News

JUSTUPDATE

30 August JustUPDATE

The events featured here are from our own and other organisations. The content below is lifted fortnigtly from your JustUPDATE email sent to our subcribers. To subscribe, go to the bottom of this page.

During the 2021 Season of Creation, from 1st September through to 4th October, thousands of Christians on six continents get together for a time of restoration and hope, a jubilee for our Earth, and to discover radically new ways of living with creation. This year, the theme for the season is 'A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God'. Visit the Seasons of creation website for more information.

You can also search liturgical resources from many denominations by clicking this link.

Five Leaf Eco-Awards

The Five Leaf Eco-Awards are an Australian ecumenical environmental change program specifically designed for churches and religious organisations. Using a series of non-competitive awards the program assists, inspires and rewards faith communities for taking environmental action and becoming more sustainable in response to God’s call to care for creation.

The Five Leaf Eco-Awards encourage holistic action for the environment covering five areas:, Building, Worship, Congregation, Outreach, Community Leadership

There are currently six awards available in the program– two introductory awards and four advanced awards.

To earn an award, churches simply complete actions to fulfill the criteria of that award, and are then presented with certificates of recognition for their achievement. You can begin the process by filling out this survey on the website.

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CAMPAIGNS

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Christians United for Afghanistan - Uniting Church Support

As the crisis in Afghanistan unfolds, Christians, and followers of Jesus, from across these lands now called Australia, alongside a wider public movement, are being moved to speak boldly to our national leaders to provide urgent action for the well being of Afghan refugees. The Uniting Church has joined other Christians in Australia calling for urgent action by signing onto the call for Christians United for Afghanistan. This call joins your own Christian voice to the sector wide calls, and asks our Australian Government to follow the lead of Canada, in offering 20,000 additional resettlement places for refugees fleeing Afghanistan, to provide security for Afghani’s in Australia on temporary protection visas or in detention, and to increase our humanitarian aid for refugees and asylum seekers in the region.

You can read more and sign the petition by clicking this link.

A toolkit for Churches to engage with Congregations is also available, click here.

FOR A LIST OF RESOURCES RELATING TO THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN SEE THE 'RESOURCES' SECTION FURTHER DOWN

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End Gambling Ads on TV: SBS 

SBS has played an important role in community TV for more than 40 years. But right now they’re putting revenue ahead of community safety by broadcasting dangerous and addictive gambling ads. They’ve strayed from their core values and we need to get them back on track. We know 91% of SBS viewers nationwide hate gambling ads and want to see an immediate end to them.

Send an email to key members of the SBS Board and it's managing director and tell them why SBS needs to #EndGamblingAds!

Click here to join the campaign

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Raise the age of legal responsibility from 10 to 14
Everyone knows that children do best when they are supported, nurtured and loved. But across Australia, children as young as 10 can be arrested by police, charged with an offence, hauled before a court and locked away in a prison. The current age of legal responsibility goes against the recommendations of medical experts and the United Nations. Yet still, about 600 children aged 10 to 13 are locked up in Australia every year – 70 per cent of them Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. It’s time for the federal, state and territory governments to do what’s right and change the laws to raise the age, so children aged 10 to 13 years are not sent to prison. Children belong in classrooms and playgrounds, not in handcuffs, courtrooms or prison cells.

Help us urge Governments across Australia to raise the age of legal responsibility to 14 years.

Click here to sign the petition

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EVENTS/ONLINE

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2021 JIM Convention - Our Faith in Democracy: How do you have a meaningful Say?

Most of the social justice causes church members are concerned about require government action, from addressing climate change, modern slavery, and family violence to the treatment of people seeking asylum and justice for First Peoples. In order to see positive change in our society, we need to care about making government work for the betterment of our community and the world.

The 2021 Justice and International Mission Convention, will explore what the Christian faith has to say on the subject of government and trust in societies. The Convention will also hear from movements seeking to re-energise our democracy and give us a greater say in how government runs.

Click here to register online

Click here download the flyer with more information and registration form.

When: Saturday 6 November 2021, 9:30am – 4:15pm (AEST)
Where: Centre for Theology and Ministry, 29 College Crescent, Parkville or online
Cost: $40 for metropolitan participants, $25 concession and non- Metropolitan participants $10 online participants. Catering provided for in-person participants.

