The calendar of dates may be a catalyst to think about collaborations – ecumenical (local and regional) and inter-faith. What may we do better together rather than on our own?
Also, some of the important dates for other religious communities may be a prompt to learn more about their traditions, and to call or write to offer words of support, encouragement and solidarity.
Tuesday 31st January, 10am-12 noon
Ecumenical Network (First Nations Matters – Referendum)
Venue: Ross House, Flinders Lane
Contact Rev Sandy Boyce for information, email@example.com
1st-7th February – World Interfaith Harmony Week
Saturday 4th February 2023, 7 pm Taize Service
Chalice (Northcote Uniting Church) hold a Taize service on the first Saturday each month.
Venue: 251 High St, Northcote
(Bring $10 towards pizza and wine – but not essential)
See Facebook page here.
13th February Anniversary of the Apology to Stolen Generations
15th February: Uluru Statement from the Heart webinar
Morning (10am for 10.30am AEDT, to 1.30pm)
Prof Aunty Anne Pattel-Gray
Topic: The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth
Evening Forum & Panel (7.30-9.30 AEDT)
Rev Dr Garry Worete Deverell
Topic: The Uluru Statement from the Heart & the Referendum on the Voice
Organised by Churches Together SA.
Register at shorturl.at/fqO79
Both sessions of this seminar will be streamed, and then uploaded to the CTSA Website and YouTube Channel.
Sunday 19th February, 11am-1pm
First Nations Wisdom for a Regenerative Future
Venue: Capitol Theatre, 113 Swanston St, Melbourne
Cost: $35/$25 conc (Proceeds of tickets will go to support the First Peoples Pathway, an initiative founded with Yorta Yorta Elder in Residence, Uncle Shane Charles).
Organised by Initiatives of Change in collaboration with the Sustainable Architects Forum.
Poster and more information here.
The visiting delegation of First Nation elders from Canada comprise city shapers, peacebuilders, healers, artists, and filmmakers. Led by Lewis Cardinal, the group will share inspiring insights about creating Canada’s first Urban Indigenous Healing and Ceremony grounds -Sacred Land with the City of Edmonton, Alberta / Kihchhkaw Aski. In addition, they will be joined by local First Nation leaders :Yorta Yorta elder, Uncle Shane Charles, and Wiradjuri elder, Uncle Glenn Loughrey. They will explore deep listening practices that nurture First Peoples’ voice in place-making and the role of urban learning landscapes that are sacred, inclusive, and regenerative.
21st February Shrove Tuesday
22nd February Ash Wednesday
Thursday 23 February 7pm AEDT
Register your interest in joining the first Listen to the Heart Online Gathering, led by Common Grace National Director Gershon Nimbalker, Common Grace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Coordinator Bianca Manning, and Common Grace Relationships and Storytelling Coordinator Safina Stewart. This online gathering will be an important opportunity to hear from Aboriginal Christian Leaders, learn more about Common Grace’s Listen to the Heart campaign and opportunities to engage in calling for Voice and Justice in 2023. Register and find out more here.
Sign the Pledge to join Common Grace in 2023
24th February 7pm World Day of Prayer ecumenical service (in English)
German Lutheran Trinity Church
22 Parliament Place, East Melbourne 3002
Sunday 26th February Season of Lent (Lent 1A)
6-7th March 2023 Purim (Jewish Festival)
Purim celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from the wicked Haman in the days of Queen Esther of Persia.
8th March International Women’s Day
UN Women Australia’s International Women’s Day
2023 theme: ‘Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future‘. More here.
Wednesday 8th March – International Women’s Day Ecumenical Breakfast (Melbourne)
Venue: The Manse (upstairs), Wesley Place, Lonsdale St
Food will be pre-ordered. More details to come.
13th March Labour Day (public holiday)
16th March Close the Gap Day
17th March National Close the Gap day
18th March ‘A call for peace – Truth not War’ rally (Melbourne)
The rally is an opportunity to bring together peace and community organisations to join the many peace, justice and anti-war community campaigns.
20th anniversary of start of war in Iraq
(global protests leading up to it in mid-February 2003)
19th March International Day against bullying and violence
20th-26th March Harmony Week (including International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – ‘Harmony Day’)
23rd March (evening) to 21st April (evening) – Ramadan
2nd April Palm Sunday
Sunday 2nd April Palm Sunday March for Refugees
2pm at the State Library, corner Swanston and La Trobe Streets, Melbourne.
The Walk will call for Justice for Refugees: Permanent visas for all, Fair Processes and Income support for people who are seeking recognition as refugees.
More information: Marie Hapke, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0409252673.
3rd-9th April Holy Week
Passover (Jewish festival)
Passover (Pesach) celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.
