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  • Australian Student Christian Movement

    active – open – critical – ecumenical

    ASCM News

    November 2019

    Upcoming ASCM and WSCF events

    Victorian fellowship dinner – Thursday 5 December

    Celebrate the end of 2019 with Victorian SCM. Potluck/bring a plate.

    RSVP here. This event is held in a private home. Please contact Claudine at vicscm@ascm.org.au or 0418 592 269 for the address and to let us know what you will bring to dinner.

    WSCF General Assembly

    The World Student Christian Federation’s 37th General Assembly, ‘Rejoice in Hope’, will take place in Berlin from 4 to 12 June, 2020. Information about the Assembly, Senior Friends’ Gathering, and public events can be found on the WSCF website.

    Barrie Baker, our National Pastoral Care Officer, has been recruited to help plan for the 37th WSCF General Assembly. He is specifically working with a committee planning the activities for the Senior Friends who will be attending.

    The coordinator for the group is Necta Montes, General Secretary based in Manila and the clerical assistant is Christine de la Cruz.

    Other members are Ms Silke Lechner from Germany, Mr Youhanna Kamal from Egypt, Mr Yannes Hutagalong from Indonesia, Mr Manuel Quintero Perez from Cuba.

    There have been two planning meetings altogether so far with another foreshadowed for 7 December 2019.

    The theme of the Assembly will be:

    Rejoice in Hope
    (Romans 12:12)
    Young People Journeying Together Towards Justice and Peace

    The Senior Friends will have a programme that mirrors that of the Assembly delegates, and the two groups will join together for three major sessions.

    News from WSCF

    Search for WSCF General Secretary and Officers

    WSCF is searching for its next General Secretary and Officers:

    • The General Secretary
    • The Officers: 1 Chairperson, 2 Vice Chairperson (one male and one female – and one must be a student)
    • The Honorary Treasurer

    http://wscf.ch/wscf-in-action/governance/37th-ga-2020-berlin/wscf-search-for-general-secretary-and-officers

    WSCF Strategic Planning 2020-2024 Survey

    Dear SCMer, Senior Friend and Colleague,

    Welcome to the strategic planning 2020-2024 roadmap (SP2024)!

    We are starting on the second stage of the SP2024 roadmap and we want you to be part of an inclusive, multi-level and multi-actor process, which have been approved by the ExCo in April 2019. The roadmap implementations will aim to submit a proposal on the new Strategic Plan 2020-2024 at the General Assembly in 2020.

    This stage includes a survey for SCMers, Seniors Friends and Staff, and we want you all to complete it.

    The survey has been designed in a way that we can have different voices from the SCM life members and WSCF structure actors. After the research is concluded, the SP2024 Working Group will collect and analyze the responses and inputs in order to create a first report. The report will contain other stages and important elements of the Strategic Planning Roadmap, such as:

    • Ecumenical and interfaith mapping and context analyses;
    • the assessment of the current strategic plan, including internal context analyses;
    • a questionnaire prepared to be completed and submitted by Regional bodies and staff.

    We kindly request you to complete the survey by December 20th. It will take only a few minutes!

    Complete the survey.

    ASCM and WSCF event reports

    Canberra picnic

    Some of our Canberra SCMers took advantage of the perfect spring weather to have a picnic in the park.

    Opinion and reflection

    Review of Alan Demack, Pulpit, Pew and Public Life

    Alan Demack AO, Pulpit, Pew and Public Life: The Christian and the Secular Nation, MediaCom Education Inc, Unley, S.A., 2019

    Alan Demack’s memoir entitled Pulpit, Pew and Public Life takes the reader, firstly, on a journey through the author’s formative years which were deeply influenced by the Australian Student Christian Movement. He expresses a deep appreciation for the inspiration of his Christian discipleship provided by such fine theologians as J. H. Oldham, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Emil Brunner. (On pages 181-184 he provides an extensive list of a wider range of Christian contributors.)

    Alan studied law at the University of Queensland (1953-57) and in time he became a barrister and then a judge.

    In 1976 Alan was appointed a Senior Judge of the Family Court of Australia. In 1978 he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland and Central Judge.

    He served as a judge in Queensland for some 28 years, and even in retirement has been active in being a valued consultant in regard to important legal issues.

    Nurtured in the Methodist Church, Alan and his wife Dorothy (whom he met at a National ASCM Conference in Armidale) have been very active members of the Uniting Church of Australia. Alan also contributes as a lay preacher in the Uniting Church. As well, both Alan and Dorothy have maintained a lifetime of support for ASCM.

    This book explores the interplay of law, theology, ethics and public life in the context of living in a ‘secular nation’. It contains many insights and thoughtful reflections on the inter-relation of those important dimensions of Australian experience. The book repays thoughtful reading.

    Available for $22.95 from MediaCom.

