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.
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.
An idea for all congregations: the Red Chair
[Red Chair Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence]
Raise awareness of gender-based violence by placing an empty chair left by women who have lost their lives through violence.
Print out a poster and place it on a single (ideally red) chair before taking a photo of it and sharing it on social media.
Post on your own social media and on VCC.
Respect Victoria said domestic and family violence against women was “absolutely at epidemic proportions. It’s a national emergency, and it has been for many decades – and without work to prevent it happening in the first place, will be for decades to come.” On average, one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner, according to statistics cited by Our Watch, the nation’s leading organisation for the prevention of violence against women and children. One in four women has experienced violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, compared to one in 13 men. One in 3 women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15, one in 4 has experienced emotional abuse by a partner or former partner since that age, and one in 5 has experienced sexual violence since 15.
The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032
Family and Domestic and Sexual Violence – AIHW
Violence against women
Tuesday 28th November (evening) – 1st December 2023
On the move! Migration and Practical Theology: Emerging challenges, experiences, and responses from across Oceania.
2023 APTO Conference (Association of Practical Theology in Oceania)
Venue: The University of Otago – Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand and ONLINE.
Some migrants leave their countries of origin in search of a better life and economic opportunities. Others leave their countries by necessity because of war, conflict, and natural disasters. Some for other reasons.
How do we welcome the stranger in our midst? How do we ensure they have what is needed to lead a decent life? How do we right the wrongs of the past?
This conference explores the range of theological, cultural, ethical, historical and spiritual issues associated with migration in the region of Oceania. All the disciplines of practical theology will be brought to bear on both an analysis of the issues, and point the way to effective solutions.
TryBooking landing page here, booking details here (whole conference in person or ONLINE, and individual days)
30th November, 5pm
Holding the Light ecumenical service
Wesley Uniting Church, Lonsdale St
30 Nov 2023 – Tue, 12 Dec 2023
The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly referred to as COP28, will be the 28th United Nations Climate Change conference, held from 30 November until 12 December 2023, at the Expo City, Dubai. It is the world’s largest annual climate summit.
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 1
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
Blue Christmas events (see list here)
Contact sandy.boyce[a]vcc.org.au to add your event to the list.
25th December Christmas Day
26th December Boxing Day
31st December New Years Eve/Watch Night
21st January 2024 Aboriginal Sunday Service
21st January 2024 Day of Mourning
(see the link here for further information and resources)
5th-8th February 2024 Conference
Raising our Tribal Voice for Justice: An Indigenous Theological Revolution
Venue: University of Divinity, St Paschal Campus, 90 Albion Road, Box Hill
(also options to participate online for the 4 days)
Times: 9.30-4.30pm daily except Wednesday (ends at 3.30pm)
The School of Indigenous Studies of the University of Divinity is excited to announce new dates for the 4-day conference. This is the first-ever national ecumenical platform where Indigenous theologians from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific will raise up their voices and challenge Churches across denominations to call their followers to action in addressing the injustice, inequality, and systemic failings of Churches history to protect, nourish, and benefit from Indigenous peoples and their knowledges.
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’
19th March International Day against bullying and violence
31st March Trans Day of Visibility
Trans Day of Visibility is an annual international celebration recognising trans and gender diverse experiences and achievements.
(Ramadan – continues till evening of 21st April)
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 event (registration on Humanitix – follow the link)
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)
30th April – National Day of Prayer for Myanmar, starting at 5pm.
Collins St Baptist Church, 174 Collins St, Melbourne
This is an interfaith and ecumenical prayer gathering.
It will also be livestreamed.
5th-7th May 2023 Sacrededge Festival, Queenscliff
12th May – International Nurses Day
2023 theme: Our Nurses, Our Future
How might you celebrate the nurses in your congregation/ community? A thoughtful prayer is here.
14th May – Mother’s Day
15th-21st May National Volunteers Week
2023 Theme: The Change Makers
The annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers.
Consider sending an online Certificate of Appreciation to your volunteers. Simply click on the card or certificate that you would like to send, complete the details and click send.
If you are looking for a certificate template to add your logo to, please visit our National Volunteer Week Resources page.
(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.