Begins sunset of Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Ends nightfall of Thursday, April 13, 2023
No work permitted on April 6 – 7 and April 12 – 13. Work is permitted only on April 9 – 11 with certain restrictions.
6th April Maundy Thursday
7th April Good Friday
7th April Good Friday – Ecumenical Walk
Organised by Melbourne City Churches in Action (MCCIA)
An ecumenical walk through the City of Melbourne to remember Jesus’ walk to the Cross. The walk is marked by a series of 14 superb bronze sculptures which tell the story of the journey of Jesus from the Last Supper to the Cross. The 14 ‘stations’ are placed outside various City Churches with two in the grounds of St Patrick’s Cathedral. At each station those participating pause for prayer, readings, reflection and song. The walk commences at St Francis Church in Lonsdale Street and concludes at St Paul’s Cathedral in Flinders Street.
9th April Easter Sunday
14th April Orthodox Good Friday
15th April Open Mosque day (2023 date tbc)
Victorian Mosque Open Day is an opportunity for all people of good will to come together and break down the barriers that divide us.
16th April Orthodox Easter Sunday/Pascha
Friday 21st April – Saturday 22nd April Eid al-Fitr 2023 (end of Ramadan/breaking of the fast)
21st April – 8 hour day remembrance
25th April – ANZAC Day
25th April – ANZAC Day Ecumenical Service (St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral)
28th April – International Workers Memorial Day (remembering those who have died at work or associated with their work)
6th May – Coronation Day King Charles III
12th May – International Nurses Day
14th May – Mother’s Day
15th-21st May National Volunteers Week
The annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers.
(Note: Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators have a special certificate to acknowledge the efforts of outstanding and well-deserving volunteers in their electorate, state or territory. Why not contact your local politician/s to ask about acknowledging volunteers in your community/church/agency etc).
18th May-28th May Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
In the southern hemisphere the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is held in the week between Ascension and Pentecost, which in 2023 will be between Thursday 18th May (Ascension) and Sunday 28th May (Pentecost). The resources are available online. The VCC Faith and Order Commission in collaboration with the NCCA has contextualised the resource for Australia and it will be available early in 2023.
21st May 2023 Asia Sunday (Christian Conference of Asia)
Asia Sunday is an annual prayer service organised by the Christian Conference of Asia on the Sunday before Pentecost.
26th May Sorry Day
27th May Anniversary of 1967 Referendum
27th May – 3rd June Reconciliation Week
Theme: Be a Voice for Generations
28th May Pentecost
4th June Trinity Sunday
5th June World Environment Day
World Environment day is celebrated annually on 5 June and encourages awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
12th June Monarch’s birthday (public holiday)
18th-24th June Refugee Week
1st July Coming of the Light
Celebrates adoption of Christianity in Torres Strait Island communities in the 19th century
2nd – 9th July NAIDOC Week
Theme: For Our Elders
16th July Intercultural Neighbouring Sunday (Uniting Church)
29th July – all day conference
Mental health and Disability
Pilgrim Theological College, Parkville
A collaboration of Uniting Church Justice Unit and Victorian Council of Churches
Sunday August 6th-Saturday August 13th, 2023
National Homelessness Week
10th August International Prisoners’ Justice Day
Prisoners’ Justice Day is a solidarity movement that takes place annually on August 10 in support of prisoners’ rights and to remember all the people who have died of unnatural deaths while incarcerated. Plenty to think about with Aboriginal deaths in custody, and refugees who have died in detention.
Resources (prayers and information) here.
12th August 2022
International Youth Day
23rd August International Day For The Remembrance Of The Slave Trade And Its Abolition
Slavery in Australia including Indigenous Australians and Pacific Islanders (‘black birding’) and modern slavery.
World Water Week, 20-24th August 2023
2023 Theme: “Seeds of Change: Innovative Solutions for a Water-Wise World” invites us to rethink how we manage water. Which ideas, innovations, and governance systems will we need in a more unstable and water scarce world?
Perhaps congregations might like to include a focus on water on Sunday 20th August?
Some worship resources for ‘water’ can be found here.
September: Season of Creation (1st September to 4th October)
Season of Creation is the annual ecumenical celebration that unites the world’s 2.4 billion Christians in prayer and action for our common home.
Sunday 3rd September Fathers Day
A Father’s Day blessing (PC NZ)
Father’s Day resources (Strandz)
A Toolkit for Dads (Focus on the Family)
Father’s Day craft activities (Ministry to Children)
Prayers for Father’s Day & Mother’s Day (Building Faith)
Father’s Day (Pilgrim Worship Resources website)
8th September RUOK? Day
10th September World Suicide Prevention Day
September 15 – 17 2023 – Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, and a day of judgment and coronation of G‑d as king.
