August, 2009

UnitingWorld volunteer tells of Tonga Ferry disaster

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Margaret Tabor and her husband John Phelps, from Tasmania, are currently serving in Tonga through UnitingWorld Experience. Margaret is a nurse and happened to be visiting the island of Lifuka in Ha’apai, Tonga, when the Princess Ashika ferry sank nearby. The survivors were taken into Lifuka for medical care. The “hospital” there was destroyed by an earthquake a few years ago and so medical... Read More »

Zambia project featured on the Australian Christian Channel

Friday, August 21st, 2009

The Australian Christian Channel today featured a video called 7 days that profiled the work of Fiona Dixon-Thompson in Zambia among young orphans and vulnerable children. There are an estimated 1,300 orphans and vulnerable children in the Mwandi as a result of 35% of the Mwandi population being infected with HIV/AIDS. Fiona manages the drop-in centre which is the cornerstone of the project. The centre... Read More »

Leeway for the Methodists

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) calls on the Interim Government to provide some leeway to the Methodist Church of Fiji, in order for the organisation to effectively carry out its functions as a religious body. Click here to read the full release from the CCF.  

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Commencement of PACER Plus Negotiations

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

In response to the Government’s invitation for submissions regarding PACER-Plus, the Uniting Church ‘s submission drew on the Trade Justice Paper adopted at the recent Assembly. The Minister for Trade has made a Parliamentary Statement in response to the submissions and following the recent Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meeting, and DFAT have summarised the submissions as attached.... Read More »

Health and human security in West Papua

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

An article published in the The Medical Journal of Australia has highlighted the impact of human rights violations, poverty and extraction of natural resources on the health status of the indigenous people of West Papua. The article says a lack of support for health workers has impacted district health services and worsened rates of HIV/AIDs, cholera and diarrheoa. It also emphasizes the need for... Read More »

Fiji Church Leaders Face Court

Friday, August 14th, 2009

The President and General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma were back in court yesterday.  Their plea was not guilty and the case has now been held over until in November.  The bail conditions are unchanged which  means they are still effectively prohibited from undertaking their basic work as they cannot attend meetings of the Methodist Church. The permit that has been granted... Read More »

Pray for Korea

Friday, August 14th, 2009

2009 Common Prayer of the North and the South for Peace and Reunification God of providence who takes care of all creation! We thank you for having liberated our nation from Japanese occupation 64 years ago, having opened a way of dialogue and reconciliation in the midst of national division and suffering of Korean war, and for calling us, Christians, to gather together to pray for peace and cooperation. Hatred... Read More »

Christian Minority Under Attack in Pakistan

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Minorities in Pakistan are being targeted by Sunni fanatics. In the latest wave of violence nine Christians were burned alive and 200 houses were destroyed in the Korian and Gojra of Toba Tek District. Those killed included women and children. Tensions have been running high in the region because of allegations that the Quran had been desecrated. Christians make up around 3 per cent of Pakistan’s... Read More »

Fiji Methodist Leaders Face Court Tomorrow

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

In an unprecedented attack on religious freedom in Fiji the Methodist President Rev Ame Tugaue and General Secretary Rev Tuikilakila Waqairatu will be back in court tomorrow (Thursday 13 August) charged with breaching the Public Emergency Regulations imposed by the Military Government. The charges arose after the Methodist Church Standing Committee refused to prohibit two of its ministers ... Read More »

Pacific Island Forum Leaders Meeting

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

The 40th Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting was held in Cairns from 5 to 6 August 2009 . The meeting brought together leaders from Pacific Island nations to consider issues in common including climate change, trade and the global economic crisis . UnitingWorld sponsored and with the Cairns Pacific Communities Council organised a special worship service that 400 people attended in the local Catholic... Read More »

Typhoon and Tropical Storm Morakot, Taiwan

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

UnitingWorld received the following news update from our Partner, The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, regarding Typhoon and Tropical Storm Morakot which hit Taiwan on August 9. Following news reports in the international media the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) received several messages from overseas concerning the typhoon and tropical storm Morakot that struck Taiwan the weekend 7-10 August 2009. Please... Read More »

UnitingWorld calls for care with Free Trade negotiations

Monday, August 10th, 2009

The Uniting Church National Assembly has continued to express its concerns about the negotiations for a new Pacific-wide free trade agreement, PACER-Plus by making a formal submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Many Pacific Island countries face particular challenges to development associated with small size and isolation, natural resource constraints, frequent natural disasters... Read More »

Tonga Ferry accident – UnitingWorld volunteers safe

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

The Tonga passenger ferry MV Princess Ashika sank at sea shortly after midnight, with 80 people on board near the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa. A major search and rescue operation is underway looking for survivors. UnitingWorld currently has a number of volunteers working with the Free Wesleyan Church in Tonga. We have been in contact with the volunteers and/or their in country supervisors and all... Read More »

Urgent Appeal from Republic of Korea

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

One of our partner churches in Korea, the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK), has issued an Urgent Appeal concerning a rise in human rights abuses and the impact of the global recession on vulnerable people. This appeal is communicated in terms of concerns for “protection for democracy, human rights and the welfare of ordinary people in South Korea”. Under the presidency of Lee... Read More »

Bill Clinton heads to North Korea

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is heading to North Korea for negotiations to secure the freedom of two detained American journalists, a news report said Tuesday, nearly five months after they were arrested on the China border. Clinton is on his way to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, where he will try to win the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported,... Read More »

50 children die in the Pacific every day

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Now is a critical time in for the Pacific, warns UNICEF’s Chief of Policy in the Pacific, Dr Will Parks and the timing of this week’s Pacific Island Forum (August 4 – 7) in Cairns could not be more critical. Dr Parks says many countries in the Pacific are yet to suffer the full impact of the global financial crisis but it is about to hit the region with ‘with all the devastation... Read More »

What can the righteous do?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

The Reverend Josateki Koroi, former President of the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma, has had an excerpt of his sermon delivered in 1994 republished in the Fiji Times. The sermon asks if ‘there are spiritual foundations available to sustain a decent organisation of [Fijian] national life?’ Click here to read the full article.  

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