I have been gone so long: too long in fact. However, I do have some good excuses - oops, that's reasons. It more or less started back toward the end of July. There was a meeting held at Temple Beth Israel at St Kilda to discuss the establishment of an interfaith/multi-faith environmental organisation. The idea for this had been sparked in Jewish/Christian/Muslim dialogue.
The July meeting attracted a liquorice all-sorts of faith adherents - and they were keen to see an organisation such as that mooted get off the ground. GreenFaith Australia was born. The main drivers were Rabbi Jonathan Keren Black of the Leo Baeck Centre and Elyse Rider, a post-graduate student at Monash University studying interfaith dialogue.
Those in attendance had an opportunity to sign up to about eight different areas of interest. We could sign up for more than one and I signed up for 'Events' and 'Lobbying and Activism' - areas in which I had skills and experience. And it went from there. Along the way, I skipped a meeting - the one where the organisation and roles were established - but next day I was asked to consider being Secretary and leading the Lobbying and Activism Group. I agreed - and then we were off an running.
Our first Event took priority: launching GreenFaith Australia on an unsuspecting public!
We decided to launch ourselves in November with three consecutive seminars under the heading of Water for Life to be held on 6, 13, 20 November. So, what is the first thing a good secretary does? Set up a data base so that all and sundry can be notified of the event.
Before I go any further, let me get sidetracked to tell you how I got sidetracked.
There are times when my immune system goes off the rails. At the end of September/early October - in the middle of the launch planning and preparation - a severe case of cellulitis in my left ear and face put me in the Angliss Hospital for six days where I was the tourist attraction of the Short Stay Unit as nurses and doctors who were not working in the unit came to look at the monstrosity of an ear on the side of my face. I got over that only to suffer further and varied infections through to mid-November. Needless to say, that knocked the stuffing out of me.
Then in all that, we had to be out of our house by 10 November because our landlords wanted to come back and live in the house: and we were having difficulty finding a house that would give us the space we needed. In the end, we were unable to find a house in good old Upper Gully - and the lovely house we have found is twenty minutes away from the mountains and closer to urban action. So there I was juggling illness; trying to pull my weight in the house shift; and organising mail-outs, speakers and peripherals for the launch.
Any wonder that the absence from blogging has been prolonged.
In the middle of all this, Belinda has tagged me - with wonderful compliments! I am stunned. I haven't been out of touch with Belinda - even if I haven't kept up with her blog - since we have corresponded by email with she making generous offers of baby sitting my veges and herbs; of offering me growing space at her place if I couldn't garden. So generous and hospitable.
The Launch is over. The speakers have spoken, the facilitators facilitated, the questions have been asked, and the ideas have been mooted. Whew! We met some wonderful people: speakers, audience, people who want to join us on our GreenFaith journey. It seems it is going to be quite a journey.
If you are interested in joining GreenFaith Australia, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our 2009 schedule is beginning with involvement in the Sustainable Living Festival at Fed Square from 20-22 February and will conclude with a presence at the Parliament of World Religions here in Melbourne from 3-9 December 2009.
Talk to y'all later.