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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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Six awkward meeting moments (and how to solve them)

Members vote positively at the 31st Synod. Photo by Uniting Communications.

Everyone knows the Uniting Church loves a good committee. With the 31st Synod sitting this month, Journey writers have gathered some helpful hints based on the Assembly’s Manual for meetings about how to avoid those awkward meeting moments. Why wasn’t I told about this? Similar to “Am I late?” this question indicates that the speaker has ignored their emails or left ...

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The Bachelor exposes self

The Bachelor Australia 2014, Blake Garvey and contestants. Photo: Network Ten

The Bachelor Australia continues to thrive and it’s all my fault. Ashley Thompson writes. Whether you like it or not, The Bachelor Australia makes Network Ten piles of money—thanks to well-educated middle-class Australians like me. Raking in 1.4 million viewers per episode, other well-educated middle-class females (who are not me) compete in glitterfied Gladiator-style arena for the “genuine” and definitely-not-fake, ...

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Beyond Sunday morning

Book cover of Undivided: Closing the faith-life gap by Graham Hooper. Intervarsity Press, 2014. Recommended retail price: $14.99.

The easiest way to tell what anyone believes, what they value, is to look at how they behave and how they spend their time and money. It becomes uncomfortable when, through either our own realisation or by someone else pointing it out, our external behaviours don’t match up with what we say we value. The problem is worse for those ...

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Five things my father taught me about the church

Father's Day is on Sunday 7 September.

Fathers teach us a lot of interesting stuff about life, faith, and taking one for the team. Here are a few thoughts from the writers at Journey about what fathers teach us about the church. There’s always room for one more Fathers invoke the theological principle of hospitality each time they turn up at dinnertime with stray colleagues suffering food ...

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Navigating the moral minefield

Ethics With or Without God: Christianity and morality in the 21st century by Noel Preston. Published by Mosaic Press in 2014. Recommended retail price: $22.95.

When I was younger, making ethical decisions seemed a fairly straightforward process. As a Christian I had the Bible and centuries of Christian tradition to draw on when it came to making wise ethical choices—all pretty black and white and all pretty easy to understand. Now I am older things seem much greyer. As a practising Christian and in the ...

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Peculiar things we do: Conferences

UnitingWomen conference promotional poster, featuring woman of varying cultures laughing and interacting. Photo was supplied..

Why travel to Sydney when you can watch a webinar? Ashley Thompson explores. In Australia, many Christians wait in anticipation for annual gatherings. We go to great lengths, spending precious leave and flying interstate to listen to keynote speakers whose content is often easily accessible online or in their latest book. We attend conferences for a variety of reasons, such ...

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Grappling with the Bible

Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today by Adam Hamilton. Publisher: HarperOne, 2014. Recommended retail price $29.95

Breathtaking in scope and certainly ambitious in prospect, Adam Hamilton has written an important book that many people in congregations will find stimulating, challenging and, in the end, comforting. With clear and understandable language, this book is not only an invaluable resource for ministers, but also a must-read for the growing number of book clubs Uniting Churches are establishing. This ...

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Waste not, want not

Picture of a women confused by cooking reality tv shows MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules and what that means she should cook.

I may not remember my first kiss, but I do remember the first pizza I ate and the first quiche I made (and the fact that everyone thought it rhymed with “witch”). One of the most surprising things for baby boomers about reality shows such as Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules is the rehabilitation of humble vegies like pumpkin and ...

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