You are here

A Seat at the Table ~ The Basics of Creating Interfaith Harmony

Banyen Talk

Tuesday, January 21, 2020
6:30pm to 8:00pm

Banyen Books & Sound
3608 West 4th Ave.


join & share Facebook event

Interfaith Leadership Incubator workshop
February 1, 2020. 10am–4pm

at: Unitarian Church, Fireside Rm.
Info & registration

Led by Cathy Merchant, Interfaith Leader, and Dr. Eloecea, Interfaith Consultant, A Seat at the Table will introduce the nuts and bolts of how to do Interfaith events, from describing different kinds of events to how to find speakers from other faith traditions. Basic listening skills, an essential component of good relationships, will be shown with an opportunity to practice what is offered. Finally, through a brief foray into science and sacred texts, we will introduce the concept that we are creating our experiences simply by choosing where we focus our attention.

This Banyen evening launches our first Interfaith Leadership Incubator workshop on Saturday 1 Feb 2020, offered as part of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. Participants in these Incubator workshops will leave with a tool kit for interfaith events, a plan and commitment for their first step in creating such an event and a beginning network of spiritual leaders with a common interest in and desire for interfaith harmony.

Cathy Merchant is the Interfaith Leader at the Living Interfaith Sanctuary in
 Vancouver, BC. She studied with Rev. Steven Greenebaum and worked as the Associate Minister of the Living Interfaith Church for three years before moving to Canada in 2017 with her family. Cathy is a Mahayanan Buddhist who is married to an Ismaili Muslim and has dedicated her life to “living Interfaith.” Prior to studying with Steven, Cathy specialized in conflict resolution pertaining to the Israel / Palestine conflict. She worked for the Compassionate Listening Project, the American Friends of the Parents Circle Families Forum, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. In 2013, Cathy received her master’s degree in Middle East Studies from the University of Washington. She is currently a Master of Divinity student at the Vancouver School of Theology.

Eloecea, Ph.D., was a retired psychologist before being guided to the Vancouver School of Theology where she graduated with a Master of Arts in Indigenous and Inter-Religious Studies in 2019. Born into a conservative Christian tradition which did not serve her well, Dr. Eloecea explored feminist, liberation and queer theologies and still felt there was more to the story. Studying with a New Age group for several years, Eloecea was introduced to a universal or cosmic understanding of who we are and why we are here. Today her focus is on opening to Unity Consciousness and assisting others to allow Joy to flow in their lives as we seek harmony with all of creation. Her website, Our Journey into Joy, offers an integration of psychology and spirituality in a way that affirms and respects all spiritual paths as we journey together. Dr. Eloecea is the Interfaith Consultant at the Living Interfaith Sanctuary.