A network of Christian churches is speaking with one voice this Lent, calling for compassion of asylum seekers through the Give us a Sign project.
The Give us a Sign project seeks to engage churches and organisations across Australia in displaying positive messages about asylum seekers on their public noticeboards during the six weeks of Lent, 2015.
The project has emerged out of conversations within the Anglican, Catholic and Uniting Churches in the Hunter and Central Coast and is endorsed by the respective church leaders.
"Lent is an important time in the year for people of faith, and this Lent I am glad to join together with our Anglican and Uniting Church brothers and sisters in a common cause for the good of our society," said Bishop Bill Wright, Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
"The Give us a Sign initiative provides a platform for people throughout the community to call for compassion for asylum seekers – by pledging and displaying their commitment through public signs and messaging in each faith. I strongly encourage all people of the Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast regions to get involved and show your support within your local community – either by displaying one of the recommended messages on your local church sign, or by making your own sign."
The project aims to promote a more compassionate society for the sake of vulnerable people, especially with regard to asylum seekers. Every year, millions of people around the world are forced to flee their homes and face a long and difficult journey finding security and protection.
"If I was in a war torn country fleeing for my life, I would hope that a decent country like Australia would be a place of compassion and refuge. Give us a Sign is a campaign designed to encourage compassion, in a time when this nation's political discussion too often encourages us to demonise the disparate stranger," said Rev'd Warwick Cadenhead, Chairperson of The Hunter Presbytery of the Uniting Church in Australia.
Bishop Greg Thompson, Anglican Bishop of Newcastle, encourages every suburb and every town in Australia to speak with one voice.
"May our communities be places of welcome and hospitality and let us encourage our wider community to share in that hospitality to strangers and aliens in search of a home," Bishop Greg Thompson said.
To get involved, visit www.giveusasign.org and choose a sign for each week of Lent from suggested messages. Display your message on Tuesdays during Lent. After displaying your sign, take a photo and share it on the Give us a Sign Facebook page and tag photos on Twitter and Instagram with #giveusasign.
Please direct all media enquiries to:
Anglican Diocese of Newcastle
Phone: (02) 4926 3733
Mobile: 0425 333 911