Holy Cross Anglican Church Hackett

Following Jesus and building community in Canberra’s Inner North

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Mothers Union Lady Day Service and AGM

This year’s Lady Day Communion Service of the diocesan Mother’s Union will be held at 10am Wednesday 24 March at Holy Cross Hackett, with guest preacher Reverend Joan Smith.

It will be followed by lunch and the MU AGM. Bring a friend!

Easter worship services

Join Holy Cross for Easter:

9am 28 March Palm Sunday;

7.30pm 1 April Last Supper;

2 April Good Friday
9am Service
2pm Meditation at the Cross;

4 April Easter Sunday
6am Dawn Vigil
9am Family Eucharist

Pond at Mulligans Flat with reflection of eucalypts

Walking group dates 2021

Holy Cross walking group meetings regularly to walk together and experience the blessings of nature, the sites around Canberra and each others’ company.

The group meetings alternate Tuesday mornings at 9.15am at the Holy Cross Hackett car park, and travels together to the site of the walk.

Contact: office@holycrosshackett.org.au for more information.

The walking calendar for the first half of 2021 is:

  • 16 March – Mulligan’s Flat (bring picnic tea)
  • 30 March – Bonner walk
  • 13 April – Crash memorial, Pialligo (bring morning tea)
  • 27 April – Umbagong District Park, Latham (bring morning tea)
  • 11 May – Lower Yerrabi Pond (bring morning tea)
  • 25 May – Weston Park (morning tea @ café)
  • 08 June – Queanbeyan walk (morning tea @ café)
  • 22 June – Lake Burley Griffin from Carillon (bring morning tea & chair)
  • 6 July – Planning meeting (bring morning tea)

Anglican News from our Diocese – March 2021

The latest issue of Anglican News features stories from our parishioners meeting for the Diocesan Lenten Study God of Compassion, and active in Mothers Union, where our Diocese will host the next state conference, 1-3 April 2022.

More stories here on #ChangetheHeart, Nungalinya College, social media and much more. Anglican News March 2021 – pdf (1.9MB)

Mt Majura Trail

Women’s Quiet Time in Fellowship for Lent

Following on from the success of the Advent women’s retreat last year, we are planning another weekend with the same format for Lent. 

Two events will be held to ‘top’ and ‘tail’ a weekend, one Saturday and one Sunday. Women from all walks of life are welcome to attend only one, or both.

Event One Morning Bushwalk – Saturday 20 March, Hackett

7.30 – 9am Bushwalk on Mt Majura reserve. Meet at the Hackett Gate on Grayson Street. Bring a thermos and drink tea with a view!

Event Two Evening Gathering – Sunday 21 March, Holy Cross Church
7pm Evening of contemplative prayer and fellowship, followed by 

8pm Wine and cheese

Contact: admin@holycrosshackett.org.au for more information.

Easter and Social Justice

Block of chocolate and cocoa beans

In the lead up to Easter, many of us may be thinking about buying and eating chocolate. Sadly, hazardous child labour in chocolate production is widespread and growing. But there are many things we can be doing about it, including (but not limited to!) buying ethically produced chocolate.

See here for information about a new ethical chocolate shopping guide or read more about the challenges of chocolate production and some ways you can support slavery-free chocolate here.

We Are Community family party and working bee

Please join Holy Cross and friends Sunday 14 Mar for a Church Family Party & working bee.

2.30pm Afternoon tea

3pm
Family activities & games
Working Bee
“Chill Zone”

5.30pm BBQ

All are welcome!

Easter and Social Justice

Chocolate’s great but tainted by child labour. Here’s what you can do about it.

Block of chocolate and cocoa beans

Lent is a good time to consider how we celebrate Easter. In our religious and our secular lives, it’s increasingly mediated by chocolate eggs, not only on Easter Sunday but in the days before!

What do we know about the production of retail chocolate? Where does it come from? And how does it stack up against social justice Christian principles? 

