Event co-sponsored by Justice Committee. At Knox United Church, Sunday, March 9, 2014.
The Social Justice Initiatives Ministry voted last month to co-sponsor an event put on by “Align With Joy” to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 9. This afternoon event was organized by Alice Hong and Jony Tabbiner, who facilitated a Sacred Healing Circle for over 100 men, women, and children. All proceeds went to Youville, a shelter for abused women. The Justice Committee unanimously approved this project, which made rental of the gym and labyrinth room less expensive for the organizers. This also fits our mandate to collaborate with like-minded non-profit organizations, so was a win-win situation. We also approved that we would pay for the extra caretaker’s costs.
The event was well-attended, with people coming from a wide network that “Align With Joy” has on social media, yoga studios, and EDGE (St. Andrew’s Outreach program). Tables displayed related women’s businesses, and women from Youville spoke with individuals at their table. A wide variety of items were offered for silent auction, including soaps, bath items, books, teas, massages, and yoga classes. A photographer took pictures of women, many who donned her wide assortment of hats and scarves. An artist painted an impromptu painting on the stage. A pianist and violinist accompanied Alice Hong as she guided us in yoga positions and breathing. Jony and Alice helped the audience experience deep calm and sense of purpose in their remarks about women’s power. They shared their personal stories, and guided us in reflecting on our own. Colourful cloths, candles and crystals created a central space, around which we all sat to listen and reflect. The atmosphere was holy, creative, respectful and calm. After a break, about 25 people met in the Labyrinth room with Jony for a meditation based on Buddhist philosophy, while the majority of people continued with yoga with Alice.
This was a lovely way for Knox to celebrate International Women’s Day. Although less than ten of the attendees were known to be from Knox, it served to show us that we are not alone, we don’t have to do it all, and that spirituality is alive and well within the wider world. For more information, visit “Align With Joy” on Facebook, and watch for upcoming events that they sponsor and hold at Knox United Church.
By Sharon Montgomery
(photos to come)