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Author Archives: Dianne Jensen

Is Iraq about our selfies?

Number one Squadron F/A-18F Super Hornet prepares for take off. Photo by Australian Department of Defence.

“So much death! What can men do against such reckless hate?” asks a despairing Théoden, faced with the pitiless onslaught of the orcs in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. There’s an unnerving echo of the battle for Middle Earth in the media coverage of the unfolding Middle East crisis. Unlike the wearisome conflicts in South Sudan, Gaza, Ukraine ...

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Making a habit of helping

Ipswich Habitat for Humanity volunteers at a Brush with Kindness event in October: Wayne Hill (front) and left to right: Stephen Palmer, Ken Fischer, Ray and Kath Browning, and Dawn Foote. Photo by Trevor Foote.

Dianne Jensen reports on how the Glebe Road Uniting Church congregation in Ipswich is helping Queenslanders to keep a roof over their heads. Whether you are a dab hand with a paint brush or more at home with gardening gloves, Habitat for Humanity can use your skills. The Glebe Road congregation has become the hub of the Ipswich chapter of ...

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Hearing voices: Why the G20 matters

Rev Susan Pickering (West End Uniting Church), Lauren Ash (Micah Challenge Brisbane Coordinator), John Beckett (Micah Challenge National Coordinator) and Dave Andrews (Waiters Union) at West End Uniting Church. Photo by Holly Jewell.

The desperate woman who pushed through the crowd to tug at Jesus’ robe took a chance that his minders were too distracted to notice. There are better ways to make your voice heard at the G20, as Dianne Jensen reports. Raising your concerns directly with world leaders such as US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel or Chinese President ...

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Members take the floor at Synod Open Space

Open space discussion at the 31st Synod

Discussions during the open space at the 31st Synod have concluded after more than 100 conversations took place among Synod members and staff about the future of the Uniting Church. Facilitator Brendan McKeague, who gave the Norman and Mary Miller Lecture on Monday evening, introduced the discussion theme “Our church is on life support, what’s our call now?” to Synod ...

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Community connection resource launched

Bruce Mullan holds the newly-launched Stats have Faces resource at the 31st Synod.

Synod Research Officer Bruce Mullan launched a free congregational resource at Synod called Stats have Faces. The resource was developed by Uniting Communications in consultation with Scott Guyatt (project officer Mission Engagement), Mark Cornford (project officer Christian Formation) and Trinity College Queensland. It assists churches to conduct a self-directed review of their mission strategy by collecting data and exploring their ...

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UnitingCare takes up the challenge for growth

UnitingCare Queensland CEO Anne Cross at the 1st Synod in Session.

Community services provider UnitingCare Queensland is on track to meet the challenges thrown up in an era of unprecedented change. CEO Anne Cross told the 31st Synod meeting at Alexandra Park that the organisation must continue to adapt in order to respond to the pace and extent of reforms to health, aged and community care, disability, child protection and community ...

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Kids in detention: good first step

Children of all ages are still held on Nauru. This photo is of the facilities. Photo credit to the Department of Immigration and Boarder Protection.

While asylum seeker advocates are celebrating the announcement that some children and their families will be released from detention, they warn that there is still much to do. Dianne Jensen reports. The Uniting Church in Australia has welcomed an announcement by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison that some children in detention will be released into the ...

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Generation whatever: Bridging the worship divide

Worship is hands-on at Burdekin Uniting Church, where the congregation enjoys coming together across the generations. Photo by Burdekin Uniting Church.

Whenever two or three gather together in God’s name there will be at least that many views on how to worship. Add different generations into the mix, and being one in the Lord is a challenging task for any worship team. Dianne Jensen reports. We know that there are big differences between age cohorts, but why is it so difficult ...

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In search of the great silence: Rediscovering Christian meditation

Shirley Sargeant facilitates contemplative prayer sessions at Stillpoint in Toowong. Photo taken by Holly Jewell.

The ancient practice of Christian meditation is experiencing a revival, and Uniting Church members are among those rediscovering the value of silence. Dianne Jensen reports. When the street noise and the background chatter finally fade into nothingness, there is silence. And in this place of deep stillness, all subterfuge cast off, we may find that the peace of God does ...

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Day camp blossoms in Roma

Uniting Church day camp at Roma was packed with adventure. Photo taken by Shannan Rothery.

Take 45 primary school children with loads of energy and a bush paddock under a wide blue sky, and you have a Uniting Church day camp. Dianne Jensen reports. “It was cold and windy, but we had an absolute blast!” says Jodie Beitz, Roma Uniting Church member and one of the directors of the day camp held in Roma in ...

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