Saturday, 7 May 2016

Avoid disappointment. Book now for the B.I.N. bus trip to The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Light Show at Bendigo

Tickets are moving along for Ballarat Interfaith Network's bus trip to the Vesak Light Show at The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo.

We booked our first cluster of chairs yesterday. Bridget at The Great Stupa was quite excited.

It is important that you book soon - or you may miss out.

If you have friends who want to come, it is important for you to book together if you wish to sit together.

The way the chair bookings (and it is vital that you have a chair if you wish to make the most of viewing the light show) are managed at The Great Stupa is that if your chairs are booked in one cluster and your friends book later and go into another cluster, it is unlikely that you will be seated together.

In short, please book soon to a) avoid disappointment and b) to expedite chair bookings at The Great Stupa. Tickets can purchased on Eventbrite or by contacting Brigid OƇarroll Walsh on Facebook. To learn more about the meaning of Vesak, please go here.
The above poster is self-explanatory.
To book and pay for your tickets on Eventbrite,
If for some reason, you find difficulty
with purchasing your ticket this way,
please ring Brigid on 0477 477 658
and she will find a way to assist you. 
We do need you to book early -
not only for our own organisational purposes
but to allow B.I.N. to book your chair
for the light show.
You can help us to fill the bus quickly
by emailing your friends with a link to this blogpost
and by downloading the poster above
and placing it in your faith, work, & education placesces.

Monday, 2 May 2016



Faith Communities Council of VictoriaNEWS EVENTS HOLY DAYSpicture


The Victorian Government is committed to building social cohesion and resilience within communities across Victoria.

The Community Resilience Grants are now open and provide an opportunity for eligible organisations to deliver innovative projects.

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Religious intolerance or racism? A new study out of Melbourne suggests religious intolerance, not racism, is the main source of negative feelings towards asylum seekers in Australia.

The study was called Islamophobia and other anxieties.

read more---picture


A plan to build a new mosque in Melbourne's south eastern suburbs has been dumped by Casey council.

Only about half of the people who turned up to watch the proceedings, were able to fit into the council chambers.

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More than 2000 Sikh members from Melbourne took to the streets of Dandenong to mark annual celebrations of Vaisakhi.

The procession commemorated the anniversary of the brotherhood of the Khalsa on April 13, 1699 – one of the most significant dates in Sikh history – as well as ushering in the spring.

read more---picture


Christian yoga is not the oxymoron it may at first appear to be. Posing to Bible verses and gospel music originated in the United States and has recently made its way Down Under.

But is there something offensive about another religion rebranding this ancient Indian practice?

read more---picture


Victoria has appointed its first Muslim woman to the bench.

Ms Masood, who is of Sri Lankan background, will be the first Muslim woman to sit on the bench of any Victorian court.

read more---picture


The Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Pakistani grand imam Maulana Khabir Azad are among 270 signatories of an interfaith climate change statement.

The statement outlines the positive judgement of the adopted Paris Agreement and urges for its prompt signature and ratification by governments.

read more---picture


From Greece to Russia, Orthodox Christians around the world celebrated Easter Sunday on 1 May.

While many Christians celebrated Easter on March 27 based on the Gregorian calendar, for Orthodox followers who use the Julian calendar the date fell much later this year.

read more---picture


Passover is a Jewish festival which celebrates when the Israelites were freed from slavery under the Egyptians. It is always a spring festival, although the date in the Roman calendar changes slightly each year. In the Hebrew calendar it is celebrated from the 15th through the 22nd of the month of Nissan.

read more---picture


The Indian Interfaith Guide is a resource that provides readers with information on various social norms and practices of adherents of various faiths.

This document is a vital step towards proactively addressing the potential causes of conflict, difference and prejudice in the community as it relates to those of Indian origin. 

read more--- WWW.FAITHVICTORIA.ORG.AU  |   EMAIL USunsubscribe

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Ballarat Interfaith Network is off to the 2016 Light Show at The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo.

