Author Archives: Dianne Jensen

Stronger ties with the middle kingdom

Dell, a resident at Wesley Mission Brisbane Jacobs Court Aged Care Community in Sinnamon Park, Brisbane, knitting for an aged-care facility in Shandong province, China. Photo was supplied.

Dianne Jensen reports on how a partnership between the Christian church in China and the Uniting Church in Australia is flourishing at the grassroots level. An aged-care facility in a regional town in Shandong province in China seems a world away from the Wesley Mission Brisbane (WMB) Jacobs Court Aged Care Community in Sinnamon Park, Brisbane. But thanks to a ...

Read More »

Film review: God Willing

God Willing (2015) still. Photo property of Palace Films.

There’s a distinctly European flavour to God Willing (Se Dio vuole), the 2015 Italian comedy about love and faith which won Best New Director for writer-director Edoardo Falcone at the recent Italian Oscars. Dianne Jensen reviews this subtle commentary on the search for meaning in a post-Christian society. The lifestyle of the dysfunctional family at the heart of this film ...

Read More »

Cancer support brings hope

Cynthia Culleton (left), one of the creators of the Wulguru Uniting Church garden, with fellow cancer centre volunteer and congregation member Barbara Coates. Photo: Brian Venten

An outreach to people affected by cancer has given the congregation at Wulguru Uniting Church in Townsville a new lease of life. Dianne Jensen reports.  When Rev Phillip Hulme came out of retirement a few years ago, the triple-cancer survivor was already thinking about ways of providing holistic support for those affected by the disease. At Wulguru Uniting Church he ...

Read More »

Mission opportunity: schools and colleges

Schools and Residential Colleges Commission executive officer Dr Daniel Pampuch delivers his report to the 32nd Synod. Photo by Uniting Communications.

Executive officer of the Schools and Residential Colleges Commission Dr Daniel Pampuch outlined the importance of developing tangible links between educational institutions and the church in his report to the 32nd Synod. Citing the 18 organisations, 17 500 students and 1000 staff with whom the commission works, Daniel said “this is a very big mission field in terms of reaching ...

Read More »

Dangerous ideas brew at 32nd Synod

32nd Synod members took part in a virtual reality experience at Synod Unchained. Photo by Uniting Communications.

A new forum to explore outside-the-box thinking was a smash success at Synod. Journey reports. Hundreds gathered for Unchained, a half-day festival held during Synod in Session to air dangerous ideas about how the Uniting Church might re-imagine itself and its place in the world. The event evolved from a suggestion first made by the moderator that the Synod needed ...

Read More »

A call for open hearts and hungry shepherds

Moderator Rev David Baker addresses members. Photo: Holly Jewell

During his report to the 32nd Synod, moderator Rev David Baker highlighted the importance of relationships, leadership and vision as the church seeks to respond to the challenges of the last 40 years. He called the church to return to those ways of being “that have been life-giving since the church was formed”, quoting Jesus’ instruction to Peter to “feed ...

Read More »

Position vacant: modern missionary

Alex Baker with UnitingWorld's Diocese of Durgapur representative Nita Pyne.

Dr Livingstone, I presume? Forget images of formally clad white missionaries venturing into deepest Africa, the modern missionary could be easily mistaken for a local as they blend seamlessly into the culture of their hosts. Dianne Jensen reports. Anyone from a student to a mid-life professional to a retired tradie can become a missionary with UnitingWorld, the overseas relief and ...

Read More »

When words are not enough

Wesley Hospital chaplain Julie Mackay-Rankin (left) and Clinical Nurse Manager of Maternity Nicola McGlynn.

A Wesley Hospital chaplaincy initiative is providing Uniting Church congregations with opportunities to support bereaved parents during the darkest of times. Dianne Jensen reports. Chaplain Julie Mackay-Rankin is passionate about the role of the church in supporting people through loss. Working in consultation with the midwives, Julie helps manage the Perinatal Bereavement Program at Brisbane’s Wesley Hospital, and she understands ...

Read More »

Not drowning, waving: Singles and the church

Single stick men and women. Graphic by Holly Jewell.

Singles make up more than half of the people in churches, yet they are often sidelined when it comes to ministry and outreach. Dianne Jensen asks singles how we can change things. Many people go to church alone. While some have a spouse tucked up in bed with the Sunday paper or doing the soccer run, others attend by themselves ...

Read More »

Voices from the Great War

Lady Rachel Dudley’s Australian Voluntary Hospital Unit (Martha Burns standing at the front) heading for France in 1914. Photo is Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

The Lives, Links and Legacy project underway at St Andrew’s Uniting Church in Brisbane city is uncovering the stories of congregation members who served in World War One. Dianne Jensen reports. When Martha Burns stepped off the yacht Greta onto French soil with Lady Rachel Dudley’s Australian Voluntary Hospital Unit in 1914, her independent ways had already flouted social conventions. ...

Read More »