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Dampened spirits

PARTS of Queensland have once again been hit by rising flood waters and it's taking its toll on many regional communities. Roma, in the western Darling Downs area in South West Queensland, was one of the severely effected towns in the Maranoa region. Minister at Maranoa Uniting Church, Rev Linda Hamill, said this year's flooding has been much worse then ...

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Unravelling education

PEOPLE learn in many different ways. Our experiences of learning are influenced by the way we interact with our world. Whether we are in a classroom, workplace, at home or at church, we are interacting with information and making decisions that expand our understanding of the world. It’s interesting to think that the way we view the world shapes our ...

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Starting the learning with Lent

A couple of years ago a friend of mine told me she was giving up chocolate for Lent. I looked at her with utter incomprehension. The whole concept of Lent seemed archaic (and the concept of giving up chocolate positively barbaric). It is an attitude that is perhaps reflected by the person who recently reacted with bemusement to a blog ...

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Learning for life

THE Uniting Church is a community of worship, witness and service but it is also a place of learning. Our schools are not the only learning organisations within the Church either; one of UnitingCare Queensland’s values is “Leading through Learning”. In Paragraph 11 of the Church’s foundational document, the Basis of Union, it states: “The Uniting Church acknowledges that God ...

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Navigating belonging and singleness

SINGLES come in all shapes, ages and conditions – students away from home; semipermanent visitors; recent migrants; separated or divorced folk; people who have lost a loved partner. They all have one thing in common: the need to belong – to be included. Our church communities are good at catering for groups of people: prayer groups, Bible study, craft or ...

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Building men of hope and courage

I grew up in a community that was both microscopic and networked at the same time. It was a microscopic community because my family lived on lighthouse stations. At the same time it was a dynamically networked community across the whole country, with 24 manned stations and the accompanying support networks. Looking back, it was a safe community. There were ...

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Belonging to God

IN the service of Congregational Reaffirmation of Baptism, the members of the congregation are invited to trace the sign of the cross on each other and to declare as they do so: “You belong to Christ”. It is a powerful moment in which we are reminded of the identity we received at our baptism. If we allow the sign and ...

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Finding your other self

BORN in the Northern Territory, Trinity Theological College student Fa Ngaluafe speaks rather eloquently about belonging and the challenges that come with belonging to two different cultures. “Belonging is a worldwide human desire that we all seek,” she said. “It is like a missing piece within our hearts and lives which we continuously search for. “I have come to a ...

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Partners on the journey

WHEN a church calls a person in ministry it is not just that person who answers the call. A move to a new congregation or role impacts their whole family. Partners in Ministry (PIM) originated in the Methodist Church over 60 years ago to support this group of people. Queensland PIM secretary Andi Griggs said that although the group was ...

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Hope overflowing

ONE year on and the physical and emotional scars of the January 2011 floods and cyclone are still evident throughout Queensland. In an area which bore the brunt of the flood’s casualties, The Downs Presbytery Minister Sharon Kirk said she deliberately did not watch any news replays of the footage from the devastating events. “I just can’t bring myself to ...

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