Program (36th WRC)

Sunday November 20, 2016

J. G. Hagey Hall (Humanities Theatre), University of Waterloo

THEME: End-of-Life Decisions: Faith-based Perspectives


10:30 AM : Doors Open

— Welcome and Registration

— Visit to World Religions Displays

11:00 AM : Welcome by the Moderator - Jan d'Ailly

11:02 AM : Opening Reading from a Holy Scripture

11:04 AM : Opening Ceremony

— Unveiling of the World Religions Conference Plaque

— Singing of O'Canada ­ National Anthem of Canada

— Introduction of Speakers and Dignitaries

11:12 AM : Introductory Remarks

— National President, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada

11:15 AM : Messages and Greetings from Guest Dignitaries

THEME SESSION - "Perspectives on End-of-Life Decisions"

Speakers present his/her view of their respective faith on the theme (14 minutes each). Each presentation will be preceded by a scripture recitation (2 minutes).

11:30 AM : Introduction to the Theme Session — Moderator - Jan d'Ailly

11:32 AM : Aboriginal Spirituality Presentation

11:35 AM : End­-of-­Life Decisions : Aboriginal Spirituality Perspective – Lila Bruyere

11:49 AM : Buddhist Holy Scripture Recitation

11:52 AM : End­-of-­Life Decisions : Buddhist Perspective – Venerable Man Yee

12:06 PM : Lunch and Social

12:40 PM : Jewish Holy Scripture Recitation

12:43 PM : End­-of-­Life Decisions : Jewish Perspective – Rabbi Moshe Goldman

12:57 PM : Christian Holy Scripture Recitation

 1:00 PM : End­-of-­Life Decisions : Christian Perspective – Dr. Gail Allan

 1:14 PM : Sikh Holy Scripture Recitation

 1:17 PM : End­-of-­Life Decisions : Sikh Perspective – Dr. Devinder Pal Singh

 1:31 PM : Hindu Holy Scripture Recitation

 1:34 PM : End­-of-­Life Decisions : Hindu Perspective – Pandit Dwejendra Doobay

 1:48 PM : Presentation of Secular Principles

 1:51 PM : End­-of-­Life Decisions : Humanist Perspective – Karina Black

 2:05 PM : Coffee Break and Social

 2:25 PM : Islamic Holy Scripture Recitation

 2:28 PM : End­-of-­Life Decisions : Islamic Perspective – Imam Farhan Iqbal

 2:42 PM : Baha’i Holy Scripture Recitation

 2:45 PM : End-­of-­Life Decisions : Baha’i Perspective – Margaret Pemberton­-Pigott


 2:59 PM :  Introduction to the Questions & Answers Session - Moderator - Jan d'Ailly

 3:01 PM : Question and Answer Session (conducted by the Moderator - Jan d'Ailly)

(Panel with all speakers of different faiths and philosophies represented)

 3:35 PM : Vote of Thanks ­ Recognition of Speakers and Volunteers  

 3:37 PM : Closing Remarks — Moderator & Chair

 3:42 PM : Silent Multi­Faith Prayer — All Faiths

 3:45 PM : Adjournment and Social

(* The order of presentations was determined via random draw at the last World Religions Conference, held November 1, 2015)



Greetings from Chair Ken Seiling (36th WRC)

Office of the Regional Chair

Ken Seiling

Regional Municipality of Waterloo


November 20, 2016.

Dear Friends

I am sorry I am not able to join you today

The annual World Religions Conference is an inclusive, peaceful forum where faith leaders and scholars gather to discuss the topics that matter very much in our lives. This year's central theme "End-of-Life Decisions" is particularly relevant given the recent Federal legislation allow for assisted death.

There is so much to explore and discuss given the many differing perspectives on assisted dying and other end-of-life challenges including withdrawal and refusal of treatment and euthanasia. Today, your discussions will delve into the many different viewpoints and the guidance offered by the major religions and philosophies around these heart wrenching questions.

