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Author Archives: Journey

Book review: Marathon Wheeler: Living with Physical Disability

Perseverance is the theme of Rev Heather Coombes’ book about living with physical disability, reviewed by retired Uniting Church minister Rev Christopher Ridings. Now retired, Heather Coombes reflects upon her marathon journey in a wheelchair for the purpose of enriching life for those obliged to follow a similar rocky path. Born with cerebral palsy, Heather traces her family background and ...

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A few favourite books from 2018

As the year draws to a close and the books come out for a summer read on the beach or veranda, Nick Mattiske selects a few of his favourites from 2018. What were your favourites from this year? Please let us know in the comments below. Much of the focus of Tom Wright’s career has been on the theology of ...

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The power of second chances

Second Chance Bangkok is an op shop with a difference. Run by a family from Australia and located on the edge of the infamous Klong Toei slum (Thailand’s largest, population 120 000), the op shop has arranged to receive surplus clothing from the many ex-pat workers who are employed in Bangkok on short-term contracts. Instead of shipping their wardrobe home, they ...

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Discipleship and mission: Two sides of the same coin

I was delighted to participate in the recent Queensland Synod Inspired Disciples event, taking the opportunity to explore a range of topics and perspectives on discipleship. In each session I also found myself thinking about mission. I was wondering “What does it mean to be a missional disciple?” and “How do discipleship practices inform my sense of mission?” The Queensland ...

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Unwrapping the true wonder of Jesus’ birth

While a great deal of society tends to focus on material “wants” at Christmas, Trinity College Queensland’s Dean of Formations and Dispersed Learning Rev Nigel Rogers uncovers the relational “needs” at the core of the Christmas narrative, and how God holds the key to a flourishing, abundant life. “Oh, wow, a T-shirt! That’s awesome, thanks so much,” I said as ...

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In the simple act of sharing, love is re-born

The Christmas Bowl is an annual tradition for many Australian congregations and individuals, sharing the Christmas message through supporting people in need across the world. Jess Xavier from Act for Peace reminds us of this enduring legacy of hope. It was 1949. Millions of refugees were starving in war-ravaged Europe. And as Frank Byatt, a young minister in Victoria looked ...

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Seek and you will find

The journey of the Magi has, in my latter years, become my favourite part of the Christmas narrative. It might be because of T.S. Elliot’s 1927 poem “Journey of the Magi” which we studied in school. Elliot evoked great drama and wonder out of a fairly sparse biblical source, at least in terms of who these people might be, where ...

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Out of the ice cave, into the light

Performing artist Hayley Kitchener (stage name Ella K) shared her story at UnitingWomen 2018, captivating the audience with her song “Ice Cave”. Hayley, who is vision-impaired, has part-time roles as Young Adults, Families and Mission Pastor at St Lucia Uniting Church, Brisbane and assistant chaplain at QUT, and is a candidate for Minister of the Word. How did music come ...

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The wonder that changes the world

As Christmas approaches, UnitingWorld’s Cath Taylor considers the wonderful progress we’ve made as a global community and what you can do at Christmas to make an extraordinary impact in the lives of the disadvantaged. Andy Williams is crooning about Christmas being “the most wonderful time of the year” as my trolley nicks a display of chocolate Santas and sends them ...

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Hope is re-born, one step at a time

Rev David Ellis, who works in team ministry with his wife and pilot Janette in the Cloncurry-based McKay Patrol Remote Area Bush Chaplaincy, reflects on the power of the Christmas story. A family loses a primary school-aged child in an on-farm accident just weeks before Christmas. Visiting in the New Year, the younger sibling greets us and invites us in ...

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