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Standing on solid ground

A prominent Sydney clergyman was once quoted as saying: “God cares for people more than sheep. So we need to send gospel workers where there are more people than sheep.” There were plenty of sheep and quite a few people in western Queensland sixty years ago when wool was a pound a pound and the church was a central plank ...

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Bush devotions prove fruitful

THE SEARCH for a bush themed devotional for a young couple led Gympie Uniting Church member Linda Watt to create her own. The result, Abundance in the Bush, is based on 31 days of life in the bush and was so popular that Ms Watt received orders while still writing it and sold 250 copies in the first month. “I ...

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Living on the land

You don’t have to analyse National Church Life Survey (NCLS) data to realise that life in rural communities has different challenges from those of urban centres. In fact, the best way to understand what life is like further than 100km west of the coast is to talk to the members of our churches and agencies. In communities all over the ...

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Let Justice Roll Like a River

Megan McGrath has worked at World Vision for 8 years and is currently part of the Innovative Partnerships team. Earlier this year, Megan worked with World Vision North Sudan in Darfur. Since 2003 the conflict in Darfur, has displaced approximately 1.8 million people. Megan visited an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, which houses about 70,000 people. Within the camp, she ...

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Leaving Toa’s legacy

IT WAS A deeply emotional time for Judith Finau when on 18 June she stood in the John and Charles Wesley hall at the Sia’atoutai Theological College in Tonga to donate the library of her late husband Rev Dr Samiuela Toa Finau. She and Mr Finau had worked there before they went to Fiji and many memories flooded back as she ...

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Foundation building for Timor children

IN MAY Rev John Ruhle and Rev Tanya Richards led a team to visit projects in East Timor supported by Uniting Church congregations. This included the work of the Timor Children’s Foundation which has its support base predominantly located in Queensland. The Timor Children’s Foundation continues to be engaged in two long term projects: supporting the St Mary’s Children’s Home ...

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Mental Health Week raises awareness

THE YEAR’S Mental Health Week is 10-16 October and the theme is Be active, Get connected, Stay involved. Mental Health Week begins with World Mental Health Day on 10 October and includes Stress Less Day on 13 October. A Nouwen Network’s Jane Frazer Cosgrove said Mental Health Week was an opportunity for churches to promote mental health awareness in their ...

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Uniting schools in Tonga

“Malo e lelei”, Unity College’s Tongan Travellers called out, flaunting their new language skills as they emerged from the airport in July. This was the second trip that students from Unity College, a joint Uniting and Catholic Church school in Caloundra, have made to visit their twinning school, Peteli Middle School, a school of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga. ...

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Treasuring freedom

BEYOND OUR traditions of hospitality or even Christ’s command to be generous, there’s something that stirs compassion and controversy within the church when the matter of asylum seekers is raised. Part of what comes to the surface is our own history, a story of being on the run: glancing over the shoulder one moment, staring hopefully ahead the next. The Bible ...

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Explaining big issues to little people

Author Morris Gleitzman remembers the point when he decided to write children’s books that dealt with big issues. His 2002 book Boy Overboard told the story of a young Afghani boy seeking asylum in Australia with his family. “The government of the day were telling what I thought to be very unkind, one-sided stories about the people on the boats,” ...

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