Annual Report 2008

(Previously included in the Aspley UC Interfaith Relations Committee)


This is my first Annual Report as the convener of the NORTH BRISBANE INTERFAITH GROUP.

In previous years I have reported to the Aspley Uniting Church Council in my capacity as convener of its Interfaith Relations Committee.  This committee has been largely responsible for the planning and running of local Interfaith activities over the last 5 years.  This committee of the Aspley Uniting Church has now merged with the newly formed North Brisbane Interfaith Group.  Consequently, this report is being made available to all members of the Aspley Uniting Church Council and of the North Brisbane Interfaith Group.

The North Brisbane Interfaith group now has an emailing list of 57 people who receive regular Newsletters.  Many of these people have attended our local Interfaith activities and/or joined smaller groups attending events at other venues such as:- the Bald Hills Mosque, Chermside Uniting Church, Camp Hill Synagogue and the Multi Faith Centre at Griffith University.  The use of the Aspley Church bus helped us greatly when attending these different venues.

On Sunday 12th October 2008 we held an Interfaith Café at Aspley Uniting Church with the theme:-The Scriptures of the Abrahamic Faiths.  Over 50 people attended.  They were seated in groups of 6/8 around small tables.  Light refreshments were served throughout the evening.  An impressive display of a Jewish Torah Scroll, a Christian Bible and a copy of the Muslim Qur’an was set up in the middle of the hall.

Garek Fysch spoke about the Torah and its place and significance in the larger Hebrew Bible – known as TANAK that includes the Torah (Instruction), Nevi’im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings).  The Torah is the most important part of this Bible.

Pierre van Blommestein spoke about the Christian Bible that includes the Old Testament (the Hebrew Tanak) and the New Testament.  He stressed the importance of the Bible as the foundational text for Christianity and for each individual believer.

Murmood drew attention to the leaflet on each table outlining something of the origin, nature and structure of the Qur’an and of its primary role in Muslim life and prayer.  He also outlined some of the details of the 5 Pillars (religious duties) that form the basis of a Muslim lifestyle. 

A time of interesting and lively questions and discussion followed each presentation.

Wendy Flannery, Peter Jones, Everald Compton and Garth Read met with Rev. Dirk Ficca, Executive Director, Parliament of World Religions at the café ‘301 on Ann’ in Brisbane on Friday 14th. November 2008.  Dirk gave us a brief outline of the history, purposes and functioning of the Parliament and of the arrangements and expectations for the meeting of the Parliament in Melbourne in December 2009.

Our Group is looking forward to another busy and interesting year of interfaith activities on this side of Brisbane during 2009.

Garth Read

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