Saturday, 27 June 2015

More for Ramadan 2015 - Ramadan Reads

From The God Article
Ramadan 2015

Ramadan Mubarak! 

Ramadan is now in full swing, a month-long holiday on the Islamic calendar
to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. 

Patheos Muslim bloggers are pleased to share their 2015 Ramadan journeys
 with you on the Patheos Muslim channel,
where you'll find the special #30Days30Writers project 
and great Ramadan reads like these:

  • When Online Muslim Friends Provide Love and Community: A Convert's Ramadan Story by Sarah Ager
  • Fasting in Ramadan to Strengthen the Will for Social Justice by Hakeem Muhammad
  • Growing Up Mosqued, Away From the Masjid by Hind Makki

  • You can also learn more about this holy time on the 

    People together ... a powerful force for change and inclusion

    Interfaith Ramadan

    Ramadan in Palestine

    Friday, 26 June 2015

    World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission : Climate change, slavery, apartheid, human sexuality and matters of life & death.

    WCC Faith and Order Commission charts future directions

    Posted on: June 25, 2015 11:25 AM

    Participants in a meeting of the WCC’s
    Faith and Order Commission
    at the Caraiman Monastery in Romania.
    Photo Credit: Romanian Orthodox Church

    [World Council of Churches] Meeting from 17 to 24 June, the newly reconstituted Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has begun to define its principal trajectories for ecumenical study and common activity from 2015 until the next WCC Assembly in 2020.

    Gathered at Caraiman Monastery in Romania, the 49-member commission determined to focus its upcoming work in the areas of examining theological foundations of the WCC program emphasis “the pilgrimage of justice and peace”, continuing work on dialogue and the discovery of common ground among churches regarding the Christian doctrine of the Church, and coordinate consultations and seminars on how churches engage in processes of “moral discernment” when deciding policies leading to action on such topics as climate change, slavery, apartheid, human sexuality and matters of life and death.

    Thursday, 25 June 2015

    RAMADAN - Questions and Answers

    Religions for Peace New Faiths for Earth Campaign --- Good stewards of the Earth

    Religions for Peace is the world's largest and most representative multi-religious coalition dedicated to advancing common action among the world religious communities for peace. Religions for Peace works to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies, and protect the earth. The global Religions for Peace network comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders from all regions of the world; six regional inter-religious bodies and more than ninety national ones; and the Global Women of Faith Network and Global Interfaith Youth Network.

    Wednesday, 24 June 2015

    Quaker Bonnets & The Historic Peace Testimony versus Modern Military Warfare

    Not a lot is known, up close and personal, in Australia about the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia.  The main cause of this is that there aren't many of them/us. About 3000 people identified as Quakers at the last census.  This came as a bit of surprise - because the most knowledgable Friends (as Quakers prefer to be called), as well as the records of Friends, could only account for somewhat over 1,000.  For those who know about Quakers, there is usually one stand-out factor - they are pacifists and active campaigners for peace.  Please go here to learn more of The Quaker Peace Testimony.  Quakers also keenly maintain their history with women in many places taking to needle and thread in preservation of the Quaker story.  The Editor of Beside The Creek can testify personally to the needlework and design skills of Tessa.  The event to which Helen refers is the Shoalwater Bay Peace Convergence 2015 which coincides with and is a protest against Exercise Talisman Saber 2015.


    Shared publicly  -  10:23
    Yesterday I spent a couple of hours with my dear Friend Tessa Spratt mending our Quaker bonnets in preparation for the quakergrannies4peace witness at Shoalwater Bay, next month. Tessa's bonnet has a note inside the brim that it was made in 1860 and it is all hand-stitched. Mine is machine chainstitched and probably dates around 1880s. You can be sure they will be worn with joy at actions in Rockhampton and Shoalwater Bay.
    2 photos

    Saturday, 20 June 2015


    The latest papal encyclical was released to-day, 19 June 2015 AEST - 18 June in The Vatican.  The encyclical will take time to read closely and carefully, to digest it, and comment thoughtfully upon it.

