Reconciliation week 2021 starts on Wednesday this week the 27th May 2021. The largest local reconciliation event in reconciliation week in Geelong is Reconciliation in the Park held in Johnstone Park on the Sunday of Reconciliation week. This year this will be Sunday 30th May 2021.
As part of Uniting Barwon’s Reconciliation Action Plan we have established contact with the local community reconciliation group Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group. Geelong One Fire helped establish Reconciliation in the Park and has supported it each year since its establishment. This year Uniting Barwon is going to assist Geelong One Fire with their support for the event.
Uniting Barwon people will be assisting with;
Set up which starts at 7.30am at Johnstone Park and runs until about 9.45am,
Various activities during the day, and
Pack up which will start between 3 and 3.30pm and run until about 5pm.
Those assisting will be given some time to participate in and enjoy the activities taking place.
If you are interested in assisting in any of the roles please contact Des Younghusband by Thursday 27th May 2021, please also enquire of your families, friends, acquaintances and network members if they might be available to help.
If you are unable to assist please consider coming along to enjoy the activities and again encourage your families, friends, acquaintances and network members also to do this .
So many wonderful events in Melbourne are now available to us through the option to attend via Zoom! Pilgrim Theological College is where our ordained and lay people undertake their training for ministry and ongoing professional development and formation in the Uniting Church in Victoria.
“The first Northey Lecture for 2021 will offer the theological viewpoint of an Australian First Nations theologian who has spent the past two decades decolonising biblical narratives and constructing a theology that draws on Australia First Nations creation stories (Ancestral Narratives) and our understanding of the Creator’s actions and interactions through our Spirit Ancestors in the creation of our world, humanity, customs, laws, ceremonies, songs, rituals, connection to land, water and sea; language, cosmology, worldview and philosophy – this being the basis to the formation of First Nations identity, faith and Spirituality.”
Dr. Anne Pattel-Gray is an Aboriginal woman who is a descendant of the Bidjara/ Kari Kari people in Queensland and she is a recognised Aboriginal leader within Australia – nationally and internationally. She has dedicated her life to the struggle of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and she is a strong campaigner and lobbyist and deeply committed to seeking justice, equity and equal representation for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. She is very proud of her Aboriginal culture and heritage and is a strong advocate for Aboriginal women, children, families and community regarding our Cultural and basic Human Rights. She has developed a leadership quality that promotes and builds a deeper sense of community and participation that brings a greater Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and cultural identity and cohesion with the broader community that leads to beneficial partnerships, engagement and reconciliation.
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:
Beginning April 18th, Seven Days of Solidarity is inspired by the work of our partner churches, celebrating where the risen Christ is at work changing lives.
Celebrating the good things God is doing seems important after a year of strain and struggle to adapt to a pandemic that is still the source of pain for millions of people.
COVID-19 continues to make life so incredibly difficult for our partners, but through it all, God is faithful. Their incredible lives remind us that we’re surrounded by a cloud of witnesses who keep the faith, and giving up is not an option.
UnitingWorld holds these partnerships on behalf of the people of the Uniting Church, and we wanted to take the opportunity to share some of their stories and inspire you in faith and action.
In the weeks immediately after Easter, when we celebrate resurrection life and the birth of the Church, this is an opportunity to bear witness to where the risen Christ is at work. Join us to celebrate our partners, give thanks, and share resources to keep this mission alive.
Booklets containing the stories and devotions are now available to pick up from the church foyer, along with donation envelopes. You can also find them online here:
Friends, this year we took our fundraising online for Lent Event. We set up a St Luke’s Team Page, which raised $255 of our $3000 goal from 3 donors and 1 team member. This is less than St Luke’s has raised for Uniting World than in past years. If you missed the chance to donate, please consider donation through the Seven Days of Solidarity campaign instead. Our Partners in the Pacific very much need our support.
All over the world people are standing together to say:
“We are united by a fundamental belief that all people, all living things, and the Earth are sacred. As we consider the state of the world today, our hearts overflow with concern.
We are frightened and frustrated by the damage that COVID-19 is inflicting on our communities. The pandemic has revealed cruel injustices. The vulnerable suffer the most severe impacts. We know about this injustice. We have seen it before.
These same communities are disproportionately and catastrophically affected by the accelerating climate emergency.
… A far better future is possible if our collective response to the pandemic and the climate crisis is guided by compassion, love and justice at a scale that meets this moment.”
In support of the statement and to draw attention to it, faith communities around the world are being asked to ‘sound the alarm’ for the climate and call for climate justice as we try to get our economies going in the wake of COVID.
Please join the biggest ever global faith-based Day of Action for the Climate. The theme of of the day is Sacred People, Sacred Earth.
Each place of worship, faith-based small group or household will choose its own way to do this: by ringing its bells, by sounding a note on the shofar, calling the Azan, by chanting and by meditating. Just as long as make a noise – or even some thunderous silence! We each have our own traditions, but we will be united in one clear message.
After the Day of Action, GFI will call for a “Year of Action” in the lead-up to COP26 which will be held in Glasgow in November 2021.
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:
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 www.lentevent.com.au for simple ways to get involved.
The Sunday Service at St Luke’s Highton will be at 10am and we hope to Livestream to our Youtube channel
This is the Sunday (before Australia Day) where we join with our sister churches in a Day of Mourning to reflect on how God is calling us to respond to the ongoing challenges faced by our First Australians – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We’ll be using the Uniting Church Assembly resources, with more from Common Grace who have provided resources to churches and faith groups around Australia to share in Aboriginal Sunday.
There is also a prayer service of reconciliation on Monday night (25th Jan) at 7:30pm – Victorian time – led by Aunty Jean Phillips – see www.commongrace.org.au/tunein Some of us may gather at St Luke’s to participate.