This Valentine’s Day give a personal gesture of a romantic night in with candles, and a home cooked meal. Continue reading “Make Them a Romantic Meal this Valentine’s Day”
The Christian Origins of Halloween
By: Justin Rouillon
It’s that time of year when the shops have been decorated with skulls, gravestones and all things spooky, but what should a Christian response to Halloween be?
The secular version of Halloween as we know it was heavily commercialised in the early and mid 20th century, with much of the celebration having its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced Soh-nn).
Samhain celebrated the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter, the dark time of the year that was often associated with death. The Celts believed that at this time of year the gap between the spiritual world and the physical world would draw closer – a thin place where humans walked in two worlds, and where the ghosts of those departed would be more likely to return to.
This is where much of the modern, secular versions of Halloween come from. But for centuries before its commercialisation, Christians observed the holy days of All Hallows (Saints) and All Souls Day on November 1 and 2. All Hallows Eve (October 31) was reserved for the remembrance of family members who had passed away, along with prayers and fasting ahead of the feast days.
Paul Blom is a Catholic educator and says that for his family, it’s a time of year for remembering the traditional Christian observances.
“November is the month set aside to remember the dead, and in a special way we are invited to remember our family and friends who have died, especially those who have passed away in the previous year. We can also extend those thoughts in a wider sense, by remembering and thanking those that have positively influenced us in our lives.”
Paul also said that there are a number of ways that Christians can use the secular version of Halloween to remind them of the religious and spiritual meaning of the original celebrations.
“Perhaps you can remember the sacrifice of Jesus, and more importantly, his resurrection that brings heaven closer to our reality.
“Take time to pray and remember those who have played an important part in your life’s journey, and who have formed you into the person you are today.
“Find a quiet place of solitude, where you can gather treasured memories and remember those who have shown us wisdom, those who stood by us, believed in you or encouraged your faith.”
Article supplied with thanks to 96five.
Photo by: Haley Phelps on Unsplash
The British Monarchy: What Happens Next?
By: Michael Crooks
After a 70-year reign, the Queen has died. When is her funeral? How is Australia paying its respect? And what happens to our coins?
Review of Funding for School Chaplaincy Underway
By: Steff Willis
An independent evaluation will assess the effectiveness of chaplaincy in supporting the wellbeing of school students and the broader school community. Continue reading “Review of Funding for School Chaplaincy Underway”
How to be a Great Dad: Tips for Fathers, Download Free Toolkit
By: Steff Willis
Fathers play a pivotal role in families and yet sometimes, their value can be underplayed.
Continue reading “How to be a Great Dad: Tips for Fathers, Download Free Toolkit”
NAIDOC Week Encourages an All-In Community Celebration
By: Celeste Stevens
Pastor Willie Dumas says NAIDOC week is important as it unites us together to create change, and teaches us more about how we can learn from one another.
Continue reading “NAIDOC Week Encourages an All-In Community Celebration”
Digital Leadership Summit – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane this July
Take a courageous step towards the future with Imminent Leadership Summit – a one day learning experience on innovation, digital, brand, and engagement.
Join peers and leading practitioners for IMMINENT – a collective learning environment with robust discussions, case studies and practical next steps through the lenses of church, media, social justice, not-for-profits and education.
The focus is both the immediate and future actions needed in the spaces of digital, brand, engagement and innovation.
This one day summit will be held in the following cities:
Brisbane – Monday 11th July – 10am to 4pm
Melbourne – Tuesday 12th July – 10am to 4pm
Sydney – Thursday 14th July – 10am to 4pm
IMMINENT will provide you and your team with a roadmap to be pro-active and innovative, presenting solid answers to these (and more) questions:
- How can I lead and cultivate innovation in my context?
- What do I need to consider so as to engage with technology wisely?
- Who is my brand? (and why does it matter)
- Post-lockdowns… what is the future intersection for virtual and face-to-face?
- What is Web 3.0? And do I need to engage with NFTs, Blockchain andCrypto?
- What are the ethical implications and moral choices likely to arise in aWeb3 world?
- What does research tell us about the future for engagement, community development and donor retention?
- How have the rules of engagement changed – and how do I play?…. And more.
