Monday, 26 October 2015

Interfaith September 2015

Thoughout the month of September and also into October, people across the Uniting Church began to think about how they could contribute to interfaith harmony.

From sharing in meals and prayer to interfaith speakers and poetry, people came away inspired and enriched in their own faith journey. We've shared some of the stories we've received below.  We've also compiled a photo album on Facebook of the different events which took place. 

St Andrews Uniting Church: Portarlington Victoria 

When the Social Justice team at St Andrews Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria began to plan their Social Justice Sunday services, they were struck by the many similarities that all faiths have as their basic principle.

They used the informative Golden Rule Poster from the Columban Mission Institute to show that Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian people as well as our indigenous brothers and sisters all share a common theme of Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Hindus acknowledge: “This is sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.”

The Jewish Torah proclaims: “What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah all the rest is commentary.”

The Prophet Mohamed wrote: “Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you truly wish for yourself.”

The team further illustrated that point by using some beautifully embroidered banners made by one member of Queenscliff Rural Australians for Refugees (QRAR) for their Out of  Darkness exhibition. Each banner contained one of the world religions underlying principles of care for each other and for the world.

- Joy Porter

 High St Uniting Church Frankston, Victoria

It is a rare thing indeed to witness young women from four different religious backgrounds come together in a safe space and talk about how their faiths have shaped their lives. But this is exactly what transpired at the Uniting Church in Frankston on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.

Each presenter from the Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Hare Krishna faiths spoke from the heart and outlined the similarities that are so easy to overlook between the different faiths. The questions from the audience encouraged responses to some key questions that are being raised in the current socio-political climate, highlighting the importance of interfaith dialogue in this day and age.

We all left feeling enriched and hopeful. We saw firsthand that the four different faiths shared a lot of common ground and that mutual respect and understanding were definitely achievable if all parties came in with an open mind and heart. Needless to say, it was an experience that will stay with me for a very long time. - Anam Javed, who was the Muslim presenter at the event

Gordon Uniting Church, NSW

ROF Convenor Michael Barnes reflects on how a friendship which grew out of the Gordon Uniting Church Interfaith September program led to him standing beside the Grand Mufti of Australia as he addressed the media. 


PO Box A2266
Sydney South
NSW 1235

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Phone: 02 8026 9730
Fax:     02 8267 4222