From a Cantor who goes running …

Sacher Park, JerusalemI have been a long-distance runner for most of my adult life: marathons, half-marathons, ultra-marathons, adventure races. Of all the places I’ve run, nothing really compares to the beauty—both natural and man-made–in Jerusalem, my newly adopted home. Within an area of just a few kilometers, I can be running around the walls of the Old City or inside a large urban wildlife refuge.
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Social Housing Regulation Review

Social Housing Regulation Review

The independent Panel for the Social Housing Regulation Review has published a second public consultation paper on the Engage Victoria platform.

This paper focuses on the ‘consumer’ aspects of social housing regulation – the regulatory arrangements that influence the way services are delivered and tenants’ experiences of these.

Submissions are requested by 19 August 2021. Those people who seek social justice, and those who support the Greater Shepparton Winter Night Shelter Project may wish to contribute.

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Sanctuary for those in need

Winter Night Shelter logo Greater Shepparton Winter Night Shelter is into its second month with strong support from the community and a high rate of utilisation from those who “roam the streets” and are homeless at night. Here, the Shepparton News interviews one participant and a volunteer on the team. Greater Shepparton Mayr Kim O’Keeffe also provides support.
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GV Health COVID-19 vaccine update

GV Health logo Despite COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and other constraints, the GV Health vaccination program continues to steadily progress. Almost 40,000 vaccinations have been administered since March 10 across the local public health unit catchment area which includes five vaccination sites, a mobile outreach service and pop-up clinics.
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Courage of convictions in the face of hatred a beacon of faith

Sir Thomas More

It is often suggested that courage is the foundational virtue because without it the other virtues can hardly get started. And of all its many forms, the most important is moral courage, which can change the world, from Moses before Pharaoh to Martin Luther King.

Thomas More is often upheld as an example of moral courage – he was resolute to death in defying Henry VIII’s Protestant reforms and in upholding his Catholic faith. Of course it helps to have a biographer like Robert Bolt, whose famous play A Man for All Seasons casts him in a beautifully roseate glow.

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The Compassionate Companions Project

The Compassionate Companions Project

We have always said that yoga changes the world ONE YOGI AT A TIME. With this project, when you graduate you can do just that through your work as a Compassionate Companion. You can change the world, one person, one client at a time… or by enrolling your senior students with us, could be instrumental in helping hundreds.

It is up to you. This is not a counselling course. It is learning how to sit, how to Be, how to listen. ” Doing by not doing” as they say in the Zen tradition. It sounds easy – it is not. The simplest things turn out to be the hardest things.

The Compassionate Companions Project in collaboration with Australian Yoga Journal will present Training for Grief and End of Life Vigil – the “end of life doula”. This is a home study and Zoom course officially launching on the 22nd July, 2021.

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Prayer and Reflection Exhibition: Shepparton and Euroa

Prayer and Reflection

Shepparton Interfaith Network in collaboration with Liz Arcus Photography invites you to the exhibition of ‘Prayer and Reflection’ in Shepparton and Euroa.

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Vital stories are discussed

Vital stories are discussedShepparton’s La Trobe University hosted a panel discussion on Thursday evening with authors from the recently released book Black, White and Exempt: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives under Exemption. La Trobe adjunct senior research fellow Lucinda Aberdeen co-edited the book with La Trobe associate professor Jennifer Jones, and said it brought to light important, littleknown stories from the period of exemption in Australia.

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Shepparton Buddhists celebrate Vesak

Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley founder and president Sam Atukorala at Vesak 2021.Millions of Buddhists worldwide celebrated Vesak Day on May 26 — the day of May’s super full moon and lunar eclipse — but Victoria’s snap lockdown forced the Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley to cancel plans. Patiently they waited for a time when it was safe to observe the festivity.
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Congregation gathers at cafe

Uniting Church TaturaHospitality is at the heart of Waranga Uniting Churches, according to minister Brian Spencer. And, although the decision to sell Tatura’s Thomson St church and move the congregation to a cafe may be surprising to some, it’s not so strange on second glance. ‘The church served us well, this will serve us better,’ Rev Spencer said. Context changes perception — churches can be forbidding, whereas a cafe has a friendly vibe.
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Finding God in All Things

