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ESSAY: WHY OFFSHORING PROCESSING OF ASYLUM SEEKERS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE
Australian churches believe that offshore processing is wrong. The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce has been working to end it since we formed in 2012. And my church, the Uniting Church, has been calling for an end to the offshore detention prisons since they were first opened.
Offshore processing is bad policy. It shatters people’s hopes and dreams and it destroys their health.
Both major political parties have decided that punishing one group of people in order to send a message to another is an acceptable thing for a civil democratic state to do. But it’s not acceptable. It’s immoral. And it’s time for it to end.
The law in Australia relating to people who come seeking freedom and safety from persecution by boat has been so twisted by successive governments that it now provides no protection to the people who need it most. Perversely, it even allows for babies born in Australia to be denied Australian citizenship.
In a speech given in Sydney on Monday, Rev ELENIE POULOS, national director of Uniting Justice Australia, argues that offshore processing is not an acceptable policy and explains why churches, including the Uniting Church, have decided to offer 267 asylum seekers "sanctuary"... | more... |
9th February, 2016
"UNIMAGINABLE" ABUSE AND KILLINGS OF DETAINEES IN SYRIA ARE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, SAYS UN-BACKED COMMISSION
Thousands of detainees have been killed while in the custody of government and rebel groups in Syria over the past four-and-a-half years in what a UN-commissioned group says amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Based on 621 interviews as well as other documentary materials and relating to the period between 10th March, 2011, and 30th November last year, the report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria found evidence that detainees held by the Syrian Government were beaten to death, died as a result of injuries due to torture, or perished due to "inhuman living conditions".
WORLDVIEW OPINION: SHOULD BRITAIN STICK WITH THE EU?
"It is the heart always that sees before the head can see," wrote Thomas Carlyle.
I don’t know how Thomas Carlyle, a gifted social commentator, would have voted in the forthcoming British referendum on EU membership. Perhaps, being a Scot, he might immediately have made up his mind to stay.
If so, he would have been in the minority among UK voters, according to a new poll released by YouGov. It suggests that 45 per cent of people will vote to leave the EU, compared with 36 per cent who favour remaining.
If the ‘don’t knows’ in the survey are excluded, a full 56 per cent favour waving goodbye to the EU. This despite Prime Minister Cameron’s assurances that he can wrest a better deal for Britain from the hands of the EU.
Perhaps closer to the referendum - a date has not yet been fixed - people will opt to stay with what they know, after all, rather than going it alone. But recent problems within the Eurozone and terribly mixed messages about migration will add new levels of uncertainty about whether the status quo is sustainable anyway.
For my part, on the question of whether Britian should remain in the EU, the heart says a resounding ‘yes’, but the mind’s not so sure.
Writing from London, MAL FLETCHER looks at arguments for and against the UK leaving the EU... | more... |
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PRAYING ALL OUR READERS HAVE A WONDERFUL START TO 2016!
2015 - SIGHT'S YEAR IN REVIEW
In a specially curated take on the year that was, Sight editor DAVID ADAMS takes a look back at how Sight covered some of the big or simply interesting stories of the year through features, essays and interviews...| more... |
CAMEROON: CHRISTIAN AND MUSLIM LEADERS JOIN IN CALL FOR PEACE
Christian and Muslim leaders in northern Cameroon have reiterated their call for tolerance and peace in the face of a surge of terror attacks by the Nigerian radical Islamic group Boko Haram.
On 21st January, several prominent religious leaders gathered in the town of Mora to discuss peaceful coexistence.
The conference, titled Living in peace in the sight of God, was co-chaired by the Sultan of Wandala, Boukar Alhaji Yerima Brahim; Rev Gregory Cador, Episcopal Vicar of Mora; and Rev Samuel Heteck, president of the Protestant Churches Council in northern Cameroon.
In their speeches, the religious leaders emphasised that both Islam and Christianity promote tolerance and peace.
“Without a doubt, this day marks the beginning of a long march together, hand in hand, Christians and Muslims looking in the same direction in order to eradicate violence and terrorism,” the Sultan of Wandala said. The conference, he said, “will not only strengthen the brotherhood between our two religious groups, but also helps to boost the momentum that we support as custodians of the divine law”.
ILLIA DJADI, of World Watch Monitor, reports on a united call for peace in Cameroon... | more... |
IMMIGRATION DETENTION: GROWING NUMBER OF CHURCHES PLEDGE TO OFFER "SANCTUARY"TO ASYLUM SEEKERS
A growing number of Australian churches have declared they will provide sanctuary for asylum seekers in the wake of Wednesday's High Court decision dismissing a challenge to the Federal Government's offshore detention program.
