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Features

Changing the world one step at a time

Anne Cross, UnitingCare Queensland CEO. Photo was supplied.

Telstra Business Woman of the Year 2014 Anne Cross is CEO of UnitingCare Queensland, the largest not-for-profit health and community services provider in Queensland. Anne talks to Dianne Jensen about her lifelong commitment to building a more compassionate society. What were the issues that really fired you up as a student? I was at university in the 1970s, a time ...

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Who are the 7%?

(L–R) Queensland young adults Alieta Molitika, Joyce Waia and Talahiva Taufa at the National Young Adult Leaders Conference in Sydney. Photo by Rohan Salmond.

It’s much easier to be a young person in a church full of other young people, and it’s no secret that some Uniting Church members are gravitating to younger, cooler denominations—or leaving church altogether. Rohan Salmond talks to some young people who have made the choice to stick around. It’s a statistical oddity that one of Australia’s youngest denominations—the Uniting ...

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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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