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NCCA President: Prayers from my heart at the ICV Vigil , Monday Evening, State Library.

 

My prayers will be encompassed in a three- fold chant
of “ Lord have mercy”. In the Greek, “Kyrie Eleison”...

My prayer begins with gratitude for the friendships that sustain us...I am so grateful for my friend Mohammed who invited me.... My heart breaks with his and yours..


My prayer is first and poignantly for the dead:
- who have left this earth so violently;

My prayer is for the bereaved :
-who are left with a wound that will never heal..this side of eternity;

My prayer is for the injured :
- who need such care;

My prayer is for the traumatised, including the vicariously traumatised:
-for the healing of memory;

My prayer is for young and old Muslims :
- that they may feel safe to again go their mosque and say their prayers;

My prayer is for the  politics of our democracy:
- that none will fan fear and hate for some cruel political gain..No double- speak. No obfuscation..

My prayer is for the growth of our interreligious , international peace- making community , premised on our being one human family;

My prayer is for our deepest partnership in sharing our learnings from prayer and meditation:
-that we become what we think; that our thoughts shape our words and then our actions; that the pattern of our thinking , over time  , shapes our character and destiny..so that we must be attentive to what we think and who is influencing our thinking;
- that we just must bring our spiritual learnings to bear on the cultivation of pure hearts and minds..Dispersing all that now feeds hate thought , speech and action..”It is from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks”(Jesus in Matthew 12:34)

Gathering all that is in our hearts in the divine mercy , I therefore pray from my heart.....

KYRIE ELEISON

CHRISTE ELEISON

KYRIE ELEISON.

Bishop Philip Huggins

President of the National Council of Churches in Australia.

Hate has no home here

Last Friday, mosques in Christchurch were filled with people who gathered for Friday prayers. They were fathers, mothers, grandparents, daughters and sons. Each and every one of them should have returned home safe to their families.

Instead, 50 people attended their last prayer. The first funerals are happening today, while dozens remain in hospital, many in a critical condition, and those who survived must live with the trauma of having witnessed this horrific act of terror.

This terrible crime on people of faith is an attack on all believers who seek to worship in safety and peace. It is also an assault on our shared humanity and our collective community is in mourning.

I’m sure many of you will be praying for those affected, particularly the victims and their families.

“We represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it.”

Since Friday, I’ve had Jacinda Ardern’s words in my head.

At the heart of what happened in Christchurch is fear, intolerance and bigotry. We cannot pretend that hate speech and racism, which is becoming more normalised in our politics and in our society, has nothing to do with this attack in New Zealand.

But hate is not who we are. There may be a lot of anger in this world, but there is a lot more love. To all those who feel helpless right now: you are not powerless.

Each of us can help stop the spread of bigotry and fear. We do that by standing together, acting with integrity and compassion, and using our voice in a way that reflects those values.

Survivors of Friday’s attack have come out with messages of love for their country and fellow Kiwis. In the midst of what they’re going through - the pain, loss and turmoil - their courage is incredibly inspiring.

I believe it is now our responsibility to follow their lead.

So this week, I want to invite you to be brave and be active. Ask yourself, “How can I help promote understanding and unity?”

We can each play a part in stopping things like this from happening again.

We need to lead by example in our own communities. We know that most anti-immigration and anti-refugee sentiment stems from a fear of ‘the other’. But by talking about the things and values we have in common - and not the things that make us different - we can help to shift people's negative attitudes.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has commissioned in-depth research which has really helped me have better discussions around these issues in a way that persuades, rather than polarises. You can read it here.

We also need our leaders to show moral courage, condemn hate speech and refuse to normalise racism. This coming election is an opportunity to elect leaders who do just that. I’ll be voting for candidates who stand for justice, equality and fairness.

It takes all of us to say hate has no home here. Let's say it together.

Ben Littlejohn
Act for Peace

Visiting WCC, Archbishop of Canterbury speaks on “ecumenism of action”

 16 February 2018

"During a visit to the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva on 16 February, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby spoke on an “ecumenism of action” as he also congratulated the WCC on its 70th anniversary."

To read the rest of the article, please click here.


