Care for the Environment – Judaism

Menorah - symbol of JudaismAs part of the Interfaith Call to Action auspiced by United Nations Environment Program and other multifaith organisations, we will, each month, present the view of one religion on the Environment and Care for the Environment. Religions to be covered include Indigenous Traditions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, the Bahá’í Faith, Hinduism, the Jain Religion, Buddhism, the Sikh Religion, Confucianism, Daoism, Shinto, and in summary, Environmental Ethics: Points of Agreement among the World’s Religions. This month, Care for the Environment features the teachings of Judaism.
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Pope Francis expects to remain pontiff until his death

Pope Francis

Pope Francis expects to die in Rome, still the Catholic pontiff, without returning to spend his final days in his native Argentina, according to a new book titled The Health of Popes.

In an interview granted to Argentinian journalist and physician Nelson Castro at the Vatican in February 2019, the pope said he thinks about death, but does not fear it.

Extracts from the book were published Saturday in Argentinian daily La Nacion.

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Buddhism: The Sacred Feminine

Machig II

In Vajrayana Buddhism, dakinis are seen as unbridled and enlightened feminine energy. There are many kinds of dakinis, both worldly and wisdom dakinis. The wisdom dakinis are the same level as buddhas; the worldly dakinis can have enlightened aspects but also worldly aspects. Sometimes the dakinis operate as messengers, sometimes as guides, sometimes as protectors.

The dakinis tend to push us through blockages. They appear during challenging, crucial moments when we might be stymied in our lives; perhaps we don’t know what to do next and we are in transition. Maybe an obstacle has arisen and we can’t figure out how to get around or get through—then the dakinis will guide us. If in some way we’re stuck, the dakinis will appear and open the way, push us through; sometimes the energy needs to be forceful, and that’s when the wrathful manifestation of a dakini appears.

Another important aspect of the dakini’s feminine energy is how they cut through notions of pure and impure, clean and unclean, what you should do and shouldn’t do. They break open the shell of those conventional structures into an embrace of life in which all experience is seen as sacred.

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Australian Values

Australian Values LogoThe Department of Home Affairs has established a website and four social media channels celebrating Australian Values. The website and social media channels will help to promote Australian values and our inclusive national identity. This website hosts information in English and in the top three languages other than English spoken in Australia – Chinese, Arabic, and Vietnamese.
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What being a student at a Catholic school taught me about Islam

Muslim in a catholic schoolAs a first-generation immigrant growing up in a Western country, the struggle to find one’s identity can often be a long journey of confusion and compromise. By contrast, the differences between my religious status and that of my school’s ultimately resulted in a paralleled journey of self-discovery.
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The Sydney Statement

The Sydney Statement LogoThe Sydney Statement is an interfaith charter for building bridges between believers from different religions. It is available in booklet, A4 size and full size poster format. The Sydney Statement is the work of POWR Youth in Sydney over several years and was launched online recently. As the work of Australian Youth, it is a work of high merit.
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Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday woodcut

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent and is the first of the forty days of Lent leading up to Easter.

The celebration of Ash Wednesday was introduced in the seventh century to ensure Lent consisted of 40 days exactly. The forty days refer to the time Jesus spent in the desert after being baptised in the Jordan by John and before beginning his public ministry.

The ashes used in the liturgy on Ash Wednesday are traditionally made from the palms used on Palm Sunday the previous year. Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence. Abstinence from eating meat applies to everyone age 14 and above. Fasting applies to everyone age 18-59.

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Vatican Issues Interfaith-Dialogue Stamps

Vatican Issues Interfaith-Dialogue Stamps

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican Philatelic Office has issued a new block of postage stamps highlighting Pope Francis’ innovative ventures into interfaith dialogue.

The set of stamps, which is to be released on Feb. 22, boasts snapshots of Francis’ meetings with leaders of the world’s major religions over the past six years and marks the beginning of the ninth year of his pontificate.

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Yarning Treaty: Shepparton

Yarning Treaty: Shepparton

You are invited to have a yarn with the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria’s Engagement Team to find out where we’re at on the journey to Treaty in Victoria! Two sessions with the treaty team are available on Monday 8 February, morning and afternoon at the Rumbalara Football Netball Club.

