Author Archives: Dianne Jensen

Small church, big vision: How the Congregational Church led Australia in the ordination of women

Rev Dr Julia Pitman’s latest book Our principle of sex equality examines the stories of 15 female ministers in the context of the establishment of Congregationalism in Australia. Dianne Jensen talks with the author about her research, the history of the ordination of women and how the Uniting Church has been influenced by the Congregational Church. The Congregational Church is ...

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Six reasons why cricket is the game played in heaven

Six reasons why Test cricket will be the game played in heaven.

It’s not easy being an Australian cricket fan, especially of the classic five-day Test format. Non-believers scoff at the faithful—those who hold fast in the face of constant disappointment to the belief that we will prevail. For those feeling discouraged by the recent performance of the Australian Test team (or wondering what the fuss is about), Dianne Jensen pushes the ...

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Rethinking the church in central Queensland

Central Queensland Presbytery remote/rural ministry project officer Rev Arthur Tutin. Photo: Supplied

Congregations in central Queensland are having their say about the ministry models they need to sustain them amid the ongoing challenges of life on the land. Dianne Jensen reports. Rev Arthur Tutin, the new Central Queensland Presbytery remote/rural ministry project officer, is the man literally behind the wheel of a two-year project to explore how the presbytery might develop and ...

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Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy

Cartoon of a husband lying on a hammock on the Sabbath and his wife pointing to a mower. By Phil Day.

Sunday-best clothes, church, roast lunches and lazy afternoons are Sunday memories for many older Christians. Dianne Jensen explores whatever happened to the Sabbath. For most Australians, the measured pace of Sunday has given way to the frenetic demand for unlimited access to entertainment, sport and commercial services. We are willing participants, giving way to the insidious tug to constantly check ...

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Ready, set, jump!

(Left to right) Paul Simpson from Pittwater Uniting Church, New South Wales, and Mike Wardrop, intergenerational discipleship developer, South Australian Synod. Photo by Dianne Jensen.

It will take a leap of faith for our churches to grow. That’s the message from the inaugural Uniting Leaders conference held at the end of August at Newlife Uniting Church, Robina. Dianne Jensen reports. Lay and ordained leaders across the generations were encouraged to step up and out into new models of leadership at the three-day Uniting Leaders conference ...

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Stranger danger: creating welcoming church communities

(Left to right) newcomers coordinator at Newlife Uniting Church Marcelle Fricker with newcomer Darryl Holbrook, Rev Derek Schiller, St George Uniting Church, with congregation member Ned Jones. Photos were supplied.

Someone new walks into church. You’re torn between maintaining a polite distance and asking them around for lunch and afternoon Bible study. Dianne Jensen talks to two quite different Uniting Churches about welcoming newcomers. Stepping through the church door can be a scary business. The jargon and rituals are unnerving—and that’s before someone is invited to stand up and sing! ...

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Small is beautiful: our church on Maggie Island

A photo of Arthur Bay, Magnetic Island by Alex Derr.

A small congregation in one of Queensland’s iconic tourist destinations is demonstrating the power of the Gospel to draw people together. Dianne Jensen talks to members of the Magnetic Island Uniting Church. Christians from all denominations and none have found a church home at the Uniting Church on Magnetic Island, a tiny piece of paradise just off Townsville. There hasn’t ...

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Outside the comfort zone with Val Webb

Dr Val Webb. Photo by Holly Jewell.

Dianne Jensen talks to Val Webb about keeping the faith in a challenging world. If Uniting Church theologian Dr Val Webb has one message for Christians, it’s that asking questions is good for your faith. “There are so many people who think there’s only one way to think theologically, and if they can’t stomach that particular doctrinal package they have ...

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Stepping out in faith

Rev Johnson Makoti from Atherton Uniting Church. Photo was supplied.

Zimbabwean-born Johnson Makoti often gets phone calls out of the blue from people who have heard about the new prayer and deliverance ministry at the Atherton Uniting Church. Dianne Jensen reports. After only a year in the job, Rev Johnson Makoti’s hands-on approach to spreading the word of God has created a stir in the North Queensland town of Atherton and ...

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Art to heart chats about God

Participants at KidzArt, Southport Uniting Church. Photo by Dona Spencer.

One thing that brings children together is their love of drawing. Dianne Jensen finds out why KidzArt is booming at Southport Uniting Church. Exploring spirituality through art is just one of the things which makes KidzArt an effective mission of Southport Uniting Church. The innovative program was started four years ago by Rev Dona Spencer to provide a creative Christian ...

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