Friday, 22 January 2016

CONFERENCE: Exclusion and Embrace: Disability, Justice and Spirituality 21-23 August 2016

Exclusion and Embrace 2016: Disability, Justice and Spirituality

From August 21, 2016 03:04 until August 23, 2016 05:04
The Australian Catholic University, The Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, The Progressive Christian Network of Victoria Inc., would like to invite you to:
2016 Exclusion and Embrace Conference
Date: 21-23 August 2016
Venue: Jasper Hotel, 489 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, Australia.
This Conference is a rare opportunity to bring together people interested in understandings of sacred texts, and the experiences of people with disabilities and carers within the context of faith. This  multi-faith Australasian Conference  has the support of a wide number of organisations including the Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA) and the Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV). The Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania is providing the Conference Secretariat.
The Conference will draw on the wisdom of all faiths, and will deepen our understanding of the many aspects of disability and spirituality. We are interested in your experience, research, practice, and ideas and knowledge.
Among the themes explored will be ethics, care, inclusion in faith communities, friendship, discrimination, love, justice, liberation.
In Australia, and abroad, an increasing number of people are actively exploring the intersection of disability and spirituality. An excellent Conference program will present perspectives across the faith spectrum, with opportunities for dialogue and formation of new networks. It will have appeal to people who live with disability, families and carers, academics and practitioners (volunteers and staff).
Two esteemed speakers will be keynoters at our Conference: Prof Hans Reinders is Chair of Ethics at VU University, Holland, and editor of the journal Religion and Disability. Rev Bill Gaventa is Director of the Summer Institute of Theology and Disability and President-elect of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). We are also delighted that an Australian cast of presenters is increasingly coming on board: Prof David Tacey an interdisciplinary scholar who is widely published for his knowledge of Australian spirituality. Other presenters include Lorna Hallahan, Sheik Isse Musse, Melinda Jones and Diana Cousens (see website Speakers tab for details).
There will also be an exhibition of artworks that reflect people’s experience of disability and spirituality, as it relates to the conference theme.
View and download the brochure (note: when printing remember to tick print on both sides and flip on short edge)
The Conference is also seeking Abstracts within these three streams, as they relate to disability and spirituality.
(i)         Supports in faith communities/service providers
(ii)        Sa­cred texts/theological understandings of disability
(iii)       Theological Educa­tion/Research.
Please go to Call for Presentations for details of Abstract Details and Guidelines. Abstracts need to be submitted by 10 April, 2016. Presentations may include formal papers, posters, personal stories, poetry, or other approaches.
We invite presentations which address aspects and experiences as they relate to spirituality and disability. Themes include liberation, education, bioethics, reconciliation, sexuality, pastoral care, inclusion, love, theological interpretations. All presenters must be registered for the event by 15 July, 2016.
Other sponsors and endorsers include Spiritual Health Victoria, Spiritual Care Australia, Christian Blind Mission, Victorian Council of Churches, Progressive Christian Network Victoria, Australian Catholic University and the University of Divinity.
As part of the Conference, we are also launching and displaying an  Art Exhibition, depicting the conference themes. Andy Calder, Conference Convenor
Further Information:  Ann Byrne  The Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania  Email:
Phone: (03) 9251 5404

Endorsed by: Faith Communities Council of Victoria, Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia, Victorian Council of Churches, Spiritual Care Australia, Spiritual Health Victoria and University of Divinity.

Friday, 8 January 2016

To-morrow in Bendigo : Celebrations for the Karen Community New Year

Bendigo: Karen Community New Year

January 9 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Karen community of Bendigo, cordially invite you to come and celebrate with us
our auspicious and unique cultural celebration of 2755 Karen New Year.
The ceremony has scheduled as below:
  • Date: 9 January, 2016 (Saturday)
  • Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
  • Speeches and Cultural Performances 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Free Lunch and Entertainment
  • Venue: Bendigo Neighbourhood Hub, 155 Crook Street, Strathdale
We look forward to your participation in our celebration and we wish you and your family a very happy, peaceful and prosperous new year
Click here for more information about the Karen New Year
Click here for information about Karen Human Rights Group
Karen State in Myanmar


January 9
10:00 am - 1:00 pm


Karen Community of bendigo
0422 270 646


Bendigo Neighbourhood Hub
155 Crook St 
Bendigo, Victoria Australia
+ Google Map

Neel, Sugaa & kids are friends of Ballarat Interfaith Network. Please support & pray for them as they face imminent deportation. Join the rally. Details below

The family above are known to many Ballaratians. They have charmed us. They have lived peacefully among us raising their children - in spite of the difficulties placed in their way by the Australian Government. 

There was a time when Neel worked. But the Australian Government denied him work rights. Since then, the Ballarat community has provided support for the family - and was pleased to do so. The politicians and bureaucrats involved in the forthcoming deportation don't know this family. We on the ground in Ballarat do. We want Neel and Sugaa and the kids here among us. Please come and support the family --- and let the powers-that-be know that they are doing something wrong if they deport them.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

A happy post to wish Happy New Year to Beside the Creek readers. Please have a happy and constructive 2016!

Happy New Year to Beside the Creek readers.  
Here is a constructive Facebook post.  
May all our efforts be as constructive.

Israel’s innovative farming practices have made the desert bloom. Now Israel is teaching other desert countries how to...
Posted by The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews on Saturday, 2 January 2016