    Advocacy is indebted to Crux in providing the encyclical in a number of formats to make it easily accessible to people.  Advocacy has embedded the encyclical in this post where it can be read on-line or downloaded.  However, it is also available on Crux here in linked chapter by chapter outline for easy access and reading. Linked here is the encyclical as it was posted on The Vatican website.  Crux also contains recent commentary.


    Saturday, 13 June 2015

    In the midst of busy-ness - another mindset is possible

    //It was Quiet Time, which is exactly what it sounds like. In a city where silence is elusive, these students begin and...
    Posted by Hong Kong Interfaith Sofa on Friday, 12 June 2015

    Monday, 8 June 2015

    DAREBIN INTERFAITH - at the cutting edge

    It seems to The Editor of Beside The Creek that Darebin Interfaith Council is at the cutting edge of the interfaith movement in Australia - because of its location, because of its demographic, because it was an early organisation of the interfaith movement in Victoria.


    Joint Statement condemning violence proclaimed by Darebin’s 
    Baha’i’, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim representatives.
    Picture from here

    Welcome to the June edition of the Darebin Interfaith e-Bulletin. We join with the local Buddhist community who celebrate Vesak, or Buddha’s Day, during this time. Why not take a moment to discuss with your Buddhist friends what this important occasion means for them.

    Please find below and attached programs that may be of interest to you and your congregations, networks, organisations, community groups and friends. Feel free to distribute the information to anyone you feel may be interested.

    In this edition below:
    ·         7th June - Climate Change Workshop
    ·         7th June - Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Festival
    ·         10th June - Darebin Council Traffic & Transport Consultation (10th, 20th & 24th June)
    ·         13th June - Empower Youth Leadership
    ·         13th June - Coburg Mosque Tour
    ·         14th June - Refugee Week Celebration in Darebin
    ·         14th June - Tour to Places of Worship in Brimbank & Maribyrnong
    ·         16th June - ISIS, Sectarianism and Islamophobia
    ·         18 June - Refugee Week: Melton Interfaith Network
    ·         20th June - Street Iftar in Meadow Heights
    ·         20 June - Friendship Gathering with Yarra Interfaith Network
    ·         21st June - Night of the Winter Solstice
    ·         29 June - Business, Faith, Law, and Morality: The Asylum Seeker Debate
    ·         18 July - 'How Different Are We?’ - Nelson Mandela Day
    ·         Farsi Mother’s Playgroup (Every Thursday during school terms)
    ·         Australia Citizenship Announcement
    ·         Stop Watch VIC
    ·         About the Darebin Interfaith Council (DIFC)

    Climate Change Workshop (7th June)

    The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) and Greenfaith is running a community workshop on climate change.

    Date & Time: Sunday, June 7, from 12:00pm-5:00pm
    Venue: Multicultural Hub, Cnr Therry & Elizabeth Sts, Melbourne 

    Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Festival (7th June)

    On Sunday June 7th 2015, the Mornington Peninsula community will come together to celebrate at the Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Festival.
    This annual festival is a celebration of diversity through music, dance, art, film, workshops and food - a celebration of multiculturalism, a celebration of multifaith, a celebration of the diversity within our community, and a celebration of our unique indigenous history.

    Date & Time: Sunday, June 7th, from 12:30pm-4:30pm
    Venue: Peninsula Community Theatre - corner of Nepean Highway & Wilsons Road, Mornington VIC (Melways Ref: 145 E2)

    Entry: FREE

    Further Information:

    Come and celebrate in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Bring your family as there will be special activities for the kids.

