Tasmania – November 2020

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Greetings of peace and many blessings for the beautiful festival of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, which is today, 14 November 20!  As the victory of light over darkness, it remembers not that darkness was destroyed, but that it was subsumed back into divinity. For many it is the start of the Hindu New Year.

We would also like to honour the memory of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, a moral and intellectual giant and member of the Jewish faith.  A brief obituary which came from JCCV is included. We hope that all of you, your families and communities continue to be safe and well as the year comes to peaceful close!

Greetings of Peace!

Greetings of peace and many blessings for the beautiful festival of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, which is today, 14 November 20!  As the victory of light over darkness, it remembers not that darkness was destroyed, but that it was subsumed back into divinity. For many it is the start of the Hindu New Year.

We would also like to honour the memory of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, a moral and intellectual giant and member of the Jewish faith.  A brief obituary which came from JCCV is included.

We hope that all of you, your families and communities continue to be safe and well as the year comes to peaceful close!

Holy Days in November – December 2020

Date Event Faith/religion
14 November Deepavali Hinduism
Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains, too!
15 November NAIDOC Week Ends Indigenous
24 November Guru Tegh Bahadur Sikhism
Celebrating Martyrdom
29 November Advent Christianity
Prepares for birth of Christ
30 November Birthday of Guru Nanak Sikhism
Founder of Sikhism
8 December Bodhi Day Buddhism
Enlightenment of Buddha
10 December Human Rights Day United Nations
UN Observance
11 December Hannukah Judaism
Festival of Lights

Faith Communities in Pandemic Times online webinar

Date: Sunday, 15th of November 2020
Time: 2:00-3:30pm (via zoom)

What challenges are faith communities facing during the COVID19 pandemic, and what important role can they play in this difficult time?
What is the end strategy for the COVID 19 pandemic? What is the likelihood of an ‘ethical’ vaccine and how will it be administered?

Join our Question & Answer forum for answers to these and many other questions with guest speaker Professor John Catford, who is currently a specialist health adviser to the Victorian Government.

Introduction: Rev Ian Smith, Secretary, Faith Communities Council of Victoria
Moderator: Norman Currie, Janssen Spirituality Centre
Free Registration: faithinpandemictimes.eventbrite.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/2807882239501430/

PESRAC Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council Consultation open until 15 November

This is an opportunity for minority communities to contribute ideas to the Premier’s Recovery Council Consultation, which is now open until Sunday 15 November:  https://www.pesrac.tas.gov.au/recovery_ideas

Previous reports are available on the site.

A well-being survey is also available. The Council is especially interested in understanding what aspects of peoples’ lives matter most now and through recovery into the future (such as jobs, health, safety, housing, community).

We are now undertaking a well-being survey to identify what elements of well-being Tasmanians prioritise on the path to recovery. This will help us prioritise and focus our advice to Government, business and the community in our Final Report in 2021.

This opportunity to participate is open to all Tasmanians, and undertaken jointly with the University of Tasmania.

Sacred People, Sacred Earth

The Earth and all its people are sacred and at risk.  

Because the global climate emergency requires a global, multi-faith response, people of diverse religions from around the world, at the grassroots, are coming together in a bold new way to work for climate justice.

On November 18 at 11:30 am AEST, join GreenFaith and our partners at Faith & the Common Good for a global TEDx eventto kick off mobilizing for Sacred People, Sacred Earth – the biggest-ever grassroots, global, multi-faith, COVID-friendly climate action that will take place on March 11 2021. This is part of Countdown – a special TEDx platform for climate action!

RSVP to reserve a spot for this TEDx

Our religions envision a world transformed, in which humanity in all its diversity has developed a shared reverence for life on Earth.

But across the world, more and more people are experiencing climate-fuelled disasters first-hand. Droughts, floods, fires and hurricanes are displacing and impoverishing millions. COVID is cruelly worsening these impacts on our most vulnerable communities.

That’s why diverse, grassroots people of faith and conscience are coming together to demand real solutions and to lead by example. No more fossil fuel infrastructure, tropical deforestation or related financing. 100% renewable energy for everyone – particularly the 800 million people who lack energy access. Wealthy countries leading the way with commitments that reflect their responsibility for the crisis we face.

Join us to launch mobilizing for Sacred People, Sacred Earth and learn what we can do to lead our communities to a better world.

The GreenFaith International Network will kick off this new era of global, multi-faith climate action beginning November 18, together we can build an unstoppable, global, grassroots, multi-faith movement.

Faith Communities Supporting Healthy Family Relationships online webinar

Date: Wednesday, 25th November 2020 
Time: 2:00-3:30pm  (via zoom)

Faith leaders play an influential role in shaping attitudes and behaviours amongst their faith communities and therefore are in a unique position to prevent violence against women.

Join our panel of experts as they discuss their challenges and successes in building the prevention and response capacity of faith leaders and their communities.
– Dr Cathy Vaughan, Melbourne University
– Robyn Andréo-Boosey, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne
– Anu Krishnan, Kulturbrille & Faith Communities Council of Victoria

Moderator: Monisha Sandhu, Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
Free Registration: faith-safe.eventbrite.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/3571947556226343/

Dances of Universal Peace

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people: Chief Seattle Cycle recreated in Tasmania

Soho Arts Community Hall, Sat 28th Nov 10am – 4pm
14 Weld Street, South Hobart, TAS 7004
$80 early bird / concession, $95 full
Bookings and enquiries: peacedancestas@gmail.com
Phone Chando: 0419553717, Nicola 0400051963
The early bird discount ends 15 November for the Chief Seattle Cycle with Anahata on the 28th Nov.  We would be delighted if you could join us.

