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Walking the talk

A GROUP of teenagers from the Beenleigh area launched a ground-breaking documentary about bullying in September. An initiative of the Smart Connections Program at Beenleigh Adult and Youth Service (BAYS), a Wesley Mission activity, the film Walk in My Shoes is a collaborative and multi media effort from about 25 young people who attend the Youth Space. These young people ...

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Top evangelical says talk less, do more

Prominent and outspoken UK evangelical leader and social activist Rev Steve Chalke claims Jesus never asked anyone to become a Christian. Founder of the Oasis Trust and the Faithworks movement for Christian social action, Mr Chalke spoke recently to a packed audience from across Brisbane churches. “Jesus never asked anybody to go to a religious service. “He did once tell ...

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Newcomers are different and not included

Surprising research from the National Church Life Survey (NCSL) shows that people joining Queensland Uniting Church congregations are different from the people already attending. Newcomers in 2006 were twice as likely to be remarried, separated or divorced and four times more likely to be living in a defacto relationship than long term Uniting Church members. They are also likely to ...

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Moving from rally to relationship

You may not be a member of any church. You may be Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish. Whatever your race, whatever your religion, I’m going to ask you to come. Get up from your seats, hundreds of you, just get up out of your seats and come and stand quietly, right here, quietly and reverently. THESE WERE familiar words to those ...

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Young people want you, warts and all

ACCORDING TO Synod Young Adult ministry coordinator Tom Kerr, the key to evangelising young adults is by not evangelising. Well, not in the traditional sense of the word. Mr Kerr says forming a connection with young adults comes from being yourself and growing friendships, not pushing beliefs on someone. Here is part of Tom’s story: “I’m having this discussion about ...

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Challenged to be the church

THE CHURCH has reduced itself to being a mere service-provider and a dispenser of sentimentality and meaningless assurance. That was the astonishing claim of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his 1937 book, simply titled Discipleship. While he laboured with a sense of urgency that seemed almost to demand that he write it, Discipleship was not produced in response to the rise of ...

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Worship: not boring and not awesome

That those attending Uniting Church worship services in Queensland are not bored is the good news story from the National Church Life Survey (NCLS) results from 2006. Questions on the impact of worship on the lives of people show that fewer than 2% of Uniting Church worshippers always experience boredom. None of those over 65-years of age report being consistently ...

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Addressing the need for speed

In a society bereft of community “rites of passage”, young males in particular see gaining a drivers licence and owning a motor vehicle as a mark of the transition from boyhood to manhood. Owning and driving a car is one of the clearest means of achieving power through independence from the family, and young males demonstrate substantially higher rates of ...

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Thou shalt not Rev

WITH THE QUEENSLAND Road Toll for 2007 already a record at more than 200 deaths, groundbreaking research into the driving behaviour of 102 Uniting Church Ministers has reported they were involved in 32 crashes in the past two years. The research conducted by the Centre of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) identified four problem ...

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Church numbers down, spirits up

Media doomsayers have been quick to highlight the 2006 Census data showing a significant decline nationally in those who listed their religious affiliation as Uniting Church (down by 15% to 1.1 million since the Census of 1996). The data for Queensland was more encouraging and showed less than 8% decline (to 282,103). While the Sunday Mail was quick to stereotype ...

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