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Faith, Hope, Love… it’s Christmas

THIS DECEMBER, nearly 250 000 post cards from Uniting Churches will be making their way to communities throughout Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania.

The theme of the cards (Faith, Hope, Love) comes directly from the Uniting Church in Queensland’s Call: Uniting in Christ, acting with love, living with hope, witnessing in faith, working for justice.

In the Synod office we are calling 2012 “the year of belonging” and will be exploring aspects of belonging throughout the year in Journey.

The Synod calendar features 13 artworks by young people expressing what it means to them to belong to the Uniting Church.

It seems belonging is something many Australians are searching for but, according to NCLS research and Census data, the number of people finding it in church is declining.

The results of a new research survey by Olive Tree Media into the reasons why Australians don’t accept Christian faith were released in October.

The research revealed the top ten barriers to Christian faith as being: Church abuse, hypocrisy, judging others, religious wars, suffering, issues around money, church being out-dated, hell and condemnation, homosexuality and exclusivity.

In launching the report, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, said he was encouraged by the survey’s findings on the influence of families on a person’s Christian values.

“The transmission of faith through families is tremendously significant,” he said.

Archbishop Jensen added that the survey showed that the influence of friends was also very important.

“Sixty per cent of Australians don’t know a Christian,” he said.

Christmas post cards and Uniting Church events are a visual and tangible way to share the faith, hope and love that Christians find in the Christmas story.

This Christmas how will you and your community act with love, live with hope, and witness in faith?

Keep an eye out for a series of seven short videos, produced by the Journey offi ce, exploring what faith, hope, and love mean for a range of people across the life of the Queensland Synod.

The videos, directed by Phillip Johnson, will be uploaded throughout December to the Journey Television YouTube channel and will be available for people to download for free use in their services, events and small groups.

Please use these resources as examples of confi dently shared faith and share them with as many people as possible.

Perhaps by embodying faith, hope and love in our communities, we can break down some of those barriers to faith and help people feel that the Christmas narrative belongs in their lives as well.

To order the Synod calendar visit http://www.ucaqld.com.au/about-us/about-the-uniting-church-in-queensland/together-on-the-way-enriching-community/