Here are the bank details for booking –
Bendigo Bank BSB: 633-000
Account Name: Dances of Universal Peace
Account number: 159823798
Reference: YOUR NAME
Please send us an email letting us know you have booked.

Also letting you know we will meet for Dances of Universal Peace led by Nicola, Mieke and Chando at the Hawker Centre, 339 Macquarie Street, South Hobart (behind All Saints Church and the Jesse Tree Op Shop) from 7pm – 9pm on Tuesday 17th November. Suggested donation is $10

We will be abiding by the COVID-19 guidelines, hand sanitising on entry, avoiding physical greetings, and we won’t be holding hands during the dances, but this should not hold us back from having a thoroughly wonderful evening.

Hope to see you there!
(PS please don’t come if you are unwell…)

For more info about Dances of Universal Peace see:

Living the Change: faithful choices for a flourishing world

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change Victoria and Tasmania are working together to celebrate LIVING THE CHANGE YEAR 3: faithful choices for a flourishing world. We gather as members of diverse faith communities and those who care for our planet to share our stories of change, transformation, and regeneration. We tap into our deepest values to find the inspiration to address climate change and support each other in the journey!

Sunday 6th December 2020, 3-5.30 pm

Location ZOOM meeting – Please click HERE  to book or contact Sue Ennis at wcrpaust@iinet.net.au (so we know numbers for groups).

ARRCC Divestment Working Group Webinar

The Melbourne branch of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change Divestment Working Group ran a webinar on Sunday 8 November on zoom.  It was recorded.  If you are interested in receiving the link to the recording, please let me know.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Towahedo Church in Hobart GoFundMe

The Ethiopian Orthodox Towahedo Church in Hobart are raising money to buy and restore a Church to provide regular worship and a religious gathering place for the community in Hobart.

This is so important because it will give us a place to share and celebrate our religion, to come together and pray, to celebrate our life events.

We have already raised over $45000 and have reached an agreement with the Anglican Church about St Georges Church at 2 Briggs St in Gagebrook. We now need to fundraise the remaining sale price as well as money for restoring and decorating the building and the grounds.

A Priest will relocate to Hobart as soon as the borders allow, to provide religious and pastoral care, and we are also fundraising for his cost of living.

Our community face many challenges living here in Tasmania, and having access to an Ethiopian Orthodox Church is so important and it’s part of their life which we have dearly missed.

The Church will help us educate our young people and build their pride in their culture, keeping our community strong across the generations. The Church building in Gagebrook is quite old and heritage listed. There will need to be some repairs and renovations to the site. The Ethiopian Orthodox Towahedo Abune Geremenfus Kidus Church Hobart Inc. is in the process of completing Charity registration with the ACNC – more details to come. GoFundMe Link: https://gf.me/u/y6gndk

Vivekacudamani Café

Dr Nagaratnam Jeyasreedharan (Sree) has created the Vivekacudamani Café on WhatsApp.  This is a very rich collection of resources on the Vivekacudamani (Crest Jewel of Discrimination) of Shankaracharyaji and on Hinduism generally. He is kindly willing to share these resources with any seeker who is interested. 

If you would like to be added to the Café, please text 0438 069 728.

Religions for Peace International Conference from Lindau, Germany

Keeping faith, Transforming tomorrow

1st Assembly on Women, Faith & Diplomacy – A message of peace from Lindau around the world  was held last week, November 10-13, 2020.

Speakers were very high profile and included Angela Merkel.   The proceedings were recorded.

Obituary of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks through JCCV

With the passing of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, a scholar, writer and former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, the world has lost a towering moral and intellectual figure at a time when it is most in need of people of his calibre.

For Rabbi Sacks there was no hard and fast division between Jewish and secular knowledge. There was just knowledge. More important was the wisdom that comes with knowledge , and he had it in abundance. His favoured adage was Torah vehokhmah, ‘Torah and Wisdom’. As one of his admirers noted, “Torah, for Jonathan Sacks represents the particularistic, inherited teachings of Judaism, while hokhmah (wisdom) refers to the universal realm of the sciences and humanities.”

He had an extraordinary command of Jewish learning, moral philosophy and ethics, and a wonderful ability to convey his ideas to a wide audience, regardless of their level of education. When he visited Australia some years ago, religious leaders and others from many faith communities came to hear him speak, and were overflowing in their praise of his erudition and insights.

His books were widely quoted, most especially The Dignity of Difference, a plea for humanity, compassion and mutual respect. In an age of material abundance and spiritual poverty, Jonathan Sacks’ writings and radio broadcasts made accessible his profound understanding of the human condition and the nature of spirituality and morality. For this he was revered by millions of people of all backgrounds and religions.

The Jewish world, and the whole of humanity, has been left much the poorer for his passing.

Latest news on Coronavirus

Find up-to-date news on the State Government’s website:coronavirus.tas.gov.au

It is important for Temporary Visa Holders to know that COVID-19 test information is only used for public health purposes and has no influence on visa status. The Tasmanian Government’s sole concerns are for people’s health and to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. The only information that is shared with the Commonwealth is around billing.  No other information is shared. 


Multicultural Consultative Reference Group

There is a Multicultural Consultative Reference Group meeting with Minister Rockliff on 28 November 2020.  The Reference Group will present a progress Report entitled Our Multicultural Island: Tasmania’s Multicultural Action Plan and there will be group discussion about opportunities for collaborative work on COVID-19 recovery.


In peace,
Convenor RfP Tasmania Branch
Vice Chair, Religions for Peace Australia
Phone 6272 6521