Home > Author Archives: Dianne Jensen (page 5)

Author Archives: Dianne Jensen

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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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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