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May 2016

Sr Elizabeth Delaney SGS

This year the liturgical calendars of eastern and western churches remind us that we still have some way to travel before we reach the unity that is God’s desire for God’s church. This year our eastern and western churches celebrate the passion and resurrection of Christ five weeks apart. 

Within weeks we will celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. While the churches in the northern hemisphere have already celebrated this special week, in the southern hemisphere churches mainly celebrate it in the week before Pentecost – beginning on the feast of Ascension and culminating in the great feast of Pentecost.

Interfaith Climate Statement

Climate Change petition s

Last week the President of the UN General Assembly, H.E Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, was presented with an Interfaith Climate Change Statement signed by 250 global faith leaders’ from fifty countries. The Statement urges governments to promptly sign and ratify the Paris Agreement so that it can come into effect as soon as possible. The presentation took place in New York at UN headquarters onMonday 18th April, 11-12 pm EDT (Tuesday, 19th April, 2AM AEST). 

Act for Peace Ration Challenge and Refugee Church Meal

Our Works – Act for Peace

As you may have read, the Act for Peace Ration Challenge has launched for 2016. By taking the challenge and eating the exact same rations that a Syrian refugee living in Jordan receives for one week, this passionate community of people across Australia will be helping refugees around the world to build safe, just and dignified lives.

In addition to launching the Ration Challenge, Act for Peace is excited to announce that this year churches around Australia will come together to take part in the first ever Ration Challenge Refugee Meal. During Refugee Week, June 19-25, churches will share a meal of refugee rations to show refugees we’re with them, not against them. The money raised during the meal will provide rations, medicine and education to help Syrian and Iraqi refugees find the strength they need to cope.

Family Violence - Faith Based Recommendations

Family Violence - Faith Based Recommendations

The Safe Church Program has been staying informed about developments in the area of family and domestic violence and working out constructive ways for churches to be part of the solution to the social problem that continues to be masked behind the privacy of closed doors.

After a 13 month inquiry the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence report was tabled in State Parliament on Wednesday, 30 March 2016 with 227 recommendations.

Multicultural Community Information ForumsMulticultural Community Information Forums run by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Now into its fourth year, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continues to speak to individuals and groups around Australia about how to better protect children in the future.

Stop the Clock – Funding for Australian Aid

Our Churches – Stop the Clock – funding for Australian Aid

Leaders from a number of Christian denominations have written to the Federal Treasurer, Mr Scott Morrison, ahead of this month’s budget (to be presented on 3 May), urging that he scrap the planned cuts to Australia’s aid budget – cuts that will see Australia become the least generous we’ve ever been.

“These cuts damage and undermine programs which have a direct impact on the lives, livelihoods, security and opportunity of many of our region’s poorest and most vulnerable people and communities, including women and girls and people with disability”.

Multi-faith Youth Deliver Diversity Message to Parliament

Multi-faith Youth Deliver Diversity Message to Parliament

Young people from diverse faith backgrounds stood for a society which “embraces diversity” and “celebrates difference” on Harmony Day 2016. They presented a message to politicians at NSW Parliament House which was voted on by over 400 young people at Youth PoWR (Parliament of the World’s Religions) 2015. To counter some of the messages of fear and intolerance, they also invited guest speakers to share how they could together support and welcome refugees to Australia.