angels abstract
Empowerment, Brian, flickr cc

The ideal of the Common Good is alive, if not well!

Peter Whiting attended a conference in February with Professor Maurice Glasman who founded ‘Blue Labour’ in Britain, aiming at renewing social and economic policies by empowering local networks for shared responsibility in promoting equity and the common good. Read more.



photo soldier
ANZAC Sunday Ceremony, Mosman Council, flickr cc

Commemorating the
centenary of Gallipoli

Katharine Massam

It would be a mistake to militarise Australian history and identity by over-emphasising the legacy of Gallipoli a century ago in an imperial war which cost Australia dearly. What made Australia truly significant was its role as a social laboratory, leading the way on rights for workers, the eight-hour day, a living wage, and political rights for women. Read more.

march mar15 2Treating asylum seekers humanely is a core Gospel demand

Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers not only trashes our values about a ‘fair go’ for the underdog, but also defies our core Christian beliefs about care for the widow, the orphan, and tge stranger. Speaking at St Patrick’s Cathedral before the Palm Sunday rally in support of asylum seekers, Bruce Duncan reiterated Malcolm Fraser’s call for humane policies through regional resettlement programs. Read more.

children in detention2
Follow 8 Christian leaders face Perth Court, Louise Coghill, flickr cc

Ending the politics harming children in detention

Caz Coleman

Instead of attacking Professor Gillian Triggs for her disturbing report on the effects of detention on the children of asylum seekers, our political leaders could have responded productively to prevent the severe ongoing damage to young lives and minds. Caz Coleman explains. Read more.


death penalty poster
Campaign to end the death penalty,, flickr cc.

Andrew Chan & Myuran Sukumaran & the death penalty

Brian Johnstone

Opposition to the death penalty has long been growing in Australia, but the issue has been highlighted by the plight of the two Australians on death row in Indonesia. Brian Johnstone considers how church thinking also shifted to oppose the death penalty strongly. Read more.



Early Christian Symbols
San Lorenzo fuori le mura, Holly Hayes, flickr cc

Vale Brian Lewis

Bruce Duncan

Brian Lewis, one of Australia’s senior moral theologians, died in early March at the age of 90. For over twenty years, he taught us Redemptorist seminarians moral theology in Ballarat. His course on social justice set a new trajectory to my life, linking justice with the core elements of faith. Read more.



SPC Forum

angela reedExploiting vulnerability: Filipino women who have been trafficked give voice to their experience.

Wednesday 22 April 2015 7:30-9pm

The Study Centre Yarra Theological Union Box Hill
best entry via 34 Bedford Street

Refreshments afterwards. Entry free; donation welcome. Download a flyer.

Dr Angela Reed RSM

Angela is a Melbourne Sister of Mercy who has recently completed her PhD on social factors driving sex trafficking and the effects on Filipino women. She is now doing a one-year post-doctoral residency with, with a focus on social change and advocacy.

Book launch

bushfire report cover_opt

Working with Disaster: Clergy & Bushfires

A research report by Dr Lisa Jacobson

Sponsored by Yarra Institute for Religion & Social Policy and Creative Ministries Network

Thursday 16 April 2015 2:30-4pm

To be launched by Craig Lapsley Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner

Victorian Council of Churches (The Boardroom)
306 Little Collins Street Melbourne Causeway Lane Level 4
Between Bourke Street Mall and Little Collins Street

Download a flyer. Light refreshments will be served
RSVP for catering by 14 April to Yarra Institute 0409 897 971 |
For report enquiries contact Lisa Jacobson | 0408 331 398

fletcher jesus&dreamingJesus and the Dreaming: Discovering an Australian Spirituality Through Aboriginal-Christian Dialogue

Frank Fletcher MSC, Jesus and the Dreaming: Discovering an Australian Spirituality Through Aboriginal-Christian Dialogue (Strathfield: St Pauls Publications, 2013), 344 pp, edited by Fabian Byers. $24.95.

Reviewed by John D’Arcy May

John D’Arcy May welcomes this summa of his mentor Frank Fletcher’s decades of engagement with the Koories of south-eastern Australia. He expresses his gratitude that he was able to see it before he died in November 2013. The book collects numerous journal articles for publications such as Nelen Yubu, Compass, and Pacifica. The substance of the book is Frank’s personal journey of understanding. Read more.

Books available at SPC

Social Justice & the Churches: Challenges & Responsibilities Edited by John D’Arcy May $25 + $5 postage and handling.
A World Exploited? Christian Perspectives on Globalisation
Edited by Peter Price $20+$5 postage & handling.
Social Justice: Fuller Life in a Fairer World Bruce Duncan $25+$5 postage & handling.
Sufficient for the Day: Towards a Sustainable Culture Geoff Lacey $20+$5 postage & handling.
Young People, Faith, & Social Justice Joan Daw $20+$5 postage & handling.
Towards a Better World Arthur Gibbs $10+$5 postage & handling.

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