Protection of the Mother of God

October 1 2006 Hebrews 9: 1-7; Luke 10: 38-42; 11:27-28

The epistle describes the sanctuary of the Temple in Jerusalem. The details are intended to show that, under the Law of Moses, the Temple sacrifices were to make a big apology for sin, to procure the forgiveness of God. The idea of the Church, however, is that in Christ the sacrifice of his life was made for all believers and the sacrifice of blood (by the consecration of animals) is no longer needed. For Orthodox Christians, Our Lady, the All Holy Mother of God, is the Temple in which Jesus begins his life on earth as a baby; and it is by his Mother’s protection that he is brought into mature adult life. She is ‘more honourable than the cherubim and more glorious than the seraphim’, and so she is herself the Holy of Holies in which the sacrifice is prepared for the life of the world. The gospel is one common for feasts of Our Lady. The reason is that there are few passages directly about Our Lady in the gospels. Her life is concealed by her Son’s greater activity and Glory. So, what we hear is the story of Martha and Mary. In John 11, we discover them as well-

known residents of Bethany. Here the story is more essential, the sisters have a kind of symbolic character. Martha wants to give Jesus a special meal, but her sister takes the opportunity of direct learning from Jesus. ‘Mary... sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking.’ Our Lady would have been just like Martha – busy in the house, careful for the needs of Jesus, attentive to the needs of visitors – but also actively like Mary. For there is activity in being a hearer of the gospel, an attendant in church. No student really learns anything without effort. The prayer of the believer is not a passive event, but a gift of time and intelligence and love. This is what the Mary of the gospel passage represents; just as the Martha figure represents the real mothering activity of Our Lady for Jesus. The gospel says that Jesus admonished Martha. ‘[Y]ou worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’ This comes just after the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37). Acting in faith is necessary.

Our reading then goes to a very simple couple of verses. ‘Now as he was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, “Happy is the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!” But he replied, “Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!”’ A living faith is a faith learned. The gospel reading shows a picture of Our Lady who is quiet and attentive to the life of Our Lord, wanting to follow his teaching. And truly we must see in Martha also something of Our Lady’s care for Jesus, her protection of him. And the other passage gives us praise of the Mother of God. But the words of the woman in the crowd, are really a way of praising Jesus, and they appear just after he has told his audience that an unclean spirit can invade again the life of someone from whom that spirit is expelled; and can invade it with force and with more forms of evil besides. (Luke 11: 24-26). That is a powerful warning. Faith in God is faith which
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The Nativity of the Mother of God

[This is a sermon for the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God written by Fr Deacon Michael (Dr Michael Brett-Crowther) who is a clergyman of the Ecumenical Patriarchate serving with the blessing of the Romanian Metropolitan Joseph in the Romanian parish of the Protection of the Mother of God, in Toulouse, France.]

year XXXI September - October 2006

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A Youthful Parish
Day of Creation
Revd Doru Costache
It is the 1st of September, the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, according to the Orthodox tradition. The day of creation. The customary symbolism of the moment is less relevant for those living on Southern hemisphere, were the spring starts. For those of the Northern hemisphere, it is the dawn of the autumn. Why celebrating creation at the beginning of the autumn? To the ecclesial mind, the creation is an allencompassing act, comprehending everything that existed, exists and will exist. The autumn is the time of abundance, of the fulfilled expectations of the year. The crops are ready... The beginning of the year coincides – always to the ecclesial mind – with the blessing from above, and the blessing announces and already is the fulfilment of the whole process. Of course we experience the growth, the development of creation in time. But we are confident and we trust all divine promises for the end,
book review

