March, 2011

Raw food for Lent

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Guest blogger Brindley Buultjens offers the first of a series of reflections on his experience through Lent Event For Lent Event this year I’m giving up cooked and manufactured food. I began this process last year after watching a movie called “Food Matters” talking about the dangers of the food industry and how processed our […]  

» Read More

Confronting cultures of hatred and violence

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

During Lent we will be reflecting on the five program areas supported through Lent Event, and why they are vital for good development. Today, Hannah Ireland (Young Ambassadors for Peace project assistant) considers the role of Peacemaking in sustainable Development. Over the last few months I have had the privilege of working with Joy Balazo […]  

» Read More

Pacific churches act on climate change

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Church and non-government representatives recently  joined government delegates and international donors in Niue for a Pacific Climate Change Roundtable, organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP).  Here is a snippet from Nic Maclellan’s report for Island Business.  Church leaders at a regional meeting on climate change have called on Pacific governments […]  

» Read More

West Papua – the Church Speaks Out

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The Uniting Church in Australia works in partnership with the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua. Partnership involves listeing and learning. It calls for mutual concern and action as we share together in our common humanity as God’s people. The church in West Papua is speaking out. Partnership calls us to listen…. and to act.    THEOLOGICAL DECLARATION OF […]  

» Read More

Tonga celebrates 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Guest blogger and current UnitingWorld Experience Volunteer, Kate Saxton, reflects on celebrating International Women’s Day in Tonga. Be proud!  That was the theme for Tongan students as they celebrated this year’s International Women’s Day in Nuku ‘Alofa- the country’s capital.  March 8th saw the 100th anniversary since the first International Women’s Day (IWD) event was […]  

» Read More

Combating the “consume-eat” mentality

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Guest blogger Andrew Thornley offers the first of a series of reflections on his experience through Lent Event To me, the enemy these days is consumerism and the ease with which we can buy things and live comfortably in one of the most fortunate countries in the world. Lent Event gives me an opportunity to […]  

» Read More

Green Tea Lent

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Guest blogger Michelle Erofeyeff (UnitingWorld National Committee member) offers the second of a series of reflections on her experience of Lent through Lent Event Two weeks of Lent Event have now passed. I’m still going strong getting through each day without coffee but have this week finally given green tea a try. For a while […]  

» Read More

Connecting through Lent with Zimbabwe

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Guest bloggers Jim and Jan Rumery offer a reflection on Lent Event’s connection with those beyond Australia. Westbourne Park UC, South Australia, accepted the challenge to participate in Lent Event 2011. The Ash Wednesday service was a very moving experience with the bowl of water the sand and the stones. We have three study groups doing […]  

» Read More

Resources for Praying for Japan

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Rev. Alistair Macrae, President of the Uniting Church in Australia  encourages prayer for Japan and links to potential resources We are all aware of the dreadful impacts of the tsunami in Japan and I am sure, as you plan for worship this week, prayers for Japan will feature prominently. I’m writing to encourage your congregation […]  

» Read More

Expression of thanks from Japan to the Uniting Church in Australia

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

As the relief effort from key centres continues, our partner The United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ) has expressed thanks to the Uniting Church in Australia for our support and prayers. Teruki Takada, Commission on Ecumenical Ministries of the The United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan) has conveyed a message of thanks. “The UCCJ is touched by your prayers. The messages which reached... Read More »

Carteret Islanders – some of the world’s first climate refugees

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

A documentary film released last year tells the story of the Carteret Islanders who have been called the world’s first climate refugees.  This remote chain of six small Pacific islands and the 1000 or so people who live there are is fast losing ground to rising sea levels. Sun Come Up tells the story of […]  

» Read More

Gap Uniting Church united by Lent Event 2011

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Guest blogger Rev. John Ruhle of the Gap Uniting Church in Queensland and  UnitingWorld National Committee member offers a pastoral leaders reflection on Lent Event As a congregation the Lent Event theme and material in 2011 have created a real sense of focus for the Lent Season. The worship team have been energized by the […]  

» Read More

Need versus habit : Lent Event as discerning the difference

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Guest blogger Michelle Erofeyeff (UnitingWorld National Committee member) offers the first of a series of reflections on her experience of Lent through Lent Event I’m struggling. For the past few years I’ve given up sweets for Lent Event, which I’ve managed OK. This year I wasn’t eating sweets anyway so decided to give up coffee. […]  

» Read More

East Timor – Empowering people for the future

Monday, March 21st, 2011

with guest blogger John Barr (Associate Director, Asia) who joined Joy Balazo to launch the UnitingWorld Peacemaking program in East Timor. In 1999 East Timor went up in flames. Two thirds of the population were displaced. Much of the county’s infrastructure was destroyed while thousands of people experienced horrific events that remain embedded in their […]  

