Churches campaign for treaty to tackle illicit arms sales, often a north-south business

Diplomats from nearly 200 countries will spend month of July at the United Nations to negotiate the proposed Arms Trade Treaty.

Their challenge lies in keeping the arms trade open to militaries, police forces and other groups who are judged to use arms legally and responsibly, and closing the trade to those who don’t. Arms manufacturers, gun enthusiasts, as well as civil society organizations and churches are seeking to influence the outcome. Continue reading

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Exploring your centre in the Centre

Trip Leader Rev Dr Ian Robinson

This Spirit Journey to be led by Ian Robinson and Rick Read July 7-15, 2012 to the semi arid zone and the big lakes between Coolgardie and Sandstone. This will include a walk around the sculptures on Lake Ballard. OR if weather intervenes, something totally different in which case you will be consulted. We have budgetted to spend one night at Koora Retreat en route, which will be a treat, tbc.

We plan to have at least a couple of days without any driving, so that your bush walks, art, writing, photography, etc can be done in depth. Otherwise, we move on fairly often, so that we do not impact the fragile desert ecology too much.
We cater for special food needs, except for vegan, so don’t forget to tell us.
General information about Spirit Journeys starts here.  Or cut and paste the following link:

“They Didn’t Believe the Women” – Easter Essay

“They Didn’t Believe the Women”

When my father died in 1998 he donated his body to science for medical research. Eighteen months later FedEx delivered his “cremains” to our house, and I remember thinking that there had to be a better way to return such a sacred gift. I opened the box, untied the twisty that secured the plastic liner, and experienced what others had described. These were not nice, fluffy ashes, but gritty shards of bone. I took a pinch of the coarse remnants of my father and rubbed it back and forth between my thumb and fingers.            This year Easter falls on my dad’s birthday, and I’ve found myself esonating with Nora Gallagher’s friend Harriet. In Gallagher’s book Practicing Resurrection, Harriet recalls sitting in church at the National Cathedral in Washington. In the course of a boring sermon the priest asked the congregation in unctuous tones, “Now what do you really want for Christmas this year?”   Continue reading

World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel

World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel

28 May – 3 June 2012

“Pray, educate, and advocate for justice in Palestine”

An initiative of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches

The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches invites member churches, faith-based communities, and civil society organizations to join together in 2012 for a week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice shall unite during the week to take peaceful actions, together, to create a common international public witness.


As part of the most recent World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, from 29 May to 4 June 2011, churches in at least 21 countries around the world sent a clear signal to policy-makers, community groups, and their own parishes about the urgent need for a peace settlement that ends the illegal occupation and secures the legitimate rights and future of both peoples.

During World Week for Peace 2012, from 28 May to 3 June, participants are encouraged to plan their activities around the following three principles:

1. Praying with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem and other worship resources prepared for the week.

2. Educating about actions that make for peace, and about facts on the ground that do not create peace, especially issues related to displacement.

3. Advocating with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice.

This annual observance of a week of prayer, education, and advocacy calls participants to work for an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine, so that Palestinians and Israelis can finally live in peace. It has been more than 63 years since the partition of Palestine hardened into a permanent nightmare for Palestinians. It is now more than 44 years since the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza overwhelmed the peaceful vision of one land, two peoples.

Yet the dream of one nation cannot be fulfilled at the expense of another.  The action week’s message is that now:

  • It’s time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace.
  • It’s time for freedom from occupation.
  • It’s time for equal rights.
  • It’s time for the healing of wounded souls.

To join the new World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel Facebook group, click here.




Memorial Service for Pope Shenouda III

You are warmly invited to a Memorial Service for Pope Shenouda III which will be held at

St Mary & Archangel Michael Church, 318 Shepperton Rd, East Victoria ParkWA 6101  At 7.00pm on Thursday 22nd.  Fr Abram Abdelmalek  will receive condolences at  that time.  Please contact if you require any further information

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New President and Chair Elected for CCWA

CCWA is delighted to welcome Right Reverend Brian Kyme to the role of President.  Bishop Kyme is currently the Director of the Institute of Anglican Studies at St Georges Cathedral in Perth.

