My reflections on Easter continue following this news item from Al Jazeera English, about which I will say more at the finish:
I'm a Christian. I'm a supporter of the Greens. The two are by no means incompatible.
I believe firmly that church and state must remain separate bodies. They do, of course, interact. Religious organisations must conform to the laws of the land. Conversely, they are entitled, as much or as little as any other group, to provide input to the democratic process and to provide feedback to Government. Neither side of the ledger should abuse this relationship.
It's three weeks since Uncle Joe Ratzinger issued a fatwa announcing that there was only one church (the one he runs).
This week, however, brings the news of the reconciliation of two extra-Benedict(XVI)ine denominations, with the declaration of unity issued in Cairo by the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The announcement by World Council of Churches General Secretary Samuel Kobia can be found here.
Of course he does. What's the problem?
Outreach Media, a subsidiary of the non-denominational FEVA Ministries, produces a monthly series of colourful signs with attention-grabbing Christian messages, which it syndicates to churches around the country (mostly in Sydney, though I saw one in Newcastle recently).
Some examples of their handiwork, including a very clever Telstra parody, can be seen on their website. Last month, the theme, timed to coincide with the Ashes, was "Would you worship Jesus if he scored 10,000 Test runs?"
Today, November 26, has been proclaimed a National Day of Prayer by the Heads of Christian Churches meeting in this time of severe drought.
The heads of Churches called for all Australians to pray for:
- desperately needed rain
- those who are severely drought affected, and
- commitment to responsibly care for all our natural resources
There is a lot more information, including prayer resources, at the National Council of Churches website.
October 31 is All Hallows Eve. Over the years it has been corrupted into Halloween. The Church of England Diocese of Manchester is promoting a campaign called Halloween Choice. It's not intended to eliminate all the gruesome "fun" of Halloween, but rather to promote the positive and Christian aspects of All Hallows Eve and lobbies retail outlets to provide more diversity in their marketing.
halloweenchoice.org has more information. I think it would be nice to see this campaign taken up by the church in other areas, including Australia.