When I was a kid, during the summer holidays we'd go to my paternal grandparents
in east central Saskatchewan, or on very rare occasions, to my maternal
grandmother's on Seal Island, a 3.5 hour ride by lobster boat (Cape Islander)
through the Gulf Stream/Bay of Fundy tidal bore [no seasick wanted on the voyage]
from Clark's Harbour, Nova Scotia. In the latter case there was an abandoned
church which my brother or I would hold a brief Sacrament service in. At first we
would just hold it, but later wrote to the MP in Halifax to ask for the proper
keys, which we always got.

In Saskatchewan, however, at that time there were no nearby branches (there are
now, but this was then). We'd go to the little village German Lutheran church
which sat about 50 people, the church where I was christened and where my aunt
was the organist. I felt the Spirit there just as much, because I prepared
myself, and read scriptures. And I partook of the eucharist, although I did not
feel it was of "official" benefit. Likewise on the half dozen or so occasions
I've been to Catholic mass, either on my mission in Bavaria, or with an Irish
Catholic girlfriend I had in high school in California. Interesting: her comment
about our chapel was that it was like attending church in someone's living room.
;-)

I'd be honoured to join Muslim friends at Friday prayer, and always avoid eating
and drinking in front of observant Muslims during Ramadan (although I feel
perfectly free to eat when they're not around). In fact, ironically, one of the
most powerful business clans in Edmonton is an Ismaili South Asian clan. Ismailis
are an offshoot of Shi'ism and settled in East Africa. Idi Amin kicked them out
of Uganda (thereby depriving his country of their entire middle class at one
shot, proving that evil and stupidity are separated at times by a fine line), and
most of them came to Canada, as did the lady I deal with most of the time, who's
roughly my age, so doesn't have much memory of Uganda. They own one of the nicest
restaurants in town, called Khazana's (Mark -- do you know where Audrey's Books
is? On 108th? Go about a block north, and on the eastern side is the restaurant
-- it's the only Edmonton restaurant ever to get a 5-star review in the National
Post). Once she took a colleague and me to lunch for Christmas, and her younger
nephew, and the president of the holding company [Mark will by now almost
certainly have figured out which computer support services company I'm talking
about now -- they're in the ING building not that far from you guys], and they
both had coffee and a bit of wine, plus a small bit of "fhool" in pita bread. I
greeted them with "Eid Mubarak," as it was near the end of Ramadan, and they both
blushed in embarrassment. The one who knew me better said, "well, as you can see,
we're not observing Muslims," but I put them at their ease by reminding them that
the Qu'ran said that the restrictions of Ramadan were lifted for those who were
travelling on Hajj or on business. They were very impressed with both the tact of
my comment and my knowledge of the Qu'ran. They know both my boss and I are LDS.

Mark, if I had a nice story to tell about *your* boss, I would. :-/
(but he's very generous, devoted to his home town and he and his wife have made
all of you guys feelthy reech).

Gary Smith wrote:

> I would add a slight twist to this. I think that other religions DO have
> saving truths (not ordinances), and they have the ability to bring people

--
Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“We do not think that there is an incompatibility between words and deeds; the
worst thing is to rush into action before the consequences have been properly
debated…To think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was
a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly
character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was
totally unfitted for action.” – Pericles about his fellow-Athenians, as quoted by
Thucydides in “The Peloponessian Wars”

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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