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Shepparton Apology Breakfast 2021 – Online

Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group co-convenors Dierdre Robertson and Bobby Nicholls

The Shepparton Apology Breakfast will move online this year for the first time in its history, to protect Elders from ongoing COVID-19 concerns. the Apology Breakfast will be broadcast online on Friday 12th of February, 2021, at the amended time of 10:00am on the Council’s Facebook Page.

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The International Day of Human Fraternity: A Pathway to the Future

The International Day of Human Fraternity: A Pathway to the Future

In Commemoration of the World Interfaith Harmony Week The Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations and The Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations in partnership with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and sponsorship of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity have the pleasure to invite you to an interactive panel dedicated to the celebration of The International Day of Human Fraternity A Pathway to the Future

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Care for the Environment – Indigenous Traditions

Alliance of GuardiansAs part of the Interfaith Call to Action auspice by United Nations Environment Program and other multifaith organisations, we will, each month, present the view of one religion on the Environment and care for the environment. Religions to be covered include Indigenous Traditions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, the Bahá’í Faith, Hinduism, the Jain Religion, Buddhism, the Sikh Religion, Confucianism, Daoism, Shinto, and in summary, Environmental Ethics: Points of Agreement among the World’s Religions.
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Last Post Ceremony recalls Indigenous Soldiers

Indigenous SoldiersFor the annual Opening of Parliament (Canberra) a Last Post Ceremony honouring those who defended Australia is observed the afternoon before the Yearly Opening of Parliament. At the Last Post ceremony yesterday (1 February 2021), which is attended by political leaders ahead of the commencement of the new parliament sitting, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese referenced Indigenous Soldiers who served Australia.
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Researchers Name Top 10 Insights from Climate Science in 2020


The climate insights report is published each year through a partnership between Future Earth, the Earth League, and the World Climate Research Programme.

Emissions from thawing permafrost are likely to be worse than expected.

Other key findings from 2020 include that climate change can affect our mental health, tropical forests may have reached peak uptake of carbon, electrification in cities is pivotal for just sustainability transitions, and going to court to defend human rights can be an essential climate action.

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In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, religious leaders urge “concentric circles of peace”

hypocentre of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki.

Religious leaders in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are welcoming the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, even as Japan’s Christian council “regrets” that the government has not supported or ratified the treaty.

“We ask the government of Japan to sign the nuclear weapons ban treaty as soon as possible,” the National Christian Council in Japan said in a 27 January statement, saying that the treaty “collects the wisdom of humanity,” and is “a major step in humanity’s long walk toward hope and ideal.”

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

You are cordially invited to join us for the first Australia-wide commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January at 7pm. Join the Jewish Communities and Museums of Australia to heed the action to shine our own ‘light’ on intolerance and injustices that continue to prevail.

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Dandenong Ranges: Hindu Temple to be reconsecrated

Sri Vakrathunda Vinayagar Temple in The Basin

As part of Hindu tradition, a Hindu temple is renovated, refurbished and reconsecrated every 12 years.

In the Dandenong Ranges, the Hindu Temple at The Basin is being reconsecrated on Monday, 25 January 2020. Covid-19 protocols will be followed, as more than 2,000 people are expected to attend and actively participate. Social distancing protocols will be followed.

After $4 million of renovations, the Sri Vakrathunda Vinayagar Temple in The Basin is having its status as a holy site restored with the return of sacred statues.

These statues, known as deities, can usually only be touched by priests. As part of the temple’s reconsecration celebrations, rank-and-file devotees have been given a chance to apply oil to them.

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The Faravahar: The Ancient Zoroastrian Symbol of Iran

The FaravaharThe Faravahar is arguably the best-known symbol of the Persian Zoroastrian faith. This symbol consists of a winged disc with a man emerging from it. The man is shown holding a ring. Whilst the symbol is well known, the meaning behind it is more complicated. The Faravahar was adopted as a secular symbol to represent the modern nation of Iran.
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Volunteering: Resilience, Relief and Recovery

Parliament HouseVolunteering Australia has made a pre-budget submission to the Federal Government, giving the report on research into volunteering in Australia and the impact of Covid-19 on volunteering. The submission makes several recommendations to the Federal Government, which is acting in train to establish a national resilience and recovery entity in the light of the Bushfire Royal Commission’s recommendations.
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