Saturday, November 29, 2014

Advent Action Supporting Asylum Seekers

Act Today to Support Asylum Seekers  
Act Today to Support Asylum Seekers
Please act today to defend the dignity and rights of asylum seekers.  Legislation introduced into the Senate yesterday will mean a string of new measures which will stack the odds against asylum seekers, ensuring they do not get a fair go.  The Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 will reintroduce temporary protection visas, narrow the definition of a refugee, introduce a fast-track processing system for protection claims, give the Minister the power to cap the number of visas issued annually and deny the right to protection for babies born in Australia.  At present, the legislation is likely to be debated and voted on next week.

Clive Palmer’s Party (PUP), has announced it will support the Bill, but Mr Palmer may be open to change.  A number of cross-bench Senators’ votes will be crucial.  Please contact them asking them to vote against the Bill.

For information, please see:

Besides ringing offices of cross-bench Senators and Mr Clive Palmer, you can e-mail them.  Here are their details:

Senator Ricky Muir

Senator Jacqui Lambie

Senator Nick Xenophon

Senator Glen Lazarus

Mr Clive Palmer:

Please tell these cross-bench Senators that you do not want them to support the Bill.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Matthew Moloney: The courage of ordinary people in a time of drought...

"Courage of ordinary people in a time of drought" by Fr Matthew Moloney
This commentary by the Parish Priest of Longreach in Outback Queensland you might find emotionally moving in conflicting ways. Fr Matthew Moloney is one of three priests serving the people of 12 parishes and Mass centres of the Central West Deanery of the Rockhampton Diocese in Queensland. This area of the Diocese is one of a number of regions in Queensland caught up in a severe drought. Fr Moloney's commentary relates some of the depressing and tragic stress people are enduring because of the Drought. But it is also an uplifting story about what a Church and an extended religious community can do at its very best in providing people with hope and the strength to carry on in the most trying of circumstances. ...Brian Coyne, editor and publisher
by Matthew Moloney, Parish Priest, Longreach, Queensland

Friday, November 14, 2014

Music to Open Your Ears: Allegiance

The Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5 1-12
* When he saw the crowds,  he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Faith leaders call out G20 leaders for failure to act on climate change

open letter to leaders of G20 in Brisbane
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 03:38
fossil fuels versus global poverty at G20
Faith leaders call out G20 leaders for failure to act on climate change
As religious leaders drawn from diverse religious traditions, we see the earth as sacred and it is our human responsibility to protect it. When the earth is respected and cared for, human life can flourish.
We acknowledge that the best science is clear that the burning of fossil fuels is driving global warming, thus threatening the long-term viability of life on earth. At the G20 Summit meetings, we therefore urge national leaders to put climate change on the agenda.
We call upon all national leaders, even those of developing countries, to commit to a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. It is entirely possible to create thriving economies that are also sustainable. To do otherwise will result in unthinkable suffering, first for our brothers and sisters already at high risk of climate-related disasters, then for our own children and grandchildren.
To this end, ceasing government subsidies for fossil fuel companies is desirable. Subsidies operate as a perverse incentive to destroy the biosphere, to deplete and pollute precious water sources, pollute the air and create significant health problems.
It is a further injustice that, while wealthy countries spend tens of billions annually on subsidies for fossil fuels, most are failing to contribute even the most basic amounts to meet the mitigation and adaption needs of the poor. We call on donor governments to commit substantial public money to Climate Finance, and to the technology transfers needed by developing countries to leapfrog to cleaner and more efficient technologies. 
We urge our national leaders, in their meetings, to place our economies at the service of human prosperity, equity, inclusiveness and environmental stewardship. The pursuit of economic growth will ultimately be self-defeating without due regard for the future of the earth itself.
 Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammad, Grand Mufti of Australia
Sr Berneice Loch rsm OAM, President, Catholic Religious Australia
Rev. Professor Andrew Dutney, President, Uniting Church of Australia National Assembly
Professor Nihal Agar, Chairman, Hindu Council of Australia
Ajahn Brahm, representing Australian Sangha Association (Buddhist)
Mr Kim Hollow, President, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils
Dr Beth Heyde, Chair, Public Affairs Commission, Anglican Church of Australia
Mr Hafez Kassem, President, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils/Muslims Australia
Jacqui Remond, Director, Catholic Earthcare Australia
Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky, Chairperson, Rabbinic Council of Progressive Rabbis
Rt Rev’d Professor Stephen Pickard, Executive Director, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University (Anglican)
Professor Neil Ormerod, Professor of Theology, Australian Catholic University
Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, Chair, Council of Masorti Rabbis of Australia 
Contact person: Thea Ormerod
+61 405 293 466

Another reminder to Tony #Abbott that Climate Change deserves #G20 attention and decisions.
Again it is the voice of religious leaders in our community who speak out for the cause of earth justice and common sense.

As a Catholic I am inspired that my religious leadership is represented by two women and a non clerical theologian. I wonder if  Catholic newspapers will carry this item with the same enthusiasm they have for the letter of Pope Francis to Tony Abbott 

CJPC Brisbane Media Release for G20 Summit


Catholic Centre
143 Edward Street
Brisbane  QLD  4000
GPO Box 282 Brisbane  QLD 4001
Ph.  07 3336 9173
Fax 07 3336 9177
ABN 25 328 758 007

Media Statement
G 20 Leader’s Summit                                                                        13th November 2014

On the eve of the G 20 Summit in Brisbane Pope Francis has written a letter to Prime Minister Abbott offering his prayerful encouragement for the deliberations and outcome of the Summit.  