The decision has allowed for the deportation of 267 asylum seekers from Australia to Nauru, including 37 babies born in Australia.
The Anglican St John's Cathedral in Brisbane was the first church to be declared a sanctuary. Rev Dr Peter Catt, the dean of Brisbane, made the declaration following the decision on Wednesday.
Rev Dr Catt said there was "irrefutable evidence from health and legal experts that the circumstances asylum seekers, especially children, would face if sent back to Nauru are tantamount to state-sanctioned abuse".
Since then at least 14 further churches around the country have done so and Misha Coleman, executive officer of the Australian Churches' Refugee Taskforce, said the number is growing.
A "WIDENING GULF" BETWEEN AUSTRALIAN APPROACH AND INTERNATIONAL LAW, SAYS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Professor Gillian Triggs, president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, has said there is a "widening gulf" between the constitutional powers of the Australian Government and international law when it comes to the welfare of refugee children.
Speaking today at the launch of a report into the welfare of children held at the Wickham Point detention facility in Darwin, Professor Triggs said that while the commission respected yesterday's High Court decision confirming the constitutional right of the Australian Government to offshore detention of asylum seekers, the decision did not deal with international law or international treaties.
"Sadly, there is a widening gulf between the constitutional powers of the Australian Government and the country's international legal responsibilities," she said.
"Our national laws, in effect, allow us to wash our hands of the welfare of refugee children once they leave Australia's shores. Our laws impose no standards on Nauru to meet educational and medical needs of refugees. Indeed, the government’s chilling defence to claims that it is in breach of its duty of care is that it has no control over the treatment of refugees transferred to Nauru."
PROFILE: JOHN SIKKEMA'S TRANSFORMATION FROM BEING DRIVEN BY SUCCESS TO FINDING ETERNAL PURPOSE
John Sikkema seemed to have it all. Running a successful business in the financial services industry with a dream house and a family that loved him, he appeared to be the epitome of what success looks like. But looks can be deceiving – the reality was that John’s life was on the verge of falling apart as he faced challenges in his business, health and marriage. It all changed when he had what he calls his “defining moment”.
“A lot of people wait till they’re divorced, (have) cancer or are bankrupt before they make changes in their lives,” says the now 65-year-old who now lives in Melbourne. “And I suppose mine was my wife (Sue) saying ‘John, you’re not the same guy I married and you’ve to change or otherwise I want a divorce’.
“And I was thinking – typical male – what’s wrong with this woman? She’s got a beautiful house, she’s got a beautiful car, the kids all go to private schools, there’s food on the table, I’m faithful – what more do you want? Inadvertently I’d been trying to change her to suit my success. So I had to switch to helping her be who God created her to be rather than be just another team member in my quest to be successful.”
DAVID ADAMS speaks to Halftime Australia founder John Sikkema about how God transformed his life and his calling to help others do the same... | more... |
NIGERIA: ISLAMIC MILITANTS KILL DOZENS OF CHRISTIANS; CHILDREN BURNED
Christians in northeastern Nigeria were among those facing a new wave of Islamic violence as the Boko Haram terror group killed 86 people, including children, who were heard screaming as they burned to death after militants torched huts, survivors and officials said on Sunday.
The overnight attack on Dalori village and two nearby camps housing tens of thousands of refugees came shortly after suicide attacks on two mainly Christian communities in northeast Nigeria left at least 26 people dead and dozens of others injured, Christians said.
On Friday, Boko Haram militants detonated explosives in a crowded market in Gombi, Adamawa state, killing at least eight people, according to church sources.
Earlier in Chibok, Borno state, suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers attacked a crowded market on Wednesday, killing at least 17 civilians and a soldier while injuring some 30 others, Christians said.
BosNewsLife reports on more attacks over the weekend in Nigeria which left dozens more people dead... | more... |
SUICIDE BOMBINGS IN TWO PREDOMINANTLY CHRISTIAN TOWNS LEAVE 26 DEAD, DOZENS MORE INJURED
Suicide attacks on two predominantly Christian communities in northeast Nigeria last week left at least 26 persons dead and dozens of others injured, sources said.
At noon on Friday a suicide bomber suspected to have been sent by the Islamic extremist Boko Haram group detonated explosives in a crowded market in Gombi, Adamawa state, killing at least eight people, sources said. Boko Haram, which seeks to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria, has continued to carry out terrorist attacks since losing territory to the Nigerian military last year.
