From left front - anti-clockwise- Lacy, Lydia, Brent, Susan and Rev'd Josie

From left front, anti-clockwise; Laicy, Lydia, Brent, Susan and Rev’d Josie

Baptism of Lydia – we warmly welcome Lydia into our community, along with her parents Brent and Laicy and godparents Amy and Anna

But it looks like Lydia is more interested in the marbled mud cake with cream icing.

(Yes we did get their permission before posting this photo.)

United Nations hears of Anglican Communion Churches’ active role in tackling climate change

The Anglican Communion’s Advocacy Officer and Head of New York Office, Jillian Abballe, took part in a UN TV discussion this week
Photo Credit: ACNS

[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] The vital role of the church and faith communities in tackling climate change was highlighted during a televised discussion broadcast live from the UN Head Office in New York yesterday (6 June). Advocacy Officer and Head of New York Office for the Anglican Communion, Jillian Abballe, was one of six panellist taking part in the live UN TV discussion about the role of faith communities in planting and nurturing the seed of climate responsibility.

Addressing the crucial role that faith-based organisations, religious traditions and communities play in addressing the threats of climate change, Jillian shared stories of how members of the Anglican Communion are having an impact through influence, earth stewardship and in modelling responsibility towards the environment.

She said: “The Anglican Communion is a global family of churches that is located in over 165 countries throughout the world representing roughly 85 million people.” She told the delegates that the Communion is working to address both current and future environmental challenges.

“Along with my colleague Jack Palmer-White, who is the Anglican Communion Representative to the United Nations,” Jillian said, “we work to bring Anglican voices and expertise to the global stage, build strong relationships with the UN and other partners so that the grassroots work of our parishes and dioceses is more effective.”

Jillian said the Anglican Communion is speaking out about the environment and how to understand the world through a holistic theology that reconciles the people, the planet and prosperity.

She said: “The commitments we make as communities and global networks make a statement to the world and re-shape our imagination of mission and how we respond to such crises. For example, at the recent 17th session of the Anglican Consultative Council a resolution was passed that recognised the scale of the global climate emergency and encouraged all Anglican churches to live out what is called the fifth Mark of Mission – ‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.’”

She highlighted the role of the Anglican Communion Environment Network in advocating for responsible environmental stewardship, support and leadership to local initiatives, and educating Anglicans as individuals and communities to become better stewards of creation.

Jillian said the Communion has begun to implement collaborative strategies across its provinces and working with the Environmental Network and the Anglican Alliance, it is bringing together development, relief and advocacy activities combined with capacity building and training.

The proactive role of the Communion in South America and Southern Africa were cited as examples of action in areas where, according to Jillian, the most vulnerable are already experiencing catastrophic climate change-related disasters.

She said: “Bishops and representatives from six South American countries are pursuing environmental justice work in their dioceses with high priority given to land use and deforestation, youth-oriented community organising, reducing carbon footprints, recycling and organic gardening, water issues involving public use rather than privatised water, soil contamination from oil drilling, and education around the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Further examples of the Communion’s active work in tackling climate change, highlighted during the live programme, included Sri Lanka where in the Diocese of Colombo, 450 children participated in an Environment Art Competition to create awareness and concern on environmental issues among Children. Jillian also spoke about Pakistan where a small-scale Christian faith-based organisation – the Society for Peace and Sustainable Development – is working at grass root level in five districts of South Punjab, Pakistan running Green Climate Clubs and a Green Schools Project to engage children with nature.

She said: “from the UN office, we take all of these concerns seriously and are going to start work on a strategy for the acceleration and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals across the Communion from 2020-2030. We are also placing a specific focus on climate induced displacement, indigenous rights, and Pacific small island developing states (P-SIDS).”

Responding to questions, Jillian said: “there is urgent action that needs to be taken that we possibly haven’t fully imagined. . . I hope in our faith traditions we can call up the spirituality to usher us into an era where we can have that imagination to create new solutions.”

Extremism and terrorism are enemies of all humanity: Imam responds to Sri Lanka attack

Shaykh Dr Umar al-Qadri and Dean Dermot Dunne at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin one week after the Easter Day massacre in churches in Sri Lanka.

