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16 years to call Australia home

After 16 years of living with the constant threat of deportation to a country where he had been a political prisoner, Ephrem Dehne Wold-Mariam has finally been granted a permanent Australian Visa. At the age of 63 and with deteriorating health, Mr Wold-Mariam has been granted a permanent Employer Nominated Migration Visa (Subclass 856). This visa allows him to work ...

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Flipping out over Pancake Day

Staff at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital in Brisbane are preparing for their fourth annual Pancake Day on Shrove Tuesday, 28 February. Over 220 organisations throughout Queensland are joining St Andrew’s and have registered to cook, flip and sell pancakes on Shrove Tuesday to help raise funds for UnitingCare Queensland’s agencies. This year comedienne Corinne Grant (Rove Live, The Glasshouse) ...

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Deacons: still serving God on the edge

There are almost 80 ordained deacons serving in the Uniting Church across Australia but most congregation members have never met a deacon and have no idea what they do. St Stephen was the first recorded deacon in AD 34 but his daring preaching of Christ led him to become the first Christian martyr. Another early deacon was St Laurence, known ...

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1300 UCAQLD: Synod available to rural congregations for the cost of a local call

In an innovative move to increase accessibility for congregation leaders outside the Brisbane metropolitan area the Synod has established a 1300 local call telephone number for people wishing to access Synod services and staff. Synod Communication Services Unit Manager Bruce Mullan explained that previously, for most Uniting Church congregations and members in Queensland, a telephone call to the Synod Office ...

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Born into the ordinary

After the birth of Christ, we need not look to the extraordinary, the spectacular or the miraculous to find God. God is now found where we live in our kitchens, at our tables, in our wounds, and in each other’s faces. That is hard to believe and always has been. When Jesus was on earth, virtually no one believed he ...

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Helping kids learn to give it away

Christmas is for the children who love the stories, carols and presents and generally bask in the family and holiday festivities but as the reflection from Donna Walck (page 16) demonstrates, Christmas is not just about “us”. Helping children focus beyond themselves during this season can be a challenge for parents. Children’s Ministry Coordinator with the Youth and Children’s Ministry ...

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Rescuing Christmas from Santa Claus

Sitting somewhere between Jesus and the tooth fairy is a jolly round man who has captured the hearts of our community. As 21st century Christians scratch their heads, what was once a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ has become a consumer binge which escalates to new heights every year thanks to K-Mart, Myer and a mailbox stuffed ...

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Young adults: keeping them in the church

January is the time when many young adults from Queensland Uniting Churches will be moving off to new places for work or for study and many won’t connect with a Uniting Church in their new area. Early Adult Ministry Coordinator with the Youth and Children’s Ministry Unit Tom Kerr says that your congregation’s ministry to them isn’t over until they ...

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The Bible not child’s play

For most books, the reader starts at the first page and reads to the end of the story, and children see the Bible just like any other book. Children’s Ministry Consultant with the Youth and Children’s Ministry Unit Mr Paul Yarrow says that we should discourage children from starting at Genesis and reading all the way to Revelation. “Most adults ...

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