This edition we’re unveiling some new sections which we hope bring a fresh dimension to the magazine: “Humans of UCA”, a look at the wide spectrum of people that make up the church, and “Whatever happened to”, a trip down memory lane to examine faith-themed concepts that may have been given heavy focus in the past but have since been forgotten or transformed for the 21st century.
In our inaugural “Whatever happened to” (page six), Dianne Jensen investigates the Sabbath, its historical basis and how 21st century communities are responding to the challenges of keeping Sunday holy in a world where the temptations of entertainment, sport and commercial services are ubiquitous. I eagerly await letters on your own experiences with the Sabbath and future topics we should put under the spotlight.
Our first Human of UCA is retired Chinchilla pastor Iven Hewett and his achievements in powerlifting at age 70 and contributions to the life of the church are an inspiration to everyone. In a refreshingly down-to-earth conversation (page 14) we discuss faith, fitness and what tips he has for others looking to improve their health and wellbeing.
We’re on the lookout for Uniting Church Queenslanders for future iterations of “Humans of UCA” so please send us your suggestions. We often hear stories of the enriching benefits of diversity and multiculturalism to faith and community but I believe it is important to ensure that celebrating diversity includes the achievements and contributions of say, heterosexual, Caucasian males as much as anyone else: our main criteria is Uniting Church people with an interesting history so regardless of their cultural or ethnic background, we’d love to hear who you think we should interview next.
Finally, there are many things we tend to normalise during attendance at church—say frequently bowing our heads which prevents lip-readers from following or the width of an entrance which may not accommodate someone in a wheelchair—but with disability impacting around one in five Australians, it is worth reflecting whether your church is an inviting place or hostile terrain for those who already may struggle with marginalisation.
Sue Hutchinson’s absorbing look at disability and faith (page 10) is a frank reminder that church inclusivity must extend to all of God’s creatures including those with an intellectual or physical disability