“Some members of our church who escaped the attack in the market said they saw eight dead bodies, while about 28 others were injured,” Rev Bitrus Njidda, pastor of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) in the town, told Morning Star News.
The Red Cross reported eight persons killed and 25 wounded in the bombing, said to have been carried out by a teenage boy. Morning Star News reports... | more... |
We've created a page where you'll find a range of resources tailored specifically to help churches in their mission of sharing the Gospel with their communities whether that's in Australia or anywhere around the world.
Compassion is an international Christian child development and child advocacy ministry committed to working in partnership with local churches around the world to foster the spiritual, economic, social, physical and emotional development of children living in poverty in over 26 developing countries, in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. Compassion’s child development programs are unique in that they are Christ-centred, child-focused and church-based. To discover how you can get involved visit www.compassion.com.au.
THE SIGHT NOTICEBOARD
Sight's Noticeboard is now up and running. If you have a classifieds ad, you can pin it to our noticeboard for as little as $10 a month.
• SURVEY PARTICIPANTS NEEDED: HOW DOES MINISTRY AFFECT THE FAMILIES OF CHRISTIAN CLERGY WORKERS IN AUSTRALIA?
Come and have a browse through the bookshop and let us know what books you'd recommend...|
WOW! THE WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FRESHLY LAUNDERED CLOTHES CAN MAKE
Australia recently marked our national day and that meant announcing those honoured in the Australia Day awards. Among them this year was an award for couple of young social entrepreneurs who came up with a simple, world first, idea that has helped give back some dignity to hundreds of homeless people across the country.
Named Young Australians of the Year for 2016, Queenslanders Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett are the founders of the Orange Sky Laundry, a free mobile laundry which, run by volunteers, provides laundry services to those sleeping rough.
Launched in September, 2014, when the two were just around 20-years-old, the organisation now operates five vans in Brisbane, Melbourne, south-east Victoria, Sydney and on the Gold Coast and has recently launched in Perth.
More than 270 volunteers operate the machines (each van contains two commercial washing machines and two dryers) which stop at 36 different locations and wash more than 350 loads every week.
DAVID ADAMS writes of an innovative, world first, mobile laundry service which aims to reconnect the homeless with the community...|
SIGHT-SEEING: THE END OF CHRISTENDOM?
Reflecting on the state of the world there seems to be a sense of doom across the church in the West. Many Christians are throwing their hands in the air and giving up. Some are saying, ‘it’s the end.’ Christians are either retreating to the safety of the Christian ghetto - or worse - becoming militant Christians, fighting to win the culture wars.
What is going on? Is this the end? Should we give up, or fight? What is a Christian to do? Christians in the West are feeling this way because the church has increasingly becoming marginalised in our society. It’s being moved to the side, ignored and lampooned.
It has happened at an amazing pace. Once upon a time media would go to the church for statements on moral and social issues, and the church spoke with authority - but the tide has turned. Now the world takes the moral high ground when speaking to the church about issues like paedophilia and marriage equality. Often Christians seem to be put on programs like Q&A to be mocked and ridiculed - although sometimes the Christians don’t need any help to do this.
Ten years ago it was hard to image the traditional view on marriage being belittled and vilified such that average Australians are scared to say anything.
PAUL CLARK reflects on the 'sense of doom' many Christians in the West may be feeling... |
OPEN BOOK - HINTS FROM THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS: THE AFTERMATH
Saul, Luke tells us, was also giving his endorsement to Stephen's execution. He was the public officer ensuring it complied with lawful requirements. His was a supervisory role ensuring that God's law was not violated by the way in which the execution was carried out.
I suppose it is possible that a person in this position can carry out the job without agreeing with the judgment that had been handed down. But Luke tells us that Saul, in his official capacity, was indeed in agreement, and very much so. Luke tells us explicitly that Saul wanted Stephen and evidence of Stephen's words and works completely wiped out. The teaching for which Stephen had been condemned must be laid to rest. Luke says that this all happened a short while before the first big persecution took off with Saul as its principal enforcer.
BRUCE C WEARNE looks at how, following the death of Stephen, the narrative in Acts turns to the remarkable story of Paul, then known as Saul... |
THIS LIFE: WOULD YOU DROP YOUR NET?
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him” - Matthew 4:18-20(NIV).
Our Sunday school class is currently studying the Gospel of Matthew. Recently, we read the passages about the calling of His first disciples to follow Him. We began to wonder why these working-class men would drop their fishing nets, walk away from their livelihood, their families and friends to follow someone they barely knew.
