Thursday, 04 April 2019

Historic Gathering

Written by Rev Amel Manyon

Rev. Amel Manyon, the first South Sudanese woman ordained as a minister in Australia has offered a reflection on the Sudanese and South Sudanese National Consultation in Canberra from 29–30 March 2019.

This the first time after the Independence of South Sudan that Sudanese and South Sudanese Christian women have gathered across tribal, geographical and denominational lines.

We gathered under the theme “Truth, Unity, Reconciliation”.

The gathering was organised by the National Council of Churches Australia. Twenty women attended from around the country - specifically Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

Five denominations were present; Catholic, Anglican, Uniting Church, Salvation Army, and Baptist. There were also representatives of the Police and Health departments.

The gathering was opened with the Word of God followed by a brief history of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, the venue for our gathering.

The meeting helped women to develop connection and relationship across denominations, and Sudanese and South Sudanese sub-communities across the country.

It also gave women an opportunity to share their stories, experiences, challenges and hope for the Sudanese and South Sudanese communities living in Australia.

It was also a chance for women to identify some of the issues that face our community in Australia. Issues such as:

  • Youth - addressing parenting; building trust; communication and engaging youth in different activities in both church and community; mentoring and leadership programs.
  • Women in ministry - women being affected by culture and tradition of the church and the society they live in.

I strongly believe that this type of gathering should be encouraged and supported by all.

A big thank you to the UCA for sending five women to participate in this wonderful and joyful meeting.

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