Monday, December 5, 2011

Australian Christian Writer’s Fellowship of the Hunter: A brief history and Jenny’s Letter

Morning Everyone! We’re so excited to bring you the first instalment of “Keeping Christ in Christmas” for the month of December. We’ve decided to start off with a brief history of the ACWF (Australian Christian Writer's Fellowship) of the Hunter and then let you guys read the letter that inspired the group to write about keeping Christ the centre of Christmas. 

Hope you enjoy this!
Jess :) 

Jenny Bray travelled from Morisset to Eastwood in Sydney to attend the ACWF meetings. After some years she decided to start a branch in Morisset. Meetings began in the Baptist Church Hall in 1993. 
 
Over the years we have had many members. Currently we have 15 writers, both men and women. We have published several books that provide great reading and cover most genres. "Times of Friendship" is still available. Our latest publication, "QUENCH" a devotional to refresh your spirit is available through Koorong Books. 
 
Dear Friends,
 
Christmas is coming and we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. When the first Europeans came here they established Christianity as our country’s faith. Our laws were based on Christian principles. However it would appear that in these latter years there have been moves to discount our foundational faith and replace it with political correctness and doubtful ethics.
 
Christmas Carols are gradually being phased out of our schools and stores. They are no longer heard on our streets. Manger scenes are also discouraged in various places where they usually appeared, especially in schools where Christmas was always a joyful time and the message of why Jesus came was emphasised.
 
All this anti Christian movement is being mooted in the name of political correctness. We don’t want to offend our “new neighbours.” It would appear that our new neighbours are being used by some anti-Christian faction to attack our Christian faith. That is rather ludicrous considering that, from the beginning of this nation, there has been other belief systems. e.g. Aboriginals were already here with their beliefs; the Jewish faith. Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and other religions. Whilst respecting Australian law, they have co-existed and worshipped freely, as they wished. Furthermore, excluding the extremists, many of our new neighbours have suffered indignities, dangers and discomforts to get away from the terrors, persecutions, poverty and other horrors in their own country. Surely they don’t want to be the “scapegoats “of some anti Christian spirit here.
 
In addition to political correctness there is a danger of commercialism drowning out the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas trees, decorations, presents, Santa Claus etc can take over the real meaning. I am not suggesting we get rid of them. They are part of our way of celebrating but let’s make known that JESUS really IS the REASON for the season.
My point in writing this is to ask all Christians to actively “take back” Christmas for our country. I would emphasise that in “taking back Christmas” we do so with the utmost integrity and love. Not belligerently or by disparaging others.
 
Remember Christmas is a time to celebrate JESUS and His wonderful message of love and forgiveness.
 
Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.” What a wonderful message for a nation in turmoil. Let’s get to it friends. JESUS IS the REASON for the SEASON—spread the good news.
 
Blessings and a Happy Christmas to You,
Jenny

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful letter and very true and well-expressed.
    Let's 'take back' Christmas, everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're right Paula, it is a great letter! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for sharing that, girls! I've just returned from Thailand where my husband & I have the unprecedented opportunity to explain in Buddhist Government schools the real meaning of Christmas. We're accepted because of also presenting music & art. The Thais are very enthusiastic about Christmas because of its commercial value, so we thank the lord for this open door, more than we could ever present here in Australia!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's great news about Christmas being so welcomed, even if for the commercial value but still God uses all avenues and doors doesn't he? :)

    ReplyDelete