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VCC EM RESPONSE TO SOUTH WEST FIRES

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AMAZING RESPONSE FROM VCC EMERGENCIES MINISTRY


At approximately 11:30pm Saturday 17th March, numerous large fires began in the South West of Victoria around Terang, Hawkesdale and Cobden.

People evacuated to Relief Centres with over 400 people in the Cobden Relief Centre throughout Saturday night.

VCC Emergencies Ministry had volunteers in the Warnambool Emergency Relief Centre from 12 midnight and the Colac Emergency Relief Centre from 6am Sunday morning.

Since 6am Sunday morning, VCC EM have had teams in Relief Centres in Warnambool, Camperdown, Colac, and Cobden. We were unable to access the Relief Centre in Port Campbell.

Our emergency operations centre was open from 6am on Sunday morning and staffed with volunteers. It remains open for the foreseeable future.

We have had 3 Incident Activity Coordinators supporting the management of the response, which has been fantastic. Our systems are working.

We activated the whole of Barwon South West volunteers who have provided the majority of the workforce to date.

Other areas were called in including Ballarat, Macedon Ranges and Western Metropolitan Melbourne.

The support to the community is just beginning with outreach to start in the coming days.

If you can support our efforts by responding to calls for assistance or you feel you can spend a couple of days in the area in the coming weeks, please call the State office and register your availability.


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - 2018 

The Week of Prayer this year runs from 13-20 May.  This year’s theme is “Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power : Exodus 15:6. The Resources were prepared by the Churches of the Caribbean. A small Australian group has worked on the resources to bring some Australian flavour to them.

While most of the resources are Pdf files, the Order of Service is in Microsoft Word. This allows for local congregations to adapt the service to suit their particular needs. For example local prayers and hymns can be inserted.

The Resources can be found here.

 


 YOUR HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED

This may not be the top story in the news tonight, but our neighbours in the Pacific have been hit by a devastating storm.

Cyclone Gita has devastated communities across Tonga. The category four cyclone arrived late last night bringing winds of over 233km/h, ripping roofs off houses and causing widespread flooding. Tens of thousands of people were left without power and water has been cut off.

Please help provide the emergency shelter, food, clean water and hygiene kits to families who’ve had their lives torn apart.

For further information, please follow the link to the Act for Peace website.


On behalf of Dr Joel Hodge, National Short Course Coordinator, Australian Catholic University. 

Twice a year, the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy runs short courses in theology offering an opportunity to explore Christian faith and world religions without committing to a full degree. 

 

These four week courses are suitable for parishioners, teachers, youth groups, university staff, students, and the general public who will learn with our leading theology, bible and philosophy scholars.

 

Attached are a flyer and invitation for our upcoming February / March course in Melbourne and would greatly appreciate if you could share these with your networks.  

 


 The end of the financial year has come and gone but Refugees, People in Poverty and millions who suffer continue to need our support.

Donations are still urgently required and can be tax deductable. Thank you for your continuing support.

To donate, please visit http://www.actforpeace.org.au or Ph: 1800 025 101


Following recent “Consultation on 50 Years of Occupation and the Ecumenical Response,” held in the Holy Land, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said input received at the meeting will influence the WCC as it refines its strategies and programmes related to just peace in Palestine and Israel. 

The WCC will study and analyse an open letter from the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine describing the state of injustice in the Holy Land, in particular the coalition’s recommendations for how churches worldwide could potentially help bring justice and peace to Palestine and Israel.

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/after-strong-input-in-holy-land-wcc-plans-to-refine-strategy-for-just-peace


Press Release

The Victorian Council of Churches is happy to announce that on the 13th May, as part of the Annual General Meeting of the Victorian Council of Churches, the Council installed a new President. His term is for two years commencing May 2017.

The New President is, The Right Reverend Peter Danaher (Bishop of the Anglican Church). It is his wish to be known as Bishop Peter Danaher.

Peter has had a distinguished ministry within the Anglican Church of Australia serving in both parishes and diocesan roles in both NSW (rural) and Victoria. He has recently retired from full time pastoral ministry at All Saints in Geelong.

As he takes up this new role, he reminds the Church that the gift of unity is already amongst us, that God in his mercy has and continues to call the church to recognise and live more fully within the unity expressed at Pentecost and since, in the Catholicity of the Church.

New Pres

The leaders of the Victorian Council of Churches at Bishop Peter’s Installation

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