Thursday, 29 October 2015

50th anniversary of a landmark document from the Second Vatican Council on interfaith relations.

“Indifference and opposition have changed into collaboration and benevolence,” Pope Francis said. “From enemies and strangers, we’ve become friends and brothers.”
Posted by Crux: Covering all things Catholic on Wednesday, 28 October 2015

ROME — Pope Francis on Wednesday called on the world’s religions to join forces in the fight against fundamentalism and extremism, arguing instead for a focus on “positive values” such as the promotion of peace, care for the poor, and environmental protection.
The pontiff was speaking to a delegation of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists on hand for an event marking the 50th anniversary of a landmark document from the Second Vatican Council on interfaith relations.
“An attitude of suspicion or condemnation of religion has spread due to violence and terrorism,” Pope Francis told the religious leaders.
Given that, he said, it’s necessary to focus on the positive values that religions espouse.
“The world looks at us believers, exhorting us to cooperate with each other and with men and women of good will who don’t profess any religion,” he said, “asking us to provide an answer on many issues.”
Francis’ appeal came during his weekly audience as he celebrated the anniversary of Nostra Aetate (“In Our Time”), a 1,600-word declaration from Vatican II that represented a turning point in relations between the Catholic Church and other religions, particularly Judaism.
For more please go here 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Multicultural or mainstream? A new conversation about multiculturalism in Victoria

Multicultural or mainstream? 

A new conversation about multiculturalism in Victoria: 

Victorian Multicultural Commission

(Please pass on to your respective networks)

The Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) would like to invite you to a public lecture:
Multicultural or mainstream? A new conversation about multiculturalism in Victoria

Date: Thursday 26 November 2015
Time: 6pm - 8pm

Location: Drill Hall, Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC

Join the recently appointed Chairperson Helen Kapalos for the Victorian Multicultural Commission’s first public lecture. Drawing on her own experiences in and out of the media spotlight, Helen brings a fresh perspective to an ongoing narrative about what multiculturalism stands for in contemporary Australia. She invites all Victorians to take part in a public discourse which explores and challenges the modern day definition and currency of the term. In sharing the Commission's new strategic direction, Helen will discuss why now more than ever, it is important for Victorian society to be cohesive and inclusive and why we are all part of the solution.

Free entry.

Register at
For enquiries please email or visit: 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Interfaith push for action on climate change ahead of the UN's December conference on climate change in Paris

Faith leaders hand over a statement signed by 154 religious leaders from different faith groups to the Executive Director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres.
Photo Credit: ACT Alliance

[ACNS] As representatives from almost 200 countries conclude their final round of negotiations in Bonn, Germany, this week, ahead of December’s UN-led international conference on climate change in Paris; a number of leading Anglicans and Episcopalians have put their name to a statement calling for an ambitious climate agreement.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, Primate of Southern Africa; Presiding Bishop Francisco De Assis Da Silva from the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (Anglican Church in Brazil); the Rt Revd Juan David Alvarado Melgar and the Most Revd Armando Guerra Soria, Bishops of El Salvador and Guatemala in the Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America (Anglican Church in the Central America region); the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam and the Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishops of Salisbury and Dudley in the Church of England; and Dr Agnes Abuom, from the Anglican Church of Kenya and moderator of the central committee of the World Council of Churches, are amongst a number of Anglicans and 154 religious leaders who signed the statement that was handed to negotiators this week.

In addition to calling for an ambitious climate agreement, the statement urges all governments to commit to emission cuts and climate risk reduction. They also pledge important contributions from their own faith communities, including divestment from fossil energy.

The statement was handed to the UN’s executive director of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, on behalf of the faith leaders by Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel, director of Bread for the World, Germany, and Karin Kortmann, vice president of the Catholic Lay Council of Germany.

“Guided by our religious beliefs, we as faith leaders have come together to call for an ambitious Paris outcome,” Ms Kortmann said. “In the past month the UN family has decided to take responsibility for both, environment and humankind by approving the Agenda 2030.

“In Paris the heads of states and governments have the chance to give evidence, how serious they are. The survival of millions of human beings depends on them.”

And Ms Füllkrug-Weitzel said: “We urge governments to commit to building climate resilience, phasing out fossil energies and reaching zero emissions by mid-century. We call for a robust mechanism to review and ratchet up ambitions, transparency and accountability rules applicable to all, and the provision of finance and support to poor and vulnerable countries.”

