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.
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.
(Please point your mouse over the picture above, to download the application form)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
Statement on Syrian and Iraqi Humanitarian Crisis
The Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV) has issued the following statement in response to the Syrian and Iraqi Humanitarian Crisis:
As faith community leaders, we add our collective voice to that of many people in our Australian community who are appalled at the ongoing humanitarian crisis unfolding before the world and call on all countries to act quickly and concisely in addressing the plight of fleeing people.
Please click here to read the full statement.