Morning Meditiation and Garden walk (Uvic)
Margo grew up on the west coast of Canada. She studied theatre, history, and children’s literature at Laval University in Quebec City and McGill University in Montreal. In 2003 she received a Master of Divinity from the Harvard Divinity School.
As storyteller and consultant with the Fetzer Institute’s Generosity of Spirit Project, Margo has collected more than 200 folktales from world cultures on the theme of generosity. With colleagues Mark Nepo and Wayne Muller, she travelled to Mississippi to co-facilitate community retreats with the Mississippi Center for Justice in Jackson and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation in Oxford, Mississippi.
Margo has worked as a puppeteer, a cook, and a chaplain. From 2011 – 2012, she was Artist-in-Residence at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria.
Margo has been practicing in the Insight tradition of Theravada Buddhism since 1986. She is a student of many wonderful teachers, including Joseph Goldstein, Thanissara, Larry Rosenberg, and Burmese teacher Sayadaw U Lakkhana. In 2012, she completed her training to be a Community Dharma Leader at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. She leads evening classes and non-residential retreats in Canada, the U.S. and Ireland. She is currently a writer, storyteller, and teacher based in Victoria, BC.
Shoshana Litman tells lively stories filled with wisdom expressed in dramatic and engaging ways. Her stories and songs, drawn from Jewish and world sources as well as her vivid imagination, have inspired diverse audiences since 1997. Shoshana completed a two year study program with Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum of Brooklyn, which lead to her ordination as a Maggidah, a Jewish storyteller, speaker and teacher, in May 2008. She was also an administrator for the Mussar Institute of Vancouver for several years.
Shoshana began learning about storytelling from First Nations elders in 1977. Later she realized with delight that her own tribe had significant contributions to offer. Three years of study with an Orthodox tutor and more than a decade practicing Mussar (Jewish ethics), deepened Shoshana’s access to Jewish wisdom. She continues to share stories, songs and Torah commentary whenever the opportunity arises.
Shoshana (aka Suzanne Kort Litman) worked for 9 years as the South Vancouver Island Regional Coordinator for the Way to Go! School Program, an active school transportation program for B.C. elementary and middle schools. She has a degree in environmental science from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She has worked as a newspaper columnist, technical writer, research assistant, field biologist, registered massage therapist and travel author. Shoshana lives in a heritage house in Victoria, B.C. with her husband, Todd. Together they have raised
FR. KARAM ALRABAN
Fr. Karam Alraban was born in Baghdad, Iraq on Dec 14, 1987. In 2000, he began his religious studies there at the minor seminary of St. Peter for Chaldean Patriarchate. He later joined the major seminary of St. Peter for Chaldean Patriarchate in 2005 in both Baghdad and Erbil. He graduated from the Pontifical Babel College in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Theology.
In 2011, Father Karam was ordained a priest in the Syriac Catholic Rite and served in Our Lady of Salvation, Syriac Catholic Church until 2012. He then moved to St. Behnam, Syriac Catholic Church where he served until 2013. In 2014, Father Karam fled Iraq as a refugee to seek safety in Canada. After receiving refugee status, he was welcomed into the diocese of Victoria, B.C.
In Baghdad, Fr. Karam worked with poor, persecuted Christian families whom he visited in remote, unsecured districts of Baghdad. He coordinated with humanitarian organizations to provide them with food, bedding, and personal hygiene supplies. He also coordinated with the minister of human rights in Iraq to offer financial assistance to some of the victims of the October 31, 2010 attack on the parish of Our Lady of Salvation.
Father Karam’s ministry included the spiritual care of families through pastoral meetings in St. Behnam Church in Bagdad. These meetings provided the families with education on necessary social, psychological and spiritual issues as well as presenting them with the Church’s view of these issues. By coming together in this format, the families were given the opportunity to connect and support each other.
Father Karam also worked with youth. He led groups of young people to share the joy of the Lord by visiting the homes and care homes for seniors with special needs. He taught classes for the preparation of the sacraments in both Erbil and Baghdad. In 2011, he led a camp in Lebanon for 50 children from various religions to learn how to live in peace and to bring peace to others. In 2013, he acted as chaperone for a group of families, 48 people in total, from the parish of St. Behnam, to visit Turkey for social activities. In 2013, he went to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to replace one of the priests. There he celebrated Mass and provided activities for the Arabic speaking community in the Roman Catholic Church.
In Canada, Fr. Karam has volunteered in Catholic organizations to help refugees and make them feel welcome.
He received his Management Skills for Supervisors Certificate from Vancouver Island University on December 3, 2016. He began his ministry as the administrator of the Church of the Ascension, in Parksville, B.C., on July 13th, 2015 until April 23, 2017. He was assigned to the Church of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Victoria on May 15, 2017.
CLOSING CHRISTIAN WORSHIP
Hosted by The AbbeyChurch
Sunday at 7pm – 600 Richmond with Shane Claiborne, preacher)
The AbbeyChurch is a Christ-centred community seeking to receive everyone we meet with radical hospitality, humbly acknowledging that it is easier said than done. AbbeyChurch is a shared ministry of the Anglican and United Churches and is part of the neo-monastic Emmaus Community, who are the hosts of the Starfields Festival.
We are rooted in ancient Christian teachings and practices, intentionally creative, liturgical and intergenerational and our gatherings, including the weekly Eucharist, are open to all.
We desire to be an authentic community of steadfast love and abundant grace, and are growing into our understanding of what that looks like in our everyday. We acknowledge that we will sometime get it wrong.
We are striving to be a community that unites in Christ and celebrates diversity in all forms. We invite the sinner and saint in all of us to show up and be fed.