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President's Reflection

They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do. Galatians 2:10

Elections are complex and at the heart of democracy. 

In Australia we have the freedom to vote (albeit compulsory). In some ways campaigning is a Roman circus like event – a contest between combatants – political parties and the media to see who survives to the end with voters as spectators. 

We can see in the New Testament that there were stark differences between Paul and the leaders in Jerusalem. He writes in Galatians of expectation that he come to Jerusalem to address the tensions about the focus of the mission he was engaged in.

Paul is examined by the ‘pillars in Jerusalem’ and in the end his preaching is affirmed. At the end of the debate there was an expression of relationship and unity and a confirmation that God was at work in their different approaches to the sharing of the gospel. 

There was one stipulation given to Paul – ‘to remember the poor’ and, in response, Paul indicated his joy (eagerness) to do this.

How can we, as a nation, move forward and ‘remember the poor’? 

In what we do, how we vote and the decisions we make, can we give the marginalised and those living in poverty our eager attention? 

There is the reality of people living with less in Australia, homeless, unemployed and isolated form others. People overseas are trapped in poverty due to war, climate, natural disasters or dysfunctional governments.  Others are trapped in cycles of dependency and addiction. Australia’s First Peoples are marginalised in voice, land, housing, employment and health care. 

Let us with prayerfulness, with eagerness, vote in solidarity with the poor. 

There is a truth that Australia will be renewed and healed to the extent that those in pain, poverty and suffering are respected and cared for.  

Rev. John Gilmore

NCCA President 

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