Easter – a time for action
This article is sponsored by Uniting, the Board of the NSW and ACT Synod of the Uniting Church responsible for the work of community services, chaplaincy and social justice advocacy.
Amid outrage at the treatment of people seeking asylum in Australia and in offshore detention and increasing uncertainty around the US refugee deal, the team at Give Hope: Uniting for Asylum Seekers is calling on members of the Synod and wider community to take action this Easter! Individuals are encouraged to join the annual Palm Sunday Rally through Sydney on April 9 to say “We Can Do Better” for refugees, and to get involved in the Give Hope Easter Voucher Appeal, which provides much needed practical support for those struggling in the community.
Palm Sunday Rally
Both Uniting and the Uniting Church Synod of NSW/ACT are proud to be endorsing the Palm Sunday Rally as part of a coalition of organisations supporting a better way for refugees and people seeking asylum. Speakers for this exciting event include union representatives, peace and justice advocates, interfaith leaders and former refugees who will share their stories. It’s hoped the rally will draw public attention to the horrific conditions inside offshore detention centres and the inhumane policies traumatising people waiting in Australia for their refugee claims to be processed. In light of success of the recent #LetThemStay protests across Australia, the organising committee for the Palm Sunday Rally hope the event will have similar impact, upping the pressure for change and showing the groundswell of support in the community for people seeking asylum. All are encouraged to attend the rally, starting at 2pm from Hyde Park North and finishing at First Fleet Park, Circular Quay. For more information search ‘Palm Sunday Rally for Refugees 2017’ on Facebook.
Easter Voucher Appeal
Following on from the great success of last year’s appeal, and with the worsening of conditions for refugees in the community, the Give Hope team looks again to the kindness and generosity of church members and the wider community for the 2017 Easter Voucher Appeal. All vouchers and gift cards donated will be handed to our partners at Settlement Services International and provided to Uniting Church representatives working hard for refugees in their local communities. In light of increasing interest from across the Church for ways in which members can provide material aid for refugees, the Easter appeal is a great opportunity to make a practical contribution. Individuals are invited to take part in the appeal as an expression of the renewal of life and creation and the inauguration of a new world and all that Easter represents for us. Jon O’Brien, Head of Uniting’s Social Justice Forum, says the appeal is a way for Christians to “practice the radical compassion, welcome and hospitality that Jesus demonstrated to the excluded – like those people seeking asylum on our shores” and live the values so important at Easter time.
Taking part in the appeal is easy and a great way for you to get your congregation, family, friends, colleagues and community involved in social justice action around Easter time. Simply:
- Purchase a gift card or voucher to the amount of your choice. This could be a supermarket or department store voucher or even a gift card for a pharmacy, cinema or sports store.
- Send the voucher/s to: Give Hope Team, PO Box 7137, Silverwater NSW 2128
Spread the word about the appeal and connect with us via social media to see how your contribution has made a difference in the life of a refugee or asylum seeker.
For more information: Give Hope for refugees
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