making disciples of Jesus
On the 11th of November, many churches across Tasmania joined in celebrating the 100 year commemoration of the Armistice, that brought an end to the First World War. Church bells rang, just as they had rung throughout the nation when the Armistice was first announced. This was a joyous celebration of peace! Churches participated on Remembrance Day to remember this peace and celebrate the freedom that we live in, because of the sacrifice of many.
Beginning in December, the bells at St Mark’s Anglican Church in Deloraine will ring for a different reason. The bells will ring for a period of 10 minutes each Friday as part of the Freedom Bells for Asylum Seekers campaign to remind us that there are men, women and children – just like us – who don’t live in freedom and who don’t have a hope for the future.
Rev Joshua Skeat says, “We are participating in this campaign, as a means of protesting the treatment of our fellow human beings – it is one small way that we can love our neighbour. The good news of Jesus Christ is all about establishing a hope and a future, and we believe that this has real world impact here and now. How can we stand by and watch as people, many of whom are fleeing war zones and persecution, are locked up indefinitely in our name? This one small act of ringing the bells says: we haven’t forgotten you, we are praying for you and we call on our government to close the off-shore detention centres and process all refugee claims”.
Church and community members are invited to join with those ringing the bells to pray for all held in detention, and to write to their members of parliament asking them to resolve this situation.