Present, Past and Future Multifaith Calendars...
2014 Multifaith Calendar (Printed Wall Version - Suggested price: $15.95)
2014 Multifaith Calendar - Transcendence
Everyone has experienced the feeling of being transported beyond himself. This feeling of liberation can come at the most unusual times: Walking on a beach; Sitting in a window catching light glinting through the leaves; Trying something new…
This year’s theme “Transcendence” can occur with something past, present or anticipated. The “something” can be anything and anywhere - a sound, a sight, a thought, a flower.
William Blake commented on this phenomenon in his famous words,
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
Auguries of Innocence
The Course in Miracles gives us another description of this feeling of transcendence: “It is a sense of actual escape from limitations. If you will consider what this “transportation” really entrails, you will realize that it is sudden unawareness of the body, and a joining of yourself and something else in which your mind enlarges to encompass it. It becomes part of you as you unite with it. And both become whole, as neither is perceived as separate. What really happens is that you have given up the illusion of a limited awareness and lost your fear of union. The love that instantly replaces it extends to what has freed you and unites with it.” ACIM: 361 text
This year our artists have captured this feeling of transcendence in both words and images. As this is an intensively personal experience we asked our artists to explain how their piece embodies the theme. The interpretation is theirs.
We hope you find both words and images in this year’s calendar that move you beyond time and judgment into love and appreciation.
Find out more about our 2014 MFC cover artist Nicholas Bott.
Click here to view the inset images included in the 2014 edition.
2013 MFC - The Nature of Spirit
There are so many ways to interpret this year’s theme. Does the nature of spirit live in the sunlight cascading through newly unfurled chartreuse leaves? Can you locate it in your physical world? Or do you find it plays hide and seek, appearing one moment in your favourite song and then disappearing again only to resurface in the depth of prayer?
Surely, this theme is as wide as our imaginations and as deep and mysterious as life itself. This poem speaks to its elusive nature.
Where does the spirit lie?
Does it sleep inside our hearts or dance inside our minds? Does it rise with the sun and set with grief upon a distant shore?
Where does spirit hide?
Do you find it tucked away in a drawer Hidden between old letters and forgotten lines? Or did you pull it out from under a heavy rock like the tide pulls out of its embrace with the shore?
Where does spirit reside?
Did you find it in the fold of a baby’s arm? Only to lose it in the pain of a heart broken friend? Did it track you down with its fragrant perfume, just to kiss your soul and vanish once more?
Where does the nature of spirit lie?
The answers are of course personal and universal. Our artists seek to answer this question through a variety of different mediums – oils, acrylics, photos and watercolours. In this year’s Calendar, our artists attempt to capture what lies in the invisible and animates the visible. Enjoy.
2013 MFC cover artist information here.
Click here to view the inset images included in the 2013 edition.
2012 MFC - Heart and Soul
What touches our hearts and moves our souls? Is it the face of a sleeping child? Is it the prayer that rises in our heart and sends us to our knees? Is it the smile of a close friend or the beauty of a still and silent forest?
Surely, to each and every heart, the movements of our soul are mysterious. It is like a dancing light we catch glimpses of, yet ever races ahead of us, waiting for us to follow. We can’t explain it. Words often fail. Yet, we all know when our hearts have been touched and our souls have been moved. It is as instinctual as breathing.
The 2012 Multifaith Calendar explores the many ways our hearts and souls are delighted, expanded, illuminated and shared.
... And The Great Circle of Life
The Ancient Mayas believed that life was cyclical instead of linear. Therefore if they knew the past, they could in essence predict the future. A lot has been said about the Maya’s prediction that the winter solstice December 21, 2012 is the end of a great cycle that was 1,872,000 days or over 5000 years in length. The turning of this great cycle held significance to the Maya. They foretold of catastrophes but also of a new beginning and a chance for a spiritual evolution for mankind.
2012 MFC cover artist info.
Here is how the Hopi Nation, who used the Maya calendar, talked about this special time...
“At this time in history, we are to take nothing personal. Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
Oraibi, Arizona, Hopi Nation
Click here to view a slideshow of the main images included in the 2012 edition.
2011 MFC - Celebrating Diversity
We are each unique. Yet we are all one. The great truths of the universe are often not captured in simple one-sided statements. More often than not, it takes the complexity of dualistic pairs of opposites to truly encompass the whole. Think: night and day. Yin and yang. Unity and diversity. We cannot understand the whole without understanding its opposite sides. And so it is with faith. We only fully understand ourselves by learning to embrace others.
