Jun 28

Stephen Brown and David Wanless
Geneva/Cape Town (ENI). A leader of the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe has urged the international community to intervene in the southern African nation, following the decision of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to withdraw from the presidential runoff, citing escalating violence against his supporters. 

“We need peace monitors that make sure we have a stable environment to stop this violence and madness that [President Robert] Mugabe is orchestrating,” Prosper Munatsi, general secretary of the SCMZ, said in a 23 June interview in Geneva. 

Munatsi was speaking before reports emerged from the Zimbabewan capital that Tsvangirai had sought refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare, citing fears about his safety. 

“The people of Zimbabwe have tried everything in their power democratically and peaceably in a non-violent way, and they have exhausted all the channels,” said Munatsi, who was in Geneva to brief the World Student Christian Federation, of which the SCMZ is a part. 

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Jun 27

Community lunchThe St. David’s Uniting church had cause to celebrate yesterday as the Wednesday community luncheon turned 15.

The luncheon has been running every Wednesday between February and December for the past 15 years, aimed at being a place of gathering and community for local residents. Good and cheap food, entertainment, and a place of belonging are all features of the weekly gathering at 154 Drummond St., Oakleigh.

The community lunch costs a mere $3 and all are welcome to come and enjoy. Lunch begins at 12:30 pm every Wednesday, and there is also an invitation to come early for a brief service of worship in the church beginning at noon.

Jun 22

Jesus prays to the Father that those who follow him might be as one, as he and the Father are one. We reflect on the challenge of one-ness and how we might share the love that Christ has shown.

Sermon June 22, 2008 (pdf)
St. David’s Uniting Church, Oakleigh
Rev. Arnie Wierenga

Jun 20

Combined worship of the Cook Islands UCA, Clayton, Tamil Church Melbourne (Oakleigh), and the St. David’s UCA (Oakleigh).

Every 5th Sunday we gather for worship together.

Today we worship at Clayton from 10am. Worship will be led by the Clayton Ekalesia with Preacher Papa Mata Makara.

Please bring along something to share for lunch following worship.

All are welcome.

Jun 20

Peace by pieceIn the lead up to world youth day, an inter-faith peace ceremony will be held in Federation Sqaure on 10th July at 10am.

The ceremony is a very simple way for young people to share the beauty and treasures of their faith in its promotion of peace. Highlights of the Ceremony include:

  • Aboriginal Welcome to Land and Dance Troupe
  • Personal Witness from young people of the Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, Sikh and Christian faiths
  • Presentation of a Peace Pole to the City of Melbourne
  • Launch of the Peace by Piece Ribbon Campaign
  • Gifts of Olive trees to a representative of each Religious Tradition
  • Expression of the “Sounds of Faith”
  • Opportunity to meet and offer witness to the world
  • 2007 Australian Idol Winner Natalie Gauci to perform live

Peace by Piece seeks to bring together the youth of all faiths in a witness to the world that Religious Traditions are an avenue for Peace and not an obstacle to it. We believe that this will be the first Interfaith Peace Ceremony for Youth ever held in Federation Square and as there will be approx 20,000 Pilgrims in Melbourne in preparation for World Youth Day, we believe that this will present a very positive message to the people of Melbourne.

Should you require further information, please contact either
Fr Michael on 0410606405 or mtwigg@mazenod.vic.edu.au or
Ms Loretta Brinkman 97955077 or lbrinkman@oblates.com.au
Peace by piece advertisement (pdf)

Jun 18

UCA Conversations is an electronic journal published by the Centre for Theology and Ministry. There will be at least two editions each year focusing on theological and ecclesial issues of particular importance to the Synod of Vic-Tas.

Our aim is to promote theological conversations within the Synod and beyond by making the work of the CTM teaching staff and others more widely available.

The latest issue is available online here.

Jun 15

Jesus sends out the disciples to extend the reach of the gospel. As Jesus claims his authority to do so from the Father, this authority is given to the disciples as well. From there, a reading of the gospel of Matthew from the end gives us a clue about what we are given authority to do. 

Sermon June 15th, 2008 (pdf)
St. David’s Uniting church, Oakleigh
Rev. Arnie Wierenga 

Jun 14

A new report released on Sunday, exactly two months ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games, details the current Chinese Government’s crackdown on unregistered Christians, including the funding of a campaign to eradicate house churches throughout China.

The report, entitled “China: Persecution of Protestant Christians in the Approach to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games”, by Christian Solidarity Worldwide and China Aid Association, provides information on different tactics used by the government to restrict the religious freedom of Christians.

CAA said that in May, two independent sources reported that the Chinese Central Government was providing funding to the Ministry of Public Security to escalate its campaign to eradicate house churches in China.

China Aid also said it received reports of “planned intensified persecution”, with greater control and prevention of large Christian gatherings ahead of the Games.

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Jun 12

Archaeologists in Jordan have unearthed what they claim is the world’s first church, dating back almost 2,000 years, The Jordan Times reported on Tuesday.

“We have uncovered what we believe to be the first church in the world, dating from 33 AD to 70 AD,” Jordan Rihab Centre for Archaeological Studies spokesman Abdul Qader al-Husan said.

He said it was uncovered under Saint Georgeous Church, which itself dates back to 230 AD, in Rihab in northern Jordan near the Syrian border.

“We have evidence to believe this church sheltered the early Christians – the 70 disciples of Jesus Christ,” Mr Husan said.


Jun 11

Peter Garrett

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett will today launch a project to make church and non-government organisations more greenhouse-friendly and water-efficient.

The Greening Communities program will start with environmental audits to assess how anything from a church hall to a school can become more efficient.

Father Michael Kelly from the Catholic Church charitable trust Church Resources says the buying power of about 18,000 church and non-government organisations is then leveraged to make the technologies more affordable.

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