    Ray Barraclough

    Meet an SCMer

    Silves ‘Rado’ Ximenes – ACT staff worker

    I’m Silves, I am finishing my Diploma for COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT at CIT (Canberra Institute of Technology). Before I came to Australia, I was working for The Organisation of Action Study Inter Society (OASIS), a youth volunteer service in East-Timor, for four years. In my position, I did Administration and Training for youth and children such as, Computer training, English basic training, culture dancing training, sport training and Japanese Language. After that, I moved to another organisation, Rae’s Hadomi Timor Oan/Disabled’s People Organisation (RHTO/DPO) in East-Timor, to improve my knowledge and skill for that organisation. I was working with this organisation for six and a half years. My position was Field Officer, and my placement was working in Baucau Municipality. In my Municipality I did Leadership Training for teachers, students, general public, counselling for families of people with disabilities and gave training to other organisations. After that, I organised some groups especially for people with disabilities and their families, to make their own business and horticulture. Another of my roles in the organisation was to help make ramps to make Accessible toilet for people with disabilities and also accessible toilets and ramps in schools, especially in my Baucau Municipality.

    My motto is helping people with disabilities and without disabilities. I am hard working honest, enthusiastic, responsible, quick to learn, able to make relationships with other people, able to work under pressure, and able to work in teams. I never give up in my life when I am learning new things. Also, you don’t see my disabilities but see my abilities. Every human has weaknesses and strengths, so you can’t see only their weakness you must see their strengths also.

    Obituaries

    Sylvia Cleland

    Canberra SCM Friend Sylvia Cleland died in October. Her obituary is in the Canberra Times.

    Canberra SCMer Robert Tulip adds:

    I got to know Sylvia about twenty years ago when she and her husband Lindsay helped to run the Canberra Area Council of the Australian Student Christian Movement, an organisation which in their student days had helped form their shared identity through its values of faith, justice and peace. Sylvia had a profound Christian faith, informed by intelligent interest and compassion for the events of the world. She and Lindsay had a deep love for each other, one of the most beautiful married couples you could hope to see.

    Support ASCM

    Donate to our annual
    appeal
    , general
    fund
    , or centenary
    trust fund
    , or find out how to make a bequest to ASCM.

    We want to hear from you

    ASCM News is published monthly. Share it widely! Go to our website for our newsletter archive and email subscription page. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more news.

    Do you have news about friends of ASCM and WSCF or other items of interest? Contact us at digital@ascm.org.au.

  • Australian Student Christian Movement

    active – open – critical – ecumenical

    ASCM National Appeal

    October 2019

    Apologies if you have received multiple copies of this email.

    National Appeal

    To:

    Members/Senior friends
    Australian Student Christian Movement

    Dear senior friends,

    Our sincere thanks to members/senior friends last year for their support in helping us run programs around Australia, in East Timor and to send representatives from ASCM to ecumenical events.

    Thanks to your support we were able to carry out the following activities:

    1. Paid honoraria of part-time ASCM staff workers at national and state levels.

    2. Sent Caity Cameron (ACT staff worker) to attend the World Student Christian Federation’s second Inter-regional program on Identity, Diversity, and Dialogue in Nairobi, Africa.

    3. Held monthly Bible studies in Melbourne and Perth and regular meetings at QLD University.

    4. In Canberra, held monthly discussions on social justice.

    5. SCM Qld sponsored Bart to attend the Global Chaplaincy Conference at Latrobe University, Bendigo. Russell also attended.

    6. After supporting East Timor SCM for the last year and a half, previously non-active, they are now back to being active. Please follow this link to see their activities: https://bit.ly/3438X1J

    7. Sent John Biswas (NSW), James Maley (WA), Kingston Selveraj (SA) and Caity Cameron and Kate King (ACT) to attend the Voices of Justice Conference in Canberra.

    8. Held our National Executive Meeting via Skype in February 2019 and Annual General Meeting in Canberra in July 2019.

    9. Held our National Conference and National Senior Friends’ Reunion in St Margaret’s Uniting Church and Holy Cross Anglican Church, Hackett, ACT (Canberra) in July 2019, with the following speakers:

      • Barrie Baker – ASCM across the generations
      • Helen Rainger – Palestine and Israel: What’s at stake?
      • Robert Tulip – Climate change, global warming, and the Christian response
      • Tim Ngui — Human Rights and the law
      • Sandy Yule and John Probhudan – Who or what is God?
      • Ivo Goncalves – a history of activism in East Timor
    10. After a year processing unclaimed money, we have received from NAB and CBA a total of $13,414.24. Thank you to senior friends who helped us with advice and providing information.

    This financial year we will continue to run the same activities, with the following initiatives:

    1. Help to pay staff in Timor Leste SCM, but we will reduce support from $3,000 per year to $2,500.

    2. Send delegates to international programs and the WSCF 2020 General Assembly in Berlin, Germany.

    ASCM will have a projected deficit of $5,800 (if we only receive $5,000 from our appeal letter) in this year’s budget. This means ASCM needs donations totalling $10,800 to support our programs and honorarium.

    We rely on the support of our senior friends like you and thank you sincerely for your donations and support in other ways.

    To make a donation:

    1. Via Credit card or PayPal: donate directly through this link.
    2. Via Bank transfer: BSB 06 2000 Account Number 0092 2944.

