Considering mercy among Japan’s Buddhist, Shinto faiths

awaremiTokyo: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan’s Inter-Religious Dialogue Committee as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy held discussions on the theory and practice of mercy in Buddhist and Shinto faiths. There is a direct parallel with the Japanese Christians understanding of God’s love which means ‘to hold dear’.
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Christian, Muslim leaders agree to stand against religious extremism

switzerlandThe role of religions in promoting peace and countering violence was discussed during a two-day dialogue between the Muslim Council of Elders and the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, Switzerland from 30 September to 1 October. Two sessions of talks, hosted by the WCC, involved presentations and discussions on key aspects of peacebuilding and interreligious dialogue, paying special attention to combating religious extremism leading to violence in many parts of the world.
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Multicultural Animated Films Festival


The Best of the Melbourne International Animation Festival aims to bring together like-minded people to support visual arts culture in northern Victoria. Initiated and curated by Shepparton based animation artist, Mimi Leung, this exciting event is another first for Shepparton. This event will be offered at the Harder Auditorium on evening of Saturday, 8 October.

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Emerge Cultural Leadership ~ Music and Arts

culturalA series of free Cultural Leadership Workshops are presented each year for artists to build new diverse leadership, specific artform skills and cultural development. These include focused development workshops providing tailored advice for musicians as part of Multicultural Arts Victoria’s (MAV’s) State of Culture Music Program. Multicultural Arts Victoria will be at St Paul’s African House from 6pm on Tuesday, 4 October.
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Asylum Seeker Workshop, Shepparton


The ASRC Community Engagement Team is working with communities across Victoria to share tools that reframe the national conversation and shift attitudes about the rights of people seeking asylum. The Asylum Seeker Resource Team will be in Shepparton on Saturday 8 October. Registration includes catering for lunch.

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Immigration: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow


Australia sometimes seems to suffer a mysterious case of multiple-amnesia over immigration. We are a nation built on migrants, but we have forgotten that almost every new wave of immigrants has been resented and resisted by those already here, especially those who were migrants themselves. There is no expression of fear, bigotry, suspicion and hate now directed indiscriminately against Muslims that was not used passionately with malice aforethought and intent to harm and hurt against the Irish, the Chinese and the Jews.

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Navratri 2016: When Does The Hindu ‘Nine Nights’ Festival Begin?

skandamata“Navratri” — the 9-day long festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga — begins Saturday, Oct. 1, this year. According to Hindu mythology, goddess Durga, a symbol of motherhood, power and courage, defeated the demon Mahishasura in a battle that lasted nine nights.
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Labyrinths and the Labyrinth at Picnic for Peace – Shepparton

Dr Lisa Shortridge of Things of Spirit will be providing a temporary labyrinth and singing bowls experience at Picnic 4 Peace on Sunday 25 September at Victoria Park Lake, Shepparton, 11am-3pm. In this article we look to different kinds of labyrinths around the world.

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Indigenous stories, songs and dance protected under new Victorian law

danceUnder new Aboriginal heritage laws that came into force on 1 August, ‘intangible’ assets can now be added to the Aboriginal heritage register. This can include any cultural knowledge that is not widely known to the public, including oral traditions, performing arts, stories, rituals, festivals, social practices, craft, visual arts and environmental and ecological knowledge.

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Hazara Film, Nazaneen

ninaNazaneen, a coming-of-age film about Nina, a 16-year-old Hazara Muslim refugee, who has resettled in outer Melbourne after a traumatic journey to Australia by boat. The filmmakers are casting authentically and working with the Hazara community to find the right actor, trained or untrained. This role is an opportunity for a young Hazara womanto tell a story that reflects a collective refugee experience.

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Updated: Shepparton Asylum Seeker Workshop


The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Community Engagement Team is working with communities across Victoria to share tools that re-frame the national conversation and shift attitudes about the rights of people seeking asylum. The workshop is offered to all, and will take place at the Mgr Peter Jeffrey Hall behind St Brendan’s Church, Shepparton, on Saturday 8 October 2016.

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Indigenous spirituality: can it transform injustice into justice?

indigenous“We worship in different languages and cultures, yet all one in Christ. This is an immensely enriching experience,” said Dr Jude Long, principal of Nungalinya College, in Darwin (Northern Territory), Australia, as she explored spirituality with indigenous people from across the world this week. Long helped lead prayers and biblical reflections along with Australian indigenous staff and students at the college as part of a World Council of Churches (WCC) Indigenous Spirituality and Theology Consultation on 27-31 August.
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UPDATED: Bendigo: War, Faith and Peace

fromellesUnited Religions Initiative, in collaboration with Bendigo Interfaith Council, Bendigo TAFE and Cultural Infusion will deliver a Public Forum on War, Faith and Peace at the Bendigo College of TAFE on Friday, August 26. The Forum will be followed by free conflict resolution training for young people (open for those aged 18-30).
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‘Spiritual but not religious’: What the census won’t say about Australians’ beliefs


Over the last few decades, the number of people who answer the census question about religion with ‘no religion’ or ‘not specified’ has been on the rise. But just because someone doesn’t subscribe to organised religion doesn’t mean they’re not spiritual. Unlike in France and the United States, the Australian census contains a question about religion. This year, for the first time, ‘no religion’ will be the first option.

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