UnitingWorld has hosted UCA Church partners from Indonesia in Canberra and Sydney this week.
President of the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) Rev Dr Henrietta Lebang, Rev Jeny Elna Mahupale from the Protestant Church in Maluku and UnitingWorld’s Regional Coordinator in Southeast Asia Dr Debora Murthy all joined UnitingWorld’s Australian staff at the 2019 Australasian Aid Conference in Canberra.
Earlier this week I spent two days in Adelaide at the Refugee Alternatives Conference in Adelaide.
Around 400 people attended with at least a third of those in attendance having experience as refugees or asylum seekers.
Presentations throughout the conference reflected this with more than half the speakers having had the experience of being a refugee themselves. Their stories and input were powerful.
I was delighted to attend a service formally welcoming the Liverpool Zimbabwean Faith Community into the Uniting Church in Australia.
For around 10 years a group of people, originally from the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, have gathered from across Sydney at the Liverpool Uniting Church to share in worship and fellowship.
A national conversation about young people and the Uniting Church took place in Melbourne this week.
UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer joined with people from every synod engaged in ministry with youth and young adults, as well as members of the Assembly Resourcing Unit, the Discipling the Next Generations Circle of Interest and presbytery representatives.
Uniting Church members joined a thousand people gathered outside Parliament House on its first day of sitting calling for stronger action on climate change.
More than 25 Uniting Church members from eight Uniting Church congregations in Canberra, as well as further afield, joined with people from across the country asking Australia’s political leaders do more about climate change.
Last month I had the great privilege of moderating the Word Council of Churches’ Gender Advisory Group meeting in Switzerland.
The Advisory Group, which I’ve been a member of since 2014, has the task of drafting a WCC Gender Justice Policy.
President Dr Deidre Palmer has asked Uniting Church members to keep residents in disaster-affected areas in their prayers in the days and weeks ahead.
After heavy monsoonal rain, Townsville and surrounding areas are experiencing major flooding. Hundreds of residents have been evacuated and thousands of homes have been inundated. The Presbytery of North Queensland cancelled all church services over the weekend to ensure that no one crossed floodwaters. Some churches have opened their doors for people to gather and find support.
In Tasmania, seven homes have been destroyed in widespread bushfires, which have been burning since before Christmas. Firefighters are hoping rainfall in the coming days could help control the blazes which continue to burn out of control across the state.
More than 30 Uniting Church members, lay and ordained, working in a wide range of councils and agencies are among 1400 people recognised in the 2019 Australia Day Honours List.
Three people were specifically honoured for service to the Uniting Church.
On the Australian $50 note, there is a church alongside a portrait of Indigenous Australian author, preacher, and inventor David Unaipon (1872–1967). Unaipon was the first Aboriginal person to feature on an Australian banknote. He was born on the banks of the River Murray and lived most of his life in Raukkan. The church was built in 1868, under the direction of Rev George Taplin (1831-1879). Taplin established the Point McLeay Mission in 1859 and died on 24 June 1879.
A service of thanksgiving for the life of Rev. Jeffrey R Garrawurra will be held at Casuarina Uniting Church in Darwin at 3:30pm ACST on Thursday 21 February.
As a Yolŋu person, all posthumous depictions of Rev. Garrawurra are governed by customary law. This obituary and the image that accompanies it are not to be shared on social media at the request of Rev. Garrawurra’s Djungaya. Nor is the first name he was formerly known by to be used.
The Uniting Church in Australia and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress mourn the passing of the former National Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, Rev. Jeffrey R Garrawurra.
We pay tribute to his faithful and dedicated service to God’s mission throughout his extraordinary life.