The following is a  report of the educational activities we have had in 2011-2012. If you have found these interesting, please encourage your friends to become members.

We also welcome suggestions for future programs. The more voices we hear, the more unity we experience. Feel free to contact any of the committee members listed below.

Gabriola Ecumenical Society Education Committee Report to the AGM 

The committee members are:- Imelda Cuthbertson(chair), Ted Brydges,  Anniken de Lissa,  John Gooding,  Shelagh Huston,  Rohana Laing,  Del McCarthy,  Susan Murray,  Robbie Nichols,  Anne Sims,  Paddy Waymark and Maureen Wild.

Our theme this year was “Spirituality without Borders”.

We held a potluck luncheon and the committee members who attended examined what each of us meant by ecumenism. We discovered that we were all ‘on the same page so to speak’ and were really delighted to find that others shared our points of view too as we had never really sat down and examined this topic together before.  We also discussed what ‘Faith’ meant to us. We became very aware of how careful we needed to be about our wording in articles and news reports. We then moved on to the more practical aspects of programming. Besides providing interesting and varied programmes we also tried to streamline our efforts. Del’s checklist provided to each team giving the timeline and steps needed for organizing each event was extremely useful.  We decided to work in teams of at least two people for each event. We would continue to offer our programmes in different places and at various times to reach as many people as possible. The Commons, the Net loft, the United Church and the Roxy all hosted presentations. We would prepare small handouts which could be displayed or handed out for each event. Additionally we made a Bookmark which had the year’s programmes listed and some general information about GES.

May 26 – Tim Bruns of Island Yoga did a presentation at The Commons on the Bhagavad Gita focused on Gandhi’s favourite verses. This was extremely well received. (Organized by Lynn Holden and Rohana Laing)

September 22, 2011 at the Net Loft – Janet Lironi on Buddhism (some 51 people attended) organized by Annekin De Lissa and Del McCarthy. This was videotaped and DVD may be borrowed.

November 11, 2011, Living a Jewish Life presented by Kymn Goodman. We celebrated Shabbat and had a potluck supper afterwards. This was the evening a violent storm hit Gabriola and there was no power. However we forged ahead and some 35 people experienced a wonderful evening. (Organized by John Gooding and Susan Murray)

November 17th, 2011 Maureen Wild arranged for three showings of “Journey of the Universe” by Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker at the Roxy. This event was co-sponsored by the GES.

December 8, 2011 Caroling with Care was organized by Jill Marsh and Anniken De Lissa. Some 22 carolers sang at the The Lions Garden Homes and then visited a number of other homes. A lovely festive evening was the result.

January 2012. Journey of the Universe, a film and discussion programme developed by Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker, was offered. Though there were 20 half hour discussion DVDs Maureen was going to present what she could in four sessions on Tuesday afternoons at The Net Loft from 3 to 4:30pm. Three were held with up to 15 people attending each session. The fourth session will be Monday, May 14. Imelda Cuthbertson helped Maureen with the organization.

February 2, 2012 Journey to the Heart. Practices for deepening, a panel discussion led by Shelagh Huston. Shelagh had 7 panelists drawn from all walks of life and various spiritual practices. A large mixed age crowd showed up, around 50, and the resultant discussion was wonderful, many saying that an opportunity like this was long overdue and thanked Shelagh for her foresight. Imelda helped Shelagh with the organization. This was videotaped and a DVD is available for borrowing.

March: GES was asked by Dr Linda St Clair to help sponsor the Lenten series The Path to your door – approaches to Christian Spirituality. We assisted with the session led by Rev Dr Adela Torchia who came from Powell River.

April 13/14 the annual Forum: Coping with Loss and Change. Choosing the path right for you was led by Dr Nancy Reeves. Some 35 people attended this two day event co sponsored by the United Church. All reports indicated that it was a big success. Organizing team was Anne Sims, Dell McCarthy, Robbie Nichols, Paddy Waymark and Imelda Cuthbertson.

These eight events close off a very rewarding series of topics made possible by the hard work of all the committee – my thanks to all the committee members.