Lockdown: Yeshiva Community, St Kilda

St Kilda TempleIn Australia, religious communities were one part of society expressly impacted by the ‘lockdown’ directives introduced to stem the spread of the virus. On 29 March all places of religious worship were effectively closed by the restrictions that limited non-essential indoor gatherings to two people. In Victoria, lockdown came again on 9th of July, with border closures. Here, we look to faith community experiences in time of lockdown. On this page, we look to the experience of the Jewish members of the Yeshiva community of St Kilda, Victoria.

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Interfaith service for nuclear disarmament

ICAN

Thursday the 6th of August marks 75 years since the nuclear attack on Hiroshima in 1945. By the end of that year, Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered more than 200,000 deaths and countless injuries. The impacts of those two explosions are still felt today, with many survivors requiring ongoing medical care.

Join the Uniting Church in Australia, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the Hindu Council of Australia, the Australian Baháʼí Community, the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, the Buddhist Council of NSW, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Pacific Conference of Churches and more to commemorate the Hiroshima anniversary. We will come together on Zoom, from our homes, at 6-6:45 on Thursday 6th August.

Prayers from seven faith traditions will be shared.

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Queensland: Women’s Night of Spirituality

St Ignatius Parish ToowongSt Ignatius Parish, Toowong, Queensland, will conduct a Women’s Night of Spirituality on evening of 28 July 2020. Sr Angela Mary Doyle RSM AO will speak about her journey leaving the warmth of her large family in Ireland. Sr Maeve Louise Heaney VDMF who will perform her own musical items especially chosen for the occasion. This will be an online event, available on Youtube.

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Young People and Mental Health

World Council of Churches
On 12 August, the World Council of Churches (WCC) will celebrate Ecumenical International Youth Day with the theme “Young People and Mental Health.” A worship celebration with expert speakers, music, prayer and Bible studies is being planned, and a “toolkit” is being released before the event to help WCC member churches provide a safe space for youth to strengthen their mental health.

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Hagia Sophia: Former Istanbul museum welcomes Muslim worshippers

Hagia Sophia: Former Istanbul museum welcomes Muslim worshippers

Friday prayers are being held at the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul for the first time since it was turned into a museum 85 years ago.

Only about 1,000 people are being allowed inside at any one time because of the coronavirus.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was among the worshippers.

A large screen and speakers were set up outside to broadcast proceedings to the large crowds gathered outside. The Governor of Instanbul ordered the mosque remain open until Saturday to allow worshippers to complete their prayers.

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Climate Pastoral Care Conference – 2020

Climate Pastoral Care Conference

The unprecedented bushfires experienced around Australia, and particularly in NSW & the ACT, over spring and summer 2019/2020 further emphasized the need for climate pastoral care, and the idea of climate anxiety became newly concrete for many people as they faced the smoke and other impacts of the fires for themselves.

In June 2020, Common Grace and the Five Leaf Eco-Awards joined Uniting Earth as co-sponsors, and the conference was renamed the ‘Climate Pastoral Care Conference: Christian training in Care, Communication & Action’, to welcome greater ecumenical participation.

We are excited to gather online this year, and for the opportunities this offers for church leaders and interested parties from all around Australia and New Zealand to attend.

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Webinar: Prayer, Patience and Pandemic

Webinar: Prayer, Patience and PandemicAustralian Intercultural Society will host a live webinar on Youtube with the topic, Prayer, Patience and Pandemic. Panellists include Dr Mashrreed Ansari of the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy, Rev. De Colleen O’Reilly – Chaplain to Trinity College, and Moderator Dr Duleyha Keskin of Islamic Sciences and Research Academy, Charles Sturt University. The webinar takes place on the evening of Monday, 27 July, 2020.

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Remembering the Atomic Bombs: History, Memory and Politics in Australia, Japan and the Pacific

Hiroshima memorialThis webinar is part of an ongoing seminar series, Making Public Histories, that is offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945. In this webinar, three speakers will consider new findings about the Japanese experience and memory of the Atomic bombings. This is an online webinar.

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New Zealand: Victim Impact Statement

NZ Ministry of JusticeThe New Zealand Ministry of Justice has approached the Interfaith networks of New Zealand seeking victim impact statements for the March 15 attacks at the two mosques in Christchurch. The MoJ has decided to expand the scope of the ‘Victims’ to not only include the Muslim community who were most directly affected, but also all faith communities in Christchurch as well as New Zealand as they acknowledge that all faith groups have been made victims in one way or another through these events. The Canterbury Interfaith Society will act to draw related statements together on behalf of faith communities.

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Forests & Pandemics Primer

Forests & Pandemics Primer


Tropical forests are being destroyed at alarming rates around the world, driving climate change and biodiversity loss, and intensifying poverty. The habitat loss from tropical deforestation is also leading to increased contact between humans and wildlife. This exposure increases incidence of zoonotic diseases, infectious diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans. As the loss of tropical forests accelerates, the public health danger from deforestation is growing worse.

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Hagia Sophia – Official Statement of the Islamic Society of North America

Hagia Sophia


We need to work together to convince President Erdogan not to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia was built as a Church and a pride of Greek Orthodox Church which commands the loyalty of Greek Orthodox Christians counting some 300 million in Greece, Turkey and around the world. Russian Orthodox Church which is a splinter of Greek Orthodox continues to jointly have a sacred sentiment for Hagia Sophia.

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From King to Gandhi, racial justice means all faiths matter

Martin Luther King in India(RNS) — Recently, my Muslim family joined a Hindu family and a Jewish family at a protest for racial equity near our home on the North Side of Chicago. A couple of days ago, my older son and I went to an event on the near South Side with fellow Muslims. As we talked about the verses of the Quran and the values of Islam that inspired our involvement, I made sure to point out the people wearing crosses around their necks, the clergy with collars or kippahs, the religious scripture prominently displayed on several signs.

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Meditations for a Time of Isolation

peaceful garden

People react to situations and enclosure differently. Some go within and reflect; others go out and spend energy, and thus, recharge themselves. Still more get out and walk, and notice their environment mindfully. Those who need contact get onto the electronic devices and get facetime with their cherished. More get out in the garden, the green-fingers! There are those who look to others for help and guidance. Here, we bring you a selected series of meditations for your ease and reduction in anxiety and fear: S/he who manages their mind manages their anxiety and fear – and create a positive environment for self and others. We offer this to you for your exploration, sample, and peace.

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