Greetings of peace, health and wellbeing in this challenging time!
This is such an important time for those of us who follow a faith tradition and those of good will to emerge the qualities and values our traditions teach us: peace, serenity, lovingkindness and compassion, to help to support not only our own individual communities, but mainstream communities locally and globally.
Our Chair, Prof. Des Cahill OAM, chaired a national meeting last Friday in concern over the effects on faith communities of the CoViD-19 virus. Religions for Peace Australia is the largest multifaith organisation in Australia as it has links in every State and Territory as well as internationally. He has sent a statement to faith leaders as well as government leaders around the country. You can read the statement here.
The webmaster of RfPA, Rev. Chris Parnell, has been doing a sterling job of collecting information from and for all the faith communities on our website: https://religionsforpeaceaustralia.org.au/ It’s well worth a visit.
For example he has given the website of the Victorian Government’s information on the virus which has been translated into 48 other languages here
We also celebrate the creativity and pastoral care taken by faith communities in this time of withdrawal to provide spiritual sustenance in unique and creative ways. This will be updated frequently. See the first iteration here. https://religionsforpeaceaustralia.org.au/?p=10076
Among other news from RfP:
Religions for Peace International invites global believers and people of good will to an interfaith moment of hope and solidarity calling for health, compassion and strength in the face of COVID-19. This will be held on April 1 at 9am Eastern Time (US and Canada) or for us intrepid ones in Tasmania that will be at midnight on Thursday April 2. You can register to participate here.
Religions for Peace International has recently been announced as the Freedom of Worship Award Laureate 2020 for the work it does world-wide in promoting peace and harmony through the faiths: https://rfp.org/ As an example of its work, you can also read about RfP International’s efforts for multi-religious solidarity to uphold dignity for all in India at the moment here.
Many good wishes and thanks for your patience, inspiration and courage as we walk through this challenge together. The invitation of Khushpreet Singh Dhillon (below) is one beautiful example of the special care being offered to vulnerable people by a faith community.
Holy Days in April 2020
|2 April 2020||Hinduism||Rama Navami, birth of Lord Rama|
|5 April 2020||Christianity||Palm Sunday; Holy Week begins|
|8 April 2020||Judaism||Pesach - Passover; liberation of the Jews from Egypt|
|8 April 2020||Islam||Lailat al Bara’ah, on this night, God approaches the earth to call humanity and to grant forgiveness of sins
|8 April 2020||Hinduism||Hanuman Jayanti, birth of Lord Hanuman, the vanara God|
|9 April 2020||Buddhism||Theravadan New Year|
|10 April||Christianity||Good Friday|
|12 April||Christianity||Easter Day - Resurrection of Jesus the Christ|
|12 April||Orthodox Christianity||Orthodox Palm Sunday|
|13 April||Sikhism||Vaisakhi, Foundation Day of the Brotherhood of the Pure by Guru Gobind Singh
|17 April||Jainism||Birth of Mahavira, the 24th Tirkanthara and founder of the Jain Religion.|
|17 April||Orthodox Christianity||Orthodox Good Friday|
|19 April||Orthodox Christianity||Pascha - Orthodox Easter|
|19 April||Baha'i|| Ridvan, a 12 day commemoration of the time Baha’u’llah spent in the Garden of Ridvan before publicly proclaiming his mission
|20 April||Judaism||Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day
|23 April||Islam||Ramadan begins, ends on 23 May 2020
Gurudwara Nanak Darbar Hobart
We Hope you and your families are doing well at this time.
I have attached some information to for free food distribution/delivery service in and around Hobart which the Sikh Society of Tasmania are going to start for the people in need.
At the moment the service is only available on Wednesdays and Sundays, but this may change as needed.
The service is especially available for those impacted by the corona virus health professionals, self-isolated people, elderly or disadvantaged people. Please let us know if you think someone in your contacts needs this service. Those interested should call or text by midday on 0404 729 454. Food delivery is between 6-8pm.
