Blog | Interfaith Church of Australia

This is something I wrote quite some time ago. I feel it’s pertinent at the moment as many people, instead of feeling happiness, are re-experiencing loss.

I survived and even conquered depression, anxiety, and years of suicidal thoughts. This gives a glimpse of that journey to recovery and to full time happiness, hopefully it will help someone else.

Many people forget, or simply don’t realise the pain some people go through.
It often becomes worse at the times of year when the loss of family is more

For those who suffer depression, anxiety, mental illness or other disorders,
‘special times’ like Christmas, birthdays, mother’s day etc. can become very
painful. For many, it is insurmountable, and for the children of these
people, the loss of another important person can drag them into the same
cycle of anguish.

I suffered with severe depression for over 20 years, for several years I
battled with suicidal thoughts. I finally conquered it, through medication
and self-analysis, by changing my world one thing at a time.

Christmas still reminds me, only barely, of the times I once enjoyed, but my
family is now grown and I no longer celebrate it the way I once did. That
first year with no family around was hard, and I remember it well, but at
least for me it passed.

Most of the things that cause this feeling of loss and sadness can be
overcome. Having friends and family to support us to do so is a first step,
and many of them won’t come forward without being reminded because they are
often immersed in the bliss that so many others feel torn from them.

The year is at its end, tomorrow is a new beginning. An opportunity to do
something different.

In the new year, find something that doesn’t work in your world – and change

If your job sucks, write a new resume and get it out into the world; If you
don’t have any decent friends, get rid of the bad ones, open the door, go
outside, and find new ones; if a relationship isn’t working, look at ways to
change it, or put a plan in place to replace it; if all your relationships
are failing, you are the common denominator, look at ways to analyse and
change yourself; if these all appear insurmountable at the moment, find a
good doctor and discuss medication to ‘take the edge off’. – these are all
tried and true methods of improving the world we live in, things that turned
my life around.

Make today the first day of a new and better life, even if you are not
suffering depression. Everyone can do this, it’s just a lot harder for some
of us.

10 years without depression, without suicidal thoughts. 10 years of
happiness. 10 years of noticing when it tries to come back, and managing it
before it does.

Heaven or Hell, life is what we make of it.

Today can be the first step on the stairway to heaven.

If anyone wants to discuss this process privately, I am happy to help.

Brightest blessings for the new year.


Changes to the Marriage Act affect more than same sex marriages.

Minority beliefs can now have Clerics who can perform legal weddings. Below are the relevant parts of my correspondences with the Attorney General’s Office clarifying the matter.

From Interfaith Church (Rev. Brabyn) to AG Marriage Celebrants Section

Could you please advise me if the inclusion of sections 39DA-39DE will permit Ministers of Religion from belief systems not currently listed as Recognised Denominations by the AG to become religious marriage celebrants by first registering as a Civil Celebrant?

From AG Marriage Celebrants Section (Rohan) to Interfaith Church

If a minister of religion is successful in applying to be an authorised marriage celebrant for a non recognised religious organisation under Subdivision C of the Marriage Act 1961, the minister will have a choice to be identified as a religious marriage.celebrant under the Act. Once registered, the minister would need to advise the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants of this choice.

Further information is available on our website –


This means if you are an active minister of any religion, once you have completed the Cert. IV in Celebrancy and been accepted by the AG’s office, you can opt to be recognised as a religious celebrant.

This now removes a major impediment to religious freedom in Australia.

Congratulations to everyone who has been working towards changes to the Marriage Act. This is a huge win for the LGBTIQ+ community as well as all minority religions who wish to perform legal wedding ceremonies.

Current state of the Church

January 19th, 2017

I occasionally get emails asking where the Church is, or wishing to find out more about us. Here’s a brief summary:

  • We were founded in 2011 with only a few members and no property.
  • We do not actively seek donations, tithing or members. We do not seek to evangelize and this means a shortage of funds.
  • Almost all functions of the Church are self-funded by our clergy who have other employment, family and study commitments.
  • Without sufficient funds, time and assistance, the events that were more common in the early days have dwindled.
  • We are, in effect, in hiatus until these three things become less of an impediment.


Worst case scenario. I plan to retire from full time paid employment in 15 years, at that time I will have more time to commit and may give up my ongoing study commitments. This will give me time to concentrate on the requirements of the Church, and maybe there will be greater interest in the community. Hopefully I will have sufficient funds for a house and a small hall on a reasonable parcel of land at this time.

Best case scenario. I win lotto or receive a donation large enough to enable me to concentrate on the Church. This would require sufficient funds to purchase a site and buildings and provide me with a small stipend for food/ bills/ etc.

What is happening, the main thing, we are sowing seeds. I still talk about the Church when I can attend conferences relating to faith. The website remains up to sow seeds in the community and around the world. The Interfaith Church does not need to be a success to be successful, if the idea gets out there, if a few minds are opened, therein lies its success. Please continue to discuss these concepts with your families, friends, and theologically inclined acquaintances.

