A minister of spiritual growth at the Metropolitan United Church in Toronto, Rev. John Joseph Mastandrea received his Master of Divinity and Master of Religious Education from the University of Toronto and his Doctorate from Chicago Theological Seminary. In February 1990, Rev. Mastendrea represented Canada as a delegate to the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland. Rev. Mastendrea is a member of the Toronto Area Interfaith Council and a member of the Rotary Club of Toronto.

” When I hear, “let your love be as wide as the ocean,” how can one disagree with words like that? When I’ve read his books and listen to some of the talks, I find he’s a, how would you put it? A combination of perhaps a Gandhi and a Dalai Lama, so to speak. Maybe even Mother Theresa. And he’s not just speaking. He’s living the ideas that he is conveying to many people.”

“Unfortunately, there’s other areas in the Muslim world, as we see what’s happening right now in Iraq, that represents a fundamentalism that is not unique to Islam. I mean, every culture, Christians have fundamentalists, Hindus have fundamentalists, Buddhists, but the danger is that that is perceived as the only pathway in Islam. And that unfortunately, especially after, when we think of 9/11, overcoming, the Hizmet Movement is a great way to overcome the preconceived misconceptions that lead to Islamophobia..”

” Muslims speaking to non-Muslims is speaking to the issue of disarming fear and inviting compassion. Inviting that listening moment, but realizing that as we build homes beside each other, as we live in apartments or condominiums, as we sit on boards and committees, we’re making decisions that affect everyone, and not just ourselves.”

“.. I believe the Hizmet Movement isn’t worrying about taking the blame, but overcoming that barrier, and being the instruments of change, of healing, of transformation.”