In his letter Pope Francis recognizes the importance of the deliberations and a focus on efforts to relaunch a sustained and sustainable growth of the world economy. He reminds participants that at the centre of their deliberations must be the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people and that a more realistic and complete view of the human and the earth must be at the centre of economic theory and practices.

At the centre of economic principles and policy must be people’s wellbeing through a more inclusive economy that welcomes the participation of the poor, which honours the dignity of all people, improves the quality of life for women and children, promotes access to decent and quality jobs for all and promotes access to education.

It is hoped that through this G20 Summit the voices of the world’s most vulnerable are heard – child workers, trafficked women, Indigenous peoples, refugees, those living with hunger and poverty, those without work, Pacific Islanders whose homes are being inundated by rising seas and many more. Such an inclusive economy must also hear the cry of the earth for justice.

The leaders gathering at this G20 Summit not only have an economic imperative but have a deeply moral imperative and that moral imperative is not only  to respond to the voices of the world’s poor but to invite and welcome them in to the centre of the deliberations and actions.

In the lead up to this G 20 Summit the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has joined with Queensland Churches Together in prayer vigils to pray for those whose voices need to be heard if there is to be economic justice in the world . In addition, Christians will be asked to consider fasting from food or something else important to them and praying for the needs of marginalised people and the earth from the morning of Saturday 15 November to the afternoon of Sunday 16 November.  A prayer service to mark the conclusion of this period of fasting will take place on Sunday 16 November at 4 p.m. at St Francis College Chapel, 233 Milton Road, Milton (enter via Baroona Road).

During this Summit let us continue to pray with Pope Francis that the leaders of the world gathering together will have the courage and conviction to place the human being back into the heart of economics and politics.

Rick Sheehan
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission
For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

NB  This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Mandate which enables it to speak in its own right.  The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane

Saturday, November 01, 2014

G20: A Faith Response for Christians

Members of churches within the Queensland Churches Together family have compiled a resource with prayers and information to help Christians prepare for the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane on November 15 and 16.

G20 prayer and info resource

Christians will be asked to consider fasting from food or something else important to them and praying for the needs of marginalised people and the earth from the morning of Saturday 15 November to the afternoon of Sunday 16 November. 

 A prayer service to mark the conclusion of this period of fasting will take place on Sunday 16 November at 4 p.m. at St Francis College Chapel, 233 Milton Road, Milton (enter via Baroona Road).

G20 prayer and info resource

  • What’s it all about?
  • What should we do? 
  • What are the churches saying?
  •  Text of an open letter from religious leaders urging climate responsibility 
  • Minute on Climate Justice 
  • Prayers and Intercessions 
  • Intercessions from “Working for the Common Good”
  • (Catholic Peace and Justice Commission Qld) 
  • Useful Resources & Activities 
Fasting during the G20 Leaders Summit 

With the approval of many of the heads of churches in Queensland, Christians  representing a number of the member churches of Queensland Churches Together  encourage you to participate in a fast from food or something else really important to  you over the weekend of the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane.

We envisage this as an act of solidarity with those in Australia and around the world  whose needs and concerns will not be heard at the Leaders Summit Table.

During this time, we ask Christians to fast, pray, study scripture and take action to bring  the concerns of marginalised peoples to the attention of the Australian Government  and other G20 Governments.

The Leaders Summit will take place on Saturday 15 November and Sunday 16 
November. You are asked to have breakfast before 9 a.m., on the Saturday, begin your 
fast at that time and complete your fast at 4 p.m. on the Sunday.

We recommend you consult the health and safety guidelines prepared for World 
Vision’s 40 Hour Famine before deciding to participate. Please do not take part in a fast 
from food unless you are sure it is safe to do so in your circumstances. The guidelines 
will be found here. and you will also find useful information here.:

Scripture & Prayer 
During the fast, read and reflect on whatever scripture passages you wish. Some 
possibilities include:

Take time also to pray that God’s Kingdom will come and that God’s will is reflected in 
the decisions of the G20 leaders. You may wish to pray the Lord’s Prayer or Mary’s 
hymn of praise (Luke1: 46 - 55)

During your fast, be sure to write an e-mail or letter to the Prime Minister of Australia 
and to your MP and Senators.

Tell them that you are fasting in solidarity with marginalised people and urge them to 
take action to address the injustice they face.

Mention a specific concern of yours, e.g., children living with malnutrition and hunger, 
trafficked women, Indigenous peoples deprived of their land, people in Australia and 
other parts of the world losing their jobs because of economic restructuring or Torres 
Strait Islanders and Pacific Islanders losing their homes to rising seas.

You will find e-mail forms or addresses and postal addresses for the Prime Minister, 
your MP and Senators here

Public Prayer Gatherings 
Public gatherings for prayer will take place before the fast begins and at its end. All are 
welcome to join us to pray for justice globally.

As there will be delays on the roads and public transport on the weekend of the G20 
Leaders Summit, please ensure you allow extra time to get to these gatherings:

Friday 14 November
7 p.m.

Sunday 16 November
4 p.m.
Prepared by representatives of member churches of Qld Churches Together