Stuart McMillan, President of the Uniting Church, recently circulated the letter below to congregations. I’ve also received an update from UnitingCare in which they expressed their thanks to all who have offered temporary accommodation. Due to the particular needs of those who have recently escaped a war zone, however, those arriving from Syria will be provided with appropriate accommodation and specialist services, some of which the Uniting Church will be providing through UnitingCare.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Like all of you I have been shocked and moved in recent weeks by the plight of those fleeing Syria and Iraq.

The personal tragedies and struggles we see in the nightly news are heart breaking. But they are just the tip of the iceberg. The scale of the humanitarian crisis that is occurring is truly overwhelming.

Every day thousands of people are seeking refuge with little other than the clothes on their backs.

They join more than four million who’ve fled this conflict in the last four years.

As we observe from a distance, we must remember that God values every human life. We mourn every life lost and pray for those who are suffering.

Along with your prayers I ask that you do what you can to support. As Australians we are blessed to live in a prosperous country relatively free of armed conflict.

If you are able, please share of God’s abundance by giving generously to the Uniting Church Syrian Refugee Appeal.

Donations can be made online at www.shareappeal.org.au or over the telephone 1800 668 426