Greetings of peace!
Many good wishes for the holy days coming up for many faith traditions: Hanukkah (Jewish Festival of Lights), the Summer Solstice, Christmas, including the Orthodox celebrations and the many different New Years.
This is always a special time of the year, partly because it brings families together (and our blessing is that we can come together at this time) and partly because of the opportunity it gives us for quietness and reflection.
May you, your families and your communities stay safe and well, happy and prosperous over these next few weeks and enjoy a peaceful, healthy and happy start to 2021.
Holy Days in December 2020
|8 December||Bodhi Day||Buddhism|
|10 December||Human Rights Day||United Nations
|25 December||Gita Jayanti||Hinduism;
Revelation of the Bhagavad Gita
|30 December||Annapurna Jayanti||Hinduism
Birth of Annapurna, Goddess of Nourishment
|7 January||Feast of the Nativity||Orthodox Christianity|
|20 January||Birth of Guru Gobind Singh||Sikhism|
|29 January||Mahayana New Year||Mahayana Buddhism|
|12 February||Chinese New Year||Buddhism|
Living the Change: faithful choices for a flourishing world – 6 December
Australian Religious Response to Climate Change and Religions for Peace Australia would like to invite you to be part of the international initiative Living the Change, celebrating the contributions people of faith can make to living simply and caring for the earth.
This year interested people of faith from Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia will revisit our inspirations and practical experiences of walking gently on the earth and we would like to invite you to join us.
Could you share this information with anyone who may be interested, wherever they are?
The meeting will be by Zoom on Sunday 6 December 2020 from 3.00pm-5.30pm.
Here is the ZOOM link for this event
Or go to the zoom website then put in Meeting ID: 847 6576 7487 Passcode: 358956
Or by phone: +61 3 7018 2005
Enquiries to Terry on 0438 069 728
Soul Food will be held on Sunday December 6th 3pm at the Baha’i Centre of Learning for Tasmania, 1 Tasman Highway Hobart (Behind the ABC building, using the slip road just past Brooker / Tasman Traffic).
The theme for this program is The Joy of Giving, exploring the profound impact that the act of giving and generosity can have on us.
All Covid requirements will be in place and free refreshments will be served. The music for this program will be Pianist/Composer Ryaed Owens.
All welcome. For more information, you may go to https://www.soulfood.com.au/tas or call 62347654 mobile Val 040408768.
Meditation for Uluru/Kata Tjuta 21 December
On the evening of the Summer Solstice, at Hobart time 9.02pm on 21 December 2020, there will be a national Ceremony led by the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands comprising Australia. Uluru is the centre of all the Aboriginal Songlines or Dreaming Paths of the country. Songlines are linked to the Creation stories in a culture that is more than 60,000 years old.
The Ceremony will include silent meditation facing Uluru from every direction with the single powerful intention to give love to Mother Earth to recharge her heart. Everyone is invited to join at the same time (different timelines for different states). See the poster below. If you are interested, please contact Terry on 0438 069 728, as a group may meet to join in from Hobart.
Hobart Buddhist Meditation Centre
December 8 through January: There will be no Tuesday evening meditation through the Christmas/New Year time unless otherwise notified.
More information about our current online program.
Dances of Universal Peace
We are delighted to welcome Anahata back to Hobart to offer the Chief Seattle Cycle which she composed and has recreated around the world.
This unmissable workshop will be held at Soho Arts Community Hall, Sunday 13th December 10am-6pm, at 14 Weld Street, South Hobart.
This magnificent workshop may appeal to many people who would like to dive deeply into the meaning of Chief Seattle’s speech, and create a ceremony together to honour the Earth.
Anahata says, “The more we put our spirit into the ceremony, the more the earth receives our blessing, and our wings open to fly.”
Spread the word, and book early as the hall has limited numbers. Every Part of $80 early bird / concession, $95 full
Bookings and enquiries: email@example.com
Phone Chando: 0419553717, Nicola 0400051963
For more info about Dances of Universal Peace see:
St David’s Cathedral Hobart
Christmas Celebrations at St David’s Cathedral Hobart:
A performance of Handel’s Messiah, featuring the Choir of St David’s Cathedral, accompanied by the Argyle Orchestra and conducted by Thomas Rimes.
Lana Kains (soprano), Rebeka Hren Dragolic (mezzo-soprano), Alexander Rodrigues (tenor) and Christopher Richardson (bass-baritone) will sing the solos in this beloved masterpiece.
General admission seating. Doors open 6:30pm. COVID-19 Safety restrictions apply.
Thursday 17 December 2020 7:00 PM and Friday 18 December 2020 7:00 PM
Revisiting our Walking Humbly Journey
We are hoping to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the start of our Walking Humbly Journey, which began on 11 January 2011 at the Springs on kunanyi/Mount Wellington.
(See here, and here for past accounts of Walking Humbly)
If you would like to join in the celebrations, please contact Terry on 0438 069 728.
Sacred People, Sacred Earth
On 18 November, in six multi-faith TEDx events around the globe, people of faith and conscience at the grassroots are beginning to organise the biggest-ever faith-climate day of action.The movement for preparing for a world day of action on March 11 to support action on climate change has begun. It is co-sponsored by Religions for Peace, The Parliament of the World’s Religions and the United Religion Initiative.