The above poster is self-explanatory.
To book and pay for your tickets on Eventbrite,
If for some reason, you find difficulty
with purchasing your ticket this way,
please ring Brigid on 0477 477 658
and she will find a way to assist you. 
We do need you to book early -
not only for our own organisational purposes
but to allow B.I.N. to book your chair
for the light show.
You can help us to fill the bus quickly
by emailing your friends with a link to this blogpost
and by downloading the poster above
and placing it in your faith, work, & education placesces.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) (Mormons) keeping up with the times?

Check out this interview with LeNae Peavey-Onstad, who was recently endorsed by our Church as a chaplain.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Progressive Christian Network of Victoria in conjunction with Common Dreams on the Road brings to Melbourne, Dr Robin Meyers. pastor of one of the fastest growing churches in the USA

The post below has been cross-posted from

Dr Robin Meyers in Melbourne

One of the most exciting thinkers in today’s church is coming to Melbourne.

Dr Robin Meyers is Senior Minister with the fastest growing United Church of Christ, Kansas-Oklahoma, a Professor at Oklahoma City University, and best-selling author.

Hosted by Common Dreams on the Road, and the Progressive Christian Network of Victoria

At the Uniting Centre, 54 Serrell St. Malvern East:

Friday 13 May, 7:30pm: 

‘The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus’

Saturday 14 May, 11:00am – 4:00pm:

‘From Galilean Sage to Supernatural Saviour: The Heresy of Orthodoxy’
‘Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance’
‘Quantum Physics & the Future of God: How Science is Redefining the Almighty’

Cost (including lunch on Saturday and tea/coffee breaks):

Friday evening only: $12; ($10 PCNV Members)
Friday & Saturday Sessions: Earlybird (by 29 April 2016) $55;
Regular $65 (Members: Earlybird $50; Regular $60)

Registrations essential: Registration link will be posted here soon.

For enquiries or a registration form call 03 9571 4575 or email

Hosted by the Progressive Christian Network of Victoria

Why The Christian Right Is Wrong

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Islamic Society of Ballarat hosts an opportunity to visit Ballarat's Mosque on 16 April 2016. The theme is "Come to Common Terms".

Ballarat Interfaith Network
is happy to promote
for the
Islamic Society of Ballarat
an opportunity to visit
the Mosque of Ballarat
on 16 April 2016
details below
The theme of the event is
'Come to Common Terms'

Lecture by Sheikh Waseem Razvi on interfaith dialogue

Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States of America revokes the tax-exempt status of the Church of Scientology

