On Sunday October 22nd, the Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA) held their third annual Friendship Walk in which over 100 people participated by walking from the Carlton Mosque to the Melbourne synagogue and finally the St. Peter’s on Eastern Hill Anglican Church.
The event which is now running in its 3rd consecutive year was organised in partnership with the Victoria Council of Churches (VCC), the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) to promote peace and understanding. The day began at the Carlton Mosque with commencement speeches from the departing AAIS President: Vahid Goga, Helen Light (President of the JCMA) and Imam Bekim (AAIS) who articulated the history of the Albanian Mosque and the contribution the community had made to Australia before reinforcing the common bonds between the Abrahamic faiths.
Dull weather cleared into sunshine setting the mood was set for a walk through picturesque Carlton. The group was ably supported by Victoria police who ensured the safety off the group was paramount providing a full escort off the journey and engaging in discussions with the participants The Melbourne Synagogue began with an introduction by Rabbi Dovid Gutnick into some of the nuances of Jewish ethnicities before giving the floor to a musical display from two of their congregants which had many of the event participants dancing.
The walk ended at St. Peter’s on Eastern Hill in which Bishop Phillip Huggins from the Anglican Church spoke about the collective power of faiths coming together to tackle some of humankinds large issues including climate change and the asylum seeker and refugee debate. Before Father Kempster ending with a prayer for peace from St. Francis of Assisi.
Executive officer of the JCMA, Ginette Everest, reflecting on the walk said, “It was fantastic to see so many new people forming new bonds and enjoying the festive spirit.” The JCMA is also planning to hold a similar walk in Ballarat. For more information on the JCMA you can visit: http://jcma.org.au/
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