Women from the three Abrahamic religions gathered in an outer suburb of Melbourne last weekend to share their faith and experience different worship traditions, Melbourne Catholic reports.
The Jewish Christian Muslim Association’s annual Inspiring Women of Faith conference was held at the Don Bosco Centre, Lysterfield, on May 12-14.
The following is an edited reflection from Ginette Everest, JCMA executive officer, and Sr Elizabeth Young of the Sisters of Mercy, on the conference:
As a group of women from Judaism, Christianity and Islam we represented the variety and depth within each faith tradition. Over the conference we were able to observe each other’s prayer rituals lead by members of each of the religious groups. It was carefully planned to fit into the times of traditional weekly/daily routines and in sharing and experiencing each other’s holy days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday we got to learn about each other’s practices and encounter deeply held beliefs.
Hearing from women different from ourselves was a gift and served to enrich our own faith and life journeys. Sometimes challenged by stereotypes and sensitivities we were able to speak with real honesty and reach out to others with genuine compassion.
We also heard from keynote speakers about inspiring women of the Abrahamic faiths, women from each of our religious traditions and from women living out their faith today. We heard about Beruriah, the second century Jewish scholar followed by the highly spiritual Christian woman Hildegard of Bingen, and discovered that Aisha, the second wife of Prophet Mohammed, was a deeply spiritual women and ‘scholar of scholars’.
An important part of the conference were the times of open and safe discussion in small groups, the larger group and over break times. With these opportunities we were able to relate to each other with deeper levels of trust and understanding, inspiring each other to live as positive women of faith in a diverse and interconnected world.
For details on the work of JCMA, visit www.jcma.org.au
Inspiring Jewish, Christian & Muslim women build trust and understanding (Melbourne Catholic)