The seeds for Women Gathering were planted via an annual retreat of a small group of Oakville women who shared the Christian faith. Together they had supported a friend journeying through cancer. When health was restored they annually gathered to celebrate with their fellowship expanding to a gratitude for life itself. Over time the number of participants grew including people from outside the circles of friends continuing the blessings of time set apart to be with God.
In 2009 it was recognized that interest in this event had grown to a point that people of other faiths should be invited, that everyone had much to share and learn by yet again widening the circle and being open to more possibilities.
A larger venue was required. With prayerful thought and some promotion an inter-faith organizing committee was formed. Speakers from most of the major world religions were secured, a key note speaker and sponsors obtained, with 180 women registering and the first Women Gathering a pathway to peace was launched in March 2010 at St. Jude's Anglican Church. It was a remarkable success and participants clamoured to repeat it annually. Maple Grove United Church hosted in 2011 and Saint Dominic Parish hosted the gathering in 2012, with an ever larger attendances.
But the feeling was strong that Hebrew and Islamic representation was too minimal – that there must be a radical change for 2013. The Islamic Community responded eagerly and this past year Women Gathering a pathway to peace and harmony was held at the Islamic Society of North America’s facility at ISNA Canada 2200 South Sheridan Way, Mississauga, Ontario, L5J 2M4.