2009 Event Schedule: Friday, December 4th

Friday, 4th December

Programming for Friday, 4th December included:

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The Religious Imperative for the Equality of Women & Girls

President Jimmy Carter

At the 2009 Parliament, President Carter made a speech at the Parliament via videoconference, addressing issues of equality for women and girls. After the address, respondents Anisa Buckley, Sri Karunamayi, Gurbux Kaur Kahlon offered further insight and responded to questions.


The Human Face of Climate Change

Mr Martin Frick, Deputy CEO/Director of the Global Humanitarian Forum
Rev Tim Costello, CEO, World Vision Australia
ME Tucker, Co-Founder and Co-Director, The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale Senior Lecturer and Senior Scholar at Yale University

The consequences of climate change are devastating for human beings worldwide, but for those already on the edge of survival it can be an unbearable burden. This program, sponsored by the Global Humanitarian Forum, showed that those who did the least to cause climate change are the ones suffering from it the most. It also sent out a call for united action on the environment by spiritual communities across the globe.


Recent Developments in Jewish Christian Dialogue: A Time for Recommitment Building the New Relationship between Jews and Christians

Rabbi Ehud Bandel,Vice President of the International Council of Christians and Jews; Professor John Pawilkowski, Professor of Social Ethics and Director of Catholic-Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union; Rabbi John Levi , Melbourne PWR Patron and Jewish leader

At the 2009 Parliament, this workshop will focus on recent developments in Jewish-Christian relations as reflected in the recently published ICCJ document: A Time for Recommitment: the Twelve Points of Berlin -- A Call to Christian and Jewish Communities Worldwide. Each workshop participant received a copy of the document as the basis for discussion and heard an Australian leader with long experience in Jewish-Christian Relations present an Australian perspective, including the history of Jewish-Christian dialogue in Australia and an overview of the current issues.


Spiritual Companionship: Listening with a Grateful Heart

Liz Budd Ellmann, Executive director of Spiritual Directors International; Kristen Hobby, Churches of Christ Social Justice Network; Venerable Chi Kwang Sunim, Seon Buddhist Centre; Melanie Landau, Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Monash University; Bernadette Miles, Director of Campion Centre of Ignatian Spirituality in Kew, Victoria; Kava Schafer, Chaplain, University of Pennsylvania Hospital

Through listening with the heart, the ministry of spiritual companionship, also known as spiritual direction or spiritual guidance, is central to many traditions. At the 2009 Parliament, a multifaith panel of spiritual companions shared how to cultivate gratefulness through words, silence, and sacred movement. This panel also offered an opportunity for interaction, in order to practice listening with a grateful heart.


Indigenous Women: Protecting Culture, Promoting Cultural Strengths

Lucy Mulenkei (Maasai:Kenya), Dr. Jennie R. Joe (Navajo:USA), Darlene St. Clair (Dakota:USA)

Colonization has tended to reduce the status of indigenous women, many of whom continue to be victims of discrimination, violence, and exploitation in the workplace. Empowering indigenous women is necessary for improving the lives of all indigenous peoples. At the 2009 Parliament, this panel discussed how indigenous women are addressing many of these everyday challenges.


Caring Practices for the Earth - Australia and USA Green FaithEmbedded Image

Miriam Pepper is a Christian environmental activist, working to build environmental awareness and action within and across communities of different faiths and of none. She is   especially passionate about the interconnections between ecological integrity, justice and peace, and about the blossoming of relationships that comes about through shared   initiatives and projects. She worships at Maroubra Junction Uniting Church in Sydney, home of grass roots environmental initiative Project Green Church, which is also now part of the growing South East Climate Action Coalition. She is a founding member and secretary of multi-faith network the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), and is also active in the Faith and Ecology Network. Miriam has a PhD on “Christianity and Sustainable Consumption: A Social Psychological Investigation” from the University of Surrey, UK.


Our Impact on the Land Has the Same Impact on Us

Uncle Max Harrison, Aboriginal Elder of the Yuin Nation; Rodney Minicon, Cleanser of Aboriginal Massacre Sites

This program explored how the land teaches us to forgive those who have caused us grief and suffering and the impact of cleansing Aboriginal massacre sites. Uncle Max Harrison, Aboriginal Elder of the Yuin Nation and Rodney Minicon, Cleanser of Aboriginal Massacre Sites shared how many hundreds of Aboriginal massacre sites across Australia are being and have been cleansed. Rodney has worked for many years with Aboriginal Communities across the land to assist in cleansing the ancestral people and spirits that were and continue to be disturbed by aggressive colonisation practices of England and successive governments across the Australia and Pacific Nations.