He has had a long involvement with both the ecumenical movement and is a past member and office bearer of CCWA.  The Council looks forward to sharing his experience and wisdom.


The Council is equally as delighted to welcome Rev Dennis Ryle, Church of Christ Wembley Downs,  as Chairperson.  Dennis has had a long association with CCWA as an Associate and Member of the Council.  He has been a tireless worker for ecumenism which is most clearly demonstrated in his work with the Council, and in his Church which has been operating as a Peace Church for a number of years, in response to a CCWA initiative.  Two areas of focus have emanated from this – a local congregational environmental policy, and  the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan.

The Council welcomes his commitment and enthusiasm.

Electing new office bearers means saying farewell to those who have held the role, and it is with regret that we say goodbye to Ramzy Sawiris, past President who not only leaves the role but also CCWA as he travels to USA to continue his work in the oil and gas industry.  We thank him for his wisdom the clear thinking; for his boundless hospitality, and for his dedication and commitment to our churches working together.

We also thank past Chair, Rev Jeni Goring for the graciousness that she brought to that role. She has also been deeply involved with the ecumenical movement and has been able to offer much knowledge and understanding as the Council has grappled with some difficult issues.  We are delighted that Jeni will remain on the Council.

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Annual General Meeting

The Council of Churches WA  Annual General Meeting was held at St Peters and Emmaus Church Joondanna on Saturday morning.  The gathering heard reports from staff members, chaplains and associate members, which provided an overview of the work of the Council in 2011.

Rev Allan Forsythe spoke about the difficulties experienced by exiting prisoners who may have lost touch with their families and friends, and who find it difficult to find supportive communities.

Rev Lorna Green, Acting Field Officer, spoke of a new vision for the way in which CCWA resources chaplaincy in a number of settings – hospital, prison and industry.

Please contact Isobelle at if you would like to know more about the work of the Council.


WCC pays tribute to late president Pope Shenouda III

Pope Shenouda III, spiritual leader of the Egyptian Coptic Church since 1971 and a president of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 1991 to 1998, passed away of natural causes on Saturday 17 March. In a letter to the church dated 18 March, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit paid tribute to Pope Shenouda’s unwavering pursuit of Christian unity and peace throughout the Middle East and the world.

“As a leader he taught us that modesty is the best way to serve Christ,” wrote Tveit, noting that Shenouda is remembered as “a strong believer in Christian-Muslim conviviality and cooperation. His initiatives in the field of interreligious dialogue contributed to the unity of the Egyptian people.” Continue reading

Thin Places Everywhere (Bruce Epperly)

Thin Places Everywhere:
A Celtic St. Patrick’s Meditation
Bruce Epperly
Like many students of spirituality and theology, I have been intrigued by the Celtic vision of “thin places.”  You might say that my recent book, The Center is Everywhere: Celtic Spirituality in the Postmodern World, is a poetic meditation on experiencing thin places in daily life.
According to the Celtic sages, thin places are spaces where the divine and human, the creator and creature, intermingle and are entangled.  I suspect, like Annie Dillard’s “tree with lights,” such thin places are everywhere but they burst forth in those intentional or unguarded moments when the divine becomes transparent to us.  The world is charged with electricity, energy, and grandeur and we are transfigured by the experience. Continue reading

Unity is God’s gift to the church, says Archbishop of Canterbury

Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, addressing a roundtable on “unity of the Christian church” at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.

“Unity is neither a means nor an end,” he told assembled staff, visitors and governing body members of the WCC and other organizations in the Ecumenical Centre. “Unity is what God has given us in the church.”

The responsibility of Christians who receive the gift of unity, he continued, lies in “seeking a life in which no one is without the other.” This life, “constantly moving us forward into a further truth”, compels all who live within the love of God to ask the question: “Who is not yet here?” Continue reading