Indigenous Australians embrace new Bible

Imagine if you had never read or heard the message of the Bible in your own language. That is the reality for Australia’s Indigenous community. Although more than half of Indigenous people are Christians, very few have read or heard the Bible in their ‘heart’ language.

Katrina Tjitayi is from the Pitjantjatjara community, in central Australia. She is working on a translation of the whole Bible into Pitjantjatjara. Continue Reading

New opportunities for pastoral care

Aged care and retirement may be the new growth industry for rural communities in the future. People who have spent most of their life in rural and regional areas tend to want to retire and remain where they are, close to family, friends and familiar surroundings.

The opening of a new multi-million dollar Primary Health Care Centre in the Wheatbelt town of Cunderdin, along with eight new Age Appropriate Houses, will be a major boost to services that can be provided to the local people and those from adjoining communities. Continue Reading

Deep Listening and finding home

After the success of the inaugural Deep Listening Festival last year, the event will continue to explore issues faced by communities that are not always talked about openly. This year it will focus on homelessness and multiculturalism as people seek to find a home and place of belonging and acceptance.

It will be a great weekend of storytelling, art, music, workshops and spirituality with the theme ‘Finding a place to call home’, on Friday night 5, and all day Saturday 6 April at Margaret River Uniting Church. Continue Reading

Calls for action to reduce over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody

The Uniting Church WA wholeheartedly welcomes the Premier’s commitment to reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody, and calls for further action.

The Uniting Church WA (UCA WA) welcomes recent news that Premier Mark McGowan will make reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody a key priority of this Government. The Uniting Church Western Australia has a long history of advocacy regarding prison justice and the over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody.

The UCA WA believes that Western Australia’s high incarceration rate, particularly the persistent and growing over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the justice system necessitates an urgent overhaul of Western Australia’s policies relating to the criminal justice system. The UCA WA has advocated for improvements to the West Australian justice system, including calls for an end to mandatory sentencing, ending the practice of imprisoning people for unpaid fines, and reforms to the processing of women and vulnerable people, for more than 15 years.Continue Reading

Having a ball in Bidyadanga

Bidyadanga’s La Grant Remote Community School, within an Aboriginal community 180km south of Broome, approached Good Samaritan Industries (GSI) last year, for attire for their end of year ball. GSI is a Uniting Church WA agency providing employment opportunities for people living with disability, largely through their opshops around the state. Continue Reading

Thanks for Christmas support

As we head into the New Year, the team at UnitingCare West would like to thank everyone in the Uniting Church community for the generous support shown during its 2018 Christmas Appeal.

Amanda Hunt, CEO of UnitingCare West, said demand from families for food and gifts over the festive season was unprecedented, with hundreds of hampers delivered from each of their three Service Hubs in Perth City, Merriwa and Fremantle. Continue Reading

Uniting Churches to observe Day of Mourning

Stuart McMillan, Assembly Consultant for Covenanting, shares his thoughts on remembering a Day of Mourning, annually on the Sunday before Australia Day.

This January, Uniting Church congregations across the country are being asked to hold worship services that reflect on the effect of invasion and colonisation on Australia’s First Peoples. The observance of a ‘Day of Mourning’ was endorsed by the 15th Assembly at the request of members of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC).

Rather than seeking a change to the date for Australia Day as some propose, the UAICC asked the church, in the spirit of the Covenant between us, to declare the Sunday before Australia Day as a Day of Mourning. Assembly members enthusiastically agreed.Continue Reading