The team at Give Hope: Uniting for Asylum Seekers is calling on members of the Synod and wider community to take action this Easter! Amid outrage at the treatment of people seeking asylum in Australia, offshore detentions and increasing uncertainty around the US refugee deal, it’s time to say “We Can Do Better” for refugees. Individuals are encouraged to join the annual Palm Sunday Rally through Sydney on April 9, to do just that. There is also the opportunity to get involved in the Give Hope Easter Voucher Appeal, which will provide much needed practical support for those struggling in the community.
Easter Voucher Appeal
Last year’s appeal was a great success but the political sphere has meant conditions for refugees in the community is worsening. The Give Hope team again looks to the kindness and generosity of church members and the wider community for the 2017 Easter Voucher Appeal. All vouchers and gift cards donated will be handed to our partners at Settlement Services International (SSI) and provided to Uniting Church representatives working hard for refugees in their local communities. In light of increasing interest from across the Church for ways in which members can provide material aid for refugees, the Easter appeal is a great opportunity to make a practical contribution. Individuals are invited to take part in the appeal as an expression of all that Easter represents for us – the renewal of life and creation and the inauguration of a new world. Head of Uniting’s Social Justice Forum, Jon O’Brien , says the appeal is a way for Christians to “practice the radical compassion, welcome and hospitality that Jesus demonstrated to the excluded – like those people seeking asylum on our shores.” This is what Mr O’Brien calls living the values so important at Easter time.
Taking part in the appeal is easy and a great way for you to get your congregation, family, friends, colleagues and community involved in social justice action around Easter time. Simply:
- Purchase a gift card or voucher to the amount of your choice. This could be a supermarket or department store voucher or even a gift card for a pharmacy, cinema or sports store.
- Send the voucher/s to:
Give Hope Team
PO Box 7137
Silverwater NSW 2128
- Spread the word about the appeal and connect with us via social media to see how your contribution has made a difference in the life of a refugee or asylum seeker.
For more information, please visit our Give Hope page on the new Synod website here.
To download some resources to share to help you promote the appeal and encourage others to get involved click here.
Palm Sunday Rally
Both Uniting and the Uniting Church Synod of NSW/ACT are proud to be endorsing the Palm Sunday Rally advocating for a more compassionate treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum. Speakers for this exciting event include union representatives, peace and justice advocates, interfaith leaders and former refugees who will share their story. It’s hoped the rally will draw public attention to the horrific conditions inside offshore detention centres and the inhumane policies traumatising people waiting for their refugee claims to be processed. Following #LetThemStay protests across Australia, the Palm Sunday Rally organising committee hope the event will again up the pressure for change. The rally will also show the groundswell of support in the community for people seeking asylum. All are encouraged to attend the rally, starting at 2pm from Hyde Park North and finishing at First Fleet Park, Circular Quay. For more information on the Sydney Rally visit: http://bit.ly/2lkrofK
Alex Hogan is the Advocacy Officer at Uniting Social Justice Forum.