling Council. The quantity of rubbish in this area proved to be impressive with the added challenge of the tangle of prolific summer undergrowth.

We hope to undertake further service projects, feeling that doing things together strengthens relationships in a way that just talking does not.

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There were about a dozen members and friends at Scottish Churches’ House in Dunblane on May 30 to hear Dr Maureen Sier speak of the need for inter faith dialogue as a peace making and bridge building perspective.

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Nine members were the guests of Carolyn and Jeremy Fox in Stirling for our April Get-together, and Parvin gave us an insight into past and present persecution of Baha’is.

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The March meeting was held in Bridge of Allan on Palm Sunday, the start of what Christians call Holy Week.  Our host, Dom Ind, co-director of the Scottish Centre for Inter Faith & Spirituality, explained the significant events of that week, and how many Christians commemorate them.

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The February Meeting, was held in Clackmannanshire for the first time, in Alva, at the home of Monty Fatemi.  Nine members held a lively discussion after hearing about Satwant and Iffy’s recent visit to Pakistan, where they met many people of influence in inter faith in that country..

January’s meeting was held in the rather less than warm surroundings of the chapel at Falkirk Royal Infirmary.  Ten members met and discussed, among other things, homelessness and how a just and loving God could permit events such as the Haiti earthquake.

2008-2009 Picture Gallery:

100_16241Outside Gurudwara100_16771inside-gurudwara100_04011100_0383Public Meeting Falkirk June 2009Satwant at Beyond Tolerance launch Glasgow June 2009CSI committee at Dementia training seminar, Falkirk June 23, 2009Satwant and Andrew with other speakers at SIFC eventp1010012p1010019Christine reading Crown of Glory at the OWW serviceAt Scottish Churches HouseMembers enjoy lunch before the first CSI AGM 12 Dec 09Picture 010

From the Committee

Central Scotland Interfaith entered a new phase on Saturday 12 December when our first AGM was held after the Pot Luck Lunch in St Xavier’s Church Hall, Falkirk.

Over the past year, monthly gatherings have been held in different homes over the region, mainly on a Sunday evening.  There have also been meetings in public venues.

At the AGM a constitution was agreed and this will be sent to OSCR (Office of Scottish Charity Regulator) with a view to seeking Charity Status.

It was also agreed to vary both the days of monthly meetings and the venues – to include public venues, so as to hopefully appeal to more people.

The programme for the coming year will continue to have meetings in different parts of Central Scotland on the last Sunday evening of each month, alternating between public venues and private homes.

The Steering Group has been succeeded by a new committee: Dr Satwant Multani (Convener), Mr Jeremy Fox (Vice-Convener), Mr Andrew Sarle (Secretary), Mr ‘Iffy’ Ahmad (Treasurer) and Mrs Margaret Boland.

We would welcome your suggestions for Projects, Venues, Topics, and Speakers.  Please pass on suggestions for developing your Central Scotland Interfaith (CSI) to any member of the committee.

It was also agreed at the AGM to ask those interested to become members of CSI.  The annual subscription for 2010 has been set by the committee at £5 per person, although if you think that is too cheap you are welcome to give more.  Until we are granted charitable status, subs should be paid in cash, and receipts will be issued by either the Secretary or Treasurer.   To be eligible for membership you need to be resident, or associated with the area and be a member of a recognised faith community.

The committee propose initiating some new projects – with the additional outcome of a higher profile for us.  Our initial suggestions include hosting a “hustings” meeting for the general election, and an environmental symposium in the Autumn.  Also we plan to arrange visits to the Glasgow Central Gurudwara and Glasgow Reform Synagogue.

 

Events in 2009

Twelve people attended our inaugural AGM and lunch in Falkirk on December 12.  A constitution was adopted and the steering group plus Margaret Boland elected as the first committee.

Several members were present at the Scottish Churches’ House “Meeting Points” evening  on Dec. 4.  The theme was “Festivals of Light” and included sharing experiences of Diwali and Chanukar.

A dozen members gathered in the home of Dr & Mrs Ishaq Abu-Arafeh in Stirling on November 22, for our regular “get-together“.  After a splendid home-made Palestinian snack, members discussed some issues in advance of the AGM and talked about climate change initiatives.

Our One World Week Inter Faith Service on October 25 was very well attended.  Over 50 people were present at Erskine Church in Falkirk, and joined in singing and praying together.  Reflections were led by Ruth Cape, Carolyn and Jeremy Fox, Gordon Reid, Andrew Sarle and Christine Webster.  Prayers were led by people from the Baha’i, Christian, Muslim and Sikh traditions.  Musical accompaniment was provided by Bob Tait.  Many thanks to Glendon Macaulay and the members of Erskine.

Sunday September 27 saw the largest gathering in Satwant Multani’s home.  Over 30 people crowded in to hear Paul give a presentation about Global Peace Festivals, and plans for the One World Week Service were firmed up.  CSI were pleased to be visited by a large contingent of Sikh brothers and sisters, some from Glasgow, and others from India.

CSI’s Last Sunday Get-together was held on Wednesday 29 July!  The main topic of discussion was about some of the differences between Catholics and Protestants, which our Sikh convener found most interesting.

CSI were represented at the Scottish Inter Faith Council’s annual networking seminar in Glasgow on June 28.  Satwant and Andrew took part in Maureen Sier’s presentation about local interfaith groups, and Christine was also present.

30 people were present at CSI’s second Public Meeting, generously hosted by Provost Pat Reid in Falkirk Council Chambers on June 4.  Dr Maureen Sier and Dr Geoff Lachlan gave presentations on educational resources – Maureen on the DVD of Beyond Tolerance and Geoff spoke about the booklet Values in Harmony.  For more information see www.freshlightfilms.com and www.acts-scotland.org/cairs/downloads/values_in_harmony.pdf

Sunday, March 31, saw nine members sharing food, conversation and sunshine in our secretary’s garden.  An interesting discussion ensued after reading words spoken by Pope Benedict at an interreligious dialogue in which he took part in Jerusalem on May 11.  In his address he included these pertinent words, “While the differences we explore in interreligious dialogue may at times appear as barriers, they need not overshadow the common sense of awe and respect for the universal, for the absolute and for truth, which impels religious peoples to converse with one another in the first place.”

At the April Get-together, held  at the home of CSI treasurer Mr Iffy Hussein, we were joined by no less than three Imams, and lively discussions over a sumptuous feast ensued.

The Revs Stuart and Sally Fulton hosted the March Get-together in their Causewayhead home.  The usual interesting discussions were not hampered by the lower turnout than usual.

The Visit to Otago Street Gurudwara, Glasgow on March 15 was very successful.  6 CSI members, joined by 7 folk from other parts of Scotland, were made most welcome, and enjoyed observing Sikh worship and sharing in langar (a communal meal).

The February “Last Sunday ” Get-together was held on Feb.22 at the home of CSI’s steering group convener, Dr Satwant Multani.  Satwant welcomed 10 members of other faith communities into his home and after a Sikh prayer, explained the meaning and significance of the turban.  The discussion that ensued covered a wide range of topics, including what happens when a child “marries out” of his or her parents’ religion.

The January “Last Sunday” spiritual conversation on Jan.25 was held in the home of Pat and Parveen Morrissey (in Stirling) of the Baha’i Community, and was a great success with fourteen eager participants.  Parveen introduced some Baha’i prayers and spoke briefly about the Baha’i faith.  The group then discussed a number of spiritual values common to different faiths in small groups.

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Registered as a Scottish Charity under Scottish Charity No SC041399