February, 2011

No.12 – Lent Event as a response to global poverty

Monday, February 28th, 2011

with guest blogger Rob Floyd (Associate Director, Relief and Development) on reason no. 12 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. Roger Riddell writes: “Over 750 million people in the world are chronically poor. One in five of the world’s population live on $1 a day or less. “Each day approximately 34,000 children... Read More »

Sri Lanka – Solidarity with those who are hurting

Monday, February 28th, 2011

In the north and east of Sri Lanka it’s literally the case of one thing after another.  First, it was the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami as a huge ocean wave smashed its way inland, drowning everything in its path. More than 40,000 died and nearly half a million people were displaced. Then some two years ago it was the horrific climax of the civil war that killed around 70,000 people over... Read More »

Lent Event as rejecting apathy

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

with guest blogger Alison Williams (Communications and Fundraising Coordinator) on reason no. 11 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. The biggest issue in the Church today (in my opinion) is not homosexuality, worship styles or any particular moral corruption of various forms…. it is apathy. We are comfortable,... Read More »

Lent Event as upholding and promoting the value of human life

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

with guest blogger John Barr (Associate Director, Church Solidarity – Asia) on reason no. 10 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. “Imago Dei” is an ancient Latin term. It refers to humanity being created in the “image of God”.  Such a radical concept forms the basis of our understanding of what it means... Read More »

Lent Event as an opportunity to reflect on westernisation of indigenous communities

Friday, February 25th, 2011

with guest blogger Bryan Cussen (Pacific Programs Coordinator) on reason no. 9 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. Lent Event supports a diverse range of development projects among numerous communities in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. I believe it is a good time to reflect on the mixed blessing that the West has been... Read More »

Prayers and support from Vanuatu

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

The following message came from the General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu Pastor Kalsakau Urtalo. Greetings Since the flood followed by cyclone Yasi  hit  your people in Queensland and Victoria, the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu were praying for you and the victims of the flood and Cyclone and for the nation of Australia. We were disgusted  with this horrible... Read More »

Madeline Gordon makes a real difference

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

From a very young age Madeline has been aware of the world beyond Australia, and the struggle of those who live in poverty. So recently the 8-year-old set out to do something about it. After choosing a number of ‘gift items’ from UnitingWorld’s Everything In Common Catalogue, Madeline sought the help of friends and family to raise $450.00 to go towards these projects. She succeeded in raising... Read More »

Lent Event as learning new tricks

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

with guest blogger Bronwyn Fraser (Development Education Officer) on reason no. 8 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Bronwyn has her own blog Thinking Development that is well worth a look as well. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. As many who know me know, I have a dog. He is a border collie who is 9 years old and by doggy standards, that’s getting... Read More »

Disaster Solidarity

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The disasters that have marked the beginning of this year just keep rolling on.  Yet the human spirit is such that in the midst of all of the tragedy emerge stories of amazing courage and compassion followed by people reaching out across borders to offer help.  We have seen that again in the footage coming from Christchurch. I am recently back from a trip to Vanuatu where I was working... Read More »

Lent Event expresses ‘The Basis of Union’

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

with guest blogger Bruce Mullan (Associate Director, Church Solidarity – Pacific) on reason no.7 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. There are congregations that see themselves as the centre of everything and there are congregations that understand themselves to be part of something much bigger.  It was the commitment... Read More »

Lent Event breeds community

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

with guest blogger Joy Balazo (Associate Director, Peacemaking) with Rob Lutton on reason no.6 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. “The church is the church only when it exists for others.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) I imagine we could all share of how we at times have been disillusioned with Christian community.... Read More »

Lent Event as a creative conversation starter

Monday, February 21st, 2011

with special guest blogger Rob Floyd (Associate Director, Relief and Development), sharing reason no.5 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. “Dad, why aren’t we having ice-cream today?” I love Lent Event. I love the conversations it inspires. I’m a father of two young kids. Each year our family tries... Read More »

Lent Event as meaningful self-denial

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Erica Harrison with Rob Lutton on reason no.4 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011 Scott Peck back in 1978 in his classic book “The Road Less Travelled”  suggests that without the capacity to delay gratification and schedule pain and pleasure we cannot truly live. “Delaying gratification is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way... Read More »

