Portrait of Rev. Dr. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd
Rev. Dr. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd
Credit: Nancy Pinnell
Published On: February 1, 2024

Manitoba’s Lieutenant-Governor, the Honourable Anita Neville, will present the Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding to Rev. Dr. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd at a ceremony at Government House on Tuesday, February 6, at 5 p.m.

This annual award is presented at a ceremony at Government House, usually to someone who exemplifies understanding among religious groups. Rev. Dr. Shepherd has a passion for building relationships with people of other faith traditions, because the effort holds great possibility of effecting change in our world. This conviction is clearly expressed in her teaching and writing.

“When different faith traditions draw deeply from a common well of compassion and wisdom, we will better be able to hold multiple truths at the same time and to resist us/them binary thinking, especially in the heat of the moment,” Rev. Dr. Shepherd says. “Interfaith solidarity can only happen when we are equally concerned about violence and human rights violations on every side of a conflict. Divine nudging will urge us to reach across the divides of an increasingly polarized world and dare to connect hands and hearts.”

Rev. Dr. Shepherd has served in rural and urban United Churches for almost 30 years. She is the author of Thriving Churches: Urban and Rural Successes, which tells the story of two United Church ministers who travelled across Canada visiting flourishing United Churches to uncover the reasons for their success. Filled with concrete examples from congregations of various sizes, this book also includes an eight-page study guide on spiritual attributes of thriving churches.

The awards ceremony and program will be recorded and posted on Westworth United Church’s website. For further information on this award and others given to worthy individuals by the lieutenant-governor of Manitoba, visit the lieutenant-governor’s website.

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