since the blessing was already there. The beginning is the promise and the revelation of the age to come, as deciphered by St Symeon the New Theologian in his first ethical discourse. The beginning of the year is celebrated in many traditions like a reiteration of the illo tempore (that time of the past) of the foundational creative acts. In a totally different way, to our tradition inaugurating the new year is to celebrate both the beginning and the consummation of God’s creation, Alpha and Omega, the fullness of day 1 (unique) and the 8th endless day. Celebrating the fullness of God’s mercy and blessing. A day of hope and joy. Unfortunately we Orthodox, as the noblest side of humanity (according to Christos Yannaras), are no more paying attention to the moment. If no fireworks, there is no sufficient reason to celebrate... Just a few years ago a monk of Mt Athos composed the service for this day http://

www.goarch.org/ en/chapel/liturgical_texts/ vespers_creation.asp but the service is far from being generalised... More unfortunately, we Orthodox do not pay any longer personal attention to the moment. We think it is not something worthy to celebrate, something irrelevant to our daily expectations... And yet, the meaning of our entire life is there... Well, I am celebrating, not in the church, but looking to the deep blue Australian sky, feeling the soft breeze, admiring the flowers, the eyes and everything. I am liturgising by the way I am, the way I walk and touch things, giving thanks to God for everything. It is the day of the blessing. I shall read with all my respect the first chapter of Genesis (although it is difficult to understand why the above mentioned service does not contain it), trying to learn a way of rebuilding my life, again and again, everyday. It is the day of renewal. A day of hope. Nothing is lost. Everything can be fulfilled, for the blessing comes from above...

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
by Andreea Hrincu
Want to be swept up in a novel which contains flowering declarations of love, immaculately clever speeches and hilarious hints at family and society structure? Then Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” is a must read! “It is a truth universally acknowledged” that this is one of the best books ever written which has transcended two centuries! There are not many other books which can brag about withstanding two hundred years of hard criticisms and becoming classics. Set in 17th Century England, this novel deals with universal themes which are still evident in today’s society. Writing a compelling love story, full of the tragedies which love brings and many other interesting twists, Jane Austen engages readers of all ages. In true Austen style the book is mainly concerned with love and all the hardships it can bring. Albeit the plot winds around relationships, it still manages to be entertaining, mainly due to the way in which Jane book contains memorably funny moments which make the reader Austen writes. smile with pleasure. Although The characters in the novel are Austen does not take on the persona likeable and possess great wit. The page 3
Parochial Life | september - october 2006 |

Jane Austen, in a portrait based on one drawn by her sister Cassandra

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A Youthful Parish
THE NICENE CREED
by Simona Strungaru
I believe in one God, Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. This teaching from the Nicene Creed has the greatest meaning and value to people and is the most important. What is meant of it is that we believe in the creator of the world and all of His creations that are and aren’t visible to the eye. It teaches us that even though our vision is only limited to the physical surroundings Earth offers, we still know that God the Almighty lives in heaven and we should believe in His teachings and follow His guidance. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one essence with the Father; through him all things were made. Jesus Christ is born from the essence of the Father and is truly God. The teaching of this belief shows us that Jesus Christ is the Lord, our God, being one with the Father. We should praise Jesus and worship him, for he created all things. Who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became human, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and rose on the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will come again in glory to judge the living and dead, and his kingdom will have no end. This part of the Nicene Creed is very significant as it talks about Jesus our Saviour. It says that Jesus came down from heaven and was born through the Holy Spirit and the
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Pride… 

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Blessed Virgin Mary. He was then crucified and rose from the dead. When Jesus was crucified all our sins were forgiven and he gave us a life of eternal happiness. Jesus rising from the cross shows that our Lord is not dead, but he reigns in heaven judging us and listening to our prayers. It teaches us that we should follow Jesus and if we do we shall live in the Kingdom of God, which will have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, and who spoke through the prophets. The teaching of the Holy Spirit shows us that he is the third person of the Holy Trinity. Though he is really distinct, as a person, from the Father and the Son, he is consubstantial with them and truly God. He proceeds by way of spiration, from the Father, who is the only origin of the other two persons (the Son and the Holy Spirit). In one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I expect the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the ages to come. Amen. The teaching of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic church is found in the last verse of the Nicene Creed. It indicates the four marks of the Christian church that we should follow, which are: unity (togetherness), holiness, universality and apostolicity. It also shows true Christians forming a single united group to worship the Lord. Also the Creed teaches that in order to have the Holy Spirit around you and to protect you from all evil, you must become baptised in one Christian Church in order to live a life on earth with Jesus and a life in heaven.

