Author Archives: Ashley Thompson

Finding love online

(L-R) Matt and Andrea Hogg; Gary Wallis and Judy Douglas. Photo: Supplied

No, you don’t need a romantic relationship to complete you—but what if you’re single and you don’t want to be? This Valentine’s Day Ashley Thompson asks eight Christians who met their partners online what factors contributed to their success when navigating the world of online dating. Think it’s uncommon to find love online? Think again. From the inception of Match.com ...

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Film review: Lion

Nicole Kidman and Sunny Pawar star in Lion (2016). Photo by Sunstar Entertainment.

For Ashley Thompson, no film to date has better depicted the bittersweet affair of adoption than Garth Davis’ Lion.  Perhaps my husband said it best as I sat blurry-eyed while we watched the end credits roll: “If you didn’t have a lump in your throat just then, there’s something wrong with you”. Lion is the story of five-year-old Saroo Khan ...

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Film review: Hacksaw Ridge

Andrew Garfield plays Desmond Doss in Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge (2016). Photo by Icon Film Distribution.

Mel Gibson’s personal transgressions are easily forgotten when witnessing his extraordinary ability to communicate the Christian faith in Hacksaw Ridge. Ashley Thompson reviews. Like Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson can be an easy personality not to like. Like Cruise, Gibson’s controversial personal life is no barrier to profoundly appreciating his talent and contribution to filmmaking. And just when you thought the ...

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Behind the soundtrack to your faith

Members of Hillsong United gather to pray before a concert. Photo: Pure Flix

If you’re dismissive about Hillsong: Let Hope Rise (2016) “preaching to the converted”, you’re missing the point—because that’s actually their purpose. They are fundamentally a C2C (church-to-church) resource that is serving the global church—and this documentary, and their music, is for us. “We’re the biggest band you’ve never heard of.” Hillsong United Jad Gillies’ statement couldn’t be truer of the ...

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Reflections on the unborn

Reflections on the unborn. Photo: Supplied

Abortion can be a notoriously difficult topic to discuss in the faith community, but proposals to reform abortion laws introduced to the Queensland Parliament this year have once again put it under the spotlight. Ashley Thompson meets four women who share their personal encounters with pregnancy, abortion and faith, and examines where the Uniting Church in Queensland stands on the ...

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Only the shrewd survive

Lee Carseldine and Kristie Bennett made it to the finale of Australian Survivor season three. Photo from Network Ten.

Aspiring to good morals does not win you Survivor, as Tess Lynch from Grantland points out, in this game “integrity and honesty is nothing against manipulation and well-executed lies”. Trust, dignity and respect: This was ex-cricketer Lee Carseldine’s mantra since day dot on the island of Samoa—the unforgiving location for Network Ten’s Australian reboot of Survivor, the wildly successful international reality ...

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Fostering family fun at Stanthorpe

Jean Pyle chatting to a parent while families wait for children at dance classes. Photo was supplied.

Sometimes little acts of hospitality go a long way to strengthening the community. Ashley Thompson talks to Granite Belt Uniting Church minister Rev Kaye Ronalds and Stanthorpe Uniting Church member Jean Pyle about their efforts to reach out to young families. Since Easter last year, the Stanthorpe congregation has been providing weekly hospitality to the parents and siblings of young ...

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Letters from Longreach

Photo of dry land in the Australian Outback with a thank you card from a farming family.

Hope was on the horizon when winter rains brought smiles back to the faces of western Queenslanders. Ashley Thompson checks in with Longreach Uniting Church minister Rev Jenny Coombes. Although 80 per cent of Queensland remains drought declared, the Longreach community has had their spirits lifted by the wettest winter on record. “Since the rain has come, morale has lifted ...

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Film review: Jack of the Red Hearts

Jack of the Red Hearts still (2016). Photo property of Sundial Pictures.

A surprising number of films depict characters on the autism spectrum but few accurately illustrate how the neurodevelopmental disorder impacts family like Jack of the Red Hearts (2015). From the classic Rain Man (1988) to the recent The Story of Luke (2012), many filmmakers have grappled with autism as a central plot device but few can claim an intimacy to ...

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Three online tools to assist your ministry

Women with smartphone and laptop.

The following text has been adapted from an acceptance speech delivered by Ashley Thompson for the 2016 Ramon Williams Australasian Religious Press Association Scholarship award. When I was five I wanted to be a writer. More specifically I wanted to be Anne Shirley, Jo March, Betsy Ray and later, Rory Gilmore. As the daughter of two teachers, I was encouraged, nurtured ...

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