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Life, Land and Livelihood: Anti-mining Campaigns in the Philippines and AustraliaA forum exploring mining in the Philippines. Australian Taxpayers' money is supporting the creation of a vast coal mine in a time when the world is battling to protect the environment and prevent Global warming. Yet, President Duterte has lifted the moratorium on issuing mining permit, paving the way for more than 290 mining applicants. Leading the discussion is Matt Ross, Tipping Point organiser on  'Stop Adani' Campaign, Leon Dulce, National Coordinator from the Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment, and Lia Mai Torres, Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Concerns in the Philippines.

When: Friday 3 September, 7pm (AEST)
Where: Online, Facebook link here
Registration: pasa@ilpsaustralia.com

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China's Rise: Threat or Opportunity?

For many​ of us, China's rise is an enigma. It raises crucial questions for the human future, not least for Australia. How is​ it ​that a country that was utterly devastated by World War II and a 20-year civil war has risen to become one of the major centres of power and influence in the world? How well do Australians understand China, its history, its culture, its politics, its language/s?  Are we psychologically prepared for a time when Chinese culture, language and economy may become dominant in our region? This forum is hosted by Pax Christi Victoria, in conversations with Emeritus Professor Colin Mackerras AO, a distinguished scholar of Chinese society, culture and history, who has maintained a deep and sustained contact with China over more than half a century.

When: Sunday 19th September, 2:00pm -4:00pm (AEST)
Where: Online
Registration: Here

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Superannuation: Align Your Finances With Your Faith

This Australian Religions Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) Living the Change event is part of the Align Your Finances with Your Faith to Protect the Planet series in which participants share, learn and discuss within a multifaith group issues surrounding aligning your finances and faith to protect the planet by divesting from fossil fuels.  The session considers how to get your Superannuation fund to stop funding the fossil fuel industry. There is much work we can do to ensure that our superannuation companies are divesting from fossil fuel industries, and investing into renewable sources on the path to a reducing emissions.
When: Thursday 9th September, 7:30pn - 9:00pm (AEST)
Where: Online
Registration: Here

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Book Launch - Cloud Climbers: Declarations through Images and Words for a Just and Ecologically Sustainable Peace.

 Colonial invasion, nuclear weapons, pandemics and the entanglements of war with fossil fuel extraction and climate change, challenge our capacities to act with hope for an ecologically just and peaceful future. Framed around artwork by William Kelly and Benjamin McKeown and ekphrastic poetry by acclaimed writers Bella Li, Susan Fealy, Alex Skovron and Andy Jackson, this book reflects the conviction that the arts, literature, activism and scholarship can together contribute to the kinds of cultural shift requisite for a peace that flows from and extends to human relations with the natural world. As well as artists and poets, the contributors include activists, Indigenous, ecological, feminist, legal, theological and religious scholars.

When: Tuesday 28 September, 6:30pm - 8:00pm (AEST)
Where: Online
Registrations: Here

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RESOURCES
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Call for Compassion and Leadership on Afghanistan

Taliban insurgents seized the presidential palace in Kabul and took control of the country in just over a week, following weeks of fighting between the Taliban and the Afghan Government forces and the withdrawal of Western troops from Afghanistan. There is now grave concern for the safety of many who remain in Afghanistan as crowds of desperate people flocked to the airport in an attempt to escape. The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly has joined calls urging the Australian Government to act urgently, swiftly, compassionately and with leadership in responding to the crisis in Afghanistan.The Assembly is one of more than 300 organisations who have signed a joint letter to all Federal MPs and Senators urging them to take seven practical actions to help provide safety for those fleeing the danger, including additional settlement places for Afghan refugees, and permanent protection for those in Australia.

The Uniting Church Statement from Assembly can be accessed by clicking here

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Resources Related to the Situation in Afghanistan

This resource list below was compiled through the good and invaluable work of the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA).