» Read More

A Lesson in Language

Monday, March 21st, 2011

In a previous lifetime, I worked as a high school Science teacher. As many of my former students will agree, I could never be confused for an English teacher. Words like verb, adjective and noun still require me to ponder at times, and don’t get me started on spelling. I still miss my then year […]  

» Read More

Japan Quake and Tsunami Appeal Launched

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

In response to the earthquake and tsunami that has devastated Japan in the last week UnitingWorld has launched the Japan Quake and Tsunami Appeal. UnitingWorld has been in conversation over the last few days with Uniting Church partner,  the United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ), who have numerous congregations in the affected areas. This appeal will support the UCCJ as they set up and provide... Read More »

UnitingWorld in contact with Church Partners in Japan

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

UnitingWorld has been in touch with churches in Japan to express concern and support on behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia following the devastating earthquake and tsunami. UnitingWorld’s National Director, Kerry Enright, has spoken to both the General Secretary of the Korean Christian Church in Japan (KCCJ), the Reverend Seong Wan Hong, and the Ecumenical Secretary of the United Church... Read More »

Uniting Church expresses solidarity with partners in Japan

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

This evening I returned to my hotel room here in Dili, East Timor, after a busy day meeting with our Timorese partners and switched on the BBC News. I was shocked to see images of absolute devastation coming out Japan as an earthquake followed by a tsunami hit the country. Over on CNN, broadcasters were warning Pacific rim and Pacfic […]  

» Read More

Mama Mercy and the people of Zimbabwe

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Africa is quite unique. I think what works in other places is unlikely to work here. I have been challenged by the depth of poverty, political oppression, obscene ways people treat other people and it sometimes feels as if there is no end to the despair that some lives live within. Especially the children and […]  

» Read More

Public Transport and the Art of Waiting

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Last week I visited one of our partners in a developing country overseas. I was due to travel from the capital city up to the site of our project, a 10-12 hour trip by car over very poor roads. Late on the afternoon before travelling I received a message from the partner that the vehicle […]  

» Read More

Religious freedom in Indonesia – churches play a critical role

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Followers of the Ahmadiyah movement, a liberal Islamic group in Indonesia were attacked in Banten Province leaving three people dead last Sunday while churches were targeted in Temanggung in Central Java leaving a number seriously damaged on Monday. This is part of a worrying trend across Indonesia as minority religious groups are targeted and attacked. […]  

» Read More

No.21 – Lent Event as making a personal connection with those who are poor

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

with guest blogger and this year’s “Sacred Friendships” Journey Guide author Rev. Dr. Rick Dacey (Ministry Team Leader – West Epping) on reason no. 21 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. To download Week One of the Lent Event Journey Guide […]  

» Read More

Reflecting on International Women’s Day

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

For International Women’s Day I sat down with Bronwyn Thompson (Education/Administrative Assistant, Uniting Faith & Discipleship) to talk about equality for the ladies worldwide. This appeared initially in the online magazine THE TRANSIT LOUNGE (Used here with permission) ***** Question: Among other issues, poverty, violence, access to adequate health care and access to education are […]  

» Read More

No.20 – Lent Event as working for the equality of women living in poverty

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

with guest blogger Steph Dalton (UnitingWorld – Relief and Development Intern) on reason no. 20 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. In 1911 over a million women and men gathered together in several European countries and the USA to campaign for […]  

» Read More

“Everyone ate and had enough”

Monday, March 7th, 2011

“How many loaves have you?” This question was asked last Friday as people gathered around the world to celebrate World Day of Prayer. The liturgy was prepared by the women of Chile and the focus of the celebration was on the story of how Jesus fed 5,000 people by a lakeside somewhere in Palestine. This […]  

» Read More

March E-News

Monday, March 7th, 2011

In this issue: Right to Learn | Alistair Macrae, President UCA, names Lent Event as a gift to the Uniting Church | Preparing for Lent Event 2011 | Partnering with Sri Lanka | Everything in Common – the gift that expresses solidarity all year round | International Women’s Day Right to Learn “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”... Read More »

No.19 – Lent Event as knowing grace and love during hardship

Monday, March 7th, 2011

with guest blogger Bishop P.K Samantaroy (Bishop of the Diocese of Amritsar, Church of North India and affectionately know as Bunu) on reason no. 19 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. On 20th February last year, The Epiphany Church at Batala was burnt by some fundamentalists. When I heard about the fire, I was in... Read More »