If you would like to learn more, see here: https://religionsforpeaceaustralia.org.au/?p=11824
If you would like to look at the recording of a training session for the event in March:
Faith Communities Supporting Healthy Family Relationships
To support faith leaders in their understanding of how best to help families in their care when violence against women or children occur, we would like to draw your attention to the following resources:
A recent webinar entitled Faith Communities Supporting Healthy Relationships, which was a collaboration between the Faith Communities Council of Victoria and the Faith Communities Network of Tasmania, showcased the project being undertaken by Dr Cathy Vaughan and her team at the University of Melbourne.
If you would like to see a recording of this very valuable webinar, click on this link:
For more information on the ‘Faith Communities Supporting Healthy Relationships’ project, including Dr Cathy Vaughan’s technical paper and evidence guide, click on this link:
And for other faith and multifaith resources, see our developing website:
The Buddhist Council of Victoria have also joined the project announcing resources and training to support Buddhist leaders to respond and prevent family violence:
Buddhist Council of Victoria Faith Communities Supporting Healthy Family Relationships Launch Event – YouTube
Faith Communities in Pandemic Times
This is the recording of a webinar conducted by FCCV recently, which looks at some of the questions from faith communities, answered by Prof John Catford. Faith Communities in Pandemic Times from the Victorian Faith Communities Council
Heroic work against COVID by community leaders in Melbourne
When imam Abu Hamzah saw a group of young men protesting against the lockdown near his Broadmeadows mosque, he called them in for pizza and a chat.
“We were trying to calm the situation down,” Mr Hamzah told the ABC.
We talked them out of it.
“Some people are in a state of denial, because there’s a lot of social media out there that denies that COVID even exists.”
- Experts say community leaders are key in curbing the coronavirus pandemic in the next few months
- Combatting misinformation online and helping get health messages across language and cultural barriers have been major challenges
- Engaging more culturally diverse communities could be a lesson learnt to avoid future outbreaks
Religions for Peace International: Honouring 50 Years
Note of Gratitude: 1st Assembly on Women, Faith & Diplomacy – A message of peace from Lindau around the world
Building on the successful convening of 900 religious leaders and delegates on the occasion of the Religions for Peace’s 10th World Assembly in August 2019, Lindau was once again the venue for the successful performance of an international Assembly: the 1st Assembly on Women, Faith and Diplomacy. Though the trying circumstances caused by the global pandemic in 2020 did not allow for an Assembly with physical presence, Lindau proved to be an ideal venue, from where the Assembly was convened by a team composed of members from Religions for Peace International, Ring for Peace in Lindau and the technical support, which was essential for the virtual component. What occurred as tremendous challenge on a global scale also bore the opportunity to create a virtual space for an even greater number of participants of the Religions for Peace movement and its longstanding and new partners, who joined the Assembly virtually from across the globe to discuss and work together on issues of global relevance.
During the four days of this international virtual Assembly, we jointly explored how we can Redefine Leadership, Re-envision Faith and Redesign Diplomacy. By focusing on the nexus of women, faith and diplomacy, we were able to collaboratively strengthen the visibility of faith-inspired women leaders in various areas of global relevance: peacebuilding, conflict transformation, diplomacy, environmental protection and education.
An average of 1,500 participants joined us daily, tuning in from 97 countries, participating in 6 plenary discussions, 5 HEART-Talk Interviews on Peace, Hate Speech, Education, Environment, and Transformation, and in 18 Interactive Breakout Sessions. We are very pleased to share that 75% of speakers and moderators were women and 40% of the participants and speakers were young people (under 25) representing all religious communities. This underlined the importance to continue strengthening the dialogue and collaboration with faith-inspired women and youth representatives in the process of shaping and transforming tomorrow.
All recordings from the different sessions of the Assembly can be accessed by clicking here.
We acknowledge that this has just been the start of a joint journey. May this multi-religious collaboration encourage and empower all of us in leading through service and hoping to transform a post-pandemic world into a new normal of inclusion, justice, health, and peace.
With respect and appreciation, we remain,
Prof Dr Azza Karam
Secretary General, Religions for Peace
Prof Em Dr h.c. Wolfgang Schurer
Chair Foundation Peace Dialogue of the World Religions and Civil Society (Ring for Peace)
Australian Baha’i Community:
The Australian Baha’i Community wishes to extend their utmost gratitude for your participation in the Inclusive Narrative Round-tables which have been held over the past year.
The many contributions and insights shared from the hundreds of participants at these nationwide round-tables have culminated in the ‘Creating an Inclusive Narrative‘ publication, which you can now access through the following link: https://www.oea.bahai.org.au/inclusive-narrative-project
We hope its findings and content are helpful and applicable in every neighbourhood, community, organisation, institution and in government. We would love to hear how you may be applying the insights contained in the document throughout the year and how you are continuing the conversation with your colleagues and networks. These reflections can be shared via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How one man is vitalising Bendigo’s Sikh community – (theindiansun.com.au)
Australian Prime Minister and MPs mark community’s centenary at Parliament | BWNS (bahai.org)
Convenor RfP Tasmania Branch
Vice Chair, Religions for Peace Australia
Phone 6272 6521