April 2016

Port Arthur

Mitchell Salmon  |  28/04/2016 4:03:47 PM

It was 20 years ago today that the tragedy that we remember as Port Arthur occurred. This reflection was written by Kylie Tonkin. Kylie and her husband Andrew and family are part of Mildura church, where Andrew leads the ministry team. This is a powerful story of providing hope and compassion in a most difficult circumstance; it is also an honest reflection of the cost of moving into the neighbourhood. Along with Kylie, we admire the leadership strength of then PM John Howard about this issue back in the day, and we add this: would that our nation's leaders today have as much strength about other issues of justice and safety and welcome.

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Agency Profile: Lifekeys

Mitchell Salmon  |  27/04/2016 5:03:20 PM

Careforce Lifekeys is an affiliated mission agency of CCVT. Lifekeys was founded at Careforce church in 1992 and has had a worldwide impact, including a significant impact in Russia in recent years.

Five of the Lifekeys courses have been translated into Russian and are being shared all over the Soviet Union and former Soviet countries. In 2004 two members of Careforce church took the ministry to the largest church in Perm and taught the concepts in their Bible College. This church has planted more than 250 churches throughout the region and impacts millions of Russian people.

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CCFS & South Australia

Mitchell Salmon  |  20/04/2016 3:23:50 PM

CCFS is excited to welcome South Australia’s Building Extension Mutual Fund as their newest partner.

Discussions were conducted over many months with the SA BEMF Committee and executive team members. After working through the logistics of amalgamation we were able to welcome South Australian investors and borrowers to CCFS.

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embody | Prayer Matters

Mitchell Salmon  |  18/04/2016 1:04:24 PM

So often prayer takes a back seat in our lives. We know we should do it, and that we need to do it, but we just put it on the backburner. Personally, I know that I often say, “I’ll be praying for you” almost as a pleasantry, but I find myself forgetting completely. It is almost as if it is unimportant, or that I just find it too difficult to pray, or I just feel like I don’t know what to say!  It is something that I know I struggle with and plenty of others do to. This is why Prayer Matters exists. 

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GMP | Fiji Appeal Raises over $80 000

Mitchell Salmon  |  15/04/2016 12:54:59 PM

Thank you for your generosity! Over $80 000 has been raised towards rebuilding and recovery from Cyclone Winston. In some areas of Fiji it will take many years to recover, and we appreciate your ongoing prayers for the people and communities of Fiji. Further updates and stories from Fiji can be found on the GMP website and you can continue to support the Fiji appeal at gmp.org.au/fiji-emergency or free call 1800 467 222.

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Into Their World

Mitchell Salmon  |  13/04/2016 5:03:12 PM

During my time as a youth pastor I constantly battled with the question of ‘schools ministry’. I found that everyone had an opinion; some said that the only way to grow your youth group was to be in the schools, and others said that you shouldn’t spend your time in the schools but instead focus on growing your leaders. As someone who has worked in a school as a Student Mentor and now goes into schools to present seminars to students, I’ve decided that if the Church isn’t in the school community, then we are missing the point. Yes, another opinion, and you have to decide what works for you, but let’s look at why I think this and just what ‘being in a school’ means.

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Royal Commission into Family Violence Report

Mitchell Salmon  |  13/04/2016 3:52:09 PM

The Royal Commission into Family Violence has made its finding available to the public in an extensive series of documents, including recommendations of programs and improvements to be made to existing systems. Of particular note to Communities of Hope and Compassion is vol V, section 29 of the Report, titled 'Faith Communities'. 

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Sanctuary Update

Mitchell Salmon  |  13/04/2016 1:07:15 PM

For those wishing to engage further with the Sanctuary movement in response to the Federal Government’s treatment of people seeking asylum, the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce is maintaining a database of church communities that have extended an offer of sanctuary to people seeking asylum who are at risk of being removed from Australia and placed in offshore detention.

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Agency Profile: VETA

Mitchell Salmon  |  12/04/2016 12:52:48 PM

Veta Youth is a mission agency of CCVT. Here is a bit more about them.

Veta started almost 15 years ago by a group of Churches of Christ Vic/Tas ministry leaders who felt frustrated that the spiritual aspect of our lives is so restricted in our culture. They set out to help raise up a generation of Christian young people who act as the hands and feet of Jesus, demonstrating his love in every area of life; and, when they finish school, building communities centred on Christ, and loving and serving and working to see their universities, their workplaces, and their local neighbourhoods transformed by God’s love.

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The Poison of the Pokie Industry

Mitchell Salmon  |  11/04/2016 12:10:46 PM

From Tim Costello, Chair of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce.

As a Christian, I am profoundly saddened by how poker machines target society’s most vulnerable and ruin lives, and feel compelled to make a stand to see an end to this injustice. This is why Common Grace is proud to be a part of the ‘Pokies Play You’ campaign being run by a diverse coalition of community groups called the Alliance for Gambling Reform.

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I’ve Always Wanted To Be An Eagle

Mitchell Salmon  |  7/04/2016 4:59:47 PM

The Walpiri of central Australia have a saying about the wedge tail eagle (or Warlawurru). To be a good hunter like the eagle, you must be a silent hunter… quiet, a great listener, able to hear and observe what’s going on around you before making a move.

In the Walpiri way of integrated living and learning, hunting is analogous with learning or gaining in wisdom… so stories to do with hunting often are indications about ways to grow in understanding and wisdom as well.

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A Body Of Misfits

Mitchell Salmon  |  4/04/2016 4:56:05 PM

We were on holidays in Queensland when the official job offer to be Co-Leader of YV Vic/Tas came through. Two days before Christmas we spoke to a real estate agent and locked in a six month lease on a house that we hadn’t inspected and was scheduled to be demolished at the end of our lease. We knew very little about the area we were settling into, other than it would be near some friends, apparently close to some good schools, and not too far from work.

Four weeks later we arrived in Melbourne and have since discovered that the estate in which we temporarily live is one of the most desired in Doncaster East, and the house prices mean we will probably never be able to buy there.

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Agency Profile: Friends of Dismas

Mitchell Salmon  |  4/04/2016 10:08:22 AM

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still Sinners, Christ Died for us.” (Romans 5:8, ESV)

‘Dismas’ is the traditional name of the repentant thief mentioned in Luke 23: 40-43. What does Friends of Dismas stand for?

Friends of Dismas is a church for parolees, ex-prisoners, and their family and friends.

Early in 2012 several folks were reflecting on the need for supporting people who were leaving prison. We spent time with people who were interested in meeting this need within Churches of Christ, the Baptist Church, and Prison Fellowship Victoria. Prison Fellowship volunteers visit over 400 prisoners face to face each month.

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