The Interfaith tour began on Thursday, January 17 at our own Manitoba Buddhist Temple. The turnout was overwhelming. Over 200 people filled the temple to observe how a Buddhist service is performed. The enthusiastic crowd showed a genuine interest by participating in the meditation and chanting exercises.
The series is organized by the Winnipeg Free Press "Faith Columnist", Brenda Suderman. She describes the tour as "prying open our comfort zones, experiencing each other at worship, prayer and other rituals, and learning just a bit more about ourselves and our neighbours in the process." She wrote in her column following the session:
Last Thursday night, more than 150 people packed the 60-year-old Buddhist Church near the Health Sciences Centre for an introduction to Buddhism, the first stop on a six-session interfaith course co-sponsored by the University of Winnipeg and the Manitoba Interfaith Council. That enthusiastic response astounded organizers, and proves to (Sensei) Ulrich that people are convinced of the need for interfaith dialogue and co-operation.
"You're here because there's a grassroots interest in this, it's a lay movement," the former Methodist minister turned Buddhist sensei told the audience during the three hours of chanting, singing, explanations, and questions. "In a pluralistic, multi-faith society, we end up with pluralistic, multi-faith individuals."