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October 2021

If you would like to contribute to the newsletter, or express an opinion about it, please send your contribution to RMCanberraNews@quakersaustralia.info  Before you submit it, please read our privacy guidelines here and when you send it to us, confirm in writing that your item satisfies them.  Thank you!  Ed.
Faith4Climate Justice Day
16-17 October was Faith4Climate Justice Day, organised by the ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change). Australia Yearly Meeting co-sponsored the 17-18 October Global Multi-Faith Climate Action.
On 17 October Canberra Region Quakers participated by fixing two large banners onto the fences at the Turner Meeting House.  This event conformed to COVID19 safety requirements, and Friends gathered in the grounds of the Meeting House observing the mask wearing and physical distancing required.
UNITED NATIONS DAY
24 OCTOBER
It is 76 years since the UN was established.  A message from the Secretary-General António Guterres is here.
Below is the link to the Secretary General's video message.  It can be downloaded using the following URL:https://tinyurl.com/usvzpjva
 
The Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee of AYM has been very busy of late, with submissions to
  •  the Senate Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Legislation Committee on the Defence Amendment Bill 2020, here
  • to the IPAN Inquiry, focussing on the recent announcement of the AUKUS Alliance between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States here
Also, following the QPLC Peace Session at Yearly Meeting in July 2021, interest was expressed in having more than one Peace Session a year where we can discuss the current issues facing the committee and hear about each Regional Meeting's activities.  The QPLC committee has now decided to arrange a "mid-year" Peace session next month on Saturday November 20th at 4pm.  If you wish to attend this Zoom session, please contact Harold Wilkinson, Convenor of QPLC, by emailing cqplc@quakersaustralia.info

Finally, QPLC is piloting (for 3 months)  the holding of peace sessions on 4th Sundays at 12:30pm from November for Canberra and Region Quakers.  Watch the e-Notices for information about these sessions!
AUKUS
Our friend Margaret Clark writes of the galvanizing effect of the recent AUKUS announcement on a range of peace-related interests.  Margaret is the AYM representative to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).  Read more here.
QUAKER DEEPENINGS ...
As promised in the August edition of this newsletter, Evan Gallagher has written about Caroline Stephen, a remarkable British Quaker. Her book,  ‘Rational Mysticism’  (1908) outlined a distinctly Quaker and modern understanding of the mystical insight.   Read more here.  
THIS IS YOUR FRIEND: Tina McLaren-Bell
(Goulburn Worshipping Group, CRQ)  
Tina gave a fascinating account of her life and spiritual journey via Zoom on 17 October.  Tina was born into a Quaker family, and attended Wahroongah Meeting Sunday school in the 1970s.  Tina studied social work at UNSW, and described her adventures in Asia and explorations as an intern at both the Quaker UN Office in Geneva and in New York.   Tina was funded by FWCC to attend the first Indian Quaker Gathering, and also worked at the Quaker-funded Oxford Research Group, where she helped with off-the-record meetings with nuclear weapons decision makers.  After returning to Australia Tina worked as a social worker, and is currently a counsellor in a Women’s Health Centre.  Her experience as the mother of Ryan is now an important focus of her life.  Tina spoke about being a universalist Quaker, and how she finds western Buddhism a good fit with Quakerism. Tina shared a few of her ponderings such as “How can we have more conversations about the diversity of Quakers, to encourage more people to feel they belong?”
You can read the script of her talk here, or click on the following link, for a recording of her practice talk (without expanded Quaker ponderings but with more photos) https://www.dropbox.com/s/emdjh6vn2ctkdc8/zoom_1.mp4?dl=0
Tina's contact is: tinabell6@bigpond.com
Crimson Rosellas live around Mount Ainslie.  Photos:  Susan Rockliff
Sustaining a Spirituality in a Secular Society
Reg Naulty writes about the influence of "significant others" on our activities and beliefs. We tend to do and believe things that the other important people in our lives do and believe.  Reg makes the case for the influence of "good works" in our secular society.  Read more here.
Who knew the Vatican had an astronomer? 
George Vincent Coyne, S.J. was an American Jesuit priest and astronomer who directed the Vatican Observatory and headed its research group at the University of Arizona from 1978 to 2006. From January 2012 until his death in 2020, he taught at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. His career was dedicated to the reconciliation of theology and science, while his stance on scripture was absolute: "One thing the Bible is not," he said in 1994, "is a scientific textbook. Scripture is made up of myth, of poetry, of history. But it is simply not teaching science." (Wikipedia)
Read Father Coyne's outline of our cosmic journey here.
The produce of the earth is a gift from our gracious creator to the inhabitants, and to impoverish to earth now to support outward greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age.
John Woolman 1772
Stypandra glauca, Nodding blue lily (Photo:  S. Rockliff)
Here is a denizen of the wetlands near Goulburn, photographed by James who is Elaine Cornwell's son.
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