22nd May International Day for Biological Diversity
See post on VCC website here.
21 May to 27 May 2023 National Palliative Care Week
26th May Sorry Day
27th May Anniversary of 1967 Referendum
28th May Pentecost
27th May – 3rd June Reconciliation Week
Theme: Be a Voice for Generations
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. The 2023 theme is #BeatPlasticPollution, and will focus on solutions to plastic pollution. World Environment Day 2023 is a reminder that people’s actions on plastic pollution matters. The steps governments and businesses are taking to tackle plastic pollution are the consequence of this action. It is time to accelerate this action and transition to a circular economy.
12th June Monarch’s birthday (public holiday)
18-24th June Refugee Week 2023
** Keep a lookout for information about 2024 Victorian Senior of the Year Awards (COTA, Victorian Seniors Festival, Victorian State government) – close towards end of July
Nominee must be Australian citizen 60+ or First Nations 50+.
Nominees will be assessed on their volunteer contribution and achievements since reaching the qualifying age. Nominees assessed on these criteria: how they make a difference to community wellbeing through volunteering; their good standing in the community; how their positive attitude to ageing inspires others. Include at least 2 letters supporting the nomination fro, colleagues or individuals in the community which are 250-450 words each.
Various categories: premier’s away for Vic Senior of the year; promotion of multiculturalism award (promoting the benefits of cultural diversity in their local or broader community); healthy and active living award; veteran community award; ageing well award; COTA Vic Senior Achiever Awards
ONLINE nomination – https://forms.office.com/r/iVqcnNHBEQ
Victorian Seniors Card program 1300 797 210
1st July Coming of the Light
Celebrates adoption of Christianity in Torres Strait Island communities in the 19th century
9th July Seafarer Sunday
16th July Intercultural Neighbouring Sunday (Uniting Church)
3rd Sunday in July (or another date best suited to the local
setting) is ‘Intercultural Neighbouring Sunday’, to celebrate UCA being a Multicultural Church and to create an opportunity for congregations and faith communities to connect and build relationships with culturally and linguistically diverse communities in their neighbourhoods.
19th July 2023 10 year anniversary
“Any asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will have no chance of being settled in Australia as refugees”.
(PM Rudd policy announcement, 19th July 2013)
Wed, 2 Aug 2023 – Sun, 6 Aug 2023
WORLD YOUTH DAY (Catholic)
World Youth Day 2023 is a Catholic festival to be held in Lisbon, Portugal (originally scheduled to be celebrated in 2022).
4th August National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
2023 theme: Little Voices, Loud Futures
SNAICC have compiled resources and a poster to amplify this year’s theme. Children’s activity book.
Sunday August 6th-Saturday August 13th, 2023
National Homelessness Week
August 6th, 1.30 for 2-5pm (free event)
St Paul’s Cathedral Sale (an activity of Gippsland Anglicans)
A Talking Circle exploring what opportunities there are to work together better across ministry settings, and how might that happen? The Talking Circle uses a ‘Talking Piece’ which is passed around, to help create conditions of deep and respectful speaking and listening, while also retaining the freedom to not speak. Your choice to participate, at whatever level you wish, will be respected.
Following the experience of the Talking Circle, there will be a debrief session to reflect on the process. The facilitator is Michael Wood, an Anglican Priest and Coach who has extensive experience in using and teaching Talking Circles in churches, NGOs, government, education, and community settings around Australia. Michael is currently working as Community Chaplain at St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Richmond. Michael’s first book, Practicing Peace: Theology, Contemplation, and Action was published in 2022. Copies will be available for purchase on the day. www.michaeljohnwood.com
Please stay on for Evensong at 5:30 PM followed by a festive supper for the Transfiguration.
More information and registration here.
Sunday August 6th Hiroshima Day
St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne CBC will acknowledge Hiroshima Peace Day with a service that will take the form of a Choral Eucharist, at 10am, at which The Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe , (Dean of Melbourne) will preach.
St Paul’s Cathedral, 209 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia | Narrm, Wurundjeri Country
Prayers for Hiroshima Day Sunday 6th August 2023
6-7pm AEST (WA 3pm, NT/ SA 5.30 pm).
