By personally speaking to government leaders at Parliament House in Canberra, Australian Adventist women join other Christian women in drawing attention to issues affecting women globally, September 2022 and June 2021.
Two Adventist pastors in Australia ask for government action on hunger crisis
Adventist Record | Canberra | Nathan Brown | September 12, 2022
Two Adventist pastors were part of Micah Australia’s women’s delegation that met with Australian political leaders in Canberra on September 7 to highlight the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people. Pastor Sylvia Mendez—Women’s Ministries liaison for the Australian Union Conference and a church pastor in Melbourne—and Pastor Moe Stiles—a chaplain and pastor in Melbourne—participated in meetings at Parliament House representing the Adventist Church and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), one of 18 Christian organizations that make up the Micah Australia coalition.
“It was a privilege to be able to bring the voice of those who couldn’t speak for themselves to Parliament,” says Pastor Mendez. “We each can do our bit to bring change.”
The 36 Christian women leaders spoke with 45 members of parliament and senators in support of Micah Australia’s current campaign highlighting the urgent needs of an estimated 50 million people around the world who “are on the brink of famine as a result of the convergence of conflict, COVID-19 and climate change.” They called on the Australian government to provide additional emergency aid of $A150 million in next month’s budget to help the most-affected nations, including Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.
“As women leaders, we also pointed to the fact that it is often women and children who are the face of suffering and poverty—and it is those who are already vulnerable who are hit hardest,” adds Pastor Mendez.
Both pastors expressed their appreciation of the opportunity to speak up on an important issue, as well as to interact with politicians and other Christian leaders.
“There is power in the collective voice,” says Pastor Stiles. “It was wonderful to the see the church—regardless of the brand we represent—show up and stomp the halls of parliament, advocating and amplifying the voices of those in vulnerable situations.”
“It was a great opportunity to represent our church and to share space with an amazing bunch of women leaders,” reports Pastor Mendez. “The conversations were encouraging and uplifting.”
Christian women draw attention of the plight of the world's poor
Adventist Record | Canberra |Tracey Bridcutt | June 22, 2021
Dr. Schubert, Discipleship Ministries Team Member at the South Pacific Division, joined the delegation of women’s leaders from churches and faith-based organizations who travelled to the Parliament House in Canberra (ACT) for the Micah Australia initiative.
The women spoke with senior government ministers and members of Parliament from both major political parties, highlighting the “vaccine access gap” between richer and poorer countries and the knock-on impacts of the pandemic on the world’s lower-income nations: rising poverty, famine, and the further marginalization of vulnerable groups. Dr. Schubert snapped this selfie with Australian senator Zed Seslja.
Dr. Schubert said it was a fantastic experience that brought together powerful Christian women leaders who otherwise may not have had an opportunity to meet, network, energize each other and work together for a higher goal.
“Although from different Christian denominations, organizations, and states of Australia, we were in one spirit to bring an important message to those who make decisions and influence government policies,” she said.
“We were there to thank them for their good work and to bring to their attention the needs of the poor. That we were there in person, taking time to visit with them, connect, and as one speaks for the needs of others, was great testimony about the love of Jesus that compels us to do good.”
Dr. Schubert said the politicians she spoke with were grateful for the good work churches are doing in the community.
They urged us to continue doing the good work. Most agreed with the calls to make the Australian government more generous in helping those less fortunate around the world.”
The delegation (pictured outside Parliament House) impressed upon the political leaders that the moral, health and economic case all point towards Australia and other wealthy nations continuing to increase their efforts to help end COVID for all.
“With worldwide deaths reaching over 10,000 per day, this pandemic is far from over, with the worst now hitting low and middle-income countries in South America and Asia, and fears rising at the possibility of a more contagious third-wave in the African continent,” said Rev. Dr. Melinda Cousins, director of Ministries for the Baptist Churches of South Australia.
“At the same time, a vaccine access gap has rapidly opened up between richer and poorer nations, which is not only morally indefensible but an inequity that is perpetuating the pandemic.
“As leaders, our collective voice can make a difference. And while our world is facing tremendous challenge, we are here today to display hopeful action—encouraging our politicians that Australia can continue to be a part of that solution at this devastating time.”
Published in Mosaic newsletter, 2022 Q 2&3