Christmas Bowl A Practical Way To Show Love To Our Neighbours In Need

Christmas Bowl A Practical Way To Show Love To Our Neighbours In Need

In 2021, the pandemic has continued to have a devastating effect on so many communities around the world, especially the 82 million people uprooted from their homes by conflict or disaster, and the people caught up in the humanitarian crises caused by this year’s conflicts in Ethiopia, Myanmar, Gaza, and Afghanistan.

The contrast between the relative abundance we enjoy here in Australia and the needs of uprooted people is even more obvious at this time of year, and the Christmas Bowl was born of the desire to redress the balance.

One of the longest standing Christmas appeals in Australia, the Christmas Bowl, was established in 1949 by Rev. Frank Byatt to raise money for post war refugees.  On Christmas Day that year, Frank put a Bowl of Remembrance on the dinner table and asked his family to place a gift inside to help those less fortunate than themselves. The Christmas Bowl was born.

The modern day Christmas Bowl Appeal takes place in churches and through online donations, but the sentiment is the same.

Janet Cousens is the CEO of Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches.

“The Christmas Bowl is needed as much now as ever. It enables us to actively express our unity in Christ, to share our faith through positive action and shine a light of hope into the darkness,” Ms Cousens said.

Since the first Christmas Bowl began over 70 years ago, more than $100 million has been raised. 

Uniting Church President Rev. Sharon Hollis said that the Christmas Bowl, “provides us with a practical way to show love for our neighbours most in need.”

“In the Christmas story, we see God choosing to become our neighbour by taking on human flesh,” Rev. Hollis said.

“This is an act of love from God that draws us into the story of God’s love for all creation and invites us to be witnesses to God’s love through our loving action in the world.”

“Your gift to the Christmas Bowl will remind our neighbours around the world that they are not forgotten, that they are loved and that we are all part of God’s love.  As we celebrate Christmas, may our love for our neighbour grow,”

For more information and to donate to the Christmas Bowl appeal, visit the official website here.

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