June 22, 2022
This week is Refugee Week – an opportunity to honour the strength and resilience of refugees and celebrate the many gifts and rich contributions they make to our communities.
This year’s theme is healing – recognising a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hit reset on how we behave towards one another”.
The Uniting Church in Australia has a long history of advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers and continues to call for justice and compassion for people seeking asylum.
UCA President Rev Sharon Hollis encouraged Uniting Church members this week to give thanks for the contribution of refugees in all our communities and to learn more about the challenges they face.
“We give thanks for those who have come to Australia seeking safety and a new beginning and those refugees who have made their home in the Uniting Church. You are welcome here,” said Rev Hollis.
“Our vision, inspired by the life and teaching of Jesus, is that we might become a more compassionate nation where every person who seeks refuge is treated fairly and given an opportunity to rebuild their lives.”
We give thanks this week also for the many Uniting Church people and communities who are working for a more compassionate response and practical support for refugees. See below three examples: from by Abi Benham-Bannon, Rev John Jegasothy and Indooroopilly Uniting Church.
See our Refugee Week prayer from Abi Benham-Bannon, Panel Member of the Working for Justice Circle.
The Refugee Week website has some great resources including suggestions of films and books about refugees and a Myths and Facts page addressing and dismissing some of the stereotypes about refugees.
Find out more here: https://www.refugeeweek.org.au/
To learn more about the Uniting Church vision for refugees and asylum seekers and the actions we seek from the government, go to our document Our Vision for a Just Australia.