(Editorial from our Update Newsletter🙂
It’s 260 AD and across the Roman Empire, as many as one in four people are dying from plague. Bodies are left to rot in the streets and civic life grinds to a halt as people abandon the sick and flee from the cities.
One group is remarkably, consistently different.
In an Easter pastoral letter to his flock at the height of the carnage, Dionysius the Bishop of Alexandria notes: “Most of our brother Christians showed unbounded love and loyalty, never sparing themselves and thinking only of one another. Heedless of danger, they took charge of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them in Christ…”
Over the next sixteen centuries, through plagues that wiped out 60% of Europe’s population, historians credit the caring actions of Christians with not only saving countless lives, but with prompting the exponential growth of their faith.
Today, our leaders have called us to dig deep into the roots of this practical, other-centred faith. We were made for times like these.
“The whole premise of the Judeo-Christian faith is that we’re blessed to be a blessing to others, to be a gift, to make a contribution, to grow and co-create. At times like this the siren call to just hunker down and look after ourselves is seductive, but it fundamentally contradicts everything we understand about ourselves as people of God.” –Rev David Baker, Moderator of the Queensland Synod.
“During these testing COVID-19 days we keep hearing “we are all in this together”. We tend to interpret that as we must look after our family, neighbours and friends. As people who follow the way of Christ our orientation needs to be much broader.” –Rev Steve Francis, Moderator of the Western Australia Synod.
“Please join me, in supporting the work of our partner churches through UnitingWorld’s COVID-19 Appeal. Now, more than ever, we all need to support one another, so that we can come through this crisis into a world where the basics of life: clean air, water, food, shelter, healthcare, love and community are part of all our lives. Let’s join with our global partners in embodying God’s vision for the flourishing of all people and the whole creation.” –Dr Deidre Palmer, President of the Uniting Church in Australia.
While many project activities have been put on hold due to lockdowns, we are redirecting people and money to meet immediate COVID-19 related needs. Our partners are continuing to serve their communities in innovative ways and working hard to retain the development gains you’ve helped make happen.
Thank you so much to all our regular givers and all of you who’ve helped resource our partners to respond to this crisis. Your donations are being put to use protecting lives, preventing hunger and building the long-term resilience of communities in the Pacific, Asia and Africa.
Thank you for supporting this critical work.
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