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Today is WORLD REFUGEE DAY!

Celebrated each year on 20th June, it is a time to reflect on the challenges faced by refugees and the courage they demonstrate in overcoming them.

It is also an opportunity to focus our support for millions of people who have been displaced by war, disasters, and humanitarian crises. Multiple humanitarian emergencies in Syria, Iraq, the Central African Republic and more have forced record numbers of people to flee; world refugee numbers have not been this high since World War II.

They say "a picture speaks a thousand words", and we leave you with this image from Iraqi artist Abbas Alaboudi, and his reflection about detention:

child in detention

I described the situation of children in detention by this painting he Do not know why he is behind the fence does not know when to come out of the detention does not know what his guilt ( please share show all the world what is happening in detention)

WORLD REFUGEE DAY – FESTIVAL OF HOPE

Saturday 25th June at Brunswick Town Hall

Lentara UnitingCare, Amnesty International and Moreland City Council are partnering to celebrate Refugee Week with a fun festival by refugees, for refugees and all Australians who support them.

Festival of Hope is back with an even bigger and better celebration of refugees and the positive impact they have in our community!

Whether you are already a passionate advocate, have a curiosity to learn more or are simply looking for a fun and positive day out, this event is for you.

A taste of what to expect …

  • Inspirational speakers including businesswoman and community leader Mariam Issa who founded Resilient Inspiring Women (RAW) and the community garden that has revolutionised the sea side suburb of Brighton
  • Market Stalls selling things to feel good about from social enterprises such as Sisterworks and Free to Feed
  • A Congolese dance workshop that will teach you some new moves
  • The Action Hub where you can take a stand and fight for more humane policies
  • An art exhibition showcasing works by local students on the theme of courage
  • Scintillating storytelling that will get you on the edge of your seat
  • Advocacy workshops led by organisations with the knowhow on becoming an advocate and activist in this space
  • Free henna art and face painting
  • The chance to meet with and learn from leading organisations in the field including Uniting Care Lentara, Road to Refuge, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Free to Feed and Sisterworks
  • A delicious array of food trucks and Melbourne’s finest coffee

For further information, you can also visit their event page on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1586663274997874/+

Festival of Hope 2016


Join Churches Across Australia and Show Refugees We're With Them, Not Against Them

 

Refugees need our help now more than at any time since World War II. This June, join hundreds of churches across Australia taking part in the Act For Peace Ration Challenge by sharing a meal of refugee rations - exactly the same rations eaten by refugees living in refugee camps in Jordan - and provide life-saving support to refugees around the world.

Refugee Ration

(Please click on the above picture for further information)


Please find an Easter message from the VCC Executive Officer

 

easter


Peace Lamps

PeaceLamp

Made by young people in Palestine whose hope is to place a Peace Lamp in every single church in the world and to unite as many Christians and people of faith as possible in a common prayer for peace across the Holy Land. To date, SACC has purchased – and many of you have bought through SACC – more than $16,000 worth of peace lamps/doves from Taybeh, Palestine, thereby generating employment for young people in the village. Additionally, in the past two years SACC has returned to the Holy Land a surplus of $3,600 from sales for various projects. For example, at Easter 2015 $1,000 was sent to help a Centre for the Elderly in the West Bank. At Christmas 2015 we were delighted that we could share from family to family again.

SA Council of Churches invites you and your community to continue to pray for peace among the peoples in the Middle East. We also invite you buy a Peace Lamp or Peace Dove from the Holy Land.  For more information see www.sacc.asn.au

In May 2016, twelve people from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim faiths in Melbourne will embark on an incredible journey of discovery to Jerusalem. The group will consist of twelve people, four from each of the three Abrahamic faiths comprising spiritual leaders and lay people, men and women.  They will visit each other's historical sacred places to study and share texts, to listen to each other's story and to truly 'meet' in the City of Jerusalem which is so sacred to all three traditions.   

We have the three faith leaders in place and are now seeking expressions of interest for nine other participants to join the group, 3 from each faith for the 2016 Joint Journey to Jerusalem from Sunday 22nd May to Tuesday 31st May. Expression of interest are due by Sunday 6th March 2016 by completing a registration form and sending to Ian Smith at Level 4, 306 Lt Collins Street, Melbourne 3000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Successful applicants will be notified within two weeks of that date.

For details of the program, program cost, selection criteria and registration form please see the attached flyer or go to the JCMA website  www.jcma.org.au/special-events.

mini jjj 

(Please point your mouse over the picture above, to download the application form)

For further information or enquiries contact Rev Ian Smith by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or by mobile 0408 313 610 or Ginette Everest at JCMA on 03 9287 5590.  

