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Interfaith event in Sault Ste. Marie celebrates World Religion Day

Arthur Funeral Home will host the event on January 21st

Sault Ste. Marie will play host to its 33rd annual World Religion Day ceremony on January 21st, 2024, and bring all faiths together to promote one beautiful message.

Though the event began in 1991 with the Bahá’í community organizing their own, a synergy in 2016 would form The Volunteer Interfaith Committee of Sault Ste. Marie. Since then, people from all faiths and backgrounds have been working together to make the event memorable.

“World Religion Day was first established in 1950 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’í of the United States, and has been celebrated worldwide on the third Sunday of January since. It celebrated the similarities of all religions and furthers unity within us,” said Bahá’í Inter-Faith Committee Member Chris Faulkner.

“Although we all have different ways of worshipping, the common thread through us all is our ultimate faith. This is such a unique event in Sault Ste. Marie.”

Faulkner says the synergy from everyone has really helped things run smoothly for the group.

“Having this committee has been really amazing. Seeing everyone from different backgrounds come together to do this is heartening. We were one of the first in the area to develop it,” said Faulkner. “This year, the theme is around the things happening during the pandemic. We are focusing on ‘You Are Not Alone’ and ‘Love Unites Us.’”

The ceremony will have speakers from different religions of Native Spirituality, Bahá’í, the Hindu faith, Jewish faith, Muslim and Christian faiths.

“Each group will give a five-minute presentation on how to be there for each other as a community. In the beginning we will have prayers in all the different faiths,” said Faulkner.

“We will both focus on those who passed away and suffered through the pandemic, and the second part is to how to support each other after it.”

They try to establish through this event the positive contributions that the majority of religion gives to people from all different walks of life.

“We don’t foster extreme views. This event isn’t for political statements. Human beings have a way of seeing things different ways, but this event is about finding things that we have in common,” he said.

The event will be held at Arthur’s Funeral Home for the first time, and Faulkner says he is so happy that they have come on-board.

“They’re so fantastic. They realize we are a volunteer organization. There isn’t much financial support behind this – Our groups give what we can. But Arthur’s has done so much,” he said.

“From encouraging us to acting as our venue and even helping with catering, they’ve been there. They have been helping us in our mission to bring this event to a diverse group of people. We are just really excited to have people attend this.”

The ceremony will be at Arthur’s Funeral Home at 492 Wellington Street East, at the Barton & Kiteley Chapel. It will be Sunday, January 21st, 2024, at 2 p.m.

For more information about the event, please call 705-946-4803 or 705-253-1878.