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Church future lies in thinkers on the move

AUTHOR, PASTOR, and leader of the emerging church movement, Brian McLaren visited Australia in October to challenge people to think about their faith and its relation to the world. As a guest of World Vision Australia, Mr McLaren spoke on a range of topics including some of the main issues he sees facing the church in today: the prosperity crisis, ...

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Who is Jesus? An Islamic perspective

JESUS IS the figure that defines Christianity and is one of the main distinctions from other Abrahamic faiths such as Islam and Judaism. Retired Uniting Church minister Garth Read has a close friendship with members of the Bald Hills Mosque and said that understanding different perspectives of Jesus is very important in interfaith dialogue. “Answers to the question ‘Who is ...

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Online help for running interfaith events

AT THE 12th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia in July former Uniting Church President Rev Gregor Henderson called on Uniting Church members to take up the challenge of building interfaith relationships. Speaking at the launch of the Relations with Other Faiths (ROF) website and DVD, Mr Henderson said: “The 21st Century has to be a century of increasing ...

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Paths to unity

“WITHOUT EACH other we are impoverished.” Those are the words of the World Council of Churches (WCC) inviting churches to continue their journey together “as a further step towards full visible unity”, adopted at their 9th Assembly in 2006. The Uniting Church is one of the churches on a journey to unity. It is easy to forget the massive achievement ...

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Numbers praying up, while religious links decline, US study finds

New York, 23 October (ENI) The number of Americans who are praying is increasing at the same time as more of them say they have no formal religious affiliation, a study of religious trends has found. The dynamic represents an "apparent shift in patterns of spiritual practice and identity away from the familiar institutions," Omar M. McRoberts, a University of ...

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Who is Jesus? The search continues

THE JOURNEY letters section continues to have lively discussion in response to our February edition Who is Jesus? and the review of Who on Earth was Jesus? a book by Quaker and humanist author David Boulton. Mr Boulton was in Australia in September to speak at the SoFiA conference in Toowoomba. Journey spoke with Mr Boulton as well as Centenary ...

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Poverty and the soul

OFTEN WHEN we think of people living in poverty we don’t think of the family or pensioner next door. United Nations statistics that half the world lives on less than $2 a day and that 30 000 children die every day due to poverty are terrifying and can overwhelm us, particularly those of us who have safe housing and three ...

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Blessed burnout: when all your gifts feel used up

CREATING A work-life balance is difficult, perhaps even more so when your employer is God. According to the study: Burnout in Church Leaders (Kaldor and Bullpitt 2001), based on National Church Life Survey research, nearly 23% of church leaders experienced some burnout symptoms and 55% were borderline to burnout. The report said that burnout affected leaders in paid and voluntary ...

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Action needed on Indigenous health gap

THE HEADLINES scream of a 17-year life expectancy gap – a devastating figure by any measure. Report after report records statistical evidence of chronic issues in Indigenous health. According to a 2008 joint report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, ...

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Wellness and salvation

WHEN I lived in Townsville an Aboriginal man told me about the days of cutting sugar-cane by hand. The work was hard, hot and dirty. When he first started he was keen to get as much done as quickly as possible. He laid into the cane with energy and enthusiasm and was exhausted after a couple of hours. An old ...

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