A Place at the Table

A Place at the Table BY CARLA AND JONATHAN EVANS In our culture, hospitality is a forgotten way of life. Even in our churches, a weak cup of coffee after the morning service is often our only expression of this ancient practice. But hospitality is at the heart of our faith, rooted in God’s welcome…

The Ration Challenge Week; a Reflection

By Matt Cairns There are currently almost 23 million refugees in the world – that’s almost the population of Australia! These are people who have had to flee their country due to wars, famines, and other life-threatening issues. They are part of the 66 million people who are currently classed as displaced from their homes….

Economic & Social Impact Survey 2017

Today The Salvation Army Australia released its annual Economic and Social Impact Survey (ESIS Report), which surveyed 1380 people across Australia who have come to The Salvos for assistance. Some of the key findings of this report show that a significant number of families and individuals who accessed Salvation Army Emergency Relief support experienced some…

Salvo Academy: The Salvation Army and Contemporary Social Issues

Have you ever wondered what a Positional Statement is and why we have them? Do you know what the Moral and Social Issues Council (MASIC) does? Come and find out at our next Salvo Academy event as we discuss ‘The Salvation Army and Contemporary Social Issues’. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Lt. Col. Geanette Seymour,…

The Salvation Army’s Response to the Federal Budget 2017-18

The Salvation Army’s response to the Federal Budget 2017-18: “The Salvation Army has concerns that for Australians already living on the margins this year’s federal budget will lead to greater hardship, despite positive new initiatives that will benefit some of the most disadvantaged people in the country.” Details can be found here

2017 Ethical Fashion Guide

Baptist World Aid 2017 Ethical Fashion Guide Our friends at Baptist World Aid have just released their annual ‘Ethical Fashion Guide.’ “The Ethical Fashion Guide is a companion to the 2017 Ethical Fashion Report. Use it to help you make everyday, ethical purchasing decisions. Take it with you when you shop and buy your clothes from…

A Fairtrade Easter

The time has come to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ by eating a lot of chocolate, particularly rabbit-shaped chocolate. And while this tradition does speak to us about the empty tomb, new-life, and freedom in Christ, for some who have provided the cocoa to make your Easter eggs, freedom and life worth living is far…

Salvo Academy: Being a Missional Salvationist

Salvo Academy is back! Put it in your diary – you won’t want to miss out on hearing Lyn Edge (Major Dr.). Salvo Academy is a series of discussions and keynote presentations designed to help you grow as a disciple and learn more about the world around you. It aims to equip believers by providing…

National Apology Day 2017

By Caitlin Brown On 10th December 1992, Paul Keating challenged Australians’ to create racial equality through mutual understanding. For the first time in Australian history, he encouraged the nation to empathise and reconcile with Indigenous Australians. However, with the “Redfern Speech” remaining one of the most progressive speeches in Australian History, there was one key…

Whose Kingdom – God’s or mine?

Whose Kingdom – God’s or mine? By Matt Cairns Recently I had the opportunity to attend a church in San Francisco known for its ministry to the marginalised. As I lined up to enter the sanctuary, a line of around 100 homeless men and women were entering another part of the building for their Sunday…

Voices for Justice 2016

Voices for Justice 2016 In mid-November, Social Justice Team members Rebecca Percival and Matt Cairns joined with 200 other Christians in Canberra to learn about advocating in the political sphere. Joining Bec and Matt were Emma, Damon, and Elise from Tuggeranong Corps, and Southern Territory Social Justice members Amanda and Simone. The three days, from November…

A reflection on Martin Place

by Casey O’Brien Machado Each year, Sydney Congress Hall Corps leads a Carol Service at the Martin Place Christmas Tree in the nights leading up to Christmas. These services are loud, joyful and full of life. However, two years ago – just days before our first carol service for the year was scheduled – a man…

Christmas!

Christmas can be a stressful time of year with presents to buy, events to attend, food to prepare and family to negotiate. But amongst the crazy chaos of this festive season, we can also ensure that the choices we make contribute to making the world look more like the Kingdom of God. Author Anne Lappe…

This year, The Salvation Army (through the Social Justice Department) partnered with Beyond Festival – “a boutique festival celebrating creativity, justice and genuine community”.   About ‘The Beyond Festival’: “Beyond is a justice festival. A glimpse of genuine community that embraces a mixture of genders, ages, cultures and beliefs. Beyond is about speaking out for…

Lest We Forget

by Casey O’Brien Machado Today is November 11th – Remembrance Day. It’s a day when many Australians will pause for a minute’s silence to remember those who have passed in the service of their country. At 11am, school halls will go relatively silent, some workplaces will cease to echo the sounds of typing, and the…

Section 18C – Racial Discrimination Act 1975

What is the issue?  It has been proposed by several members of parliament and society that amendments to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA) should be made. Currently section 18C makes it unlawful to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” a person because of their “race, colour or national or ethnic origin”.   Why is…

The Theology of Mental Illness – Part 2

Meaningful engagement with the Mentally Unwell by Matt Cairns Research shows that one in five Australians will experience a mental illness, and most of us will experience a mental health problem during our lifetime.[1] A mental illness is an acute health problem that significantly affects how a person feels, thinks, behaves, and interacts with other…

Proposed changes to Migration Act

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the government would be introducing amendments to the Migration Act 1958. These proposed amendments, if legislated, would have significant consequences for people seeking asylum and refuge who have arrived, or attempted to arrive in Australia by boat. The Salvation Army is extremely concerned  that these amendments…

