Monday, July 10, 2006

JCMA 2006: Jews, Christians and Muslims playing together...

I have become guilty of the blogger’s cardinal sin: failing to make a regular posting! Mea culpa and all that, but I do have an excuse (he said, trying to justify himself): I have been very busy doing interfaith things.

Yesterday, I took the opportunity of going out to the Thomastown Mosque, where the Australian Intercultural Society was holding a Mosque Open Day. The best bit (besides the warm welcome and excellent food) was watching my daughters play with two young Muslim children. As Orhan said afterwards, there is a universal language of play between children. Pity we loose it as life goes on.

Actually, perhaps we do not entirely lose it. Last week was the superlative JCMA conference (Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia). 20 of us, 20 of them, and 20 of the other all together for four days at Pallotti College in Warburton. If you have not been on a JCMA conference yet, this is by far the best way to get into interfaith dialogue (ie. jumping in the deep end). The best bit is actually the fun and the laughter we have together.

JCMA is, in the end, a bit like a grown-up version of playing together. You become friends first, and then face your differences in this new atmosphere of full-hearted friendship and trust. The dates for the 2007 conference are July 2nd to 5th. Plan to come!

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