Kia ora koutou, warm greetings to you all.
This year’s month of September is certainly a special one: for the Jewish community it is the month of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, the Hindu, Jain and Sikh Communities have several feast days, and many Christians are celebrating the Season of Creation – and yet, our RDC Calendar is missing one day. Our sincere apologies!
Please note that the weekdays of the month of October are therefore one day out. We promise not to make this mistake again. The calendar for 2022 is currently being produced.
Here are some further good news:
Youth Leadership Council – Ngā Rangatahi o Māramatanga
Advancing the agenda of religious diversity
RDC’s ‘Youth Leadership Council’ Project leaders have been consulting young people across the country over the last six months to hear more of a youth perspective on religious diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand. Thank you to the young people from various faith affiliations who joined us.
As a result of these consultations, we will now be inviting applications for Nga Rangatahi o Māramatanga, the Youth Leadership Council. This is open to New Zealand residents aged 16-35 who are passionate about the work of building understanding and acceptance of religious diversity throughout our society. They can be of any religious affiliation (including atheist/agnostic) and should be available for 1.5 hours every six weeks, over a two-year tenure. We will be providing induction and training. Information on how to apply will be provided shortly.
For more information please contact Tom or Aamenah: firstname.lastname@example.org
Climate Change Programme
This programme was initiated by the RDC early in the year in response to the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, taking place in Glasgow, Scotland in early November. Much attention is being directed to the Conference by religious and interfaith bodies worldwide.
The RDC asked a small group of people, of different faith traditions and well versed in the issues of climate change, to advise how the religious communities might together encourage our Government to take to the Conference the strongest possible commitment to effective action in the face of the climate crisis with its destructive results now threatening low-lying nations in our Pacific region and causing extreme weather events in our own country.
The Workgroup developed a Statement to be offered to religious leaders and interfaith groups for their consideration and endorsement. In recognition of who we are in Aotearoa New Zealand, the Statement draws on the rich traditions and teachings of the religious communities and on the understandings of Te Ao Maori, that call humanity to care for the earth as a sacred duty. On this foundation the Statement offers recommendations to the Government to consider as they prepare the nation’s goals to be announced at the Climate Change Conference.
The Statement has now been sent to religious leaders and interfaith groups asking for their endorsement. If you wish to ask for further information please email: email@example.com
Once the Statement has received its final revision and endorsements it will be available on the RDC website.
All signatoriesto the Statement are invited to attend the formal event at which the Statement will be presented to the Government. Covid-19 allowing, the event will take place in the Grand Hall in Parliament Building on Tuesday, 19 October 2021 from 12 noon to 3.00 pm.
It is truly impressive how religious and interfaith communities around the world are mobilising in preparation for this Conference. The decisions made there in the face of the devastating effects of climate change are crucial for the future of humanity and the natural world.
Kia kaha – stay safe,
The Team at the Religious Diversity Centre