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Culture

Four signs God may be calling you to ministry (or not)

Telephone graphic representing "calling". Graphic by Holly Jewell.

Here’s a handy list for those considering a call to a specified ministry in the Uniting Church. You’re hooked on Christian education and you’ve run out of lay courses Many ministry candidates report that the hunger for knowledge and understanding that led them to explore theology was their first step. Talk to Trinity College Queensland at ask@trinity.qld.edu.au about what’s next. ...

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Correcting the trade imbalance

Hugh Jackman with Ethiopian coffee farmer, Dukale.

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, but fair trade documentaries The True Cost and Dukale’s Dream show the economic future of the developing world is far from hopeless. Ashley Thompson writes. “Fair trade is a citizen’s response to correcting the social injustice in the international trading system that is largely dysfunctional,” says Safia Minney—founder and CEO of ...

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Finding your own theological voice

Testing Tradition and Liberating Theology cover by Dr Val Webb. Morning Star Publishing, 2015 ($39.95).

Testing Tradition and Liberating Theology is a little Aussie gem from our own pre-eminent lay theologian Dr Val Webb.  Webb’s goal in this book is to unlock theological process from the rarefied academic world of the seminary and encourage everyone to do their own theological thinking, “rather than continually accepting the often dumbed-down scraps from the altar of others”. Testing ...

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Five faith Facebook faux pas

Facebook banner: sad face and unlike button. Graphic by Ashleigh Pesu.

Just because you can say something, doesn’t mean you should. Heaven knows not all Christians use Facebook appropriately—a sad and missed opportunity considering the potential impact. Here are five tips to keep you on the straight and narrow. Inspiration overload I’m so glad you are inspired by five million quotes from “Anonymous” laid over city backdrops and Bible verses placed ...

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Royal sense and sensibility

Princesses Margaret (left) and Elizabeth (right). Photo by Ecosse Films.

Scornfully reviewed as royal watcher sugar akin to William and Kate: The Movie, the recently released Mother’s Day drawcard A Royal Night Out is fictitious fun with subtle observations on the social phenomenon of birth order, Ashley Thompson writes. “I’m P2, no one cares what I do!” exclaims the younger and only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret Windsor. Elizabeth ...

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Five ways to pursue happiness

Smiley faces. Graphic by Holly Jewell.

It’s official, belonging to a faith community contributes to health and happiness. In fact, the keys to the good life identified by mental health experts pretty much echo the Biblical imperatives to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. Here are five top tips for happiness: Give Generosity is beneficial to your physical and mental health. Making someone ...

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Faith in a Netflix economy

Netflix eating Blockbuster. Graphic by Ashleigh Pesu.

The way we are consuming products—including church—is rapidly changing. Ashley Thompson asks, what does this mean for our communities of faith? A mere decade ago, Blockbuster dominated Friday night entertainment. Now as on-demand internet streaming provider Netflix launches in the Australian market, the “Be Kind, Rewind” era is officially over. Kodak, Nokia, Borders: Blockbuster is in good company among a ...

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In search for a community of Christ

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans, Thomas Nelson Publishers (2015) $19.99.

Rachel Held Evans is a young, thoughtful, hyperconnected woman of faith—and she has a troubled relationship with church. Having grown up in, then left, an evangelical nondenominational church, she is broadly representative of a generation of millennials that have grown up in churches but now in adulthood struggle with the baggage heaped upon them by their received traditions. Research suggests ...

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Neglecting history, inspiring change

Catana Starks, played by Taraji P Henson. Photo was supplied.

Reminiscent of critically acclaimed classic Remember the Titans (2000), From the Rough joins a long list of self-acclaimed inspirational sports films which see underdog sports teams triumph against racial, economic and gender disadvantage to hope’s end. Based on a true story, Catana Starks (Taraji P Henson) is a former women’s swim coach and the first woman ever to coach an ...

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Losing relevance

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche in Clouds of Sils Maria (2014). Photo was supplied.

Meta text Clouds of Sils Maria explores the theme of transformation through the layered looking glass of actresses whose reality is closely related to that of their characters’. For those who have never cared much for Kristen Stewart: watching her in the role of Valentine, a character deeply suited to her monotone decibels and low tolerance for nonsense; brings a ...

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