Hindu Society of Tasmania:
In line with the Federal Government Directives, the University is now closing the Multifaith Centre on campus until further notice. As such, there will be no face-to-face meetings (satsangs) until further notice. However, I will continue the monthly classes on the Vivekacudamani of Shankaracharyaji on WhatsApp to keep the momentum going. This will comprise of notes and voice recordings posted on ‘VC Cafe’ on the scheduled monthly Mondays. This can be followed by chats/discussions via WhatsApp on the verses as covered. Enquiries to Sree on 0413 936 936.
Jewish Community Council Victoria
Community Security Group
JCCV has a very helpful webpage of COVID-19 Information which may be accessed here. It includes downloadable resources:
Let’s be clear on COVID-19 (Infographic)
How to Self-Isolate (Infographic)
St David’s Cathedral, Hobart
God is our strength and refuge, even in these trying times. In hope and confidence we proclaim Jesus as Lord our risen Saviour.
Whilst unable to meet in the Cathedral, we are encouraging people to gather through our web resources and to connect with each other as we are able.
Following Government guidelines, the Cathedral is currently closed to the public.
At 12noon each day as we are able we will be ringing a Cathedral Bell and calling people to pray. A short series of prayers will be streamed on Facebook just after 12.
The pastoral letter from Bishop Condie is available here.
From St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart:
Masses will be livestreamed.
Facebook and the Internet are flooded with resources and ideas for church communities in ‘non-contact’ times. Here you will find resources selected by the Uniting Church of Australia leaders in Tasmania, for live-stream worship, alternative activities, ways to remain connected, and to ensure effective pastoral care.
Read more here: https://ucatas.org.au/resources-for-non-contact-times/
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
The Silence Retreat scheduled for 25 April has, unfortunately been cancelled.
Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre
Greetings of peace to everyone!
We’d like to inform you that our Meditation Centre is temporarily closed and our program Serenity in the City, which normally runs on Thursdays from 12.30-1.00pm at Mathers House in the Central Business District, has been temporarily cancelled due to the closing of the venue. Our program planned for 31 March Emerging from our Shadow has also been cancelled.
However, now, more than ever, people can take benefit from the soothing power of meditation. Guided meditations are available at:
The Sanctuary Experience has been created to support people who are facing emergency situations and is very calming and uplifting in this present time.
If you have any queries, could you ring Alice at the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre, Hobart on 6278 3788 or email email@example.com
When we remain peaceful, we spread peace in the atmosphere.
Sacred Conversations warmly invites you to join us at 2pm on the last Saturday of every month for an online Zoom session.
We will not be meeting at The Multifaith Centre at UTAS for the foreseeable future or at least until the coronavirus pandemic has passed.
Sacred Conversations is an opportunity for people of different faiths and cultures to come together in a spirit of deep respect, understanding, peace, and love!
Please join us for respectful dialogue, prayer, meditation, music, friendship, and more.
Our special guest on Saturday 25th April will be Mary Dwyer, who will talk to us about her life journey and her acclaimed book “The Final Act of
Our special guest on Saturday 30th May will be Terry Sussmilch from the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre, who will share thoughts about the transformative power of Raja Yoga meditation as a practice in daily life.
I hope you are able to join us!
All enquiries are welcome: If you would like to receive a Zoom invitation, please contact Julian McGarry 0401673016 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Love and peace,
Awakened Heart Community:
If anyone has a spare room, granny flat, caravan etc. temporarily available to house a Buddhist Monk until after the Covid-19 pandemic is over, then please call: 0417 595 600.
Hobart Buddhist Meditation Centre
UPDATE on staying at home
1. Online sessions with Rinpoche
Our precious teacher Zasep Tulku Rinpoche is now holding online video sessions. These weekly sessions are running at 8 am on Monday mornings Tasmanian time.
There were technical problems with last week’s session, so please do not use prior information to access these sessions. Instead, please go to the Gaden for the West YouTube page, where previous sessions will also be archived.
During these teachings, Rinpoche is currently providing access to the Black Manjushri practice–a powerful practice for generating good health, ending epidemics, and fighting infectious disease. The Black Manjushri Sadhana is now available for download on the Gaden for the West website. A video explaining the practice is here. Additionally, the Medicine Buddha Sadhana is available on the Gaden for the West website here. Both practices are highly recommended at this difficult time.
