Home > Features (page 17)

Features

Bundaberg: the advent of hope

Frank Millett, Heather Donald and Rev Ray Nutley use Uniting Communications' Christmas postcards to spread the news about the Bundaberg Uniting Church Christmas services.

As Bundaberg Uniting Church members begin the familiar Advent journey, many will reflect on a year of working and waiting for a new beginning. Dianne Jensen reports. The people of Bundaberg and the nearby towns in the Wide Bay Burnett region had their lives turned upside down by the floods caused by cyclone Oswald last January. An estimated 9000 houses ...

Read More »

Fashioning compassion

A worker in a clothing cooperative in Tamil Nadu. Ten women own the cooperative which is currently making t-shirts for Body Glove. The cooperative produces 1000 garments a day, six days a week. Each shirt sells for $25 in America—the equivalent of this women's weekly wage. Photo by Bindy Taylor.

Human trafficking is usually associated with the sex trade, but it forms a key part of the textile industry as well. On a recent Women of Strength trip to India, Bindy Taylor saw first-hand the working conditions experienced by the people who make our clothes. The connection between clothing production and human trafficking is one of the world’s best-kept secrets. ...

Read More »

When I was in prison you visited me

UnitingCare Community Prison Ministry coordinator and senior chaplain Beatriz Skippen. Photo by Dianne Jensen.

UnitingCare Community Prison Ministry coordinator and senior chaplain Beatriz Skippen talks to Dianne Jensen about her life behind bars. Beatriz Skippen talks quietly on Monday mornings. As UnitingCare Community Prison Ministry coordinator and senior chaplain, her Sundays are spent either speaking in churches or preaching in prisons, sometimes participating in between four and six services a day. Her day has ...

Read More »

Hope for the Holy Land

Bishop Munib Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, in Brisbane in September

The Holy Land is stitched into the fabric of the Christmas story. Could Mary and Joseph make their way to Bethlehem in today’s conflict-ridden West Bank? Mardi Lumsden explores hopes for peace in Israel and Palestine. From its beginning, Jerusalem has been a city in conflict, and the regions around have been conquered and fought over for centuries. Despite this, people of ...

Read More »

Preach your heart out

Sermon cartoon by Phil Day

Pull out the popcorn, it’s time for the sermon. Dianne Jensen explores how preaching styles have changed, and why good preaching still matters. When comedian George Burns suggested that the secret of a fine sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, with the two as close together as possible, he could not have imagined the entertainment ...

Read More »

Stolen blood

Allan, centre, with Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga and other children saved from child sacrifice by Kyampisi Childcare Ministries

Worldwide reports confirm the reality of child sacrifice in northern Africa. Ashley Goetze speaks to Peter Sewakiryanga about Uganda’s modern affliction. In Uganda, children are routinely kidnapped and their body parts cut off for ritual sacrifice. In pursuit of wealth, clients visit witchdoctors on a weekly basis delivering hearts, livers and blood to be consumed by spirits. Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga is the Director of Kyampisi ...

Read More »

Indigenous leaders mobilise for mission

Joya Waia (Weipa) and Ellen Hobson (Bamaga) at the 2013 Grasstree Gathering in Brisbane

Emerging Indigenous leaders and elders from across Australia are forging new partnerships through the Grasstree Gathering. Dianne Jensen reports. “Preaching in your own skin” is a catchphrase that sums up the cultural and spiritual empowerment of a people, and it resounded at the National Grasstree Gathering Emerging Indigenous Christian Leaders Conference in Brisbane. The Grasstree event in early October followed the inaugural ...

Read More »

Breaking the silence about mental health

A Nouwen Network gathering in Fairfield, Brisbane

Mental health is not the absence of illness, but a way of living. Dianne Jensen reports. “One of the big things I’ve learnt from my son’s illness is not to be judgemental. You never know what people are going through.”—Lyndal Hutton. According to mental health charity SANE Australia, nearly half the Australian population will experience mental illness at some stage ...

Read More »

Decoding the Word

Kevin Rudd speaks about the Bible on ABC’s Q&A

Rohan Salmond explores different interpretations of the Bible and how they enhance both personal and communal faith. The Bible is a book with a unique place in human history. It consistently tops “greatest” and “most influential” book lists, and across all its versions and translations it would easily rank among the world’s best-selling titles. It is also, anecdotally, the world’s ...

Read More »

Faith without boundaries

Joan Beavis

Joan Beavis lives in West End, Brisbane where she ministers to the lost and vunerable people of her community. My mother Nellie would hold the hands of the lepers in the hospital on the tiny island of Ubuiua in the Milne Bay district of Papua New Guinea. My father, Bert Cuff, had built the hospital, commissioned by the Methodist Overseas ...

Read More »