Christian Golden Rule Perspective / Stories

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"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another."  John 13:34

Painting by Cathy Julien

Rev. Lynn Arnold:

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Did you know

 Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 C.E. 

The Etchmiadzin Cathedral in Armenia is considered the oldest cathedral in the world. 

“In the noise of a world so prepared to focus on self and so easily prepared to distance the ‘other’, the Golden Rule of doing unto others as one would have them do unto us sometimes seems to get forgotten, even lost. So Jesus’ instruction, not request, that we should love our neighbours as ourselves is a clarion call for society to bring itself back from the brink. In giving this instruction, Jesus ranked it alongside the greatest commandment of loving God - in doing so he said that every other law in our world should derive from these two commandments”

Artist Statement - Cathy Julien

I lived on Kangaroo Island for 20 years before for moving to my home now in the Barossa valley. I was baptized on Kangaroo Island in the year 2000, and I have found my artwork has become an expression of my faith. I am now worshiping at the Impact church in the Barossa where I am a part of the creative team at Impact. 

My paintings are inspired by my adventurous spirit and diverse connections with people and the natural world. The multilayered approach is a visual instrument to explain the complexity of an idea otherwise interpreted as my inspiration. The freedom associated with letting the creative process govern the outcome is an important feature in the way I create work. Interpreting visually my personal spiritual journey inherent to my Christian beliefs is central in my creative work. 

This painting: Better Together, is based on the scripture of John 13:34-35. 

“A new command I give you to love one another.as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 

Better Together is an illustration of Jesus washing the disciples feet usually a job considered as one done by a servant but Jesus, the son of the living god has given us a beautiful example of love in humility as we serve our fellow disciples in actions where no one is greater than another as we commit to doing things in love for one another. I think it encapsulates the expression of loving one another. 

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Selfless

In 1927 Winifred Kiek became the first woman in Australia to be ordained a minister in any Australian Christian denomination. Whilst it would be many years before another would join her, Winifred, by now a Congregationalist  minister, did not see her position as one of privilege but of obligation -of the need for “the selfless to help the helpless” - and so, through the Great Depression she organised women in churches to help those in great need in Adelaide. But, once those particularly harsh years passed, she would raise her sights and accept an obligation “to speak on behalf of those unable to speak for themselves” with particular concern for indigenous women around the world. 

Motivating other women across the ecumenical spectrum in this mission would see a voice given to many voiceless women around the world; as examples, Violet Sampa becoming the first woman minister in Zambia in 1971, and Liyapidiny Marika becoming, in 1991, the first Aboriginal woman minister. 

Winifred was also a tireless worker for world peace and reconciliation, believing that as women risked their lives in childbirth, the creation of life, a “woman’s whole existence is a protest” against war.” 

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Truly everyone is a brother.

 

The Little Sisters of Charity were the founders of what is now the Hutt Street Centre. They have been a wonderful outreach of help to those in need but also a beacon of how the world should be seen where neighbour is loved as oneself. 

Decades ago, a Premier visited the centre and was escorted by one of nuns around a group of street people who were being given lunch. The Premier was introduced to each and a polite conversation ensued with each person. All went predictably nicely until he was introduced to someone who, 

when told “Mr _______, this is our Premier”, responded to the Premier’s outstretched hand, “Get *@%&#*!”. 

The Premier was not fazed and moved on tothe next person. As the introductions continued, the accompanying nun was 

becoming almost visibly excited; but it wasn’t until they reached the kitchen and she could contain herself no longer that she exclaimed joyously to the other nuns all about what she deemed to have been a joyous encounter that had just happened: “How wonderful! Mr ________ spoke to the Premier; he never speaks to us!” In the few harsh words of this person who had found himself left by the wayside of the world, the nun had seen a real brother  not just someone to be helped. 

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 A world wide family

 

Nazareth Outreach Work (NOW) was established because it is important to offer help to those less fortunate. In 2012 the first group of young adults and staff travelled to Timor-Leste to work with the Good Crocodile Foundation in the village of Triloka, 130 kilometres from Dili. 

While they were there community buildings were built and repaired, school activities organised and important initiatives in health begun. In addition money was donated for the construction of a Birthing House and Mother and Child Clinic which was completed in late 2013. 

Over the following years a number of trips have been made bringing more developmental assistance to help the community overcome poverty and health problems. The quality of life has been improved enormously. But above everything, the most important thing has been the developing of relationships between the community and the NOW team. Our Timorese friends have become family to us.