Reflecting on our faith and belonging post Christchurch

In this short interfaith roundtable, Professor Stephen Dobson (Dean, Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington), Hon Luamanavao Dame Winnie Laban (Assistant Vice Chancellor Pasifika, Victoria University of Wellington), Prof Mohamad Abdalla (Director, Centre for Islamic Thought and Education, University of South Australia), and Tahir Nawaz (President of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand, and member of the Wellington Abrahamic Council) discuss wellbeing, and how to be well in multiple cultures.

We need to be speaking about the interconnectedness of civilisations as opposed to the clash of civilisations.

Prof Mohamad Abdalla

Thank You NZ from the Muslim Community

Thank you, New Zealand

I want the world to know the appreciation, love, and gratitude we have for New Zealand.

Thank you for the way you handled the unthinkable catastrophe that struck this nation on Friday 15 March 2019.

No nation is immune to such events but we are remembered for how we handle them. Thank you for showing the world how to deal with disasters of this magnitude.

Thank you to the people of this blessed nation. It was never easy but you showered the victims with care.

Thank you to the Government, with all its agencies, units and branches. Thank you to the Prime Minister for her leadership as we grieved and mourned. Her honest and personal approach, along with her swift actions, showered love and compassion on the nation.

Thank you to the law enforcement agencies, with all its units. Thank you to our health professionals. Thank you to the NGOs, political parties, community leaders, individuals, churches, synagogues, temples and people of other faiths, as well as the general public.

The intention was to strike at our core values, our social, political and religious fabric, our identity as a nation and our dignity as New Zealanders. Our enemy intended to weaken us. Instead, New Zealand emerged stronger, more united, and harmonious.

We must learn positive lessons from this tragedy and redouble our efforts to protect our future. We must enhance our education system. We must focus on our youth.

Above all, we must strengthen our ethnic relations so that we can build a better future for our nation, our children, and so that no evil action can divide us.

Tahir Nawaz, Muslim leader
President, International Muslim Association of New Zealand
Member, Wellington Abrahamic Council

Media Release – Violence against Muslims in Christchurch

MEDIA RELEASE

WELLINGTON ABRAHAMIC COUNCIL OF JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND MUSLIMS

15 March 2019 5pm

The Wellington Abrahamic Council of Jews, Christians, and Muslims condemns the violence against the Muslim Community in Christchurch today.  While the situation is still unfolding, it is clear that many innocent people have been killed – may they rest in peace.

The Jewish and Christian communities send love and support to our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Such deadly violence aimed at religious people has been unknown in New Zealand – until now, and has no place in our normally peaceful country. Now is the time to stand together, support our Muslim friends, and most importantly, keep talking and keep working to better understand each other.

ENDS
For more information, contact:
Dave Moskovitz 027 220 2202

POSTPONED: Abrahamic Meditation Day 2019

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED in the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attacks on 15 March. Please stay tuned for updates.

Come and join us for a time of silent prayer together, sharing the practice and insights into this form of spirituality from our three traditions within the Abrahamic religious family.

During our time together there will be three periods of silent prayer. Each of these will be introduced by a talk about the contribution of meditative prayer within their tradition. Following each time of silent prayer there will be the opportunity for questions and sharing about the significance of meditative practice within our communities.

Rabbi JoEllen Duckor from Temple Sinai, Rehanna Ali from the Islamic community and Nick Polaschek from the Catholic Christian tradition will lead the three sessions.

Please bring a vegetarian plate for a shared lunch. Free tea/coffee available.                                         

A koha of $5-10 to help cover costs would be appreciated.

Pā Maria is on a back section, drive to door for drop-off, but parking only in nearby streets, easy access within the building.

Chairs provided, if you meditate sitting on a cushion please bring your own.

Contact: Nick Polaschek nandlpolaschek@gmail.com 04 4797955 or 020 4797956 for more info.


Homeless in our community: what can we do together?

Public Meeting Announcement

Homeless in our community: what can we do together?

Update: Listen to the audio from the event – see below

Wellington Islamic Centre
9 Queens Drive, Kilbirnie
Wednesday 20 February, 7pm

All Welcome. Food and beverage will be provided.

Speakers:

Jewish Prof Paul Morris
Christian Rev Brian Dawson
Muslim
Dr Faried Fachruddin

Audio from the event:

Paul Morris

 

Brian Dawson

 

Faried Fachruddin


 

The Abrahamic traditions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – have insights about homelessness and of ways of mobilising support and energies to address this growing concern.

The aim of this forum is twofold. First, to explore the insights and understandings of the significance of a having and not having a home in our religious traditions, focussing on our responsibilities for the homeless in our community. Secondly, to raise awareness about homelessness – why? who? and what can we do together to alleviate the plight of the homeless in our community?

You can help us publicise this event by sharing with your friends, or downloading, printing out, and putting up our attractive poster.

For more information, contact us.