This faith leaders’ statement builds on a growing number of calls from faith groups made throughout the past year, including the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’, the declaration of the New York Interfaith Summit, the Lambeth Declaration, and the Islamic declaration on climate change.
“Such calls mark the engagement of different faith groups working together towards the same goals,” the ACT Alliance, which organised the statement, said. “The message from faith groups is now unequivocal.”
  • Click here to read the full statement and list of signatories on the ACT Alliance website.

What is the Heart of our Humanity : Relecting on the history of Interfaith and the Parliament of the World's Religions

What is the Heart of our Humanity: 

Boroondara Interfaith Network

(Please pass on to your respective networks)
The Boroondara Interfaith Network, in partnership with Swinburne Chaplaincy and Swinburne University, invite you to join:
What is the Heart of our Humanity? | Community reflection on the history of interfaith and the Parliament of the World’s Religions

Date: Wednesday 11 November 2015       Time: 4pm to 6:30pm
Location: Level 2, Swinburne Multi Faith Facility, The George Building, 34 Wakefield Street, Hawthorn
The Parliament is the oldest and most inclusive gathering of people of all faith traditions across the globe. At this year’s conference in Salt Lake City, over 10,000 people came together to discuss topics about compassion, peace, justice and sustainability. As part of our reflection, hear about some of the key issues raised at the Parliament and share in a community conversation about the meaning of our humanity here in Boroondara.

A vegetarian afternoon tea will be provided.

Please feel free to distribute to your networks. All are welcome.

RSVP: This is a free event, however bookings are essential.
Register online at:

Note: If you would like to attend this event and have specific access, communication or dietary needs please call 9278 4753 by Monday 2 November and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Read More

Monday, 26 October 2015

A Taste of Judaism - a four part educational series : Etz Chayim Progressive Synagogue : Progressive Judaism Victoria

A taste of Judaism: 

Etz Chayim Progressive Synagogue

(Please pass on to your respective networks)

Progressive Judaism Victoria would like to invite you to:

A taste of Judaism with Rabbi Allison RH Conyer | 4 part educational series

Dates: Thursday 5, 12 and 26 November and 3 December 2015       
Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Location: Etz Chayim Progressive Synagogue,  549 Centre Road Bentleigh

Designed for beginners - Jewish or not - this four-part educational series will explore such topics as Who is a Jew, Jewish Life Cycle, Jewish History, Beliefs and Values. 

Cost for the course: $90

To register: 
call Inna on 9533 9930 or email 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Pilgrimage: 25 years of the Christus Rex Pilgrimage from #Ballarat to #Bendigo

Apologies from the Editor of Beside The Creek. 
 I have never heard of this practice until to-day.

You can read more about it below.

The Christus Rex Pilgrimage is a 3 day walk from Ballarat to Bendigo,covering over 90 kilometres. This route takes us from one great cathedral – St. Patricks, Ballarat – to another splendid cathedral – Sacred Heart, Bendigo. Over the 3 days we walk through the picturesque and serene countryside and forests of Victoria, through the towns of Creswick, Smeaton, Newstead and Lockwood. Along the route we engage in prayers and song – rosaries, litanies, hymns and medieval pilgrim songs that unite all in fellowship. Daily Mass in the extraordinary form (1962) is celebrated every day in local churches, except on the Saturday where Solemn Mass is celebrated in the woodlands of Campbelltown at a woodlands site; sacred polyphony and Gregorian chant are a part of each Mass. There are many opportunities for confession and spiritual guidance from the priests who join us on the pilgrimage.

The passing years have seen the pilgrimage attract Catholics from all over Australia of all ages, bringing them together to walk the route in honour of Christ the King and showing forth the communal body of the Catholic Church. The pilgrimage numbers have increased every year and have reached 450 in the past.

Christus Rex Society Inc. 
is run by a committee of members 
who organise the Pilgrimage every year,
from different regions around Australia.

Sikhs at the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Buddhist Places of Worship Bus Tour - South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne - Monday 26 October 2015

Buddhist Places of Worship Bus Tour - South Eastern Suburbs

Monday 26th October 2015

The Buddhist Council of Victoria invites you to join us on a Buddhist Places of Worship Tour.

This tour will cover 3 Buddhist temples 
in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne 

in Brighton East

in Springvale South and

in Springvale South.

