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Interfaith Programs

Buddhist Temple Hosts New Zealand Ambassadors for Peace

Ellerslie, New Zealand - UPF-New Zealand embarked on a new level of interaction on March 2, 2014 when the monthly meeting moved from the usual Peace Embassy in Parnell to the tranquil yet friendly Pu Shien temple in Wilkinson Road, Ellerslie. Ven. Master Chang Lin warmly welcomed about 50 attendees in the downstairs dining area, where members of the Pu Shien community had laid on a sumptuous supper. The hall was abuzz with excitement as a genuine vibe of friendship and cooperation lifted the atmosphere and prepared the gathering for the sharing upstairs in the temple sanctuary.

After dinner the group went up to the second floor, where they had the chance to tour the upper chamber of the temple. During this time, the host, Master Chang Lin, gave a short introduction about the Pu Shien Temple.

Once settled, the meeting shifted gears, ably guided by M.C. Ruth Cleaver, (President of the Auckland Interfaith Council) hearing the five tenets of UPF, reinforced by an update from UPF New Zealand Secretary General Mr. Geoffrey Fyers. Dr. Caroline Ongleo Calub (Director of the Peace Foundation Aoteroa) reported on the recent UPF International Leadership Conference in Korea which included the blessing in marriage of 2,500 couples in a special ceremony in Cheong Pyeong, northeast of Seoul, making a strong statement for peace on the family level.

The theme for the evening, “The World of Peace blossoms on the foundation of inner peace,” was addressed by members of various faith perspectives, who gave uplifting insights and practical examples of peace in action. Rev. Dianne Winder, Mr. Kieran Trass and Mr. Vijendra Prasad all spoke from the heart about their personal reflections on the topic.

In between the speeches, two talented Ambassadors for Peace offered entertainment The first one was a peace song from Laurie Ross, which she sang with guitar accompaniment. The second one was a humorous, true-to-life story told by Morrin Cooper, which he ended by playing a piece on his miniature trumpet.

The highlight of the evening was the conferring of Ambassador for Peace certificates to two recipients who have been active in numerous spheres from the Ahmaddiyya Society, Imam Zahoor Ur Rahman, and Mr. David Buckley, who is active in a diverse range of charities. UPF-New Zealand Director Julius Gicole and his wife Jasmin Gicole presented the awards.

Expressing UPF’s appreciation to the host, Master Chang Lin was called up to receive a flower presentation from two long-time Ambassadors for Peace, Mr. Simon Kan and Ms. Cynthia Liu.

The meeting was concluded with a closing message by Mr. Gicole thanking the host and those who came and updating every one future UPF events. Members of the UPF Ambassadors for Peace network have offered their venues for future gatherings. The rich atmosphere of places of worship stimulate new insights, interaction and understanding.

Reported by: Geoffrey Prentice

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