    Darebin Council Traffic & Transport Consultation (10th, 20th & 24th June)

    Darebin Council is about to undertake a citywide consultation with our residents and businesses to identify the traffic and transport priorities of our community. This information will help shape the upcoming implementation of the Darebin Traffic Management Strategy, as well as help Council prioritise the projects that we advocate to the state government about.
    We will have an online survey available for the month of June at  as well as community forums where everyone is welcome to come along and share concerns and ideas, and ask questions of our Councillors and Council staff.  The dates are locations for the forums are:
    ·         Wednesday 10 June, 7.00 – 8.30pm, Keon Park Children’s Hub, 1-7 Dole Ave, Reservoir
    ·         Saturday 20 June 10.00 – 11.30am, Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre, Cnr Bell St and St Georges Rd, Preston
    ·         Wednesday 24 June, 7.00 – 8.30pm, Northcote Town Hall, 189 High St, Northcote

    Empower Youth Leadership (13th June)

    The Interfaith Centre of MelbourneDharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association, and the Victorian Multicultural Commission are running a youth workshop to bring the influences of the social environment, our attitudes, our goals, our sense of self to consciousness so we can come to understand why we think what we think as we go through life.

    Date & Time: Saturday, June 13, from 10:00am-5:00pm
    Venue: Chellwe Room, Victorian Council of Churches, L4, Causeway House, 306 Lil Collins St, Melbourne

    Coburg Mosque Tour (13th June)

    Benevolence Australia is holding a tour of one of Australia's longest established mosques and Muslim community centres - Coburg Mosque.

    Date & Time: Saturday, June 13, from 2pm-3pm
    Venue: Coburg Mosque, 31 Nicholson St, Coburg
    Dress: Appropriately, i.e. long pants or dress, head covering for women

    Refugee Week Celebration in Darebin (14th June)

    Darebin Mayor Councillor Steven Tsitas invites you to the opening of

    The celebration will be in memory of Late Hon. Malcolm Fraser’s contribution to the settlement, welfare and successful integration of Vietnamese refugees into Australia.

    Celebrating the courage of refugees and of people who fight against persecution and injustice. A call for unity and for action to welcome refugees and asylum seekers to acknowledge their contribution to building a cohesive and prosperous city.

    Date & Time: Sunday, 14 June, from 12:00pm to 5:00pm
    Venue: Preston Shire Hall, 286 Gower Street, Preston, Vic, 3072 
    RSVP: Kenichi Kurioka on phone 8470 8630 or email 

    Tour to Places of Worship in Brimbank & Maribyrnong (14th June)

    The Brimbank and Maribyrnong Interfaith Network would like to invite you to:
    Places of Worship Bus Tour

    Date & Time: Sunday, 14 June, from 10am (Maribyrnong) and 10:15am (Brimbank) to 2:30pm

    Pick-up Location: 
    ·         10am – Meet at Maribyrnong Council Town Hall located at the corner of Hyde & Napier St, Footscray
    ·         10:15am – Meet at Brimbank City Council Municipal Offices located at 6-18 Alexandra Avenue, Sunshine
    Finish at approximately 2:30pm – Drop off is at pick up point.

    As part of Refugee Week, participating venues include:
    ·         Quang Minh Buddhist Temple in Braybrook
    ·         Sikh Temple in Hoppers Crossing
    ·         Hindu Temple in Rockbank

    A light lunch will be served.

    Please wear comfortable shoes and modest clothing covering thighs and shoulders. You may be asked to remove your shoes or cover your head to enter some areas of worship.

    RSVP: This is a free community event but registration is essential. Limited spaces. All are welcome to attend.

    Register online at: or call (03) 9688 0342.

    ISIS, Sectarianism and Islamophobia (16th June)

    The Australian Muslim Women's Centre for Human Rights, Middle East Studies Forum, the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation are running a public workshop titled; ISIS, Sectarianism and Islamophobia.

    Speakers include; Prof Kevin Dunn, Dr Benjamin Isakhan, Dr Virginie Andre, Ghaith Krayem, Saara Sabbagh and Albert Fatileh.

    Date & Time: Tuesday, June 16, from 10:00am-3:00pm
    Venue: Burwood Corporate Centre Level 2, Building BC Deakin University 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood

    Refugee Week: Melton Interfaith Network (18 June)

    Melton Interfaith Network in conjunction with Melton City Council invites you to celebrate:
    Refugee Week, With Courage Let us all combine.

