The concept of ‘harmony’ weaves its way into every aspect of our lives. Whether we have it or we don’t, it affects so much of how we get on with the day-to-day. The idea for this edition was inspired by WA’s Harmony Week, celebrating WA’s cultural diversity from 15–21 March, but as we’ve explored the issue further we see it is so much broader than cultural harmony alone.
Without harmony in or between our workplaces, families, and communities our lives can become overworked and stressful. Dis-harmony with others creates an unhappy environment that tries to destroy us. Dis-harmony within ourselves is equally as devastating.
Creating harmony where it has been absent is no easy feat – as is true of anything worth doing. It can take years to learn to love yourself again after that love has been lost; and generations to create cultural harmony within a community. But there are some amazing examples in our world of people getting it right.
In this edition, Khadija Gbla shares her emotional journey in dealing with, and advocating against, female genital mutilation. I strongly recommend watching her TED talk (https://www.ted.com/talks/) where she gives an honest and humorous reflection on her experience as she creates harmony within herself and her relationships. I’m looking forward to hearing her speak at the UnitingWomen conference in Adelaide this April.
Our feature article,was an opportunity to explore this wonderfully diverse church, and to encourage us to get to know each other on a deeper level. In WA we have six Uniting Church congregations that worship in a language other than English and there are always opportunities for us to do meaningful things together.
Rev Solomon Gokavi reflects theologically using musical harmony as a metaphor for the Christian calling to live in harmony with ourselves, with others and with God.
As Rev Steve Francis, moderator of the Uniting Church WA, writes, living in harmony requires listening to each other and accepting that others will have a different viewpoint to our own. This is all too well-known in the Uniting Church as our process of consensus decision making requires us to deeply listen.
Achieving harmony is a perpetual motion which we will always be working and improving on. And to keep it alive we must always have its intentions in the forefront of our minds in everything we do.
Heather Dowling, editor Revive magazine