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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Thank a First Responder Day

Thank a First Responder Day

First responders are people from the community who serve the community when chaos of one kind or another overpowers the daily sense of order and divinity-in-ordinary that we have all come to respect. First responders undertake specific training and build up skills so that they may save lives, recover those trapped in disasters of one kind or another, and help us repair our lives and remove the chaos. First responders are community heroes. June 9, 2021 is the Australian “Thank a First Responder Day”

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Elder Abuse: Everyone’s business

World Elder Abuse Awareness DayWorld Elder Abuse Awareness Day is commemorated each year on 15 June to highlight one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society, elder abuse. Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.
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Contemplative Studies Centre

University of Melbourne logoThe University of Melbourne is establishing a Contemplative Studies Centre, which will be the first point of entry into the world of mindfulness, meditation and contemplative practice at the University.
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Shepparton Albanian Moslem Mosque

Albanian mosque, SheppartonFor many years, it has been brought to both the past and present committees’ attention that the internals of the Mosque & Community Centre needed upgrade works due to age, wear and the greater number of followers using the Mosque in more recent times. The Albanian community now seeks to renovate the mosque, the first in regional Victoria.

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Care for Environment: Zoroastrianism

Care for Environment: ZoroastrianismIt is the task of humans to respect and care for the Seven Bounteous Creations and to work against evil forces which oppose right order, and in so doing to bring the world back to its original state of harmony. Thus Zoroastrianism requires humans to protect the environment; to avoid harm, pollution, and waste; and to restore what has been damaged.
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Six steps to get yourself through Victoria’s fourth lockdown

man walkingIt’s hard to believe that we’re here again, staring down the barrel of another lockdown. As Thursday night marked the beginning of Victoria’s fourth lockdown, many of us will be feeling angry, frustrated, sad, anxious, stunned, numb, even relieved – and maybe several of these at once. Here are six steps to get yourself through Victoria’s fourth lockdown
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Mindfulness and the Buddha’s Eightfold Path

Buddha with hand raised in mudraTo understand how to practice mindfulness in daily life, we have to look at all eight steps of the Buddha’s noble eightfold path. In his first teaching at Deer Park, the Buddha praised mindfulness: “The Noble Eightfold Path is nourished by living mindfully.”
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Vesak Day

Buddha idolBuddhists all over the world will celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha today, May 26, a day that is also a public holiday in many south asian nations. However, Vesak Day this year will be a lot more muted once again considering the rise in community Covid-19 cases in these countries. Many public places, including places of worship, have had to stop in-person events and reduce their occupancies significantly. This means that many of the rituals, processions and temple visits that normally happen on Vesak Day will not be able to go on as planned. Despite the changes, Vesak Day is still an incredibly special day for Buddhists.
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Cummeragunja residents protest against cruel treatment

Deadly Story logo

Cummeragunja Station was established in 1888 on the NSW side along the Murray River on Yorta Yorta Country. Cummeragunja became home to many Aboriginal people. Here, we recount the story of the Cummergunja Walk off to the banks of the Goulburn River, Daish’s Paddock, Shepparton-Mooroopna.

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Shepparton: 2021 Sorry Day Commemoration

Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group, in collaboration with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative and City of Greater Shepparton will conduct an observance of Sorry Day at Monash Park on the anniversary of Sorry Day, May 26, at 10:10am. With regard to social distancing and Covid-Safe, attendance must be booked online; this event will also be live streamed on Facebook. All community members are invited to join the 2021 Sorry Day Commemoration.
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Stories beyond COVID: A Celebration of Life

Islamic Centre of VictoriaStories beyond COVID: A Celebration of Life – is the work of the Islamic Council of Victoria and will be streamed live over several days using Facebook Live, commencing evening 24 May 2021 through evening 28 May 2021.
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World Council of Churches: Statement on Israel and Palestine

World Council of Churches logo
The World Council of Churches is following developments in Israel and Palestine with mounting alarm and profound grief at the rising toll of people killed and injured in the escalating violence. We appeal urgently to all parties to step back from the brink of even more deadly and destructive conflict.
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Eid-al-Fitr: the end of Ramadan

Eid muburak
The Shepparton Interfaith Network sends greetings “Eid Muburak” to all Muslims in the Goulburn Valley


Many Muslims in Australia celebrate Eid al-Fitr (also known as Id al-Fitr or Eid ul-Fitr) on the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar. It marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan and the start of a feast that lasts up to three days in some countries.

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Book Review: Zealot

Book Review: Zealot

In 1985, Jo Thornely needed to choose a subject for a talk. She decided on cults because she figured ‘almost everyone is at least a little bit fascinated’ by them. She has been obsessed with them ever since, and her popular podcast on the subject — also titled Zealot — has captivated listeners since 2017. In the book Zealot, Thornely details the history and practices of ten cults, with particular emphasis on their leaders.

Zealot makes for frightening reading.

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Celebrating Vesak in 2021 – Shepparton

Vesak is when Buddhists 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. There will be a celebration of Vesak in Queens Gardens, Shepparton, on Saturday, 29 May 2021.
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