DDM SYDNEY PARTICPATED IN THE UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
On the night of Friday 21st September, 2007 Sydney Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association was invited to participate in an interfaith devotional service for the United Nations International Day of Peace at Community of Christ Church in Kingsgrove North. Other religions represented were the Christian, Hindu, Islamic and the Baha'I's faith.
This interfaith night was especially chosen by the Bahai'I faith organizers to fall on the United Nation designated day of Peace. Its purpose was to create an atmosphere for all major religions to gather and share with those in attendance their own religions' views and beliefs on the concept of peace, delivered through presentation of their respective scriptures and prayers, in light of the evening's theme of Peace and Unity.
DDM was represented by Agnes Chow, convener of Sydney DDM, Donna Wong, Ricky Choi, Shirley Wong and Joyce Wong. The speech given by Master Sheng Yen at the Economic Forum was presented on the night followed by chanting of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva's name in Mandarin. Both the speech and chanting were well received by the audiences of varying faiths.
A light supper of delicious cakes were served after the devotional service, it gave everyone a chance to get to know one another in a relaxed and informal setting, to share a few laughs, exchange views and learn about each other's religions, and most importantly reinforcing the night's interfaith objective by sharing and spreading the message of loving kindness, tolerance and understanding among different religions.
The night was reigned a success! DDM Sydney's representatives received positive feedback from various people who attended. In particular, the key message "In a pluralistic world, the one 'sacred' principle which all humanity should come to understand is 'seeking common ground while preserving differences'" from the speech delivered by Sydney DDM group was highly praised. Not to mention, many people expressed how much they enjoyed the calmness and peacefulness they personally felt from listening to the chanting section of DDM's presentation.
Pastor Ray Burdekin representing the Community of Christ approached DDM during light supper and commented on how wise a man he has learnt Master Sheng Yen to be solely from hearing the deep and profound thoughts and ideas conveyed throughout his speech. He described it as a very thought provoking message of peace and harmony, and said that summed up the night's purpose and was appropriately chosen for the night.
THANK YOU LUNCHEON FOR DDM AUSTRALIA EDITING TEAM
On Saturday 22nd September, 2007 a delicious lunch gathering at a Chinese vegetarian restaurant in Sydney was chosen to house the first DDM Australia Editing Team luncheon meeting.
As a portion of the team resides either interstate or overseas, only team members who lived in Sydney were able to attend.
This Editing Team started as a one woman job at the invitation of Guo Shyang Fashi over a telephone call one evening a couple of years ago. Over time as the demand for articles to be proof-read increased, more editors were recruited and their numbers steadily increased to the present team of 17 members, with 10 in Sydney, 1 in Brisbane, 3 in Melbourne and 3 presently in Asia. Joyce Wong has graciously accepted a very challenging task of co-coordinating this team last December and to date the team has successfully produced 66 quality articles for the DDM English Website in Taiwan, with many more to come. To ensure that the articles are high quality, each article is edited twice by two different editors before being sent back to our English webmaster in Taiwan.
The majority of the team members are either Caucasians or Australian-born-Chinese. They are students and young working professionals who despite their full-time commitments have selflessly volunteered as a member of the Editing team. Their support and dedication in meeting deadlines without compromising the quality and integrity of each and every article requires a special mention.
The nature of this editing work takes place entirely online, therefore this luncheon was the first time for team members to meet, exchange ideas and interact with one another.
At the conclusion of the luncheon, a beautifully embellished Thank You pack consisting of DDM English materials was presented to each member as an expression of gratitude. Team members who unfortunately could not attend in person on the day will also receive their Thank You pack in the post.
(specially contributed by Agnes Chow)