ROF News

Friday, 12 May 2017

Road to Interfaith

Uniting Church members have a role to play in combating religious and cultural division in the wider community.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Vesak Day

We wish our Buddhist friends a sacred and peaceful Vesak

Vesak commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha. It offers Buddhists an opportunity to reflect on the life and teachings of the Buddha and His universal message of peace, love and compassion.

We are thankful to Mohini Gunasekera AM, the first President of the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils (FABC), for sharing the following information with us.


By a UN resolution adopted in December 1999, the day of Vesak, the day of the full moon in the month of May, is acknowledged as the day most sacred to Buddhists. The Buddha showed to all those who practice his teachings the way to a happy life and the way to end all suffering in the long cycle of birth and death. Buddhists believe in rebirth.

In keeping with tradition, most Buddhists visit temples, perform special observances and dress in white clothes in the Theravada tradition (the southern school of Buddhism) on Vesak Day.

Buddhists observe five precepts daily. 

The daily practices are abstaining from:  killing, taking what is not given, adultery, indulging in false speech and consuming alcoholic beverages.


Vesak was celebrated at the Australian Federal House for the first time on 10 May 2017.

If you would like to hear more about Vesak please see the event below taking place in Sydney on 14 May where Buddhist nun Ven. Thubten Chokyi will speak about this special day in the Hindu Vedanta Hall.

Vesak Poster

“To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”

This quote from Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel provided the central focus at a Yom Hashoah (Holocaust) memorial service in Perth on Sunday 23 April.

School teacher Inaz Janif has shared with Uniting Church members in Melbourne’s southeast what it is like to be attacked in public because of your faith

Inaz was invited to speak after a Sunday morning service at Hampton Park Uniting Church alongside April Robinson, the Interfaith Network Developer for the VIC/TAS Synod.

Report from Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations

“Religious values and the value of religion” was the theme of a national interfaith forum attended by 100 Australians from diverse faith backgrounds at NSW Parliament House on Wednesday 22 February.

 Hosted by the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations (APRO), the forum provided a space for Christians from various denominations, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Bahá’ís and others to come together to explore the value of religion and the place of religious values in our diverse society. Representatives from government, academia and the media also attended.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Support for Australian Muslim leaders

The Uniting Church in Australia affirms its friendship and ongoing collaboration with the Muslim community after three Australian Islamic leaders were targeted in an ISIS propaganda video.

In the video the terrorist group condemns Islamic scholars from around the world for discouraging violence in the name of Islam, including the Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, NSW Police Force chaplain Sheikh Ahmed Abdo and youth leader Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman, Fairfax Media reported.

On January 26, Ahmadiyya Muslims gathered from around the country to show their love for Australia through a BBQ with me, outside the Baitul Huda Mosque in Sydney’s West.

Before feasting on the BBQ, hosts and guests participated in a formal Australia Day program that included an acknowledgement to country.  

Friday, 25 November 2016

A Unique Festival of Faiths

On Sunday 13 November hundreds of Victorians of different faiths attended the Faith Communities Council’s VINC 2016 event at Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

VINC, short for the Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference, is a unique grass-roots festival of faiths supported by the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Taking Interfaith to the Next Step

Last weekend in Sydney’s southwest, Uniting Church members joined a local Muslim family who’d invited people into their home for a plentiful meal and friendly conversation.

The event was the first in Building Bridges Together’s Coffee and Conversation Project which looks to build interfaith dialogue through informal gatherings.

Internationally renowned interfaith expert Mona Siddiqui called for Australians to embrace radical hospitality during her lecture on ‘Hospitality and Interreligious Witness’ in Sydney this week.


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