Many may be experiencing ‘election fatigue’ though the campaign is only just warming up. As you know, in 1 Peter 2 Christians are called to be the best citizens that society has. This should include voting in the most informed and conscientious way possible, and in light of Philippians 2 putting others interests before our own. Different Christians will come to different conclusions about how they should vote. Christians may legitimately think differently on many issues. We may also attach different levels of importance to various issues. One may feel that climate change policy is extremely important. Another may prioritise economic management, another refugee policy. Emotions can rise during political discussions and I want to encourage us all to pray and debate with love and respect. Be involved … its what good citizens do because we care.
What can we do to care for refugees?
Following the Federal Government’s announcement last year that they would accept 12,000 extra refugees from Syria & Iraq ,our church members passionately embraced the possibility of caring for them when they come. A Refugee Oversight Committee (ROC!) was set up—made up of Ted & Denise Bramble, Liz Paige, Tim McIleer, George Ward and Graham Crew. The Diocese of Sydney has also been calling together its agencies under the leadership of Anglicare to coordinate a response. ROC met with recently appointed Anglicare Coordinator, Zoe Paleologos. In summary the situation is:
So far just 250 refugees have arrived & another 2,500 will arrive by June. NSW is expecting 6-7,000 who will be located mostly in the south west of Sydney. The 12,000 will all come from overseas and will be either classed as Refugees or Humanitarian Entrants. The majority will be in the latter class and will require sponsorship and support from organisations, churches or individuals in Australia to qualify. Anglicare is now offering training to church members in caring for refugees. So our ROC is considering 2 options for our church:
i) to sponsor a family under the HE option . or
ii) partner with a church in southwest Sydney who are supporting refugees.
ROC members welcome your interest and enquiries and suggestions.
Update for Bishop Isesomo in DRC (Congo) “Thank you for your continual support through prayers. Last week , we had a meeting to evaluate the security situation in our region/ diocese . Since October 2014 to May 2016: 1116 people have been killed by machete,1470 people have been kidnaped, 1750 houses have been burnt, 27 schools have been destroyed, 13 health centres have been burnt, 34.297 displaced people, many women have been raped. Because of all this we have decided to spend 3 days in prayer means from tomorrow to Friday. Please join us in prayers. Bishop Isesomo, North-Kivu diocese.