Morning tea, lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Details: 9:20am– Meeat Quang Minh Temple, 18 Burke Street, Braybrook
OR if you prefer
meet at our first stop on the tour - Tara Institute
at 3 Mavis Ave, Brighton East at 10.15am.
10:15am – Arrive at Tara Institute, 3 Mavis Ave, Brighton East

Tour and morning tea

11:30am – Bus to Hoa Nghiem Temple

Tour and lunch

1:50pm – Bus to Khmer Buddhist Temple Tour

2:30pm - Bus back to Brighton and then Braybrook for participant drop offs

Finish at approximately 3:30pm

Please wear comfortable shoes and modest clothing covering thighs and shoulders. You may be asked to remove your shoes so please wear socks.
This is a no cost community event but registration is essential as there are limited spaces.
All welcome to attend.  Donation accepted on the day.

To request your spot on this tour, please email with your full name, mobile number, and number of seats you require.  Please note there are limited seats and your email is a request for tickets.  Our Administrator Bianca will email confirmation of your ticket(s) should you be successful.

For more information about the Buddhist Council of Victoria and other events please visit 

Sacred knowedge...

"He who goes forth to seek Sacred Knowledge is in the way of Allah until he returns." Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Buddhist nun, Jeong Kwan - the Philosopher Chef.

Please read this post. 
It is accompanied by the most beautiful photography.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

A change must occur deep in our souls .....

"It is clear that there will be little development of life here in the future if we do not protect and foster the living...
Posted by Spiritual Ecology on Friday, 16 October 2015

Thursday, 15 October 2015

#Ballarat Multicultural Ambassador Program 2016-18 : Applications being received now

MULTICULTURAL AMBASSADOR PROGRAM 2016-2018 Interested in becoming a cultural ambassador for Ballarat? Applications...
Posted by Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council on Thursday, 15 October 2015

Happy Islamic New Year - 1437

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Ordinary people protest in New York. It is the beginning of bringing about change.

This hatred and bigotry has to end.
Posted by Interfaith Worker Justice on Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Monday, 5 October 2015

The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne : Steve Cannane in conversation with Tony Ortega re Scientology

Scientology: Fair Game?
Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, once defined the religion as being in service of ‘a civilisation without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights’.
Almost 60 years since its foundation, though, Scientology has become a uniquely contentious phenomenon – with many questioning its status as a religion, cult or business, and with a reputation for fiercely defensive, litigious and coercive reactions to criticism. One of the first to feel the Church’s wrath was Paulette Cooper – whose 1971 book, The Scandal of Scientology, saw her become the target of an elaborate plot which set out to destroy her credibility, frame her and land her with a 15 year prison sentence. Codenamed ‘Miss Lovely’ by Church operatives, Cooper is now the subject of investigative journalist Tony Ortega’s book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.
Ortega is a long-time chronicler of Scientology, and one of its leading scrutineers. Featured in Alex Gibney’s HBO documentary Going Clear, he’s the executive editor of TheLipTV and former editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. He visits Melbourne – where the world’s first inquiry into Scientology was held in1963, and Scientology was first banned in 1965 – for a chat with SteveCannane, who’s currently writing a book on Scientology’s history in Australia.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Islamic Council Victoria (ICV), with Variety Victoria present Malcolm X's daughter - Ilyasah Al Shabazz In Conversation

Fifty years on from Malcolm X’s assassination, his legacy lives on through his daughter, Ilyasah Al Shabazz. Malcolm X...
Posted by Islamic Museum of Australia on Friday, 2 October 2015

Friday, 2 October 2015

Faith Communities Council of Victoria - FCCV - October 2015 : Events and News


Latest News & Upcoming Events

October 2015

Upcoming Events

Compassion Forum: Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia Women's Committee

4th October 12:15pm

Read More

JCMA Friendship Walk: Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia

11th October 2:00pm

Read More

Victorian Buddhist Centres Bus Tours: Buddhist Council of Victoria

12th October 9:20am

Read More

Tour to Places of Worship: Dandenong Interfaith Network

14th October 8:30am

Read More

DVD and Website Launch Event: Casey Multi-Faith Network

14th October 7:00pm

Read More

Let's Hurry to Love: Boroondara Interfaith Network

18th October 2:00pm

Read More

Food, Faith and Fasting: Cardinia Interfaith Network

18th October 3:00pm

Read More

Bridges and Walls: The Australian Council of Christians and Jews

25th October 6:00pm

Read More

Victorian Buddhist Centres Bus Tours: Buddhist Council of Victoria

26th October 9:20am

Read More

Discovery Bus Tour: Manningham Interfaith Network

8th November 12:30pm

Read More

Interfaith Conference on Tantra: MELA Interfaith Association

14th November 8:30am

Read More

Non-Violent Interfaith Leadership Program

14th November 9:30am

Read More

2015 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference: Faith Communities Council of Victoria

