Author Archives: Ashley Thompson

Julie McCrossin: Finding acceptance with the Uniting Church

Julie McCrossin with her partner Melissa Gibson and their children Luke and Amelia Woods (left) & hosting the Q&A panel discussion during UnitingWomen 2016 (right). Photos: Supplied

Former ABC broadcaster Julie McCrossin is a familiar voice to the Australian public. Ashley Thompson turns the microphone around to find out more about her unsung faith journey. A self-described “refugee from Sydney Anglicanism”, Julie McCrossin has found a home in South Sydney Uniting Church. Her appearance on ABC TV’s special all-Christian Q&A panel and facilitation of the UnitingWomen conference ...

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Synod adopts revised priority directions

Rev Linda Hanson addresses her concerns regarding the 2016–2020 priority directions to the 32nd Synod. Photo by Mardi Lumsden.

After fervent discussion the 32nd Synod has passed by consensus revised priority directions for 2016–2020. Brought forward by Rev Andrew Gunton on behalf the facilitation team, the original wording of the proposal was amended to reflect the concerns of 32nd Synod members. The originally discerned top five priorities of 32nd Synod members were to “adopt as its priority directions for ...

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Synod agrees to improved reporting changes

Kingaroy Uniting Church minister Rev Dr David Ferguson at the 32nd Synod. Photo by Ashley Thompson.

This afternoon Rev Dr David Ferguson and the Mary Burnett Presbytery put forward a proposal (general proposal six) to the 32nd Synod related to better communication of Synod Standing Committee decisions. After some discussion, Dr Marilyn Healy of Bremer Brisbane Presbytery suggested the proposal be broken into two parts—the first half of which she had no issues with and the ...

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Wesley Mission Brisbane positions for growth

Wesley Mission Brisbane superintendent minister Lyn Burden and executive director Geoff Batkin report to the 32nd Synod. Photo by Holly Jewell.

Earlier today Wesley Mission Brisbane executive director Geoff Batkin and superintendent minister Lyn Burden reported to 32nd Synod members on the organisation’s current state-of-health. Geoff and Lyn opened their presentation with the origins of Wesley Mission Brisbane which began in Albert Street Uniting Church in the mid-19th century, rooted in the mandate of Matthew 25:35. Today Wesley Mission Brisbane offers ...

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Seven (fun) insights into your next general secretary!

Rev Heather den Houting at the 32nd Synod. Photo by Holly Jewell.

Yesterday 32nd Synod members called Rev Heather den Houting to be the next Queensland Synod general secretary, starting 1 June 2016. Ashley Thompson catches up with Heather to uncover the personality behind the profession. Ashley: What is your passion? Heather: My passion is people, especially people in Christ. I am always deeply delighted by the capacity and resilience of those who ...

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Ten (light) catch up questions with your moderator!

Queensland Synod moderator, Rev David Baker. Photo: Ben Rogers

32nd Synod members have today elected Rev David Baker for a second term as Queensland Synod moderator. Ashley Thompson catches up with David to reflect back on the first 18 months of his first term. Ashley: Why did you put your hand up to be moderator again? David: I was nominated by Bremer Brisbane Presbytery because they thought I still had ...

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Rev Heather den Houting announced as general secretary

Rev Heather den Houting addresses the Synod on her appointment. Photo by Holly Jewell.

Members of the 32nd Synod have confidently called Rev Heather den Houting to be the next general secretary of the Queensland Synod. Currently acting associate general secretary of the Queensland Synod, Heather will begin this new role on 1 June 2016. “When we say the words ‘together on the way’, I want you to know I work best in the ...

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Presbytery Q&A stimulates discussion

Bruce Johnson addresses the 32nd Synod presbytery Q&A panel. Photo by Ben Rogers.

In a new style of engaging with Queensland Synod presbytery reports, South Moreton Presbytery multicultural officer David Busch facilitated a Q&A panel discussion between 32nd Synod members and presbytery representatives. Available on the Queensland Synod YouTube channel, members were encouraged to watch presbytery reports and submit their questions for discussion. Identified by the moderator as a forum to raise and ...

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Adrian Plass: Honest to God

Adrian Plass; "The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass: Adrian Plass and the Church Weekend" (Hodder & Stoughton). Photo: Supplied.

At the tail end of a two-month speaking tour of Australia, Ashley Thompson catches up with British author and poet Adrian Plass to reflect on his last 29 years of unintended ministry. It’s been almost 30 years since Adrian Plass broke through the silence of church niceties with brutal, hilarious honesty. Bracing for “evangelicals with pitchforks” upon the release of ...

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Lay education takes root in Taiwanese youth

Jack Shao. Photo: Holly Jewell.

Brisbane Taiwanese Uniting Church youth mentor and Trinity College Queensland alumni, Jack Shao is encouraging the next generation of youth to undertake lay education. Ashley Thompson writes. Immigrating with his family to Australia at 14, Jack Shao has been attending the Brisbane Taiwanese congregation for 25 years. A Brisbane Boys’ College old boy, he was baptised at 17 and has ...

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