A multi-faith prayer service is on in Shepparton today to celebrate the city’s cultural diversity and harmony. Shepparton Interfaith Network executive officer Reverend Chris Parnell said the service would coincide with Cultural Diversity Week, from March 16 to 24, and also celebrate the United Nations Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Harmony, today.
Shepparton Uniting Church minister Reverend Rosalie Rayment-Hewitt will introduce Lance James, who will give a welcome to country. Imam Eljam Bardi will read from the Qu’ran and lead prayers.
Sheik Yassin of the Iraqi community will lead prayers and Deacon Francois will lead prayers for the African community. Goulburn Valley Buddhist Association president Sam Atukorala will lead Buddhist prayers, Rev Rayment-Hewitt will lead the Christian prayers and Rev Parnell will give a Hindu prayer. At the closing, all present will be invited to light candles.
Rev Parnell said the theme of the service was ‘Your Generation, Your Stories’.
“When people settle in Shepparton, they share their culture, their customs and traditions, and their food at our festivals, such as the St Georges Rd Festival,” he said.
“As generations pass, the stories of their ancestors are handed down, in addition to having their own stories of family and settlement in the Goulburn Valley,” Rev Parnell said.
Today’s service is at Shepparton Uniting Church, 134-140 Fryers St, Shepparton, from noon.