Find out more and register online now – Imminent Leadership Summit
Guest speakers and conversation hosts include:
Chief Strategist Social Media + Innovation
Founder and CEO, ntegrity (Panel – Melbourne only)
Dave Adamson – aka Aussie Dave
Digital Strategist, Author and Speaker
Senior Director of Global Brand at Compassion
Director of Innovation, CV Global
Executive Director, Dunham+Company Australia
So, bring yourself and your team members as together we’ll seek to provide answers you can start using tomorrow.
Article thanks to Christian Media and Arts Australia
The World Unites in Prayer – March 4
By: Michael Crooks
In what are increasingly troubled times, the world is about to unite to pray. Continue reading “The World Unites in Prayer – March 4”
Why Has Russia Declared War on Ukraine?
By: Michael Crooks
In the early morning of February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he would be conducting a “special military operation”.
What followed were reports of explosions in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as Russian tanks rolled in. Ukraine’s interior ministry said that Kyiv was under attack from ballistic missiles.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged citizens not to panic and to stay at home.
“We know for sure that we don’t need the war,” President Zelenskyy said.
“But if we’ll be attacked… if they try to take our country away from us, our freedom, our lives, the lives of our children, we will defend ourselves.”
Ukrainian Minister of Healthcare Viktor Lyashko said that so far 57 people had died following the attacks by Russian forces.
The United Nations Refugee Agency says more than 100,000 people are fleeing the violence.
“There has been significant displacement inside the country,” said spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh.
“And there have been movements towards and across international borders. But the situation is still chaotic and evolving fast.”
From US President Joe Biden to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, world leaders denounced Putin’s horrifying attack.
“The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” President Biden, who announced a new tranch of sanctions against Russia, said.
“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.”
EU foreign policy representative Josep Borrell called the invasion Europe’s “darkest hours since the end of World War Two”.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced sanctions against Russia, including against Russian banks.
“I’ll call it what it is – the Russian government launched a brutal invasion, unprovoked, on Ukraine and should be condemned for doing so,” Mr Morrison said.
“We must ensure there is a cost for this violent, unacceptable, and egregious behaviour,” Mr Morrison said.
“There will be further waves of sanctions as we identify those responsible for these egregious acts.”
Why is Russia attacking?
The current events stem back to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, when Ukraine declared itself an independent nation.
While many Ukrainian citizens were looking toward the West for their future, hoping to join the European Union and the American-led alliance of NATO (for both the economic and security benefits), Russia opposed any such aspirations.
Indeed, Putin once called the fall of the Soviet Union, “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century”.
Then, in 2014 the then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a free trade agreement with the EU, in a move that was backed by Russia.
It sparked a revolution and Yanukovych was ousted.
Since then, a war has raged between the Ukraine government and pro-Russia separatist rebels in eastern regions of Ukraine, known as the Donbas region. Nearly 14,000 people have died in the conflict.
The US has provided military aid to Ukraine during the conflict, and Russia sees that as a threat.
In 2019, Ukrainian actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy came to power on a platform of “anti-corruption” and “anti establishment”. As president, Zelenskyy urged the US to let Ukraine join NATO.
Putin has sought assurances from the West that this will never happen. According to experts, Putin is threatened by the prospect of NATO being able to set up bases and military installations in Ukraine.
So, by placing troops on the border, and now invading, Russia is sending a signal to the West.
“For more than 70 years, we have avoided large-scale war in Europe,” US Senator Mark Warner said.
“With his illegal invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has tragically brought decades of general peace to an end.”
Will the US step in?
Not in terms of boots on the ground, because Ukraine is not a member of NATO.
But President Biden’s sanctions are targeted to cripple Russia’s economy and industry.
How will it end?
According to the US, this is the beginning of a full-scale invasion.
“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” President Biden said.
“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.”
Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.
Feature Image: Photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash
Free Bible for Babies Born in 2021
By: Kim Wilkinson
Launched in 2018, Bible Society’s Bibles For Bubs program has given away 10,000 Toddler Bibles over the last 5 years, with another 2,000 to be sent this year. Continue reading “Free Bible for Babies Born in 2021”