Peace & Social Justice

PSJ (Peace and Social Justice) action has long been a part of Unitarianism in Auckland. A small active group of members decided that they wanted to do more than talk about issues, they felt they needed to walk that talk. To do this, they decided to start building a special Peace and Social Justice Fund, and from 2006 onwards regular pledging by these members began. The aim has been to focus efforts where the PSJ group felt they could make a real difference. Also much of About Us / Our History / The communion of Unitarian Saints is concerned with Peace and Social Justice issues.

Discomfort is our teacher

with Rev. Clay Nelson

Video to come

Audio to come

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Clay Nelson © 16 February 2020

For as long as I have been giving sermons I’ve been guided by the maxim that it is the preacher’s job “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

I always thought it came from some saint of the distant past; turns out that it was by Finley Peter Dunne, an Irish humourist who wrote a column for a Chicago newspaper. In 1901 he had this to say about newspapers, not preachers, although they seem to have a number of commonalities:

Continue reading Discomfort is our teacher

Peace and Social Justice Group – February 2020 update

with Paul Henriques

Peace and Social Justice Group – February 2020 update
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Paul Henriques © 16 February 2020

Duffy Books in Homes

Our Peace and Social Justice (PSJ) sponsorship of the Glen Taylor School, which enables their participation in the Duffy Books in Homes programme, continues to reward us with great satisfaction. The children are thriving with the supplied books. PSJ representatives will attend a role model assembly at the school in March and I’m sure Brenda and Gary will provide more details on that after we’ve been.

Continue reading Peace and Social Justice Group – February 2020 update

Letter to Andrew Little, Minister of Justice, & Reply from the Ministry

Go straight to the reply.

Auckland Unitarian Church
1a Ponsonby Road
Grey Lynn
AUCKLAND 1011
www.aucklandunitarian.org.nz

13 August 2019

The Rt Honourable Andrew Little
Minister of Justice
Freepost Parliament
Private Bag 18 888
Parliament Buildings
WELLINGTON 6160

Email copy sent to
a.little@ministers.govt.nz.

Email Copy sent to
The Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister
jacinda.ardern@parliament.govt.nz.

Dear Minister,

We are writing to express our deep concern after hearing of the distress experienced by many of the victims and their supporters at the first hearing of the alleged perpetrator of the March 15 2019 Mosque attacks.

Continue reading Letter to Andrew Little, Minister of Justice, & Reply from the Ministry

Revisiting Ramadan

with Rev. Clay Nelson

Revisiting Ramadan
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Clay Nelson © 5 May 2019

If you live in Aotearoa New Zealand there are a few positives that have resulted from the horror of March 15, which doesn’t mean the price wasn’t way too high. New gun laws passed nearly unanimously within a couple weeks that have banned automatic and semiautomatic weapons. National and international efforts are ongoing to reign in social media as platforms for hate speech. In depth debates to distinguish free speech from hate speech fill public discourse. And in my mind, a greater recognition by non-Muslims that Muslims are not the threat they have been painted to be since 9/11 and continue to be by Trump and other politicians. They are more often the victims of violence than its perpetrators. They need protection from every religion’s far right fundamentalists as much as anybody else. The outpouring of support for the victims and the Muslim community shown at vigils, burying the local mosques with flowers of condolence, the raising of money for the victims’ families, concerts in support of the Muslim community, the government’s paying for the funerals and fast-tracking visa applications, non-Muslim women wearing hijabs in solidarity with their sisters, and mosques opening their doors to their non-Muslim neighbours to share their faith to build bridges have been transforming acts. We are not who we used to be. From my perspective, we are better than we used to be before March 15.

Continue reading Revisiting Ramadan

Indian students granted new visas two years after deportation

We’re very pleased that 3 of the Indian Students we gave sanctuary from deportation in 2017 have been granted permission to return to this country; although saddened that 1 has had permission refused.

As reported by RNZ Checkpoint on 23rd April 2019.

Followed by an interview with immigration lawyer Alistair McClymont detailing the background to this.