Act for Peace – Christmas Bowl – Thank You

 

Thank you to churches and individuals in W.A. who generously supported our 2014 Christmas Bowl Appeal.  Real change is taking place – please watch our short video, share it with others and your church congregations to see the difference that your support has made to the lives of people affected by conflict and disaster this past year. http://www.actforpeace.org.au/Give-Now/Thank-you-for-being-there

WCC expresses concern over exodus of Christian community in Mosul, Iraq

In an official statement issued on 21 July, the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed deep concern over the exodus of the Christian community from the Iraqi city Mosul occurring due to threats from the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Tveit called these developments a “tragedy” for both Christians and Muslims.

Churches call for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Gaza

 

Churches call for an immediate cessation of hostilities in GazaGaza City, 18 July. Photo: Mohammed Badarin

22 July 2014

Expressing grave concern over the escalation of military operations in Gaza, the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said, “Hostilities must cease. Israel, Palestine and the surrounding region must be offered the hope of peace: a peace based in justice, a lasting peace that may lead toward reconciliation”.

. On behalf of the 345 member churches of the WCC, Tveit appealed to “all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law” which condemn and prohibit all kinds of indiscriminate and disproportionate killing of civilians. Tveit shared the WCC’s call for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Gaza. He urged lifting of restrictions on the movement of persons and goods in and out of the Gaza Strip so that urgent humanitarian needs can be dealt with. In the statement, WCC also called for the resumption of direct peace talks to achieve a comprehensive and sustainable peace based upon a two-state solution along internationally recognized borders. Tveit said that the “latest resort to armed conflict – and the consequent intolerable suffering inflicted on families and communities – can do nothing to promote a just and sustainable peace for Israelis and Palestinians”. He added that “peace in Israel and Palestine will come only through the restoration of compassion between human beings, through seeking together common paths towards justice and peace, and through a genuine commitment to creating the basis for future generations of Israelis and Palestinians to live side-by-side in peace.”

Read full text of the WCC general secretary’s statement

 WCC member churches in the Middle East

Pope: Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare

2014-06-09 Vatican Radio   “Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare”, the courage “to say yes to encounter and no to conflict: yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities; yes to respect for agreements and no to acts of provocation; yes to sincerity and no to duplicity”.

This was Pope Francis message to his guests Sunday evening – the Israeli and Palestinian Presidents Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas – as he welcomed them to his home for an Invocation for Peace in the Holy Land.

Act for Peace – Prayer Point for month of June

Pray for continuing peace and reconciliation in Myanmar.

Read this month’s story from the Thai-Myanmar Border Refugee Camps where promotion of farming and nutrition in the camp through The Community Agriculture and Nutrition Program (CAN) program, provides a livelihood to refugees and builds community self-reliance.

http://www.actforpeace.org.au/Get-Involved/Become-a-partner/Peace-mail

A gift of $35 can help equip a refugee with a gardening kit and vegetable seeds to both feed their family now, and start to prepare them for a future beyond the camps.

If you would like to give today or become an Act for Peace Partner with regular monthly gifts, visit http://www.actforpeace.org.au

Make an impact and help change lives during Refugee Week, 15-21 June – take part in our ‘Ration Challenge.’

Help make a difference to people living in refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border by making sure they have enough to eat, and showing them that after all they’ve been through, they are not alone.  For further information of how you, your family and friends or church can be a part of this new initiative from 15-21 June during Refugee Week, visit – www.actforpeace.org.au/rationchallenge

Tributes flow as Bishop Michael Putney’s Ecumenical Journey Ends

The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) pays tribute to Bishop Michael E Putney, an outstanding ecumenist, who ended his journey with cancer in the early hours of 28 March 2014. Diagnosed with cancer in December 2012 Bishop Putney was the sixth President of the NCCA. Last week Michael Putney acknowledged that his ecumenical journey began as a 16 year old when he entered Pius XII Seminary, Banyo. As a student he participated in an oratory competition where he spoke on the life and message of Paul Couturier who is the father of the modern form or the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Michael won the competition but he says more significantly he found ecumenism as a deep spiritual commitment for his life. “Bishop Michael Putney has been an ecumenical giant who has championed the importance of dialogue between churches both in Australia and internationally. His contribution as the Co-chair of the International Roman Catholic – World Methodist dialogue has been greatly valued for many years .Equally significant is his four years as President of the NCCA where he upheld the importance that the ecumenical space is the place where the real agenda of the churches was able to be discussed together” said Reverend Tara Curlewis, NCCA general secretary. Bishop Putney was highly respected for his wise contributions to the work of Christian unity, as the news of his death is realised tributes flow from his ecumenical colleagues around the globe..  Curlewis concluded “This week marked the thirteenth anniversary for him as the Bishop of Townsville and last week on 20th March Bishop Michael launched his book “My Ecumenical Journey”. The timing is extraordinary that the last week of his life is marked with these two significant events as if to neatly close his journey.”

Bishop Michael E Putney will long be remembered for his contribution to his own church, the people of Townsville, the Australian churches and the wider ecumenical movement. His witness has inspired many to imagine in new ways what a healthy reconciled Church could look like.

Rev Tara Curlewis is available for Interview  -  Media Enquiries: 0419 224 935

 

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.