Giving it all in the Pacific

Dr Deidre Palmer with women leaders Martha and Sophie at the Vanuatu National Assembly

Dr Deidre Palmer with women leaders Martha and Sophie at the Vanuatu National Assembly.

UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer didn’t shy away from the big issues of women’s equality, the devastating impact of changing climate and domestic violence during recent trips to Bali, Fiji and Vanuatu.

“It doesn’t matter where we live, we all face issues and we all have hopes for who we might become,” Deidre said.

“The experience of meeting with our Christian brothers and sisters through UnitingWorld in the Pacific over the last few months has been incredibly life-giving.

“Hearing the inspiring stories of women pastors who’ve faced considerable discrimination in order to lead their communities; attending a choir festival where people are nurtured in faith through music; speaking with UN officials about the ravages of changing climate in the Pacific – these things confirmed for me what it means to truly be part of a global church.”

During her time in the Pacific Deidre attended the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu’s National Assembly and during the conference UnitingWorld produced a television commercial to condemn violence against women and promote the life-giving way of Jesus.

“We share in common the idea that the gospel of Christ is holistic – it addresses our social, economic and cultural needs as well as our deep spiritual and emotional needs. We’re of one heart and mind on so many of these issues,” Deidre said.

“It’s been wonderful seeing the commitment of churches in Fiji, Bali and Vanuatu to nurturing disciples in the way of Jesus, sustaining people in faith and genuinely being part of the flourishing of their communities – providing clean water, health, education, and addressing poverty.”

UnitingWorld is working alongside the local church in the Pacific and with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to undertake a number of community welfare, education and health initiatives.

Deidre said that Uniting Church members could support UnitingWorld’s international programs by purchasing festive season gifts from their Everything in Common catalogue.

“It’s been a delight to worship with our brothers and sisters through connections forged with UnitingWorld, and this Christmas I encourage Uniting Church members to give Everything in Common gifts that so richly express our investment in the global church,” she said.

You can shop online for gifts that express One Heart and One Mind – our Uniting Church in action with partners throughout the Pacific, Asia and Africa at www.everythingincommon.com.au or call 1800 998 122.

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