A couple of nights ago, I attended an event that looked at the issue of asylum seekers, and where to now. The event was very well attended – they were expecting about 30 people, but instead had about 100.
One of the big things I took out of this was an understanding of the two main issues in asylum seeker policy – that of fairness, and of standards. Continue reading What now for asylum seekers?
So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.
Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
The Brotherhood of St. Lawrence provides a document stating the difference between the Henderson poverty Line, and what people receive from Centrelink payments. The data is pretty shocking. For the March 2007 Quarter, a couple, one of whom is in the workforce with two dependant children, the Poverty line was drawn at $661.45. Centerlink would pay such a family $541.08, a difference of $120.37. In fact, the only situation where someone on Centrelink payments would not be below the poverty line is if they are a couple over the age of 65 and not in the workforce, or a couple on the disability support pension.
This is not good enough!
The government should be taking more action to ensure that no-one that it is supporting is forced to live below the poverty line. Today, as an action, write to your local member, asking them what is being done about reducing the gap between the poverty line and centrelink payments, and pray for those who are living below that line.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence was the vision and creation of Fr Gerard Tucker, a man who combined his Christian faith with a fierce determination to end social injustice. The Brotherhood has developed into an independent organisation with strong Anglican and community links. They continue to fight for an Australia free of poverty.
They provide a full range of services including job training and placement programs, care for the elderly and people with disabilities, early childhood development programs and support services for newly arrived refugees and migrants. These services are focussed in Victoria, from Craigieburn in Melbourne’s North down to Frankston on the Mornington Peninsula.
He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
God’s Spirit is on me;
he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, “You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.”
I acknowledge that I live and work on land for which the Whadjuk Noongar people are the traditional owners and custodians. I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging. I also respect any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from other lands.