Last year, the ecumenical churches raised an incredible $2.1 million through the Act for Peace Christmas Bowl. Uniting Church members across the country generously contributed over $990 000 to provide food, shelter, medicine and health care to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
The theme for this year’s Christmas Bowl is ‘When did I see you hungry? When did I see you sick? When did I see you a stranger?’
Jess Xavier spoke to Rev Stephen Larkin, minister at Nedlands Uniting Church, about what it means to take part in this much loved ecumenical tradition. The Nedlands congregation has been supporting the Christmas Bowl for over twenty years.
How do you think the Christmas Bowl is a way for us to follow Jesus’ call for us to feed the hungry, heal the sick and welcome the stranger?
The Christmas Bowl gives people a practical opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives in ways that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
We must also link that into discipleship. To really put intention into action, we need to be personally engaged in following that call.
What do you see as the connection between giving and faith, especially at Christmas time?
Giving is an expression of our faith as it’s about putting into practice what we believe. It allows us to move from what we feel in our heads and hearts and express our faith through action.
We have a tradition here of challenging people at Christmas to not simply buy presents for friends and family, who probably have more than they need anyway, but finding ways to engage people to give to
those who need it.
The Christmas Bowl is one of those activities that are important because it helps us to get out of the mind frame that Christmas is about gift giving to our family, to our children.
You can help to bring hope and healing to the world this Christmas by giving to
the Christmas Bowl at http://www.actforpeace.org.au/christmasbowl.
This year, your generous gifts to the Christmas Bowl will help to give refugee children like Achala (pictured) access to life-saving medical care, and help bring hope and healing to other people around the world who are suffering as a result of conflict or disaster.