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In whose interest – Australia as a global citizen


Every year, at the end of September, many Churches around Australia celebrate Social Justice Sunday.  This year the theme is Australia as a Global Citizen.

“Christians have a responsibility to be useful and productive members of society,” said the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia, the Revd John Henderson, commenting on the theme for 2007.

“In an open and vibrant democracy such as Australia, that responsibility includes thoughtful contributions to our national image, the way our country acts on the global stage.

“The days are gone, if they ever were, of thinking of ourselves as an isolated country that just looks after itself. How Australia behaves internationally is a matter that concerns Christians because we can behave well, and be a force for peace and justice in the world, or we can behave poorly, and reinforce structures of oppression and abuse.

"As good citizens of Australia we need to think about these things and Churches need to find a voice that supports the cries of the dispossessed and vulnerable,” said Mr Henderson.

“In an increasingly globalised world we are forced to reassess our national self image, and Australia’s capacity to be an instrument of peace and goodwill.”

The theme this year has been chosen with Australia’s much vaunted prosperity in mind. With wealth comes responsibility. With our concern for safety and security at home comes the question of what it might cost other people, in other countries. There are so many choices before us – how will we make them? Will we blindly leave them up to others, or will we thoughtfully engage with our democratic processes and play our part in seeing to it that our nation makes choices that are wise, sustainable, and provide for the common good?

The resources prepared for this year are designed to help Christians discuss these issues, and consider a range of topics, from prosperity and economic justice to conflict, weapons, and non violence. They can be used individually, in small groups, in Bible studies and home fellowships, and there are resources for worship.

Social Justice Sunday 30 September 2007.  The resource booklet is available to download at http://www.ncca.org.au/sjs. Hard copy booklets are available from some national Church offices. A limited number of hard copy booklets are available from the NCCA office, call (02) 9299 2215.