    3. Via Cheque: send to PO Box 4386, Melbourne University, VIC 3052. Payable to Australian Student Christian Movement.

    If you wish to make ongoing contributions, we suggest you choose recurring (monthly, quarterly or yearly) so that the donation will be automatically debited from your account.

    To go paperless

    To see our activities, please follow our Facebook page and Youtube channel.

    Please subscribe to our email newsletter to see what we have done and what we plan to do.

    To make a bequest for the general purposes of ASCM:

    “I bequeath (insert specific amount; percentage of estate; residue of estate; etc) to the Australian Student Christian Movement, to be applied for general purposes of the said organisation.”

    To make a bequest to the ASCM Centenary Trust Fund:

    “I bequeath (insert specific amount; percentage of estate; residue of estate; etc) to the Australian Student Christian Movement Centenary Trust Fund, to be applied for general purposes of the said Trust.”

    If neither of these suit your wishes, your solicitor or professional adviser will be able to construct the right wording for you. For further information from ASCM, please email

    Kind Regards
    Andika Mongilala

    National Treasurer

    Australian Student Christian Movement    
    Cash Basis    
         
         
      Actual 2018/2019 Budget 2019/2020
    Revenue    
    Trust fund 24,000.00 32,000.00
    Appeal letter (for National) 5,206.07 5,000.00
    General Donations 425.00 -
    Montly Pledges 119.00  
    Unclaimed money 13,414.24  
    Total Revenue 43,164.31 37,000.00
         
    Interest CBA 3.30 3.30
    Interest UCA - 400.00
    Other Income    
    Total Revenue & other Income 43,167.61 37,403.30
    Expenditure    
    AGM Last year 4,301.26 2,500.00
    AGM This year 92.48 100.00
    Voices for Justice Canberra 2,116.52  
    Justice Conference Melbourne    
    Honararium 16,500.00 24,000.00
    WSCF Membership 706.00 -
    WSCF AP/Global Program 1,334.33 6,500.00
    Visit to Indonesia SCM & East Timor    
    National appeal cost 708.42 750.00
    NATSIEC Donations 300.00 300.00
    Webhosting 209.95 209.95
    PO Box Renewal 130.00 130.00
    Office Bearer 133.20 150.00
    East Timor mission 3,000.00 2,500.00
    MICAH Membership 495.00  
    State Expense non honorarium 47.67  
    Solomon Islands Mission 500.00 -
    Donations 2,275.00 -
         
    Total Expenditure 32,849.83 37,139.95
         
    Total Expenditure & Others 32,849.83 37,139.95
         
    Surplus and Deficit 10,317.78 263.35

    Upcoming ASCM and WSCF events

    Melbourne Bible study – Monday 21 October

    We conclude our series on the Letter to the Ephesians.

    Dinner from 6:30pm, Bible study discussion from 7:30pm.

    RSVP here. This event is held in a private home. Please contact Claudine at vicscm@ascm.org.au or 0418 592 269 for the address or if you have any dietary requirements.

    ASCM and WSCF event reports

    ACT Bible study – Uluru statement

    Senior friend Robert Tulip led a Bible study on the Uluru Statement with seven in attendance on Sunday 18 August.

    Melbourne – Universal Day of Prayer for Students

    Sandy Yule

    On Sunday afternoon, 25 August, the Victorian SCM held a Universal Day of Prayer Service at the Church of All Nations, Carlton. The service was led by Claudine Chionh, Zak Hanyn, Matthew Julius, Ann Ng and Sandy Yule, with 26 people participating. The service was based on the liturgy prepared by the WSCF, the theme of which was peace. Matthew preached on 2 Corinthians 5: 11-21, with its emphasis on our calling as ambassadors for reconciliation. Songs and hymns were sung representing different eras of ASCM.

    Following the service, there was opportunity for meeting and sharing over afternoon tea, which was much appreciated. Nine people stayed on for a discussion of the future of SCM in Victoria. There was good support for hosting the next ASCM conference and AGM in Melbourne at this meeting.

     Matthew Julius

     Music

     attendees

    Opinion and reflection

    Sermon preached at Melbourne’s Universal Day of Prayer for Students

    Matthew Julius

    God, may my words be loving and true; and may those who listen discern what is not. Amen.

    “… thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession …” (2 Cor 2.14a)

    These words sit a few chapters before our reading from 2 Corinthians chapter 5 — one of Paul’s letters to the Christian community in the city of Corinth. With these words, Paul encourages his readers to attend to the ironic, parodic, even sarcastic bent in Christian proclamation.

    This parody at the heart of the Gospel provides important background for our reading today.

    The language of ‘Gospel’ or ‘Good News’ draws on traditions that proclaim victory in battle and conquest. ‘Good News’ was news from the front, from the victory of the King or Emperor over vanquished foes. Returning home in triumph, marching forward through the throng of adoring crowds: this is Gospel, Good News. Proclaimed as rulers parade in splendorous victory through the streets, carrying the spoils of their defeated foes. Leading the returning army in a procession of glory.

    And this term ‘Gospel’ becomes the name for the core of Christian proclamation. Hear the Good News! The promised Messiah, the Christ, has come into the world!

