Uniting World’s Annual appeal is on now and Update 2 for 2022 is available in the foyer

 

If you are looking for some good news to encourage you, be sure to pick up a copy of the latest update from Uniting world.  You are invited to donate to the annual appeal which demonstrates how one action from you can ripple out to the Partner churches and organisations of Uniting World and help them to build up communities who are struggling in oppressive circumstances.

To donate online, click here

Act for Peace Ukraine Emergency Appeal

“Dear St Luke’s Congregation,

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has created a humanitarian crisis unlike anything seen in Europe since World War II – and throughout the history of the Christmas Bowl.

According to the UN refugee agency, in just over a week more than 1.5 million refugees have already fled their homes in Ukraine to neighbouring countries. And millions more people could become refugees, forced from their homes and their loved ones if the fighting continues.

As you may know, we’ve launched an emergency appeal to support the people affected by the conflict in Ukraine and I hope that you will find time during this busy season to take part. This is a situation we must respond to together.

I have written to thousands of churches across Australia. I am asking you and the members of your church to join us as we respond to Christ’s call to love our neighbour.

Your congregation has been faithful and generous supporters of the Christmas Bowl and Act for Peace’s work over many years.

I pray that you are moved by the Spirit and heed God’s call to help displaced families forced from their homes by this horrific conflict.

Our ACT Alliance partners in neighbouring Hungary have already sent truckloads of relief to support families forced from their homes by the war.

The shipments include 28 tonnes of canned food, flour, sugar, oil, rice, pasta, biscuits, long-life milk, tea and hygiene products which will be distributed at the Beregszasz and Uzhhorod reception centres in Western Ukraine. But much, much more is needed.

While I know it’s an incredibly busy time for churches with Lenten preparations taking place, this senseless violence in Ukraine is causing an urgent need.

I was reflecting on this week’s Psalm, Psalm 91, and the words of the Psalmist really struck me, especially those in verse five.

“You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day.”

Those words took on new meaning as I heard the reports from our ecumenical partners telling us of families hiding, and mothers comforting terrified children as they shelter from the missiles of invading forces. It is my prayer that these resilient people stay safe and are able to take refuge in the Lord.”

Read more:

Letter: Emergency Appeal for Ukraine

This Sunday, please pick up an envelope and use it to donate to the emergency appeal for Ukraine.  Or you can donate online here:

Ukraine Crisis

 

Emergency Appeals – Ukraine, East Coast Floods, Tongan Tsunami

Friends, we are in challenging times!

If you are wondering how to help and would like to work through trusted church agencies, here are some links:

Act for Peace Ukraine Emergency Appeal

Our ACT Alliance partners in neighbouring Hungary have already sent truckloads of relief to support families forced to flee their homes due to the war. The shipments include 28 tons of canned food, flour, sugar, oil, rice, pasta, biscuits, long-life milk, tea and hygiene products which will be distributed at the Beregszász and Uzhhorod reception centres in Western Ukraine.

Ukraine Crisis

Uniting Church East Coast Flooding Emergency Appeal :

The Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network (DRCN), a ministry of the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT, at present has deployed 35 chaplains across 19 evacuation centres that are accessible by road, with many more centres inaccessible due to flood waters.

Some Uniting Church communities opened their doors to people left stranded or needing to evacuate.

Rev Hollis is inviting to the wider Uniting Church community to make a donation to support those affected by contributing to the Assembly’s National Disaster Relief Fund.

https://uniting.church/east-coast-flooding-emergency-appeal/

UnitingWorld Tsonga Tsuami Disaster Appeal

On Saturday 15 January, a tsunami was triggered by the eruption of underwater volcano Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai, just 65km from the capital city Nuku’alofa on Tonga’s most populated island.

Communications have now been restored and we have been in touch with our partners, the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga (FWCT). They have been assisting evacuations from low-lying islands that were hit hard. In Nuku’alofa, FWCT personnel have been assisting affected communities with relief supplies and trauma counselling. They have appointed a disaster response Coordinator and are scalling up their response with help from international partners including UnitingWorld and the Pacific Conference of Churches.

https://donate.unitingworld.org.au/tonga

Frontier Services needs a champion at St Lukes! Can you help?