As we discussed the passages, I read my Bible commentary which explained Jesus had encountered Peter and Andrew before in the Jordan region, where Andrew (and perhaps Peter as well) had become a disciple of John the Baptist.
The commentary also explained that the two brothers had left John to follow Jesus for a time before returning to their fishing in Capernaum. Fishing wasn’t a hobby for these men. It is how they supported themselves and their families. Now, Jesus has shown up at the Sea of Galilee where He calls them to follow Him in long-term discipleship.
CAROL ROUND, in an article first published by ASSIST News Service, talks about what Jesus says about the cost of following Him... |
SIGHT-SEEING: THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF FOOD
Food is a gift from God and essential to our lives but with almost one in nine people in the world chronically undernourished at the same time as one in 12 people are suffering from the consequences of obesity, there's a need for ongoing discussion about the challenges and opportunities it presents.
Such was the theme of a session at the World Economic Forum last week where Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the general-secretary of the World Council of Churches, presented what he called the '10 Commandments Of Food'.
The 'commandments' are worth taking a closer look at, as they encourage us to look again at how we view the food that so many people around the world simply take for granted but which others simply can't get access to.
Coming from a Christian perspective, they also underline the 'sacred' nature of food - provided, as Tveit later said, as "a gift of God to sustain our lives through sharing, celebration, gratitude, sacrifice and renewal" - and the mandate Christians have been given to work to ensure that all have access.
DAVID ADAMS looks at World Council of Churches' head Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit's '10 Commandments of Food'... |
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THE NET: 40ACTS
The season of Lent kicks off this week and across the world millions of Christians are giving up something for the 40 day period as they look to focus their attention on the sacrifice Christ made for us in the lead-up to Easter. 40Acts is all about encouraging people to not only give something up for the period but to "do Lent generously". The creation of UK-based charity Stewardship, the 40Acts challenge invites people to sign up for 40 days of simple actions aimed at encouraging the generous spirit within. Each day - which are accessed through a page which resembles something like an advent calendar - comes with three levels of involvement, from green (least involved) through to red (most involved).
DAVID ADAMS writes about a website that puts a different twist on Lent... |
BOOKS: AN "ENGAGED FAITH" - MIROSLAV VOLF ON CHRISTIANITY IN THE PUBLIC SPACE
A Public Faith is an award-winning book from one of the world’s most respected theologians - Miroslav Volf who teaches at Yale Divinity School. Volf is a Croatian Christian who grew up in the former communist Yugoslavia, so knows the pressures of religious pluralism and aggressive secularism.
The first part of the book identifies and counters what Volf labels “faith’s malfunctions”. He draws on a broad literature of theology and political pluralism to navigate through and beyond the dichotomy of secularism and theocracy; religious withdrawal and religious totalitarianism; or passive accommodation to culture (idle faith) and expecting total transformation of culture (coercive faith).
The secular vision is espoused not just by atheists, but by religious people who fear imposition of other faiths, or those convinced religion is best left as private and personal. Militant religious fundamentalists, such as Sayyid Qutb and his militant Islam or his equivalent in other religions, expect total saturation of public life with one religion. Volf argues both extremes reflect malfunctioning faith. Violent, oppressive and life-destroying faith is a malfunction, as is faith that is apathetic about the condition of the world and does nothing prophetically to help people thrive and to mend the world.
DARREN CRONSHAW reviews Miroslav Volf's A Public Faith... |
ON THE SCREEN: SPOTLIGHT, AN INTENSE FILM ABOUT JOURNALISM'S POWER TO SHINE A LIGHT IN DARK PLACES
A look under the covers at a Boston Globe investigation into the cover-up surrounding the abuse of children by Catholic priests in the US city, this is an intense and, at times, harrowing film.
The story focuses on the work of the Globe’s investigative team – known as Spotlight – and how, thanks to the arrival of a new editor at the paper Marty Baron (played by Liev Schreiber), in 2001 it launched an investigation into not just the fact that the abuse occurred on a massive scale but the subsequent attempts by the Roman Catholic Church to cover it up.
It’s a detailed story tracing the steps the reporters took as they slowly pieced together what had happened based on victim testimonies and the fight to have a series of court documents unsealed even as they resist the subtle and not-so-subtle pressure placed upon them in a town where the Roman Catholic Church was held in high esteem.
