This year UnitingWorld’s annual LentEvent campaign is challenging UCA members to be inspired by what God is doing in our region.
Resources and Bible studies share inspiring stories of peacemaking between Christians and Muslims in Indonesia and invite us to support this work through our partner churches.
“Since 2009, Lent Event has raised over $3 million for people living in the Pacific, Asia and Africa through long-term partnerships with the Uniting Church in Australia,” says UnitingWorld National Director Dr Sureka Goringe.
“Under the leadership of our partner church in Ambon, Indonesia, we're seeing families better fed and educated, as well as the growth of a new generation of young leaders dedicated to peace.”
In Crosslight, VicTas Moderator Rev. Denise Liersch reflects on the recent bushfires and observes that:
“Lent gives us a chance to deepen our life in the God who travels with us through even the darkest and most difficult of life experiences; as well as for our lives and relationships with God, each other and our world to be renewed.”
The National Council of Churches in Australia is also inviting churches to respond to the bushfire and other disasters by holding “Australian bushfire vigils.” Churches are invited to register with the Australian bushfire vigil website to host or join a vigil.
The resources on offer include “We will Rise” by ex-Moderator of the South Australian Synod, Rev Sue Ellis. Part of the profits from the sale of the booklet will be donated to the Synod Bushfire Relief fund.
The NCCA is also promoting a “Carbon Fast” – a theme also taken up by the ecumenical group Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC). ARRCC’s Living the Change campaign has adopted a resource of the Care for Creation team of the Catholic Parish of St Dennis, Madison, in the US State of Wisconsin. https://stdennisparish.org/wp-content/uploads/Lenten-Calendar-2020.pdf
In Insights magazine, Rev Dr John Squires of Canberra Region Presbytery writes that the challenge to the faithful is how and when, we find time to nurture our spiritual lives, to strengthening our life of discipleship? “Instead of giving something up,” writes John, “could we think about Lent as a time for going deep?”
Speaking of deep, the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Water Network is inviting WCC member churches to use the Seven Weeks for Water 2020 Campaign during Lent to reflect on water.
General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches Rev. James Bhagwan has contributed an introduction to the resource Solwara: Saltiness and the Liquid Continent.
“While the focus for the Seven Weeks of Water is often related to fresh water,” explains James, “in this introductory reflection, you are invited to engage with the saltiness of Oceania and our Pacific Ocean as the water of life.”