ROF News

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Toppling the Tower

A reflection by Relations with Other Faiths Convenor Rev. Michael Barnes.

This Sunday, we celebrate Pentecost, a festival that marks the birth of the church.Two thousand years ago, the church was born when peoples from different cultures and nations, who had gathered in Jerusalem, heard Peter’s message in their language (Acts 2: 1-13).

The labour pains attending this birth were the cries of ‘multiculturalism.’ The Book of Acts describes the challenges that believers then faced in living a life that was truly multicultural.

DaveANdrewsThe Jihad of Jesus author Dave Andrews will lead a workshop at the Queensland Synod on 21 May exploring how Christians can work with people of other faiths to build a more just and reconciled world.

It will be one of 18 ‘dangerous conversations’ at Synod Unchained - a program for people to share new ideas on mission, discipleship, theology and worship.

The workshops are open to all Synod members and to any non-Synod members who register for the festival event from 4pm-9.30pm at the Alexandra Park Conference Centre on the Sunshine Coast.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Forum builds understanding

IMG 0558Three speakers representing each of the Abrahamic faiths prompted lively discussion at the second ‘Know Your Neighbour’ forum hosted by Thornleigh-Hillcrest and Normanhurst Uniting Churches in Sydney’s north.

More than 50 people gathered at Normanhurst Uniting Church on 21 April to listen to Rabbi Zalman Kastel from the Jewish faith, Islamic scholar Associate Professor Mehmet Ozalp and UCA theologian Rev. Dr Clive Pearson.

The forum provided the opportunity for people to gain an insight into each faith with the hope of building better understanding and community harmony.

IMG 0089Free English classes for all migrant school students, peer-led workshops on cultural identity in schools and better workplace opportunities for students with disabilities.

That's what school students from across NSW came up when challenged to make their communities more inclusive.

IMG 9305SML“Although we are all different, we come together with a common concern for humanity.”

With these words Thornleigh-Hillcrest Uniting Church Minister Rev. Hugh Park welcomed more than 60 people who had gathered to learn more about other faiths at a ‘Know Your Neighbour’ forum.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Have a little faith

Mitch Albom reviewMitch Albom, 2009

Have a Little Faith is the title of a book by Mitch Albom. He was a sports writer who has become a very successful author. I have read some of his other books, namely Tuesdays with Morrie and the novels The Five People You Meet in Heaven and One More Day. This book is based around the true stories of two people: the Jewish rabbi he grew up with and a black Christian pastor in Detroit where he now lives.

Group shotYoung musicians from different faiths will raise their voices in harmony - literally - when they record a track together for a new interfaith project in Sydney.

The aim of the project is to demonstrate unity and friendship among a diverse group of young people using music.

Singers from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baha’i, Hinduism and Buddhism are being invited to sing Where is the Love by The Black Eyed Peas. The song will be recorded and filmed in a music studio and shared online.

Friday, 11 March 2016


Illdinewithyou tableAMore than 200 people shared a meal under the stars in Melbourne at the I’ll Dine With You event. Uniting Through Faiths’ April Robinson from the Vic/Tas Synod was one of the organisers.  We asked April how it went.

Get to know your neighbours at two community forums hosted by Thornleigh and Normanhurst Uniting Churches in Sydney's north on 22 March and 21 April. 

The purpose of the gatherings is to promote social inclusion and community harmony in modern day Australia.

The Relations with Other Faiths Working Group Executive met in Sydney on 11 February. 

The role of the Working Group is to promote knowledge and understanding of other living world faiths and to develop respect and tolerance for the integrity of the beliefs of other faiths, cultures and traditions. 


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