Community Memorial Event

candles in the darkGV Hospice is organising their second Community Candlelight Memorial Event in May to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones lost over the past 12 months. All members of the Community are invited to light a candle and write a message for those they wish to remember. The event will take place at the lake foreshore, at the amphitheatre behind the SAM building. The candlelight event will take place from 5.30pm until 6.30pm on Wednesday 22nd May 2024.
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The Buddhist festival Vesak returns to Shepparton

Vesak LanternsBUDDHISTS around the world are preparing for the Vesak Day Celebrations, which will take place on Thursday, May 23. Vesak, otherwise, known as Buddha Day is traditionally observed by Buddhists from South and Southeast Asia, Tibet and Mongolia, and is celebrated by millions of Buddhists around the world. Vesak will be celebrated in Queens Gardens, Shepparton, on afternoon of 18 May 2024, commencing at 4:00pm

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Sacred Ecology: An Interfaith Perspective

Patriarch Bartholomew I

Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Archbishop of Constantinople and the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Christians, is in Lisbon this week for a conference on interreligious dialogue.

On Wednesday morning, he delivered a stirring speech to the KAICIID interfaith forum on the “spiritual obligation” to fight against climate change.

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Understanding the Crusades from an Islamic perspective


Twentieth-century depiction of a victorious Saladin with Guy de Lusignan after battle of Hattin in 1187.
Said Tahsine (1904-1985 Syria) –

Suleiman Mourad, Réseau français des instituts d’études avancées (RFIEA)

What if the Crusades’ history was told from an Arab perspective? In fact, in 2016 al-Jazeera TV did just that. It released a four-episode documentary on the Crusades, and the trailer introduced the subject in the following words: In the history of conflict between East and West. The mightiest battle between Christianity and Islam; a holy war in the name of religion. For the first time, the story of the Crusades from an Arab perspective.

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May 5 marks Orthodox Easter. Why is it celebrated after Easter in the west?

The Ecumenical Patriarch celebrates Orthodox Easter
The Ecumenical Patriarch celebrates Orthodox Easter

For the more than half-a-million Australians who identify as Orthodox Christians, today is a significant day.

Sunday May 5 is Orthodox Easter, a date which falls more than a month after the more-widely recognised western Easter Sunday which is celebrated as a public holiday in Australia.

In both churches, Easter is considered the most important and holy occasion in the Christian calendar.

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Shepparton: Vesak Celebration 2024

Buddhists with idol Vesak is when Buddhists worldwide – and in Shepparton and across Australia – come together and recollect the Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing. Vesak is an international celebration and listed among UN Observances. Buddhism is one of the world’s oldest philosophies of non-violence and has practiced peaceful relations for over 2600 years. In this day and age, Buddhism continues fostering of world peace. For the ninth year, The Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley will be celebrating Vesak in Shepparton on Saturday 18th of May 2024 from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm at the Queen’s Gardens.
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Plato’s final hours recounted in scroll found in Vesuvius ash

Statue of PlatoMany who seek religion along with peace and harmony among the religions of Earth have studied philosophy: Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and others. Here, we bring you news of the results of advanced digital imaging, which gives startling information about the last hours of Plato. Newly deciphered passages from a papyrus scroll that was buried beneath layers of volcanic ash after the AD79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius may have shed light on the final hours of Plato, a key figure in the history of western philosophy.

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Exploring Indigenous Spirituality: Insights from the ‘Raising Our Tribal Voice for Justice’ Conference

Exploring Indigenous Spirituality: Insights from the ‘Raising Our Tribal Voice for Justice’ Conference

Spiritual Directors from Dayspring Spirituality Centre in Perth, Heart of Life in Melbourne, and Wellspring in Canberra converged at the Raising Our Tribal Voice for Justice conference, hosted by the University Of Divinity’s School Of Indigenous Studies. Held at St Paschal Chapel across four days from 5-8 February 2024, this conference served as a platform for profound intercultural dialogue and spiritual exploration.

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China to relocate Buddhist monastery in Tibet

Atsok Gon Dechen Choekhorling Monastery

Chinese authorities have begun relocating a 19th-century Buddhist monastery in Tibet that is expected to be submerged underwater after the completion of the world’s tallest 3D-printed hydropower dam, says a report.

The relocation of the Atsok Gon Dechen Choekhorling Monastery in Dragkar County began following an order from the Department of National Heritage in 2023, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on April 12.

The heritage department had declared that the artifacts and murals inside the monastery were of “no significant value or importance,”in response to a two-year-long campaign from the monks seeking a cancellation of the relocation order.

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Spiritual Care Australia Conference: June 2024

Spiritual Care Australia Conference: June 2024

Our Patterns of Creative Spiritual Care conference is the premiere event highlighting and supporting the work of pastoral care, spiritual care and chaplaincy in Australia.

Spiritual care highly values the importance of person-centered care. Our 2024 Conference theme: “Patterns of Creative Spiritual Care – Enriching the Journey to Hope” recognises the richness of creativity when attending to the person at the heart of our care. The use of sound and music, aromas, art and imagery, drama and role, embodiment and movement, language and story are all mediums through which we seek to engage with the other.

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Festival of Vaisakhi

Festival of Vaisakhi


Vaisakhi (also spelled Baisakhi) is a national festival and will be celebrated on April 14, 2023. Vaisakhi marks the solar new year according to the Hindu Vikram Samvat calendar. In India, this translates to evening, April 13. It is a harvest festival when all give thanks for the new crop and pray for prosperity in the coming year.

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Awe and dread: How religions have responded to total solar eclipses over the centuries

Eclipse as seen from a church roof

Throughout history, solar eclipses have had profound impact on adherents of various religions around the world. They were viewed as messages from God or spiritual forces, inducing emotions ranging from dread to wonder.

Ahead of the total solar eclipse that will follow a long path over North America on Monday, here’s a look at how several of the world’s major religions have responded to such eclipses over the centuries and in modern times.

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Pope Francis calls for Gaza ceasefire, release of all Israeli hostages in address on Easter Sunday

Pope Francis calls for Gaza ceasefire, release of all Israeli hostages in address on Easter Sunday

Pope Francis renewed his calls for the release of all Israeli hostages and a ceasefire in Gaza on Easter Sunday.

Pope Francis also called for “a general exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine” during his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) address.

After Sunday’s Easter service he took to his open-topped popemobile to tour St. Peter’s Square.

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‘What would the Bible say’ about religious family violence, victims wonder

Emma ColindresThe author of a new paper by the Australian Institute of Family Studies says religious or spiritual abuse is more common than most people realise, is under-researched and often involves religious teachings being used to justify control, manipulation, coercion or other intimate partner violence, or to ridicule victims to destroy their confidence.
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Everything that matters: Marilynne Robinson’s book on Genesis teaches us how to talk about God

Marilyn RobinsonAustralians love a long weekend, and our longest long weekend is this week’s. I don’t hear anybody complaining about having Friday and Monday off, but Easter itself — apart from a few chocolate egg hunts — goes little marked now in Australia. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday: these are like way markers on what used to be a main road but has been much quieter since they built that bypass.
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