DAVID ADAMS finds Spotlight an intricate production about a quest to expose evil... |
MUSIC: GYMEA BAPTIST'S NEW HORIZON'S A "GENUINE DELIGHT"
If I was to present to you a worship EP from a large church in the Sydney area, you would think Hillsong right? Ah, but there is more than one church in Sydney that has the gift of music to offer the world. May I introduce you to Gymea Baptist Church and their worship EP New Horizons.
New Horizons - the church's first recording project since 1984 - offers five new contemporary home-grown congregational worship songs of genuine quality that have been created to bless, encourage and inspire worship leaders around the world. Yes, it’s an ambitious goal considering our leviathan brothers at Hillsong, yet it is already coming to pass with churches around the world downloading the free lyrics and chord charts from their web site.
The EP starts strongly with Whatever It Takes, a catchy, rocky, pulsating song of praise offerings our services to God - wherever He takes us. From here, New Horizons really takes off into the stratosphere with You Won’t Let Go, Waterfalls, and Count As Loss. These songs are deeply stirring with each song better than the last. They form a worship progression that is equal to any in the world in terms of lyrical content, song writing and, most importantly, spiritual engagement. The anthem-like title track New Horizons closes out the EP perfectly.
ROBBIE TOWNSEND finds Gymea Baptist Church's new EP...well..."delightful"...|
5th February, 2016
THE TCM UPDATE: SKILLET MAKE HISTORY, OF SUPERGROUPS, AND A FOREST EDGE UPDATE...
To hear CAM WANT with this week's edition of The TCM Update, simply click on the link... |
APPS: ENRICHING YOUR PRAYER LIFE, AND, AN APP TO HELP MEN STEP OUT OF THE ORDINARY Do you sometimes find yourself lost for words when you pray? Or know you should pray but circumstances have pulled your spirit down and you feel you can't? If so, there's no need to feel alone: the Abide team says that 75 per cent of Christians are unsatisfied with their prayer life. And the Abide Prayer app may be just what you need. There's a daily prayer to listen to and pray along with or there are topics you can choose from according to your situation. This app may be just the thing to start you praying regularly. Available for Apple and Android devices.
ALAN TAYLOR looks at apps Abide Prayer and Uncommen... |
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KNOW IT ALL: THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
News this week that the residents of the Greek Islands are being nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to help asylum seekers arriving from the Middle East and North Africa. But just what is a Nobel Peace Prize and why is it so famous?
• The origins of the Nobel Peace Prize lie, like the other original five Nobel prizes, in the will of Alfred Nobel who bequeathed most of his fortune to financing a series of annual prizes including one for the "person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses" - aka the Nobel Peace Prize.
• Anyone can be nominated for the prize (although only nominations by "valid nominators" are considered), which carries a cash prize of variable value (in 2014, it was eight million Swedish kronor, then around $US970,000). Nominations must be made before 1st February each year and the Norwegian Nobel Committee, comprised of five members appointed by Norway's Storting or Parliament (the other Nobel Prizes are decided by Swedish-based committees), meet several times before making a decision in early October. The award ceremony is always held on 10th December - the date of Alfred Nobel's death.
DAVID ADAMS tracks down some details about the Nobel Peace Prize and its history...|
TRENDSPOTTER: NO DRIVER REQUIRED
They're not commonplace yet but they're certainly becoming a more common sight on roads around the world. The concept of the driverless car, also known as the self-driving or (semi) autonomous car, has been the fodder of science fiction for years but an increasing number of companies, everyone from Toyota to Tesla, are now working to turn fiction into fact. The Google Self-Driving Car Project is perhaps the most visible and a variety of test vehicles - including modified cars from major manufacturers and custom-made Google vehicles - have tackled roads in various locations in the US, including taking on San Francisco's twisting Lombard Street (in fact, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has encouraged the development of driverless cars through offering millions of dollars in prizes to the winners of a series of autonomous vehicle "challenges" in recent years).
DAVID ADAMS on the rise of the driverless car...|
SIGHT HELPDESK: HOW TO REFRESH YOUR COMPUTER (WITHOUT BUYING A NEW ONE)
Are you tired of waiting for your computer to do what you’ve asked of it? Are you frequently making trips to the kitchen for coffee while your computer completes a simple task?
If so, then maybe it's time for an upgrade.
I'm not talking about getting rid of the old computer and buying a new one, I'm talking about upgrading two components that will have an immediate impact on your computer's performance.
One of these is RAM. If your computer is more than five years old, chances are that it has two gigabytes of RAM or less. RAM is a live storage area that your computer uses to store your open files. It lives inside your computer as modules that plug into the computer’s system board. The files in RAM are almost instantly available to the operating system (Windows or Mac OS X) or the application you're using.
