What’s coming up
Calling all people of the Uniting Church and friends!
Assembly calls us all to participate in the Climate Strike on 20 September. Why? “Climate change is the singe greatest threat to livelihoods, security and well-being of peoples across the world. The people of rural Australia, the island nations in the Pacific and the world’s poorest are being disproportionally harmed by climate change… We believe that we have a moral responsibility to act, and that God is calling us to be bearers of hope and prophetic action.” Brisbane’s action will be at Queens Gardens, cnr of Elizabeth and George Streets, Brisbane, from 1-3 pm. Look for a strike near you or offer to host one! We hope to see many people of faith represented. Print out a Uniting Church logo and bring that to wave!
Week in review
Read about a Melbourne initiative to help homeless people into permanent housing. The new project is aiming to break the cycle of homelessness by using otherwise vacant government land to build “tiny homes”.
Look to Finland for housing solutions
This Homelessness Week let’s take the opportunity to pause and reflect on the circumstances of some of the most vulnerable individuals within our society. There are 116,000 people homeless in Australia on any night. We can look to Helsinki for their solution, where they have largely eliminated rough sleeping in just 10 years. Find out how by reading on…
Doing the right thing because it is the right thing
Ron Rolheiser reflects on Jesus’ teaching about serving him through the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the sick and imprisoned etc. This holds deep challenges for how we live our lives. Worth a read and taking some time for reflection.
Made to feel different
What is it like to be a citizen of a country, but to feel different? Four writers shared their experiences with the ABC’s The Drum. On the surface, their upbringings appear to be very different, but there are shared themes of otherness, isolation and struggling with identity through experiences of racism or prejudice.
Lives on hold
The Australian Human Rights Commission has released a new publication Lives on hold: Refugees and asylum seekers in the ‘Legacy caseload’ (2019). Between 2009 and 2013 more than 50,000 people arrived in Australia by boat to seek asylum. 30,000 of them faced prolonged delays in the processing of their claims. They have become known as the “Legacy Caseload”. This new report examines range of ongoing concerns and the human rights implications of policies affecting these individuals.
Call to action
Purchase a fruit tree for a school in Uganda
A Rocha is a Christian organisation carrying out community-based nature conservation projects. A current project sees them working in Uganda where 122,000 hectares of forest are being lost each year. A Rocha works with schools and community members to plant fruit trees like mango, orange, avocado and guava. In less than three years they will be providing fruit and improving the health of local children. In the meantime they offer environmental benefits such as improving soil quality and creating habitats for wildlife. For just $12 you can purchase 5 fruit trees!
Switch to Fairtrade
There is an ever-increasing range of products which are certified to not cause harm to people in developing nations. This means no slavery, fair wages paid to farmers and workers, the environment protected, communities having control developing services schools and health care. Certifications to look out for are Fairtrade, Utz Certified and Rainforest Alliance. This is Fairtrade Fortnight. Pick something you regularly purchase and make the switch to fair products – coffee, tea and chocolate are very easy to change. The major supermarkets have quite good ranges.
And in some good news, after Oxfam’s sad announcement earlier this year that they are closing their shops and online sales, they have now announced that Fair Coffee will be continuing production and sales of Oxfam’s range of fair coffee and drinking chocolate.
The Uniting Church in Australia and Voice, Treaty, Truth
Rev Dr Chris Budden, past National Coordinator of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC), gave a talk at a Men’s Breakfast at the Charlestown Uniting Church on 20 July this year. He offers a great explanation of the UCA covenanting journey, including the formation of the UAICC, the entering into a covenantal relationship, and the affirmation of the sovereignty of First Peoples by the 15th Assembly resolution. Watch the video – 52 minutes – well worth the time investment!