Australian Student Christian Movement
active – open – critical – ecumenical
Welcome to ASCM News
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
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.
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.
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.
Meet an SCMer – Kate King
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
Do you have news about friends of ASCM and WSCF or other items of interest? Contact us at email@example.com.