Year-end message from Anne

Dear members of the InterChange family,

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, the days are short and darkness comes earlier each day. However, after the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, the days start lengthening again. In the meantime, many of us celebrate various Festivals of Lights: Diwali, in the Hindu tradition (which came early this year): Chanukah in the Jewish tradition: Christmas, in the Christian tradition; and the relatively new festival of Kwanzaa, celebrated by North Americans of African descent.

Many of these festivals have a common heritage in the nature-based traditions of the Northern hemisphere. All have a similar message of rebirth and spreading the light.

I have a few quotes for us as peacebuilders at this time of the year:

“Peace on Earth; Goodwill to All”— a common greeting, but one that we need to find ways to make real!

“Such Is the way of creation: first comes darkness, then light.”—a quote from Judaism, featured in my Multi-faith calendar this month.

“Just as many candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened, so, too, love and happiness never decrease by being shared”. (The Buddha)


Let me bring the message back to InterChange. Many of us have had a very busy year, and hopefully we can take a well-earned rest and then come back to our work with renewed energy and  purpose in the new year. In Toronto, we are going to be building on the base we’ve established in our Building a Culture of Peace programme. InterChange is planning a  joint project in support of the fragile peace in Somalia, and the InterChange message has spread to the new country of Southern  Sudan. One of our members in Toronto has taken the lead in helping develop the Tool-Kit for Peacebuilders, and we’ll be welcoming your contributions. Another exciting development is the idea of moving our Food-Peace project onto the website. In the new year, watch out for  news of our strategic planning, detailing where each of us can play a role.


We have exciting news from InterChange Secretary, Carolyn Webb. She and her husband, Conan, have just had a new baby boy, Luke. Luke was born yesterday, December 16. Congratulations to you all!!


In my own family, I ask for support of InterChange as my gift for this time of the year, but I so seldom remember to let others know about this opportunity!  Everyone is welcome to make or ask others for a financial contribution to InterChange. For those of us in Canada, if we do it before December 31, 2011, we can get a tax receipt. I can assure you that all contributions to InterChange will be greatly appreciated and well used! The easiest way to contribute to InterChange is directly through the Canada Helps website. Here’s the link:

May this be a season of friendship, sharing, light and above all, peace.