of one single character but chooses an omniscient style, the main character of the novel is Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth is one of five sisters who live in general comfort. Their main source of entertainment comes from dances and balls. They are brought up able to choose their own opportunities but respecting their family, no matter how it may impact on them. Simply put Elizabeth needs to examine her relationship to men, which she does throughout the novel. She gains a distinct sense of self-awareness and discovers that first impressions are not always what they seem. People act in certain ways because of flaws in their personality, and Elizabeth, through loss and a hard- fight, learns this. New characters appear throughout the novel. Some are likeable, other not so, and others still add a touch of humour, asperity and reality. Readers are generally able to relate to the characters they are reading about, although this is not always the case. Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” has few if any faults. One is able to fault her for not adding more exciting events in her novel, but when considering her books are of a romantic genre, this does not stand. Her characters are mostly quite realistic and interesting to read about. If the audience delves deeper into the book, the techniques Austen employs become visible and enchant the audience with their simplicity yet style. “Pride and Prejudice” is not an easy book to understand, especially due to the style it is written in, but once this is surpassed, it challenges and entertains the willing mind.

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A Youthful Parish
REPORT ON GLOBAL WARMING
by Mary Jo Costache
companying this have been large changes in sea-level so that some areas of land have either become flooded completely or left high and dry. It is potentially a big problem as if the global temperature rises to a level where it is affecting the Antarctic ice-caps, they may begin to melt and cause sea-level rises globally measured in meters. There are many cities around the world, including Sydney, that are on the coast and they would be flooded and probably have to be abandoned. There are also many countries, especially poorer countries – like many of the Pacific islands – where a large part of the population live in coastal regions. In this case the farm-land would be flooded and the people left home less and without the ability to feed themselves. In some cases entire island nations in the Pacific Ocean could simply disappear. The world will end. AAAAAAAAHHH. And this is because of pollution. More and more people everyday visit Antarctica. More people means more litter. Humans will just never stop littering. Litter causes pollution. Pollution causes holes in the ozone layer. Holes in the ozone layer cause GLOBAL WARMING. Global Warming causes floods which means death. Death means aaaaaaah. There are a couple of things we can do to stop this. First of all we can limit the amount of people going to Antarctica. If we don’t there will be litter. Don’t get me started on litter. By doing that, we also stop exposing the continent to the fuels and gases of our transport devices…well not as much anyway. I think it should stop, because it will affect the whole world and I don’t want to die. And before we go there, we should definitely learn more about the continent. And for God’s sake…don’t let everyone go there. If you think they will all treat the environment properly, you are sorely mistaken. THAT… was my opinion.

Global warming is the warming up of the planet above the temperature it should be. It is such a concern at the moment as it seems that the temperature is rising at a rate far faster than ever before and it is thought that it may be the activities of the human population over the last 150 years or so that is doing it. Temperatures over the whole planet have risen by about 0.6C in the last 100 years. More than half of this increase has happened in the last 25 years. The temperature records used to calculate this are extensive, they have been assembled from thousands of observation sites on land and sea covering a large, representative portion of the Earth's surface. This is a worry because while the planet can cope with changes in temperature which are known to have happened over periods of tens and hundreds of thousands of years in the past and certainly over millions of years. The current rate of change is much, much faster than any changes have ever been before as far as we are currently aware. Climate changes in the past over Geological time periods (millions and tens of millions of years) have been very drastic. During cold periods, much of the planet, even thousands of miles from both poles have been ice-covered by huge glaciers and during warm periods, the same regions may have been sub-tropical or even tropical. Ac-