We also highly recommend https://buddhaweekly.com/ On this site you will find teachings, interviews, and meditations which you can follow in the comfort of your own home.
2. Online Hobart Buddhist Meditation Centre Tuesday evening sessions
For those of you who haven’t taken the plunge yet, we warmly invite you to join in our next Tuesday evening 7.30 pm Zoom session.
Materials for our Tuesday evening sessions this month:
Buddhist prayers and mantras
Reflections on the four common foundations
Instructions for accessing ZOOM for our Tuesday 7.30 pm meetings:
Mobile device (smartphone or tablet)
Download the Zoom Meetings app for iOS or Android and open it Click on Join a Meeting Enter our TashiCholing Meeting ID: 937-472-284
Choose to connect with audio & video, or just audio Computer (desktop, laptop):
Open your web browser at zoom.com
Choose Join a Meeting
Enter our TashiCholing Meeting ID: 937-472-284
Follow any instructions provided by Zoom
Testing your system for Zoom access
You can test your system here prior to any Zoom meeting.
We are all learning, and will learn together how to get the most out of this new system. We apologise for the short notice. Please let us know if you have any questions, and we will do our best to answer them.
Now is a good time to strengthen your personal practice too. We wish you all the best.
About Hobart Buddhist Meditation Centre
TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED: Meditation and Discussion 7.30-9 pm, every Tuesday. Entry by $5 suggested donation.
Australian Religious Response to Climate Change
Spiritual support over Zoom
Now is a time for supporting each other during a difficult time and building caring communities. We definitely need to maintain physical distancing, but this need not stop us from picking up the phone and building social connection. As the climate crisis accelerates, we will need to come together more and more. To this end, ARRCC is offering two opportunities each week, at least in the short term.
Regular Multi-Faith prayer & reflection sessions have been organised over Zoom on Wednesdays, April 1 – 29. Some thoughtful, lovely community leaders will offer a reflection, followed by some silence, then prayer and sharing. We’ll hold these for 45 minutes, starting at 10 am sharp AEDT (NSW, Vic and Tas), 9 am Brisbane, 7 am Perth, 8.30 am Darwin.
Those leading the reflection, each on separate days, include a Darug/Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi woman, Ceane Towers; a Catholic Religious, Sr Jan Barnett, a Muslim activist, Fahimah Badrulhisham and a Triratna Buddhist, Marian (Dhiracharita) van Enst. You are invited to join via this Zoom link Dhiracharita will lead next week on April 1. She suggests that people attending could bring a beautiful object or picture which has some spiritual significance to them. The details are also on the ARRCC Facebook page
Meditate on Fridays
https://www.facebook.com/events/2510475779241567/?event_time_id=2553221744966970 is happening for 45 minutes every Friday at 12 noon AEDT (NSW, Vic and Tas), 11 am Brisbane, 9 am Perth, 10.30 am Darwin, in the lead-up to Friday, May 15, when the Student Strike for Climate was to take place. (These may now take the form of online activities.) By meditating together, we hope to cultivate calm, relaxation, love and compassion; a collective space to imagine a better future for Earth. We will sit in solidarity and compassion with all those affected by climate change. This is the Zoom link which is the same each session, and here’s the Facebook page
Faith Community Calls for Care and Resilience are also being hosted daily by GreenFaith, our multi-faith partner organisation in the US. They are offering these for 30 minutes at 7 am AEDT on weekdays until April 3. Hundreds of people are finding these very nourishing and y’all have been invited to join via Zoom or watch the simultaneous livestream here on Facebook
Pope Francis’ Extraordinary Urbi et Orbi Blessing
Pope Pius XII shown to have done most of all religious and political leaders to save Jews from the Nazis during WWII. The recent opening of the Vatican archives on his time as Pope shows he saved nearly a million Jews.
Pope congratulates Italian clergy for finding creative ways to stay close to their people during the CoViD epidemic
Convenor RfP Tasmania Branch
Vice Chair, Religions for Peace Australia
Phone 6272 6521