With deep regret, the JCMA Conference Committee has decided to cancel the winter conference, scheduled for August 18 to 21. Unfortunately, by last Friday, 19th July, the advertised closing date for applications, we failed to reach our targets for a reasonable balance of residential participation by all three faith communities over the Sunday to Wednesday period.

“I’m sure that you will be as disappointed with this news as I am,” said chairman Dr Paul Gardner. “It was a hard decision, but there just wasn’t enough support for it to proceed. The intended topic for the conference was Sorry Is the Hardest Word and we are indeed sorry that it hasn’t worked out.”

Conference Theme:  Sorry Is the Hardest Word

2013 Conference Chair Dr Paul Gardner

2013 Conference Chair Dr Paul Gardner

This year’s JCMA conference is being held from Sunday to Wednesday, August 18 to 21, 2013. (These dates are a month later than usual as the normal July period clashes this year with Ramadan.) The conference is once again being held at Pallotti College.

This year’s chair is JCMA veteran Dr Paul Gardner, who is one of only three people who have attended every JCMA winter conference since the first was held in 2004. Chairmanship of the conference committee rotates annually around the three faiths.

The Winter Conference 2013 Brochure  and Winter Conference 2013 Application Form are available online.

Potential applicants who would like further information can contact the conference treasurer by email at winterconference@jcma.org.au or the JCMA office by phone (03) 9560 3294,  or email at executiveofficer@jcma.org.au.

“The topic of this year’s conference is ‘Sorry is the Hardest Word’,” Dr Gardner said. “We will explore the related themes of repentance and forgiveness. What do these terms mean in our three faiths?  How are they expressed in our texts and in our prayers and rituals?  How do these ideas relate to our daily lives in modern times?”

As usual, the conference program will offer a stimulating mix of activities. “The Conference Committee is already busily planning sessions which will include presentations by individual speakers, panels, and small-group discussions,” Dr Gardner explained.  “Of course, some of the most valuable experiences at our conferences occur informally, over meals and in the evenings, when old friends meet and new friendships are made.”