Lent Event deepens our faith

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Sarah White with Rob Lutton on reason no.3 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011 Day in day out I am constantly moved by grace. By the wonder of Jesus’ compassion and love. When I hit rock bottom grace meets me and offers me a way back. With grace in view I am able to continue the challenges I face as a mother, a wife, a friend, colleague and community member. It was Bono who... Read More »

Lent Events helps us get into rhythm

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Alison Williams is our guest blogger in Act, Reflect, Connect today. Alison, Communications and Fundraising Coordinator, UnitingWorld shares reason no.2 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011 “But without the deep root of wisdom and contemplation, Christian action would have no meaning and no purpose” Thomas Merton, Faith and Violence (1968) Coming from a non-denominational... Read More »

Oceania or Pacific?

Friday, February 18th, 2011

The Pacific was so named by explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.  At the time of his ‘discovery’, the vast ocean appeared calm and peaceful, so he christened it Pacific, from the Latin word ‘Pacifica’ meaning peaceful.    The term Océanie was coined around 1812 by geographer Conrad Malte-Brun and according to Epeli Hau’ofa, in his pioneering 1993 work Our Sea of Islands,... Read More »

Lent Event as from little things big things grow

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Rob Lutton is our guest blogger in Act, Reflect, Connect today. Rob, Communications and Fundraising Manager, UnitingWorld shares reason no.1 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011 Great movements for peace and justice often begin from little actions. I think of December 16, 1989 in Romania. The nation is suffering under the brutal regime of Cauceascu and the workings of the Securitate... Read More »

The Churches of Papua raise their voices

Friday, February 11th, 2011

The Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua (partner church with the Uniting Church in Australia) released the following statement recently. This statement is related to fears and concerns about the future survival of indigenous Papuan communities within the nation of Indonesia. Note: MRP: Papua Peoples’ Council; GKI di TP: Evangelical Christian Church in the Land... Read More »

Monsoon rains strike Sri Lanka

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Floods are impacting communities in many places. Little has been said here in Australia about Sri Lanka. However monstrous floods have inundated the homes of more than one million people across this island nation. Over half a million acres of rice fields have been destroyed and 240,000 livestock have been lost. More than 800 schools are in need of repair while 350,000 students... Read More »

Coalition aid deferral

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

I think the Coalition decision to defer spending on the Indonesian education program is unwise.  In this context, the saying that has been used “Charity begins at home” can pit one form of neediness against another.  Of course people devastated by flooding should be supported.  Of course decisions about how to fund repair and restoration are not easy to make.  It seems unfair... Read More »

Don’t defer the education aid package – Indonesia is just too important!

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Recent floods in Queensland and Victoria together with the impact of Cyclone Yasi in the tropical north have left many parts of Australia devastated.  A massive rebuilding program is neeeded and it will cost money. But Federal Opposition plans to raise funds by making budget cuts that include deferring a $448 million aid package to support education in Indonesia is crazy. The aid... Read More »

“Our Boat of Life is Sinking” – Papua’s “dark history”

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Christian churches in West Papua are speaking out. In a strongly worded declaration announced on 26th January 2011, church leaders refer to West Papua as undergoing a “silent history” leading to “genocide”. “Genocide” is an evocative, distinctly controversial term. Papuan church leaders do not refer to this claim lightly. Development in West Papua... Read More »

Philippines offers cyclone solidarity

Monday, February 7th, 2011

The following message was received from Bishop Elorde M. Sambat from our partner church the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. Biship Sambat writes: Dear Bothers and Sisters in Australia, As we are watching the news of the recent calamity that wrought havoc in your country especially the northern part of the continent, we deeply mourn with you and extend our prayers for the... Read More »

February E-News

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

In this Issue: UnitingWorld @ NCYC | International Partners respond to QLD Floods | Good Development and Cross-Cultural Forum | UnitingWorld Experience is in full swing for 2011 | Introducing Michael Constable | Launch of Lent Event Website & Video | Enter the blogging world UnitingWorld @ NCYC Bruce Mullan (Associate Director, Church Solidarity – Pacific), Kathy Pereira (Associate Director,... Read More »