Covid-19 Racism is not acceptable

Covid-19 Racism is not acceptable

The Australian Government is currently running an information campaign to support and inform multicultural communities in response to an increase in reports of racist behaviour targeting people of Asian appearance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the campaign we are reaching out to the most affected communities through community leaders such as you.

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Self-Care Is Not Selfish: 7 Jewish Reminders for Caring for Yourself

lotus flower

A tale is told of a well-known 17th-century Chasidic rabbi named Zusya, who, when he died, went to stand before the judgment seat of God. As he waited for God to appear, he grew nervous thinking about his life and how little he had done.

He began to imagine that God was going to ask him, “Why weren’t you more like Moses, a great leader?” Or, “Why were you not wiser, like King Solomon, or braver, like King David?” But when he faced the accounting before God of his life, God simply asked him, “Why were you not more like Zusya?”

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The N-word of God: Envisioning the image of Christ

Our Lady of Ferguson

(RNS) — In the New Testament’s Letter to the Ephesians, Paul writes, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood” — or race? — “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Could these things that Paul opposes be ideas and systems of human oppression that deny the knowledge of a God of justice and love?

In this time of mass protest and reexamining of America’s racial past and present, I’ve been thinking about art and especially how Christian images can contribute to, or hinder us from, processing our national discourse about social justice and Black Lives Matter.

I am African American. I make Byzantine-influenced icons. Taking a cue from the jargon of Orthodox Christians, I like to call myself an “iconographer.”

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From Islam to Buddhism, faiths have long encouraged stewardship of nature

UN Environment Programme

In most major religions there is scripture encouraging the protection and care of nature. From Buddhism to Christianity, Hinduism to Islam, faiths recognize the need for environmental stewardship and urge followers to be caretakers of the planet and its biodiversity.

Spiritual leaders play an important role in sharing religious practices and passages so that followers can live a more sustainable lifestyle respecting the 8 million species we share our planet with.

That message was echoed by World Environment Day 2020, which fell on 5 June. The celebration cast a spotlight on the services nature provides us—from food to medicine—and highlighted that, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, life on earth would not be possible without nature’s bounty.

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Transformational Resilience in Times of Crisis

Initiatives of Change Australia logo
On World Refugee Day, 20 June, with nearly 80 million people worldwide currently homeless, Professor Rajmohan Gandhi addressed a Zoom audience, which included Brisbane community leaders, on the theme Transformational Resilience in Times of Crisis. Nigel Heywood, Community Development and Research Manager at IofCA moderated the event, which brought together over 100 participants.
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‘If you want anything done, get the Sikhs’: Sikh community wins admirers for bushfire and Covid aid

sikhs giving free food

When Amritvir Sekhon and eight other Sikh men and women drove into Bairnsdale in the middle of the worst bushfire crisis in decades, locals didn’t know what to think.

“They had never seen turbanned men with long beards before – we probably looked pretty alien from them,” Sekhon says.

They were from the United Sikhs, a global aid organisation associated with the UN, with a growing presence in Australia.

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You and Me — It’s All One Thing

LGBTIQ and religion has had an uncomfortable relationship in religion, if not open hostility. Many find a welcome in Buddhism. What follows is a story of the emergence of a trans child in the Buddhist context. It is compelling, compassionate reading.

Confusion around questions of identity, sexuality, and gender may seem acute and, to some of us, new, today. But James Ishmael Ford finds that an ancient Zen story’s wisdom speaks quite well to that confusion.

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Australia Together: National Community Recovery Summit

Australia Together logo

The National Community Recovery Summit is an open-invitation event for representatives of local communities, service providers, social and economic development practitioners and researchers, philanthropic bodies, advocacy organisations and representative bodies – to enable community voices to deliberate on, and to inform, how Australia can recover best from the COVID pandemic.

Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Executive Officer, Lisa McKenzie, is one of the breakout speakers (engaging local communities) at the summit being held online next Wednesday July 1st 2020, from 10am to 1pm.

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A Buddhist reflects: Be Grateful for the Weeds

grateful for weedsI grew up an urban child of the early, roiling seventies. My vegetables were canned or flash-frozen, re-heated to a place of flavorless flaccidity, and my iceberg lettuce shrink-wrapped and decked in brown, having barely survived the cross-country trip to New York City from California. It had likely been picked by the hands of laborers working at an unlivable wage, after which it had been chemically sprayed to preserve freshness, tossed onto a refrigerated truck, and sent east on a trip that took four days. By the time it arrived, it was tasteless, old, and no way to introduce a child to the beauty of something grown in the earth.
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Southeastern Australia Turns Green

Southeastern Australia Turns Green

As the 2019–2020 summer brought record heat to Australia, New South Wales appeared to be heading into its third year of severe drought. From January 2017 through October 2019, the southeast Australian state experienced its lowest amount of rainfall in nearly a century. During that time, farmlands were parched, lakes dried up, and millions of fish died.

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Sheltering in Place: Tents and Torah

Fortress Pillow

My boys are making forts using all the pillows in the house. They strong-armed my husband into setting up our camping tent outside, and they sit there as the day grows hot. They are slinging blankets over couches, pulling mattresses off the frames: they are sheltering in place… with intensity.

By some mystery of narrative, they remind me of our founding patriarch Abraham, paragon of generosity because he kept all sides of his tent open to welcome strangers, entertaining angels in disguise.

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Community and faith leaders are helping stop the spread of coronavirus

Community and faith leaders are helping stop the spread of coronavirusCommunity representatives and leaders have been providing guidance to their communities, colleagues, families and friends. They have played an important role to date and we are calling upon them to continue their efforts.
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World Unity Week

World Unity WeekWorld UNITY Week is a stop along the road and a “birthing space” for a larger-scale global celebration across Peace Weekend 2020 (September 19-21), centred on the annual U.N. International Day of Peace (September 21). World Unity Week is a celebration of interfaith harmony, appreciation of the Earth’s gifts and resources, and promotion of Open Space for dialogue and exchange.
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NAIDOC Week Deferred

NAIDOC Week 2020 - Aways was - Always will be

NAIDOC Week is an Australian observance lasting from the first Sunday in July until the following Sunday. The acronym NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It has its roots in the 1938 Day of Mourning, becoming a week-long event in 1975.

On account of the Coronavirus pandemic, Naidoc Week has been deferred. National NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations will be held from the 8-15 November.

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Caring for Muslim Patients Handbook

Islamic Council Victoria logo The Islamic Council of Victoria yesterday launched the “Caring for Muslim Patients Handbook” in its third edition. Viv Nguyen, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission conducted the book launch. Proper care of Muslim patients often arises in rural and regional healthcare centres where this is not a significant migrant and settlement populations. Such publications are important for excellence in health care in both urban and regional/rural centres.
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International Day of Yoga – 21 June

International Day of Yoga logoInternatoinal Day of Yoga celebrates the physical activity known as yoga practice in the Western world. Whereas it originated in India to enable flow of energy through meridians in the body – as part of spiritual practice and efficacy – yoga today is principally recognised for the asana poses that that those who go to yoga classes to practice. The theme of International Day of Yoga for 2020 is Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family.
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