    Date & Time: Thursday 18 June, from 12.00pm - 1.00pm
    Venue: Melton Library & Learning Hub, 31 McKenzie Street, Melton
    Keynote Speaker: David MacPhail from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

    Lunch Provided

    RSVP: 11 June 2015; David Cowan or 0424 125 690

    Street Iftar in Meadow Heights (20th June)

    Sareera Youth and Australia Youth are running their 6th annual Street Iftar free complimentary dinner to share the spirit of Ramadan and celebrate cultural diversity.

    Date & Time: Wednesday, June 20, from 4pm
    Venue: Meadow Heights Mosque, Hudson Circuit, Meadow Heights

    (Iftar is an evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset).

    Friendship Gathering with Yarra Interfaith Network (20 June)

    All are invited to attend an afternoon social get-together for the friends and supporters of the Yarra Interfaith Network. The afternoon will be a relaxed catch-up with friends and members.

    Date & Time: Saturday, 20 June, from 2:30pm
    Venue: Meeting Room (The New Complex), Old Colonists, Rushall Park, 20 Rushall Crescent, Fitzroy
    Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be provided. All are welcome.
    For more information: Leona (Secretary)

    Night of the Winter Solstice (21st June)

    The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne would like to invite you to the “Night of the Winter Solstice” - an evening of beautiful music, chants and candle lighting. Experience mystical and transformative insights into your life’s journey.

    Date & Time: Sunday, June 21, from 5pm - 7:15pm
    Venue: St John’s Uniting Church - Corner Mt Alexander Road and Buckley Street, Essendon

    Special Guests:
    ·         Venerable Chang Ji is an ordained nun under Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association in the Chinese Mahayana tradition of Buddhism.
    ·         Dr Alexander John Shaia is a spiritual director, educator, and psychologist
    ·         Cath Connelly is considered one of Australia's leading Celtic harpers. Interfaith Gathering in St John’s Church

    Enquiries: Rev. Helen Summers, The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne    
    Phone: (03) 9650 7163  Email:
    Proudly supported by St John’s Uniting Church, Dharma Drum Mountain Melbourne Chapter andQuadrato.

    Iftar Dinner with Australia Light Foundation Mosque (27 June)

    The Brimbank and Maribyrnong Interfaith Network in partnership with Australia Light Foundation Mosque invite you to join us for an Iftar Dinner (Evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset).

    Date & Time: Saturday, 27 June 2015, from 5:15pm
    Venue: Australia Light Foundation Mosque, 291-293 Sunshine Road, Tottenham

    The venue has disability access and car parking facilities at the front and around the side and back of the building.

    Please wear modest clothing covering thighs and shoulders. You may be asked to remove your shoes or cover your head. This is a no cost community event but registration is essential. Limited spaces. All welcome to attend.

    RSVP by 19 June 2015: or call 0419 876 846.
    Please inform us on any dietary requirements so that it can be taken into consideration.

    Business, Faith, Law, and Morality: The Asylum Seeker Debate (29 June)

    We are conducting a free debate. What is Your opinion?
    The Asylum Seeker issue needs resolving. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to listen to expert opinion and have your considerations and suggestions discussed.

    What is the role of Faith and in the Asylum Seeker debate?
    Are Asylum Seekers an Economic opportunity or threat?
    Does Business have a role to play in the Asylum Seeker debate?
    Do we have a Moral obligation to assist Asylum Seekers?
    Is Australia’s policy to discourage some Asylum Seekers Legal?