Death is just a twist away

September 14th, 2015


I was reading a poem penned by Henry Scott Holland (1847 – 1918, Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford) which is well worth sharing. This, and my thoughts on what he has written, are likely to be suggestions for inclusions into any future funerary services I am called on to perform.


Death Is Nothing At All – Henry Scott Holland


Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.


My thoughts…


To understand the divine, the way of all life, nature itself, is to look upon this and know it is true. Many talk about the veil between life and death, but often this is just talk. So few realise it is not so much a metaphor, not allegorical, but a simple description of an only slightly more complex process.

With only a slight twisting of space time we step from this body into the ether, through the veil that blinds our human eyes. We move just out of sight of the living, a step closer to the divine, and for us, all is well.

There is loss for those that remain behind, but for those that understand, this passes quickly. They have departed, but they are not gone, they are just beyond the veil, a very thin veil that separates here from there, just a twist and a short step to the side from where we are now.

On God

April 13th, 2014

by Rev. Peter Brabyn, Interfaith Church of Australia, ©2013

Regardless of the modern scripture you choose to read, the message about the identity of God is the same. God is unknowable, beyond our comprehension, at least in a complete sense. Though this is common amongst religions and quite a simple message, it’s one that doesn’t seem to sink in. It’s also the one reason for the majority of interreligious dispute.

Most scripture affirms that God is not human; is neither male nor female; is unbounded by the restrictions of a physical body. Why then do most of us still visualise God as an old man in the sky? Why do we place limits on God and have expectations as to Gods behaviour?

Most of us accept God as the creator, not just of mankind, but of everything. The whole Earth, the Moon, the Solar System, the Milky Way (100-400 billion stars) and the other observable galaxies (over 100 million) and unobservable ones too (estimated in excess of 1 trillion). How then are we to even attempt to visualise God if we cannot even visualise the short distance between the Earth and the Sun? I believe the trick is to be realistic.

Accept that God is beyond our complete understanding and accept that any understanding we do achieve will always be imperfect. Accept that other people, using other cultural values and different interpretations will have a different, but likely somewhat similar view of deity. Accept the idea that as you grow older and wiser, your view of God will become clearer and will need to be refined with the new information you find along your journey through life. God is not stagnant and our view of God should not be either.

If God is omnipresent and many of us believe, try and conceive of what that means. It means God is here now, but also 150 billion light years to your left inside a dwarf star, 300 billion light years away going supernova, inside the mind of the leader of the religion you feel is most different to your views, even present in you.

If God is omniscient as many of us believe then God already knows of your joys and hardships but do we really expect God to micromanage these things? Shouldn’t God worry about the supernova’s first, and the birth of new galaxies, stars and life-forms? Maybe God acts through the creation, all of the beings he is still present in? Have you ever had someone help you out of a tight jam, teach you something you really needed to know or comfort you when you were upset? Was God acting through that person to help you?

If God is omnipotent, completing the trinity many of us ascribe our view of the divine, God can do anything. Create universes, a soft breeze, or even thinking feeling beings. God could smite our enemies, but they too are part of God’s creation and we are their enemies equally worthy of destruction.

What should God do with all these powers? Even more importantly, why do we believe we have sufficient knowledge of the universe to compose some form of necessity or priority to God’s actions?

I believe we need to accept, at least to some extent, that what will be will be. Equally, we need to be aware that we each act as the greatest tools of change on this planet, in this solar system, with the only exception being some larger mass (meteor’s, supernova’s etc.) pre-ordained for destruction. We are the hand of God, but so is everyone else, everything else. We should be out there creating a better world, promoting knowledge, instructing the next generation and generally advancing our species as a whole through the promotion of education, peace and acceptance. We should be acting on our own behalf and on Gods behalf to protect the Earth and all of its inhabitants.

By observing the universe we can see that nothing is in stasis, everything is moving and changing, in fact the only constant is change. All we can do in life is to attempt to direct that change to the greater benefit of our families, our communities, our species and our planet, not necessarily in that order.

Free Course Offerings

January 7th, 2014

Two new courses that may be of interest to those with a spiritual bent will begin in the next couple of weeks.


Soul Beliefs: Causes and Consequences is being offered by Rutgers University commences on Jan 20, 2014. This is an examination of our belief in the soul, why we believe this, and what benefits we may gain from such a belief. I expect this examination of belief is something that may well be relevant to understanding how we think about all things esoteric. This 13 week course will use around 4 hours per week and is offered free of charge through Coursera. For more information, or to enroll, see


Modern European Mysticism and Psychological Thought is a new offering from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem commencing on Jan 13, 2014. At 3 hours per week for 7 weeks this has the potential to be quite interesting without taking much time at all. Gain an insight into magic, mysticism and the kabbalah from one of the few universities that has a specialisation in this area. While this may have an Abrahamic focus, I expect this will translate well for anyone with an open mind regardless of their deistic beliefs or lack thereof. This course is also offered free of charge through Coursera. For more information, or to enroll, see


I am currently enrolled in both courses so if you also find these interesting and decide to take them, feel free to discuss them with me as we discover a deeper understanding of the human psyche together.

