Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017

Resources from Doug and Isabel Hewitt, Synod Faith & Unity Committee

Throughout this letter and a further letter below, are resources available for this year’s celebration of the Week of Prayer of Christian Unity, observed in the week leading to Pentecost Sunday.  The dates are 28th May to 4th June and the theme is RECONCILIATION, with the text from 2 Corinthians 5: “The love of Christ compels us ….”

This year the dates coincide with the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation, during which Christians focus on the challenge of reconciling with the nation’s First Peoples. More about that theme further on in this posting.

Provided here is  a liturgy for ecumenical worship during that week. Other resources include a poster, reflections for each of the eight days which are valuable for private or group use, and sermon notes on the scripture passages chosen for the worship. The latter two attachments are related to an ecumenical project of the churches in the Newcastle and Central Coast region on NSW, initiated by the Ecumenical Social Justice Network of Anglican, Catholic and Uniting Churches. Here also is a resource for those organising.

 

Week of Prayer for Reconciliation – Standing together with the First Peoples of Australia

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Safe Shelter for homeless men gets ready for Winter

Safe Shelter is getting ready for winter and needs volunteers to run its overnight shelters. Safe Shelter provides basic emergency shelter for homeless men in winter.
ACT shelters will operate in three donated inner-North church halls staffed by teams of trained volunteers, male or female, aged over 18. Guests and volunteers sleep on the floor. For guests who have been sleeping rough on the streets, just being warm and safe is luxury. For guests who have recently become homeless, Safe Shelter provides somewhere safe while they try to sort out their lives. For the volunteers, it is uncomfortable but rewarding.

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About FACE program mid-2017

Are you ready for a life-changing experience?

About FACE is a Faith And Cultural Exchange program of the Uniting Church in partnership with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC).

The next About FACE will be June 24 – July 8, 2017.  It will involve briefing and preparation, time living in UAICC communities and debriefing the experience. About FACE is open to people 18 years and over. The program aims to create an ‘about face’ in the attitudes and lifestyles of participants and to build relationships and bridges of understanding.

The program celebrates the Covenant relationship between the Uniting Church in Australia and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress. The program encourages participants and those supporting them to be actively involved in Covenanting and working together for reconciliation in our Uniting Church and in their wider communities.

About FACE Q&A vimeo: https://vimeo.com/64023584

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Safe Shelter Annual Report 2016

safe-shelterDownload Annual Report 2016

Meeting the amazing guests who impressed me so much with their sense of humour and respect for each other – a response to the survey question: What was good about volunteering for Safe Shelter 2016?

At its February meeting, St Columba’s Uniting Church Council approved the use of Lewis Hall for three nights per week throughout the winter of 2016, with the Church foregoing potential rent for the hall and paying the cost of heating and lighting, as in previous years.

Throughout the Autumn, members of the Safe Shelter Coordinating Committee met with media and church leaders requesting assistance with the program and enquiring about the availability of alternative locations but by March it became evident that no other venues would be available in time for Winter. As in 2014 and 2015, despite setbacks, the Committee undertook to continue its quest for additional venues. With strong media assistance, recruitment and training of volunteers occupied the committee thereafter.

Two Safe Shelters
From the start of Winter 2016, there were therefore two “Safe Shelters” in operation in the region, the original one at St Columba’s, Braddon, and a new one at Queanbeyan Uniting Church. There will be a separate annual report on Queanbeyan, which operates differently from the Canberra model because of local conditions, but the key point is that, although opening only on Tuesday each week, it accommodated 35 guests, additional to St Columba’s 139.

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