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Government opts out of R.E.

Almost 100 years after Queensland voters passed a referendum guaranteeing time for religious instruction in Queensland schools, the Queensland Government has announced that religious education in all State Schools will be offered on an “opt in” rather than “opt out” basis. The 1910 Referendum to enshrine Religious Education as part of Queensland State School programs was one of only two ...

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Government listens to churches: No change to RE

Education Minister, Rod Welford, announced today that the Government would not be proceeding with proposed amendments to religious education provisions in the Education Bill currently before State Parliament. Mr Welford said there would be no change to current arrangements regarding religious instruction in state schools. "I have listened to the concerns expressed by a number of Christian organisations and it ...

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The tears of God still fall for Port Arthur

Ten years on, the terrible events of Sunday, April 28 1996, when a lone gunman killed 35 people at Port Arthur, Tasmania still numb the feelings of many Australians. At the time waves of disbelief and grief washed over the peaceful and tranquil holiday isle of Tasmania. Dr Christine Gapes former faculty member of United Theological College, Australian Catholic University, ...

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Life and Faith on the Edge in Tuvalu

It’s considered good manners in this very polite and very Christian country for a visiting Palagi (Westerner, outsider) to attend Church on Sundays, so I’m standing outside the largest church of Tuvalu’s Te Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu on Funafuti Atoll, the nine island country’s capital, in my sandals, Sulu, white shirt and blue tie, watching locals in their Sunday best, carrying ...

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Veterans centre one vision for church’s mission

PLANS FOR a church-based community centre for veterans, their spouses and families is just one of the new vision for mission initiatives of the Queensland Synod. The Uniting Church Veterans Family Centre will provide a range of professional services, community activities and personal support for veterans and their families, in the first church-based project of its kind in Australia. Borneo ...

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Call for urgent changes to specified lay ministry

A REPORT proposing major changes in non-ordained specified ministries will be one of the big items on the agenda for the 11th Assembly when it meets in Brisbane in July. The report from the Specified Ministries Task Group appointed after the 2003 Assembly is titled From time to time, and place to place, a phrase from Paragraph 14 of the ...

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AGMF: it’s the vibe

Fourteen thousand eager individuals wait for the band to begin playing. Chanting, clapping, cheering, the stage lights dim, the crowd jump to their feet and roar as the bright lights flash on. You thought the U2 tour had been cancelled? Which band could possibly stir up this much excitement? It’s the Newsboys. They have been on the cover of Rolling ...

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Easter message from the Queensland Moderator

Dear Friends in Christ, Easter is first of all and best of all a celebration of God’s love and grace. It offers us the opportunity to engage once again with the fundamentals of our faith. In John’s Gospel, we are given an extended reflection on the final hours that Jesus spent with his disciples. During that very personal time, Jesus ...

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The Lamb of God

Jesus is the lamb who takes away the sins of the world. That’s the central piece in the Christian notion of salvation. It has a variety of expressions, but always the same meaning: Jesus’ suffering takes away our sins. Scripture expresses this in metaphors and we must be careful, precisely, to not turn metaphor into literal understanding here. God didn’t ...

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Living life on the outside

After thirteen and a half years in prison, Marc Renton walked free in January of this year and headed straight for a church. Not just any church, he headed for the Uniting Church congregation led by prison chaplain Beatriz Skippen. With little preparation for the outside world, Mr Renton feels lucky to have met chaplains inside prison who helped him ...

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