22 March 2023

9 – 15 March 

The church putting its money where its mouth is – The Melbourne Anglican

Cost-of-living increases affecting refugee and asylum seeker communities have spurred one Melbourne parish to expand their food collection and donation program. 

St John’s Bentleigh has begun its second month as one of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s food security champions. 

Food security champions are community groups who commit to collecting single high-demand food items to be donated to the ASRC foodbank.


VIDEO: Federal MP alleges Hillsong Church broke financial laws – ABC News

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has accused the Hillsong Church of fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. 

Speaking in parliament, Mr Wilkie said he had received records and financial documents that alleged Hillsong had been using its funds for luxury holidays, private jets and designer items. 

Hillsong denies the allegations, saying they were untested and unfounded.


Victorian commission investigating Anglican diocese’s handling of child safety complaints – The Guardian

Victoria’s child safety commission has quietly launched an investigation into the Anglican Melbourne diocese’s handling of child safety complaints in the wake of criticism over the Peter Hollingworth case, documents show. 

The Anglican church has faced renewed criticism over the protracted, secretive process to potentially defrock Hollingworth, a former Brisbane archbishop and Australia’s 23rd governor general, for failing to act on child abuse allegations. 


Gone Almighty: Council halts Christian prayer after legal warning – The Age

A Melbourne council has paused the use of a Christian prayer asking God to direct it after receiving a legal letter stating its inclusion in council processes was unlawful. 

An urgent business motion was passed by the City of Boroondara last week to amend governance rules to remove reference to the prayer, which asks God to “direct and prosper [council’s] deliberations to the advancement of your glory and the true welfare of the people”. 


‘Disturbs our mind’: Narendra Modi condemns Hindu temple attacks in Australia during Anthony Albanese meeting – SBS News

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said police and security agencies would ensure those responsible for vandalism targeted at Hindu temples in Melbourne would face the “full force of the law”, after the issue was raised by his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi. 

There have been at least three incidents of vandalism of the temples in Victoria, with slogans in support of pro-Khalistan Sikh separatist movement sprayed in graffiti at three separate sites.  


‘Blatant disrespect’: Why this Australian label is facing backlash over Allah text at fashion show – SBS News

An Australian high-end streetwear label is facing community backlash after featuring clothing printed with the Arabic word for ‘God’ at a Melbourne fashion show. 

The brand, Not A Man’s Dream, showcased two of its designs on Saturday in the final show of Melbourne Fashion Festival which were resplendent with the Arabic script for ‘Allah’ on the pieces. 

One of the designs featured a model who was wrapped in what appeared to be a sleeveless jumpsuit made of transparent fabric with Arabic script that read ‘Allah walks with me’ (الله يمشي معي) all over her body. 


Archbishop Sione Uluilakepa makes a full house for Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia – Anglican Communion News Service

Anglicans were out in force in the Fijian capital Suva on Saturday 11 March as more than 1000 worshippers gathered at Holy Trinity Cathedral to join in Eucharistic celebration and support the ordination and installation of Sione Uluilakepa as Bishop of Polynesia. 

The Bishop of Polynesia is automatically an Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and one of three Primates, each representing a different Tikanga, or cultural stream, making up a single Primacy.  


Hamburg shooting: Seven killed in attack on Jehovah’s Witness hall – BBC News

Seven people, including an unborn baby, have been killed in a shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness meeting hall in the German city of Hamburg, police say. 

They say the gunman acted alone in Thursday’s attack, and later took his own life. His motives are unknown. 

The suspect, named only as Philipp F, is said to have had “ill feelings” towards the religious community, of which he had previously been a member. 


How a Decade of Pope Francis Has Changed the Church – The New Yorker

In March, 2014, Pope Francis went to confession in St Peter’s Basilica. A little more than a year after his election, he was leading a penitential service, which had been organized to encourage Catholics worldwide to fulfill their obligation to confess their sins before Easter. Priests were stationed in confessional booths that had been arrayed around the basilica. The plan was for the Pope to man one himself, but he broke away from the person escorting him to his booth and strode to a different one, where he knelt, crossed himself, and spoke quietly to the priest, startling onlookers, who had expected the Pope to absolve others of their sins – not to confess his own. 

On 13 March, Francis celebrated his 10th anniversary as Pope, and such acts have become a hallmark of his tenure. Just as John Paul II altered the profile of the papacy through his world travels, Francis has done so through his spontaneity and candor 


‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ and the Paradox of Achieving ‘Nothing’ – Christianity Today

Evelyn Wang feels like she has achieved nothing, writes Wang Min-Li. 

Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) is the main character in the award-winning film Everything Everywhere All at Once, which won multiple awards at this year’s Oscars. 

The film opens with scenes of Evelyn’s current life, where she experiences the tedium of running a laundromat business. (Spoilers ahead.) As she visits other parallel universes in which she is a successful actress or a skilled teppanyaki chef, she begins to see her current life as the result of a series of bad decisions. 

Where I identify most with Evelyn’s identity struggle is in her role as a parent, writes Min-Li.