WORLDWIDE PHOTOS Ltd The Religious Media Agency
WEEKLY NEWS REVIEW
February 27, 2003
AUSTRALIA: 1. CHAPLAIN APPOINTED FOR ABUSE VICTIMS (Southern Cross) 2. SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR TOURS AUSTRALIA (McPherson Prmtns) 3. RELIGIOUS PROGRAMS IN RADIO RATINGS (Worldwide Photos) 4. THE KIDS ARE STIRRING AT EARLWOOD (Cntrbry-Erlwd Express) 5. CROSS COUNTRY IN PINGELLY (Baptist Advocate) 6. WOMEN HEAD UC COLLEGES IN VICTORIA (Crosslight)
OVERSEAS: 7. PRAYER CAMPAIGN 03/03/03 (Misc Media) 8. CHINA EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE (Presbyterian News) 9. ENTHRONEMENT OF DR ROWAN WILLIAMS (Archbishop News) 10. DIGGING FOR YOUTH VICTORY (Christian Herald) 11. SUDAN: MASS GRAVE REVEALS MASSACRE (Christian Herald) 12. HOW TO WIN THE RACE OF LIFE (Challenge Weekly) 13. ‘YES’ TO CHRISTIANITY, ‘NO’ TO CHURCH (Christian Herald) 14. ALCOHOL & TOBACCO OK IN WHEATON COLLEGE (AgapePress) 15. THIRD-GRADER ARRESTED FOR COPS & ROBBERS (Rutherford Inst News)
1. CHAPLAIN APPOINTED FOR ABUSE VICTIMS (Southern Cross) Jenn Clark reports in the March edition of Sydney’s Anglican monthly newspaper, The Southern Cross, that a first for the Anglican Church in Australia, was the appointment of a new chaplain to the Diocese of Sydney’s Professional Standards Unit (PSU) to work alongside the victims of sexual misconduct. Jenni Woodhouse, who took up the newly created role sees the position as a vital development that will allow the Diocese to provide the necessary support and help for victims. “My priority is to contact the victims, support them and get alongside them, see what they think their needs are and try to meet those needs,” she says. “Some people need a new place to live, some need a new church family, some need legal aid, some people need someone to talk to three times a week. When victims have been abused inside a system, then that system has to do everything it can to help.”
2. SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR TOURS AUSTRALIA (McPherson Prmtns) The 32-strong Soweto Gospel Choir is in Australia for its first tour in this country and has brought a program of tribal, traditional and popular African gospel items. As well as the traditional African gospel numbers, they included “Amazing Grace”, “Paradise Road” and items by the acclaimed “Holy Jerusalem Choir”. Their Tour commenced in Victoria February 19-23 before moving on to Canberra, February 25 and towns in New South Wales, February 26-March 6. This included a performance at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday, February 27. Next came three days in Queensland, March 7-9, before a trip to New Zealand, March 12-16. They return to South Australia’s Adelaide Town Hall, March 19 and then Western Australia, for two performances, March 21 and 22. For locations and details see: http://www.sowetogospelchoir.com
3. RELIGIOUS PROGRAMS IN RADIO RATINGS (Worldwide Photos) The Rev John Edmondstone states that, while the whole Macquarie Radio Network went up in the latest Sydney Radio Ratings, the religious programs on 2CH also indicated something of their popularity and success. The Sunday morning sermon program rated very highly and had good audience response. Very few other stations received anything like the ratings of the Sunday evening programs of Hymns of the Faith, from 8.00pm – 9.00pm and the Sunday Night with Ross Clifford program, 9.00pm to midnight, both of which did extremely well with its adult audience.
4. THE KIDS ARE STIRRING AT EARLWOOD (Cntrbry-Erlwd Express) Earlwood Uniting Church Pre-School, in Sydney, will join three other church groups to turn tonnes of batter into a tower of pancakes on Tuesday, March 4 – Pancake Day. The Clemton Park Uniting Church’s Kids Club, the Revesby Uniting Church and the Panania Uniting Church will all help to sell pancakes on Tuesday to raise funds for UnitingCare, representing over 400 Uniting Church community service agencies across Australia. UnitingCare assists children, families, young adults, those with disabilities and older people “to live their lives with dignity and hope”. Green’s General Foods has donated 11 tonnes of Pancake Shake mix and two tonnes of maple-flavoured syrup, to help produce 200,000 pancakes across Australia. See: http://www.pancakeday.com.au
5. CROSS COUNTRY IN PINGELLY (Baptist Advocate) At a prayer meeting of combined churches for the Avon Valley, Western Australia, a visiting lady said she had a vision, similar to farmer Graeme Lange of the Uniting Church, of a huge cross overlooking the wheatbelt town of Pingelly, 158km south-east of Perth. That confirmed the idea to Graeme. With the assistance of his brother, Kelvin Lange and Pastor John Mallaby of the Pingelly Baptist Church, Pingelly now has a metal cross, 15.5 metres high, 9.4 metres wide which can be seen from anywhere in town. 16 tonnes of concrete, to a depth of 2 metres underground, helped to reinforce the 2.7 tonnes of steel, which has its own solar powered system so that the cross is lit at night. Graeme’s finishing touch was to weld the words “God is our Provider” at the base of the cross.
6. WOMEN HEAD UC COLLEGES IN VICTORIA (Crosslight) Two Uniting Church secondary colleges in Melbourne began this year with women as their principals – the first time in 136 years for Wesley College and only the second time in 113 years for Kingswood College. Dr Helen Drennen, who follows David Loader as head of Wesley, has been based in Singapore. She has served as a biology teacher and head of English at North Altona High School, in Melbourne’s western suburbs and later became Principal of Wesley’s Glen Waverley campus. Mrs Annette Bennet has taken over as Principal of Kingswood after twice serving the college as Acting Principal. Mrs Bennet is a member of the Uniting Church and is a board member of one of its agencies, UnitingCare Connections, which specialises in children’s and family services.