We know that the countries producing cocoa, much poorer than ours, are certainly not the ones consuming it. Australia is a growing market among traditional high-income countries.

What might come as a greater surprise is that hazardous child labour is widespread and growing

A recent report from the University of Chicago, commissioned by the US Department of Labor, finds that there are more children, as young as five, working in the sector than there were in 2008-09. 

In Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa, where two thirds of the world’s cocoa is produced, an estimated 1.5 million children and teens under the age of 17 produce cocoa in dangerous conditions.

Minors use sharp tools such as machetes, carry heavy loads, burn fields and use other herbicides without protective gear.

Under pressure to produce ever-bigger yields, producers are using increasing amounts of toxic agrochemicals to control weeds and spreading into new areas cleared by deforestation.

The 300-page report details shocking injuries including wounds and cuts, back pain, fatigue, broken bones and burns. 

Children told researchers they would prefer working in almost any other related industry because it would not be as exhausting and dangerous.

As Christians we should be unnerved. We are taught not just to respect other people but also support them to flourish, whatever their condition or stage of development. 

The least we can do is try to prevent harm. 

And, there are plenty of references in the Bible extolling honourable and enjoyable work rather than exploitative “toilsome labour under the sun”. 

Back in 2001, big brands Mondelez, Nestle, Mars, Ferrero, Hershey and Lindt and the US multinational Cargill that collects much of the cocoa signed the ground-breaking Harkin Engel Protocol and the Framework of Action to Support Implementation of the protocol with cocoa industry representatives and the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, undertaking to eliminate child labour and certified employmehnt practices. 

Because the companies insisted they could self-regulate the protocol became a non-binding, although legal, agreement. 

Twenty years on, its aims are far from realised.

The root cause of child labour is, of course, extreme poverty. COVID-19 has made things worse. Cocoa farmers currently earn less than A$2 a day. Estimates suggest if they earned just 3% more, they could afford to hire adults to do the hazardous work of handling chemicals and machetes. 

The children and young people labouring in cocoa production would rather be going to school, playing soccer and dreaming of being doctors. Their parents would too.

The sector’s two-decade-old child labour monitoring and remediation systems are not responsive enough. Regulation with penalties would make child labour reforms mandatory.

Big Chocolate finally appears open to a binding agreement as the 20-year protocol reaches its expiry date this year – 2021 – a year the United Nations has co-oincidentally declared the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.

In response to survey questions prepared by charities, many of them Christian, 75% of companies in the industry backed mandatory due diligence which could include sanctions. 

It’s a good time for Christians and all people of faith to get informed, pray and put prayers into action to help end child labour in the chocolate sector (and elsewhere). Actions you can take today include: 

The Christian mission includes taking action to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. Children forced into involuntary work in the chocolate sector are certainly among them.

When we work to empower people – all image-bearers of the creator God – so they are treated well, social justice becomes part of evangelism. 

It’s an idea well articulated by influential theologian John Stott: “The gospel lacks visibility if we merely preach it, and lacks credibility if we who preach it are only interested in souls and have no concern about the welfare of people’s bodies, situations, and communities.”

Toni Hassan is an adjunct scholar with the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. She is also a volunteer board director with Be Slavery Free and a member of the community of Holy Cross, Hackett.

Lent quiet day

Small table with cross, open Bible and candle, in front of Holy Cross altar

Led by Rev’d Joan Smith
“Facing the Unknown: exploring the encounter between Peter and Cornelius, with prayer poems by Eddie Askew”
Tues 9 March, 10am-3pm,
Holy Cross Church Annex.
All welcome.

Morning tea provided; please bring lunch. To sign up, contact Rev’d Joan or the Rector.

Contemplative worship at Holy Cross

Following a challenging year and as the holidays come to a close, our meditative prayer services are returning from 1 Feb, offering a chance to pause amidst busy lives and return our minds to God.

4.15pm Mondays — Meditation Group

5.30pm Tuesdays — Contemplative Evening Prayer and Meditation

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