Solidarity & Justice Community

The Solidarity and Justice Community is currently in recess. The information below is legacy. As indicated a number of us are still busily involved in a variety of social justice activities including covenanting, refugees,and others. Please check the Events page and our Social Justice page. (March 2016)

The Solidarity and Justice Community is affiliated with the Urban Mission Network of the Uniting Church in South Australia. The latest news from this group comes courtesy of an rss feed from their blogsite (see below). Please read on...

A new stolen generation?
Dear Friends,
 Rev Djiniyini Gondarra is asking for the support of all of us who had the privilege of hearing him speak in December last at the Human Rights gathering at the Pilgrim Church in Adelaide – a rare interstate appearance for him in recent years.

There is concern Australia wide, including in our own South Australia, of the number of Aboriginal children who are being regularly removed from family. In the NT, as Rev Djiniyini's ( attached) letter points out 'Since the Intervention started in 2007, we've seen family support services almost disappear, whilst more and more of our children are being taken away by child protection services.' (Two thirds to non -Aboriginal families. )

Rev Djiniyinyi is asking we support his letter to the Chief Minister Adam Giles with our own brief email - Chief.Minister@nt.gov.au, letter GPO Box 3146 Darwin NT 0801 or phone call to 08 8928 6500.

 - using Point(s) ( made in a conciliatory tone) from his own letter -
*We need more family support programmes in every community run by Aboriginal people. *When there are problems, we need ways to bring together those in the community who can offer support through family group conferencing.
*Together we can find better ways to keep our children safe …(with) kinship care placements and direct negotiation and resolution with parents, extended family and clan leaders of those children reported or found to be at risk. We have our own protective measures in our society and they should be used.
*Let us work together to address the underlying causes of our situation, and build a safe and healthy future that empowers and uplifts our people, for generations to come.

 Message via Dr Alitya Rigney Kaurna/Narrunga Elder ['I agree very strongly with all Dr Djiniyini is saying.'] and Michele Madigan
Posted on 05/21/2013

Update November 2012
Almost a year has gone by and our ideas for a new look social justice focus has not yet come to fruition. A number of us however, have been busy in covenanting, organising the Symposium at Pilgrim (click on the link) and in other ways continuing the work on a number of fronts including refugees and ethical investments. Keep tuned in.
Posted on 11/05/2012

Visit of Rt Rev Dr V. Devasahayam
will speak at a public forum in the Pilgrim Hall on Wed August 24th (the usual night for S&J meeting), from 6-8pm, with a light Indian meal available for $5. Bishop Devasahayam will speak on the Dalits in the context of a nation on the rise (India).
All are very welcome. Registration is helpful for catering P: 8212 3295
Rt Rev Dr V. Devasahayam is Bishop in the Diocese of Madras, Church of South India (partner church with UCA). Bishop Devasahayam is in Adelaide for a week and his visit is being supported by Pilgrim UC.
He will preach at all three services at Pilgrim on Sunday morning 21st August (8am, 9.30am and 11am)
Posted on 07/27/2011

... we have but to hum along
"When we find the sound of the kingdom we have but to hum along. "
from: Community of Faith - Crafting Christian Communities Today by Evelyn & James Whitehead, Chapter 7 - The Dream of the Kingdom.

We spent the evening in May with Brian Lewis Smith reflecting on the early days of Social Justice work in the Uniting Church and its forbears in this state.....
Some selected thoughts have been noted below - (notetaker’s apology - couldn’t get it all!):
Think about the context, liberation theology - action and reflection, not aware of the oppression of Aboriginal people, in the early years Jesus was the answer, but what were the questions? Bernie and John Brown took us down to a hostel where we were subjected to the naked anger of Aboriginal people, experiences are the key, a way of being - walking with and seeing the world from their eyes, we started engaging with people we knew were victims of injustice in our community - enabling them to speak and walking with them.

Two people that were a significant influence in the early days (and may still be?)
Leonard Cohen (is coming to Adelaide in November) a lot of profound broken-ness
George Orwell - went and lived with the poor in England. The core message for both right and left wing politics is that human beings are more important than ideology.

Jesus - was doing the same, hanging out with the wrong people. Christ’s way of doing stuff is always uncomfortable for those who are middle class.

What has happened since those early days: - a lot of fundamental justice principles have entered mainstream. The church made a big mistake in its desire for power to assume its justice work into its social service arm - UnitingCare.

How do we go about this? (the way of getting the social justice message out)
A given: we have a very committed group of people.
A question: how do we bring other people into these experiences?

Posted on 07/16/2010


For more information go to the Solidarity and Justice Community Blog page.