BY S. RAKHRA
Not many people are able to say that they have had the privilege to be in a room full of representatives from many different faiths educating a large group of people about their spiritualities. Luckily, the grade 11 students of MDHS can say they have. The Annual Faces of Faith was held on November 23, 2016 , it is a conference that provided a safe space for people of all different religions, faiths and spiritualities to come together to educate each other and the students of MDHS. There were a variety of representatives coming from a wide range of backgrounds and from many different faiths such as Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Baha’i and two Indigenous guest speakers. They shared their point of view as well as their journey of how they reached this part of their faith.
The conferences had a kick start in a large group, the grade 11 students all gathered in front of the stage in the theater. The guest speakers were all seated on the stage eager to start sharing. A panel question was posed to the guest speakers and each guest speaker answered relating it back to their faith. Students got to take part in stations, in smaller groups that allowed them to get a deeper understanding of each faith. The representatives discussed what it meant to be part of that faith as well as issue that may surround that particular faith. Students got to learn about religions that they may not know existed till they came to the conference. It is such a powerful thing to come together and create tolerance through sharing others opinions, cultures and spiritualities. This conference also helped eliminate stereotypes that people may have had coming in. Students got the chance to ask questions, without any fear of judgement, and the representatives answered with great respect. The knowledge and beauty of each religion was not all the students left with but they also had a full belly, since the staff had arranged an amazing buffet with lots of good food. This gathering was a true representation of the diversity within MDHS and our community.
The day was arranged by Ms. Mooney and her grade 11 World Religion Class.