OPINION: Good could still be found in challenging year
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Reflecting on a challenging year
THIS year has brought with it some of the greatest challenges we have faced in Australia. From drought, to devastating bushfires and a global pandemic, it would be fair to say that we are all looking forward to a fresh new year.
But as we look forward to Christmas and the New Year, it is important to note that in every situation that comes our way, there is always good to be found. On behalf of The Salvation Army, we want to share with you some of the good we have seen throughout this year, and our hope for Christmas and the New Year.
When the bushfires hit last summer, they were some of the worst that our country had ever seen. The Salvos saw the impact first-hand, with our workers supporting frontline first responders even before the bushfire season had begun as they worked hard to avoid the devastation that eventually impacted those bushfire-affected regions. The way that Australians came together during the bushfires was remarkable, from practical on-ground support to international campaigns, all for the purpose of helping our fellow Aussies in their time of need.
During the horrific drought that has ravaged so much of rural Australia for years, the Salvos have seen the iconic Aussie spirit in full effect. Our rural chaplains have come alongside many rural families affected by drought and have been able to provide very practical support, which has been warmly welcomed by so many in rural regions. Rural communities are resilient and tough, and yet our chaplains have been embraced by these communities, leading to deep and lasting friendships.
COVID-19 has been extremely damaging to our economy, with many families and individuals having been placed under extreme financial and emotional strain. However, even during a pandemic, a strong thread of mateship has emerged as communities have found creative ways to support each other. Local Salvation Army Mission centres have also been busy supporting locals in their communities.
Looking forward now to Christmas, the Salvos want to encourage everyone to embrace the season and take this opportunity to connect with loved ones. Spending time with family (either in-person or online), sharing a meal with those you love, taking time away with friends, or by engaging in the joy of giving to one another this Christmas.
The Salvos also know that Christmas can be a time of stress, financial pressure and loneliness for some Aussies doing it tough. New research conducted for The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal showed that 74 per cent of Aussies didn’t know where to go for financial support this Christmas. The Salvos want you to know that we are here this Christmas; if you need financial support, presents for the kids, food for Christmas Day or just a community to belong to, please reach out to your local Salvos.
For the Salvos, the true meaning of Christmas is found in the birth of Jesus. Jesus brought hope into the world. A hope for a better tomorrow, a hope that no matter what we have done or where we have been, we are loved. A hope that nothing can separate us from Jesus’s love.
So, this Christmas, the Salvos encourage you to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and enjoy the festive season as we come together with our family and friends.
From The Salvation Army, we wish you, your family and friends a very Happy Christmas.
Major Bruce Harmer, The Salvation Army’s National Public Relations Secretary.
The race is on
AT MY last count we had seven contenders for Mayor, including a couple of councillors having an each-way bet with running for Mayor and still remaining a councillor.
If they really want the top job, step down from council and then run, not this “I’m running and if I lose, I still keep my publicly elected job”.