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On Sunday 29 October 2017, approximately 50 people gathered at the Eva Besen Centre in Caulfield (home of the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia - Victoria) to hear presentations from four speakers on the topic of Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide. This was a timely discussion as the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 has been passed by the lower house of the Victorian Parliament and is about to be debated in the Upper house this week.
 
The four speakers were Rev. David Brooker, Rev. Associate Professor John Dupuche, Raphael Dascalu, and Rabbi Kim Ettlinger.
 
Council of Christians and Jews: A Panel Discussion on Voluntary Assisted Dying (Sunday 29 October 2017)

A special Lutheran and Catholic joint commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation took place on Saturday night (28 October) at St John’s Lutheran Church Southgate, featuring messages from Archbishop Denis Hart and Bishop Lester Priebbenow and the presentation of a Bach cantata “O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe” (BWV 34). The service was attended by more than 200 local members of the Catholic and Lutheran churches.

According to an historical legend, on 31 October 1517 in the University town of Wittenberg in Saxony, an Augustinian friar and biblical scholar Dr Martin Luther posted the document which later became known as “The 95 Theses”. This document raised questions about the indulgence campaign which was being promoted by the Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg to raise money for the rebuilding of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This scholarly document ignited a movement that became known to history as “The Protestant Reformation”.
Reformation 500: Joint Lutheran and Catholic Commemoration in Melbourne (28 October 2017)

Today, representatives of Victoria’s leading religions gathered on the steps of Parliament to deliver a joint statement to Deputy Premier, James Merlino, regarding the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.

The ‘Multifaith Statement’ is signed by Sheikh Isse Abdo Musse (President, Board of Imams Victoria), Phra Khru Kampee-panya-withet (Abbot, Melbourne Thai Buddhist Temple), Makarand Bhagwat (Victorian Director, Hindu Council of Australia), Rabbi Daniel Rabin (President, Rabbinical Council of Victoria), Jasbir Singh Suropada (Chairman, Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria) and Bishop Peter Danaher (President, Victorian Council of Churches).

Kawalpreet Singh, from the Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria, stood next to the Deputy Premier as he read the statement before the faith representatives each said their names in support of the shared announcement.

Asking the Parliament to reject the proposed assisted dying legislation, the statement highlighted the shared beliefs of the religious leaders.
Multifaith Statement on Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (11 October 2017)

Yesterday the University of Divinity held a number of events at Trinity College Theological School for the University of Divinity Academic Symposium. The symposium celebrated 50 years of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), a significant collaboration between the Anglican and Catholic colleges of the University of Divinity.
 
The aim of the day was to review and explore the work of ARCIC over the last 50 years, particularly the most recent ARCIC publication Looking toward a church fully reconciled.
 

Melbourne Catholics and Anglicans look towards a church fully reconciled (Thursday, 1 June 2017)

The annual Christian Holocaust Memorial Service was held on Tuesday night (3 May 2016) at Our Lady of Sion College in Box Hill. During the service, Grace, a student of the College, said:

‘At a Holocaust Memorial Service it must be asked: What have we learned and what must we do? The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. From those who were not indifferent, we can learn what we can achieve if we stand up for people in need and be a voice for others who do not have one.’

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Service. In May 1991, the late Sr Verna Holyhead sgs gathered a small group of Christians and Jews together in the wind and the rain outside the Jewish Memorial in Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney for a Holocaust Memorial Service.

Annual Ecumenical Holocaust Memorial Service (May 3, 2016)

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