September 18-25, 2023 (annually in third week of September)
World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel
World Council of Churches (WCC) invites people and churches all over the world to pray, advocate, and stand in solidarity with people in the Holy Land during the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This year, the theme is anchored in active hope and in striving for a better future with no occupation.
UN International Day of Peace
Sept. 24 – 25 Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement – holiest day of the year in the Jewish faith). It is the Day of Atonement—“For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G‑d” (Leviticus 16:30). Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a day-long fast, confession and intensive prayer, with synagogue services.
September 29-Oct 6, 2023
Jewish Festival of Succot/Sukkot
Succot (‘booth’ or ‘tabernacle’) is the third of the Jewish holidays known as the “Shalosh Regalim” – “three festivals” – the other two being Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot (Pentecost). It takes place after Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) in the Jewish calendar.
The seven days of Sukkot – celebrated by dwelling in the sukkah, is a holiday time when Jewish people experience living in the elements in covered huts, commemorating G‑d’s sheltering the ancestors as they travelled from Egypt to the Promised Land. Coming after the solemn High Holidays, it is a time of joy and happiness.
Sunday 1st October 2023 World Communion Sunday
10th October World Mental Health Day
International Day of the Girl Child
This day exists to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face all over the world. And to promote the empowerment of young females everywhere while advocating for the attainment of their basic human rights, like education and bodily autonomy. The 1 billion girls alive today can grow up to change the world if they are simply given access to things like secondary education and healthy living.
National Carers Week (third week in October)
2023 dates tbc
National Carers Week is an opportunity to recognise the significant contribution that unpaid carers make to our community and to celebrate the diversity of carers and their caring roles. A carer as someone who provides unpaid care and support to family members and friends with a disability, mental illness, chronic health issue or an age-related condition. Check what’s happening in your area, and promote any activities your congregation might be offering. How might you celebrate/recognise carers in your congregation?
28th October – World Teachers Day
31st October Reformation Day 2022
Reformation Day in 2022 coincides with the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s translation of the New Testament.
1st November All Saints Day
2nd November All Souls Day
7th-13th November World Kindness Week 2023 dates tbc
(13th November World Kindness Day)
(7th November – Melbourne Cup – public holiday)
November 11th, Remembrance Day
November 12th Diwali (Hindu religion)
18th – 26th November 2023
Social Inclusion Week: Connect, Collaborate and Celebrate!
Social Inclusion Week aims to help all Australians feel included and valued, giving everyone the opportunity to participate fully in society. Created by Jonathon Welch AM, founder of the award winning Choir of Hard Knocks, Social Inclusion Week is about connecting local communities, workmates, family and friends, in order to build and strengthen relationships or networks and address isolation and exclusion of those who may be marginalised. Key communities who can often feel excluded are young people 12–25 years of age, jobless families with children, people with a disability or mental illness, those who are homeless, the elderly and Indigenous Australians.
Congregations might plan projects, foci and activities as part of Social Inclusion Week in the wider community.
20th November 2022
World Children’s Day
Sunday 20th November 2023 dates tbc
Transgender Day of Remembrance
The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honours the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. In a simple service of prayer and reflection, family and friends and supporters will mark the Day and remember those who have died.
Wednesday 23rd November 2022
Go Home on Time Day
This is an initiative of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, and serves as an accessible way to start conversations about work-life balance and the enormous unpaid contributions staff make to their workplaces. ‘Time Theft‘; ABC report
25th November to 10th December
16 days of activism against gender based violence
Held annually from Nov 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women) to December 10 (International Human Rights Day). Common Grace 16 Days of Prayer series here.
26th November Holding the Light ecumenical service
St Peters Eastern Hill
26th November Reign of Christ/Christ the King
1st December World AIDS Day
3rd December UN International Day of People with Disability
3rd December Advent begins
6th December St Nicholas Day
8th-15th December Hanukkah (Judaism)
This festival commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying mighty Greek armies. To celebrate the ancient miracle of the oil burning a candle for eight nights, Jews celebrating Hanukkah light a candleholder called a menorah for eight nights. The Pillars of Light Festival is held in Federation Square to celebrate Hanukkah (Chanukah)
10th December UN Human Rights Day
25th December Christmas Day
26th December Boxing Day
31st December New Years Eve/Watch Night
ARCHIVED EVENTS here
1st January New Years Day
6th January Epiphany season begins
15th January World Religion Day
World Religion Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in January every year, and is a reminder of the need for harmony and understanding between religions and faith systems. On this day, communities of different faiths have the opportunity to get together and listen to each other, as well as celebrate the differences and commonalities that the delicate intermingling of culture and religion brings.
19th January Orthodox Epiphany begins
22nd January, 2023
Day of Mourning (Uniting Church) – resources here
An opportunity to reflect on the effects of invasion, colonisation and racism on First Peoples, in the lead up to ‘Australia Day’.
26th January – ‘Australia Day’