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.
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.
The leaders of the Victorian Council of Churches at Bishop Peter’s Installation
Mr Ashok Jacob, President of the Victorian Council of Churches is delighted to announce the extension of Rev Ian Smith's term as Executive Officer of the Victorian Council of Churches. Rev Smith's term is until August 2019.
The Leadership of the Council commended Rev Ian Smith for his commitment to Ecumenism, engaging with Church leadership and his enthusiasm.
CAPSA and the Uniting Church in Australia are running some Community Action Training in May and June.
There are two workshops focusing on:
- Facilitating Community Conversations
- Meeting your local MP
A flier can be found by clicking on the image below and you can find more information and register here: https://capsa.org.au/action-training-melbourne/
NATIONAL ACTION THIS SUNDAY CALLING FOR JUSTICE FOR REFUGEES
Across the country tens of thousands of people will take to the streets for Palm Sunday actions calling for immediate action on Australia’s shameful treatment of people seeking our protection.
“The US refugee deal is limited and uncertain”, said refugee advocate, Pamela Curr.
“While the US deal may provide protection for some, there are grave concerns that many asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island may be forced to return to dangerous situations. They need fair assessment of their claims, and should be brought to Australia where they can wait in safety. We must end their suffering and bring them here.”
In Melbourne the Walk for Justice for Refugees will be at Sunday 9 April, 2pm at State Library of Victoria, followed by a walk through the Bourke Street Mall returning to the Library.
Speakers include people from refugee backgrounds – Nazir Yousafi, President of the Victorian Afghan Associations Network, Abdelhadi Matar, refugee & Sudanese community leader from Darfur, Idil Ali, community worker from Somali refugee background and volunteer with RISE, and a message recorded by Aziz, an asylum seeker held on Manus Island for nearly 4 years. Representatives of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities will speak in solidarity, and Daniel Webb, Human rights lawyer, and Jane Wylie who was a teacher of refugee children on Nauru will also speak.
There will be a strong interfaith focus, with Muslims, Jews and Christians walking under a single banner. The Mass Melbourne Gospel Choir and other musicians will provide music before and after the Walk. Over 140 organisations have endorsed the Walk in Melbourne, calling for the urgent release of the 2000 refugees (including 160 children) who are still held on Nauru and Manus Island.
Key concerns to be highlighted by speakers included:
- The depression and hopelessness experienced by innocent men, women and children on Nauru and Manus Island, many of whom are are enduring their fourth year of being detained.
- The cruel reality of temporary protection visas. People who have been recognized as refugees face many years of uncertainty and indefinite separation from their loved ones.
- That the ‘fast track’ assessment system is likely to result in many people being deported back to torture or life threatening situations. Assessment processes must be fair, thorough and transparent processes.
“It is time for us to stop the cruelty and show some compassion,” said Sister Brigid Arthur from the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project. “We want to be part of a society that is shaped by compassion and justice for all people, and that must include people who are seeking asylum. Our sense of justice and the ‘fair go’ says it is time to call a halt to this failed and tragic policy. Australia must not deport people to danger - it is time to bring the refugees here and to let them stay.”
Pamela Curr: 0417517075
Sister Brigid Arthur: 0408101134
To arrange media interviews with speakers,
contact Marie Hapke 0409 252 673
The National Council of Churches of Australia's initiative, Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, has put out a Media Release on the ongoing refugee crisis in our nation.
MEDIA RELEASE: CHURCHES WELCOME ALP DECISION ON PROPOSED REFUGEE BAN
8 November 2016: An attempt to enshrine in law a total ban on all refugees who have no choice but to flee over oceans has been called out by the ALP, and we hope that other parties will follow the moral leadership shown by Mr Shorten today, says the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce.
To read the full statement, please click here.
In addition, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference through its spokesperson Bishop Vincent Long ofm conv., Australian Catholic Bishops’ Delegate for Refugees has issued a media release on the same issue. Please click on the image below to view a pdf version of the statement.
Statement Issued 28th July 2016
Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia
To Our Christian Brothers and Sisters
We were deeply distressed to hear of the attack in the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray and the brutal killing of Father Jacques Hamel in his church.
This is an affront to all people of religion and we join together as Jews, Christians and Muslims to condemn this violent attack in a place of peace and prayer.
Know that we share in your pain and sorrow. The victims and their families and friends are all in our prayers.
We unequivocally condemn those who carried out this attack in the name of God and reject their toxic distortion of Islam.
Gathering this weekend for our annual conference, we stand together in the hope that our love and compassion will help overcome bigotry and hatred.
May the blessing of Shalom, Peace, Salaam speedily grace our planet.
Rabbi Ralph Genende
President JCMA on behalf of JCMA
Ginette Everest, JCMA Executive Officer
Members of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities have been coming together since 2003 in JCMA forums, conferences and events to learn more about each other and address some of the more difficult and controversial questions our communities face today.
JCMA recognises the importance of educating our young people in intercultural understanding and respect and runs a primary and secondary school program in Victoria. A Jewish, Christian and Muslim present together giving students and teachers the opportunity to challenge stereotypes and learn to respect diversity and difference.
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:
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/+