Offerings for Barong Pa-Hayu Buwana / World Peace Barong   Embedded Image                                                                                                                                                            

A barong is an animal figure that makes a dancing pilgrimage for peace. Barong Pa-Hayu Buwana / World Peace Barong was conceived 26 March 2003 and blessed 26 March 2004 during 'Sharing Art & Religiosity' in Bedulu, Bali, facing the Samuan Tiga Temple, where, in the year 1011, three faiths met in reconciliation. This barong is a new creation made of coral, stones, tree bark and roots, feathers, fabric, bells and other materials initially gifted by 56 individuals and societies from 23 nations of the world. Parliament presenters and visitors were invited to send materials from their culture to Yayasan Dharma Samuan Tiga 1 Jalan Pura Samuan Tiga Bedulu, Bali 80551 Indonesia to beautify the Barong Pa-Hayu Buwana / World Peace Barong so that it became more complete for 'Sharing Art & Religiosity' that took place in the year 2011 and was dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of Pasamuan Tiga. Artist delegates of Yayasan Dharma Samuan Tiga hosted discussions on the process of creating the World Peace Barong from 4:30 to 6:00 pm daily during Open Space.


Evening Plenary:


Communities Night

At the 2009 Parliament, Melbourne's diverse religious and spiritual communities hosted interstate and international visitors in local churches, temples, synagogues, mosques etc.


Observances will Include:

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The Radiant Path: Meditation Practice and Philosophy in the Kriya Yoga Tradition

Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian

Superconscious meditation is a proven method of cultivating inner peace and stillness. At the 2009 Parliament, this workshop presented the practice of superconscious meditation and spiritually conscious living based on the Kriya Yoga teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. Through this method, the practitioners were led into the heart of reality; directly perceiving this unchanging essence within oneself leads to insight into the interconnectedness of all people and all things.



Silent Meditation - Ch`anEmbedded Image

Dharma Master Hsin Tao

Ch`an meditation leads to an awareness of the silence that lies at the heart of all things. Dharma Master Hsin Tao, a Buddhist monk for 36 years, led participants in a guided meditation based on breathing and calming the mind as a method of entering into this unifying silence with every breath. This silent meditation revealed an internal space of peace and compassion that leads to the healing of self and others.



Meditation: The Heart of All ThingsEmbedded Image

Fr. Laurence Freeman

Meditation is a universal tradition found in all of the great religions. Christian meditation is grounded in the experience of the Desert Fathers and Mothers of Egypt who, in ancient times, fled a corrupt empire to discover the Divine within the silent heart. Fr. Laurence Freeman, a world-renowned expert on Benedictine Spirituality, led participants at the 2009 Parliament in a guided meditation to form a basis for interreligious dialog and foster peace in our world.



Interfaith (spiritually inclusive) serviceEmbedded Image

Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick, Reverend Hilary Star, Dr Kim Cunio (music)

The 2009 Parliament invited participants to experience an interfaith service that was grounded in the world's faiths but seeked to meet our deepest needs for the sacred without labels. At this service, participants recognized one another as sisters and brothers in a common humanity. The service was led by Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick who regularly leads similar services at Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney. Music was offered by Dr Kim Cunio and Heather Lee. The service included readings on the theme of peace and unity, prayerful reflection, a short talk from Stephanie and exquisite sacred music from Kim and Heather. "The soul of all is one soul, and the truth is one truth, under whatever religion it is hidden. " (Hazrat Inayat Khan)


Performances included:


Naga ChantsEmbedded Image

Visier Sanyü , Uncle Reg Blow, Tom Duncan

Naga mystical Chants are blessings by the clan elders and prayers to their female God Ukepenuopfü. These Chants are originally from Khonoma village in Nagaland. The Nagas live in Nagaland in Northeast India and Burma and speak over 50 languages. Though there are over a thousand chants, songs, prayers and blessings in Khonoma village, unfortunately these chants and prayers are known by only a few. These chants and songs are very ancient and unique. Visier Sanyü performed Chants in the Tenyidie language accompanied by Reg Blow on the didgeridoo and Tom Duncan on the drums.



Films included:


The Chiefs' Prophecy: Survival of the Northern Cheyenne Nation

Leo Killsback


The Cheyenne people lived on the Great Plains of North America for 300 years governed by a divine law of peace and enlightenment called Ma’heo’e. After being forced onto a reservation in 1884, a prophecy revealed that the Nation would return to its traditional philosophies after 100 years. This film presents the history of the Northern Cheyenne and raises the question of whether a new generation of leaders can restore the traditional values of this embattled Nation.


Soldiers of Peace

Directed by Tim Wise

Contrary to popular belief, there are fewer armed conflicts in the world today than ever before. However, the world is faced with new challenges from climate change, to a lack of fresh drinking water, to ever decreasing bio-diversity, to diminishing oil reserves and an ever-growing population. This documentary film examines the different ways in which governments and individuals can face these problems – through war or peace.


Not in God’s Name

Paula Fouce

In India in 1984, filmmaker Paula Fouce was trapped in the religious tumult following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her own Sikh bodyguards. Her own life threatened, Fouce could not understand the horrifying conflict so often spread in the name of God. Inspired especially by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Paula and a team of award winning filmmakers united to create this beautiful documentary on the search for tolerance.