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:


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!

Lenten Reflection Opportunities

In all of the change that happens around us, one of the constant aspects of our faith journey at St Luke’s is the annual cycle of the liturgical calendar, marking the seasons of Jesus’ journey on earth.

Tomorrow we commence the period of Lent – 40 days of reflection and sacrifice as we imagine the time spent by Jesus in the desert, grappling with fears and temptations.

If you are looking for some resources to use as part of your devotional time during Lent, here are some suggestions:

Common Grace

Every year at Easter, Common Grace brings a Lent series based on the central teachings of Jesus. In 2021 they’ve put together a compilation series from Christian teachers, who show us what it looks like when justice overflows from following Jesus.

To sign up to their weekly Lenten emails, click here.

Uniting World’s Lent Event

UnitingWorld is the part of the Uniting Church with the privilege of nurturing relationships with our global church family, and we love the season of Lent! Through Lent Event, we provide a Bible Study series to help you think through what it means to be a global neighbour, and encourage you to take action with a 40-day challenge to give or take up something that helps make the world a better place. With stories that show how your prayers and gifts are building hope and ending poverty around the world, we aim to cultivate generosity, compassion and awareness of others.

If you’re ready to take a new look at Lent, go for a deep dive online to find resources, and check out for simple ways to get involved.


Worship Online Sunday 18th October 2020: God and the Pandemic – Groaning and Serving

Welcome to this Sunday’s worship time, presented today by Lloyd Walker, Sue Anderson, Barry Tattersall, Jenny Patchett and Val MacKenzie!

As we continue to explore Tom Wright’s book – God and the Pandemic, we’ll look at the writings of the New Testament – the early church. Our theme is “Groaning and Serving”

For music listening this morning, Lloyd recommends

The Servant King (By Graham Kendrick

And here’s the latest video from UnitingWorld reminding you about ways you can give gifts that truly change people’s lives this Christmas:

If you enjoyed the music featured in today’s video, take a look at the musicians behind it here:


Go from this time:

  • Not to understand all the challenges of the world – instead trust God with those cares.
  • To pray without ceasing – groaning with the Spirit when the words are beyond you!
  • To live our your calling as children/heirs of God, followers of the Servant King Jesus, and engage the world as Jesus did, with love, compassion and words of hope and transformation.


And the empowering grace of Christ Jesus,

the overflowing love of God,

and the embrace of the Spirit,

rest with you now and always,



Uniting World Update is here

Pick up a copy of the latest update from Uniting World for supporters from the holders outside the office or from a friendly usher this Sunday.  It is great to read the stories of support from churches like St Luke’s is making a real positive difference to our fellow faith communities in other countries.  It’s also great to hear about how other congregations are creatively fundraising for Uniting World and building meaningful relationships with our partner churches overseas.


Everything in Common Gift Stall NOW OPEN

Australians received 20 million UNWANTED gifts last year for Christmas.  The gifts in the Everything in Common catalogue represent gifts that people really want and need very much.  

  • $10 can provide chickens for a family to breed and sell at market, using the profits for school or medicine
  • $25 can help kids in Timor-Leste get the nutrition they need so they can grow up strong and healthy
  • $50 can get families like Kadek’s (see catalogue cover) a goat – and with it, time in school or even university

Last year, with your help, our partners worked with 202,305 people to bring light and hope – well beyond the Christmas Season.  See Jean and her team after church every Sunday in Advent to purchase your gifts directly from the stall, or head to the website:

Act for Peace newsletter available on noticeboard

Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, have sent their Summer 2019 newsletter, featuring encouraging stories of the communities we are helping through the Christmas Bowl and other donor activities.

2 copies of the newsletter are pinned to the office noticeboard, along with a letter from CEO Janet Cousins – feel free to read and pass them around the congregation.

Education is the most powerful tool we have to help communities to support themselves. Your gifts, together with Australian Aid, mean children in rural Pakistan, like Zarina, have access to quality education and a brighter future. Credit: CWS A/Act for Peace


Uniting World at Parliament House

Unitingworld’s Marcus Campbell writes:

This week I’ve been at Parliament House in Canberra, joining more than 200 Christians from across Australia to call on our leaders to do more for the world’s poorest.

The event was organised by Micah Australia, a coalition of churches and faith-based organisations working together to advocate for a more just world.

In small lobby groups, delegates young and old met with 94 Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum.

We all came bearing the message that Australian Aid works.  Aid saves lives, improves global health and removes barriers that keep communities in poverty.

Read more about the church’s call to raise our voices for justice here