Church Leaders express condolences to families of MH370

National church leaders have expressed their deep sorrow at the news of the loss of all lives on Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370.  At a recent meeting of the national Heads of church, prayers were offered in the hope of finding the location of MH 370. Now that the location has been identified as the southern Indian Ocean and families have been notified the churches uphold all who have lost loved ones in prayer. The church leaders recognise the great loss to the 14 countries with residents on the flight and particularly the significant loss experienced in China and Malaysia and their respective communities in Australia.

“The uncertainty that the families have experienced since 8th March has been terrible, now the announcement that all lives were lost in the Southern Indian Ocean is sad and devastating for the families of all on flight MH 370. Hopefully this news will allow people to grieve.” said Reverend Tara Curlewis, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia. Our condolences have been sent to the people of Malaysia and China through the churches and their networks. Curlewis concluded “Along with other faith communities the churches continue to pray that the mystery will be solved and families will have closure. Many congregations and especially the Chinese Methodist Church have been touch by this tragedy and offer support to those who are grieving in Australia.”

Rev Tara Curlewis is available for Interview  –  Media Enquiries: 0419224935

Recent Posts from World Council of Churches

WCC general secretary invokes blessings for WCRC’s new office in Hannover

The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit invoked “prayers for God’s blessings” at the opening of new central offices of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) in Hannover, Germany. The WCRC recently relocated its office to Hannover after having been based in Geneva for 65 years.

Ecumenical Review seeks “a common vision of the church”

Publication of the text The Church: Towards a Common Vision has been called an ecumenical highlight of 2013. Now under study by churches throughout the world, it is a document in search of convergence. The most recent issue of the quarterly journal The Ecumenical Review features commentary on this product of the WCC Commission on Faith and Order.

WCC renews call to prayer for peace in Syria

The WCC general secretary is calling on the council’s 345 member churches and churches around the world to continue to pray for the safe return of the twelve nuns abducted from the Monastery of St Thecla in the historical town of Maaloula on 2 December 2013, as well as the two Archbishops of Aleppo in Syria Mar Yohanna Gregorios Ibrahim from the Syriac Orthodox Church and Archbishop Paul Yazigi from the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch who were kidnapped in April 2013 near Aleppo, Syria on their way back from a humanitarian mission.

Assembly elects new WCC presidents

04 November 2013

The 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches elected eight new presidents today during a closed session at its proceedings in Busan, Republic of Korea.

According to the WCC constitution the role of the WCC presidents is to promote ecumenism and interpret the work of the WCC, especially in their respective regions. The presidents are ex-officio members of Central Committee.

The Central Committee will also be elected during the assembly, but after the presidents are elected.

The eight WCC presidents are:

Africa:  Rev. Dr Mary Anne Plaatjies van Huffel, Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa

Asia: Rev. Prof. Dr Sang Chang, Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea

Europe: Archbishop Anders Wejryd, Church of Sweden

Latin America and Caribbean:  Rev. Gloria Nohemy Ulloa Alvarado, Presbyterian Church in Colombia

North America: Bishop Mark MacDonald, Anglican Church of Canada

Pacific: Rev. Dr Mele’ana Puloka, Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga

Eastern Orthodox:  H.B. John X Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East

Oriental Orthodox: H.H. Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians

WCC General Secretary: military actions cannot bring peace in Syria

While condemning all use of chemical weapons in Syria, the WCC general secretary said that “we must do everything possible to starve the fire of war rather than feeding it with further deadly armaments.”

In an open letter to the United Nations Security Council issued on 4 September, the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed profound concern at the current situation in Syria. His message came following discussions with the church leaders in Amman, Jordan, where he is participating in a conference on “Challenges facing Arab Christians” on invitation of H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad.

Talk by Professor Amy-Jill Levine

Professor Amy-Jill Levine will give a talk on “Jesus, Judaism and Jewish-Christian Relations at All Saints Floreat Uniting Church, 50 Berkeley Crescent, Floreat on Monday 19th August from 7.30 – 9.00 pm. Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences.

Introducing Frances Hadfield, Ecumenical Ministry Officer

The Council of Churches of Western Australia is delighted to announce the appointment of the Reverend Frances Hadfield as Ecumenical Ministry Officer. Frances fills this part-time position in addition to her role as Chaplaincy Co-ordinator at Bandyup Women’s Prison

Frances is a Uniting Church minister and has considerable experience in ecumenical affairs. She looks forward to promoting the work of churches together throughout Western Australia.

Prayers for Syria

Prayers continue for the safety, well-being and release of Archbishops Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim Metropolitan of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo, and Boulos Yazaji Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo, abducted by persons unknown on April 22nd.

An invitation to join in an Act of Consecration of Syria by Maronite Archbishop Nassar of Syria has also been received:

Would you please join in praying with Archbishop Nassar of Syria – the Act of Consecration of Syria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which he will make at 6pm (Syrian Time) on August 15th 2012 – Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. Wherever you are in the world on that day at 6pm – or when you can – please join in this consecration in support of the Archbishop. (click here)




Uniting Church Resources Reconciliation Week

Week of Prayer for Reconciliation Resources

Week of Prayer for Reconciliation 27 May – 3 June

We are encouraging Church members to reflect on the reconciliation process during the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation (which in 1993 was widened to also become National Reconciliation Week).

This year, the theme for National Reconciliation Week is “Let’s Talk Recognition”,  topical as the start of public consultation process towards a referendum on recognising Indigenous people in the Australian Constitution begins. The Uniting Church has taken its own journey to a new Preamble of our Constitution which acknowledges Aboriginal and Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia.

Download these resources:

What is reconciliation?

Covenanting and the Uniting Church in Australia

What can you do?


You might also like to use the resources produced by the Covenanting Coordinator and Committee of the South Australian Synod. You can find them here.