Love each other in Christ’s name
I am very proud of all that the Uniting Church is doing in terms of social justice. Well may Jesus tell the parable of the “Good Muslim” as Lesley Bryant suggests (“The truth shall set you free”, November 2015, page 10). We should, of course, show love to and dialogue with Muslims. Ellen Degeneres tells us every day to “be kind to each other”. The gospel of Jesus, however, is much more than this.
Sadly the name of Christ was rarely mentioned in the November Journey. Rev Orrell Battersby very excitedly described the church planting that is taking place and people are “desperate to see other people coming into a relationship with Christ” (“Get the dirt on church planting”, November 2015, page six). This is exciting and it is obvious that where the supremacy and power of Christ as God is preached and the spiritual, together with the social gospel, is shared due to the infilling of the Holy Spirit, there is growth.
Tallebudgera Uniting Church
Don’t knock the boxes
Reference was made in the 17 November issue of Uniting News to an article by Bronwyn Fraser from UnitingWorld in which she is very critical of the Christmas Shoebox project, an initiative supported by many congregations, including my own. This article, which saddened and disappointed me, will be very hurtful to many generous members of the Uniting Church. It uses the word “trinkets” a number of times to describe the contents of the shoeboxes and suggests (very judgementally) that donors are mostly driven by a need to “feel good” about themselves. My own congregation has supported this project for years. This year we sent 350 boxes. We have also given thousands of dollars to support long term on-the-ground mission projects in Africa and India, and in response to special appeals, like the one for Syrian refugees. Surely UnitingWorld can seek support for its own valuable work without passing judgement on the commitment and generosity of others.
Rev Dr David Pitman
Centenary Uniting Church