Discussion On Love And Compassion Dominate Interfaith Gathering

Acharya  S. P.Dwivedi

It is difficult to define love because it carries myriad of features. Love we cannot command, dictate, buy or sell; and  it does not come with condition, stipulation, limited to boundaries of religion, culture and race. It may be said, to some extent, that it is an ejection of emotions which defy rational evaluation or a passionate desire for something.  Moreover, it is to be realized or experienced. Love as an intense desire may be found  for the family members, community, nation, other human beings, nature, living creatures, art, music and literature, and above all to God.

Compassion is an empathetic response to others’ suffering and the activity that relieves suffering. Charity, service, grace, non-violence, social obligations, justice, good governance are the expression of compassion. Among all the living entities only the   human beings are capable of compassionate behavior.

The Multifaith Action Society(MAS) organized an interfaith forum on October 22,2016 which was hosted by the Surrey Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 6270-126 St., in Surrey. The event was highlighted with launch of 2017 Multifaith Calendar produced by MAS which is the oldest and largest in circulation in North America.

The opening prayer was offered by Jim Sloan of the host Church followed by the welcome address by Derek LaCroix, past President of MAS. The emcee of the first part of event-Sherry Marceil and Dr. J. Das of the second part did exceedingly well.  During intermission, Jeff Marceil and the young musical group of the host Church played the music, and Connie Waterman of MAS entertained the guests with fresh and healthy refreshment.

The following faith leaders presented their articulate views on the theme of the forum- “Love and Compassion”: Aline La Flamme (Native Spirituality), Anastasia Atkinson (Baha’i), Rev. Koten Benson (Buddhism), Kathleen Hastings (Christianity), Acharya S. P. Dwivedi (Hindu Dharma), Dr. Syed Nasir Zaidi (Islam), Dr. Laura Kaplan (Judaism), Pat Stojak (Scientology), Sukhvinder Kaur Vinning (Sikhism),  and Firdosh Dara Mehta (Zoroastrianism). Indeed, their talks were enlightening and captivating. The Question and Answer period was enlivened with public participation.

Bernard D.Bouska, in charge of the Multifiath Calendar, gave an impressive power point presentation on 2017 Calendar.  Acharya Dwivedi, President of MAS thanked the speakers, Sherry Marceil and Marcus Hynes for their support, and wonderful listeners. Lama Tse Wong recited the closing prayer. Approximately, 100 guests of diverse faiths participated and enjoyed the spiritual after noon event.

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