With so many weeks since our last newsletter, one might expect that I would be early with my message, But such is not the case.
There is much happening with the National Council of Churches in Australia and as I try to catch up on what was not completed last year, and try to prepare for the coming year, I find that there are many issues before me, and many ideas floating around.
Last October the leaders of Churches came together. They came together primarily to support each other and for conversation together. Part of their time focused on the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse. Francis Sullivan, the CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Commission spoke to them on the proposed redress scheme.
Sr Janette Gray RSM
1 Februry 1952 - 24 December 2016
Sr Janette passed into eternal life on Saturday 24 December, Christmas Eve. Her funeral was held at St Ignatius Church, Norwood, SA on 3 January 2017.
Sr Jan was a valuable member of NCCA’s Faith and Unity Commission since 2013, sharing her knowledge of theology, commitment to ecumenism and passion for life. Her contribution towards Christian Unity was significant and she will be greatly missed.
2016 Christmas Bowl
Thank you for planting the seeds of hope
During the 2016 Christmas period tens of thousands of kind and compassionate people just like you came together to support the Christmas Bowl appeal.
Thanks to your generous gifts, it is on track to raise an incredible $2.6 million to support farmers in Zimbabwe suffering from severe hunger, as well as other people in great need around the world.
Safe as Churches? 8 Conference
16 - 17 May 2017 - Jasper Hotel, Melbourne
Breaking ground for safer churches and stronger communites, the upcoming "Safe as Churches?" Conference is the 8th biennial conference. The conference will bring together various leaders and experts to network and develop effective ways to lead our churches in best practices for safeguarding our children, youth and vulnerable.
New Year means new volunteers
As you begin this year, there will naturally be turnover of volunteers and new volunteers assisting in the ministries of the church, in particular to children, young people and those who are vulnerable.
It is critical to ensure that you implement screening practices for all volunteers, and ensure that they have a valid Working with Children Check or Working with Vulnerable People Check as they begin their roles
Cameron Haig, Safe Church Program
Cameron is the National Coordinator of the Safe Church Program. His role sees him overseeing the Safe Church Agreement. The program provides Standards and Framework for Churches across Australia to train their Pastors, Clergy and Volunteers to create safe environments for all people, in particular children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Serbian Orthodox Church
Bishop Siluan, newly consecrated Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church
The New Year has us thinking of one of our newest NCCA members, the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Church was accepted as a member at the NCCA National Forum in 2010 and now begins 2017 with a newly consecrated church leader, Bishop Siluan, Bishop of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand.
NSW - DISASTER RECOVERY CHAPLAINCY TRAINING
New courses opening in early 2017
The Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network (DRCN) is an ecumenical and multi-faith network of disaster-recovery trained clergy and ministry agents that has been responding to disasters and emergencies across NSW since 2011. The DRCN is coordinated by the Uniting Church in Australia (Synod of NSW and ACT).
Winifred Kiek Scholarship Trust
Applications for the 2018 year are now available.
Awarded annually and now in its 52 year, the Winifred Kiek Scholarship is named in honour of the first woman ordained in Australia in the (then) Congregational Church. It is offered in rotation to women from countries of the Pacific Island Nations, member countries of the Asian Church Women’s Conference and in 2018, Australia.
APRO One Day Forum 2017
Religious values and the Value of Religion
Date: 22 February 2017, 10 am to 4 pm
Location: Strangers Function Room, NSW Parliament House, Sydney
Keynote: Former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally
Saturday 13 February is the Anniversary of the National Apology to Australia's First Peoples for the removal of children from their families based on race.
In 2008 on Wednesday 13 February, the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd MP in his address to Parliament made an Apology to Australia’s Stolen Generation. This marked an important step in mending the relationship between Australia’s first people, the Government and the Australian population.
In October 2016 the leaders of Churches met for conversation and to support each other. At this meeting they decided that the first Sunday of Lent, 5 March 2017, will be a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
The NCCA has put together resources to assist with reflection, prayer, reading and study. These documents represent a collection of some of the wonderful resources that have been sourced from our Churches.
Leaning into the Spirit
Where: University House, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
When: Monday 6 – Thursday 9 November 2017.
Keynote Speakers: Professor Paul Murray (Durham, UK), Professor Michael Welker (Heidelberg, Germany)
To register visit the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture website.
|1-7||World Interfaith Harmony Week|
|13||Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations|
|15||Sovereignty Day of Serbia|
|20||World Day of Social Justice|
|27||Clean Monday- first day of Great Lent, Eastern Orthodox|
|28||Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day)|