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Opinion

Injustice not an article of faith for all churches

IN the outcry about the exemptions granted to faith-based organisations in the federal government's proposed anti-discrimination legislation, the fact that some of these very organisations think differently has been largely overlooked. For some churches, freedom of religion does not mean the freedom to discriminate. Across many church agencies, a commitment to non-discriminatory employment is keenly observed in the employment of ...

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Pilgrim people

WE, young leaders in the Uniting Church in Australia, believe in a God of love, whose will for the world is justice, reconciliation and peace. As "pilgrim people", we are called to continually discern where God calls us to act. We feel passionately about these issues and we commit ourselves to action. We are concerned by domestic policies that punish ...

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Brimming with joy

THE carols announce that Christmas is near. That is, just in case you had not noticed the calendar filling with end-of-year events and letter boxes bursting with junk mail. The shops have been stocked with Christmas decorations and Christmas food for weeks. While we need to guard against the seduction of consumerism, I am reminded that at Christmas time small ...

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Survivor guilt echoes the Christmas story

I perch on the floor hugging my knees watching as the Indian Ocean tsunami turns paradise into hell. On Christmas night from a cosy hut on the top of snowcapped Swiss mountain, news of the disaster that destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives bursts into our warm Christmas bubble of joy. Just 72 hours earlier I was there. I was ...

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Defending doubt : welcoming Christmas questions

THE season of joy is upon us when we sit in church pews hearing about a star that stopped still over a manger, a woman conceiving without a man and heavenly angels talking to shepherds. For years, I struggled through Christmas squelching my doubts, knowing that, if I didn't believe these stories as literal truth, I was bound for hell. ...

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Joy to the world, the Lord has come

THIS Christmas carol is one of my absolute favourites because it sums up why Jesus came to earth — to bring joy, and it also mentions our response to this good news which is to "let every heart prepare Him room". Every time I sing it, I think about how I have prepared room for him in my heart. The ...

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Being the body of Christ

EASY ecumenism stood out on my visit to the Presbytery of North Queensland. Big public events like Stable on the Strand in Townsville or Carols by Candlelight in Atherton involve a range of denominations astonishing to a southerner. Everyone seems willing to get on board for the sake of witnessing to Christ – Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Catholic, Churches ...

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Expressing your love extravagantly

AFTER Lorna moved into a unit in a Blue Care village she instructed her family, "If I can't eat it or wear it, I don't want it". It was nearly Christmas and she had spent most of the year culling her possessions to fit into her new home. She kept some furniture and small precious things. The process exhausted her. ...

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Sifting wants from needs

WE'RE all in it together, human nature being what it is: the compulsion to consume and the belief that bigger, and more, is better. We know that we are looking in the wrong places for what will truly satisfy us when we over-accumulate, overeat, overspend and overleverage – and then complain about the service. In her story on page 9, ...

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