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There is room at the inn

Sunday School teacher Elaine Hawthorne with the children at Aspley Uniting Church. Photo by Katy Edwards.

What would it take for your church to become a place of refuge? Think carefully, because God’s hospitality demands that we welcome the outsider with open hearts and minds. Dianne Jensen reports. Kieran is an ex-prisoner who went looking for a church where he would be welcome. He was a new Christian whose life had taken a radical about-turn in ...

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Ring in the changes

Phil Smith. Photo by Rohan Salmond.

After a career in media Phil Smith has found himself lay pastor to a kind of faith community not often found in the Uniting Church. Rohan Salmond talks to him about faith, ecumenism and the future of church. “I have just turned 53 and really would not have expected to be in this activity in this season of my life,” ...

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How can I help?

(Right) Katherine Bizzell, member of The Gap Uniting on a short-term mission trip to North India. Photo: Hugo Joubert

All giving should be rooted in relationship, writes Ashley Thompson. Last year your aunt gave you ice tongs for Christmas. You didn’t want or need them. In fact you weren’t even aware ice needed tongs! So today, like many other misguided gifts from relatives, they live in a spare cupboard waiting to be re-gifted. You’re positive you’re not the only one who’s been ...

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Lessons drawn from the funny side

Self-portrait by Phillip Day.

Dianne Jensen talks to award-winning comic artist Phil Day about viewing life and faith through the lens of humour. Remember that smart-aleck kid whose clever caricatures were passed around the classroom as soon as the teacher’s back was turned? There’s a good chance that he or she grew up to be a cartoonist like Phillip Day, the award-winning comic artist who ...

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Love your neighbour

(Left to right) Philippa Core, Dr Nora Amath, Rev Heather Griffin, Rev Suzy Sitton. Photos by Rohan Salmond.

Since the activities of the so-called Islamic State have made the news, anti-Muslim sentiment in Australia has been at an all-time high. Rohan Salmond speaks to some interfaith activists working to build understanding across religious lines. A black silhouette wielding a knife stands over a man kneeling in an orange jumpsuit. It’s an image so powerful it has reached around ...

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Hearing voices: Why the G20 matters

Rev Susan Pickering (West End Uniting Church), Lauren Ash (Micah Challenge Brisbane Coordinator), John Beckett (Micah Challenge National Coordinator) and Dave Andrews (Waiters Union) at West End Uniting Church. Photo by Holly Jewell.

The desperate woman who pushed through the crowd to tug at Jesus’ robe took a chance that his minders were too distracted to notice. There are better ways to make your voice heard at the G20, as Dianne Jensen reports. Raising your concerns directly with world leaders such as US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel or Chinese President ...

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Screw pretending: Be yourself

Rev Nadia Bolz-Weber speaking at UnitingWomen conference in Sydney. Photo by Holly Jewell.

You are who you are. Ashley Thompson speaks with New York Times bestselling author Rev Nadia Bolz-Weber about why Christians should be authentic and vulnerable. You’d be forgiven thinking Rev Nadia Bolz- Weber is anti-authoritarian: the short spiky hair, striking tattoos and cynical wit—if it wasn’t for her clerical collar you’d never guess this foul-mouthed, weightlifting, mother of two is ...

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Deal or no deal?

Bruce Mullan explores the ethics of churches accessing gambling revenue. Cartoon by Phil Day.

While Queenslanders spend up to $175 million at the pokies each month, some congregations are receiving a portion of the state government’s take in grant allocations. Bruce Mullan explores the ethics of churches accessing gambling revenue. Australians spend a staggering $20 billion dollars each year on gambling, and in 2013 Queenslanders spent more than $2.1 billion on pokies alone—the equivalent ...

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Generosity meets mission

Rev Paul Clarke and artist Joy Harris. Photo taken by Holly Jewell.

The call for humans to care for creation—to be good stewards—goes back to Adam and Eve. As the Queensland Synod marks Stewardship Sunday (5 October), Mardi Lumsden explores how the modern church is living generously. So often, the word stewardship is underpinned by the need to fix the church roof or upgrade technology. Queensland Synod Moderator-elect Rev David Baker says ...

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Discovering Doctor DD

Portrait of Dr Dayalan Devanesen. Photo taken by Rohan Salmond.

Servant leadership rooted in love for the other can make a radical difference. Rohan Salmond spoke to Mudgeeraba Uniting Church member Dr Dayalan Devanesen AM about loving action, bicultural healthcare and community empowerment. Dr Dayalan Devanesen AM began his medical career with a blessing. “When I was 12 I happened to meet Dr Ida Scudder, who founded Christian Medical College, ...

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