July 20th, 2024

Interfaith Network hopes to link people with needed resources

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on March 16, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Interfaith Network, Southern Alberta Ethnic Association and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have partnered up for a community-building dialogue this week.
The “Making Our Community a Better Place” event will take place on Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Multicultural Centre located on 421 6 Ave South and will give people the opportunity to connect with multiple resources in the community. The event can also be attended virtually.
“We’re trying to message to our community that by setting aside differences by coming out of the doldrums that we’ve been in for the last two years, let’s come together as a community and look outward, serve others, give to others,” said Daren Heyland, co-chair of the Lethbridge Interfaith Network.
During the event, a Canadian Mental Health Association representative will speak about how to connect people in need to the right community resources in the right way. A Volunteer Lethbridge representative will talk about community service opportunities and the emerging and evolving role of Volunteer Lethbridge, and a representative from JustServe will speak about local service opportunities. Lethbridge Mayor Blaine Hyggen will provide closing remarks.
Heyland said that this type of event is created to provide awareness of the resources available within the community and to make connections with others after being in isolation for the last couple of years.
“Job number one of our event is to create that awareness of the resources in the community, that we can help people that need get to them at the right time, at the right place. And job number two is just to explain the opportunities to serve to get involved in volunteering, get involved in outward thinking, outward giving,” said Heyland.
He said that science supports the concept of if we give more to others with kindness, we are going to benefit as well in terms of mental and physical health.
“So we are just trying to message that, at a time when we live in a difficult world and we’re just coming out of COVID,” said Heyland.
The Interfaith Network was created in 2019, with representation of various different faith-based communities in Lethbridge.
“The Interfaith Network tries to have as one of its governing values to create a harmonious peaceful society where we create a safe space to be able to talk about our differences, learn about our differences, but in doing so we actually come to a greater understanding of our calmness, our common humanity,” said Heyland.
The network provides education for people interested in learning about their differences in doctrines and belief practices, and they try to provide opportunities to serve as faith-based communities, whether that be at the food bank or the soup kitchen or other organizations that need assistance.

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