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Church called to act beyond emergencies

A woman harvesting almonds in the Palestinian territories. Photo by Paul Jefferies, ACT International.
Australian churches have responded generously to many emergency situations throughout the world in 2006. Alistair Gee, Director of NCCA Christian World Service, urges concerned Australians to also remember the upcoming Christmas Bowl appeal.

“Assistance in emergencies is a crucial part of the Christmas Bowl, but the Christmas Bowl is also committed to many other long-term development projects which are equally significant,” Alistair said.

“While we urge concerned Australians to give generously to emergency appeals, we also encourage them to continue to support our annual Christmas Bowl appeal in the coming months. The Christmas Bowl provides year round assistance to those in greatest need in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific. The Christmas Bowl also works in Australia with refugees and displaced people as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

“As the season of peace approaches, we as Christians are motivated to find ways to overcome the greatest emergency of all – extreme poverty.”

The Christmas Bowl has been an annual fixture in parishes of all denominations across Australia for the past 57 years. The Christmas Bowl began in 1949 when the Reverend Frank Byatt of Melbourne placed a bowl on the dinner table on Christmas Day. The bowl was an invitation for people to give the cost of their meal to people who were hungry, thirsty, strangers, poor or sick.

Over the time Frank’s vision has grown, and now the Christmas Bowl funds effective AID programs – Assistance in emergencies, Injustice response and Development and poverty reduction – in 24 countries around the world.

“The Christmas Bowl education resources are a great way for churches to explore coming together as a community, and make a positive difference to the world through prayer, action and gifts. Ple.0ase act for the Christmas Bowl in 2006.”

For Christmas Bowl education resources or to make a contribution to the Christmas Bowl appeal in 2006 contact 1800 025 101 or visit www.christmasbowl.com.au.

The Christmas Bowl is a program of the NCCA Christian World Service, the aid and development agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia.

Photo : A woman harvesting almonds in the Palestinian territories. Photo by Paul Jefferies, ACT International.