Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Feb 27: Discussion and LGBT Week in Student Union

So, no one is prepared to carry out a workshop on the meeting of 27th of February. I have another spare one from the Buddhist tradition (but that is only in case no one else wants to share anything from their faith).

As for the Scripture study, I propose to look at the topics that Kevin was thinking about for Abraham's Table. They are:

Love, sexuality, loving relationships

Peace - a moral government - how can religion teach us to improve society?

Pilgrimage - important to most faiths
-travel, life is a spiritual journey, etc

Meditation - value of spiritual exercises

As for me, I would love to talk about meditation (obviously). If people agree on one particular topic before the meeting and can prepare some reading from their Scripture, that would be grnad. If not, we will just talk about one of them on the day.

As some of you might have noticed, there is an Amnesty International exhbition about Sudan set up in the Chaplaincy. There is an opportunity to sign letters as well. Please, do so. Letters and envelopes are provided.

On the 4th of March, Sunday, everyone is invited to Fo Guan Shan Chinese Buddhist Temple in Stretford Road. We are meeting at the steps to the Chaplaincy at 10:30 am. At the Temple, we are looking around, watching the light offering ceremony, enjoying a free lunch, and then games and activties in the afternoon.

We discussed about getting the multifaith/interfaith society recognised by Student Union formally, and Kevin got a list of signatures that Hana and Natalie collected earlier, many thanks to both of them for doing this. So hopefully we should become formal in few weeks time, then we can have access to more publicity hopefully. We have also since collected a few more signatures thanks to our friends at the Bahai soc and the student christian movement, and thanks to Nicholas and Kevin for organising this part.

We then discussed about the interfaith conference (along with Abraham's table) being organised by the chaplaincy, Oxana kindly agreed to MC for the conference, there will be a few student helpers etc. The Abraham's table will be on topic of "Science Vs religion" and we will have people from different religions (preferably people studying a core science degree such as Physics or Chemistry or Biology etc etc) and also an athiest who will give their prespective on the issue.

Finally in view of the LGBT week in the union we discussed about the religions approach to issues concerning homosexuality, a rather controversial topic that one! Many participants stressed on kindness towards all people without discrimination (although some religions are opposed to the practice of homosexuality in itself). Kevin stressed that the gay lifestyle which is considered promiscuous was one reason why gay people had a bad image especially among religious people. Oxana invited us to the religion debate during the LGBT week that was the following day from 1:30-2:30 and myself, Kevin and Oxana attended as part of interfaith society, there too we listened to a very interesting discussion on perspectives on religion and sexuality from many different viewpoints.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Feb 21: Islamic Awareness Week speaker

I attended a talk (organised by Isoc as part of islamic awareness week) by Idris Tawfiq, a former English catholic priest who went to Egypt on vacation (who formerly studied for priesthood in Rome, and even held Pope John Paul 2's hand so dearly that his ring came off!!) and was so impressed by what he saw (is really emotional guy) that he converted to Islam. Was really interesting to hear his life story from his own mouth. You can read more about the guy here:

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Feb 20: Film (Nightwatch), Islamic Awareness Week and Hindu Sewa Week

We watched the Russian Film Nightwatch (first in a trilogy, about a world where Gods and demons fight eternally and a class of beings called "other" keep the balance between the two)

Please do not forget to participate in the Islamic Awareness Week this week, to know more about Islam and muslims. Its facebook event page is http://manchester.facebook.com/event.php?eid=2237873498

They have events every day of the week, so hope all of you can attend at least the Wednesday exhibition and Mosque tour, Thursday exhibition and Friday meal. There are ISoc stalls outside student union, so you can go and sign up there (but you dont need to sign up to attend the ordianary events, only for the meal). Below is the information regarding the Islamic Awareness week.


Asalaamu alaikum- peace be upon you,

Your Islamic Society of Manchester University warmly invites you to Islam Awareness Week Feb 19th-23rd 2007.

As every year, the ISOC organises a week of talks, exhibition, Q&A and FREE DINNER for the non-Muslims on campus With speakers coming all the way from London, Rome and Sydney.

Join us and discover what Islam says about Prophet Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them).
Discover why our convert speakers (including an ex-priest) became muslims.
Discover more about Islam.

