Connie Waterman works tirelessly to build a community where all can thrive
Connie Waterman brings together people from different religious, spiritual and secular traditions to build peace and understanding in our community. Connie sits on the Surrey Interfaith Council and Board of Directors for the Multifaith Action Society in Vancouver.
“My commitment to community building is the reason why I serve on the Surrey Interfaith Council and the board of the Multifaith Action Society and why I co-host weekly interfaith devotional gatherings with another family in my neighbourhood.” Connie says. “These are opportunities for people to come together for meaningful conversations that, hopefully, will lead to a transformation of their thinking and actions.”
Recently, Connie co-organized two Interfaith Pilgrimages in Surrey. The first, in November 2015, was in response to the bombings in Paris and Beirut. The second, in February 2016, was part of the global United Nations designated World Interfaith Harmony Week. Both events were well attended and fostered many new connections and friendships between people with diverse worldviews.
“The creation of spaces where groups of people from different cultures and faiths or philosophical outlooks is imperative if we are to learn to understand one another and build a community where all can thrive,” Connie says. “I believe that effective leadership is done from the background, where the individuals and groups feel empowered to devise plans of action, free from outside criticism but guided by the firm belief that all people have been created noble and with capacity.”
In addition to the Surrey-wide events that Connie supports, she also works diligently at the neighbourhood level. For the last three years, Connie has hosted weekly gatherings of the Surrey Interfaith Contemplative Group at her home, and has supported the development of similar groups in other neighbourhoods. This open and intimate community gathering invites people from all backgrounds to meditate together and share readings, prayers, songs and chants from their diverse traditions.
See the full summary of Community Leader Awards in this article in the Now Leader Newspaper.