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…

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…

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…

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…

Economic & Social Impact Survey 2016

Today The Salvation Army Australia released its annual Economic and Social Impact Survey (ESIS Report), which surveyed 1600 people across Australia who have come to The Salvos for assistance. The full report can be viewed here.  

Community needs? – Look around you

Community needs? – Look around you The Territorial Social Justice Department is often approached by individuals and Corps asking which campaigns they can get on board with, or what issues they can champion. However this is not always the right question to be asking. Sure, we could recite a list of Campaigns of which we…

Social Justice – Not an optional extra

Social Justice: Not an optional extra by Casey O’Brien Machado Recently, at a multi-denominational meeting, I introduced myself to a fellow attendee. Upon explaining my role to him, he responded “Oh, you’re a Social Justice person. I suppose that’s a given – you do belong to The Salvation Army. I am more of a Bible-type…

The Salvation Army’s response to the Federal Budget 2016-17

The Salvation Army’s response to the Federal Budget 2016-17: “Whilst welcoming some of the major initiatives in this year’s Federal Budget, The Salvation Army says Australia’s most vulnerable remain inadequately supported” Details here.

How Diverse is your suburb?

Our society is full of distractions which cause us to disengage with the world around us. This results in a failure to see how we can be helping to improve our local communities. We must start finding new and innovative ways to re-engage with the people around us in order to work towards positive change….

Hope in the Midst of Despair

Hope in the Midst of Despair 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, last year – just days before our first carol service for the…