The Theology of Mental Illness – Part 1

by Matt Cairns A middle-aged man stood up during the testimony time, and shared that he had been feeling so depressed lately that he had even thought about taking his own life, simply to end the mental anguish. Rightly, the officer took time in the service to pray for this man and invited others to…

Social Justice Stream at EQUIP Camp

Last week, a ‘Social Justice’ stream was run at EQUIP NSW & ACT. ‘EQUIP’ is an annual week-long Camp, run by The Salvation Army, which aims to equip youth and young adults in their spiritual lives and in ministry. Campers are given the opportunity to develop themselves in two elective streams, make new friends and enjoy…

Fairtrade Fondue

At EQUIP Gala Day at Booth College last weekend, EQUIP Campers who had spent the week in the Social Justice Stream held a Fairtrade Fondue stall. The purpose of the stall was to utilise their newly-learned ‘Campaigning through Conversation’ skills. The Campers did a fantastic job of educating purchasers on the importance of buying Fairtrade and…

International day of World’s Indigenous Peoples

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES 2016 Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Education   ‘International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples’ was established in recognition of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations on August 9 1982. This meeting focused on the promotion and protection of Human Rights for Indigenous peoples. 2016’s theme…

What is the Moral and Social Issues Council?

MASIC’s website can be found here   WHAT IS MASIC? The Australia Eastern Territory’s Moral and Social Issues Council (MASIC) helps The Salvation Army to think about significant moral, religious and social issues. It comprises Salvationists from a range of backgrounds across New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. On behalf of The Salvation…

‘For Tomorrow’ – Joel McKerrow

Talented Australian artist Joel McKerrow has penned a powerful poem titled ‘For Tomorrow’ in which he calls upon us to “seek For Tomorrow by acting today, until this world is as it was always meant to be.” “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have…

Justice Themed Song List

Social Justice Songs Below are some great songs to consider if you are organising a justice-themed worship service. We are constantly updating this list so if you know of a great one we’ve missed, let us know at socialjustice@aue.salvationarmy.org or comment below! Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) – Chris Tomlin As it is in Heaven…

Some thoughts on Australia Day

Some thoughts on Australia Day… In 2016 The Australia Day Council announced that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Culture would be ‘front and centre’ in the nation’s celebrations. The 26th January is the day we as a nation celebrate with BBQs, beaches, and fireworks what is so great about our nation – its beauty, values,…

Holy Thursday & Justice – A reflection

Holy Thursday & Justice – A reflection There was tension in the air… the Passover was upon them and Jesus’ mood had shifted. As they gathered in the upper room, the atmosphere was a mix of expectation and unease, and as the first act of the Passover custom, all who met would have their feet…

The Salvation Army’s Policy Statements 2016

The Salvation Army’s official Policy Statements for 2016-2017 can be found here. These are the statements which clearly set out the Army’s recommendations for government on various social issues.

Principles of Justice

Jesus and Justice When we look at the life of Jesus, we find a person whose sole purpose was to bring those around Him closer to His heavenly Father. In looking to His example, we see a life which was wholly committed to bringing the Kingdom of God to earth. In reflecting on His example…

What is Social Justice?

The Social Justice Department is regularly asked the question – “what exactly is social justice?” This is a difficult question to answer, as the term “social justice” evokes a variety of responses which differ from person to person. We believe that it is impossible and somewhat unwise to pin down a single definition, as to…

‘Christ of the Breadlines’

“Jesus says in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew: ‘I was hungry; did you feed me? I was naked; did you clothe me? I was sick; did you care for me? I was an alien; did you take me in? What you failed to do to the least of these, you failed to do to Me,…

Stewardship

Stewardship by Casey O’Brien Machado Fifteen years ago, when looking for a part-time, after-school job, I approached one of my favourite clothing stores to ask for an application form. I was surprised when the Manager mentioned that I would also need to attach a photo of myself to the application. I enquired about why a…

Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week starts today. The theme for 2016 is ‘Our History, Our Story, Our Future’. “Each year National Reconciliation Week celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.” JUSTSalvos has put together a bunch of Meeting resources to help you recognise Reconciliation Week in…

Rich v Poor: My place in the world as a Christian

Rich v Poor: My Place in the world as a Christian by Matt Cairns I’m a middle-aged Australian male who lives in Sydney. I don’t consider myself rich but after 20 years of working, my wife and three kids live comfortably enough. We don’t earn heaps of money but enough to probably own 2 bedrooms…

Fence or ambulance

  A friend of mine, a teenager, recently fell off his skateboard and grazed his leg badly. There was gravel and dirt stuck inside the wound, yet being a typical, stubborn teenager, this friend decided that the best course of action was to put a bandage over the wound so that it would stop bleeding…

Be the light

  by Casey O’Brien Machado When I was at school, “Religious Education” classes were compulsory. Twice a week, we would file into a classroom where a teacher who had likely been drafted into teaching this as a second subject would spend 90 minutes with us playing Bible Board Games or “Guess who – Bible Characters…

The Kingdom of God on Earth

The Kingdom of God on Earth by Casey O’Brien Machado The beautiful thing about being an advocate for Social Justice is that while our focus is on this world, our hope is in another. The bringing about of Social Justice is “The Kingdom of God on earth”. When we pray the Lord’s prayer, we ask “Thy…