Hot News & Humour
27 May – 3 June 2018
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) started as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation in 1993 (the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People) and was supported by Australia’s major faith communities. In 1996, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation launched Australia’s first ‘National Reconciliation Week’.
In 2000, Reconciliation Australia was established to continue to provide national leadership on reconciliation. In the same year, approximately 300,000 people walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of NRW, showing support for the reconciliation process.
Today NRW is celebrated by communities, businesses and individuals at thousands of events across Australia.
National Reconciliation Week begins on 27th May, marking the 1967 referendum, which recognized Aboriginal people as being part of Australian society, and ends on the 3rd June marking the 1993 Mabo decision in which the High Court of Australia overturned the notion of “Terra nullius” (a Latin expression meaning "nobody's land") and recognised the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander connection to land which existed prior to colonization.
We are truly blessed to live in this wonderful country - a land of peace and plenty - a land of freedom and seemingly endless opportunities - a land that has harsh realities, such as drought and flooding rains - a land where opportunities abound for those who are willing to work hard - and where necessity is the mother of invention.
We also have universal health care, 99% of our adult population is literate and according to the United Nations Human Development Index - which measures standards of living, life expectancy, and education - in 2016, Australia was second only to Norway on this index. We do indeed live in a lucky country.
Our church is part of the larger community of Warragul - a city with a population of 14,276 according to the 2016 census - which seems to be growing almost weekly. In this community, and in the wider world, there is a modern syndrome that is somewhat troubling. This syndrome is known as Accumulating Stuff Syndrome - or ASS for short. The characteristics of this syndrome come in a spectrum - from simple things like buying ‘the new ‘and tossing out ‘the old’, simply because it’s old - to accommodating the ‘I want’, rather than the ‘I need’, simply because I deserve it - to the fanatics who stuff their homes and their lives full of things that are used for a week or two, and then discarded, simply because they are no longer a novelty.
This syndrome often goes under the guise of ‘retail therapy’ - which suggests that purchasing ‘stuff‘ will bring a sense of peace and happiness to the individual - and ‘me time’, which when taken to the extreme, makes self-centeredness and selfishness respectable, and even desirable.
can be seen at its best, and its most powerful, around Christmas, where people
flock to stores to spend millions of dollars on ‘stuff’ to give to other
people - much of which is unwanted - and much of which can be purchased at half
the original price, a week later! And if you don’t like the stuff
you’re given, then you can re-gift it. And if your gift is really
unwanted, then Amazon has a system that allows you to exchange your unwanted
gift for something you actually want - even before you get it.
There are some dangers associated with ‘stuff’. I read a report about a woman who was strangled to death by her electronic neck massager - sadly her necklace got caught in the massager and tightened around her neck. However, as we can now get ‘the goodness of the sun and the sea’ in a bottle of pills, that will help ‘make today, your day’, then maybe ASS has something going for it!
There is a wonderful story in the Bible about a young man who comes to Jesus and says - ‘I am comfortably well-off and have lot’s of stuff, but somewhere deep inside I have a yearning for meaning, and purpose, and direction. What do I have to do to find these things in my life?’
And Jesus’ answer? Get rid of all the ‘stuff’ that is cluttering up your life, and your attitudes - and then - follow some very simple life principles, such as, respect other people - be compassionate, graceful and humble - but most important of all, love other people - remembering that love is NOT a word, but an action. Unfortunately this young man couldn’t bring himself to do these things - and he walked away from the opportunity of a lifetime.
Each of us who are part of a vibrant faith community, are called to foster the principles of respect, compassion, grace, humility, and love, in all of our relationships - as exampled by Jesus Christ, and ironically one of the most valuable yet inexpensive gifts we can give to anyone, is our time - time to listen and time to be interested in someone beyond ourselves. If we can live simply, care generously, love deeply and walk humbly with God, then we will be a community that is positive, life-giving, and a beacon of hope.
Peace, Rev Bruce Wood
Some photos of recent activities showing children enjoying their painting, music and making Geoff the scarecrow for the church garden
Next Families @ 4 is on June 10 and 24
A woman ran a red traffic light and crashed into a man's car.
Both of the cars were demolished, but amazingly neither driver was hurt.
After they crawled out of their cars, the woman said; "Wow, just look at our cars! There's nothing left, but fortunately we are unhurt. This must be a sign from God that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace for the rest of our days."
The man replied," I agree with you completely. This must be a sign from God!"
The woman continued, "And look at this, here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished, but my bottle of 75 year old scotch didn't break. Surely God meant for us to drink this vintage delicacy and celebrate our good fortune." Then she handed the bottle to the man.
The man nods his head in agreement, opened it, drank half the bottle and then handed it back to the woman.
The woman took the bottle, immediately put the cap back on, and handed it back to the man.
The man asks, "Aren't you having any?"
She replies, "Nah . . . I think I'll just wait for the police."
Some years ago Adam ate the apple.
Men will never learn!