Thursday was rehearsal day for the Sydney Street Choir. People were walking in off the street as they heard the choir sing. Members of the Choir are men & women who love music and singing joining together to bring joy to each other and those for whom they perform. The Sydney Street Choir was set up in 2001 to help people dealing with homelessness, mental illness, addiction and/or social disadvantage through the power of song. You can hear the Sydney Street Choir perform this Tuesday 7th 12noon in Martin Place Amphitheatre.
We participated in the Frontier Services 'The Great Outback BBQ' and raised $2000 at our BBQ lunch at St Stephen's Uniting.
Frontier Services is one of our missions we are involved in.
'Closure of ministry' service: Peter Worland (Executive Director of Uniting NSW/ACT)
St Stephen's Uniting 'twins' with Narromine Uniting (about 6 hours drive west of the Sydney CBD), and in June we had our second vist to Narromine for the long weekend. The church family out there are full of hospitality and good things for us to learn.
A global expert has urged a radical rethink of Australia's approach to drug regulation. Manuel Cardoso, who is credited for his role in reforming the Portuguese system in 2001, told a full church building at St Stephen's that Australia should decriminalise all drugs and treat drug use and abuse as a public health issue rather than one of criminal justice."Decriminalising is considered by the United Nations as a good practice, the International Narcotic Control Board consider that the Portuguese experience is a good practice, it's something to try to implement [here]," he said.
Rev Dr Warren Lee
San Francisco Theological Seminary / Presbyterian Church (USA)
spoke to us about the courage to start, and the choice to don't start, or start and live.
Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
Some of Dr Keith Suter's message to us:
There is Progress in Global Peace
- the world is becoming a safer place
- be wary of the media’s interest in war stories! (“bad” news sells – “good” news often does not)
- now we have much fewer international wars compared with the first half of the 20th century (1900-50); reduction in the number of people killed in warfare since 1950
- last 72 years have been the longest period for centuries with no war between the great powers
- “McDonald’s Theory of World Peace”: no two countries that sell McDonalds have gone to war against each other; countries can get more from trade than from invasion (“economic globalization”)
- democracies do not go to war against each other (“democratic peace”)
- more democracies in the world than ever before
Induction of Rev. Lindsay Cullen as National Consultant
Family, friends and Assembly colleagues gathered at St Stephen's Uniting Church in Sydney to induct Rev. Lindsay Cullen as National Consultant for the Assembly's new Resourcing Unit.
Rev. Cullen joins the Assembly having recently served at Bellingen Uniting Church on the NSW mid north coast.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro at St Stephen's Uniting
On Thursday 16 November, 90 people gathered with Deputy Premier John Barilaro to celebrate the impact of free TAFE for people seeking asylum and refugees. Newcomers who studied at TAFE this year due to this policy win told their moving stories. Deputy Premier Barilaro recognised the work of the Sydney Alliance and allies in this space, and the importance of this issue. Congratulations to the refugees and asylum seeker leaders, the People Seeking Asylum Team and all those organisations who were part of this campaign.
Cafe at the Gates of Salvation - Room at the Inn
Saturday 14th October
Congratulations and thank you to everyone who came to the concert 'Room At the Inn 2'. Together we raised nearly $10 000 for Sydney Alliance.
Sarah, who has come to Sydney as a refugee from Iran, shared her powerful testimony of coming to Australia, and what attending TAFE at an affordable rate has meant to her. A big thank you to Deb Burt from Friends of the Sydney Alliance. Thanks also to Sydney Alliance leaders Rev Ken Day, Café At the Gate of Salvation Choir (especially Rev Kent Crawford, Liuanga Palu, Andrew McCloud and Claire O’Rourke), staff dynamo Natalie Martignago and the young people who stepped up to make the event a success.
Synod 2017 - Installation of the Moderator
Friday 29th September - Tuesday 2nd October
The Rev. Simon Hansford was installed as the 28th Moderator of The Uniting Church in Australia (NSW/ACT Synod) at a service at St Stephen's, and will serve the Church as Moderator until September 2020.
At his installation as Moderator Rev. Simon Hansford said, “The Uniting Church in Australia has a vital place in our community, and we have a long experience in engaging communities with the gospel. In a very diverse and rapidly changing world, our church has an even bigger role to play as an arbiter of justice. In a world where the trust in the church as an institution has been challenged, we must again build trust. We need to be able to articulate forgiveness, hope and justice in ways that make sense in the world."