Uniting Aid is a caring service providing emergency relief and other services to vulnerable people in the City of Stirling. Years ago, we operated our op shop out of a garden shed at the back of the church’s premises, which comprised just a house converted as best we could into an emergency relief centre. This garden shed was very small and also very hot, and there were many days during the summer when we could not open the shop because it was too hot to work in.
There are more slaves on Earth today than at any other time in history.
‘Slave’ is a word that sounds so ancient… so distant. It evokes images of bare backed men working in fields under the watchful gaze of slave masters and women cooking and cleaning for wealthy families in far off lands.
But today, slavery is much closer to home. While the majority of slavery in our world today revolves around labour exploitation, across Asia, slavery often looks like a little girl (or boy), born in rural poverty, sent to the city at age twelve or thirteen on the premise of finding work to help her family survive. With no other options, she survives by selling the only thing she owns, her body, for the pleasure of men.
The 42nd Annual Synod of the Uniting Church Western Australia, held over the weekend, called on the State Government to place high conservation value forests in secure national parks for the survival of threatened species.
The Uniting Church has a long held concern for the environment alongside its strong social justice stances arising out of its Christian belief that God, as the Creator of the universe, calls us into a special relationship with the creation – a relationship of mutuality and interdependence which seeks the reconciliation of all creation with God.
The Synod decided that given the uniqueness of the South-West forest ecosystems, the vulnerability of numerous threatened species endemic to the region, the relatively small areas of uncleared forests remaining and the need to mitigate against further damage to the climate system, the remaining South-West forests need to be protected from logging activities.
The 42nd Annual Synod of the Uniting Church Western Australia, held over the weekend, called on the State Government to take action on the purchase and disposal of single-use plastics.
The Uniting Church has a long standing commitment to social, environmental and intergenerational justice. Recognising the impact of plastics on the environment, particularly in marine ecosystems, the Synod affirmed the 2018 decision of the WA State Government to ban the provision of single-use plastic bags, and called for further action.
The 42nd Annual Synod of the Uniting Church Western Australia, held over the weekend, committed to taking the next step in advocacy for people seeking asylum, calling on Australia’s leaders to restore dignity to people seeking humanitarian protection.
The Synod agreed to write to the Federal Government expressing concerns at the restriction of access to the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS). Removing the service leaves families at risk of destitution and homelessness, and the church is calling for full access to be reinstated.
While our Federal Government still takes a hard line approach to refugees and asylum seekers, many Australians want to do more to help those coming to Australia for safety. There are a number of practical ways members of the Australian community can help.
The Uniting Church WA has been a long-time supporter of the Coalition for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees (CARAD), who provide support to refugees and asylum seekers in Perth. Recent cuts to the Status Resolution Support Service mean that up to 500 people in Perth may lose access to this program, leaving them without any form of income. Individuals and groups, such as Uniting Church WA congregations, can help by donating items to CARAD’s Food Bank or organising a fundraiser to donate cash.
Poverty is a serious issue, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun raising money to tackle it. Members from a range of Uniting Church WA congregations have recently shared in some delicious Sri Lankan curries and danced to Bollywood music as part of a combined effort to raise much needed funds for five preschools in Sri Lanka.
Susy Thomas, one of the event organisers, was particularly glad to see people enjoy themselves.