Tuesday, June 28, 2011

(Day 16) On a multi-faith, multi-faceted world...

View from my room!  Nice!!
This event I am attending is really two events running side by side - and I have a foot in each.  On the one side is the National Chaplaincy Conference (Correctional Services Canada) and on the other is the Prison Fellowship International Convocation.  There is some overlap but essentially for the most part the streams flow independently - this was very evident this morning during the beautiful morning devotional.


The gathering began with a video presentation of various calls to prayer from various world religions: bells, prayer chants and songs.  The group then sang together one of my favourite Taize pieces: Ubi Caritas and held silence for a few moments.  The service then continued with representatives from Wiccan, Buddhist, Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Sikhism traditions each coming forward and offering a prayer or reflection from their tradition after lighting simple candle on a table.  I was so deeply moved by the commonality that was ours in that room as each spoke of the power of love, the mystery of that healing power that flows among us and through us.


The morning continued with a presentation by Dr. Tom O'Connor on what he calls the "$27 Dollor Solution for Transforming Corrections" touching on research that has led him to make connections between effective chaplaincy and effective relationships through a theory called motivational interviewing.  It will be interesting to see how the Management Team and other implement some of his ideas.


After lunch which was shared with delegates from the Prison Fellowship International Convocation we returned to a plenary session where the Enhanced Partnership Model was introduced.  As I was part of the development team I was part of the presentation and ensuing discussion.  Let's just say that reaction to the report was mixed and I am not one bit surprised...  Clarity remains elusive...


Following supper this evening there is the opening ceremonies in the Grand Ballroom... and I will not be there... I have put in my two units of work today and there are the bright lights of Toronto to experience and explore!

CN Tower from someplace on York St.
...On the Sabbath Road...

CPS: The evening found me enjoying walk with Margaret Hoyt, a friend from Moncton who is the Executive Director of CFCN Canadian Family Corrections Network) down York Street to King St. West, along King to Mountain Equipment Co-op where I did a little window shopping.  We stopped at one of the Jazz Festival venues for a few moments but the music had not begun so we continued to an outside patio where we enjoyed a a drink and some conversation.  As storm clouds rolled in from the lake Margaret headed to the nearest Chapaters Bookstore I returned to the Sheraton and enjoyed a soak in the hot-tub and a swim in the pool, followed by a beer with Kevin at Traders where we caught up on our respective families and work situations.

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