Religions for Peace Australia will be joined by RfP Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific Women of Faith Network and the Asia-Pacific International Youth Network. There will be Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and so forth prayers and meditations. Register on Zoom.
More information: Dr Susan Ennis e: firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary, Religions for Peace Australia http://religionsforpeaceaustralia.org.au
Sunday August 6th, 4pm
The Rt Revd Jeffrey Driver will be the preacher at St Paul’s Cathedral. Following the service, Bishop Jeff will be launching his latest book, Grey Spaces, which speaks into the abuse crisis of the church.
“In this volume, Driver tackles the task of reflecting deeply on the cultural factors that permit abuse in the church. . . . Drawing on the broad cultural and philosophical movements that have shaped Western societies, Driver holds a mirror up to the churches to see for themselves the shadow side that the wider community has long seen. This opens possibilities for the deep cultural and institutional transformations demanded of the churches by the tragedy of abuse.”Phillip Aspinall, AC, Anglican archbishop of Brisbane and formerly primate of Australia
“Weaving ecclesiology, biblical theology, and the experiences of the Christian church through the centuries, Bishop Driver offers an insightful and thoughtful call to the Anglican Church to metanoia. . . . This is a challenging book that is both intellectually robust and very personal, one that speaks to and out of the Australian Anglican experience and yet has something to say to Anglicans around the world, especially in the West.”Robert Derrenbacker, Trinity College Theological School
7th August Aged Care Employee Day #ThanksforCaring
Do you know someone working in the aged care sector? Or a loved one in aged care or providing care for older people at home?
The concept of Aged Care Employee Day is centred around acknowledging the dedication and compassion demonstrated by the individuals who care for the elderly population. Aged care employees, encompassing everyone from the frontline staff to the behind-the-scenes teams, play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for elderly individuals. The Aged Care Employee Day, celebrated every 7th of August in Australia, is a day dedicated to recognising and appreciating the hard work of these invaluable individuals. These aged care employees, whether they are nurses, personal care workers, cooks, cleaners, volunteers or administrative staff, all contribute significantly to the well-being of the elderly. The day serves as a reminder to everyone that the care and support provided by these individuals are not just professional services, but acts of kindness and compassion that deserve recognition and appreciation. The celebration is a reminder to society about the importance of ageing with dignity, respect and care. It is a day to honour those who make a difference in the lives of the elderly and their families by providing comfort, companionship, and essential care. Aged Care Employee Day 2023 can be a chance to inspire more people to consider a career in aged care. As the day shines a light on the rewarding and meaningful work of aged care employees, it can serve as a powerful recruitment tool for the sector. (See more here)
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 2023
International Youth Day
Tuesday 15th August, 7-9.30pm
Bishop Michael Putney Memorial Lecture
Speaker: Prof Stephen Bevans SVD, Professor Mission and Culture, Emeritus, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, USA.
Responders: Rev Charissa Suli, UCA President-elect and Mr Tim Fawssett, Group Manager Cross Cultural Innovation & First Nations, Scripture Union.
MC: Bishop John Roundhill – Anglican Diocese of Brisbane
Topic: The Gospel calls all Christians to share in the Mission of Jesus to proclaim God’s love to all the world. The theological understanding of that Mission has grown and changed in recent years as scholars from across the Churches recognise the importance of context, be it culture, gender, socio-economic or other factors, on how that message is proclaimed. Professor Stephen Bevans SVD is a Roman Catholic missionary priest who has taught for many years in the area of Mission and Culture. From 2014 until 2022 he was a member of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on World Mission and Evangelism. His presentation will focus on two significant papers from the World Council of Churches : Together towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes and The Arusha Call to Discipleship and how these resonate with recent Roman Catholic teaching, especially in the areas of Mission and Creation, Mission from the Margins and Mission and Migration.
The event will be held in Brisbane but will be live-streamed.
Cost $5 (livestream link will be sent out closer to the date)
(The Bishop Michael Putney Memorial Lecture is a joint project of the Brisbane Roman Catholic Archdiocesan Council for Ecumenism & Inter-religious Relations, and Queensland Churches Together (the Council of Churches in Queensland).. It commemorates the life and ministry of Bishop Michael Putney who was a significant leader in international and national ecumenical affairs, principally through the international Methodist – Catholic dialogue and the national Uniting – Catholic dialogue. He also served a term as President, National Council of Churches in Australia).