The 2011 Multifaith Calendar is dedicated to celebrating the amazing diversity of life. Within all faiths, there is a truth that belongs to no one and to everyone. It is the soul of goodness, the heart of kindness, the wisdom of the ancients. It is in our hearts, minds and souls, no matter where we live or what faith we practice. We honour this diversity and we celebrate it in each other. It is these many faces of the Divine that we feature and highlight in our 25th anniversary 2011 MFC.
Additional information on The 2011 MFC cover art. View the entire 2011 MFC art collection here.
2010 MFC - Cherishing Earth's Bounty
The Earth, especially our Western World, is blessed with abundance. Approaching this year’s calendar our imaginations can easily swirl in images of the richness of our surroundings: opulent fields that feed us, rivers and lakes which provide fresh drinking water, and wide varieties of food sources for humans and animals alike.
Added to this we are offered countless opportunities for visual stimulation, and for recreation and relaxation for the soul, mind, and body. Many can cite connection to the Divine on the mountain top, in the lush forest, or on the expanse of the ocean.
As we of the Multifaith Action Society reviewed the wonderful collection of art which was once again submitted, we realised that the original theme “Earth Bounty” needed also to include recognition that this bounty cannot be taken for granted.
We celebrate it, we honour it, and with all the awareness that we now have, we realise that it needs to be guarded and cherished. It is in this spirit that we offer this year’s collection of art of different media: to inspire you also to reflect in some new way on our wonderful surroundings.
2010 MFC cover art info.
2009 MFC - Reflections of Joy
All religions, cultures and societies recognize that human beings have a huge capacity and need for joy. It is in joy that we can find inspiration, peace and love. It is joy that often propels us to connect to one another, to our natural surroundings and to the devine. Our very souls can virtually burst in response to a child's sound, to the intensity of colour in the rising sun or to a musical interlude.
Words cannot convey the serenity of a summer night on the tundra. Throughout July, when the sun dips briefly below the horizon, the enormous sky is set aglow with colour. Immutable and silent, the Inukshuk is a symbol of man's survival in an ever-changing world. All my paintings are portraits of paradise. Ken Kirkby
2008 MFC - Communing Spirit
We are, by our very nature, communing beings. We connect with each other through myriads of actions and gestures which say, "I want to know you." We reach out through artistic expressions such as music, dance, the written word and visual arts. We yearn to stretch not only towards each other but towards life around us: to the natural world, to the inner world within us, and to the divine. We put ourselves into place and experiences where we can get a rush: from the sunset, from the sound of a drum, or from the touch of another's body. Is this not our spirit communing?
Communing takes many forms, from the spontaneous and ephemeral to the complex and enduring, such as our religious and secular rituals that have been created over untold time and continue to be shaped today.
George Littlechild is the embodiment of "Communing Spirit." He is of the Cree nation and has painted since he was a small boy and now frequently works with children in schools throughout Canada and the United States. His work is of international stature and often features themes of honoring elders and family wisdom. In his own words: "My art speaks from the heart... it is charged with energy and colour; it is vibrant and magical, thus enabling the soul to travel. I envision. I rely on the intuitive, the spiritual, the emotional."
Hope is a profound and universal part of the human experience. It is as essential to our well-being, indeed to life itself, as food, air and water. We have good reason to admire those who, in the face of an unknown or even threatening future, sustain confidence in the ultimate triumph of goodness, justice and compassion. None of us escape times of wandering through darkeness; grasping for meaning or clarity. Yet life takes its fullness from the darkness, the journey towards the light and the light itself.
We humans draw our inspiration for hope from many sources, such as our spiritual foundations; our elders, our families, friends and communities; rituals, music, poetry and the visual arts.
Cover art: The Glory of the Lord is Risen Upon You, photo by Mae Runions.
About The Multifaith Calendar...
The Multifaith Calendar is published annually by the Multifaith Action Society. All content and textual information is presented to support better understanding of religious and cultural traditions.
With the 2014 edition, we are proudly entering our 28th year of publishing the Calendar. MAS wishes to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the many people involved in the production and publication, particularly our MFC Working Group, our Production Team: Creative Wonders Communications, our printer: Rhino Print Solutions, our MFC Distributors, as well as the artists and numerous volunteers who add to the quality and integrity of this product.
2014 Multifaith Calendar (Printed Wall Version - Suggested price: $15.95)