22nd November 12:00pm

Read More

People’s Climate March: Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

27th November 5:30pm

Read More


Religious Dates & Holidays

Confucius Birthday (Confucianism)

9th October

Read More

Navaratri (Hinduism)

13th October

Read More

Islamic New Year (Islam)

14th October

Read More

Conferment of Guruship to Guru Granth Sahib (Sikhism)

20th October

Read More

All Hallow’s Eve (Christianity)

31st October

Read More

All Saints Day (Christianity)

1st November

Read More

All Souls Day (Christianity)

2nd November

Read More

Diwali - Festival of Lights (Hinduism)

11th November

Read More

Birth of the Bab (Baha'i)

13th November

Read More

Birth of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i)

14th November

Read More

Guru Tegh Bahadur’s Martyrdom (Sikhism)

24th November

Read More

Birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji (Sikhism)

25th November

Read More

Day of the Covenant (Baha'i)

26th November

Read More

Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Baha (Baha'i)

28th November

Read More

Advent (Christianity)

29th November

Read More

Latest news

2015 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference - Registration now open

 Registration is now open for the 2015 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference to be held at Kingston City Hall (City of Kingston) on Sunday, 22 November 2015. To register for this free event go to Please note, places are limited so register early.

Read More

Statement on Syrian and Iraqi Humanitarian Crisis: Faith Communities Council of Victoria

 The Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV) has issued the following statement in response to the Syrian and Iraqi Humanitarian Crisis:

Read More

Promoting Equality and Respect: An Interfaith Collaboration on Preventing Family Violence - The City of Greater Dandenong Interfaith Network

 On Wednesday 30 September 2015, in partnership with the City of Greater Dandenong, the Interfaith Network held a public launch of a faith-based resource to prevent family violence in the community.

Read More

International Day of Peace Celebration 2015: Geelong Interfaith Network

 On Friday 18 September 2015, the Geelong Interfaith community shared with the City of Greater Geelong prayers for peace and harmony for individuals, each world nation and all life on earth in celebration of International Day of Peace.

Read More

Wake Up for Peace: Brahma Kumaris Australia

 On Monday morning, 21 September 2015, over 300 people from the Melbourne community woke up for peace and proactively supported the UN International Day of Peace, along with millions around the world through a significant meditation event held at the heart of the city in Deakin Edge, Federation Square between 7.45am and 8.30am.

Read More

Understanding Creates Acceptance - A Pledge for World Peace: COMMON

 On Monday 21 September 2015, COMMON (Centre of Melbourne Multifaith & Others Network) supported by WIN (Womens Interfaith Network) Foundation and Youth For Human Rights gathered at the Church of Scientology, Melbourne to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace. Over 150 attendees from various religious, faith and human rights groups attended the event. The theme for this year’s International Day of Peace was ‘Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for all.’

Read More

International Peace Day & Ganesh Visarjan Festival: Manningham Interfaith Network

 On Sunday 20 September, the Manningham Interfaith Network celebrated the International Peace Day & Ganesh Visarjan Festival at Ruffey Park Lake in the City of Manningham.

Read More

Lost in Translation: The Federation of Indian origin Multi-Faith Organisation

 On Saturday 5 September 2015, the “Lost In Translation” Interfaith Issues Forum was held by the Federation of Indian Origin Multi-Faith Organisation Inc (FIMO) at Walker St Gallery (Theatre) in Dandenong. This forum was an opportunity to contextualize some of the issues that community leaders, service providers, law enforcement bodies and the community at large face with regards to religious beliefs.

Read More

On the theme of Domestic Violence: Yarra Interfaith Network

 On Wednesday 16 September 2105, Yarra Interfaith Network, supported by the City of Yarra, held an event  to raise awareness of and reflect on Domestic Violence in our society today at Richmond Town Hall . The event was well attended by many from the local community and interfaith connections from across Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Read More

Interfaith September Get-Together: Casey Multi-Faith Network

 On Thursday 3 September, the Casey Multi-Faith Network held a special meeting which incorporated the theme of Interfaith September, an initiative of the Uniting Church in Australia.

