In Partnership - December 2016
6 December, 2016
Welcome to In Partnership.
Thank you for your support in 2016! We hope you have Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
In this final edition of In Partnership for 2016, we look back on how your support has changed people’s lives this year. We hear from our partners around the world about how they celebrate Christmas, and from embody about how to shop ethically this Christmas.
We also hear from John Gilmore, who reflects of simplifying Christmas.
“Is our Christmas a time of thanksgiving for God’s radical gift of love in Jesus? Do we pause and check our planning to ensure we affirm the heartbeat of Christmas? The gospel message is that those who have no right to claim God’s love because of sin and marginalisation are loved and forgiven. This message is the opposite to that proclaimed by the jolly fat red man – “If you are good, you get!” – John Gilmore
Those stories and more, in this edition of In Partnership!
Your Support Changed Lives this Year!
This year your support reached 11 countries, supporting international churches, aid and development, and Indigenous ministries here in Australia. It also served to encourage young people to explore issues of mission and justice around the world. Below are some exciting examples of how your support changed lives this year.
Celebrating Christmas around the World!
We asked some of our partners around the world how they celebrate Christmas in their various cultures
"We decorate homes, the street, the cemetery and the church building. Youth decorate the church building very colourfully and make an artificial star to symbolise the birthplace of Jesus." – Vana Bawm, Bangladesh
"Christmas celebrations in Vanuatu will last from a few days up to one week. Among Christian communities in the churches there is always carol singing in the evenings, mixed songs in English, French and local languages, using only voices, or guitars or keyboards." – Judith Vusi and Esline Toamavute, Vanuatu
"This Christmas we will be conducting baptisms to celebrate the birth of Christ and the new life that is symbolised through baptism. The congregation will be inviting people around to their homes as a way to show the love of Christ and the good news this Christmas season." – Muneshwar Goundar, Fiji
embody Christmas Choices
The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) estimates that between November 15 and December 24 this year, Australians will spend $48.1 billion on Christmas shopping. Every year we are spending more and more on Christmas gifts, but are we stopping to think about the costs of the gift choices that we are making?