ALAN TAYLOR looks at two key ways you can improve your computer's performance (and avoiding the need to buy a new one)...|
THIS AND MORE, GO TO OUR LIFESTYLE PAGE here...
THE BIG PICTURE: DO YOU WANT THE GOOD NEWS OR THE BAD NEWS?
Just when you thought everything under the sun had finally been investigated, psychologists Angela M Legg and Kate Sweeny from the University of California have gone and examined the question of whether people prefer to receive good news or bad news first. Not surprisingly, in their 2013 study, they found that people prefer to get bad news out of the way. It makes sense. Who wants to be kept in suspense? Who wants the dread of not knowing how terrible the bad news is? If you get the good news first you can’t listen while it’s being delivered. You’re just worrying about the impending doom.
But here’s the ironic thing about receiving bad news first and then good news. It turns out that when people finally hear the good news their desire to deal with the bad news is lessened. Which is very strange. Why are we palpitating with existential fear if we’re not going to act?
To see Outreach Media's February poster and read the full text, follow the link... | more... |
WORDPLAY CHALLENGE #7. AND THE ANSWER IS...
This wordcloud represents the words contained in a oft-quoted passage from the Bible (with the more frequently used words shown in larger type). The challenge for you is to identify the passage - which book and chapter does it come from. To see the answer, simply follow the link... | more... |
THE WEEKLY SNAPSHOT
29th November, 2015
Once a House of God by BOB ZANKER
In Sight's Weekly Snapshot, we'll endeavour to publish an image from somewhere around the globe every week. To see this image in a larger scale and for details of how you can submit images, follow the link...|
Sight+ is a new benefits program we've launched to reward people who have supported us with annual donations of $26 or more. To find out more about Sight+ and how you can support the work of Sight, head to our Sight+ page.
We've relaunched the Sight Bookshop - you can also buy our Christmas cards and other items we release there.
The bookshop is now open. Click HERE to go there...
THE SIGHT BOOKCLUB
The bookclub is back for 2016 and the first book for the year - which we're reading for February-March - is Max Lucado's Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now (you can read chapter one via his website here). To buy the book, follow this link - Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now.
To register your group (and receive our discussion notes via email) and for more details about how the club works, head here...
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THEY SAID IT
"Never has the international community raised so much money on a single day for a single crisis."
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaking on 4th February after donor nations pledged $13.5 billion in aid to Syria and surrounding nations in light of the ongoing conflict in the Middle Eastern country.
"Sending them to Nauru will needlessly expose them to a life of physical and emotional trauma. It's wrong. Medical professionals tell us this. Humanitarian agencies tell us this. Our values tell us this, too. Sending these children and their families to Nauru is not the Australian way."
- Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria, in an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (published on Facebook on 6th February) in which he said Victoria would accept "full responsibility for "all of these children and their families" in a stance that his since been repeated by other state government leaders. His statement comes after a High Court decision last week cleared the way for the Federal Government to deport 267 asylum seekers to immigration detention on Nauru.
For more of They Said It, follow the link... more...
THIS WEEK ON THE WEB
1st February, 2016
Published online in the lead-up to Australia Day last week, a speech by Indigenous Australian journalist STAN GRANT in which he confronts the issue of racism has gone viral. To see the full speech, which Grant originally gave at an event in Sydney last year, follow this link...
OF PANCAKES, PIZZA AND BAGELS; A NEW POLICE FLYING SQUAD?; THE PERFECT HOME FOR A BOND VILLAIN; AND, CONE CATHEDRAL...
You may know that Tuesday this week was Shrove Tuesday - the celebratory day held before the season Lent every year in which people all around the world join in eating pancakes. But did you know 9th February this year in the US was also National Pizza Day (not to be confused with National Cheese Pizza Day, celebrated on 5th September, or National Pizza with Everything Except Anchovies Day, celebrated on 12th November) and National Bagel Day?
ADAMS writes about the odder side of life...|
AUSTRALIA'S MOST HIGHLY DECORATED WW1 CHAPLAIN HONOURED...
Australia's most highly decorated chaplain in World War I, Walter Ernest Dexter, was honoured at a special commemoration service in Victoria last week.
The English-born Rev Dexter won a Distinguished Conduct Medal as a mounted British trooper in the Boer War and later, as chaplain with the Australian Army, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions at Gallipoli and the Military Cross for his gallantry under fire on the Western Front.