Faith communities draw from the strengths, wisdom, and practices from their spiritual tradition to make meaningful contributions.
One continuing initiative among several of the Christian churches is called No Room in the Inn remembering the difficult circumstances of Jesus’ birth. Since 1999, Christian churches have organized a Christmas campaign in support of affordable and safe housing. Each year a different housing project is chosen. In 2014, Edmonton area churches raised over $75,000 in support of renovations at Citrus Court operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association. For more information check the Edmonton and District Council of Churches website www.edccunity.org or contact John Gee at J.firstname.lastname@example.org or Don Mayne at Dmayne@shaw.ca
In March 2013, the Hindu Society of Alberta honored the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, an inspiring personality well known in India and North America, by contributing 2500 urgently needed hosiery items to Boyle Street Community Services. This donation helps people living in poverty in inner city Edmonton.
During the Christmas Season, members of Edmonton’s synagogues and the Arab Jewish Women’s Peace Coalition assist Inner City Pastoral Ministry with preparing Sunday lunch for 300 people at a time when Christian churches are very busy with the season’s celebrations.
Since 2001 members of Edmonton’s Muslim community have hosted an annual dinner at Boyle Street Community Services to mark the end of the month-long Ramadan fast. “Within the Islamic tradition,” says organizer Omar Yaqub , “there’s different forms of obligations. There’s obligations you have towards family, there’s obligations you have towards God … and there’s obligations one has towards their community. And one of the obligations we have towards our community is to feed the homeless.”
Whether it is for Parkash Purb or Vaisakhi, the Sikh Community of Edmonton never forgets Edmonton’s Food Bank. Sharing with those in need is a key aspect of Sikhism. Sikhs believe that nobody should go to bed hungry and that each and every person on earth should be fed. In 2013 alone, the Sikh Community donated 5,066 kilograms of food and $14,182 to the Food Bank.