Ramadan Reflection

18670814_10155461108977033_1017131430764402595_n

My best wishes and solidarity to my Muslim friends during this holy time of Ramadan.

May we who are not Muslim fast from prejudice, misinformation and ignorance about our sisters and brothers of Islam.

May we who are not Muslim be generous in our willingness to understand this faith and welcome this community into our neighbourhoods.

May we who are not Muslim take time to reflect, pray and be still with the wonder of faith that calls all people to peace, collaboration, respect and love.

 

Worth reading

Franciscan Message for the Month of Ramadan

Christian-Muslim Relations

Pope to Muslims for end of Ramadan: Promoting Mutual Respect through Education (2013)

National Reconciliation Week 2017

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 2017

The theme for #NRW2017 is ‘Let’s Take the Next Steps’.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) runs annually from 27 May – 3 June. These dates mark two milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey: The 1967 referendum and the historic Mabo decision, respectively.

In 2017, we reflect on two significant anniversaries in Australia’s reconciliation journey – 50 years since the 1967 referendum, and 25 years since the historic Mabo decision. As we commemorate these significant milestones, we ask all Australians to be a part of the next big steps in our nation’s reconciliation journey.

You can now download the poster here. More digital resources will be available to download here in the coming weeks.

For updates on #NRW2017, sign up to our email newsletter by entering your email address at the bottom of the page, and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter.

Just Dates: January

 

Not Just A Face In The Crowd

On an average of maybe once a month I join the 2.5 million train passengers per year that swipe their cards at the Fortitude Valley train station. In peak hour I blend into the bodies and faces that  focus on the platform or the exit without awareness of the guards watching the procession of humanity. Off -peak is more relaxed and even seems to promote acknowledgements and greetings as we  take our time to swipe and move.

Today I had an off peak experience and casually swiped my card when a voice called “Hey mate”. When I realised it was a staff member I  immediately thought  either  my card didn’t read or random body checks were about to be introduced by Queensland Rail.

However, the greeting was followed with “I saw you on TV the other week”.  I now have  reasonable list of TV credits to my name so I could ask “Whch program”?  It turns out it was a recent ABC documentary on Mu’ooz Restaurant in West End.

The fascinating insight for me was that the staff member stated he recognized me from my trips in and out of Fortitude Valley. Just when I thought I woud be a face in the crowd it turns out that my face stands out enough to be remembered on screen and at barriers!!

Our conversation then shifted to the subject of the documentary and the QR staff member’s interest in  learning more about African cuisine and the location of the restaurant.

I did my promo job with a quick review and reccommendation as well as directions to  rival Google maps.

This encounter also reminded me that I live in a public sphere most of the time. Today I was wearing my “Free the Refugees” Tee shirt and my Anti-Poverty 2016 cap. I have been described as a walking billboard before and I take my public role of advocacy  as a challenge and invitation to engage in public conversations about justice.

14257493_1806443266256250_2253186834413683596_o

 

 

 

Just Dates: May

30 April -6           Heart Week

1          International Workers Day

2           World Asthma Day

3           World Press Freedom Day

5           International Day of the  Midwife

6           World Labyrinth Day / World Naked Gardening Day

6 – 14     Bike Week (Qld)

7-13     International Composting Awareness Week Australia

7           Worldwide Day of Genital Autonomy  / Mothers Day

8 – 13     National Volunteer Week

10          World Lupus Day

10-16 Schizophrenia Awareness Week

14 – 20   Food Allergy Awareness Week

15            International Day of Families / Al Nabka 

17            International Day Against Homophobia /  World Telecommunication and Information  Society Day

21           World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

21-28    National Palliative Care Week

22           International Day for Biological Diversity

25-31        Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories / Spinal Health Week

26           National Sorry Day

27 – 3 June          Reconciliation Week

29           White Wreath Day / International Day of UN Peacekeepers

31    World MS Day

 Community Celebrations you might like to mark with me!!

Just Dates: April

 25 ANZAC Day

Holy Week 2016

on_the_turning_away_by_nmsmith-d639zoa

This week in the Christian community of the West is known as Holy Week. it is a time of intense drama and memory retold in story and ritual. It has the power to shatter our self image as much as the original story recorded in the Gospels.

The ancient texts proclaimed this week tell of the “turning away” both of the imperial might of Pilate and the loyal followers of Yeshua of Nazareth.

It has been the turmoil of history in the Church as prophets and outsiders challenged Popes, clergy and civic authorities who turned away from the vision of a new world founded on justice and peace.

In our own days we witness the “turning away” of religious leaders from the long history of sexual abuse in the name of religion.

It is not unusual that the voices that challenge come from outside the structures of religion. That has been the pattern of reform from the time of Abraham and Sarah.

The powerful lyrics of Pink Floyd won’t make their way into the formal liturgies of this week. But they will touch the hearts of those who have seen the signs and heard the words that lead to life.