By Rev. Michael Barnes
Recently I participated in an interfaith panel at the UCA Theological College in North Parramatta. There were five presenters representing Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism and myself representing Christianity.
Each was asked to offer a short reflection on why interfaith work is important. I suggested three elements:
Twenty-six students undertook an intensive course in Interfaith Dialogue at United Theological College in North Parramatta learning about both the theology and practice of relationships with other faiths.
Led by Rev. Dr Seforosa Carroll, the course included visits to a Hindu temple, a synagogue, a Buddhist temple and a mosque as well as a conversation with an interfaith panel and Christian interfaith practitioners.
Representatives of the major faiths came together to discuss the theme "Building Community Where We all Belong" at the Australian Partnership of Religioius Organisations (APRO) forum at NSW Parliament on 17 November.
Insights on the topic were shared by three interfaith panels, the first consisting of religious leaders, the second young interfaith leaders from the Youth PoWR commitee and the third women in faith, which included ROF Executive Member Wilma Viswanathan. Mrs Josie Lacey OAM and Dr Natalie Mobini convened the forum which was funded by the NSW Government through Multicultural NSW.
This year my family decided we want to take part in National Open Mosque Day.
I wanted to do this for two reasons. Firstly, to introduce my two-year-old son to the diversity of faiths that make up Australia. Secondly, to let Muslims in our community know that they are welcome, respected and valued in our society.
This story was published in Australian Jewish News and is republished with their permission.
By Gareth Narunsky
A Jewish student walked for eight hours from the Yeshiva Centre in Bondi to the Lakemba Mosque on Sunday to deliver a message of peace and reconciliation.
Rev Dr Matthew Wilson
UCA Convenor UCA-ECAJ Dialogue.
The national UCA-Jewish dialogue took a look at how far Christian-Jewish relations have come when it met the day after the 50th anniversary of the landmark interfaith document Nostra Aetate.
The Working Group on Relations with Other Faiths had the pleasure of hearing from Hindu nun, Pravrajika Gayatri Prana, otherwise known as "Mataji" (mother), at its meeting in Sydney.
Mataji is President of the Ramakrishna Sarada Vedanta Society of NSW and is a member of the Ramakrishna Order founded in India in 1897. Urmila Mehta, a volunteer at the Vedanta Society, joined Mataji on her visit.
The two women were the interfaith guests at the Working Group’s annual face-to-face meeting on 20 October and were invited to speak on the teachings and history of Hinduism.
By Geoff Boyce, Oasis Coordinating Chaplain, Flinders University of South Australia, (pictured left with Assoc Prof Salah Kutieleh)
The chaplains at Flinders University gather for their weekly lunch together. No particular agenda. Just chatting as friends and colleagues. On this particular day, my Hindu colleague asks if we saw the front-page report about the mosque at Parkholme just down the road from the Uni.