St Margaret's News September 2015 - Page 2

Dear St Margaret's Hackett After years of passionate advocacy on refugees, this week our Church was able to welcome a significant breakthrough with the Australian Government's acceptance of 12,000 refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria and Iraq. President Stuart McMillan joined faith leaders and community service providers in a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Parliament House in which the Prime Minister encouraged churches to work together to welcome the new arrivals. The President is calling on Church members to do whatever they can to support the resettlement efforts. Coordination with the overall national response will be crucial. UnitingCare Australia is liaising closely with the Government and we will be sharing more information and recommendations as they come to hand. While there are many issues of refugee policy on which our Church disagrees with the Government, this week we give thanks that 12,000 people in desperate need will be able to rebuild their lives in our country. In my work in Relations with Other Faiths, our Interfaith September program is continuing. One of the stories we are sharing tells how Sydney's Parramatta Mission threw open its doors to the local Muslim community, and the bond that developed. Multicultural and Cross Cultural Ministry Rev. Dr Apwee Ting shares the journey of Rev. Keun-il Ko and his call to ministry in the Uniting Church. UnitingWorld Sureka Goringe, Associate Director for Church Connections, reflects on the Christian identity and community in India. On a personal note, my closure of ministry service after 12 years as Associate General Secretary will take place on 29 September in Sydney. I give thanks to God for the blessing of the Uniting Church members, colleagues and staff who have journeyed with me at the Assembly over those years. Their love, service and support has been a wonderful blessing. Peace be with you always. Rev. Glenda Blakefield Associate General Secretary National Director, Relations with Other Faiths 12 September 2015 St Margaret's News 2 September 2015