Why would a minister go to a conference in Vanuatu

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

One of the three Uniting Church Ministers’ Conferences this year will be held in Vanuatu  Ministers might wonder how atending a conference in the Pacific might enrich their current ministry in Australia. This is what UnitingWorld National Director Rev Dr Kerry Enright had to say about it:  ‘Vanuatu offers one of the most fascinating case studies of complex global and cultural... Read More »

No.18 – Lent Event as learning to welcome others into our lives

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

with guest blogger Rob Floyd (Associate Director, Relief and Development) on reason no. 18 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. In the course of supporting our overseas partners and monitoring projects I travelled last last year to Zimbabwe where we have some rejuvenated projects taking place in the area of water harvesting. In... Read More »

Pacific food prices soar

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Radio New Zealand recently reported new United Nations research which showed food prices in the Pacific have climbed 100 percent in the past three years. UNICEF’s chief Pacific advocate Samantha Cocco-Klein said the impact of the global economic crisis has had a much greater impact in the region than previously thought. Ms Cocco-Klein says even locally grown foods, such as yams,... Read More »

No.17 – Lent Event as examining our lifestyles and consumer choices

Friday, March 4th, 2011

with guest blogger Christa Megaw (Uniting Church in South Australia, International Mission Officer), on reason no. 17 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. I have a dilemma. It came as one of the tasks involved when I began in my role as International Mission Officer for the Uniting Church in South Australia.  I buy... Read More »

Vanuatu: Will there be land left for the locals?

Friday, March 4th, 2011

When I visited Vanuatu last year one of the things which concerned me was the issue of land ownership.  For most of the past decade Vanuatu has been enjoying strong economic growth but much of that growth has been fuelled a land and real estate boom and now land deals are creating local concern with warnings that they are causing poverty, dispossession, corruption and even hold the... Read More »

No.16 – Lent Event as a gift to the Uniting Church and for activists

Friday, March 4th, 2011

with guest blogger UCA president Rev. Alistair Macrae on reason no. 16 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. One of my constant struggles since becoming a disciple of Jesus has been finding sustainable spiritual practices. Since becoming ‘a professional Christian’ (in my case, a Minister) where the job actually requires... Read More »

Disturbing reflections on post-war Sri Lanka

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Recently I visited Sri Lanka to spend time with local churches. Our plan was to drive to Jaffna along the A9 past Vavuniya to Kilinochchi and then through Elephant Pass to the Jaffna Peninsula. Sadly we were not able to travel beyond Omanthai because of security concerns. Mrs Vallipuram Parvanthi, mother of Prabharakan, the notorious leader of the LTTE, had died the day before and... Read More »

Dreams of an Indian Girl

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

With International Women’s Day coming within the next week I am compelled to reflect on women in the developing world and their vital role in seeking justice, equality and change. A couple of weeks ago I had the joy of meeting Jita (Smaraki Samantaroy), the Communications Assistant of the Diocese of Amritsar, Church of North India. Technically, she was in Australia to spend time... Read More »

Family “in the Spirit”

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

On Sunday 25th February Lent Event was launched in South Australia, as part of which  I preached at The Corner in Adelaide.  I reflected on the Australian PM’s use of the word “family” to explain the depth of the Australian response to the Christchurch earthquake. It led me to think about how family and their stories influence our behaviour.   A story told... Read More »

UCA Ministers’ Conference in Vanuatu

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

 Sign up soon for the Uniting Church President’s Ministers’ Conference in Mele Village close to Port Vila Vanuatu 9 to 13 May 2011.  The theme is “Ministry in a Time of Transition”, one of the transitions being that the church is growing and thriving beyond the West so that the face of Christ is changing.  How can ministers help people in Australia experience Christ amid... Read More »

No.15 – Lent Event as populating our minds with the lives of others

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

with guest blogger Kerry Enright (National Director, UnitingWorld on reason no. 15 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. Our family moved to Australia from New Zealand four years ago to enable me to take up the role of National Director of UnitingWorld.  We have many friends in Christchurch.  We lived near there. ... Read More »

No.14 – Lent Event as an annual spiritual refresh

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

with guest blogger Rev. Kent Crawford (Minister for Community Engagement, West Epping Uniting Church) on reason no. 14 of 21 to register now for Lent Event 2011. Check out the Act Reflect Connect blog for the full series. This year will be my 7th experience of Lent Event, so I guess you could say it’s become a habit.  I find that we often struggle with habits as they can begin... Read More »

West Papua – Is Indonesia on “shaky ground”?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Recently the predominantly African people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly to establish an independent nation free from the Arab dominated regime in Khartoum. This represents a break with the Muslim north and a new beginning for South Sudan’s African Christian population. Last week the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies within the University of Sydney held a conference on West... Read More »