Buddhists and Methodists swap visits
Last year the Dunedin Methodist Parish Open Education group visited the Dunedin Buddhist Community at their centre in Royal Terrace. This year, 10 members from the Buddhist community shared in a morning service with the Mornington Methodist congregation.
Rev Ken Russel led the service, which was carefully prepared by a small group within the parish. The significance of each part of the service was explained, and the sermon translated. The visitors included two lamas; the Venerable Thupten Rinpoche and the Venerable Lhagon Rinpoche, two Buddhist monks; Khedrup Tarchin and Losang Thutop, two nuns; the Venerable Ani Kunsang and the Venerable Ani Drolma, as well as translator Losang Dawa, Peter and Kesang Small, and Angela Dempster.
At the conclusion of the service the children of Mornington church presented the visitors with gifts. The Venerable Thupten Rinpoche spoke and thanked the Methodist Parish for the opportunity to visit and build a bridge of understanding. He went on to say how much he valued the way the parish cares for the children of the church. He paid special tribute to the children, and to the importance of children in our world. Morning tea together followed the service.
These two inspirational occasions have provided Dunedin Methodists with opportunities to acknowledge and respect each others' faith – and to make new friends.