On Saturday June 17, 2017 Five Oaks held its AGM. What a difference a year can make! The mood was enlivening, as we listened to reflections on our theme of Sacred Place. The Five Oaks foundational understanding of sacred place was shared, along with this understanding from our new partner communities of Six Nations, and our Muslim brothers and sisters.
It was something to behold.
Yvonne Stewart, our new board chair, spoke of the celtic tradition upon which Five Oaks was founded. She described the celtic understanding of liminal or "thin" places where there is immense transparency between the physical and the spiritual. Often when we go to such sacred places we receive what we need for life's journey. She shared examples from our Judaeo-Christian stories where people encounter a presence in a sacred place that sends them out on a journey.
Dr. Mahmoud Haddara, a leader from the Muslim community, shared why Mecca is such a sacred place, in light of the stories in the Muslim tradition, and how it affects the life journey of Muslims today.
Renée Thomas-Hill, an indigenous elder, spoke about how all creation is sacred. She offered a very robust speech for panentheism. Abdul-Rehman Malik (one of our first connections who assisted in visioning a new way of being for Five Oaks), spoke soulfully about the great need for sacred places like Five Oaks to serve humanity ~ sacred places where people of all faiths come together, learn from and with each other; and thus, emanate justice and peace back out into the world. Throughout our meeting time, it was re-affirmed that Five Oaks is one of these sacred places, now truly opening up for all to come and experience.
The meeting culminated in the membership approving our Five Oaks' Business Plan (along with a ground swell of applause!). In doing so, Five Oaks becomes one of North America's first interfaith/intercultural centres.
We invite you to share this news far & wide!!!
Clearly, Five Oaks' new vision and mission will bring people together with vastly varying ideas. Together we will live in community, share what we believe, listen with respect, bridge and heal relationships, and work together for justice and peace.
The newly elected board members are a diverse collective of our new vision, with four seats being held by partner representatives. Just click on the link below to read the individual biographies of our stellar new board:
Translating the vision of the board into concrete action will be the task of various volunteer teams. If you are interested in offering your time and talent to one of our exciting new Working Teams (as laid out in the Five Oaks Business Plan), please click on the link below to complete our form:
To review your copy of our Business Plan click on the following link:
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OR SETUP WITH PAR at 519-442-3212 x22, Mon-Fri, 9am-4:30pm