The United States Revokes Scientology’s Tax-Exempt Status

The Church of Scientology loses tax exempt status
In a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court today, the eight justices ruled in favor of revoking the Church of Scientology’s tax-exempt status in the United States. Under the ruling, Scientology will still be able to operate as a business but no longer as a non-profit religious organization.
The case was brought forward by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division after concluding a two-year-long investigation into the inner workings of Scientology. The investigation, along with an extensive audit, found the group to be a “criminal operation with a sole purpose of making money”. The eight justices agreed with the IRS and its findings that Scientology was neither a religion or fell under the guidelines of a non-profit charitable organization.
CI Special Agent, Tom Downey, worked closely with IRS Chief Counsel Criminal Tax Attorneys during the course of the investigation.
“If private schools had similar prices to the courses in Scientology, students would receive the absolute highest level of education by the top educators in the country,” Downey said. “But in reality, based on the ridiculously high cost of Scientology, there is no school out there that even exists. The best schools in this country charge a fraction of the exorbitant amounts of money that Scientology charges its members.”
Paul Horner, a spokesperson for Scientology, told ABC News the ruling is “discrimination based on religious beliefs”.
it amazes me that over ten million Scientologists can have their beliefs trampled on like this,” Horner said. “The Church of Scientology is working hard to make this world a better place, constructing more buildings and ships and other really neat stuff, and now, most of that will have to be put on hold because of a few religious bigots.”
For years, Scientology’s claim of ten million followers has been widely disputed. In 2011, former editor, and longtime Scientology foe, Tony Ortega, wrote the following in The Village Voice:
“According to the latest survey, the total number of people who identify as Scientologists is just 25,000 in this country of more than 300 million human beings.”
Scientology teaches that 75 million years ago an evil galactic overlord named Xenu, ruler of a Galactic Confederacy, decided to tackle overpopulation by rounding up 13.5 trillion people in DC-8-like spacecraft, flying them to Earth (then known as Teegeeack), dropping them in the volcanoes of Hawaii and vaporizing them with hydrogen bombs.
Their spirits, known as thetans, attached themselves to humans at the dawn of man, and according to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is the root cause of all our fears, confusion and problems. For humans to reach a clear state, thetans must be removed from the body through therapy sessions, known within Scientology as auditing.
Scientology adherents must work through eight stages of auditing over a period of many years to reach this clear state, each of which costs thousands of dollars to partake in. It was these costs that the court took issue with, ruling that they far outstrip average course fees for educational establishments.
Sarah Bradley, a spokeswoman for Sock It Forward, a group that provides the homeless and those less fortunate with brand new socks, told ABC News she lost her family because of Scientology’s disconnection policy.
“I was born into Scientology,” Bradley said. “When I turned seventeen I began to question some of their beliefs. My family, who are all members, told me to stay quiet, but it was too late and I was excommunicated from the church. Scientology’s upper management told me I was no longer able to see or talk to my family ever again,” Bradley said. “It broke my heart, I couldn’t even say goodbye to them. They were told by Scientology if they had any communication with me that they would be excommunicated too. My family chose Scientology over me.” Holding back tears Bradley says, “I just hope my family is proud of me, all that I’m doing with my life and everything I’m doing to help the homeless. I wish more than anything to see them one day; I love and miss them so much.”
Downey told reporters that Scientology spends tens of millions of dollars every year doing what no other religious non-profit organization does.

“The money is used to harass former memberscoerce abortions, to secure their International base so people can’t escapechild abuse, forcing members to disconnect from family and friends who aren’t Scientologist friendly, and to litigate to death anyone who opposes them,” Downey said. “Years ago, the Cult Awareness Network was an organization that provided information on groups that it considered to be cults. After years of litigation with Scientology and being forced into bankruptcy, it is now a Scientology run enterprise. Over the years Scientology has also put many government officials and politicians in their pocket.”
For years, the Church of Scientology often pointed to their tax-exempt status as proof that it is a recognized religious entity in the United States. And there’s no disputing that tax-exempt status has been a huge boon to the Scientology industry. With such few members, but billions in real estate holdings, the Church of Scientology has been called “the most famous small business in the world,” with its tax exempt status saving the Church an estimated $20 million a year on property taxes alone.
Roberto Sigmond of Amnesty International told ABC News that revoking the Church of Scientology’s tax-exempt status in the United States is a huge win.
“From all the deaths Scientology has caused over the years to its phony drug rehabilitation program, this is a great day for anyone that believes in human rights.”
After originally being recognized as a tax-exempt religious organization in 1957, Scientology’s tax-exempt status was lost in a 1967 IRS audit. As part of the effort to regain tax exemption during the late 1970s, Scientologists repeatedly infiltrated the IRS, copying large numbers of documents and at one point placing an electronic bugging device in an IRS conference room. These actions took place within a program code-named Operation Snow White. Eleven high-ranking Scientologists, including Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue Hubbard, were sentenced to time in prison for acts surrounding this operation. L. Ron Hubbard himself was named as an unindicted co-conspirator as investigators could not link him to the crimes.
The United States is not the first country to revoke Scientology’s tax exemption. In October of last year, a Dutch court revoked Scientology’s status as a “public welfare institution” and the tax exemption that goes along with it.
Janine Pieters, reporting in the NL Times, said the court ruled that sales of Scientology’s courses and therapy sessions are aimed at profit-making and that it does not therefore belong on the tax authorities charity list.
Beginning April 6th, 2016, The Church of Scientology will no longer receive tax exemption in the United States. Attorneys for Scientology have 30 days to appeal the case, although it is not yet clear whether they will or not.

