COMMUNITY NEWS FOR TODAY & THE COMING WEEK
Celebrating the year of welcome
Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. Originally celebrated in 1986, Refugee Week coincides with World Refugee Day (20 June).
Why do people become refugees
Until 1951 there was no commonly accepted term for people fleeing persecution. People who fled their country were known as stateless people, migrants or refugees. Different countries treated these people in different ways. Following the mass migrations caused by the Second World War (particularly in Europe) it was decided that there needed to be a common understanding of which people needed protection and how they should be protected.
The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol (commonly known as the Refugee Convention), to which Australia is a signatory, defines a refugee as:
Any person who owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country.
The Refugee Convention definition is used by the Australian Government to determine whether our country has protection obligations towards asylum seekers. If an asylum seeker is found to be a refugee, Australia is obliged under international law to offer protection and to ensure that the person is not sent back unwillingly to their country of origin.
Worship Plan for this week
Online worship services
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all services of public worship are being held online until further notice. See the Facebook address below.
Bible Readings – 21 Jun 2020
Genesis 21:8–21; Romans 6:1–11; Matthew 10:24–39; Psalm 86:1–10, 16–17.
Rosters for 21 June 2020
Greetings: Rose Geilen
Prayers of the People: Blair Dixon
Reader: Elaine Belcher
Flowers: Margaret Forrester
NEWS AND NOTES
Our Congregation: Simon and Dale Raza
We talk in Simon’s home office, where he is working remotely on the installation of electronic equipment in rail stations. Meanwhile Simon and Dale’s three teenagers, Tyrick, Francheska and Mikayla are quietly getting on with their school homework.
His first visit to Australia was in 1992 for the Uniting Church’s National Youth Convention (NCYC). “I was made welcome by Australian church families,” he says.
He also participated in a remarkable second overseas journey to Palestine in 1993, when he bathed in the waters of the Jordan River, at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Dale grew up in the Methodist Church of Fiji, and she worked for the TNT company as a senior sales consultant.
“I was a professional soccer player, and was working for the telecom monopoly company in Fiji at the time when I met Dale in 2000, at a soccer football Easter weekend competition,” says Simon.
Dale went to Toronto for a year, and during that time Simon proposed; “He sent the ring in a package to me, and I couldn’t say no!” she chuckles.
They married in 2002. The economy of Fiji was in bad shape after the second coup in 2006. They had two children age 3 and 1, and after three appeals, with prayer and fasting, their visa for travel to New Zealand came through. “God be praised!” they said. They lived in Auckland and Wellington.
Now they are happily settled in Werribee, Australia.
On his last visit to Fiji, Simon was invited by his pastor to preach in the church. At the last minute, he was told “your sermon is going out on the airwaves on local radio. God was with me,” says Simon.
Since the Covid19 “We really miss church, and the people are the church,” they both agree. (NT)
WHILE YOU ARE IN ISOLATION …
Try your hand at this recipe for South Sudan candy:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
1 cup sesame seeds, raw
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp butter
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbs water
Pinch of salt
In a small, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, place sugar, honey, salt, nutmeg and water. Cook, continuously stirring, until mixture gains a smooth consistency.
Add sesame seeds. Cook, stirring often, for 5-10 minutes or until mixture becomes caramel in colour.
Remove saucepan from heat. Add vanilla extract and butter, stirring continuously, until butter melts.
Add baking soda, stirring continuously. This will cause the mixture to foam slightly.
Pour mixture onto a greased baking tin.
When mixture is cool, remove from the baking tin with a spatula and break into pieces.
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10
Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr is an Aboriginal Leader and inspiring Christian thinker. She suggests that the practice of didirri (deep listening or contemplation) is restorative and brings peace. As we approach this scripture, and many like it, I am inspired to listen to what the rest of creation is speaking about our Creator, and what our Creator is speaking through the rest of creation. Come sit, and listen, quieten yourself and the things that are vying for your attention. Be still. Take time. Breathe.
Take action by sitting still somewhere and listening. Listen to the sounds of your world. Allow your spirit to awaken to the things the Creator and the rest of creation are telling you. Focus on stillness, listen intently, and push yourself to ignore time.
Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
The Synod welcomes the Royal Commission and is committed to responding actively and fully. If you have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation of people with disability, or are aware of this happening, we encourage you to tell your story or make a submission to the Commission. For details, go to https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/share-your-story.
Support is available for you—go to https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/counselling-and-support.
Any questions, please call the Rev. Andy Calder on 9380 8844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHURCH OFFICE AND NEWSLETTER
The Church Office is open 9.30 am–12 noon, Monday–Friday
Telephone 03 9741 1084. Postal address is PO Box 2156 Werribee 3030.