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Five weasel words to watch out for

A weasel. Photo by Cecil Sanders.

Like most organisations, churches love to use words which give the impression of being intelligent and inclusive whilst smoothing over potential discord. But these deliberately ambiguous words can be as evasive as weasels, containing no actual meaning. Keep a close eye on these lest they give you the wrong idea. Unchurched This word was coined as tactful way of describing ...

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Simply Good News NT Wright Harper One, 2015

NT Wright has been affirmed as a prolific biblical scholar and “the most important apologist for the Christian faith since CS Lewis”. Since retiring as Anglican Bishop of Durham, Wright has become Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Andrews University in Scotland. His credentials in New Testament scholarship and as an experienced church leader are apparent ...

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No cinders in this story

Cinderella 2015. Image by Walt Disney Pictures.

When Disney announced that there would be yet another remake of Cinderella, the odds seemed to be against the film establishing a reputation on its own merits. However, Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella is a traditionally refreshing work of art amongst the harsh settings of teenage science fiction. The producers and crew were brave to be so kind to the Cinderella story ...

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March to equality

Selma, Directed by Ava DuVernay Starring David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson 2014, M. Photo by StudioCanal.

The list of Martin Luther King Jr’s achievements is long, and he looms large in our collective consciousness as a champion of civil rights and nonviolent, direct action. King was president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and played a major role in achieving a great shift in civil rights in America. For his great many achievements he is honoured ...

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Five New Year’s resolutions for your congregation

Five New Year's resolutions for your congregation. Graphic by Ashleigh Pesu.

There’s nothing like the New Year to turn our minds towards setting new goals. Here are some suggestions on how to make the most of your New Year’s fresh start. Update your church sign The sign outside your church provides that critical first impression. Will people pause for thought or flee for the hills? Consider the most appropriate use of ...

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Big hero, big heart

Big Hero 6, Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, Starring Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit and Daniel Henney 2014, PG. Photo by Walt Disney Pictures.

For a movie about a 14-year-old genius and his inflatable robot nurse, it’s a little surprising that Big Hero 6 is mostly about death and revenge. Big Hero 6 is an impressive achievement for Disney. It’s common to find animated children’s movies blending kid-friendly slapstick humour with more sophisticated jokes for parents, but Big Hero 6 goes further, exploring hard, ...

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Defying gravity: How to escape from Earth

A space station from the movie Interstellar. Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures.

The world is dying. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is set in a world where crop blight and rapidly changing temperatures has caused the United States to become a dust bowl, and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Space flight has officially been abandoned as wasteful and pointless, so former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) runs a corn farm (the only ...

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Six ways to be an inclusive church

Rainbow colour post-it notes.

If you’ve never felt unwelcome in a worshipping community it might be hard to understand how many people experience church. Journey explores how to make sure your church is truly inclusive. Indigenous Australians The Uniting Church sees reconciliation with Indigenous people as essential to the life and health of the church and Australian society. Including an acknowledgement of country before ...

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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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Boyhood grows and grows

Boyhood star, Ellar Coltrane. Photo: IFC Films.

Filmed with the same cast over a period of 12 years, it’s clear Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is angling to be the greatest coming-of-age movie of all time. At the start of the film Mason (Ellar Coltrane) is a cherub-faced six-year-old. Then, over nearly three hours he grows into an 18-year-old college student. Mason’s path to adulthood is not easy. His ...

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