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The power of second chances

Second Chance Bangkok is an op shop with a difference. Run by a family from Australia and located on the edge of the infamous Klong Toei slum (Thailand’s largest, population 120 000), the op shop has arranged to receive surplus clothing from the many ex-pat workers who are employed in Bangkok on short-term contracts. Instead of shipping their wardrobe home, they ...

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Discipleship and mission: Two sides of the same coin

I was delighted to participate in the recent Queensland Synod Inspired Disciples event, taking the opportunity to explore a range of topics and perspectives on discipleship. In each session I also found myself thinking about mission. I was wondering “What does it mean to be a missional disciple?” and “How do discipleship practices inform my sense of mission?” The Queensland ...

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Seek and you will find

The journey of the Magi has, in my latter years, become my favourite part of the Christmas narrative. It might be because of T.S. Elliot’s 1927 poem “Journey of the Magi” which we studied in school. Elliot evoked great drama and wonder out of a fairly sparse biblical source, at least in terms of who these people might be, where ...

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The wonder that changes the world

As Christmas approaches, UnitingWorld’s Cath Taylor considers the wonderful progress we’ve made as a global community and what you can do at Christmas to make an extraordinary impact in the lives of the disadvantaged. Andy Williams is crooning about Christmas being “the most wonderful time of the year” as my trolley nicks a display of chocolate Santas and sends them ...

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Hope is re-born, one step at a time

Rev David Ellis, who works in team ministry with his wife and pilot Janette in the Cloncurry-based McKay Patrol Remote Area Bush Chaplaincy, reflects on the power of the Christmas story. A family loses a primary school-aged child in an on-farm accident just weeks before Christmas. Visiting in the New Year, the younger sibling greets us and invites us in ...

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Uniting churches asked to observe Day of Mourning

Uniting Church congregations are being asked to hold worship services in January reflecting on Australia’s First Peoples. Past President of the Uniting Church in Australia and Assembly Consultant for Covenanting Stuart McMillan explains why. The observance of a Day of Mourning was endorsed by the 15th Assembly in 2018 at the request of members of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander ...

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Our Father Who Art “Up there”

After encountering online a dilemma from a faithful Christian about finding God, Rodney Eivers explores our perceptions about the Lord and how biblical translations can impact our understanding.  “God” had a big press in Australia in mid-September! This came about from the headline news that Bill Hayden, former Governor-General and a proclaimed atheist, had returned to Roman Catholicism. It has made many ...

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A time to plant

I recently had the opportunity to join people from around the country at a Uniting Leaders event featuring Bishop Ric Thorpe (Church of England) and exploring the topic of church planting. The story Ric shared throughout the day was one of the London Anglican Diocese setting an ambitious goal of planting 100 new churches over a five year period. They’re ...

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Listen and learn to why they leave

One of the questions I have received from this column relates to the issue of how an older congregation might go about developing the capacity to meaningfully engage with younger generations. Many Uniting churches have lost generations who now have nothing to do with church. We must take responsibility for this. It hasn’t been intentional, but nor has it happened ...

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Synod Scholarship Fund builds critical bridges

Mid-2018 has been focused on securing tax-deductibility for our donors and creating a public fund that will enable educational outcomes across our state. The Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod Scholarship Fund was launched on 1 July 2018 to recognise student leadership in our local communities and to offer a critical bridge for those who lack opportunity. Some of the ...

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