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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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Indigenous Australians read the Bible through different eyes

Aboriginal minister Rev Dennis Corowa explains how Indigenous people read scripture. We do it out of 60,000 years of culture. We were and remain the owners and custodians of this land. God was known and active among Indigenous people prior to colonisation by Europeans. The author of Acts would suggest that the presence of Indigenous Australians was not a matter ...

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The Bible: unique, prophetic and divisive

Formed in 1977 on the basis that its faith and obedience are nourished and regulated by the Bible, the Uniting Church has faced increasing tensions over the way its people read and interprets scripture. Many have identified the question of how we read the Bible as the key underlying issue in the recent divisive debates over homosexuality and leadership in ...

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Teens hang out in Church Council

When a call went out for nominations for church council members of the Toombul District UC, no one expected two members of the youth group to apply. Thirteen year-old Colleen Heffernan and sixteen year-old Rosie Dennis were delighted and surprised when they were elected to their church council. Minister Rev Jan Whyte said the girls are part of a vibrant ...

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Aussies Wary about Trust

Forget about the rule to ‘Love one’s neighbour!’ The truth is, we don’t trust them. According to a report from NCLS Research and Edith Cowan University, only a third of Australians have high levels of trust in the residents of their neighbourhood, researchers found. “Much the same was true for levels of trust toward people of races different from one’s ...

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Re-imaging God and Mission within Australian Cultures

A diverse group of 150 mission leaders and teachers from many Christian denominations met at the Australian Missiology Conference in Melbourne in September, to rethink mission in the light of the rapid changes in Australian society. Keynote speaker and National Director of the Forge Missional Training Network Alan Hirsch predicted that the traditional church will die within twenty years, but ...

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Stories from the McKay Patrol

McKay Patrol is the Uniting Church’s outback ministry based in Cloncurry.  Patrol Padre Rev Garry Hardingham travels around western Queensland in a twenty-six year old Cessna 182 aircraft known affectionately as MJZ visiting remote properties and townships offering ministry in the name of Jesus and on behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia.  This is one of his stories… You ...

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Industrial relations reforms disgraceful and excessive

Uniting Church leaders today condemned the Government’s proposed industrial relations reforms and the limited safeguards announced yesterday which do little to protect the rights and conditions of Australia’s most vulnerable workers. Uniting Church President, Reverend Dr. Dean Drayton, said the Government’s ‘WorkChoices’ reform package is more about choice for business than protecting the country’s workers. “We are not comforted by ...

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