Moderator’s pastoral message on Assembly marriage decision

John Williams and Vanessa Crimmins as Co-Chairs of Canberra Region Presbytery write:

Good morning Presbytery Colleagues

A pastoral message from the Moderator regarding the 15th Assembly’s marriage decision announcement can be read below or, along with a copy of the Assembly’s media release, can be downloaded here.

Moderator’s PASTORAL MESSAGE – 15th Assembly
180713 Uniting Church MEDIA RELEASE – Freedom to decide on marriage

As you all process or continue to reflect, meditate and pray on the decisions we have made as the Uniting Church with regard to Same Sex Marriage, know you are very much in our prayers for wisdom, grace and love. I am confident that with much prayer, listening and love, blessings not imagined will come.

Warmly Yours
John and Vanessa
Co-Chairs, Canberra Region Presbytery

The Moderator’s message: Continue reading

Easter Message from Presbytery Co-Chairs 2017

Extracts of the following message appeared in the Canberra Times, 13 April 2017 – read here and Canberra Times, 15 April 2017 – Editorial – read here.

Easter is about dying to self. Jesus laid down his life that we may find new life in a grace-filled relationship with God. Easter also celebrates that grace-filled relationship with God, a gift freely given.

What does this mean to us individually? Looking to the needs of the other before oneself, being silent and reflective, rather than rushing to judgement of others, speaking up for the other in terms of justice, doing without so others may have a little more. This is the tip of the iceberg of course and the further one explores the depths of one’s life, particularly the dark corners, the more opportunity there is to explore grace through acts of justice and mercy however insignificant that act might seem to be. It won’t be insignificant to the receiver, friend or stranger.

Jesus did not hold with the establishment by and large as his was a life lived out for the other. We know he mixed and shared meals with the marginalized, the outcast, those in need of healing of mind, spirit and body, the women held to be of no account and he challenged those pursuing self-interest at the expense of those without power and influence.

He challenged the status quo. He was radical and fearless as well as gentle and understanding. He said “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Nothing has changed. He is.

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Shaping the future of our planet

Catholic Earthcare
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ – ‘Praise be to you’ appeals for a new dialogue about shaping the future of our planet.

From the media release (available here), ‘Director of Catholic Earthcare Australia, Jacqui Remond, said Laudato Si’ is a game-changer for the Catholic community and it offers us in Australia a powerful moral and spiritual imperative for environmental and social action. This encyclical calls on us all to embrace a new lifestyle that respects all of creation, and asks our leaders to commit to effective global agreements.

The Pope refers to a broad range of topics including pollution and its effect on the poor, urban chaos, drug trafficking, refugees and human trafficking.

Pope Francis points to the ‘intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet, and the conviction that everything in the world is connected’ (16). He highlights the fact that local individuals and groups can make a real difference. They are able to instil ‘a strong sense of community’, ‘a readiness to protect others’ and ‘a deep love for the land’. He calls us to listen to the voices of our Indigenous peoples because for them, land is not a commodity but a sacred space and a gift from God.’

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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