  • Information sheet from the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) on current options for citizens of Afghanistan seeking asylum in Australia and people in Australia who wish to assist those in Afghanistan: English and Dari.
  • Refugee Legal information sheet: legal assistance for people impacted by the crisis in Afghanistan
  • Information was shared with RCOA that Refugee Advice Service of SA and JusticeNet SA are providing support in relation to the ‘bar lift’ for ministerial interventions for people from Afghanistan. This service is available to anyone currently in NT and SA, as well as anyone who has previously been in SA and been clients of any services in SA and currently does not have access to legal assistance. People in these groups need to contact JusticeNet ASAP on their dedicated email afghanistan@justicenet.org.au
  • Information from Foundation House on what schools can do in supporting students and families of Afghan background. It was drafted for Victoria but most of the information is applicable nationwide.
  • Information from Red Cross Restoring Family Links to assist people who have lost contact with family members. Flyers about the program are available in English, Dari and Pashto. Facebook post for sharing in language is here and the Instagram post here.
  • Red Cross has also compiled referral information in relation to people needing support around the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. There is information for both people in Australia and in Afghanistan (scroll down on the page). Red Cross is also able to collect inquiries for family members who have been detained in Afghanistan. Given the current situation in Afghanistan, International Committee of Red Cross is unable to follow-up immediately but when visits to detention facilities resume in the near future, follow-up can be undertaken.
  • Australian Human Rights Commission's statement on Afghanistan
  • A statement from the seven Bishops of the Catholic Dioceses of Melbourne, Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst, on welcome and concern for the Afghan Community in Victoria.
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Banners - Faiths 4 Climate Justice

The Faiths 4 Climate Justice global day of action is now less than eight weeks away. Yet how to get involved in a time of lockdowns? The simplest thing, if you can, is to put up a banner outside your place of worship. Banners are very high-impact. And they don't need to involve people gathering. Imagine places of worship all around the country with big banners out the front calling for bold action two weeks out from the COP26 climate summit. Not only that but all around the world. We’ve decided to make things easy for you and help with the ordering process. We also have a short list of specific messages we’d like to choose from so that we ask for the same things.

You can find out everything you need to know and order your banner here.

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Surrender Co.: 'Have you heard?' 

Surrender Co invites you to go on a journey of re-orienting your life to the radical call of Jesus amongst the margins. As you listen to voices from the margins, and as you study the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we hope that you will be inspired to be personally involved in expressions of Christ’s call to the poor and marginalised. Resources are available to dive deeper with your church community and re-discover the heart of worship - ‘to loose the chains of injustice, set the oppressed free, share your food with the hungry and provide shelter for the poor’. (Isaiah 58).

  • Download the Bible Studies from Dave Andrews and Mick Duncan
  • Listen to the first episode of the Surrender Podcast, with Pastor Ray Minniecon and Dave Andrews
  • Watch Talks + Sermons from Aunty Dr Anne Pattel-Gray and Pastor Mark Conner

Access the Surrender Co. Resources by clicking here

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Tearfund Australia - For All Creation

Tearfund’s For All Creation campaign seeks the support of Christians all over Australia to show our elected leaders that we care deeply about the impacts of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable. The Campaign calls for the vital support and action needed to help our most vulnerable neighbours recover from the pandemic and reset towards a more just, compassionate and sustainable society.

The pandemic and the increasing impacts of climate change are compounding and exposing what has been evident for too long. A reflection of our own brokenness, the structures of our society and economy fail to serve God’s purpose for all people and all of creation to flourish. By raising our voices in prayer and action, we can shine God’s light and be a powerful voice, calling for change that expresses God’s justice and desire for all creation to flourish.

A toolkit and other resources are available by clicking here

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Invitation to organise a community screening of ‘Bid Deal – Is our democracy for sale?’  

On the back of War on Waste and Fight for Planet A, Craig Reucassel has partnered up with comedian Christiaan Van Vuuren to make Big Deal. Craig and Christiaan ask the hard questions about the way big industries, like guns and fossil fuels, influence our politicians. The political analysis is hard-nosed and gripping, but it’s also a hilarious, heart-warming and ultimately hopeful story of people power.

The documentary uncovers the hold big corporations have over our democracy, and dives into what people can do to fix it, creating a democracy that works for all of us.

There is now an opportunity to organise community screenings of the documentary by e-mailing leeannet@jungleentertainment.com

Click here to download a Community Screening Guide Booklet

Find Out More About our Campaigns