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Today (Friday 28th February) we launched the Slavery-free Chocolate for Easter campaign with students from St Bernard’s College, Essendon and students from Penleigh Essendon  Grammar School.

Attached is a copy of flyer that we ask you to read, and share with others.

As we celebrate the core of our Faith – that is the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us not forget that even our smallest actions have the capacity to impact on the lives of others.

The Slavery–free chocolate campaign is designed to free those children, predominantly in West Africa, who are trafficked into picking cocoa to make the chocolate that we, in the developed world enjoy.

This campaign has already had great success, with chocolate manufacturers pledging to source an increasing amount of their chocolate from ethical sources.

The time to keep going is now.

Let‘s ensure that all are chocolate is sourced from workers who received decant and fair wages and conditions and that children receive the necessary education that will assist them to elevate themselves out of poverty.

When you purchase chocolate this Easter will you make sure that it is slavery-free???  Can we make our schools – slavery free???

If your store doesn’t sell Fair Trade Chocolate will you ask the owner or manager – WHY NOT????

Thank you for your assistance and wishing you and your family:
                                                     a Spirit-filled Lent and the joy of Christ‘s Resurrection at Easter.

                                                                       
Mark Clarke
On behalf of the Office for Justice and Peace 

Award

 

Handshake

 

Africa

"This paper has been written to inform the development of a set of policy recommendations which will be presented to political parties and electoral candidates prior to the November 2014 Victorian State Election. It will also be used as background information for a brochure to be prepared for congregations and the wider community, and for other advocacy purposes.
Drawing on discussions of the Inter-church Criminal Justice Taskforce discussions to date, the paper seeks to

  • Reflect best practice policies in each area of concern (refer to the Table of Contents for the policy areas)
  • Show how government can migrate from current practice to where we would like criminal justice policy to go
  • Provide cogent argument for policy change – the government is seeking better, more cost-effective ways than the present way. The paper outlines alternative approaches to current problems.

The paper will be supplemented on the Victorian Council of Churches website with successor documents as they become available."

 

Please click here for the rest of the paper (36 pages)

 

Update:

'I was in prison and you visited Me'
A Christian approach to criminal justice

ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO SUPPORT A FAIRER APPROACH
TO TREATING VICTIMS OF CRIME AND THOSE WHO BREAK THE LAW

"This year, summer forecasts show that parts of Victoria are at above average risk of bush and grassfire.

 Although it’s important to prepare your property for fire, it’s also essential to plan for what you’re going to do if a fire starts this summer."

 

Click here for further information (as issued from the Department of Justice).

The Commission on Gospel and Culture have updated their web page, have a look here.

Victorian Council of Churches welcomes new Executive Officer

Ian_Smith_MR_picture.jpg

The Rev Ian Smith

 

Mr Frank Stuart, President of the Victorian Council of Churches (VCC) has announced the appointment of the new Executive Officer, the Revd Ian Smith.  "Ian comes to this position with many years’ experience within the Victorian Council of Churches - firstly as a delegate from the Churches of Christ, then on the Executive, and over the last couple of years as President.

"Ian has been a Churches of Christ minister for over 30 years, over the last decade with the Thornbury congregation.  We know of his commitment to ecumenism, and we look forward to working with him as we strengthen the relationship of the Council with our Member Churches.  Ian's commitment to issues of justice will also assist the conversations we need to have with the churches; how do we find ways to encourage the churches to speak together on issues that affect us all"

Ian commences work in this position on the 2nd September.

 

The Interchurch Criminal Justice Taskforce calls on the Victorian Government to ensure that the new prison to be built at Ravenhall in Melbourne's west incorporates best practice in rehabilitation, the provision of high quality mental and general health services, and effective transitional support - see attached media release, of 4 August 2013.

 

Please click here for the Media Release.

 

 

Both the Victorian Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches were blessed to have hosted the Rev Dr Michael Kinnamon for the VCC Mid-Year and Conference and for the NCCA 8th National Forum.

 

The Victorian Council of Churches is pleased to be able to provide the Rev Dr Michael Kinnamon's Oration "Why the Ecumenical Movement is a Movement of Peace" for download, by clicking here.

 

Ideas and enthusiasm generated by forum on faith-based organisations and community services

Thanks to all for an informative and challenging review of the role of Church-based agencies in Australia today.  Patrice Scales, Rev Olivia McLean, Marilyn Webster, Denis Fitzgerald at the forum
Around 50 people from a range of Churches and agencies gathered at Catholic Social Services on Monday 29 July 2013. Rev Ray Cleary spoke about the historical contribution of Churches to Australian society, and of the opportunities and challenges today to work for social justice, and to build on the contribution of a workforce diverse in its faith commitment, but rich in its motivation and commitment.

Captain Jason Davies-Kildea reflected on the strengths of faith-based community service organisations, and on the challenges facing Churches, and those facing community service organisations generally.   Other speakers, and participants generally, attested to the strength and diversity of the sector, and the reality of both opportunities and challenges that need to be engaged with.

 

For keynote address, please click here.

 

For link to original article, please click here.

We thank Bishop Philip Huggins for the following prayer for the victims of the bombing in Boston. May we also see in it a prayer for others who have died violently this week in many other places.

 

A prayer tonight for all those innocents who die violently and unprepared. Including that little boy in Boston, waiting to give his dad a hug ...
Heaven and earth both weep.

Attack on the Heart of Christianity in the Middle East

8th April, 2013

St. Mark Cathedral in Abbassiya, Cairo is the international headquarters of the Coptic Orthodox Church and it is where the Coptic Pope resides. Hence it has a great symbolic meaning in the hearts of all Copts worldwide. Today a red line has been crossed[...]

For the full Statement, please follow this link.

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