    Date & Time: Monday, 29 June, from 7:20 seated for prompt 7:30 start
    Venue: Lonsdale Street, Melbourne (For more details visit:

    RSVP: To reserve your FREE ticket and read more information, visit:

    Experts to lead the discussion include:
    ·         Julian Burnside AO QC. Julian is a high profile barrister committed to human rights who has been nominated a National Living Treasure.
    ·         Jarrod McKenna Jarrod, who was a practicing Pastor, and his family live with 17 newly settled asylum seekers at the First Home Project. He established Love Makes A Way and is currently on secondment from World Vision to Common Grace.
    ·         Ivor Ries worked as a journalist overseas and here writing the esteemed Chanticleer for the AFR.
    ·         Rev Prof Andrew Dutney is president of the Uniting Church is widely published, and regularly broadcast, in both religious and mainstream ethics.
    ·         Pamela Curr Is one of Who's Who Australian women and works at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
    ·         Ruth Bungay - is a multi-disciplined business consultant and economist.

    'How Different Are We?’ - Nelson Mandela Day (18 July)

    'How Different Are We?' celebrates our commonalities as people, united against the human rights violations that asylum seekers are enduring in detention.

    Date & Time: Saturday, 18 July, from 12:00pm to 12:30pm
    Venue: Federation Square, Corner Swanston Street & Flinders Street,

    Group dance: YOU are invited to participate in the group dance on the day. All people of all backgrounds and ages (16 yrs+) are welcome – asylum seekers, refugees, migrants, non-refugees and all Melbournians. No dance experience is needed.

    There are, however, compulsory and non-compulsory rehearsals if you wish to participate in the group dance.

    Registration & information:
    Facebook: How Different Are We?

    Farsi Mother’s Playgroup (Every Thursday during school terms)

    Do you know of any Farsi (Persian) speaking mothers who would appreciate a culturally sensitive playgroup for their children (aged 0-6)? This program is facilitated by a qualified Early Years Practitioner who speaks Persian/Fasi.

    Date & Time: Every Thursday Morning, 10 am to 12 pm (During school terms)
    Venue: 104a Reynard Street, Coburg

    All enquiries to: Rebecca Heffernan on Ph: 9386 7128, Email:

    Australia Citizenship Announcement

    The Commonwealth Government intends to update the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 so dual nationals who engage in terrorism can lose their citizenship.

    Further details about this announcement can be found at:

    Stop Watch VIC

    As part of their three-year action plan to address community concerns about racial profiling, Victoria Police have committed to implement a trial of ‘stop & search’ receipting in 2015, called the Receipting Proof of Concept (RPOC). It will be the first project of this type in Australia.

    Access the Fact Sheet:

    About the Darebin Interfaith Council (DIFC)

    The Darebin Interfaith Council (DIFC) acts as a reference group to the City of Darebin. Since 2005, the DIFC has endeavoured to build compassionate communities through collaboration and being on the forefront of numerous grassroots issues facing our community.

    The Darebin Interfaith Bulletin seeks to promote activities that are consistent with the aims and values of the Darebin Interfaith Council and that foster interfaith dialogue and collaboration relevant to the interfaith community within the municipality of Darebin. To promote your activities in this newsletter, please provide text and web links to your promotional material. Within the above criteria, we are happy to promote your activities subject to editorial discretion.

    If you received this message in error or no longer wish to receive Darebin interfaith material, please reply “Stop” and your email will be removed from our distribution list.


    Aziz Cooper
    Interfaith Development Officer  |  Community Planning and Customer Service
    84708519 0413 704 634
    (Work Days: Wednesday & Thursday) 

    Sunday, 7 June 2015

    Hallowe'en is upon us. No, it's not late October. But it is Hallowe'en in the Eastern Orthodox Church

