St Barts Feb2023
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Lenten acts of Service,
Justice and Kindness

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Neil Starkie, General Manager - Strategic Partnerships and Growth

The season of Lent is a time for reflection and contemplation, renewal and refocus. Beyond the traditional focuses of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we can look towards creating meaning and change for a better tomorrow.

As we journey through Lent and reflect on Christ’s life, death and resurrection, how do we see the face of Jesus in all of those in need and, importantly, how do we respond?

For St Bart’s, we look to the seven themes of Christian social teaching for inspiration in how we can help foster social justice within our communities:

  1. Dignity of the Human Person
  2. Call to Family, Community and Participation
  3. Rights and Responsibilities
  4. Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  5. The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
  6. Solidarity
  7. Care for God’s Creation

Our world today presents plenty of opportunities to perform acts of service, justice and kindness based on the above teachings. Volunteering your time to a local charity is one example, while donating to St Bart’s or any number of deserving organisations is another. It may be as simple as buying a stranger a coffee, inviting a lonely neighbour over for a meal, or acknowledging the presence of someone living on the streets with a simple ‘G’Day’. Every act can have a significant positive impact on another person’s life.

Lent is also a time to remind ourselves that once baptized by John and embarking on his public ministry, Jesus became a person who experienced homelessness. He had no home He could call his own. He lived a life outside – exposed to the elements, sometimes alone and sometimes sleeping rough. In his own way he lived and died homeless and was the brother and friend of all people experiencing homelessness, refugees and asylum seekers.

In this season of Lent, we ask that you think of those at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness and consider:

  • Offering a prayer for St Bart’s as an organisation, for our staff and for our residents and service consumers and for all people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.
  • If you choose abstinence/fasting during Lent, it is an opportunity to reflect on the lives of people who are experiencing homelessness who often go hungry.
  • Make a positive commitment in Lent, which could include giving of time through prayer, volunteering with St Bart’s or making a financial donation to assist us in our mission.

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