We as the Church must engage with the society we are called to serve
and transform, identifying critical issues amid the goodness, evil,
strengths and weaknesses around us. Led by the Holy Spirit we continue
to seek effective ways to bring alive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Globally, religious ideologies are in conflict, the gap between
rich and poor expands, the environment suffers, and violent conflict
terrorism imperil many. Such forces demand active interfaith dialogue,
social justice, ecological action, and peace, all based on a vision
of all people belonging to God’s family.
Nationally, issues such as security, racial harmony, access to
health services, economic prospects and educational opportunities
us. While we affirm the overall quality and prosperity of the Australian
way of life, growing social and economic divisions challenge our
egalitarian ideals and our belief that the “lucky country” will
provide a safe haven and dignified lifestyle for its citizens.
Locally, we are challenged by the demands of our rapidly growing
population in south-east Queensland. Extended working hours, rising
costs and higher living expectations are causing considerable pressure
and stress, particularly on families, low-income households and
The table opposite highlights competing forces and challenges facing
us in the twenty-first century. It is a world plagued by evils,
injustices, loss of human dignity and environmental crises. It
is also a world
of great beauty and richly inspired, as always, by the heroic efforts
of people of good will who work selflessly in the pursuit of peace,
justice and the alleviation of suffering.
In our local pastoral planning, we need to identify those factors
that have a significant impact on our efforts to transform society
according to the mind of Jesus Christ. While sharing some common
experiences, each planning body will be dealing with its own issues
(eg, high unemployment, rural isolation, aged care needs, young
and have its own combination of strengths and resources to deal
with those issues.