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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‘Catholic Voice’ reports on Family Violence Forum

Download the prayer for family violence booklet  “For Such a Time As This”.

family violence forum

Vanessa Crimmins, UCA Canberra Region Presbytery Chairperson, with Shane Mortimer, Ngambri nation; Dean Phillip Saunders, St Saviours Anglican, Goulburn; Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Catholic Diocese Canberra Goulburn. (Image from Catholic Voice July 2016 page 7)

Family violence ‘a bloody battlefield’ is the headline of an article by Siobhan Reeves in the July 2016 edition of Catholic Voice, reporting on the recent Canberra forum: An Ecumenical Response to Domestic Violence attended by over 100 people. Catholic Voice is the newspaper of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn and the article, which can be viewed here,  says:

Vanessa Crimmins, quoting from her foreword to the book, “For Such a Time As This”, reminded those present of the power of prayer in such times:

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Pokémon GO and Uniting Churches

Pikachu on a beach. Look out, South Coast!

Pikachu on a beach. Look out, South Coast!

The UCA’s Victorian Synod magazine reports that numerous Uniting Churches there “have been transformed into Pokémon Gyms”, according to the VIC Moderator, Rev Sharon Hollis.

We are awaiting reports from Canberra and the region.

UPDATES:
#1 – Kippax Uniting Church is reported to be a Gym (that has been ‘conquored’ already.)
#2 – Queanbeyan UC is also a ‘gym’.
#3 – Advice if your church becomes a Pokémon Gym.

Give Hope – Uniting for Asylum Seekers

Winter Voucher appealWinter Voucher Appeal Poster – download and place on a notice board.

Many congregations have expressed a desire to support asylum seekers in a practical way and Give Hope’s Winter Voucher Appeal is an opportunity to do this. The following information is taken from their website: http://givehope.org.au/get_involved/winter-voucher-appeal-2016:

Through a partnership with Settlement Services International (SSI), the Give Hope Campaign, is launching the Winter Voucher Appeal from 1st July – 31st August.

It’s easy to get involved in the Give Hope-SSI Winter Voucher Appeal. Simply purchase a gift card listed below either in-store or online, to the amount of your choice, and send it to the Give Hope Team by the end of August. We’ll then pass these on to SSI for distribution to the people and families in need. SSI works with over 5,000 asylum seekers from a diverse range of religious and ethnic backgrounds.

Where to purchase Gift Cards (scroll down for important tips when purchasing online)

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