Photo Credit: Philip McKinley

Religious communities must stand united in solidarity and show extremists that they will never succeed in dividing them, the Chief Imam of the Islamic Centre of Ireland, Shaykh Dr Umar al-Qadri, Chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, said in a visit to Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin last month. Dr al-Qadri made his remarks in an address to the congregation before the Cathedral Eucharist on Sunday 28 April, one week after the Easter Day massacre in Sri Lanka which left 257 people dead. His visit mirrored one made to the Islamic Centre of Ireland in March, following the terror attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

In his address, the imam expressed solidarity with Christians in Ireland and worldwide, and said that, as Muslims, they strongly condemned the cowardly attacks against peaceful worshippers and stood in solidarity with the victims of these attacks and their Christian brothers and sisters everywhere.

Continue reading “Extremism and terrorism are enemies of all humanity: Imam responds to Sri Lanka attack”

St Bartholomew’s House Inc

St Bart’s helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness achieve positive life outcomes. Their vision is to eliminate homelessness. They work in the areas of accommodation services, aged care services, community housing and mental health support services. We will have someone from St Bart’s come and give us a talk about all they do very soon.

Archbishop of Canterbury: “Hatred of Muslims is blasphemy”

In the wake of the shooting in New Zealand, the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke at an interfaith gathering at Regent’s Park Mosque in London.

Much of what I was going to say has already been said. The killings in New Zealand are monstrous. The response of New Zealand, all its people, with Muslims in the forefront, is beautiful and inspiring. What they say to each other we say to you. Those who attack Muslims in THIS country or elsewhere attack every human being. You are not “the other”, you are us. Those who act out of hate for Muslims act out of hate for all here. Those who acted or supported the actions in New Zealand attack all of us.

Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury: “Hatred of Muslims is blasphemy””

A prayer for Christchurch and New Zealand

God of grace and mercy,
We pray for the people of Christchurch and New Zealand.
We pray for the 49 victims who have died in these attacks,
for the mercy of your eternal love.
We pray for all who mourn, for families, friends, communities, a nation. We pray for Muslim communities grieving
and we pray for understanding and acceptance throughout the world
between people of all faiths and none.
O God of many names,
love of all peoples,
we pray for peace.
Peace in our hearts and homes, peace in our nations and our world, the peace of your will,
the peace of our need.
Through Christ, the prince of peace. Amen.
Collect from A New Zealand Prayer Book – He Karakia Mihinaare O Aotearoa

The Reverend Josie Steytler

Environment Network calls on Anglicans around the world to use less plastic

Photo Credit: Matthew Gollop / Pixabay

The Anglican Communion’s Environment Network (ACEN) is encouraging Anglicans to reduce their use of plastic in Lent. Organisers hope that those taking part in the “plastic fast” will learn to use less plastic in the longer term in order to protect the earth’s environment. The Environmental Co-ordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Canon Rachel Mash, said that that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. “Plastic is already entering into our drinking water”, she said. “Plastic clogs our rivers, leaches into our soil and is one of the greatest challenges the planet faces.”

Continue reading “Environment Network calls on Anglicans around the world to use less plastic”

Friday Community Meal

Our Inaugural Community Meal was this last Friday the 22nd of February. It was good to meet more of the the Greenwood community over a shared meal. This month we were having Hamburgers and Sausage Sizzles. Next month we will have a different culinary theme. Everyone is welcome to be there. Here are a few photos from the evening.

Know God Personally,
Love and Respect One Another Deeply,
Disciple and Serve those around us.

Bishop Jeremy Visits us at St John’s.

We were visited by bishop Jeremy today 17-2-2019 (right in the picture). He presided at the service and preached for us on Epiphany 6. (see the post for the weekly service).

Here he is talking to Keith (left) near the front door before he came into the hall to talk with the rest of us.

After the service he intentionally wanted to hear our news.

Know God Personally,
Love and Respect One Another Deeply,
Disciple and Serve those around us.

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