WelCom September 2022
Fr Ron Bennett
A group of members of Wellington’s Abrahamic Council were warmly welcomed to a weekend retreat last May at Kopua Monastery in Central Hawke’s Bay.
The Abrahamic Council is a group of Jews, Christians and Muslims who seek to have a better understanding among one another, with Abraham as a common figure in each of their traditions. Members enjoy fellowship and learning about one another’s’ religious views.
At Kopua, the group attended the Offices, a religious service at 4am and Sunday Eucharist. They spent time with Fr Niko Verkley ocso before breakfast and talking around a warm fire in the evening in the peaceful atmosphere of the guesthouse.
This year, we have held three public events – a climate-change workshop, a Peacenic and an Abrahamic meditation day. Over 55 people attended the workshop in June at Victoria University, discussing principles and action plans for ourselves, our places of worship, and in wider society. Our annual Peacnic (picnic for peace) in February created new friendships over shared food and conversations among fellow Abrahamic peoples.
Every month through ‘Sharing our Scriptures’ we meet virtually or face-to-face, to explore themes from text snippets from the Tanakh, the New Testament, and the Koran. These small, informal discussions in people’s homes are delightful, and are open to anyone who would like to attend. Check out our website at abrahamic.nz or contact Dave Moskovitz at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in learning more.
The Wellington Abrahamic Council is a member of the Christchurch Call Advisory Network, created by the governments of France and New Zealand following the Christchurch terror attacks in March 2019. Our purpose is to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online. Local member Canon Jenny Chalmers (Anglican) was recently elected the Vice-Chair of the International Council of Christians and Jews, of which our council is a member. It’s wonderful to have a New Zealand voice among this highly-respected international organisation.
Appreciating what we share with each other as Abrahamic peoples not only helps us to understand others from different traditions, but also appreciate more deeply the divine gift we have been given.