    The one in whom God will reveal the vindication of God’s people; the one in whom God will release God’s people from occupation; the one in whom God will restore the reign of God’s peace.

    Hear the Gospel! This promised Messiah has come into the world! The Christ is here! Hallelujah!

    And this Messiah has been put to death. By the very ones who hold God’s people in darkness, in bondage, and in violence.

    The Messiah and saviour of the world has come and been put to death on a Roman cross. Hallelujah ~

    “… thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession …” (2 Cor 2.14a)

    Paul offers thanksgiving for being led in triumphal procession, not by a King victorious in battle. But by a King enthroned on a wooden cross with a thorned crown. Defeated by military might, opposed by religious leaders. Put to death. And as this dying King was led away his followers scattered and his movement seemed to end.

    While the glory of resurrection should not be forgotten here, a fixed view of the ironic glory of the cross mustn’t either.

    As Paul continues to develop the parodic image of being led by a Christ crucified by the military might of Roman occupation, Paul draws on other images of frailty, failure, suffering, and service. Recounting his own experiences of these trials as a sharing in the suffering of Christ.

    Elsewhere Paul even talks about himself as a “slave.” A slave led in triumphal procession.

    A slave led in triumphal procession does not share in the glorious spoils of the King at the head of the procession. The slave ​is​ the spoils of victory. Led along in chains. Imprisoned for the service of the victorious King.

    And so even as Paul anticipates the resurrected glory of Christ he acknowledges that such hope is held within his frailty and weakness, expressed in service to others.

    Resurrection hope is found in the low ebb of despair, the moments of failure. There the secret of the Jesus who we call the Christ is found. In the very midst of suffering, and struggle: when the community seems to be lacking in numbers; when Paul has felt the need to write a letter to get his own community back on side; when the vision seems to be fading, and the energy of the community with it … There the treasure of the crucified Christ is found, in jar of clays: fragile and cracked.

    All of this sets the background to our reading for today. God in Christ meets us in the midst of difficulty. Revealing a world turned upside down. Offering a parody of power: proclaiming defeat as triumph, death as victory, and new life emerging from a rock hewn tomb — the place where corpses lay. And we carry this new life, not that we would continue the cycles of violence that crucified Christ, but that we would be called into something different … something, in a parody of our assumptions of greatness: something ​truly​ great.

    “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God …” (2 Cor 5.11)

    As Paul gathers up his account of the ways we are caught up in the saving work of God in Christ, he turns in this part of chapter 5 to how we move from ourselves to others. How we move from our own participation in the death and fragile glory of a crucified and risen Christ, and move to proclaiming this message to others. Move to inviting others to participate in the ever expanding revelation of God’s reign of love, and service to the world. The reign of love in which Christ is King.

    It is this relentless movement of God’s love towards the world, like the irresistible current of a raging river, that catches us up and pushes us ever outward to embrace the world in love.

    “For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.” (2 Cor 5.14-15)

    These verses serve as the foundation for any attempt to move beyond ourselves and beckon those in the world back to God. With Paul we proclaim with a distinct boldness. We do not lose our nerve. Or reduce our proclamation to any narrow social or political project.

    The Christian proclamation is that Christ has died for all, therefore all have died. And so we are called to live a new life. Not called to the timid proclamation that God may embrace you, may give you a share of the saving work of Christ – if only you would say some magic words, partake in some arcane ritual, or live a certain form of life. No.

    The foundation of our Christian proclamation cannot be rooted or anchored in anything at all that we can do. The foundation of Christian hope is nothing less than the reality of God breaking in and breaking open the world, establishing the reign of a crucified Lord who is raised. Establishing a new life of glory that parodies all attempts to wield power unjustly, that establishes a community formed with bonds of love stronger than the bondage of oppression and marginalisation.

    The German theologian and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer captured the radical core of what Paul is saying here in 2 Corinthians 5, that Christ has in fact claimed the world for God’s love and calls us to proclaim and enact this in word and deed. Bonhoeffer says:

    “The world is not divided between Christ and the devil; it is completely the world of Christ, whether it recognizes this or not. As this reality in Christ it is to be addressed, and thus the false reality that it imagines itself to have, in itself or in the devil, is to be destroyed. The dark, evil world may not be surrendered to the devil, but must be claimed for the one who won it by coming in the flesh, by the death and resurrection of Christ.” (‘Christ, Reality, and Good: Christ, Church, and World’, in ​Ethics​.)

    We must attend to the two aspects of what Bonhoeffer is saying, and which captures what Paul himself said before him.

    First, rooted in the reality of the saving love of Christ the world is the dwelling place of God. There is no doubt, no confusion, no qualification. This is the free gift of grace.

    Second, perhaps more importantly: this does not mean that those who profess Christ as Lord stand in judgement over and against the world. As if we are addressing a world that has not already been set free by the all-embracing love of God.

    “From now on,” says the Apostle Paul, “we regard no one from a human point of view … there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Cor 5.16a, 17.)