Penguins are secretly planning to take over the world. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Protection… 

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confronts evil. So the picture which the readings give us of Our Lady is this. She is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and the security of Jesus. In her life he begins his life on earth; and from her care he becomes a secure child and an active young man of faith, who is the Teacher of his people and the Saviour of Mankind. As he can expel from us the evil which surrounds us and grows within our hearts, so her life can be the standard for us to see what is suitable for our womenfolk and for our menfolk. In our world today, the body is ruined by many forces. But for the Body of Christ to live in the world, for us to be the Church, Our Lady is the protection. May the Protection of the Mother of God be the strength of the Body of Christ, our strength and His praise.
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A Youthful Parish
SUNDAY SCHOOL EXCURSION
by Adrian Cruceanu

On the 5th October 2006 the students of St Mary’s church, together with their guests of Bunavestire church, had attended an excursion to the City and Luna Park. This was going to be a great day for the children and it was an excursion for the children to bond and a treat for their attendance of Sunday school. Well first the day was started by catching the river-cat from Parramatta to Circular Quay. While we were on the river-cat we saw some wonderful sites of the city, the Opera

House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Finally we had reached our destination of Circular Quay and it was time to see the Opera House. The Opera House was a beautiful site and had very special and intriguing designs. The children liked the spot but were eager to get to Luna Park. We had caught another ferry to Milsons Point get to Luna Park. We paid our tickets and now it was time to get on the rides. The group had split up all over Luna Park while the adults had just stayed at the bar and

talked and the children had gone to line up for rides. The children loved the rides from just looking at them and had thought of Luna Park as the funniest place in the world. The rides were fun and were a rush – a blood rushing experience. Finally after five hours or so the day came to an end and the children were exhausted. We had caught train back to Parramatta and had some food to eat at Parramatta shops and then the excursion was over. The day was fabulous.
good news During its meeting of 13th October 2006, the Parish Committee decided that children and teenagers attending Sunday school will be granted $10 each, for any (1-day) excursion organised by the parish to which they will participate.

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The Original Owners of Our Land
Lily Strungaru
At one point in history, indigenous populations around the globe were evolving slowly and happily, whether in North America, South America, Africa or Australia. Then, led by a wave of daring explorers, came the Europeans, spreading out across the world like a plague of locusts. Prior to the Colonization of the “New World”, the English remained within their island fortress, sheltered from other cultures and were therefore predisposed toward viewing interracial contact with suspicion and alarm. Whether a case of social Darwinism or unchecked Imperialist aggression, it did not take long before the White Man had conquered those lands where they had any interest in establishing a settlement. While the backgrounds of those going to Australia and America were vastly different, the results were similar; native population diminished and oppressed, then reduced to second-class citizens in the re-shaped lands that were once theirs. It is a difficult task to even try to understand the native people’s plight or adequately represent their point of view. This essay aims to examine and analyse, through the study of certain set texts and movies, the discrimination, dispossession and sufferings endured by the Australian Indigenous at the hands of those who colonised their lands. Even though it is extremely difficult to imagine the anguish and hopelessness suffered by those who were stripped of their last human dignity, it is nevertheless important to give them a voice by revisiting their past. It is well known that the first Australians were the Aborigines, and although they were nomadic or seminomadic, their sense of place was exceptionally strong and they had an intimate knowledge of their home landscapes. By the time of the first notable European settlement in 1788, Aboriginal people had developed cultural traits and ecological knowledge that showed an impressive adaptation to Australia’s challenging environments. British colonisation began in the belief that the continent was largely uninhabited and therefore policy was framed in the belief that the colony would be planted in a ‘pure soil’. It was also believed that the British would be the first legal occupants of the land and that the Crown would be the first sovereign. However the interior was not empty. The advantages of assuming the absence of people, were so great, however, that legal doctrine continued to depict Australia as a colony by occupation of a terra nullius. According to historian Henry Reynolds, no treaties were ever negotiated like the hundreds signed with indigenous people in North America. During the first century of white settlement, there were dramatic declines in the Aboriginal population in all parts of the continent, as a result from the introduction of diseases for which the Aborigines had no acquired immunity; social and cultural disruption; brutal mistreatment and reprisals for acts of organised resistance. Initially though, relations between the explorers and the Aboriginal inhabitants were generally hospitable and based on understanding the terms of trading for food, water, axes and cloth, a relationship encouraged by Governor Phillip. However, these relations became hostile as Aborigines realised that the land and resources upon which they depended and the