    This post below comes from the blog Khanya.  Khanya is the work of Steve Hayes who lives in South Africa. You can read about him in the "About me" section of his blog.  Steve is the oldest internet friend (since the late 1990s) of The Editor of Beside The Creek - first, they corresponded by email ... and then cam blogging and Yahoo Groups.  Steve is of an Anglican background but is a Deacon in the Serbian Orthodox Church these days.  Please note that the Orthodox calendar is Julian not our western Gregorian calendar ... so feast days in the Eastern Church occur differently from those in the Western Church.
    The evening of the Saturday after Pentecost is the Orthodox Hallowe’en, following immediately upon the Leavetaking of Pentecost.
    The Sunday following Pentecost is dedicated to All Saints, both those who are known to us, and those who are known only to God. There have been saints at all times, and they have come from every corner of the earth. They were Apostles, Martyrs, Prophets, Hierarchs, Monastics, and Righteous, yet all were perfected by the same Holy Spirit.
    The Descent of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to rise above our fallen state and to attain sainthood, thereby fulfilling God’s directive to “be holy, for I am holy” (Lev. 11:44, 1 Peter 1:16, etc.). Therefore, it is fitting to commemorate All Saints on the first Sunday after Pentecost.
    allsaintsIn the Western Church All Saints Day is always on the same calendar date, November 1st, so Hallowe’en is always the evening before, and it is followed by All Souls Day on November 2nd. In the Orthodox Church the calendar date varies, because Hallowe’en is always on the Saturday after Pentecost. And All Souls Day is always a week before, on the Saturday before Pentecost. Actually the Orthodox Church has more than one All Souls Day — there are several of them, spread through the year.
    There are saints commemorated by name on every day throughout the year, but All Saints Day we remember all those, known and unknown, who have lived lives pleasing to God.

    Troparion — Tone 4

    As with fine porphyry and royal purple,
    Your church has been adorned with Your martyrs’ blood shed throughout all the world.
    She cries to You, O Christ God:
    Send down Your bounties on Your people,
    Grant peace to Your habitation, and great mercy to our souls!

    Kontakion — Tone 8

    The universe offers You the God-bearing martyrs,
    As the first fruits of creation, O Lord and Creator.
    Through the Theotokos, and their prayers establish Your Church in peace!

    More hymns from the Orthodox Hallowe’en Vespers

    Tone 6 (from the Pentecostarion) (Having placed all their hope)
    The Saviour’s inspired Disciples
    became instruments of the Spirit through faith.
    They were scattered to the ends of the earth,
    sowing the glad tidings of the true faith.
    From their divine garden the army of martyrs blossomed in grace.
    They became images of Christ’s saving Passion,
    enduring every kind of torture, scourging, and fire.//
    Now they boldly pray for our souls.
    v. (3) For with the Lord there is mercy and with Him is plenteous redemption, and He will deliver Israel from all his iniquities.
    The noble martyrs, burning with love of the Lord,
    laughed at the fires and were consumed as burning coals.
    Through Christ, they burned the withered arrogance of error.
    They stilled the roaring of beasts with the voice of their prayers.
    Beheaded, they decapitated the demonic hosts.
    By the shedding of their own blood they watered the Church with faith.
    v. (2) Praise the Lord, all nations! Praise Him, all peoples!
    The heroic martyrs wrestled with beasts and were torn by their claws.
    They were dismembered, slashed with swords, and shot with arrows;
    they were consumed in the flames and pierced with lances.
    All this they willingly endured,
    for already they saw their unfading crowns, and the glory of Christ,
    before Whom they boldly pray for our souls.
    v. (1) For His mercy is abundant towards us; and the truth of the Lord endures for ever.
    Come, let us praise the heroes of our faith:
    Apostles, martyrs, holy priests, and noble women!
    They fought for the faith in every part of the earth.
    Though born of earth, they were united with the heavenly hosts.
    Through their sufferings, they triumphed over evil by the grace of Christ.
    As unfading lights, they illumine our hearts,
    and with boldness they pray for our souls.
    Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
    O divine choir of martyrs,
    ye are the pillars of the Church and the fulfillment of the Gospel.
    By your deeds ye have fulfilled the Savior’s words.
    Ye have closed the gates of hell and defended the Church.
    The shedding of your blood has dried up the libations poured out to idols.
    Your sacrifice has nourished the body of the faithful.
    Standing crowned before God, ye amazed the Angels.
    Pray unceasingly to Him that our souls may be saved!
    Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.