Let them settle here

The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce is urging the newly elected Federal Government and Prime Minister Scott Morrison to resolve the plight of the 1000+ refugees in Manus and Nauru, some of whom are now in Australia.

In a letter signed by numerous religious leaders across Australia, they write: “Let them settle here.”Continue Reading

Busselton commemorates Sorry Day

Around 60 people gathered at Busselton Uniting Church on Sunday 26 May to commemorate Sorry Day, a national day to remember Australia’s Stolen Generations.

The service was co-ordinated by Rev Andrew Broadbent, Minister at Busselton Uniting Church, and supported by local churches.

On arrival at the service, visitors were given a Native Hibiscus silk flower, a symbol of the Stolen Generations. According to the Kimberley Stolen Generation Aboriginal Corporation, this flower was chosen as a national symbol because it is found widely across Australia; its colours denote compassion and spiritual healing, and it is a survivor.Continue Reading

Trek for Timor raising much needed funds

Around 30 passionate people took to the Perth hills on Sunday 19 May to take part in the Trek for Timor. Walking from Kalamunda Uniting Church to Foothills St Martin’s Uniting Church in Forrestfield, the group were raising money for Lafaek Diak’s mobile health clinic.

Lafaek Diak translates in English to the Good Crocodile Foundation. It works towards providing access to quality education, healthcare and sustainable food security for people in Timor-Leste, and is one of the Uniting Church WA’s international partner organisations.Continue Reading

Review: Grateful: The transformative power of giving thanks

By Diana Butler-Bass, Harper One 2018.

Reading small chunks of Grateful has been my morning reading for the last month. Gratitude, I learnt, is often missing as a spiritual practice in a selffocused world.

More and more people are finding this experience of God beyond the walls of traditional religious institutions, but often miss the church community itself and its shared spiritual practices such as gratitude. Gratitude can easily get buried in rote liturgy with religious words that have lost their meaning. Many claim gratitude in their daily lives, but Bass finds that claim to be at odds with the discontent that permeates modern society and dominates our political discourse.

This highlighted a gap, she argues, between our desire to be grateful and our ability to behave gratefully—a divide that influences our understanding of morality, worship, and institutional religion itself. In Grateful, Bass challenges readers to think about the impact gratitude has in our spiritual lives, and encourages them to make gratitude a “difficult and much-needed spiritual practice for   our personal lives and to inspire us to work together for a better world.” Continue Reading

Review: Summer in the Forest

Directed by Randall Wright, Heritage Films, 2018

This review was published in the April 2019 hardcopy edition of Revive. Sadly, Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, passed away yesterday. We keep all those who knew and loved him in our thoughts.

In this heartfelt documentary, we are invited to spend time in a L’Arche community. This film is not so much the life story of Jean Vanier, but a peek into his everyday life and the community he founded.

The L’Arche community was founded in France in 1964 and aimed to do away with institutions for people living with disability and build life together instead. People with varying levels of ability live together in community, sharing day-to-day activities and becoming friends – equals – rather than residents and staff.

After visiting an institution for people living with disabilities in 1963 France, Jean was deeply affected by the suffering of those who lived there. He left his job teaching at the University of Toronto and moved to France to live with the people he met, helping to revolutionise the care system in the western world.

The violence, he says, was hard at first, but over time it became a place of peace. Continue Reading

Larapinta Trail reflections

In early September 2018, I walked the Larapinta trail. The Larapinta is a bushwalk starting just out of Alice Springs and traverses the West Macdonnell ranges, ending 230km later at Mount Sonder.

I have enjoyed bushwalking for a while, but what drew me to this place was a question we were asked in church the year before: How do you see and experience God? Continue Reading