Let me begin then by acknowledging the First People of this place, those who under the grace of God cared for and nurtured and kept this place in life.
Let me thank Elenie for the privilege of being here, for inviting me to this place. We sit in a long line together Elenie and I, I was the second staff person in this role many centuries ago.
Today the Uniting Church bids farewell to its champion of justice Rev. Elenie Poulos.
Over 100 people gathered at Pitt St Uniting Church in Sydney to mark the conclusion of Elenie’s placement as National Director of UnitingJustice Australia.
Elenie’s ministry at the Assembly began in January 2002 and she was inducted at Centenary Uniting Church in Parramatta on the 22nd of March.
It was a time when justice, peace and faith in humanity were extremely challenged around the world.
When I started in this ministry I had no idea what it was about – just an unshakeable sense that it was where I was meant to be.
I’m very thankful for their willingness to take such an enormous risk, but I still wonder, on occasion, how it was that the interview panel decided to give me the job.
The Uniting Church in Australia affirms its friendship and ongoing collaboration with the Muslim community after three Australian Islamic leaders were targeted in an ISIS propaganda video.
In the video the terrorist group condemns Islamic scholars from around the world for discouraging violence in the name of Islam, including the Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, NSW Police Force chaplain Sheikh Ahmed Abdo and youth leader Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman, Fairfax Media reported.
Three Uniting Church ministers from the Middle Eastern diaspora, the National Director of Uniting World and myself spent seven days in Beirut, Lebanon in January.
Why did we go? In Romans chapter 12, verse 5 we are reminded that: “We in Christ though many form one body and each member belongs to all the others.” We went to be present for our sisters and brothers in Christ.
The 12th President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Rev. Alistair Macrae, has been honoured with an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2017 Australia Day Honours List.
Rev. Macrae’s citation says: “For distinguished service to the Uniting Church in Australia through executive and ministerial roles at state and national levels, and to the promotion of ecumenism, interfaith dialogue and reconciliation.”