The following letter was sent to the Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia on May 22, 2019, shortly after the re-election of his government. It was signed by over 60 Christian leaders.

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A couple of years ago, Guardian columnist, George Monbiot sounded an ominous warning about the global demand for perpetual economic growth. He believes that measuring wealth entirely in terms of GDP, and insisting that the global economy should continue to grow continuously for the rest of time, is destroying our planet.

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Getting older is inevitable, becoming an elder is a skill. – Stephen Jenkinson

I’ve been reading Stephen Jenkinson’s clarion call for elderhood, Come of Age. It’s a compelling plea for us to embrace the training and preparation needed to become elders.  And I’m feeling the call myself.

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You can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats dead bodies. Some cultures revere them. One of my favourite films Departures is the story of a young man who returns to his small hometown after a failed career and takes a job as an assistant to a nōkanshi — a traditional Japanese ritual mortician. The respect shown to the departed by the nōkanshi as he prepares them for burial — washing, oiling, dressing, honouring — is truly beautiful.

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It has the imposing title, The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection. More often than not it’s just referred to by the shortened form, The Disciples or Les Disciples. You won’t find it in the Louvre or the Met or the National Gallery. It hangs tucked away in an old railway station in Paris, now the Musée d’Orsay, on the left bank of the Seine. It was painted in 1898 by a relatively little known Swiss artist named Eugène Burnand. He was something of an old-fashioned realist at a time when all the cool kids were embracing modernism. The Disciples didn’t make a splash when it was first hung. Burnand’s style was already considered passé by the 1890s.

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