7. PRAYER CAMPAIGN 03/03/03 (Misc Media) Vision Network believes there is a need for a concerted prayer campaign in respect to the possibility of a war with Iraq. They have come up with the campaign catch-phrase “03/03/03” (3 March, 2003). The number 3 in Scripture also represents the Trinity. Graeme Lee, the National Facilitator in New Zealand, says the campaign is just a simple call to ask all Christians everywhere to specifically pray on Monday 3 March in respect to the possible war with Iraq, and of course to continue praying in the days ahead. “Wouldn ‘t it be great if Christians united up and down the length of New Zealand and started a ‘wave of prayer’ that would continue into the next day throughout the world,” Mr Lee says
8. CHINA EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE (Presbyterian News) An earthquake measuring 6.8 Richter scale hit the remote mid west part of Xinjiang region of China on February 24, 2003. The Xinjiang region is located in the north-western part of China, bordering Kyrgyztan. Initially, 257 people are reported dead and over 2000 seriously injured. Freezing temperatures have increased the suffering of the estimated 10,000 homeless. Amity Foundation, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance partner and ACT member in China, reports that the most needed relief materials in the quake-hit areas are water, food rice, quilts, tents and medicine. They are assessing the situation and the need for a broader response.
9. ENTHRONEMENT OF DR ROWAN WILLIAMS (Archbishop News) Dr Rowan Douglas Williams legally became the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Confirmation of Election ceremony in St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday 2 December 2002. The Enthronement service on Thursday 27 February 2003 is his formal reception at Canterbury Cathedral and a celebration of the start of his new ministry. The Archbishop of Canterbury is Enthroned in Canterbury Cathedral, the Mother Church of the Church of England and of the Anglican Communion. He will take his seat as the 104th Archbishop, in succession to St Augustine, at a ceremony attended by many representatives of other churches and other faiths. The leaders of many churches in Britain will attend and representatives of Jewish, Moslem, Hindu, Sikhs, Jain and Buddhist faiths, along with the UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and the Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness Prince Charles.
10. DIGGING FOR YOUTH VICTORY (Christian Herald) Work has started in England on an ambitious building project in the grounds of Lee Abbey, Lynton. The project, which will see the conversion of an existing dairy barn complex into a 39-bedded centre for youth work, is costing £1,800,000. The centre – set within 280 acres on the edge of Exmoor National Park – will offer accommodation, an IT suite, conference, teaching and meeting rooms, and an indoor climbing wall.
11. SUDAN: MASS GRAVE REVEALS MASSACRE (Christian Herald) Release International has added its voice to the chorus of calls for an inquiry following the discovery of thousands of bodies in a mass grave in Sudan’s Upper Nile Province. The Christian men, women and children were allegedly killed by soldiers with the Sudanese Army. Christian organisations said they were “dismayed” at the gruesome find by an international team.
12. HOW TO WIN THE RACE OF LIFE (Challenge Weekly) More than 20,000 people around the America ‘s Cup Village in New Zealand, have received a Biblical Race Guide. Youth With A Mission and Bible Society have joined together to produce an America’s Cup brochure with information about the races, the history of the cup and how you can win in the race of life with Jesus. YWAM America’s Cup Outreach co-ordinator Brendan Larsen says the Race Guides have been very well received. “We have lots of YWAM teams on outreach and they have been doing street witnessing and giving out these flyers down the bottom of Queen Street each day.”
13. ‘YES’ TO CHRISTIANITY, ‘NO’ TO CHURCH (Christian Herald) Despite years of falling church attendance, almost three-quarters of people (72%) in England and Wales still say they belong to the Christian religion, according to newly-published census results. “These figures prove as a lie claims that England is no longer a Christian country,” said the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Rev Keith Sutton. The finding emerged in the results of the 2001 national census, which was the first to ask the 52 million respondents about religion.
14. ALCOHOL & TOBACCO OK IN WHEATON COLLEGE (AgapePress) Wheaton College has revised its behavioural standards and will now permit faculty, staff, and graduate students to use alcohol and tobacco. Wheaton’s new Community Covenant, according to College Provost Dr. Stan Jones, “winsomely and extensively expresses the heart of biblical morality.” Jones says the school’s board of trustees decided that alcohol and tobacco use is “a matter of Christian freedom.” He says many at the school felt the prohibition on alcohol was an inconvenience.
15. THIRD-GRADER ARRESTED FOR COPS & ROBBERS (Rutherford Inst News) Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed suit in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Essex County on behalf of Hamadi Alston, a third-grader at Augusta Street School in Irvington, N.J., who was arrested for using an L-shaped piece of paper as a gun in a pretend game of “Cops and Robbers.” On March 15, 2001, 8-year-old Hamadi and a fellow student found an L-shaped piece of paper and played pretend games of “Cops and Robbers” and “Cowboys and Indians.” At no time did the boys threaten to harm each other or anyone else. At the conclusion of their “free time” period, the boys were taken to the school office for questioning. At no time did school officials contact Hamadi’s parents. When Hamadi’s father arrived to pick him up at the end of the day, he found his son crying in the office. When Irvington police officers arrived and asked Mr. Alston to transport his son to the police station, Alston refused. Police officers then arrested Hamadi and charged him with threatening to kill other students. Hamadi was held for 4½ hours before being released into his father’s custody; he was suspended from school for one day. After two court appearances, the criminal charges were dismissed by the prosecutor.
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