In an effort to foster a better understanding of the many faiths that make up our communities, DRP members joined regional staff for a multifaith tour across Durham Region on Sep. 20. The DRP initiative was made possible through a partnership between regional staff and the diversity committee. Diversity officer Cst. Keith Richards says members of the Christian, Islamic, Hindu and Jewish faiths were approached to take part in the tour and were happy to invite dialogue with regional staff.
The day began with a presentation on Christianity at Regional Headquarters; the contingent then travelled on a Durham Transit bus to the Muslim Association of Whitby, Devi Mandir Hindu Temple in Pickering and Beth Zion Synagogue in Oshawa. Cst. Richards says physically attending the different places of worship was extremely valuable. “Members of the different faiths were able to give us their message in their own places of worship and this led to a better understanding of their customs and practices,” he says.
The group was encouraged to ask candid questions in an open manner, without anyone taking offence and this really helped everyone involved understand each other a little better. “This event allowed us to make sense of things we see and hear in the media and elsewhere,” says Cst. Richards. “The different faith-based leaders were able to break things down for us so we could understand why some things are the way they are.”
It’s also important to note that all faiths have varying degrees of commitment, so not all people of the same faith will fall under the same umbrella.
Cst. Richards encourages all members of the service and the community to get out and visit your local places of worship in order to better understand and respect different practices and traditions. Doing so will make Durham Region a stronger community.
faith thumb (JPG file, 42.8K bytes)
The tour visited the Devi Mandir Hindu Temple in Pickering (JPG file, 150.0K bytes)