In 2016, our Synod took the bold step of supporting drug law reform by passing two resolutions aimed at reducing the harm caused by illicit drugs. Synod resolved that more funding to combat drugs should go to treatment and harm reduction strategies and to work to decriminalise the possession and use of small amounts of illicit drugs.
Synod asked Uniting to lead a campaign to advocate for these changes and we are asking Uniting Church members to be a part of it. We know that for this campaign to be effective, our whole Church has to be fully informed about the campaign, the reasons for it and how it is developing.
This is why we are holding a special Uniting Church Forum on drug law reform at Parramatta Mission on Monday 21st August. Uniting Church members and congregations are invited to join us for the Forum and learn more about this issue and the resolutions passed.
Moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia Synod of New South Wales and the ACT, Rev. Myung Hwa Park, said that for church members this is an opportunity to understand the issue as well as why Synod passed these harm reduction resolutions.
“As Christians, our response to drug use must be one based in the essential dignity and importance of human life,” said Rev. Park of the importance of these resolutions.
The forum will also be a chance for members to hear from experts in the field and those personally touched by the issue, with plenty of time for questions and discussion. Special guests and speakers include:
- Dr Marianne Jauncey (Medical Director, Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre)
- Marion McConnell (Canberra Region Presbytery and Family & Friends for Drug Law Reform)
- Greg Denham (ex-Police Officer and current Executive Officer of Yarra Drug & Health Forum)
- Rev Myung Hwa Park (Moderator, Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW/ACT)
- Prof Alison Ritter (Director, Drug Policy Modelling Program at UNSW)
Former Moderator, Rev Niall Reid, will act as Chair for the evening.
The Social Justice Forum and the Moderator hope that Uniting Church members will join us for this event to show support for this important initiative and be actively involved in the practical response to this complex community problem.
When: 7pm-9pm, Monday 21st August (followed by a light supper)
Where: Parramatta Mission Church Hall, 119 Macquarie Street, Parramatta
There are limited spots available for the forum so please be sure to register for this free event here: http://bit.ly/2uySOCN
Alex Hogan is the Advocacy Officer at Uniting Social Justice Forum.