Sunday, 6 March 2016


Prosesi dan Sesaji Budaya Gerhana Matahari / Procession and Cultural Offerings for Solar Eclipse
HARI MINGGU, 6 MARET 2016 pukul 07:00 WIB / SUNDAY 6 MARCH 2016 at 07:00 a.m.

Gerhana Matahari total akan terjadi di sebagian wilayah Indonesia pada tanggal 9 Maret 2016, bertepatan dengan Hari Raya Nyepi. Dalam kebudayaan kita ada mitos tentang Bathara Kala, raksasa yang menakutkan yang dikaitkan dengan peristiwa gerhana matahari total.

Gerhana Matahari merupakan peristiwa alam, Balai Soedjatmoko bersama teman-teman seniman di Solo ingin memaknai peristiwa ini sebagai peristiwa alam yang memberi semangat pada kebaruan. Kami mengajak masyarakat untuk menyambut peristiwa ini dalam kegiatan yang kami namakan “Kala Hayu, Perkawinan Alam Raya” yang kami laksanakan hari Minggu tanggal 6 Maret 2016 jam 7:00 pagi di halaman Balai Soedjatmoko, Solo.

Kemudian, hari Rabu tanggal 9 Maret jam 19:00 malam kami mengadakan sebuah Diskusi dengan tema “Kirab dan Sesaji Budaya di Balai Soedjatmoko” pembicara Empu Basuki Teguh Yuwono.

A total solar eclipse will occur in parts of Indonesia on 9 March 2016, which coincides with the Nyepi – Silent Day. In Indonesian culture there is a myth about Bathara Kala, a frightening giant associated with the phenomenon of a total solar eclipse.

The solar eclipse is a natural phenomenon; hence Balai Soedjatmoko with artist friends in Solo wish to elucidate this happening as a natural event that gives enthusiasm to renewal. We invite the community to welcome this phenomenon in an event that we named “Time of Peace, Marriage of the Universe” which will be held on Sunday 6 March 2016 at 7:00 a.m. in the courtyard of Balai Soedjatmoko, Solo, Central Java.

Then, on Wednesday 9 March 2016 at 7:00 p.m., we will hold a discussion with Empu Basuki Teguh Yuwono on the theme of “Procession and Cultural Offering at Balai Soedjatmoko”.

Pendukung Acara / Presenters:

Bentara Budaya Solo (divisi Kompas Gramedia Group)
Balai Soedjatmoko
Pemerintah Kota Surakarta
Suprapto Suryodarmo / Padepokan Lemah Putih
Topeng Ireng Kridho Mudho
Padepokan Brojobuwono
Pesona Nusantara
Lora Bloyo Blok Ombo Plesungan
Komunitas Anak Bawag
Victor Hugo dan SriMara
Hari Gendut
UKM-Komunitas Seni Kriya (Kerajinan Solo Raya)
UKM Darul Afkar (Ceper Klaten)
Mayor Haristanto (Republik Aeng-Aeng)
Daliman (Sanggar Meteor Putih)
Agus Bimo
Udi Prasojo
Rusini, Rani Maharani, Sandidhea CN, Diane Butler
Ida Pedanda Arimbawa
Basuki Teguh Yuwono
Empu Totok
Galih Naga Seno
Feat Mboten Spaneng
Fajar Sutardi

Team Produksi Balai Soedjatmoko:

Hari Budiono, Ardus M Sawega, Yunanto Sutyastomo, Aryani Wahyu, Sukidi, Sugeng, Retno Sayekti Lawu, Mukhlis Anton Nugroho, Bayu Raditya, Yanuar Lufi Iskandar, Much Cholid, Jepri Ristiono, Elia Wisman, Galuh Widya Wardani, Pramadian Puspita, Luna Kharisma, Fanisia Septyachi

* *** *

Silahkan membagi dengan kawan-kawan dan lihat / Welcome to share with colleagues and see