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Exploring the holy night

OF ALL the Christmas carols, ‘Cantique de Noël’ or ‘O Holy Night’ is perhaps one of the most loved. For me, it’s the only one I really enjoy. It has a soaring melody, a mood of hopeful anticipation and an unforgettable finish. There are, however, two things that are impossible about this song. The first is the impossibility of everyone ...

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1 Corinthians 13 Christmas style

IF I DECORATE my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family – I’m just another decorator. If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to ...

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Life’s greatest gift

I’M READING one of those books that is an oldie, but a goodie – The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Aimed primarily at those in long term relationships, it takes the reader through the diff erent ways that love can be expressed by people. What struck me particularly was the no-nonsense way the author dismissed the concept of idealised, ...

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A very different experience

“FREETOWN IS very different to our home town of Chinchilla in Queensland,” say Russell and Robyn Porep, who have just finished six months of service as volunteers with Mercy Ships in the West African nation. Robyn worked as a physiotherapist on the Africa Mercy, the world’s largest charity hospital ship which has six operating theatres, a 78-bed hospital and equipped with ...

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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 ...

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Remembering those who serve

UNITING CHURCH Minister, Rev John Saunders, is on active service as a Chaplain with the Australian Army in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, where he has been since mid-June this year. When he arrived in the Middle East it was the height of summer with temperatures between 40- 50C. By the time he leaves he will have been through a winter with ...

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QR codes look to future

QR CODES (or Quick Response codes) are twodimensional barcodes that can store more information than a regular barcode. They allow people to link to digital content such as websites or open certain functions on your phone, for example your contacts section to import data from a digital business card. They work by using your smart phone’s camera to scan the ...

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Mission for a fresh church

THE FRESH Expressions movement is creating a buzz of excitement in the Uniting Church around new kinds of mission and outreach. In essence, the movement isn’t doing anything new at all. It is almost taking mission and outreach and the activity of ‘church’ back to its fundamental roots: being Christ in the community. In 2005 the Church of England established ...

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Knitting revives body and spirit

WHAT BEGAN as a small project for two keen knitters two years ago has grown into a small army of women knitting blankets for the Hamlin Fistula Trust in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Heather Allison and Sarah Hucklesby investigated charitable organisations that could use hand knitted materials and decided on the Trust not only because of an Australian connection (the ...

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Inspired thinking

HISTORY BOOKS are full of inspired people who have shaped our world. Explorers, inventors, scientists, artists, theologians and so many others have spent countless hours growing the seeds of ideas into tangible realities. Even today the way we communicate, socialise, even the food we eat is evolving. This is not necessarily always a good thing, but one thing is for ...

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