Posted: June 17th, 2013 | Author: megan.graham | Filed under: In the news, Media, National Assembly, News | No Comments »
UnitingJustice, a unit of the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly, has publicly launched its Federal Election resource, A Just Society: Your Faith, Your Voice, Your Vote in Canberra this week.
Rev Elenie Poulos, National Director of UnitingJustice, said that the resource is an expression of Christian faith and hope, focussing on the good of all people and the planet.
“This resource is a call for all Christians to raise their voice and share in the Church’s vision for a just society. As Christians, we have a responsibility to think carefully and cast our vote with the needs of the most vulnerable in mind.”
A Just Society is an invitation to Uniting Church members and others to consider the values which underpin the policies of political parties and candidates in the upcoming election. It contains materials to assist Church members in identifying the important issues facing Australia, and invites them to listen to politicians and political parties with discernment.
The resources include a range of issues papers and hot issues briefs on topics including asylum seekers, aged care, climate change and human rights as well as an election toolkit with ideas for how to get actively involved in the local community and with local candidates.
“This is a time when many are disappointed in the lack of vision and passion in the current political climate,” said Rev Poulos.
“As Christian voters we can make an impact before, during and after the election – sharing and working for a vision for the future of our country that arises out of a deep and abiding Christian hope.”
“We seek a country that lives out its concern for those who live in poverty and those who are sick and isolated. We hope for a country which is built on compassion and generosity and where all people are treated with dignity and respect. Now is the time to remind our political leaders that we care about these things.”
UnitingJustice is the justice policy and advocacy unit of the Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia, working on issues of social and economic justice, human rights, peace and the environment. It supports the Church in its response to contemporary social and political concerns and is an expression of the commitment of the Assembly to engage in public life as it seeks to live out the gospel in the world.
The 2013 election resources can be found online at www.unitingjustice.org.au/election2013
Contact: Matt Pulford 0408 634 373
Posted: June 14th, 2013 | Author: ben.grundy | Filed under: National Assembly | No Comments »
More than 1000 Tongan members of the Uniting Church in Australia, their friends and supporters gathered at Kurrajong at the foot of the Blue Mountains from 7-10 June to take part in the annual Tongan National Conference (TNC).
The theme of this year’s TNC was the “Power of God’s Love”. The whole program of worship services, Bible studies, youth and young adults’ program, Choir festival, cultural night, skits and items all reflected that theme.
Among several guests of the TNC were the President of the Free Wesleyan Church in Tonga, Rev. Dr ‘Ahio and his wife Mrs Loukinikini ‘Ahio, National Consultant on Theology and Discipleship Rev. Dr Chris Walker, UnitingWorld National Director Rev. Dr Kerry Enright, and Assembly General Secretary Rev Terence Corkin. Dr and Mrs ‘Ahio brought greetings from Tonga’s King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u, and the Conference of The Free Wesleyan Church. Queen Nanasipau?u sent her apology to the TNC. Both the King and Queen were active members of the UCA while they lived in Canberra, and consider themselves to be so whenever they visit Australia. They are also active supporters of the UCA in Tonga and very encouraging of Tongan members of the UCA here.
“Over this long weekend we have truly witnessed the power of God’s love in the strength of our faith and our Tongan culture in the Uniting Church in Australia,” said TNC Chairperson Rev. Jason Kioa.
“For the very first time a congregation of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga attended the TNC along with their local UCA Tongan speaking community in Adelaide. The two ministers and their communities are committed to learning and working together. This is very significant for the Church in Tonga and the UCA.
“In Sydney’s Sutherland Shire in which the Jannali Uniting Church is placed these two Tongan ministers are providing a wonderful lead as they work and minister together in a genuine team. With God’s blessing, our fellowship of believers continues to grow and our ministry is flourishing.”
The Opening Service on Friday 7 July was led by TNC Deputy Chair, Rev. Alimoni Taumoepeau of Blaxland Uniting Church and included performances by no less than 15 Tongan youth choirs from around the country. Dr ‘Ahio preached on Sunday and the chairperson Rev Jason Kioa on Monday when recently ordained UCA ministers Rev. Salesi Faupula of Jannali Uniting Church and Rev. Fa Ngaluafe of Chermside-Kedron Community Church in Brisbane led the Communion Service. Both services included major contributions by more than 10 choirs with Monday’s concluding with the Hallelujah Chorus, sung in Tongan.
The Conference over the June long weekend also saw many joyful expressions of culture, particularly on the traditional ‘cultural night’ song and dance performances on Saturday, when more than $25,000 was raised for TNC projects.
A number of prominent UCA Tongan leaders and elders were also honoured at a Po Lotu (speeches and choirs) event for their contributions to the faith life and leadership in ministry in Tonga and in Australia, and in the Uniting Church in Australia:
- Mrs Sioana Faupula, member of Toe Talatalanoa congregation at Canberra City UC, mother of Salesi, a prominent leader among Tongan women, and leader of the Children’s ministry team at the TNC;
- Rev. Sione Alo Fakahua, a retired FWCT and UCA minister, whose daughter Rev Mele Fakahua-Ratcliffe is the minister at Auburn Uniting Church in Sydney;
- Rev. Supeli Taliai, the former Principal of Tupou College, Tonga’s oldest secondary school.
The UCA’s National Director of Multicultural and Cross Cultural Ministry, Rev. Dr Tony Floyd, said “the TNC continues to go from strength to strength supported by so many of all ages for this 26th time.” He also hailed “the extraordinary work, respect, gifts and faithfulness of the 2nd Gen youth and young adults’ team who are strongly supported and encouraged by the TNC National Executive Committee members and others. They brought the theme – the Power of God’s love – to life.”
“When congregations from all over Australia come together like this the fellowship is overpowering,” said Rev. Dr Floyd.
“Seeing the Spirit at work in the communities present this weekend, and the growing number of young families attending TNC, makes me proud that we in the Uniting Church continue to journey on the way to fulfilling God’s mission for us to be a church for all God’s people.”
Organisers say they anticipate the Conference will attract even more people next year because of the enthusiasm and spiritual nourishment offered and the positive experience of those who attended this year.
Posted: June 12th, 2013 | Author: ben.grundy | Filed under: Media | No Comments »
Two existing UnitingCare services are joining forces to help support the needs of people seeking Asylum in Victoria.
Lentara UnitingCare (LUC) is pleased to announce that the Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project has formally joined LUC and the program will be called the Asylum Seeker Project.
Both the LUC and ASP Boards and Executives have worked collaboratively, undertaking a number of joint board and staff consultation sessions over the past four months to arrive at this outcome.
The joining of LUC and the ASP enables a more consolidated approach and stronger focal point for the programs and services offered to people seeking asylum. The combined reach of the two agencies also creates an opportunity for the ASP to extend services in the North West region.
Joy Nunn, Chief Executive Officer of Lentara UnitingCare said of the transfer, “We are very excited about the transfer of ASP to the LUC family. The transfer represents a significant opportunity to strengthen Lentara’s support to those seeking asylum, and enhances existing asylum seeker services offered by the Asylum Seeker Welcome Centre in Brunswick to deliver better outcomes to people seeking asylum”.
The UnitingCare network provides social services to over 2 million people each year in 1,300 sites in remote, rural and metropolitan Australia. UnitingCare Australia has 35,000 staff and 24,000 volunteers.
Kirstie McLaren, Manager – Media & Communications
Phone: (03) 9326 8343 | Mobile: 0429 588 980
Email: email@example.com | Website: www.lentarauc.org.au