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June 2016

Sr Elizabeth Delaney SGS

The year is certainly flying by….

It is only weeks until the Ninth Triennial Forum. So much to do…. At this Forum the churches will install a new President. Rev’d Dr Mike Semmler has served as President for the past three years. Despite commencing retirement following his term of office as President of the Lutheran Church, he generously took on the role of the President of NCCA. As Head of Church, he had been a member of the Executive since 2001. I have very much appreciated his wisdom and his generosity during this past three years in particular. 

VCC AGM

VCC executive s

Sr Elizabeth addressed the AGM on Saturday 14 May 2016 and spoke about some of the challenges of the present time. 

Rasha’s story

Rasha

Refugees like Rasha and her family fled Syria with nothing and now face a new problem: hunger. Because of a shortage of funds, Rasha’s family has not received food rations for 7 months. They’re scraping by however they can. 

Rasha left Syria with her family when the war arrived on her doorstep, “We were not thinking about leaving until the day when the army came to our neighbourhood and began setting up snipers in all the houses around our town. We were very worried about our family and the safety of our children, so we had to leave.”

Our Works – Safe Church Program

The Safe Church Program continues to develop tools and resources for the Australian Church to assist local churches in providing a safe environment for all people, in particular children, young people and vulnerable adults.

We have recently uploaded a variety of tools, sample documents and guides to our website to assist churches in the development of policies and procedures. Some of these resources include an Electronic Communications Guide that provides information on areas that need to be considered when using Email, mobile phones and social media, including looking at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Kik.

Our People – Geoff Robinson, Act for Peace

Geoff is the Disaster Risk Resilience Manager for Act for Peace (AfP), based in Melbourne. In this role he has responsibility for supporting AfP’s partners to develop and implement disaster risk management programs that increase community resilience to disasters. Geoff explains “Partners are the local organisations that we support in country to implement programs; usually they faith-based organisations such as the Tonga National council of Churches (TNCC) or the Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC)”. His work includes programming activities that empower communities to take action be better prepared for disasters and the uncertainty caused by climate change as well as working with partners in times of emergencies in their efforts to provide immediate life-saving assistance and support early recovery of livelihoods and well of people affected by disasters.

7 June 2016 – Ramadan

7 June 2016 – Ramadan

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan commences in 2016 on 7 June. The word “Ramadan” is derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground and shortness of food and drink. Fighting is not permitted during this period.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars (fundamental religious duties) of Islam. It is traditional that Muslims fast during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. It is a period of increased religious devotion, in particular self-examination. During Ramadan the common practice is to have a pre-fast meal (suhoor) before sunrise and an evening meal (iftar) after sunset. 

Coming Events

6 June 2016 - World Environment Day

At the international level, this year's World Environment Day celebration are hosted by Angola, a country seeking to restore its elephant herds, conserve Africa's biodiversity-rich wildlife, and safeguard the environment as it continues to rebuild after more than a quarter century of civil war.

Pre-Forum Event, Friday 24 June

The Faith & Unity Commission presents an opportunity to engage with The Church, Towards a Common Vision WCC Faith & Order Paper 214 . Click here to see details.