    Our posture towards the world cannot begin with the assumption that anyone beyond our narrow community is currently beyond the reach of God’s love. To suggest that this is the case is to surrender the world back to the darkness and evil overcome by the cross of Jesus the Christ. Who took on that darkness and overcame it.

    To share, then, in the ministry of reconciliation is not first and foremost to give the world back to the devil so that it can be saved again. Rather, to share in the ministry of reconciliation to which we are called means proclaiming that the reign of God is here.

    To those who are captive to hate, we must proclaim that love reigns supreme. Rejecting all forms of bigotry, racism, sexism, and forms of discrimination.

    To those who wield power to injure and oppress, we must proclaim that solidarity with the vulnerable is the way our Messiah died.

    Rejecting the use of unjust imprisonment to deter those with legitimate claims to asylum.

    We must discern and participate in the places where reconciliation is like a stream rising from the ground to nourish the earth.

    Attending to the ​Statement from the Heart​ Indigenous leaders made at Uluru. Calling for: Voice. Treat. Truth.

    We must do the work of caring for those that need it.

    Continuing to support the work of welfare organisations and advocating for a society of true justice and true mercy.

    We must claim this world as the world in which God’s reign of love has come, the new life of God is sprouting all around us.

    And we cannot let this world be overcome by environmental degradation, for it belongs to the living God who says that it is good.

    As ambassadors of Christ, each of us, we are called to carry the message of God’s hope even as those who are fragile. Even as the message seems to parody all accounts of power and success.

    Bonhoeffer again:

    “No abyss of evil can remain hidden from [Christ] through whom the world is reconciled to God. But the abyss of the love of God embraces even the most abysmal godlessness of the world. In an incomprehensible reversal of all righteous and pious thought, God declares himself as guilty toward the world and thereby extinguishes the guilt of the world.” (‘Christ, Reality, and Good: Christ, Church, and World’, in ​Ethics​.)

    Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Because the deep well of God’s love, mercy and justice has already overflown in the life, and in the death, and in the resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

    This we proclaim.

    Hear, then, these words of scripture:

    “For our sake [God] made [Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5.21)

    Our sins are forgiven
    Our hopes are restored
    Our lives have been caught up and called on
    to proclaim and to enact the reign of God’s love in word and deed
    and in the world that is God’s.

    Amen.

    Justice and salvation

    Ray Barraclough

    Internationally renowned Christian theologian Matthew Fox has written a commentary on texts from the great medieval Christian, Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179).

    In his commentary, Fox writes that “Salvation means justice for Hildegard”. He then quotes her words:

    When the salvation of good and just people is progressing favourably, justice is active through the Holy Spirit so that such people…accomplish good deeds.1

    The passage is admittedly succinct, and does not explore the societal and community-focussed vision that the word ‘justice’ has now for us.

    But that wider vision is present a number of times in the gospel pages. Economic distribution, and redistribution, is a key element in any practice of social justice.

    Those who encountered God in Jesus, in several incidents mentioned in the gospels, were challenged to share their economic power and possession with others.

    Did you know that the only time the noun salvation (Greek – σωτηρια)2 occurs in any of the gospels in regard to Jesus using it of a person’s response to him, occurs in the story narrated in Luke 19:1-10? This passage contains the famous account of Jesus’ encounter with Zaccaheus, a chief tax-collector.

    Zacchaeus is described in economic terms. He was “very rich” (19:2). He was also “trying to see Jesus”. However, he was a short bloke, so he had to climb a tree to catch sight of Jesus.

    But Jesus caught sight of him and invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house! And Zacchaeus hurried home and welcomed Jesus (19:5).

    After the welcome, what Zacchaeus said to Jesus is recorded in this gospel account. It was not an utterance about religion. Or an intention to become a pious believer. None of these things! Instead, Zacchaeus talked about economic re-distribution.

    “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay four times as much.”

    And what does Jesus say to this declaration that Zacchaeus will distribute his wealth, so that half of it will go to the poor, and that, if he has been unscrupulous in collecting his riches, he ‘will make restitution fourfold’?

    According to the gospel account, Jesus sees this intended action as a clear indication of salvation. He declares:

    “Today salvation has come to this house”.

    If Christians are keen on experiencing salvation, then this passage clearly indicates that, as far as Jesus is concerned, their experience of salvation encompasses economic sharing and redistribution to the poor. And thus salvation means the pursuit, and practice, of economic justice for Jesus’ disciples.

    Meet an SCMer

    David Hale – Queensland staff worker

    The important people in my life both of faith and no faith helped my faith journey greatly. I had Catholic, Church and Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the family, no faith friends, Muslim neighbours and friends, and loving local Catholic and Anglican churches that all helped me have a faith that encouraged loving and accepting people. My work with SCM on campus has brought me to ideas and people that I may never have encountered. There is constant motivation to do the work because the theology behind the SCM things like caring about the environment, equality and fresher looks at the Bible are very meaningful to me and to others.

    SCMers in the media

    ‘Can’t we just get along?’ – David Hale’s commentary on religious tolerance for On Line Opinion.