Photo: RNZ

Our holy day of the week

Update:  Listen audio from the talks (see below)…

Public Meeting Announcement

Our holy day of the week in the three Abrahamic traditions

Temple Sinai
147 Ghuznee St
Wednesday 24 October 2018, 7pm

All Welcome.

Speakers:

Jewish Tadhg Cleary
Christian Rev Jenny Dawson
Muslim Tahir Nawaz

Audio from the event –

Tadhg Cleary (Jewish):

 

Rev Jenny Dawson (Christian):

 

Tahir Nawaz (Muslim):

 


Where does our holy day of the week come from?
What do we do that is different from other days of the week on our holy day?
What happens in the ritual on our Holy day of the week?
What is the meaning of the ritual we participate in on our holy day?
Is our holy Day celebrated differently in different communities and places
Has the celebration of our holy day changed over time?

Our three speakers will each talk about the Holy day of the week in their own Abrahamic tradition, then answer questions in a group discussion.

Light refreshments will be served.

Come to the event, learn and contribute to the conversation.

You can help us publicise this event by downloading, printing, and distributing our poster.

For more information, please contact Nick Polaschek
(nandlpolaschek@gmail.com or 020 4797956).

Sharing Our Scriptures 2018

Sharing our scriptures: an Abrahamic interfaith dialogue

When: 7.30PM Tuesday 27 February and monthly thereafter
Where:
Nick Polaschek’s home at 12 Everest Street Khandallah

You are invited to an ongoing informal discussion sharing our perspectives of the Torah, New Testament, and Koran.

The Wellington Abrahamic Council is again sponsoring a series of evening meetings to help foster understanding and friendship between people from the three Abrahamic faith traditions in Wellington.

Last year a group met monthly to reflect together on a theme expressed in a selected passage from the sacred scriptures of each of the three Abrahamic faith traditions. During the meetings each of us listens to the other participants sharing their understanding of the selected scripture from their faith traditions, in turn sharing our understanding of the scriptures from our own tradition.

Participants last year found the experience enriching and were keen to continue in 2018.

Our shared aim is to understand more deeply the perspectives of the other Abrahamic faith traditions and, in this light, to understand more deeply our own faith tradition. From this we hope to better recognize our shared understandings and values and appreciate positively our differences as faith traditions that come from Abraham, our father in faith.

The evenings will once again use Scriptural Reasoning, a tool for interfaith dialogue developed by the Cambridge University Interfaith Programme and now used in a number of countries. We will use the guidelines and text packs, available at their website.

The theme for our first meeting of 2017 is Encountering God, which can be found in the Resources section of the Scriptural Reasoning website.

Our shared aim is to understand more deeply the perspectives of the other Abrahamic faith traditions and, in this light, to understand more deeply our own faith traditions. From this we hope to better recognize our shared understandings and values and appreciate positively our differences as faith traditions that come from Abraham, our father in faith.

For more information, contact Nick Polaschek, nandlpolaschek@gmail.com or (020) 479 7956

Elastic Man – Religion and Gender

Public Meeting Announcement

Elastic Man: What do our religions (continue to) make of men, as they (continue to) re-define women?

Wednesday 15 November, 7:00pm
Salvation Army Citadel, 92 Vivian Street
Entry by Koha

In this ever-changing world, as Women’s role(s) have been and are constantly re-defined, they impact and revise the role of Men. This evening will consider our endlessly malleable religious roles, as they are experienced in our places of worship, and in our homes. Change can be as challenging – and acceptance as elusive – within the schools of a single religion as it can be in the streets we share.

What do our religions (continue to) make of gender?

Speakers:

Sue Esterman – Jewish

Sue has helped to shape gender roles in Wellington’s Progressive Jewish Congregation for 40 years.  With a committed peer group, she studied, made herself competent, and acted:  reading from the Torah, leading services and music, becoming the Temple’s first female marriage celebrant and its second funeral celebrant.  She taught Hebrew school for 25 years, chaired the Board of Management (twice) and the Ritual Committee.  Progressive Judaism has always professed equality, but it has taken real effort to, progressively, bring it to life.

Rehanna Ali – Muslim

Rehanna calls Wellington home and is an active member of the vibrant and diverse local Muslim community based at the Kilbirnie Mosque. A founding member of the Islamic Women’s Council of NZ and a long-term participant and supporter of NZ interfaith initiatives, she is currently a member of the Wellington Interfaith Council. With a background in Law, including Islamic Shariah, Rehanna has spent the last two decades working in the field of international development. She has a particular interest in issues related to gender equity, community development and diversity and is kept optimistic by an ongoing study of Islamic spirituality.

Diane Gilliam-Weeks – Christian

Diane has been working for gender and ethnic equity for 45 years first in television in the 70’s and 80’s in Media Women and later in her role as Director of Communications for the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. She was required to gain a degree in Theology before being ordained to ministry in 2002. Diane’s home church is in Eastbourne and she is active at regional and national levels. With a Muslim friend, Diane initiated an interfaith lunch some years ago where food, faith and friendship were shared. She identifies with the contemplative tradition in Christianity.

