Give a real welcome
We read with interest the six ways to be a welcoming church (Journey, June 2014, page 15).
We have recently moved to Brisbane and were really looking forward to joining another church family after having left a great congregation in regional Queensland. Our experience has not been very positive, so there is one more point we would like to add—maybe in number one position.
When a visitor comes to your church and they are genuinely looking for a church home, they will tell you so. At this point it is important to connect in a real way so they can get to know you. Invite them to the local coffee shop after the service for a bite of lunch, or to someone’s house.
We have attended six Uniting churches within a 10km radius of our home, over a six-month period, and still have not got past discussing the weather or worse still, merely participating in the somewhat embarrassing “passing the peace” during the service.
More depth, please
On Tuesday last I attended an ecumenical worship and prayer service for the Gold Coast as a representative of Mudgeeraba Uniting Church. One of the issues raised at the meeting was the place and importance of the media in our society. It was with some disappointment that I read the June issue of Journey. I feel we need more insightful discussion on the economy (page 5) and how to provide a sustainable budget and still accommodate the needs of all Australians.
In regard to the Racial Discrimination Act (page 19), we need more in-depth discussion. It is not a simple issue of limiting vilification. I’m reminded of Martin Niemoller’s famous quote, “Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”.
Media has a responsibility, let me know how I can help.
Mudgeeraba Uniting Church
Christians united for justice
I am writing to you after reading your magazine Journey whilst visiting the Wesley Hospital. I really enjoyed several of the articles. The story about Rev Alastair Macrae and Rev Dr Brian Brown was particularly inspiring and I wish to applaud them for taking a stand. It gives me hope to discover that Uniting Church clergy are engaging in social activism.
It is my view, that the Christian ethos is a model for living and doing. True Christianity surely implores direct action when we see injustice.
I noticed that you also published an article about farmers suiciding due to drought. However, drought is not the only issue causing mental health issues for farmers and landholders. Coal seam gas and other forms of mining are also destroying the livelihood of hundreds, if not thousands of Australians. My prayer is that all Christians will unite as one and say enough is enough!
I thank you again for the calibre of information in your magazine.
Meerschaum Vale, NSW