More information: Margaret Naylon, Executive Officer – Ecumenism and Inter-religious Relations; email@example.com
Registration: The link to the booking site is NOT live on the jpeg so the booking site is here.
16th August 2023 3-5pm
Webinar: Let’s talk about: Spirituality and elder abuse
This (free) webinar is run by the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies (CAPS), in conjunction with the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACCC). Registration here.
16th August, 7.30pm AEST online webinar
A Q&A with Noel Pearson
Are you thinking about your vote in the referendum? Hear directly from Indigenous leader 𝗡𝗼𝗲𝗹 𝗣𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻 about what a Voice to Parliament would mean for Australia. Uniting Church President Rev Sharon Hollis will deep dive into conversation with Pearson and constitutional lawyer Shireen Morris. All are welcome! Register now! https://uniting.church/qa-with-noel-pearson/
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.
31st August – announcement of the Australian Christian Book of the Year.
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)
St Phoebe Day
5th September UN International Day of Charity
September 6th Indigenous Literacy Day
(first Wednesday in September each year)
Purpose: to amplify the importance of reading and learning among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and communities.
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.
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.
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.
15-21 October Anti-Poverty Week
National Carers Week (third week in October)
15th-21st October 2023
Theme: ‘Millions of Reasons to Care’
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 is 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. Carers make an enormous contribution to our communities as well as our national economy. Should all carers decide to stop performing their caring role, it would cost the country $77.9 billion per year to replace those supports – that’s over $1.4 billion per week. 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?
On this day in 2018, then PM Scott Morrison and then-Opposition Leader Bill Shorten delivered apologies on behalf of the Australian people to those who were sexually abused as children. The apology followed the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Friday October 27th, 6.30am for 7am
Melbourne Prayer Breakfast
(40th anniversary of the Melbourne Prayer Breakfast)
An annual gathering of people from across Melbourne to uphold our city in prayer. The event is unique in its capacity to bring together people from across denominations, age groups, and organisations.
Venue: Savoy Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Melbourne, 123 Collins St
Information and registration here.
Penny Mulvey, Chair, Melbourne Prayer Breakfast
firstname.lastname@example.org; 0403 063 499.
Saturday 28th October – World Teachers Day
Sunday 29th October 7.30pm
Ecumenical Mental Health Liturgy
The Canterbury Council of Churches is holding an ecumenical Mental Health Liturgy
Venue: St Dunstan’s Anglican church Camberwell.
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
1st-3rd November PreachFest!
PreachFest!, November 1 – 3, a home-grown Australian conference on preaching, inspired by the Festival of Homiletics in the USA. This is a Uniting Church in Australia partnership between Synod of NSW and ACT and Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, with people coming in from other traditions as well. Rick Dacey, the in-person keynote speaker for the Melbourne cohort, is on the team at Wesley Mission Sydney. Early registrations close 15 August.
2nd November All Souls Day
(7th November – Melbourne Cup – public holiday)
November 11th, Remembrance Day
November 12th Diwali (Hindu religion)
13-19th November 2023
World Kindness Week
(13th November World Kindness Day)
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
20th November 2023
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 TDOR and remember those who have died.
(Trans Awareness Week, November 13-19. More here)
November 20th, 5-7.30pm
Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil. Details here.
* Note: this is a public vigil but may be of interest to churches.
Venue: Fitzroy Library, 128 Moor St, Fitzroy 3065
Wednesday 22nd November 2023, 7-8.30 pm (free)
Night of the Witnesses
Venue: Patrick’s Cathedral, 1 Cathedral Place, East Melbourne
Night of the Witnesses is an evening of testimony, prayer, song and reflection to honour the witness of modern-day Christian martyrs, and to stand in solidarity with Christians around the world who are suffering persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. With its origins at Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur Cathedrals in Paris over 15 years ago, Night of the Witnesses is now a regular feature in many cities around the world.
Venue: St Patrick’s Cathedral
www.aidtochurch.org/notw/Phone: 1800 101 201.
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