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November 2016

Bishop Philip HugginsChristian Conference of Asia: Lahore – Pastoral/Solidarity Visit October 2 – 7, 2016

“Faithful, courageous, grateful and kind”.

These are the descriptive words which capture my experience of the people we have met. Faithful and courageous, for this is a place where faith is tested by circumstances beyond people’s control. But faithful they remain.

Like the staff in the Bible Society who keep reaching out with the precious Word of God. Their plans are for expansion: New translations, better distribution. Their office is remarkably unprotected in the business district. As is the National Council of Churches in Pakistan (NCCP) Hostel, the Churches and the other offices we visited. Sometimes a sleepy guard at a flimsy gate, if that.

Sr Elizabeth Delaney sgs

Dear friends

What a very full month this has been.

The visit of the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was the first such visit since the WCC Assembly in Canberra in February 1991. Since taking up the role of General Secretary in January 2010, Dr Tveit  Accompanied by his wife< Anna, and Dr Katalina Tahaaafe Williams whose role embraces migration, indigenous and multicultural ministry, Dr Tveit included visits to Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide into the packed visit.


The President and Board of Directors of the National Council of Churches in Australia published a Media Release on 18 October 2016 asking for cooperation to settle the asylum seekers from Nauru and Manus Islands.  

The Media release states "The continuing reports out of both places are a source of deep concern." 

Caritas State of the Environment Report for Oceania 2016

Recent Events - Hungry for Justice, Thirsty for Change

The latest State of the Environment Report for Oceania was produced in collaboration with Caritas Australia, Caritas Tonga and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand. The report has found widespread hunger and thirst across the Pacific in 2015/2016. The report also shows that extreme weather events, combined with ongoing climatic changes, are contributing to a severe loss of food and water supplies in the region.

A new publication from The Uniting Church

Recent Events - For a World Reconciled

Uniting Church in Australia has issued an extensive range of papers on Social Justice Issues over the last 40 years. This is the first time that all these papers, decisions and records of the Church over this time have been collected into one volume, from the Church’s first press release calling for a moratorium on uranium mining to current calls for more humane refugee policy.

Giving seeds of hope this Christmas

Giving seeds of hope this Christmas

Your gifts to the Christmas Bowl can help Zimbabwean families facing severe hunger

Beauty and her husband work all day under the boiling sun, but their backbreaking efforts just aren’t enough to feed their children. There are the occasional government food handouts, but there’s never enough to go around. By learning a new farming technique, they could change their lives forever.There are so many farmers like Beauty who are still using the old techniques and struggling to grow enough food to feed their children.

Our Works - EAPPI

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is a program coordinated by the World Council of Churches that brings international volunteers to the West Bank. Since 2002, over 1,500 volunteers have come for 3 months placements as Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs).

Thanks to your support of EAPPI, the presence of Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) has had a significant impact on the lives of those living in the West Bank.

Safe as Churches Conference

Our Works - Safe Church Program

Breaking ground for safer churches and stronger communities.

16th – 17th May 2017 -Jasper Hotel, Melbourne

Registrations are now open

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 vulnerable adults.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Our Works - Safe Church Tip

When responding to disclosures of abuse, it is important to only inform relevant and appropriate people within your church structures on a ‘need to know’ basis.

You are in a position of trust, which is why the disclosure of abuse has come to you in the first place.  You are bound by Privacy laws (Privacy Act 1988 Commonwealth and State/Territory based privacy and confidentiality Acts). These laws protect the person’s information from any maleficence or further/secondary harm.

Our People – John Gilmore, Act for Peace

John Gilmore is the currently the Chair of the Act for Peace Commission (AfP). John has over 20 years’ service with NCCA, and has held the role of chair previously when the commission was known by its former name, Christian World Service. He is also a past treasurer of the commission, taking part in the Finance committee of NCCA. John has been associated with the work of the NCCA since its formation back in 1994. It is clear that John’s passion and commitment to international aid has endured the test of time.

Bethel Mar Thoma Church Sydney celebrates its Silver Jubilee

Our Churches

A member of National Council of Churches in Australia and the NSW Ecumenical Council, The Sydney Mar Thoma Church celebrates 25 years  on November 5, 2016 at the Parkside Baptist Church, 717 Smithfield Road, Edensor Park, NSW, Sydney at 4pm. All are cordially welcome to this occasion.

The Bethel Mar Thoma Church, Sydney, is a parish in the diocese of Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. The Diocesan Bishop is Rt. Rev. Joseph Mar Barnabas.

Ecumenical News

Questions Women ask about Domestic Violence and Christian Beliefs -Revised booklet now available.

This booklet was originally published in 2010 by the Joint Churches Domestic Violence Prevention Project (JCDVPP), a commission of Queensland Churches Together as a resource for victims or survivors of domestic and family violence. Since then it has proven a useful resource for clergy and pastoral carers who support victims in their congregations.

Coming Events - JMCA Friendship Walk

The Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australian is holding the 2016 Friendship Walk in East Melbourne. You are invited to walk together in friendship and goodwill between church, synagogue and mosque.


Christian Perspectives on Treaty, Sovereignty and Constitutional Recognition

 Ecumenical Forum

This Ecumenical Forum is hosted by the Victorian Council of Churches.

Keynote speakers for the evening are:

Stuart McMillan, President UCA and Ken Sumner, a Ngarrindjeri man and Victorian Director of Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Congress

The panellists include a range of indigenous and Church leaders 


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