Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Who is my neighbour?

Written by Sue Strutt

Speakers from four different faith traditions offered some insights into their faith at the ‘Who is My Neighbour?’ seminars hosted by St Peter and Emmaus Uniting Church in the Perth suburb of Mount Hawthorn.

Around 80 people of many backgrounds and faiths from across Perth attended the evenings held each Thursday night over four weeks in September.

The presentations were enthusiastically received with much engagement in the question and answer sessions which followed.

The first seminar on the Jewish faith was presented by Rabbi Dovid Freilich, the Chief Rabbi of the Perth Hebrew congregation.

Secondly, we heard from Dr Ameer Ali on the Islamic faith. Dr Ali is a senior lecturer in the School of Business and Governance at Murdoch University. He covered the origins and some of the basic tenets of Islam.

On the following Thursday we listened to Stewart Jarvis, past president of the Buddhist Council of WA, as he outlined the four noble truths of Buddhism. His presentation included pictures showing places of religious significance such as caves where Buddhists might stay for contemplation.

Professor Bill Loader, Emeritus Professor of New Testament studies at Murdoch University was the final speaker presenting on fundamentalism from a Christian perspective. Prof. Loader engaged those present with anecdote and teaching that was received with great attention.

A significant amount of planning went into the success of the event.

Initially, St Peter and Emmaus Minister Rev. Dr Sonny Rajamoney made contact with the various faith groups and arranged for a speaker to participate.

Each of the faith groups contacted were very willing and excited by the opportunity to participate in the ecumenical series.

A flyer was prepared and distributed by email to neighbouring churches and local shopping centres. Closer to the evenings, the flyers were dropped to letter boxes in streets surrounding the church. The information was also displayed on our church website:

We were very pleased to have members of the local Baptist congregation, Victory Life Church and the Mt Hawthorn Community Church join members of St Peter and Emmaus for the sessions.

Recordings of the speakers were made and are available upon request to St Peter and Emmaus – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

With these seminars being so warmly and well received, St Peter and Emmaus church intend to hold another series in 2018. Check the church website for details in the new year.


PO Box A2266
Sydney South
NSW 1235

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Phone: 02 8026 9730
Fax:     02 8267 4222