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Crossing Cultures VI

The Crossing Cultures Together event aims to build oneness in Christ while being respectful of differences between cultures and providing an understanding that allows people to live together harmoniously across cultural differences” says Prof. Nam Soon Song, Director of the Centre for Asian-Canadian Theology and Ministry at Knox College.

The 6th Annual Crossing Cultures Together was held on May 17, 2010 with over 60 attendees participating in the full-day event. The program began at 2pm with a worship service. The Rev. Dr. Stuart Macdonald preached a sermon that focused on the phrase ‘He was a Samaritan (or an outsider).’ This phrase provided emphasis for the day – how one can change from an outsider to an insider by changing the attitude toward both in terms of the meaning of marginalization – and the activities transitioned through Christian and Native traditions and concluded with traditional Chinese music at 9:30pm.

Brian Stewart addresses the crowd at Crossing Cultures

Brian Stewart addresses the crowd at Crossing Cultures

Renowned Canadian journalist, Brian Stewart, provided a keynote address to those gathered, sharing his wide ranging experiences gleaned from his years of reporting from ten crisis areas of the world. He drew attention to the various response patterns of Canada to areas of need. He surprised those in attendance with the news that the greatest per capita giving to the Haiti crisis was from the Inuit. The reason, he said, was that the Inuit people knew from their own experience, the hardship which comes with famine, lack of adequate food supplies and natural disasters. Mr. Stewart followed his address with a question and answer period on a variety of topics related to religion and culture.

Following a delicious meal, the evening session began with a colourful demonstration by the drummers and dancers from the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. The performers invited members of the audience to join with them in one of their traditional dances as well.

The theme of ‘Diversity in Oneness” continued with a panel presentation and discussion that involved delegates from the University Presbyterian Church, Trinity Mandarin Presbyterian Church, Eglise St. Luc of Montreal and Wexford Presbyterian Church. Following the presentation was another question and answer period for those attending.

The event closed with many thanks for all those responsible for organizing such an impactful event and to Prof. Song and the Asian Centre for their role in bringing this type of learning to the community. Plans are already underway for the 2011 installment of this series.