Friday, 22 February 2019

Selamat PGI

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.

Rev. Dr Lebang, Rev Maahupale and Dr Murthy joined UnitingWorld Associate Director Jane Kennedy in a Conference panel session about “Using a theological approach to address inequality and conflict.”

Rev. Dr Lebang told the Conference that poverty, inequality, radicalism and environmental destruction were the four issues that the Indonesian churches had identified as the biggest threats to justice in their country.

"Spirituality is the source of the power for transformation" she said. "God is faithful to all of creation, to all people. That is why we will work with people of all faiths for justice for all".

The PGI is the biggest ecumenical grouping in Indonesia with 90 member churches representing 15 million people.

Rev Mahupale and Dr Murthy also spoke of their respective experiences in peacemaking and community building.AAC2019 Panel discussion

Rev Mahupale shared one story of Christians and Muslims working together to rebuild each other's houses of worship in a village where the communities had been segregated for 20 years.

Dr Murthy described how the church in Bali works directly with the local community to raise awareness of government funding and programs, and has been so successful that government leaders previously skceptical about church intentions now seek out their support in developing programs.

Assembly National Consultant Rev. Dr Apwee Ting who is a former National Chairperson of the UCA’s Indonesian National Conference also joined the delegation for a visit to the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra.

Later in the week the delegation visiting the Assembly offices in Sydney and spoke to staff about the churches work in in Indonesia.

UnitingWorld has partnered with the Protestant Church in Maluku and in Bali for more than 10 years through project work in local communities.

Peacebuilding and poverty alleviation remain the focus for these churches as they seek to be light and love in their context.