    We want to hear from you

    ASCM News is published monthly. Share it widely! Go to our website for our newsletter archive and email subscription page. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more news.

    Do you have news about friends of ASCM and WSCF or other items of interest? Contact us at digital@ascm.org.au.


    1. Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen, Text by Hildegard of Bingen with commentary by Matthew Fox, Bear & Company, Santa Fe, 1985, p. 64.↩︎

    2. The verb ‘to save’ occurs a good number of times in the gospels in regard to Jesus’ response to those who encountered him. Here I am simply noting the use of the noun ‘salvation’.↩︎

  • Australian Student Christian Movement

    active – open – critical – ecumenical

    Welcome to ASCM News

    August 2019

    Welcome to the newly relaunched newsletter of the Australian Student Christian Movement. You have received this because you have subscribed to our newsletter in the past, you were subscribed to the Queensland SCM newsletter, or you attended our recent national conference in Canberra. We will be publishing news about ASCM and our members once a month. If you no longer want to hear from us, go to this link to unsubscribe.

    Upcoming ASCM and WSCF events

    Melbourne – Universal Day of Prayer for Students, Sunday 25 August

    For more than a century students and friends of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) have observed the Universal Day of Prayer for Students as a way to express their common commitment as witnesses of our faith in God and in each other, to the world both inside and outside our academic communities.

    Victorian SCM’s service provides an opportunity for current and former members and friends of SCM to meet and pray together and learn about SCM’s current work and future plans.

    We will also be responding with prayer to the WSCF theme for 2019 of Young people building peace and overcoming violence.

    A collection will be taken up to support WSCF.

    Venue: Church of All Nations, 180 Palmerston St, Carlton
    Date and time: 3-6pm, Sunday 25 August

    RSVP here.

    Other events of interest

    Global climate strikes – 20-27 September

    In the week of 20-27 September, millions of people around the world will join in a global climate strike. This week also falls in the Season of Creation, and Catholics and other Christians are encouraged to organise or participate in climate strikes. Learn more at https://globalclimatestrike.net/ and https://laudatosigeneration.org/rise-up/.

    ASCM and WSCF event reports

    National conference and AGM

    In July, current members and senior friends of ASCM met in Canberra for our annual national conference and AGM. We heard talks on a range of topics including Christian responses to climate change, human rights, and Palestine.

    National conference and AGM attendees

    The following papers from the conference are available on our website:

    • Barrie Baker – ASCM across the generations
    • Helen Rainger – Palestine and Israel: What’s at stake?
    • Robert Tulip – Climate change, global warming, and the Christian response
    • Sandy Yule – Who or what is God?

    Videos of selected talks are also available on ASCM’s new YouTube channel.

    WSCF Identity, Diversity, and Dialogue (IDD) on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Nairobi, Kenya

    The WSCF IDD working group met with international delegates from Africa and all over the world in July 2019 to continue the conversation about inclusive Christianity and the issues facing the LGBTIQA+ community.

    On day one of the conference we had welcomes and introductions to WSCF and IDD in particular. We also had a bible study led by Dr. Yong Ting Jin. We participated in a workshop of Social Theories on Gender and Sexuality led by gay South African Reverend Hanzline Davids. In the afternoon we listened to the keynote speeches given by Dr Dorcas Chebet on the Dignity of Human Sexuality, and by Reverend Wayne Hawkins on the History and Power of Queer Theology.

    Day two involved morning worship led by participants including myself, and another presentation by Dr Dorcas on Human Sexuality and Spirituality, focusing on the Song of Songs. Then we moved on to our second theme: the Christian Faith Imperative and Theological Perspectives on SOGIE, led by Rev. Kangwa Mabuluki. After movement sharing, we engaged in another lecture, given by Mr Solomon Gichira on Understanding Human Sexuality in the Context of Africa: Intersectionality of Gender and Sexuality.

    On the third day we went on our exposure day to different communities in Nairobi. One group went to an LGBTIQA+ community house for Ugandan LGBTIQA+ refugees. Another group visited a children’s school. My group visited an initiative which supported people affected by being HIV positive. The exposure day was enriching and fulfilling. Afterwards, we went to Masai Markets where our Kenyan hosts helped us bargain for souvenirs.

    On day four we had bible study led by Dr Yong Ting Jin again, focusing on Genesis 19, which elicited fruitful and passionate discussion. Then, Mr Solomon Gichira presented again, this time on the Church and the Ecumenical Movement’s historical journey with LGBTIQA+ people. After lunch, Rev Hanzline led another workshop, this one on SOGIE and International Human Rights.

    The final day we had bible study on Judges 19, which again elicited debate and discussion. Aside from this and preparations for IDD to meet at General Assembly next year, the final day was full of concluding meetings and discussions.

    Overall, the experience was enriching and eye opening. I am so blessed to be a part of ASCM and to have had the amazing opportunity to attend such a wonderful conference.

    Caity Cameron
    Canberra SCM Staff Worker

    Opinion and reflection

    Green Ecology and Theology

    Current debate on Climate Change has focussed our minds on an important question: What is the future of planet earth?