order of their life were seriously disrupted by the on-going presence of the colonisers. Between 1790 and 1810, clan’s people of the Eora group in the Sydney area, led by Pemulwuy of the Bidjigal clan, undertook a campaign of resistance against the English colonisers in a series of attacks. Over the years however, the Aborigines have slowly adjusted to changing times, but still hold their traditional cultural beliefs and values, especially in remote and rural communities. Cultural heritage, spirituality, family lines, dances and dreamtime stories are a vital part of their life. In terms of social and economic disadvantage-unemployment, family income levels, welfare dependence, infant mortality rates and average life expectancy – the Aboriginal populations still fares badly in comparison with the Australian population as a whole. There were many policies put in place and often forcibly enforced, which were meant to ‘civilise’ the Aborigines. One such policy led to ‘the stolen generation’. It was the official policy of the government that all ‘half-caste’ Aborigine children were to be taken from their families and raised in orphanages where they could be civilised with the intention of better adjusting within the white society. The idea that such a plan would seem cruel or inhuman or have an adverse effect, was never thought of. Special detention centres were set up across the continent to keep the mixed race children from ‘contaminating’ the rest of Australian society and so orders were given to forcibly remove ‘halfcaste’ children form their families. It was a disastrous, racist policy that brought about infinite misery of the so called ‘stolen generation’. Based on true events, RabbitProof Fence is a moving story of racial prejudice and amazing endurance as three girls walk one
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Social Justice Sunday or Loving Your Neighbour the Way God Loves You
Revd Dr Doru Costache
Our parish welcomed the initiative of the National Council of Churches in Australia, celebrating in prayer the Social Justice Sunday on 24th September. This year, providentially, the readings during the liturgy were 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 and Luke 5:111. Below, a summary of my sermon for the day. The apostolic reading depicts God’s generosity who abundantly blesses our efforts with great results. God’s behaviour represents the perfect model for our own way of doing, the Apostle drawing our attention to the need of being sincerely and joyfully generous. According to the image of the sower who reaps the crop as result of a careful sowing, Christians should not ‘sow’ sparingly their virtues, especially compassion. Cultivating compassion and thanksgiving brings more and more blessings from above. The evangelic reading brings two examples of God’s mercy, as revealed through his Son, our Lord Christ. One day, Jesus preached to the crowds being on Peter’s boat, not far from the shore. After his sermon, the Lord asked Peter and his mates to go to deeper waters and to let down the nets, to catch fish. Although the fishermen attempted vainly all night to catch any fish, at Jesus command the nets went full of great fish. The image of divine generosity is complex: Jesus feeds people’s souls with his word and at the same time he pays attention to their material needs. To those who strove for the Word of Life, he granted more than they ever dreamt. But there is also another meaning of the story: after preaching the good news, Christ instructs symbolically his disciples to do the same after the fulfilment of the mandate of the Son of Man. This interpretation is supported by the traditional comprehension of the text: the boat is an icon of the
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Church, the sea an image of the world, and the fishes caught by the nets types of the faithful ‘caught’ by the apostolic preaching. Providentially again, the aspect shared in common by both readings (God’s generosity) meets with the message of a Dreamtime story, which also echoes the biblical narrative on Adam and Eve, together with that of Israel’s pilgrimage through the desert. In short the story speaks of the great god Baiame who, after enduing some gum trees with the power to produce manna, warned people not to eat the sacred food. However, tempted by their curiosity and appetite, the women were ready to transgress the prohibition, but the men resited bravely and kept them away from the trees. For men’s faithfulness, Baiame granted people the permission to taste manna and to make provisions of it, which eventually saved them from famine when a terrible drought came. Obviously, this story, echoing episodes from the Bible, unveils how closely related are the Aboriginal perception of life and the ecclesial one. The scriptural texts read in the liturgy are highly relevant for the Social Justice Sunday, drawing our attention to the paradigm of God’s generosity and inviting us to follow his example. Or, there is a practical component of Christ’s Gospel we should strive to activate: the compassionate heart, manifested by way of the both spiritual and material assistance