We are fortunate to be able to gather together each year in a peaceable manner to respectfully share our different views and beliefs. My best wishes for a successful, thoughtful day.

Ken Seiling
Regional Chair


Image of Greeting Letter:

WRC Archives (2001~2016)

Record of previously held World Religions Conferences.


2016: End-of-Life Decisions

2015: Tackling Radicalization in Faiths

2014: Pathway to Peace

2013: Religious Freedom as Practised by Founders

2012: Idea of an Ideal Government

2011: Who is God?

2010: Keeping Faith Alive in Contemporary Society

2009: Is God Relevant in Today's World

2008: Founders of Religion - Model for Humanity

2007: How Religion Can Protect the Environment

2006: My Faith and Freedom of Conscience

2005: The Basis and Concept of Salvation

2004: Why Religion?

2003: In Search of the Existence of God

2002: World Peace - What Religions Can Achieve

2001: Reconciling the Existence of God and Human Suffering


Greetings from Dignitaries (36th WRC)

The following leaders attended the opening session and brought greetings at the 36th World Religions Conference:

1. His Worship Mayor Berry Vrbanovic of the City of Kitchener

He was elected as Mayor of the City of Kitchener in 2014, after serving as a City Councillor from 1994-2014.  In addition to serving on all regular standing committees of Kitchener city council and Region of Waterloo council, Berry is also an appointee and active participant on many boards and committees. He is also Treasurer of United Cities & Local Governments and is President Emeritus (2011-12) of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He is committed to improving the quality of life for residents in Kitchener and throughout the Region of Waterloo. He is a supporter of the World Religions Conference and is happy to join in the opening ceremony and bring greetings on behalf of the City of Kitchener at the 36th World Religions Conference. 

2. Dave Levac, MPP and Speaker of Ontario Legislature

Dave Levac, speaker of the Ontario Legislature is pleased to attend the opening ceremony and bring greetings on behalf of the Brant riding of Ontario at the 36th World Religions Conference. Dave Levac is a long time supporter of the World Religions Conference and has many times moderated the conference when he was a school principal in Brantford. Later, he again moderated this conference in 2003 after becoming a MPP. He has been heralded by most MPPs and political commentators as one of the most effective Speakers in recent memory, presiding with dignity and integrity. Organizers of the World Religions Conference is honoured to have him at the conference. 


The following leaders sent written greetings to the delegates of the 36th World Religions Conference:

1. Greetings from Chair Ken Seiling (36th WRC)

2016: End-of-Life Decisions

36th World Religions Conference : Theme - End-of-Life Decisions

Successfully held on Sunday November 20, 2016  

The theme of the 36th World Religions Conference was “End-of-Life Decisions: Faith-based perspectives”. With an increasingly­ aging population, members of our society are often faced with difficult decisions regarding end-of-life. With new legislation in place, decisions such as euthanasia, physician­ assisted suicide, treatment withdrawal raise complex questions. The theme discussed the guidance various faiths and philosophies offer regarding end­-of-life decisions, hoping that this mutual exploration will raise awareness of end-of-life challenges and encourage better understanding of the different perspectives, while paving the way to common approaches to address these challenges.

Participating Religions and Philosophical Traditions:

Aboriginal Spirituality, Baha'i Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, and Humanism (Atheism and Agnostics)


J. G. Hagey Hall (Humanities Theatre), University of Waterloo


The World Religions Conference (WRC) is a multi-faith event which brings together well-known scholars from the world’s major religions to speak on a topic from the perspective of their religious or philosophical beliefs.  The conference has a long tradition of gathering different communities in  a spirit  of  tolerance,  peace,  cooperation,  and  understanding.  It  aims to promote mutual education on contemporary topics by providing a platform where major religions and philosophies can pool their collective wisdom and teachings regarding topics of interest. With free admission, lunch, and an opportunity to meet others from a multitude of faiths and philosophies, it is a small and simple step by which to make this world a more peaceful and tolerant place.


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.