MEDIA RELEASE – 4th February, 2016

CATHEDRALS AND CHURCHES AROUND AUSTRALIA OFFER SANCTUARY TO ASYLUM SEEKER FAMILIES FACING DEPORTATION TO NAURU


Brisbane’s St John’s Anglican Cathedral, amongst others, has been declared a place of sanctuary for asylum seekers facing deportation after yesterday’s High Court decision which allowed for their imminent removal to Nauru.

Anglican Dean of Brisbane, the Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt says he is declaring the church as a sanctuary, given the trauma and abuse these asylum seekers face if deported.

“The High Court’s decision means 267 people including 37 babies face imminent removal to Nauru.  They could be issued notices at any time and ordered to leave Australia within 72 hours,” said Dr Catt.

“This is a hugely significant action for any Australian church to take.  Historically churches have afforded sanctuary to those seeking refuge from brutal and oppressive forces.

“We offer this refuge because there is irrefutable evidence from health and legal experts that the circumstances asylum seekers, especially children, would face if sent back to Nauru are tantamount to state-sanctioned abuse,” said the Very Rev’d Dr Catt.

“This fundamentally goes against our faith, so our church community is compelled to act, despite the possibility of individual penalty against us”.

“It is an extraordinary step.  It is a step that will attract the attention of church communities around the world.

“The ancient principle of sanctuary goes back to The Old Testament, and was enshrined in English Common Law.  Where a state is causing grievous harm, churches can provide sanctuary and immunity from arrest by authorities.  The legality of Sanctuary has never been tested under Australian law, nevertheless we are determined to apply its moral precepts and protect the most vulnerable from certain harm.”

Misha Coleman, Executive Officer for the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, said that “Cathedrals that have offered to protect asylum seekers from deportation to a place where people face, rape, sexual assault, and unimaginable conditions, include: St John’s Cathedral Brisbane, St George’s Cathedral Perth, St David’s Cathedral Hobart and Christchurch Cathedral Darwin.

She also said that “many priests and vicars of local churches who feel compelled to provide the moral leadership that their position requires, have also offered Sanctuary. These include: St Cuthbert’s Anglican Church; Darlington, WA; Perth Wesley Uniting Church; Gosford Anglican Church; Pilgrim Uniting Church in Adelaide; St. John’s Uniting Church Essendon; Paddington Anglican Church, Pitt Street Uniting Church and the Wayside Chapel in Sydney. Many other churches have offered to support the Sanctuaries in various ways”.

A press conference will be held on Thursday 4th February at 10.30am with The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt at St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane.

Media spokespeople:

The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt, Chair of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce: 0404 052 494

       Misha Coleman, Executive Officer, Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce: 0428 399 739

 

A pdf version available here.

Media Release

of Catholic Religious Australia

Faith leaders hold urgent meeting to call on politicians to restore the human dignity of refugees and asylum seekers.


Today more than 50 Leaders representing diverse faith groups met with Members and Senators at Parliament House, Canberra, calling on them to restore Australia's standing as a compassionate nation by winding back policies negatively impacting on people escaping violence, persecution and death.

 

For the full statement, please follow the link to the pdf here.

A multi-faith conference
21-23 August 2016


This multi-faith Australasian Conference reflects a growing interest in issues of faith and meaning in the lived experience of disability. The name of the Conference is drawn from the title of Miroslav Volf’s book, acknowledging the struggles and joys that are found in the experience of disability and faith.

For more, please follow the link: http://exclusionandembrace.melbourne/


Research shows that poverty has a direct impact on the economic, social and spiritual aspects of people's lives. The cycle of poverty and disadvantage once begun can be difficult to break and diminishes the individual and the society in which it occurs. The Salvation Army's experience with disadvantaged Australians demonstrates that without basic necessities being met, people survive but do not flourish as full participating members of society.

 

For the full Reflection and Prayer Guide which is on our Resources page, please read here.

Please remember to visit our Resources page, too!

Update

Below are a couple of videos for Anti-Poverty Week this year that show how difficult it can be to budget on income support payments.  Here are the links, please feel free to spread them far and wide via social media or any other outlets you have.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzvrdoPsaew

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftn7XvM8n_o

There are downloadable versions as well if you want to use the videos in meetings or events where you can't stream directly from YouTube:

http://www.sarmy.org.au/en/Social/vsppu/Publications/AntiPovertyWeek/

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