Friday, December 08, 2006


This was sent in by a reader from yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald:

Church's attack on greenhouse gas not just hot air
Linda Morris Religious Affairs Writer

December 7, 2006

THE Uniting Church is poised to become that nation's first to buy into a carbon credit scheme to compensate for the greenhouse emissions generated by its leaders' air travel.

Its national council will audit emissions generated by travel and providing power to it property as part of increasing church interest in global warming.

And it is investigating the feasibility of buying carbon offsets for the greenhouse gases produced while staff fly because aircraft emit large amounts of carbon dioxide. [TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE CLICK HERE]

Editorial Comment:
Is this something that the Churches of Christ as a movement should be investigating? Could we as a movement - both nationally, state, agencies and individual churches - investigate and hopefully invest in reducing our ecological footprint? Should we as Christians be concerned about these sorts of things? [my bias is that we should] What are your thoughts on the issue?

In lieu of contributing to the document "Common Belief: Australia's Faith Communities on Climate Change - December 2006" should/could the Churches of Christ movement seek to be good stewards of creation in other ways? What are peoples are people thinking on this issue?

[Original email and links submitted to the SJN Blog Moderator by Alan Matheson - posted on this site as a potential conversation starter by the Moderator]

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


This is an invitation to a most historic and spiritually significant event for our church leaders, representatives and all concerned citizens to stand in prayer and solidarity with the suffering peoples of West Papua.

On the 14th Dec. there is a concert ‘Peace Child’ at the BMW Edge Theatre, Federation Square. Preceding this event there is a symbolic ‘Prayer Walk” to Federation Square (see accompanying information). An ancestral wooden sculpture (see picture) has been carved by a recent West Papuan asylum seeker which will be carried to the theatre and later displayed at the Art Gallery or Museum. This carving is of great spiritual significance to the West Papuans. Although this event will be cultural and spiritual, the political significance is paramount.

As we know Jesus and the Prophets call us to stand on the side of the oppressed and suffering. Genocide is taking place in West Papua at the hands of the Indonesian government while our government shakes hands, makes immoral treaties with Indonesia and turns a blind eye to the most terrible atrocities, putting trade and self interest as number one on the agenda. This is a chance for the church to show our leaders and country there is a higher call, and for people of conscience to make a stand. Australia’s track record regarding historic agreements on the destiny of West Papua involves serious betrayal (see New York Agreement, Act of Free Choice etc. in Sydney University report ‘Genocide in West Papua 2005’). In fact I don’t know how the churches have the audacity to pray for rain while not challenging our government and not standing by our nearest neighbour. I hope we will not be like those religious people in the parable of ‘The Good Samaritan’.

I hope you will give this invitation your most careful and prayerful consideration. I hope you can come on this ‘Prayer March’ for the liberation of the suffering people of West Papua through peaceful means (you may also like to attend this most exotic, exciting, highly cultured concert). I believe we the followers of Jesus in this free and lucky country can help the people of West Papua through prayer and action.

Thursday 14 December 2006; 5.00pm

Stefanus Akanmor is from the Asmat lands of West Papua, and one of the forty-three asylum seekers whose traditional canoe beached on Cape York Peninsula on 17 January 2006. For the past four months he has been carving a magnificent totem for Tumbuna’s performance of ‘Peace Child’ at BMW Edge Theatre on 14 December 2006 at 7pm

Stefanus will carry his ‘bis pole’ to the theatre, leading a March for Peace and Justice along the north bank of the Yarra River. The walk begins at 5.30 pm, and ticket holders to the ‘Peace Child’ concert are invited to join him.

Concert bookings: ticketmaster
Ph. 1300136166
Enquiries 95102193 or

Stefanus is negotiating with the Museum of Victoria and the National Gallery of Victoria, two institutions which are keen to display his work after the ‘Peace Child’ concert.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006



Two websites provide the 2007 Week of Prayer resources in different formats:

Firstly, the full documentation (introduction to the theme, the origins of the material from Umlazi, a proposed worship service, biblical reflections and prayers for the eight days, and additional resources from South Africa) may be found at:

Secondly, the website of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute has adapted these materials and posted copies of the worship resources (poster, background resources, worship bulletin, etc.) that can be printed from the website or ordered at

Plan to make use of these resources in your local communities and congregations during the 2007 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, joining with Christian throughout our world “to break the silence that oppresses” as together we seek to receive God’s gift of oneness, reconciliation, and healing in Christ.


Christian World Service’s work aims to break down the structures which create poverty, oppression, injustice and division. Christmas Bowl is a fund-raiser for Christian World Service. This year Worship material has been prepared by Greek Orthodox Churches for Christmas Bowl. This resource contains Worship resources, resources for churches, schools and youth groups, clip-art resources for advent. These resources can be viewed at:


Remembering the War and Violence in Sri Lanka and in the World

Sunday 10 December, 10.30am

St George’s East St Kilda Uniting Church, 4 Chapel Street, East St Kilda

THEME ‘Peace on Earth and Goodwill among Humankind’

Guest Speakers include

  • Ranjith Hettiarachi: “Buddhist Perspectives of Peace”
    Kumaran Thangarajah: “Hindu Perspectives of Peace”.
  • Swee-Ann Koh: “Christian Perspective of Peace”

The festival will also include Eastern and Western music, recitals and dances. Light refreshments will be served after the function.

ENQUIRIES: Rev. Angela Tampiyappa 9731 0604 or Rev. John Bottomley 9827 8322


Who Is My Neighbour?

Friday 8 December, 6pm - Saint John’s Anglican Church, Point Nepean Road, Sorrento

Saturday 9 December next is the fifth anniversary of the arrest and imprisonment of DAVID HICKS. Whatever one thinks of Hicks himself, it is not right that he should be imprisoned for so long without a fair and proper trial. MOHAMMED SAGAR is the last of the 1500 boat arrivals from 2001 sent to Nauru to be outside the Australian legal system. He is an Iraqi refugee condemned to mandatory indefinite detention and declared by ASIO to be "a risk to Australia's national security" without explanation or recourse.

A group of Melbourne parishes concerned for the denial of basic human rights such as these are simultaneously holding a HUMAN RIGHTS VIGIL pray, meditate and reflect on the plight of people such as Hicks and Sagar. The vigil concludes with a brief service during which the prayers of participants are offered.

The Mornington Peninsula Human Rights Group, which initiated this vigil would welcome similar vigils under the auspices of other Churches

SJN Motions and workgroups

The SJN is currently formulating workgroups with the view to developing motions to present to our Vic/Tas Conference in 2007. If you have any burning issues you would like to explore and debate with others such as “Where to now for Iraq?” “How will the new Industrial Relations reforms affect Australians” or “Continuing the push for a fairer system for people seeking asylum and refugee status.” if you are interested please email Kristen on


Who is Jesus in Asia today?
Thursday 8
th of February 2007

As part of the CCTC Centenary Symposium the SJN are hosting a dinner and address with Rev. Dr. Xiaoling Zhu. He is currently the East Asia and Pacific Executive for Global Ministries. He will speak to us on the growing presence of Christianity in China and other parts of Asia. Dr. Zhu is an excellent presenter with an inspiring message to share.

At CCTC Thursday, 8 February, 6:00 dinner and 7:00-9:00 presentation on "Who is Jesus in Asia today?" Cost $5 to cover dinner.

For more information about his work at Global Ministries click HERE