of our fellow humans’ needs. Understanding people with ‘the mind of Christ’ (cf. Philippians 2:5), we are supposed to embrace each and every human person with the heart of Christ – beyond any noble ideal of loving humanity. With the occasion of the Social Justice Sunday we are invited by the Word of God to acknowledge the continuous sufferings experienced by the first Australians, the Aboriginal people, and to purify our minds of every prejudice concerning them. A Christian heart is a compassionate one, but compassion cannot result in concrete actions without a previous radical conversion of one’s mind. Making room in our hearts for the Australian Indigenous people represents the first, and necessary, step. In time, cultivating this feeling, we will be able to initiate concrete actions in order to improve our brothers and sisters conditions of living, the way our Lord works with us.

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NCCA’s Media Release

SOCIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY: MAKE INDIGENOUS POVERTY HISTORY
“On Social Justice Sunday we call on all Australians to reflect on the continuing plight of Indigenous Australians and then commit to action,” said Mr Graeme Mundine, Executive Secretary of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Executive Commission (NATSIEC) of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA). “Social Justice Sunday, which this year will be celebrated on September 24th, is a time for all Christians to come together and focus their attention on a specific area where injustice prevails. This year the member Churches of the National Council of Churches in Australia have chosen to turn their attention to the continuing

watch our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples be denied access to the same level of resources, wealth and well being that all other Australian citizens have. Too often we think that injustice is something that happens overseas, but we are blind to the every day suffering in our own backyard. Often it is easier disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. In to understand the suffering of those support of the campaign to Make In- in ‘developing’ countries, but the fact digenous Poverty History the NCCA that there are people living in worse calls on us all to ‘rectify the poverty conditions in a rich and wealthy naand neglect which stands as a contion such as Australia is a situation stant rebuke to our much vaunted we should all be ashamed of and values of fairness’”, Mr Mundine must commit everything we have to said. changing. I urge you to heed the call “NATSIEC supports this call to acthis Social Justice Sunday and put tion and is, itself, calling on the Fed- Indigenous Australia at the centre of eral Government to adapt the Millen- your concerns and take action to nium Development Goals to apply Make Indigenous Poverty History,” specifically to Australia so that like Mr Mundine concluded. the poverty stricken people on other continents, Indigenous Australians can also hope to be lifted out of poverty by 2015. We cannot, in all good conscience, continue to stand by and

NCCA’s Media Releases

CHURCHES CALL FOR URGENT RE-COMMITMENT TO INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIA
“It is time for an urgent recommitment to address the pressing problems faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples”, said Rev. John Henderson, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), launching the NCCA’s 2006 statement to mark Social Justice Sunday on September 24th. The 2006 Social Justice Statement reflects the deep concerns that the member Churches of the NCCA have regarding the continued disadvantage suffered by Indigenous Australians,” Rev. Henderson said. “While communities and governments have rightly responded to the international ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign based on the Millennium Development Goals, Australians need a similar commitment to Make Indigenous Poverty History. To Make Indigenous Poverty History, we believe that whlat is needed is a fuller and far more effective program of spiritual and materia regeneration than currently exists. Indigenous Australia deserves the equivalent of the Millennium Development Goals to provide a real framework of change. At the bedrock must be genuine self-determination and funding commensurate with the size of the problem. The media and public attention given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues frequently expresses itself in terms of a shocked moral distance, baffled incomprehension, or fresh forms of stereotyping. Instead, we believe that all Australians need to remember, to recognize, and to rectify the troubled history of Indigenous Australia. In particular we call on all Australians to:

