Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Prayer, praying and diversity

My day today was bookmarked by suits! I rarely wear a suit and even more rarely do I wear a tie. But today was different.

Very early this morning I attended the Prayer Breakfast hosted by the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Justice of Saskatchewan. There were many suits there and lots of ties.

This was an interesting event - bible readings, a few prayers (my wife presented a prayer for the province) and a few speeches.

This Breakfast has been an institution in Regina for, I'm told, almost 40 years. With my wife on the committee and two other women including an aboriginal elder this Breakfast seems to be expanding its reach and opening itself to diversity.

Yet despite the fact that the speaker was Richie Hall, one of the Roughrider coaches and an African American, the event was still pretty white and christian. The blessing on the meal was invoked through Jesus and the main message brought by the speaker was the effect on his life by accepting Jesus into his heart.

I am a supporter of these kinds of activities and I have a real appreciation for those individuals who are striving, in very real ways, to embrace diversity.

But I do recognize that it is hard to change and slow to change - however I accept progress in these arenas as measured in inches.

On the other hand my second suit experience of the day was the EMCY Awards. Check out their website at:

EMCY - Enriching My Canada and Yours - "The purposes of the Foundation are to advance research in diversity, celebrate diversity, celebrate multiculturalism, celebrate Canada, foster cooperation and harmony among the diverse communities that make up Canada; to recognize leaders in diversity; to recognize outstanding achievements in diversity; provide a common forum and meeting ground for the community; represent the viewpoint of creators and innovators in diversity management; and foster educational activities related to the understanding of diversity and economic benefits."

This brand new organization had their first annual awards dinner tonight. It was well attended and the award winners were impressive. The crowd was made up of the amazing diversity in Canada. Sitting around me at our table and the neighboring tables were people of various skin colour, accent, religions and beliefs.

Both types of activities have their place - both are appreciated - and both provided thought provoking experiences for me.

They are different from each other. One is attempting to break out of its past and embrace the diversity of Canada and the other is trying to build a future where diversity is seen as normal course. They are both making Canada a better place

And next the Regina MultiFaith Forum Dinner!

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