Finding God in All Things: The Ignatian YearFinding God in All Things: The Ignatian Year has begun. To find out more about events celebrating this remarkable saint and founder of the Society of Jesus. In the context of the Ignatian Year, a thoughtful reflection on St. Ignatius and his spiritual life journey. Was St. Ignatius a spiritual man? A saintly or holy man? A deeply God-fearing, prayerful man? Certainly not at least for the first 26 years of his life….
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Spiritual Harmony between Australian Aboriginals and Hindus

smoking ceremonyA study in 2013 at the Max Planck Institute by researchers, led by Irina Pugach suggested that Aboriginal genomes consist of up to 11% Indian DNA which is uniformly spread through Northern Australia indicating a substantial gene flow between Indian population and Northern Australians occurring around 4,230 years ago. Some changes in tool technology and food processing also appear in archaeological records around this time, suggesting some migration from India. There is a harmony between the cosmogony of the Australian Indigenous peoples and the Vedic teachings about nature and harmony of all that exists.
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Care for Environment: The Bahá’í faith

Bahá’í faith international logo
For Bahá’ís the goal of existence is to carry forward an ever-advancing civilisation. Such a civilisation can only be built on an earth that can sustain itself. The Bahá’í commitment to the environment is fundamental to our Faith.
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Behind the Veil, In the Ranks of the Tablighi Jamaat

Women in purdahTablighi Jamaat is the greatest missionary Islamic movement in the world.The author has spent months with Tablighi women in Asia (Malaysia, Cambodia, South of Thailand, India) among the muqîm, permanent residents in the markaz (Tablighi center).The author has gained some insight which can provide other reasons, not conscious, for these women to choose a restricted life under the purdah, the radical segregation between female and male.
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“Anti-racist in Christ?” Online event will consider Christian repentance, action

Clergy take stand against racismThe World Council of Churches and the Council for World Mission, from 14-17 June, will present online the ecumenical event “Anti-racist in Christ? Ecumenical Christian Repentance, Reflection and Action on Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia.”
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Vali-e-Asr Mosque in Tehran

The Groundbreaking Modesty of Vali-e-Asr Mosque in Tehran

Centrally located in the Iranian capital Tehran, the Vali-e-Asr Mosque’s most distinguishing aspect is the fact that it does not look like a mosque. Designed by Iranian architects Reza Daneshmir and Catherine Spiridonoff of Fluid Motion Architects, the building eschews the stereotypical typology of large domes and tall minarets in favour of a modest horizontality thereby making the mosque harmoniously co-exist with the surrounding buildings and adjacent park. Organically rising from the street level towards Mecca, in a tiered configuration of concave and convex strips that create a spectacular interior, the Mosque’s gentle slope allows the building not only to become part of the public space but to also make it more inviting while enhancing the sense of spirituality.

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Dealing with loss in the family: How meditation can help

Dealing with loss in the family: How meditation can helpLockdown and mortality arising from the Covid-19 pandemic has caused grief for many. Separation and loss are challenges for us all, and it can be so sad for those left behind with their mourning and bereavement. Skilful actions may help us to manage loss in the family, and loss of dear ones.
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Punctuation saves lives, words nourish faith

Punctuation saves lives, words nourish faith

Barney Zwartz, former Religion Editor of The Age writes about teaching punctuation and grammar. It has to do with faith, and uderstanding the purpose of life, according to Barney.

My new T-shirt arrived the other day, from a design-your-own slogan outlet in the US. The three lines are: “Let’s eat kids./ Let’s eat, kids./ Punctuation saves lives.” My grammar obsession dates back decades. In previous lives I lectured theology students on grammar so they could learn Greek, as well as newspaper sub-editors.

I am not puritanical: grammatical guidelines enhance communication, but they are not set in stone and do evolve (go on, split that infinitive!). My T-shirt highlights that a tiny piece of punctuation can change meaning in profoundly important ways.

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