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Use Journey to share faith

THIS IS the last edition of Journey with Bruce Mullan as editor. Bruce started helping with Journey in April 2005. The new team of Bruce Mullan, Osker Lau and Mardi Lumsden started on 6 June 2005 just weeks before the paper’s deadline.

The woman who helped with layout was not available as she had begun a new job so in one week they all had to learn how to lay out a paper doing it on a 30 day trial version of Adobe InDesign.

It was a baptism of fire, but with enthusiasm and passion Bruce led his team to develop Journey as the conversation starter of the Church.

It was his idea to theme each edition, providing a focus for staff and reader alike. This is Bruce’s 41st edition as editor.

Since 2005 the Communication Services Unit staff has re-designed the layout of Journey twice, made a new Synod website, a new Journey website and numerous websites for people and groups around the Synod.

They have produced a total of over one million Christmas and Easter postcards which have been distributed by congregation members around the State promoting local Uniting Churches. Bruce has covered three Synod meetings and one National Assembly.

Recently Dr John Harrison, the person responsible for changing the Synod publication from Life and Times to Journey wrote this to Bruce about his work.

Life and Times, which Journey replaced, reported the church to the church, and did that with varying degrees of effectiveness. Journey, on the other hand, was about proclaiming the Good News to the world.

“There is literally a world of difference between those two propositions.

“I have always seen Journey as something that church members could pass to their un-churched friends as part of an invitation to have a conversation about matters of faith.

“It was intentionally evangelical.

“As editor, you have revived and renewed that aspect of Journey’s life.”

“It is 20 years this year since I retired as editor of Journey. In the ensuing years I have worked at the ABC and at two universities in the fields of journalism and communication, and along the way written several books about media and communication.

“I have seen a lot of material in that time. Amid all I have seen, Journey stands out with clarity of purpose, constructive engagement, and fidelity to the faith.”

I believe that John articulates well what a gift Journey is to the church and Bruce Mullan’s part in that. On behalf of the Synod I want to thank Bruce for his dedication and vision.

If Journey is to be an evangelical tool that enables faith conversations to begin, then we in the church must take up the challenge.

There was a time when people came to the church to learn about “religion” or “God”, and we relied on the Minister to have the answers for them. Those days are past.

The church is often the last place people come to discuss “God”, so now it is every lay person who becomes the source of information about Jesus Christ.

All who are baptised share in the ministry of Christ to make God’s kingdom known.

One helpful way to join in the mission of Christ is to share Journey with your friends and acquaintances.

This great newspaper invites a conversation, giving you a chance to say what inspires your faith and helps you in your walk with Christ.

Ageing is discussed by many people in a variety of settings. I am sure that all of us know someone for whom the issues raised in this edition of Journey are important.

We hope that the information shared here will help you join the conversation and bring a gospel perspective.

I am sure that, like me, many of you were brought up in a time when we were taught that there was a “right way” to share the faith.

Maybe like me, you hesitate to share your knowledge and love of Christ because you are afraid that you will say the wrong thing.

Can I invite you to place your confidence in God who is already at work before you open your mouth?

God can and will take what you share about your faith in Christ and use it to draw others closer.

Let’s show our gratitude for Bruce’s work amongst us by using Journey to serve the mission of Christ.