2020 has been a year like no one anticipated. All of us have had at least some of our plans disrupted whether for travel, weddings, outreach or major work events. As we reflect on the year that was it may be reflective to ask ourselves what is one unexpected good thing that has come out of the coronavirus pandemic?
For some, good things to come out of this global disaster have been new connections with neighbours or renewed connections with friends and neighbours. For others it has been new or reinvigorated approaches to reach out to those who are struggling, whether physically, financially mentally or emotionally.
Though many of us reading this may for the most be alive and well, we no doubt know people who have lost jobs, lost loved ones, or may have survived the virus but have continuing side effects. We know many of you work with or support people who are struggling to make ends meet, who are on the brink of homelessness (or have already been made homeless) and people seeking asylum and refugees who have had their already precarious situations exacerbated by the lack of any federal government support.
Crises like this pandemic tend to bring out the best and worst in humanity. While the worst is usually more prevalent, we have also been incredibly encouraged to hear and witness the good. Much of this good and generosity comes from you who have continually given of your time, efforts and resources to support the vulnerable.
At this time when we prepare for Christ, the Prince of Peace to enter our hearts and our lives once again, we encourage you to think about what you can still be grateful for in this year and to look forward to 2020 with hope that the goodness in humanity will help us overcome this crisis and to include the most vulnerable with us as we rebuild.
In this issue we have some ideas about how you can get involved in getting better mental health care, how to be there when others need us, some good news from Sydney Catholic Schools on their solar panel installations, and about work to build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We also discuss the expansion of Red Wednesday (which recognizes persecuted Christians around the world), some guidance on how to do your Christmas shopping this year as well as highlighting some local wins from local organising teams.
We wish you a blessed Advent, a joyful Christmas season and a peaceful 2021.