You can help us publicise this event by sharing with your friends, or downloading, printing out, and putting up our attractive poster.

For more information, email Marilyn Garson, margarson@gmail.com, or ring Dave Moskovitz on 027 220 2202

Sami Awad: Healing, Transformation and Nonviolence – Peacemaking in the Holy Land

Workshop and Public Meeting
on Tuesday 5 September 2017

Update: Listen to (or download) the audio from Sami Awad’s public lecture here.

 

The Wellington Abrahamic Council of Jews, Christians, and Muslims is pleased to present two opportunities to hear and interact with Sami Awad, the Director of the Holy Land Trust, an organisation based in Bethlehem focusing on nonviolence as the catalyst to end all forms of conflict and establish an enduring and comprehensive peace in the Holy Land.

As part of Sami’s visit we have planned two events.

Workshop: Non Linear Thinking as a tool for peace making
When: 1.30-5.00 PM, Tuesday 5 September 2017
Where:
Temple Sinai, 147 Ghuznee Street, Wellington
Cost: Koha: we suggest $40+ waged, $5 unwaged.
Tickets essential, available at: http://bit.ly/sami-tix

Leadership has many dimensions. Through vision, inspiration, strategy and determination, leaders move others toward outcomes. Too often, however, we envision leadership too narrowly; a leader takes us from Point A to Point B. We are usually constrained by past experience in envisioning future possibilities. Our solutions are usually new iterations of what hasn’t worked in the past.

Holy Land Trust moves beyond these failures and frustrations through a practice called nonlinear leadership. Nonlinear leadership is a personal transformation process that enables leaders to engage in making the impossible possible. It addresses the question of what makes us see something as impossible. Leaders come to understand how powerfully the past influences our decisions in the present, for the future. With this awareness, individually and collectively, leaders become able to facilitate a process in which they build a vision of the future that honors, respects and learns from the past, while, at the same time, remaining free from its limitations.

Tickets for this event are expected to sell out quickly. If you miss out on the workshop, you can still attend Sami’s public lecture below.

If you are unable to purchase tickets through the Eventbrite link above, contact Dave Moskovitz on 027 220 2202 for other options.

 


 

Public Lecture: Healing, Transformation and nonviolence: Peacemaking in the Holy Land
When: 7.00 PM, Tuesday 5 September 2017
Where:
Salvation Army Citadel, 92 Vivian Street, Wellington
Cost: Koha (no ticket required)

Sami Awad brings an important voice to the table in the discussion about peace in the middle east – the voice of nonviolence.

“My enemy was a group of people that had experienced continued threat, violence, discrimination and racism,” Sami said. “There was never a healing for the Jews. Both groups, the Jews and the Palestinians have a similar type of trauma – an existential threat to their existence – so they can never let their guards down.”

“For the first time I began to see that peacemaking is not about making a political commitment, it’s a commitment to a deep healing of deep traumas. Until we do that we can never do peacemaking.”

Calling for a paradigm shift in peace and justice Sami, who established Holy Land Trust with Palestinian and Israeli peace activists, explained how his organisation tries to help people to look into the past with a different lens.

He said: “We negotiate peace out of fear, we resist out of fear. Fear is what motivates and if we are not able to bring about healing there can never be any peace for the future.”

Come learn about Sami’s approach to overcoming fear and violence to achieve lasting healing and peace in the middle east.

You can help us publicise these events by downloading, printing, and posting our attractive event poster.

For more information, contact us through the website, or ring Dave Moskovitz on 027 220 2202.

Sharing our scriptures – a series of informal meetings

Sharing our scriptures: an Abrahamic interfaith dialogue

When: 7.30PM Wednesday 29 March and monthly thereafter
Where:
Nick Polaschek’s home at 12 Everest Street Khandallah
RSVP: http://bit.ly/sos-rsvp

The Wellington Abrahamic Council is sponsoring a series of evening meetings to help foster understanding and friendship between people from the three Abrahamic faith traditions in Wellington.

We will meet in each others’ homes to reflect together on a theme expressed in a selected passage from the sacred scriptures of each of the three Abrahamic faith traditions.

Each of us will listen to the other participants sharing their understanding of the selected scripture from their faith traditions, in turn sharing our understanding of the scriptures from our own tradition.

The evenings will use Scriptural Reasoning, a tool for interfaith dialogue developed by the Cambridge University Interfaith Programme and now used in a number of countries. We will use the guidelines and text packs, available at their website.

For the first meeting we will use the first text pack, Abraham’s hospitality, which can be found in the Resources section of the Scriptural Reasoning website.

Our shared aim is to understand more deeply the perspectives of the other Abrahamic faith traditions and, in this light, to understand more deeply our own faith traditions. From this we hope to better recognize our shared understandings and values and appreciate positively our differences as faith traditions that come from Abraham, our father in faith.

Do consider coming along on Wednesday 29 March 2017 at 7:30pm, and don’t forget to RSVP.

For more information, contact Nick Polaschek, nandlpolaschek@gmail.com or (020) 479 7956