Read More

Interfaith Pilgrimage to India: MELA Interfaith Association

 The MELA Interfaith Association is organizing an Interfaith Pilgrimage to India and is seeking expressions of interest from people wishing to participate in this joint journey. The pilgrimage will take place from Saturday 6 February to Friday 19 February 2016, and will consist of a maximum group of fifteen people.

Read More

Sikh Holy Day (20th October): Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

 The Guru Granth Sahib Ji is truely unique among the world's great scriptures. It is considered the Supreme Spiritual Authority and Head of the Sikh religion, rather than any living person. It is also the only scripture of it's kind which not only contains the works of it's own religious founders but also writings of people from other faiths.

Read More



Thousands rally in Melbourne for Syrian refugees as Prime Minister Tony Abbott vows to do more
Herald Sun, 8 September 2015

Proposed Plan to force religious clergy to join national faith register
Herald Sun, 30 September 2015

Bendigo councillors leave meeting under police escort after anti-mosque protest erupts
ABC, 17 September 2015

Rise Up Australia Party deputy and Casey Cr Rosalie Crestani sits down with Greens MP Nina Springle, Islamic Council of Victoria to discuss cultural tensions
Leader (South East), 22 September 2015

Faith leaders push for peace in the home
Leader (South East), 30 September 2015

World Peace March timely reminder in turbulent times
Geelong Times, 18 September 2015

Music for harmony
Indian Link, 4 September 2015

Vicious attack at Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Association centre in Langwarrin
Herald Sun, 10 September 2015

Blessing the State of Victoria
J Wire 9 September 2015


Inaugural Youth Parliament of World Religions

J Wire, 19 September 2015

Catholic anti-marriage equality booklet condemned as 'immeasurably harmful'
The Guardian, 28 September 2015

Scott Morrison says Christians will be focus of Australia's refugee intake
The Guardian, 10 September 2015

United in Prayer for Peace
Insights, 23 September 2015

NSW: Legacy of Abraham shared in One God Symposium
Religions for Peace Australia, 28 September 2015

Focus on individual efforts at International Day of Peace event
Australian Baha’is, 23 September 2015

No direct link between halal certification and Islamic terrorism, Senate inquiry told
ABC, 24 September 2015

Darwin Sikh Becomes Australian of the Day for Feeding the Poor
Singh Station, 1 September 2015


France pays inter-faith tribute to World War I Indian heroes
Hindustan Times, 3 September 2015

Putin Opens New Mosque in Moscow Amid Lingering Intolerance
The New York Times, 23 September 2015

Yom Kippur, Holiest Day Of Jewish Year, Begins
CBS, 22 September 2015

Palestinian Woman Is First to Oversee Muslim Wedding Vows
The New York Times, 22 September 2015

Pope Francis Assembles a Squad to Fight Religious Extremism
The Atlantic, 25 September 2015

Articles of Interest:

Bendigo: A city split over a multicultural future
The Age, 6 September 2015

Who are Syria's minority groups?
SBS, 11 September 2015

Whose Religion? Which Secularism? Australia Has a Serious Religious Literacy Problem
ABC, 23 September 2015

Back To School at the First Public School In The Country To Require A World Religions Course
Religion Dispatches, 9 September 2015

Yom Kippur, Eid al-Adha: Common Faith, Common Fate
Huffington Post, 21 September 2015

Stanford scholar casts new light on Hindu-Muslim relations
Stanford Report, 9 September 2015

Lunch with Dave Andrews: Jihad for Jesus
Sydney Morning Herald, 21 August 2015

Couple shares traditional Sikh wedding to educate, promote connection
The Fresno Bee, 3 September 2015

Celebrating and Deepening the New Christian-Jewish Relationship
Jewish-Christian Relations, 1 September 2015


Eid Al-Adha 2015 In Pictures: How Muslims Celebrated The Holiday Around The World
International Business Times, 25 September 2015

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations for Hindu elephant god's birthday
ABC, 27 September 2015

Touching the Sacred
ABC Radio, 13 September 2015

Finding peace between Christianity and Islam
ABC Radio, 3 September 2015

What Western journalists could learn from Buddhism
ABC Radio, 3 September 2015

Victoria’s Governor Linda Dessau welcomed by her shule

J Wire, 8 September 2015

Eid al-Adha in 60 seconds
The Telegraph, 24 September 2015


Promoting Equality and Respect: Interfaith Collaboration on Preventing Family Violence
City of Greater Dandenong

Signposts – Policy and practice for teaching about religions and non-religious world views in intercultural education
Council of Europe
Faith Community Council of Victoria (FCCV) e-Newsletter