Common Grace September Update 2023
- 6 September 2023
- Iszy Pamatmat
Happy Spring. The team and I are in the final sprint to the referendum, with the date of the vote being announced for October 14th – it’s a busy time. It’s also a reminder of the importance of what we as the Common Grace movement offer and do. I’m being made aware again of how life giving and healing our efforts to pursue Jesus and his way of justice are at a time of uncertainty and division. Thanks again for all you’re doing with us.As we enter into the Season of Creation, I’m trying to take the moments as I find them, to enjoy the beauty and wonder of God’s good world. Having just celebrated my first father’s day with my newborn little girl, I’m being reminded anew of the importance of caring for creation and stewarding it for the generations to come. Listen to the HeartOn 14 October, every Australian voter will have the opportunity to vote in the referendum on a First Nations Voice to Parliament. This once in a generation opportunity to take an important step forward for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice has the potential to bring life-changing, hope-filled, and healing opportunities for future generations. In response to the announcement of the referendum date and the urgency of this moment, I wrote an essay which you can read in Sight Magazine.
In the final weeks before the referendum, will you help Australia take this significant step forward for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice?
We invite you to: Pray for this nation and for First Nations people. Listen and learn. Make sure you are informed and understand why the Voice matters. Check out our range of suggested resources here. Host Table Talks and conversations. Invite the people in your life to be informed and hear why you support the Voice. Be trained to host Table Talks. Join Common Grace and Tearfund present on why Table Talks are a useful way to influence the outcome of this referendum and be equipped to lead gracious conversations. Join us online on 6th September, 7:30pm – 9:00pm AEST. Register here. Give and help equip others. Your generosity helps urge your fellow Australians to listen to the calls for justice from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders.Share your story with Common Grace. Already hosted an Event or Table Talk? We’d love to share your testimonial as an encouragement to others. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what it was like to share about the upcoming referendum with your family, friends or community. Creation and Climate JusticeAs we celebrate Season of Creation (1 September – 4 October 2023), we come together in prayer, action, renewed commitment and advocacy for God’s beautiful creation.I hope to see many of you at Common Grace’s Evening of Prayer and Praise for Season of Creation – 7:30pm AEST Wednesday 20 September 2023. This will be a time of reflection, song and prayers to ‘Let Justice and Peace flow’. Register to join this online evening now.
Explore a range of Season of Creation resources on our website, such as our new Letters to our Future Children weekly series, prayers, reflections, and ways to take action and engage further. You can also listen to a podcast episode of Bianca Manning and Safina Stewart in conversation with Will Small, host of the Spiritual Misfits podcast, about Season of Creation and the Voice. It’s a rich and beautiful conversation. Domestic and Family ViolenceAs a movement, we long for all households to be places of nurture, safety and support, where violence against women is eliminated. We welcome the recent announcement by Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth, with the federal government launching a five-year plan to reduce the number of women killed by their intimate partners by 25 per cent each year.
The government will also establish a national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family safety, under what it describes as the first dedicated action plan for Indigenous Australians. The government said the plan for Indigenous communities was aligned with Closing the Gap targets, which seek to halve the rate of all forms of family violence and abuse against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children by 2031. You can read more about this here.
Justice for People Seeking Asylum
The number of people displaced across the world is more than at any other point in human history. In Australia, taking steps to ensure more people can find safety and protection on our shores is a crucial response to this need.And so we welcome the recent announcement by Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles that Australia will significantly increase our humanitarian intake. The newly announced increase from 13,750 places per year to 20,000 represents a jump of over 6,000 additional places. It still falls short of the government’s commitment of an annual 27,000 places plus an additional 5,000 community-sponsored places, but it is a big step forward.We are energised by a vision of Australia that is just, generous and compassionate to those who seek safety on our shores, and we will continue to call our leaders to do more to make this happen.An increase in our humanitarian intake has been one of those calls, and we’re thankful that the government has listened.You can find out more about Common Grace’s work in calling for Justice for People Seeking Asylum at www.commongrace.org.au/people_seeking_asylum
Building a more beautiful tomorrow
One thing I love about Common Grace, as a movement of regular Australians, is the reminder that it’s not all on any one of us, to seek the flourishing of goodness and God’s kingdom come. And it’s not even on all of us together. But rather, we have been given a gift by God to participate with Him. God invites you and I to participate in a way of life that reminds the world around us of what is possible… that goodness is possible when we pursue justice and the flourishing of all people and creation. To help sustain this movement into another year of inspiring, equipping and mobilising a generation of justice-seekers, will you become a monthly donor today? Because we’re a small grassroots organisation, you can know that every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference. If everyone gave just $25/month to support the work of Common Grace we would be able to do so much more across each justice area. I am honoured to be part of Common Grace with you because I believe that we are helping show our communities a vision of what the kingdom of God could look like. We are helping build a more beautiful and flourishing tomorrow. Grace and peace,Gershon Nimbalker
Common Grace National DirectorPS. Help build a more beautiful and flourishing tomorrow.
Become a Monthly Donor today.