Church becoming more open to change

“We have a strong focus on the community.”

“We do well regarding the worship on a Sunday morning.” – Rev Dr David Kriel, mission planner, Uniting Church in WA.

These are the strengths of the Uniting Church in WA which came out of the Listening Workshop, held in April. There was a buzz around the room as 80 participants who are associated  with the Uniting Church in WA participated in an informal discussion and feedback session on the future of the church. After analysing strengths and weaknesses, David found that the group felt these strengths reflect the core purpose of the church: worship, witness and service, as outlined in the Basis of Union. Continue Reading

UnitingCare West celebrates 8 years

On 1 July 2014, UnitingCare West will celebrate its Founding Day and 8th Anniversary with an all staff and volunteer day. The event is a chance for all of those involved with  UnitingCare West to reflect on the work that has been achieved over the last year, and to celebrate the progress and growth the organisation has experienced since it commenced  operations as a newly formed community service agency of the Uniting Church in Western Australia back in 2006. Continue Reading

Federal MPs join Christians in shining the light on global tax dodging

Parliamentarians have met face to face with over two hundred Christians from across the country this week to discuss Australia’s opportunity to lead action against corporate tax dodging which is draining vital revenue from developing nations.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Steve Ciobo MP, and Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Dr Andrew Leigh MP, addressed the group  of Micah Challenge advocates on Australia’s response to multinational tax dodging at a special event in Parliament House this morning.

Steve told participants at the event that Australia is passionate about achieving outcomes on the issue of multinational tax dodging at the upcoming G20 Summit in November. While acknowledging that the process might not be straight forward, he said he was confident of a global desire for reform and believes there is the political will necessary for action.Continue Reading

Seeking refuge in music

The simple idea of starting a music class in the Villawood Detention Centre, Sydney, has created a vast network of instrument donors for asylum seekers in detention. Sydney-based  volunteer music teacher Philip Feinstein established classes inside the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre around two years ago. He has now expanded the Music for Refugees project to include almost all Australian immigration detention centres, including Christmas Island and Nauru. Continue Reading

Hope and hardship: the gift of clean water

Two weeks ago I was in Papua New Guinea visiting a UnitingWorld water and sanitation project in a picturesque village at the eastern-most point of the mainland. Whenever I travel, I  always find it quite jarring to see such beauty and such struggle co-existing together. The people of Papua New Guinea are strong and resilient, their country one of the most beautiful  and resource-rich in the world. Yet, we’ve heard much in the Australian media recently of their many challenges. While the tension between hope and hardship may be an ongoing  reality for humanity, the lives of many of our Papua New Guinean neighbours could easily be improved. Continue Reading