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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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Protestant dismay at new Vatican document

A new document authorised by Pope Benedict XVI restating Roman Catholic views that Protestant denominations are not churches "in the proper sense" has been criticised as setting back the quest for Christian unity. "An exclusive claim that identifies the Roman Catholic Church as the one church of Jesus Christ, as we read in the statement released today [10 July], goes ...

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Peace ambassador crossed 43 rivers on the way to work

Getting to work in June took Uniting International Mission’s Joy Balazo three days.  Her journey to the ‘No Go’ zone of the Meekamui group in southern Bougainville involved travelling in an open back ‘cargo style’ 4 wheeled drive traversing no less than 43 rivers. “Even though I am a seasoned traveller in some pretty rough country, I said so many ...

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Basis of Union points to the future

Queensland born Rev Dr Andrew Dutney is Principal of Parkin-Wesley Theological College in Adelaide and Lecturer in Historical and Systematic Theology. Dr Dutney is one of Australia’s most respected commentators on the Basis of Union and he reflects for Journey on its importance for the church after 30 years. As the data from the 2006 National Church Life Survey begins ...

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New book analyses ‘Alpha’ phenomenon

Adverts on the backs of buses, in taxis, on billboards and in newspapers for "Alpha courses", a popular introduction to the essentials of Christianity, are familiar to many people in Britain and further afield. Alpha’s organisers claim that more than 8 million people worldwide have now attended one of their courses, and that more than 7000 churches in Britain and ...

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Moderator: Government turns back the clock

This statement was released today by the Moderator of the Uniting Church Queensland Synod Rev Dr David Pitman in response to the Federal Government announcement regarding Indigenous Communities in the Northern Territory. The announcement by the Prime Minister regarding intervention by the Federal Government into the critical situation of child abuse in indigenous communities is a matter for grave concern. ...

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