GEIFN | REPORTS | ICM | EXPLORING | Who and Where Are We in a Changing World? | Saturday 24 February 2018 | 1.30-5pm

[Report is compiled from multiple public addresses, multiple sources made over multiple publication dates]

Faith Leaders spoke on Creation Stories and the Meaning of Life in Our Universe. Celebrating the 2018 UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Where: Deakin Edge, Federation Square. Corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne.

An occasion to hear representatives from Indigenous, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities speaking about Creation Stories in their traditions, from the literal, moral, symbolic and spiritual levels of understanding. Explaining how these Origin Stories give meaning to life.

Speakers: Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy, AO, Wurundjeri Senior Woman; Swami Sunishthananda, Vedanta Society Melbourne; Venerable Michael Yeshe, Tara Society; Rabbi Jonathan Keren Black, Leo Baeck Centre; Fr Daniel Gai, Holy Apostles Anglican Church, Sunshine; Imam Fadil Fachni, Lysterfield Mosque; Jasbir Suropada Singh, Sikh Interfaith Council Victoria. Moderator: Dr Nicholas Coleman, Deputy-Director, The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne.

An assembly of people interested in cross cultural understandings of Creation, the Universe and Cosmology explored connections between individual experiences, cultural traditions and discoveries in cosmology.

The audience were invited to ask questions and participate in various activities with glorious Celtic Harp music performed at different sections of the program by Cath Connelly.
Following the seminar, interested members of the audience had the opportunity to walk the sacred path of the Labyrinth.

Looking up to the stars readily turns the mind to think about the origin of existence, relationships and interdependencies.

Religions have Origin Stories that may differ importantly from each other. Some agree that the existence of the universe as a whole and of our individual lives is due to a creative Divine Will (ie, God, Allah). Or lucky accident (ie, Dependent Origination). Or a byproduct of collective consciousness (ie, that the perceivers came first who, in the act of perception, became the Creator).

While scientists explain the meaning of the universe in scientific terms (the ‘how’, ‘how not’, ‘what’ and probable ‘when’), ignoring what cannot be measured and unable to tell us the ‘why’ of our lives.

The enduring importance of stories, is to point to fearlessness arising from truth, joyfulness that arises from kindness, and generosity that arises from non-selfishness.

On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to Organisers and Participants working to redress historical differences, building collaborations, celebrating diversity and fostering team approaches to addressing today's society. Received with gratitude.

Interfaith Centre of Melbourne
Postal: PO Box 18335, Collins Street East, Melbourne Vic 8003 Australia