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In our June Newsletter: 

Successes from May: our best bits
Upcoming weekly live shows and interfaith events 
A message from Jo-Ann Sproule, on the Future of Faith
Vote for us!

New guidance, and funding, for places of worship
In May we held 4 live shows, reaching thousands of viewers with our positive interfaith messages. 

We celebrated #WorldPressFreedomDay with
 Rabbi Alex Goldberg (barrister, chaplain, and human rights activist), and Simon Barrow (Journalist and Director of Ekklesia think-tank)

For our Interfaith Insights birthday, we Came Together! with Riaz Ravat from the St Philip's Centre Ltd, interfaith visionary, and Rev Ian Dickie from Granton Baptist, involved in foodbanks and ministering to the most vulnerable in our city.

We were joined to discuss Spiritual Spaces with House of One Berlin, the ground breaking project building a shared space of worship and encounter for Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities in Berlin.

And we were joined by the legendary peacebuilder Rabbi David Rosen, and award winning Imam Qari Mohammad Asim MBE, to discuss the importance of Interfaith Dialogue today. 
These shows aim to unite faiths and cultures, celebrating great work motivated by faith and offering a platform for underrepresented voices and conversations: uniting as one humanity. SUPPORT US by sharing them with your community, and inviting your friends and family to like and follow us. 

Happy #VolunteersWeek!
Thank you to all our volunteers, past and present, for making EIFA who we are today. 

On Interfaith Dialogue: Jo-Ann Sproule

The Future of Faith show is a monthly live show which airs on Facebook, covering various relevant topics which are discussed by a host of young people of faith. The Future of Faith shows have been a massive blessing to me during the last academic year, as I have not only had the opportunity to be a guest several times, but have also had the opportunity to host, inviting my own guests from the interfaith society I was president of on Edinburgh University’s campus: The Coexistence Initiative. With the arrival of the pandemic in March 2020, I, along with many others, felt more disconnected than ever, having little hope for the survival of cross-barrier, interfaith conversations.

Future of Faith revitalised interfaith spaces and broadened the horizons of them for me, allowing me and the guests from my society to speak with a variety of national and international guests in hugely rewarding interfaith discussions.

It was an amazing project to have the privilege to be involved in, allowing me to talk to guests I would never have had the opportunity to engage with even pre-pandemic, and broadening the scope of cross-barrier discussion where distance itself once proved troublesome! 

For me, Interfaith is important for two reasons: to promote not only tolerance, but social harmony, and to amplify the voices of those whom we rarely hear. I grew up in Northern Ireland, around the deep generational scars and divides formed on the basis of religion and politics between Protestants and Catholics. I have seen young people my age claim to tolerate those of a different community while never engaging with, and in some cases, actively avoiding others, further entrenching the divide and the conflict between our communities. When I arrived in Edinburgh, obviously my horizons were broadened beyond the divides of home, but the want to rise above the generational divides I experienced, and to engage in warm, meaningful, and compassionate dialogue is something which drew me to Interfaith spaces, and is something I found in bucketloads. I Found friendship and community more meaningful than I had experienced in solely Christian spaces, and found the most profound spiritual insight and inspiration from people with Faiths very different from my own. More importantly, I felt that the preconceived biases I, and others around me, held were constantly challenged and re-educated, closing the gaps between communities and building genuine understanding. As a natural result of this, the voices of marginalised groups and their experiences are amplified in these spaces, providing a prime opportunity not only for meaningful dialogue, but for allyship and social change.

Interfaith spaces are important because of the radical nature of their compassionate listening and understanding, and the opportunity they hold to be real motivators for change.

Jo-Ann is moving on from Edinburgh, to start her career as an RE teacher! We wish her all the best: keep inspiring and challenging minds Jo-Ann, and a huge thank you from all of us at EIFA for your work bringing people together with us, and in Coexistence, this past year and beyond!

We've been nominated for a National Diversity Award! 

Vote for EIFA!

Vote for Iain Stewart, our Executive Director, in the Positive Role Model Category!
We know times are hard: we're seeing more reports of hate crimes motivated by religion, and places of worship are sometimes feeling fearful. 

There is a new funding stream available:
the Hate Crime Security Fund

If you would like to talk to one of us about applying for the fund, or would appreciate help with your application, please get in contact and we would be more than happy to assist.

Nominate us to win £1000, to continue adapting our services to the changing circumstances, and building interfaith community and understanding. 

Check out the new Government Guidance for the Safe Use of Places of Worship


Mental health challenges from the perspectives of different faiths
The final seminar in our Mental Health series will take place on Tuesday 22 June 2021. REGISTER
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Edinburgh Interfaith Association · 18 W Mayfield · Edinburgh, Scotland EH9 1TQ · United Kingdom

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