Love your neighbour

The Synod Weekly Newsletter is distributed each Friday. To subscribe click here. The issue sent out Friday 29th August contained the following article. The full text of the ‘Love for 100 Years’ statement spoken of in the article, is available at the website  where supporters can also add their names to the list of signatories.

We'll love MuslimsUniting Church leaders from across Australia gathered with over 100 interfaith and ecumenical friends in a statement of solidarity with Australia’s Muslim community.

Assembly President Rev. Prof Andrew Dutney spoke to supporters in launching the ‘We’ll Love Muslims 100 Years’ statement at Lakemba Mosque on 22 August.

“Recent public statements and media coverage about Muslim-Australians in some sections of the Australian media have been inflammatory and divisive,” said Rev. Prof Dutney. “We recognise the deep concern and hurt this is causing to our Muslim friends and the risks these kind of generalisations present to social harmony and cohesion.”

“In our multi-faith society, Jesus’ call to love your neighbour means that Christians are called to meet, befriend and care about our neighbours who are Muslim. Because of this, we can’t just stand by if they are unfairly insulted or marginalised.”

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Anti-Poverty Week: 12-18 October

Anti-Poverty Week will be held between 12 – 18 October this year, and provides an opportunity for congregations and communities to focus on the issues of poverty, both internationally and here in Australia. We’d like to encourage you to get involved.

This could involve making poverty a focus for your service, having specific activities that focus on poverty during this week, or getting involved in the UnitingCare NSW/ACT anti-poverty week campaign that is focussing on children and young people.

Resources – download here: UnitingCare NSW/ACT have pulled together a range of resources and links that could be useful. Included are six resource sheets followed by four separate attachments: An Economy of Life Resolution 2009; Economy of Life Worship Resources (prayers); Beyond Poverty Reduction – An Economy for Life; The Problem of Poverty and Abundance.

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Rev. Gordon Ramsay* kneading bread dough in a practical demonstration of Matthew 13:33, (30 Aug 2014).

Rev. Gordon Ramsay* kneading bread dough in a practical demonstration of Matthew 13:33, (30 Aug 2014).

Kippax Uniting Church at Holt, ACT, has been studying the story of the yeast in the flour, as told in the Bible story in Matthew 13:33, during the whole month of August. This has been as a result of a period of discernment by the Church Council, and other committees at Kippax, that has culminated in the Annual General Meeting on 30 August 2014.

There is no radical change of direction for Kippax, but a realisation that we are a “community of communities” (individuals and families; groups, activities, and functions of our church and UnitingCare Kippax; community users of our facilities; etc) bound by the yeast of God’s love, like the flour in a loaf is ‘made’ by the yeast.

So August 2014 has been a time when yeast has been the topic of conversations amongst us, and a way of remembering our achievements and leavening the future, giving us a structure for how we approach the years ahead.

Note: * Rev. Gordon Ramsay is actually quite able to joke about his namesake, the chef. :-)

Australian Christian Book of the Year

great bible swindleSparkLit encourages life-changing Christian writing so that lives, communities and cultures are transformed as people discover Jesus in a way that is authentic and culturally meaningful. The Australian Christian Book of the Year, Young Australian Christian Writer and Teen Writer awards are given annually for original writing by Australian citizens. These awards recognise and encourage excellence in Australian Christian writing.

The Great Bible Swindle …. and what can be done about it, by Greg Clarke, is the 2014 winner of the Australian Christian Book of the Year award. This book is a concise, persuasive and friendly appeal to read the Bible. The winner of the 2014 Teen Writer Award is Annie-Jo Vogler for her book Ellesmere Road and Heidi Waddell is winner of the Young Australian Christian Writer Award for her book The Bridge described as a clever, memorable and beautifully conceived allegory.

Find out more about these books and those by other prize-winners  on

Northern Iraq Crisis Appeal for Christians and other minorities

The Primate of Australia, the Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne, has launched an appeal to help Christians and other minority groups in Iraq affected by the brutal advance of ISIS militants.

The Primate launched the appeal at a news conference in Melbourne with the visiting Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Wednesday, August 13.
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