    It is intriguing that many astronauts who have viewed earth from space, on their return develop a greater interest in earth’s environment.

    Certainly the last few decades have seen appreciation for a deeper ecological theology grow amongst progressive Christians.

    If the creation is God’s work, then God must have been a ‘Greenie’ at some stage. Ecological theologians believe that God still has that inclination.

    Ray Barraclough

    Meet an SCMer – Kate King

    Kate King, Christmas 2018 in Oslo

    Kate King, Christmas 2018 in Oslo

    My name is Kate, I am an ACT staff worker for the ASCM.

    I got involved with the SCM in 2017 when I attended a meeting on the apartheid of Palestine hosted by a fellow ACT staff worker.

    Since that time I have been involved in meetings & conferences with ACT members and senior friends in which we discuss socio-economic issues around the world and how this intertwines with our faith.

    Most recently in June I had the privilege of helping organise the 2019 AGM & national conference.

    At the end of this year I intend to graduate from ACU with a Bachelor of Nursing. I plan to further my education with an honours program in Nursing while also taking part in a new graduate nursing program here in the ACT.

    I aspire to work in healthcare promotion ideally with vulnerable and younger people.

    Additionally to university I work as a medical administrator for a general practice. As a passion project I also work as an educator on puberty for primary students, sexual and social health for college students, and promote safe schools for diverse students within their peers and educators.

    I am passionate about the education of people on their own bodies and health, I wish to encourage all people take initiative to look after their own health and fight for medical attention.

    My journey with religion is quite recent, it wasn’t until 2017 when I started to attend services and study religion further. However, my faith has always existed and guided me through life. Filling me with hope and faith that there is more. I find the intertwining of the Abrahamic religions fascinating and the common bond between people of all faiths that is to share love and respect.

    We want to hear from you

    ASCM News is published monthly. Share it widely! Go to our website for our newsletter archive and email subscription page. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more news.

    Do you have news about friends of ASCM and WSCF or other items of interest? Contact us at digital@ascm.org.au.

     

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    Melbourne SCM Bible study

    Join Melbourne SCM for Bible study on Friday, 2 August as we conclude our series on the Letter to the Ephesians.

    Dinner from 6:30pm, Bible study discussion from 7:30pm.

    This event is held in a private home. Please RSVP here, or contact Claudine at vicscm@ascm.org.au or 0418 592 269 for the address or if you have any dietary requirements.

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    RIP Victorian SCM Friend David Lancaster

    One of our Senior Friends in Victoria has died last Sunday (23 June).

    David Lancaster, whose wife Shirley also died last year, was active in the Victorian SCM as an undergraduate and also in the period 1974-80. He and Shirley spent twenty years in Fiji, where David was a medical doctor. On returning to Melbourne, he became a psychiatrist.

    We offer condolences to their three children, John, Peter and Kathryn, as well as other family members.

    The Funeral Service for Dr. David John Lancaster will be held at  St. Kilda Parish Mission Uniting Church, 163 Chapel Street, St. Kilda on MONDAY (July 1, 2019).

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    ASCM 2019 national conference

    Registration for ASCM’s 2019 national conference closes in just over a week, on Monday 1 July. We have a thought-provoking program looking at today’s major international issues and how Christians can engage with them. See you in Canberra on 13 July!

    For all details and registration information, go to ascm.org.au/conference-2019

    Meet our speakers

    Barrie Baker

    Barrie has a BA(Hons), Dep Ed, Dip Comp, Dip Theol and Dip Ed Admin and is a retired TAFE administrator and Computer Education pioneer. He joined ASCM in 1954 and has been active for decades. He is the ASCM Pastoral Care Officer. Has a gold medal for Urban Heritage Protection and teaches the recorder.

    Tim Ngui

    Tim Ngui has been a solicitor with the Homeless Persons Legal Service at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre since 2014 and a senior solicitor since 2019.

    Tim provides legal advice, representation and case-work assistance to homeless clients. He first practised in homelessness law at Legal Aid NSW. An ASCM senior friend, he holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Technology, Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies and Sociology from the University of Sydney. He will be speaking broadly on his work and how this interacts with human rights and the law.

    Robert Tulip

    Robert Tulip is a senior friend of the ASCM, living in Canberra. He joined SCM at Macquarie University in 1984, where he completed BA Hons and MA Hons degrees in philosophy. He worked for the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) until 2017. He is a regular worshipper at Kippax Uniting Church, and is married to Caroline Reid. He is now working on practical strategies to reverse global warming, through technology and cultural awareness. At the conference, Robert will open a conversation on how Christian faith can constructively engage with climate change, including a look at the big picture of geoengineering and eschatology.

    Sandy Yule

    Rev. Dr. Sandy Yule is a retired Uniting Church minister whose doctoral thesis entitled ‘Ideas of God: Some Dialogues’ was awarded by Princeton Theological Seminary (cum laude). He has held various theological and academic positions, including Academic Dean at Sia’atoutai Theological College, Tonga, and lecturer in philosophy at the University of Melbourne and Swinburne University of Technology. A former General Secretary of ASCM (1970-75), Sandy has published books and articles on his intersecting interests in philosophy, theology and social justice.