Monday 19th
Speaker: Umar Abdullah
Venue: roscoe lecture theatre B

Tuesday 20th
Speakers: Panel of reverts
Venue: roscoe lecture theatre B

Wednesday 21st
Help yourself to the tasty treats, mint tea and wonder around the exhibition which aims to give you a taste of different aspects of Islam including: how the Quran and science are related, beautiful Islamic art, unity and hajj, prayer, hijaab and niqab, just to name a few.
Venue: MDH in students union

MOSQUE TOUR @Didsbury mosque
Venue: Didsbury Mosque
Time: Meet outside SU at 12pm

Council chambers students' union

Speaker: Idris Tawfiq
Venue: roscoe lecture theatre B

Thursday 22nd
Venue: council chambers in students' union

Venue: renolds C9

Friday 23rd
Venue; Sanam restaurant, Wilmslow Rd.

There will be a da'wa stall outside the Students' Union building (Oxford Rd) everyday from Feb 12th- 23rd to publicise the events and answer any questions on Islam that people may have, with free literature on Islam available too!!

For any more information, please email us at info@manchesterisoc.com or check out our website www.manchesterisoc.com .

Thank you and we hope to see you soon

wa alaikum assalam

your ISOC

Hey all! Hows it going? Hope all is well.

I am currently promoting NHSF's 'Sewa' week a.k.a. Charity week. Sewa, in Sanskrit, is selfless
service, so this week is dedicated to doing our bit to give back to the world, and encouraging others to do the same. Below is the weeks program (I've also attached a more detailed word document to this email) It would be great to have as much support from everyone as it is obvious, from conversations with you all at the interfaith events, that Sewa week accommodates the principals common in all religions and faiths!

1-3pm University of Manchester Students Union – Promotional stand for blood donation and collecting money for Saraswati Vidayalya through individual sponsorship

12:30pm University of Manchester Students Union – Bake Sale raising money for charity.

6:00pm Asda, 100 Princess Road Hulme Manchester M15 5AS – A chance to give back to the community by helping customers pack their shopping and raising money.

1:00 – 4:00pm Aquatics Centre Swim-a-thon, swim and collect sponsors.

7pm – late University of Manchester Students Union -Showing of the inspirational Gandhi with refreshments with all proceeds to charity.


A finale night of the week!!!

6- 10pm Manchester Metropolitan Students Union in the Conference suite.

There will be many fun activities including:

Wax-a-thon, Games, Raffle, Refreshments, Eat-a-thon and Mendhi.

Come and help plant trees and help the environment. Details will be sent to you very soon!

Let as many people on your committee + members know about it, and I'll hopefully see you sometime next week!

I look forward to a positive response!

Please to not hesitate to contact myself, or Kalpa if you have any questions, suggestions etc...


Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Feb 13: Meditation and Discussion on sin and repentance

Before I forget, please find attached a file with details of a tree planting event this Sunday, the 18th, at the Fallowfield Loop. If we get it over with early enough, we then can go to China Town to enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations.

We practised Buddhist loving-kindness meditation and enjoyed it a lot.

Afterwards, we had a discussion about such matters as sin, repentance, forgiveness, death penalty, jury trial and relationship between secular and divine laws.

Then we decided that the topic the topic for next Abraham's Table on the 20th of March will be 'Marriage of Science and religion'. Different faiths have different stance on how religion and science relate to each other and how believers should relate to science, and whether society should be run based on science or religion.

As usual, we will have short (5 minute) presentations from a representative of each faith, and discussion and delicious food afterwards.

For a start, though, we decided to ask two science students - one a believer and one not - to share their personal views and feelings on science. If you can think of anyone who could carry out these roles, please reply to this posting or write to Interfaith Society mailing list.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

6 Feb: Discussion on Altruism

The topic of discussion was altruism. Natalie conducted a workshop on Jewish practice of developing your character, and also gave us a moral problem related to altruism to ponder about.

Perspectives on altruism from different religions followed.

John joined us and asked for help with organizing the next Abraham's Table, which is scheduled for 20 of March. We have to come up with a suitable topic to discuss at the Table.

For 13 Feb, I still have a spare interactive presentation to do, in case no one else prepares anything. For the topic, I propose discussing the next Abraham's Table and then if we still have got any time, we could discuss balance between spiritual and secular life in our faiths.

Hope to see you all 13 feb, Tuesday, at 5 pm, at St.Peter's Chaplaincy.
Also, you could consider joining Interfaith Society on www.facebook.com