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‘Somebody notice me’: Inside a world of pain

Peter Adams and his family.

For every death by suicide, Lifeline estimates that every day as many as 30 people make an attempt, and 250 make suicide plans. Ashley Thompson speaks with Christians affected by, and called to care for, those living with suicidal thoughts. Trigger warning: What follows is a retelling of people affected by suicide and/or involved in crisis support. If you should ...

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South Sudanese refugee finds home in community

Uniting Church Nuer faith community member Maria (Nyaluit) Phalpang is an interpreter, health researcher and final year nursing student.

Former South Sudanese refugee Maria (Nyaluit) Phalpang belongs to the Uniting Church Nuer faith community in Brisbane. She tells her story to Dianne Jensen. Maria (Nyaluit) Phalpang has travelled a long way from her childhood home of Bentiu in Unity, a predominantly Christian state in war-torn South Sudan. Faith, family and a passion for education have sustained her on the ...

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Café church: Give it a shot!

Cafe church is an increasingly popular form of worship

Whenever two or three people gather to eat and drink together as part of worship, café church is happening. Dianne Jensen talks to three Queensland congregations exploring fresh forms of this ancient model of being church. It’s family friendly, low key, and a lot harder to slip into the back row unnoticed. Café church is a contemporary reimagining of a ...

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Melanie Minichiello: My grateful story

Build the Future managing director Melanie Minichiello in The Change Room community hub in Keperra. Photo by Holly Jewell.

Build the Future managing director Melanie Minichiello talks to Dianne Jensen about her passion for helping young people re-connect with society. Gratitude. It’s as old-fashioned as a hand-written thank-you note, but youth advocate Melanie Minichiello says being grateful is a key ingredient in happiness and wellbeing. “Gratitude allows us to look beyond ourselves and to gain perspective and balance,” says ...

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Jesus feminists: Storming the old boys’ club

Rev Kaye Ronalds as Rosie the Riveter. Photo by Holly Jewell.

The dreaded “F” word: bra burnings and angry women are so last century yet the stigma around feminism remains. Ashley Thompson speaks with four Christian women reclaiming feminist values for ministry and mission. Simply put, feminism is a stand for the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. It is the belief that men and women should have equal ...

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Breaking open the word: Lay preachers in the Uniting Church

Speech bubble graphic by Holly Jewell.

The ministry of lay preacher lies at the heart of the Uniting Church’s vision of a Christian community which celebrates the gifts of every member. Dianne Jensen reports. Caroline Holmes from Fitzroy North Rockhampton Uniting Church has clocked up 53 years of lay preaching, and she is busier than ever. She is one of an army of lay preachers who ...

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When Christian media sucks

Hillsong United performing at Hillsong Conference in Sydney earlier this year. Photo by Ashley Thompson.

Google suggestions don’t lie. So if popular opinion is calling out Christian movies and music as the “enemy of quality”, “intellectually vacant” and “disconnected from reality” what value does it hold in a world already full of hopeless content? Ashley Thompson explores. Christians in media are stuck between a rock and a hard place—damned if they do, damned if they ...

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Mission: conquer culture shock

Noah Kim, international student ministry pastor at Sunnybank Uniting Church in Brisbane. Photo by David Busch.

International student pastor Noah Kim talks to Dianne Jensen about his call to ministry in the Uniting Church. Noah Kim knows first-hand that the call to God’s service can take you far from home and well outside your comfort zone. The South Korean-born Christian received the nudge from his pastor to attend Bible college in Australia eight years ago—and has ...

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Hearts on fire at Assembly

A collection of photo from the Uniting Church 14th Assembly meeting; Hearts On Fire.

The Uniting Church triennial Assembly met and tackled weighty subjects, but still found time for fellowship and reconciliation. Nigel Tapp reports. There are those within the Uniting Church who would deride the triennial Assembly gathering as a bit of talkfest. And there really is a lot of talking. Over six days members deal with a range of issues, both of ...

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Porn kills love: The corrupting influence of sexual images

Experts confirm that hardcore pornography is the biggest source of information about sex for young people. Ashley Thompson explores how its entrenchment in mainstream society has warped sexual expectations—leaking lies into the hearts and minds of our youth. It’s not like you have to go looking for pornography, today it comes looking for you. In 2011, the University of New ...

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