    Sandy’s thesis and other writings can be found at: sandyyule.com.

    Helen Rainger

    Helen Rainger is a retired teacher who enjoys reading, writing, religion and politics. She has a Master of Theology. She is currently the President of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network.

    Ivo Mateus Goncalves

    Hailing from Timor Leste, Ivo Mateus Goncalves is a historian and anthropologist who has worked on projects with the World Bank, the Timor Leste Government and the Indonesia-Timor Leste Commission on Truth and Friendship. Currently Ivo is a research student in ANU’s Coral Bell School, examining Timor Leste’s history of activism.

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    Melbourne SCM Bible study

    Join Melbourne SCM for Bible study at Zak’s home on Monday 3 June as we continue to look at the Letter to the Ephesians.

    Dinner from 6:30pm, Bible study discussion from 7:30pm.

    This event is held in a private home. Please RSVP online, or contact Claudine at vicscm@ascm.org.au or 0418 592 269 for the address or if you have any dietary requirements.

  • Australian Student Christian Movement

    active – open – critical – ecumenical

    Melbourne SCM Bible study

    Join Melbourne SCM for Bible study on Monday, 6 May, at Zak’s home in the CBD, as we continue our look at the Letter to the Ephesians.

    Dinner from 6:30pm, Bible study discussion from 7:30pm.

    This event is held in a private home. Please RSVP here, or contact Claudine at vicscm@ascm.org.au or 0418 592 269 for the address or if you have any dietary requirements.

  • Australian Student Christian Movement

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    Melbourne SCM Bible study

    Join Melbourne SCM for Bible study on Friday 5 April.

    Bible study continues in 2019 with a series on the Letter to the Ephesians.

    Dinner from 6:30pm, Bible study discussion from 7:30pm.

    This event is held in a private home. Please RSVP online, or contact Claudine at vicscm@ascm.org.au or 0418 592 269 for the address or if you have any dietary requirements.

    Other upcoming events

    Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees, Sunday 14 April

    Melbourne SCM will once again join the annual Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees at the State Library of Victoria.

    Speakers include

    • Behrouz Boochani — activist, filmmaker, winner of the Victorian Prize for Literature, and Kurdish refugee imprisoned on Manus Island (live via phone)
    • Nyadol Nyuon — lawyer, writer and community advocate
    • Taqi Azra — Hazara Refugee
    • Michele O’Neil — ACTU President
    • Interfaith Panel including Mohammad Mohideen president of the Islamic Council of Victoria
    • Lavanya Thavaraja — Tamil Refugee Council

    Music from 1.30pm, Speakers from 2pm. Walk from 2.45pm to Kings Domain for music by Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir and others.

    Register here or email vicscm@ascm.org.au if you would like to meet up and walk with SCM.

    ASCM Annual General Meeting and National Conference, Canberra, Saturday 13 July

    We invite all friends of the Australian Student Christian Movement to our National Conference and senior friends’ reunion in Canberra in July. This event will give us the opportunity to meet old and new friends, share ideas, share lunch together and talk about solutions to some of the world’s big problems, combining the wisdom of experience with the enthusiasm of youth.

    The conference and senior friends’ reunion will be held:

    Date : Saturday 13 July 2019
    Time : 9.00 am to 5.00 PM
    Venue : Holy Cross Anglican Church, Hackett, ACT (Canberra)

    This conference is free.

    RSVP, preferably by 1 June 2019, to Robert Tulip - phone 0407 866 777 or email conference@ascm.org.au.

    For more details regarding the conference,  please visit https://ascm.org.au/conference-2019.

  • Australian Student Christian Movement

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    ASCM Annual General Meeting and National Conference 2019

    Dear Senior Friends,

    We take great pleasure in inviting you to the 2019 Australian Student Christian Movement National Conference and senior friends’ reunion in Canberra in July. This event will give us the opportunity to meet old and new friends, share ideas, share lunch together and talk about solutions to some of the world’s big problems, combining the wisdom of experience with the enthusiasm of youth. We are deeply grateful that you, as our senior friends, have supported the movement all these years, and are pleased to provide this event free of charge. We would love to have you attend to deepen links between generations as we look to the future.

    The conference and senior friends’ reunion will be held:

    Date : Saturday 13 July 2019
    Time : 9.00 am to 5.00 PM
    Venue : Holy Cross Anglican Church, Hackett, ACT (Canberra)

    This conference is free.

    RSVP, preferably by 1 June 2019, to Robert Tulip — phone 0407 866 777 or email conference@ascm.org.au. Please let Robert know if you would like help with accommodation, as we hope supportive church members will assist with billeting.

    For more details regarding the conference,  please visit https://ascm.org.au/conference-2019.

    Your presence at this conference is important to us, and we would be honoured to have the input of the older generations to support us younger folks as we endeavour to ensure ASCM will continue to present an active, critical, open and ecumenical voice of Christian faith among Australian students. We look forward to seeing you there.

    Sincerely,

    John Probhudan Biswas
    National Coordinator, ASCM