Rev. Peter Brabyn

Most people don’t think of their carbon footprint, most certainly don’t relate it to things like their dinner or world poverty. Did you realise it’s not all about cars, industry and flatulent cows?

Here’s a challenge for you…. find your environmental impact using this quiz, then play with the figures and see how you can improve your footprint on the planet.

If you needed an acre less land, a litre less water…you’d be saving money, improving your health and ensuring the future for your grand kids…but you’d also be assisting the environment and that land and water could be better used elsewhere, like to produce grain for the hungry. It would be a few extra $$$ that didn’t go to the corporations that cause these problems.

I challenge you to change your diet, reduce your energy consumption, minimize your impact on the planet and save some hard earned in the process.

Bank the savings, reduce the interest you’re paying, and sometime in the future put a little back into the community. A few percent of what you save could go a long way to help others but even that initial saving, in land, in water, in energy will provide a little benefit to everyone else you are sharing this planet with.

While studying sustainability I came across a TED lecture by Ray Anderson.

While sustainability is something we should all consider, the poem at the end of his talk by Glenn Thomas is something I’d like to share.


Tomorrow’s Child
Without a name, an unseen face,
and knowing not your time or place,
Tomorrow’s child, though yet unborn,
I met you first last Tuesday morn.
A wise friend introduced us two.
And through his sobering point of view
I saw a day that you would see,
a day for you but not for me.Knowing you has changed my thinking.

For I never had an inkling
that perhaps the things I do
might someday, somehow threaten you.
Tomorrow’s child, my daughters son,
I’m afraid I’ve just begun
to think of you and of your good,
though always having known I should.Begin, I will, to weigh the cost

of what I squander, what is lost,
if ever I forget that you
will someday come and live here too.
– Glenn Thomas


Glenn also wrote a response from Tomorrow’s Child to his ancestor

When Love and Common Sense Combined
A Poem From Tomorrow’s Child
Because you cared so long ago
although you know you’d never know
If anything you’d do or say
would make a difference here today.

Though you saw you’d never see,
yet you cared so much for me;
An unknown name, a hidden face,
a future time and secret place.

And when you threw away your fear
like a tired souvenir,
And learned that being strong
meant admitting you were wrong

I marked that day with humankind
when love and common sense combined,
And to my benefit unfurled
a rich endowment for the world.

– Glenn Thomas
Thanks to Glenn Thomas for sharing his poetry and to Ray Anderson for fighting for common sense, sustainability and the future of humanity.

Free education

June 2nd, 2013

For anyone interested in personal growth, I’ve just added a couple of posts to my education Blog about the free MOOC’s I’ve enrolled in. These are just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m currently enrolled in 16 Coursera courses commencing intermittently over the next 12 months, 2 Open2Study courses, and watching a few other sites just in case I get bored.

Come join me and discuss your personal growth as we learn together…

Rev. Peter Brabyn

Rhys Owen – In Memorium

February 28th, 2013

Today I attended the funeral of someone who had a great impact on my life.

William “Rhys” Owen was someone I met somewhere around 2005. Our early conversations were at a time when I was finding myself again, or maybe re-inventing myself would be a better term.

We discussed the world, where it was, where it was going, and even more importantly, where it should go and how to direct it there. His ideas were very close to mine, things that included the abolition of discrimination and the advancement of the word acceptance (to replace tolerance). We talked about who we knew that could help us to promote community and the possibilities about more liberal retirement homes, new religious organisation, comparative religion in schools, the whole gamut.

Rhys was a very charismatic man and I was enthralled. Like me, he never saw himself as a leader, he was happy to be the ideas man behind the scene, but he also accepted that sometimes this just wasn’t possible. He believed leading from the back and letting others claim the kudos would achieve the same goals, and I still believe he was right in this. Despite not wanting to be seen as a leader, he was, and he was infectious to others who could do the same thing. Though he may have seemed to have a small footprint, this was just an illusion. I only realised this when speaking with colleagues at his funeral, when I heard the same story from others who had be equally influenced by him.

I lost touch with Rhys just after he got married. I found this a little sad, but I was very busy and I knew he was busy with his folk music, so I simply accepted it and figured we would meet up later on down the track. I regret this now, later will not happen until I pass from this world as he did last Sunday. I thought the reason for this parting of ways was simply because Rhys had gone off to enjoy marital bliss & folk music, but I have just found it was because he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He did not want to burden too many people with this news, so he withdrew.

Rhys was one of the very few people that I felt did not suffer ego, a very happy man who took joy in every day (at least that I saw him). I am sad to say goodbye to him.

Rhys Owen, 9/3/50 – 24/2/13, safe journeys brother. See you on the other side of the veil.

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