prayer and understanding

Two significant events for me on Thursday…

Early, the St Pauls Prayer and Meditation event, at the Adelaide University Cloisters. Gerry Thompson set the morning mood on the digeridoo. Each of the faiths presented a reading or song which contributed to our reflection on the theme “Delighting in Otherness”; and a fruit, which was combined with others to make a tasty fruit salad conclusion!

Later in the morning I led a session with a group of Indonesians on the theme of Religion in Australia. I was accompanied by my colleagues, Maureen Howland, Dr Abul Farooque and Deborah Meyers.

This group of mainly government officials are at Flinders studying gender issues within the Cente for Development Studies and the Department of Womens Studies. We soon discovered that patriarchy and interpretation of holy scriptures are issues of common concern to Christian and Muslim alike. Add in our Australian history of migration to escape religious oppression or the ravages of war (well illustrated in the CD-R “Australia’s Religious Communities”) and we had the ingredients for a stimulating workshop.

I am always delighted at the rich interaction that can emerge in secular situations like this where religious faith is a respected and valued contributor. This was an excellent interchange. I found myself encouraged by a common yearning for justice in a world of inequality and complex inter-cultural relationships. Many thanks to the staff at Flinders for this invitation to participate.

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