Remember – so that no one can any longer act with surprise at revelations of Indigenous Poverty, or pretend that we do not know why, or how, such injustice persists. Recognise and implement the truth of the proposals for change made by representative Indigenous leaders and by national investigations such as the Royal Commissions into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the ‘Stolen Generations’ report. Rectify the poverty and neglect which stand as a constant rebuke to our much vaunted values of fairness. The member Churches of the NCCA continue to remember and to confess our past and present failures to listen to and love Indigenous Australians properly. We make this pledge to our Indigenous Christian networks through the country: we commit ourselves to rectify the hurts of the past and present, and call on others to join us in this task,” Rev Henderson concluded.

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THE TAIZÉ PILGRIMAGE OF TRUST IN 2006
To the sources of faith “Right at the depth of the human condition, lies the longing for a presence, the silent desire for a communion. Let us never forget that this simple desire for God is already the beginning of faith”.

GENERAL SECRETARY, NSW ECUMENICAL COUNCIL
The NSW Ecumenical Council seeks a new General Secretary effective from February 2007. As CEO of the Council, the General Secretary will promote the ecumenical enterprise at state, regional and local church level. The successful applicant will have a clear understanding of the ecumenical movement and the theological perspectives which inform it, administrative and financial management ability and organisational skills, membership of and involvement in the life of one of the member churches. Appropriate theological education is highly desirable. An information pack and General Secretary Position Description are available from Kathy Moroney (02) 9299 2215 or kmoroney@ncca.org.au Applications close 9 November, 2006. Please address applications to: By post (marked ‘Confidential’) Archbishop Aghan Baliozian, President, NSW Ecumenical Council, Locked Bag 199, Sydney 1230. Or by Email: armenian@idx.com.au

Meditative Prayer
using the songs of Taizé, Wednesday, 8th November, 2006, 6.00pm The Crypt, St Mary’s Cathedral, Arranged by

NSW ECUMENICAL COUNCIL
Tel.: 9299 2215 E-mail: nswec@ncca.org.au College Street, Sydney

The Original...

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thousand five hundred miles to find their mothers. Having been forcibly separated from their natural mothers, three girls, escape from the Moore River Native Settlement, and head back home, following the rabbit-proof fence that stretches across the Outback. By highlighting the realities of this hidden genocide Rabbit-Proof Fence stands as a powerful worthy testimony to the suffering of the ‘stolen generation’. By comparing the history of Indigenous people in both Australia and the United States, it is easy to notice strong similarities in regards, to the treatment their people had received at the hands of the white man. For not only have they been dispossessed of their lands but they have also endured much injustice and experienced the painful sting of racism and discrimination. Each confrontation was a
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dramatic clash between the native people who saw the land religiously and as an intimate part of themselves and all life, and the Europeans who saw it economically, as a commodity to be taken, exploited, bought and sold. As an outsider, it is very difficult to adequately represent or fully understand the experiences and the ordeals of the indigenous people from both Australia and America. The critical issues associated with their history needs to be given priority and should address such important subjects of concern as: human rights, freedom, economic opportunity, cultural identity and finally and perhaps most importantly hope for reconciliation. Whether Australians in particular, choose to move along the path of confrontation or arbitration, there must finally be reconciliation between black and white Australians, for the sake of a better future together.

editor: Rev. Doru Costache, PhD layout design: Ion Nedelcu address: 64 Linthorn Ave, Croydon Park, NSW 2133. phone: (02) 9642 02 60 www.sfmariasydney.com