Our latest update and appeal letter from Frontier services arrived last week – perhaps some of you received a letter too.  Our bush chaplains in rural and remote areas play an important role in encouraging and supporting communities that are experiencing great hardship caused by natural disasters, especially after the initial attention that such disasters often receive.

Unlike the media, our chaplains stay focused on the people who are recovering for the long haul.

Frontier Services also runs work parties connecting volunteers to communities in the bush.

Perhaps you are originally from a rural area yourself?

You might be just the right person to share the stories from Frontier Services with the congregation and wider community, helping to raise much needed funds and connect city and rural places with each other.

If so, please contact Robyn at the office!

Updates from Uniting VicTas

(Dated  1st  October 2021)

Dear Friends,

I do hope this email finds you safe and well in these challenging times!

I am writing to you to let you know that a copy of the Uniting Vic.Tas Spring Congregation Connect has now been made available on our website for congregations to access. In this edition, you and members of your congregation can read about Rachael, who was supported through the Victorian Government’s From Homelessness to a Home initiative, hear the difference our Winter Blanket Appeals have made and learn about the opening of a new facility for older women at risk of homelessness.

Congregation Connect Spring 2021

Our Spring Supporter Newsletter, which features stories of hope in the face of crisis has also been made available online. On page 5, there are examples of just some of the ways our dedicated teams have kept our support going during these challenging times. You can also read about the difference your giving has made this past winter and discover new ways to get involved.

Supporter Newsletter Spring 2021

This year’s Coffee Cup Challenge officially launches today (1st October) however It is still not too late to get involved.  All funds raised from the Coffee Cup Challenge will support people experiencing crisis, vulnerability and disadvantage. For more information or to register your congregation to join the Coffee Cup Challenge, please visit our Coffee Cup Challenge page.

It might seem early to be talking about Christmas however I wanted to let you know that our Uniting Christmas cards are now available to order with 4 new additions to the range. Each design has been thoughtfully selected to reflect the joy and hope of Christmas and all proceeds will support people in crisis. As current restrictions have once again made it too difficult for many of you to complete orders for your members by consignment this year, I have attached a copy of the Christmas Card poster and a PDF order form you can pass on to your members. Please note we have made the order form fillable for anyone wanting to complete and email it back to us without printing. Alternatively, they can pre-fill the details prior to printing and mailing it back to us if they prefer this to manually writing their details.

Cards can be also be ordered by calling our Supporter Services on 1800 668 426 or visiting our Christmas Card site.

We are always seeking feedback on how we as your community services organisation is performing and are keen for your thoughts on how Uniting can work better as part of the Church to respond to Christ’s invitation to serve humanity by creating an inclusive, connected and just world. To help do this, we invite you to offer your reflections here and encourage you to share this link with your congregation members so they also have the opportunity to share their thoughts on how we are performing.

If you need to update your contact details or wish to amend the number of hard copies you are mailed in the future, please contact Ida or me on 1800 668 426.

Kind Regards,

Dale

Dale Barker-Harrington (he/him)  l  Church and Community Relations Coordinator

Uniting’s Winter Appeal is underway – donate online today!

Uniting VicTas is the welfare arm of the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania.  They recently held their Annual Meeting online – check out the stories of the work being done over the past year by dedicated staff and volunteers – you might even see some familiar faces amongst the presenters.

You can support the ongoing work of Uniting by donating to the Winter Appeal – follow the link to do this online here:

Winter Appeal – Donate

Or you can pick up a donation envelope from our table in the foyer at church.

Thankyou from Act for Peace Christmas Bowl campaign 2020

St Luke’s received a thankyou letter and certificate of appreciation today for our donations to the Christmas Bowl in 2020.  The Christmas Bowl is part of our commitment as a church to ecumenical action – churches working together for good.

Thankyou to everyone from St Luke’s who contributed!