Faith Conversations at Miller’s Homestead
As part of Cultural Diversity Week 2022, Knox Council and the Eastern Regional Libraries partnered on a program of events. Knox Interfaith Network (KIN) was invited to stage an activity at Miller’s Homestead in Boronia.
A number of interested people joined faith representatives – in a 'round robin' format – to participate in small group conversations with Q&A about the Hindu and Baha’i religions, as well as a local Progressive Christian community, under the theme of “Learn, Discuss and Appreciate”.
Knox City Council's annual Carols by Candlelight was a virtual event this year consisting of a series of pre-recorded video presentations. This is the presentation given by Mark Herrmann, President of the Knox Interfaith Network, for the event.
Our TOURS TO PLACES OF WORSHIP have been postponed due to the Victorian government's COVID lock-down restrictions. Further tours will be scheduled once restrictions are eased in the future.
The Knox Interfaith Network held a public forum on Faith Perspectives on Death and Dying at the Knox Council offices on Tuesday 10th September. Sponsorship was also provided through grant funding from the Victorian Multicultural Commission.
Introductory presentations were given by Nora Fernandes, Community Engagement and Capacity Building Manager at Palliative Care Victoria and Maureen McConnell, Networker for the Community Houses Association of the Outer Eastern Suburbs. For the remainder of the evening, attendees moved from table to table for interactive discussions in a faith “speed dating” format. At the four tables, various faith perspectives were discussed - Muslim (represented by ISOMER), Hindu (represented by Sri Vakranthunda Vinayagar temple), Buddhist (represented by the Pure Land Learning Centre and Christian (represented by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
Shameela Essop. President of Knox Interfaith Network, said, “The death of a loved one is always distressful, but having the support of family, friends and the community makes a huge difference, particularly when they are understanding and respectful of your faith and traditions."
Upcoming event: Faith Perspectives on Death & Dying with speed dating Q&A format. Tuesday 10th Sep 6-8.30pm
This tour visited the Wantirna Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Temple in Boronia and concluded with a visit to the St Mina & St Marina Coptic Orthodox Church in Hallam where Mark Herrman from the Knox Interfaith Network presented Father Abanoub with a framed Golden Rule poster in appreciation of his community providing the bus and driver (Raouf) for the majority of our tours.
With thanks to the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Knox City Council, we have now exhausted the grant funding for our interfaith tour program. The Network is likely to pursue further funding, but for the time being there will be no tours conducted. We appreciate the generosity of all the places of worship visited over the past 2½ years, as well as the many tour participants we have tried to educate about other faiths, beliefs and traditions in our rich multicultural community.
April's interfaith tour visited the Sant Nirankari Mission in Rowville, kindly hosted by Rev Sukhdev Singh Ji who is in charge of North India Sant Nirankari Mission. We had a veritable feast, which was amazing, but threw our timings for the afternoon out the window!
The Sant Nirankari Mission ideology is to know God, with a God realisation leading to self-realisation. God is in everyone and we are all one. Oneness: heal, enrich, empower.
Our prayers are with all victims of the tragic attacks on Christian worshippers and hotel guests in Colombo, Sri Lanka, including family, friends and community, as well as those injured and traumatised.
The events on Easter Sunday have again shocked us and we condemn all forms of religious and racial violence. The senseless killing of innocent people confounds us, yet strengthens our resolve to better encourage understanding, social cohesion and friendship in religious and multicultural spheres. The Knox Interfaith Network continues to serve to learn, discuss and appreciate the various faiths in our community.
Our interfaith tour in February 2019 was able to visit and be generously hosted by the Islamic Society of Melbourne Eastern Region (ISOMER), the Sri Vakrathunda Vinayagar Hindu Temple and the Janssen Spirituality Centre.
In the spirit of inclusive community, we reach out at this deeply sad time and offer our sympathies to our Muslim friends and neighbours. We extend our prayers to all victims of the tragedy in Christchurch, including family, friends and community, as well as to those injured and traumatised.
In line with Knox City Council's work in the multicultural sphere – breaking down barriers, denouncing racial or religious violence and welcoming all those who call Knox home – the Knox Interfaith Network serves to learn, discuss and appreciate the various faiths in our community. We support all efforts to encourage understanding, social cohesion and friendship.