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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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Which version should I read?

There are a staggering number of different English language Bible translations. Here are some of the more commonly used in Uniting Church circles. King James, 1611 The King James Bible was translated from the original Hebrew and Greek languages into English at the request of King James I of England. Fifty-four translators gave diligent attention to rhythm and punctuation to ...

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School packs for the Solomons

Things are tough in the Solomon Islands. While the half million inhabitants don’t lack food or shelter, recent conflicts have made the country unstable and interrupted education, services and business. Few children complete primary school, education services have been seriously disrupted, education facilities are deficient and instructional materials are non-existent in most schools. School Packs for the Solomons is a ...

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DaVinci not the code for Bible readers

“The Bible is product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times…” So declares Sir Leigh Teabing, the villain of Dan Brown’s gripping novel, The DaVinci Code. Like any fictional character, Teabing can play fast and loose with the truth. Yet some ...

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Napranum visits the Pacific

Forty-six Elders, families and members of the Kids Club from the Indigenous community of Napranum on Cape York, travelled for four weeks to N.Z, Tonga and Fiji. Many of those who travelled are linked with the programs of the Congress Uniting Church in Napranum. Participants described the trip as a great time of exchanging and sharing culture, dances, spirituality, kindness ...

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Theological education and the emerging church

Brian Mclaren recently gave a lecture at Princeton Thological College on “Mainline Theological Education and the Emerging Church/Conversation”.  It is available as an mp3 file for download HERE and following is a summary by Darren Wright from his planet telex blog site. There are a number of points that Mclaren makes in the lecture which I found his questions to be ...

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Finding the gift of a safe space

A safe space that creates honesty and faith sharing is a gift to the church and not a threat. That is the experience of one UCA congregation recently. The idea of having ordained ministers or lay leaders who are also gay is abhorrent to some and welcomed by others, but many of these discussions take place without listening directly to ...

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