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March 2017

Sr Elizabeth Delaney sgs

During the past three months, or even longer, much has appeared in the media about the politics of the United States of America.

The word ‘trust’ has been written – not so much in affirmation, but more frequently, as ‘Can we trust…?’ A similar situation may well be present in Australia.

Strengthening relationships with churches in the Middle East

Pictured, Stuart McMillan (centre left) with HH Aram I (centre right)On 21 January 2017 Stuart McMillan met with His Holiness Aram I of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia.

The President and His Holiness discussed matters concerning the church and the Christian presence in the Middle East.

Sins Before our Eyes

The Archbishop of Canterbury (left) alongside His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of ConstantinopleAt a forum in Istanbul the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I have pledged to fight modern slavery signing a joint declaration.

Titled “Sins Before our Eyes” the forum opened up discussion on the tragedy of modern slavery. “Slavery is all around us, but we are too blind to see it. The enslaved are next to us in the streets, but we are too ignorant to walk alongside them. It is still a living reality in all of our communities; our sin lies in blindness and ignorance” said Archbishop Welby.

Our Work in Sri Lanka

Credit: OfERR/Act for Peace Janarthan’s Story

With your help, Act for Peace’s partner, the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR), is providing support services to assist refugees returning to Sri Lanka and creating a supportive environment for returnees by raising awareness at the community level for the difficulties they face upon return.

Please give generously to continue our life-saving work here or find out about how you can become an Act for Peace Changemaker.

Continue reading to see Janarthan’s story. 

Safe as Churches Conference

Our Works - Safe Church Program

16 - 17 May 2017 - Jasper Hotel, Melbourne

Breaking ground for safer churches and stronger communities.

Registrations are open now

The upcoming “Safe as Churches?” Conference is the 8th biennial conference bringing together various leaders and experts to network and develop effective ways to lead our churches in best practices for safeguarding our children, youth and the vulnerable. 

At this conference we will be looking at the: impact of abuse on survivors; pastoral care of survivors and parishes; Family Violence prevention; Elder Abuse; eSafety and digital trends; plus various workshops to assist churches in being a safe place for all people.

Communicate to your Church community

Communicate to your Church community

It is important to communicate your church’s commitment to being a safe church to all who come in to contact with the services and ministries of the church. You can include Safe Church contacts, information and activities in newsletter updates, include your Safe Church Policy or Commitment to Child Safety on your website, and make your policies and procedures relating to being a safe church easily available for people.

By communicating your commitment to creating a safe church to the broader community, you are helping to create a culture of safety for all who come in to contact with your church.

Rev Elenie Poulos

Rev Elenie PoulosFarewell and may God be with you.

It is with sadness but with huge gratitude that we farewell Elenie as God calls her to new paths.

Rev Elenie Poulos, a minister of the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA), has worked tirelessly with NCCA for justice and peace since being nominated at the National Forum in 2003. At the time Elenie had been working with the UCA Assembly for just under a year as the Director of the National office for Social Responsibility and Justice (rebranded in 2003 as UnitingJusitce).

Lutheran Church of Australia

Lutheran Church of Australia

In 2017 our prayers are with our friends in the Lutheran Church who celebrate and commemorate 500 years of reformation. The Church has planned a variety of celebrations and events to mark the historical milestone and these can be found on the Church's national website.

The Lutheran Church, the oldest Christian Church in the protestant tradition, takes its name from the German reformist, Martin Luther. It is well documented in history now but in the 16th century Martin Luther, a Catholic monk, set out to challenge the church practices that he saw were inconsistent with scripture. On 31 October 1517 he famously posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg conveying these concerns. This eventually led to a separation with the Roman Catholic Church and the beginning of the Protestant reformation. His writings had changed the course of cultural and religious history.

South Australia

SACC

The South Australian Council of Churches celebrates its 70th birthday.

An Exchange of Gifts on the Journey Towards Unity

A celebration will be held on Saturday 29 April 2017, 10am-3.30pm


Bishop YounanThe NCCA extends congratulations to the President of The Lutheran World Federation and Bishop of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land,Bishop Dr Munib Younan. Bishop Younan is to receive the Niwano Peace Prize at a ceremony in Toyko, Japan on 27 July this year.

The award is given annually to recognise dedicated service and scholarship to promoting peaceful cooperation among religions particularly in places of difficulty. Bishop Younan has devoted his life to building peace with justice in the Middle East and gloabally He is a strong witness for interfaith harmony, equal diginity and respect for all people and a just peace between Israel and Palestine.

ARPA logo sThis scholarship is given to a young person (under 33) to be a "source of encouragement…in their developing ministry of Telling others what others are doing for Lord."

An ARPA conference package will consist of payment by ARPA of registration, accommodation and airfares up to the value of $1500 for a younger delegate

Closing Date for applications for 2017 is Monday 1 May 2017 at 5 pm (AEST).

Applications should be emailed to The ARPA Executive Officer, Mrs Elizabeth Harris: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ABC Religion and Ethics

ABC sDuring 2016 Church Leaders were invited to sign a letter to the Chairman of Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) expressing concern about the proposed reduction in religious programming.

The ABC is the only mainstream media organisation that is committed to airing programs with specialist religious content.

APRO One Day Forum 

11sReligious values and the Value of Religion

NCCA General Secretary ,Sr Elizabeth Delaney, joined 80 or so leading representatives of major world faiths at an Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations event at NSW Parliament House yesterday, 23 February.

Under the formidable organising skills of Josie Lacey OAM and Dr.Natalie Mobini various themes relating to: Religious values and the value of religion and how to make religion more relevant in Australia were explored.

The keynote speech was a lively and poignant one, the religious/ spiritual journey of NSW's first female Premier, Professor the Hon.Kristina Keneally. Two round-table discussions were a great part of the program, an opportunity for everyone to participate .

Day of Prayer and Fasting for RefugeesIn 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.

Celebrating 50 years of The Anglican –Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC)

Celebrating 50 years of The AnglicanA series of events are to be held in Melbourne on 31 May 2017 exploring the work of ARCIC II

• Colloquium – academic symposium
• Book Launch – ARCIC II’s final report
• Knox Lecture – a public lecture on the ecumenical progress

Venue: Trinity College, Royal Pde, Parkville

Thirst for Justice

WC

The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) invites you to use this season of Lent to reflect on how we can be better stewards of God’s Creation and live out God’s love in how we relate to others. 

The EWN has been providing reflections and other resources on water for each of the seven weeks of Lent since 2008. In 2017 we will be taken on a pilgrimage of water justice in Africa.

Torah Studies for Christians

Monthly Torah Studies have begun in Sydney. 

The next session is Wednesday 8 March, 7:30pm
Title:    Who was Abraham?
Where: St Ives Baptist Church (Sydney).
Cost:    $5.00 per session
BYO:    a Bible

To prepare: study Genesis Chapters 11:27-12:9 

Leaning into the Spirit

Leaning into the Spirit -The Fourth International Conference on Receptive Ecumenism

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.