Drug Law Reform Update from Uniting

JonOBrienUniting is the services and advocacy arm of the Uniting Church NSW & ACT. The following information has been received from Jon O’Brien, their Social Justice Advocacy Co-ordinator. 

At its meeting in April this year the Uniting Church NSW.ACT Synod supported two resolutions on drug law reform concerning the personal use of illicit drugs.  Uniting is leading a working group with input from the wider church, including the Social Justice Forum, to give effect to Synod’s decision.  The Synod was conscious of the need to keep congregations and other Uniting Church councils and bodies aware of this initiative and to respond to any questions about it.

The Social Justice Forum has prepared the following material on the initiative:

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Beyond Festival 2016

beyond greenhills 2016

A BOUTIQUE FESTIVAL CELEBRATING

CREATIVITY, JUSTICE AND GENUINE COMMUNITY

30 Sep – 3 Oct at Greenhills Centre, Cotter Road Canberra

Beyond Festival with Tim Costello, Megan Washington, Gillian Triggs and Lior.
Website: beyondfestival.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BeyondFestAus/
Link to 3 min video: www.dropbox.com/s/xawrdwh9nnamhuj/There%20is%20an%20alternative.m4v?dl=0Beyond_Logo-02

Last year the former ‘Black Stump Festival’, which ran for many years in Sydney, changed format and relocated to Greenhills Centre, Cotter Road Canberra. This year join Tim Costello, Megan Washington, Gillian Triggs and Lior and #UnleashJustice.

Presbytery meeting update August 2016

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God’s Vision: Building God’s Kingdom on Earth Together.

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“Hosts were lovely….nice food!!” – from meeting feedback. Thank you Canberra Korean.

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The August Presbytery meeting was held in Canberra Korean Uniting Church, Reid ACT.IMAG0390

Canberra Region Presbytery is working with Coast and Mountain congregations to assist these congregations with their need to discern what God may be saying about their future ministry leadership. Following the business meeting, the rest of the day was spent exploring four ministry models as part of this long process. We expect to be using this approach in future work with other parts of the Presbytery.

As preparation prior to the Presbytery meeting, Presbytery reps were invited to re-read the Presbytery vision statement, to be reminded of three marks of the movement and to read the Basis of Union  paragraphs 13: Gifts and Ministries -18: The People of God on the Way. (pp 25-29).

Geoff Wellington, Presbytery Minister for Mission and Education, (photographed above with Rev Jang-won Seo) introduced the context and situation of the South and Coast congregations. He then provided, one at a time, a description of the four possible models for discussion; models that may also be useful for other congregations in the Presbytery. The four models are described here.

As a result of the discussion of these models there was a clear indication that we all need to move into the future in cooperative ways. The meeting recognised that changes to the capacities of congregations to pay for full-time ministry leadership makes old models unworkable. Similarly the changing place of the church in our society requires us all to consider different ways of being the church in the different regions of our Presbytery.

Below are more photos, the Presbytery staffing decision and advance notice of the Congregational Expo at our next meeting…

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Social Justice Advocacy Package

seeds of hopePart of the role of the Social Justice Forum (SJF) is to encourage and support Uniting Church individuals, congregations and other groups as they respond to social  and environmental issues.

For some time the SJF has been working with Uniting Mission and Education and others to develop an advocacy training package. This material is now ready to be used and is available from the Seeds of Hope website. This website was set up jointly by UME and Uniting to resource and encourage churches in different aspects of their mission and community engagement.  http://www.seedsofhope.org.au/advocacy/

The material has four sessions which includes the biblical and theological foundations for advocacy in the Uniting Church, a theoretical framework to guide planning for advocacy and some practical tools to apply that planning to the issues people care about. The package is designed to be used flexibly, you can use all of it, one session or just parts you choose. The advocacy training material is provided under a creative commons arrangement so people are free to adapt the material for their particular needs and uses, as long as people acknowledge the original material and indicate any changes made. Material cannot be used for profit purposes.

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2016 Community Diversity Festival

St Margaret'sFestival will celebrate the diversity of the north Canberra community
(download flyer here)

The Community Diversity Festival celebrating the diversity of the north Canberra community will this year feature a screening of the film “Walk in my shoes – digital stories by Muslim women in Canberra”. One of the women involved in the project, Sarwat Maqbool, will be present for a conversation following the screening.

Festival Poster A5 by 2The Festival, organised by St. Margaret’s Uniting Church in Hackett, is joined this year by the Hackett Community Association.

The festival will be open from 11:30 a.m. A welcome to country will be given by elder Jeanette (Nin) Phillips at 1:30, followed by the official opening by Mr Chris Bourke, MLA,.

Performers include the Con Brio choir, the IBRs the ACT Tai Chi Society, buskers Callum and Renee and Chloe and friends, the Ancient Arts Fellowship and Scottish Country Dancers.

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