As well as our continued work through the St Andrews Uniting Church op shop, we regularly work with the local and and broader community to help spread justice and love in action.
Defending a church of the Djap Wurrung people
Why has our church been standing in solidarity with people of the Kulin nations to protect sacred trees from being cut down for a road? The following excerpt from the Guardian may be helpful:
"[Djap Wurrung woman Lidia] Thorpe likened the trees’ sacredness to that of the Notre Dame Cathedral in France, which went up in flames in April.
“The outcry over what happened to [Notre Dame] – a significant cultural, spiritual place that people feel they have a deep connection with – that’s how we feel,” she told Guardian Australia.
“This is a sacred place, this is like a church. This is our church. This is a place where we connect and heal and unite as a people. It’s a place where we talk to our ancestors. No one would ever think about destroying a church for a road.”
Mural and sign to support the Djap Wurrung people's sacred trees, made by our children in Sunday School and now in our church window
LET'S CLEAN UP OUR OCEANS …
We're deeply concerned about plastic polllution and our oceans or landfills needlessly filling up with recyclable materials. So are many Australians. So what is our church doing about it?
St Andrews Church Fairfield are supporters of the Cash for Containers campaign with the Boomerang Alliance. This means we're trying to bring back a scheme that refunds people 10c for every bottle returned. This scheme is shown around the world to increase recycling and reduce litter. There's no good reason not to do it. We're hoping that the Victorian state government will make a commitment to introduce a Cash for Containers before the next election in Nov 2018. Please follow this link to learn more about what your church, school or other organisation can do to support this campaign: https://www.boomerangalliance.org.au/cds_vic_org_statement_of_support
On Thurs 9th August, many of us will be attending a meeting to learn more about this issue and see how we can get more involved in the campaign. Please click here for more details or email Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in helping out: https://www.facebook.com/events/1527660234027381/
JUSTICE FOR REFUGEES...
Our minister Rev Alex Sangster and several of our congregants are active members in Love Makes a Way, a collection of Christians across Australia who are calling for an end to the inhumane system of offshore detention. Our prayer is that Australia may be a safe haven for people forced to leave their homes and their land due to conflict, war and persecution.
Rev Sangster recently wrote an article reflecting on this issue for the Uniting Church's publication Crosslights. In it she writes "Groups like Grandmothers Against Children in Detention, Love Makes A Way and many others in the Refugee Action Collective continue to fight as they attempt to shine a light on this dark stain on our national soul.
However, it will take more than a passionate minority to end this injustice and to set these children free.
Do we have enough moral imagination that we can continue to fight for justice for our asylum seekers even though we can’t see their faces or hear their cries?"
Feel free to read the whole article here: https://crosslight.org.au/2018/07/19/untold-childrens-stories/
We're so excited to announce that Ministers of the Uniting Church in Australia will soon have the freedom to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies. Finally!
In the Uniting Church's first national meeting since Australia's marriage equality survey, the church as an institution agreed to give allow ministers permission to marry same-sex couples. Finally! It's something that our congregation has been hoping for for a long time and has been meaningful to many congregants.
The decision is a compromise, allowing ministers the freedom to discern and live out their values and theology without imposing our views on other congregations.
Our church was featured in the ABC's report of the issue here: http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-15/same-sex-marriage-uniting-church-gives-ministers-right-to-decide/9995602?pfmredir=sm
One way we have been standing in solidarity with LGBTIQ people in Australia is by flying the Pride flag on the side of our church. The Pride flag now runs alongside the Australian First Nations flag, symbolising our commitment to sovereignty and justice for First Nations people.
Ban the bag
A few weeks ago Church Council received a letter from the lovely Nickie… “As you are no doubt aware, there is a current community push to make Fairfield shopping strip plastic bag free (as I understand it, this relates to single use carry bags, not necessarily bags that may be used to package fruits, vegetables, and meat). A number of members of St Andrew's Uniting have signed a petition in support of this ban.
The grass roots group who is driving the push is now working to spread the message further and to engage more closely with traders in Station Street. Members have met with local shop owners, engaged with local Council, and are planning an action on Station Street in the coming weeks - replete with T-shirts in support of the ban.
Mission Op Shop
Our little opp shop is run by a passionate group of volunteers (we are always looking for more!) who help to sort the donations and staff the shop.