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Thread of 1000 Stories

The first purpose of the Thread is to let Canadians link to the stories of faith in their lives.

It's to give us all space to set down our stories and place them, like outward spiralling mosaic tiles, side-­by-­side.

Its deeper role is to create, through the very act of intentional collection, the narrative argument that faith is real in Canada, and faith is vital to Canada.

It’s not to make a polemical or dogmatic or evangelizing argument. It’s to show the very existence of stories of faith in Canada proves faith is an essential part of the whole Canadian story. It always has been. It always should be. It’s a golden thread that connects us by signifying: ‘This is Canada. Faith matters.’

Peter StocklandPETER STOCKLAND
Senior Writer & Editor ‐ Thread of 1000 Stories

#108: Peter Foggin

by Neil Bramble on March 24th, 2017

Throughout his life Peter Foggin has been motivated by a deep sense of mission and God’s personal call. He pursued that call in the world of academia, spending his professional life as a university professor in Quebec, providing leadership to his colleagues, in field work projects, and in extensive research. His field of specialization—medical geography—equipped him to develop a mission of compassion to various people groups, which included northern Canada, Haiti, and Thailand, but his primary focus was China, Mongolia, and the Tibetan plateau. In retirement he continues to travel extensively to Asia to carry on his mission. 

#107: Pure laine and Purim

by Gideon Strauss on 2017-03-23

In the eleventh installment of his Outremont series, columnist Gideon Strauss takes us through Quebec history through the eyes of Guy, a “pure laine Outremonter.” Read more ›

#106: Beyond the Usual Suspects

by Barb Briggs on 2017-03-21

Beth Tzedec, a synagogue in SW Calgary chose to do something rather than nothing in the face of human trauma in Syria. They decided to sponsor a refugee family. Read more ›

#105: Lionel Groulx

by Preston Jones on 2017-03-17

Lionel-Adolphe Groulx did not only write history, he made it, stoking the flame of Quebec nationalism. Groulx was a historian who believed that pride in the past would give French Canadians confidence in their future. Despite thirty-four years as a professor at the University of Montreal, Groulx was no ivory-tower academic. He engaged in popular journalism, wrote novels, advocated schemes designed to increase Quebec’s economic independence and initiated a Catholic students’ organization in the province. Read more ›

#104: Charles Ellington

by Lloyd Mackey on 2017-03-10

Charles Ellington is a “product” the Protestant Orphanage in Victoria. Ellington later played a pivotal role in the transitioning of the traditional and now-outmoded orphanage to a multi-faceted government-assisted cluster of family services and facilities. Read more ›

#103: Inspiring Missions in Vancouver

by John Hall on 2017-03-09

Missions Fest Vancouver has served the Christian community of Vancouver and the Fraser Valley for 34 years. What began as a small collaborative effort to put on a mission conference between a number of churches in the region, has now grown to be an organization that serves the church community all year long. In fact, we now run the largest annual Christian mission conference in North America.  Read more ›

#102: Reaching our Mothers

by Gideon Strauss on 2017-03-03

In his eighth regular dispatch from Montreal’s faith-rich Outremont district, Gideon Strauss meets Nora Chénier-Jones and Jennifer Dorner, the women who co-founded Pluralisme Outremont, a group promoting an appreciation of diversity in Outremont's schools. Read more ›

#101: Coming Home from Hate

by Gary Rose on 2017-03-03

In a Canadian home, the memories of suffering and heartbreak, the warmth of Yazidi hospitality, the gift of peace, and a tapestry of stories that brought new Canadians to "the land of milk and honey" mingle together. Read more ›

#100: Giving Space

by Gideon Strauss on 2017-02-24

Leila Marshy, the daugther of a Palestinian refugee, moved to Outremont in 2008. She grew to understand the Hasidim in her community and what they were contributing to her neighbourhood. When tension surrounding the referendum arose, she spoke out in support of her local synagogue. Read more ›

#99: Prayer Houses

by Jennifer Neutel on 2017-02-23

Calgary’s interfaith community hosted Habitat for Humanity build days during UN World Interfaith Harmony Week in early February. Pictured: a clergy build day last August in Calgary. Read more ›

#98: The Reading Light

by Helen Warner on 2017-02-22

A decade ago, Helen Warner felt a calling to help incarcerated women keep their bond with their children. Since then, she has been recording women in custody reading to their children. Through this experience have come countless stories of the strength of love. Read more ›

#97: The Sidewalk View

by Gideon Strauss on 2017-02-10

In his seventh regular dispatch from from Montreal’s faith-rich Outremont district, Gideon Strauss meets with Emile Kutlu, the president of the Laurier West Merchant Association, responsible for the commercial interests along this street that runs along the southern end of the borough of Outremont to Mile End.  Read more ›

#96: Margaret Burwash

by Marguerite Van Die on 2017-02-10

Margaret Proctor Burwash had a keen interest in the welfare of female students at the University of Toronto’s Victoria College, and believed that their education should be largely in the hands of women. Read more ›

#95: Leonard Loved The Light

by Douglas Todd on 2017-02-07

Most biographers focus on how Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen was rooted in Judaism and how he took up Zen Buddhist practice. Many fans also recount his fondness for psychedelics, wine and the erotic. Yet it’s especially intriguing that, despite his iconoclasm, Cohen also appealed to millions who are active or nominal Christians.   Read more ›

#94: The Silent Fall into Love

by Jennifer Neutel on 2017-02-06

A group of multifaith Calgarians meets every week for a contemplative service. Together they focus on experience rather than language or doctrine, and experience the peace and rest that silence offers.     Read more ›

#93: To Wake Up the Heart

by Gideon Strauss on 2017-02-03

In the sixth of his regular dispatches from from Montreal’s faith-rich Outremont district, Gideon Strauss talks to one restaurant owner of Jewish background who was drawn to Sufi Islam. Read more ›

#92: Agnes Macphail

by Terry Crowley on 2017-02-03

Agnes Macphail was Canada’s first female member of Parliament. She, a radical, believed in thinking anew about collective problems rather than reverting to outmoded prescriptions.  Read more ›

#91: Harmony in Halifax

by Jennifer Neutel on 2017-02-01

As we begin World Interfaith Harmony Week 2017, Jennifer Neutel shares how Halifax has become a model of religious diversity and openness.   Read more ›

#90: Bill Blaikie

by Nigel Hannaford on 2017-01-27

The Hon. William (Bill) Alexander Blaikie (born 1951) is a former federal Member of Parliament and Manitoba provincial conservation minister, now occasionally teaching a course on faith and politics at the University of Winnipeg. One of the leading exponents of late-twentieth century Canadian Christian socialism, Blaikie was in opposition during his entire twenty-nine and a half year career in federal politics. Nevertheless, he is considered to have been a successful and effective politician, and one of the fathers of the Canada Health Act. Read more ›

#89: Façades and Values

by Gideon Strauss on 2017-01-27

This week author Gideon Strauss brings us an alternate perspective on the ongoing conversation occurring in Outremont over the borough referendum campaign supporting a ban on new places of worship on Bernard Avenue.   Read more ›

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