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Features

Melanie Minichiello: My grateful story

Build the Future managing director Melanie Minichiello in The Change Room community hub in Keperra. Photo by Holly Jewell.

Build the Future managing director Melanie Minichiello talks to Dianne Jensen about her passion for helping young people re-connect with society. Gratitude. It’s as old-fashioned as a hand-written thank-you note, but youth advocate Melanie Minichiello says being grateful is a key ingredient in happiness and wellbeing. “Gratitude allows us to look beyond ourselves and to gain perspective and balance,” says ...

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Jesus feminists: Storming the old boys’ club

Rev Kaye Ronalds as Rosie the Riveter. Photo by Holly Jewell.

The dreaded “F” word: bra burnings and angry women are so last century yet the stigma around feminism remains. Ashley Thompson speaks with four Christian women reclaiming feminist values for ministry and mission. Simply put, feminism is a stand for the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. It is the belief that men and women should have equal ...

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Breaking open the word: Lay preachers in the Uniting Church

Speech bubble graphic by Holly Jewell.

The ministry of lay preacher lies at the heart of the Uniting Church’s vision of a Christian community which celebrates the gifts of every member. Dianne Jensen reports. Caroline Holmes from Fitzroy North Rockhampton Uniting Church has clocked up 53 years of lay preaching, and she is busier than ever. She is one of an army of lay preachers who ...

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When Christian media sucks

Hillsong United performing at Hillsong Conference in Sydney earlier this year. Photo by Ashley Thompson.

Google suggestions don’t lie. So if popular opinion is calling out Christian movies and music as the “enemy of quality”, “intellectually vacant” and “disconnected from reality” what value does it hold in a world already full of hopeless content? Ashley Thompson explores. Christians in media are stuck between a rock and a hard place—damned if they do, damned if they ...

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Mission: conquer culture shock

Noah Kim, international student ministry pastor at Sunnybank Uniting Church in Brisbane. Photo by David Busch.

International student pastor Noah Kim talks to Dianne Jensen about his call to ministry in the Uniting Church. Noah Kim knows first-hand that the call to God’s service can take you far from home and well outside your comfort zone. The South Korean-born Christian received the nudge from his pastor to attend Bible college in Australia eight years ago—and has ...

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Hearts on fire at Assembly

A collection of photo from the Uniting Church 14th Assembly meeting; Hearts On Fire.

The Uniting Church triennial Assembly met and tackled weighty subjects, but still found time for fellowship and reconciliation. Nigel Tapp reports. There are those within the Uniting Church who would deride the triennial Assembly gathering as a bit of talkfest. And there really is a lot of talking. Over six days members deal with a range of issues, both of ...

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Porn kills love: The corrupting influence of sexual images

Experts confirm that hardcore pornography is the biggest source of information about sex for young people. Ashley Thompson explores how its entrenchment in mainstream society has warped sexual expectations—leaking lies into the hearts and minds of our youth. It’s not like you have to go looking for pornography, today it comes looking for you. In 2011, the University of New ...

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Gone camping: Time out for young Christians

Summer Madness brought camping to a new generation

Remember looking up at the stars at midnight, talking about God and faith and wishing that you could always hold worship in a bush chapel or on the beach at dawn? Dianne Jensen finds out why youth camps still play a pivotal role in faith development. Youth camps are a tradition in the Uniting Church, drawing on the legacy of ...

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Travelling north

Uniting Church President-elect Stuart McMillan at Darwin warf

From 12 July Stuart McMillan will become president of the Uniting Church—only the third lay person to ever hold the position. Matt Pulford writes. Stuart McMillan says he had a really good first week working for the Uniting Church in the Northern Territory. But the way that week started wasn’t promising. Six weeks after being interviewed in Sydney for an ...

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Bush congregations battle to support drought communities

The moderator's visit to Central Queensland. Photos by Dianne Jensen.

Everyone tells us that the country is a real picture in a good season. But as the moderator Rev David Baker, Central Queensland Presbytery minister Rev Brian Gilbert and their Uniting Communications sidekick meet with church members in Longreach, Barcaldine and Blackall, the talk is all about the iron grip of the drought. Dianne Jensen reports. Over three days barrelling ...

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