Chaplain’s Corner

Refugees

Tomorrow, June 20 is World Refugee Day. As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres writes about refugees in our world today:
“This not about sharing a burden. It is about sharing a global responsibility, based not only the broad idea of our common humanity but also on the very specific obligations of international law. The root problems are war and hatred, not people who flee; refugees are among the first victims of terrorism.”

You may or may not be aware that refugees and displaced people have always been a part of our world and the Bible has some very clear teachings about our role in supporting them. There is a reoccurring theme that we must welcome the stranger in our midst. Indeed, Jesus, as a baby was a refugee, with his mother and father when they had to flee their hometown and go to Egypt to avoid certain death. As King Herod, on hearing of a ‘new born king’, ordered the death of all the boys in or near Bethlehem who were 2 years old or younger.

At our recent Cathedral Service, the Student leaders chose to take up an offering that will go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. The ASRC is an independent not-for-profit organisation, whose programs support and empower people seeking asylum. At our service, $2,145 was given to support the work of the Asylum centre which focus’ on frontline services, empowerment, advocacy and community engagement. Our donation will be going to the Dandenong branch of the centre and we will welcome Mr Alan White, Tintern Alumnus, Class of 2008, at our assembly this coming Friday to pass on our donation and support. Alan works for the ASRC as their Fundraising Manager.

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