Building for the future



The author lays it on the line in his introduction. “My two passions are architecture and my Christian faith”. Fred Batterton’s new book Making property serve mission, subtitled “Rethinking the churches’ buildings for the 21st century” is both liberating and confronting as a blueprint for change.


Concert to raise funds for dementia

Opera Su Presto will be performing at Toorak Uniting Church on 18 December to raise funds for people with dementia.

Its new show Les Liaisons Misérables is a political farce set in the court of Louis XVI. Directed by James Wright, it features period costumes and songs by Handel, Mozart, Lerner and Loewe, Rossini and Bernstein.

The concert is a ...

Enriching curious minds

Every year, the Uniting Church Adult Fellowship (UCAF) supports young people engaged in theological or leadership studies through the Joan Stott bursary.

Established in 2009, the bursary provides a $1500 grant to assist people under the age of 35. The UCAF National Committee, currently based in the Vic/Tas Synod for the 2015-2018 triennium, may award the bursary to up ...

House pet Jesus: A Christmas story

I write this as a vile demagogue who campaigned on the emesis of hate has become president-elect of the USA.

Of all the stories to follow in the train of this disgrace, such as the rise of white nationalism, the daily reports of hate crimes, and the self-serving incompetence of the so-called ‘political elites’, one of the more ...

Gardener of the year with plenty of street cred

Uniting Church member Shirley Johnson’s award-winning gardens may not quite stop traffic but they do slow it down.

Ms Johnson, who attends the Church of All Nations in Carlton, has been named Gardening Australia magazine’s Gardener of the Year. She also won the magazine’s community garden category for her efforts in making the traffic obstacles in her North Fitzroy ...

Planting seeds of hope


In Zimbabwe’s Masvingo region the ground is dry and dusty. It hasn’t rained in months. Overall lower rainfall and rising temperatures, due to climate change, mean traditional farming techniques are no longer working, and for many farmers, crops have failed for the third year in a row.

While many families rely on government food aid to survive, there ...

Synod Snaps – December 2016

The Synod’s Victorian Archives in Malvern East held a reunion morning tea to enable its past and present volunteers to meet up again. It’s hoped this may become an annual occasion to recognise the contributions of all those involved in supporting the work of the archives. If you are interested in volunteering please contact the Archives on (03) 9571 5476. ...

25 years of a good pud!


Twenty-five years ago an idea for a fundraising venture was put to a Kangaroo Flat Uniting Church UCAF meeting – making Christmas puddings for sale. Profits would then be distributed between church funds, local charities and organisations under the banner of the Uniting Church.

Production of these puddings had humble beginnings in the church hall and kitchen. ...

Quiet courage in country Victoria

The announcement in November that international power company Engie would close the Hazelwood coal mine in March next year shone a spotlight on the town of Morwell in the shire of Gippsland.

So it was a timely coincidence that the moderator of Vic/Tas chose Warragul Uniting Church as the venue for a lunchtime chat about the importance of resilience ...

Talking Treaty: Asking for a sign


On Wednesday, 9 November, more than 300 people packed Wesley Uniting Church for the Victorian Council of Churches’ Christian Perspectives on Treaty, Sovereignty and Constitutional Recognition forum.

The evening focused on thoughtful and respectful dialogue on the path to Treaty with Australia’s First Peoples.

Noting the solemn mood – in the wake of news of Donald Trump’s ...

The US election from an expat’s perspective

I was invited to write this piece on the morning of 9 November, when the election result was still unknown.

I had visions – no, fantasies! – of writing about what it felt like to have the first female President.

The result feels like a ‘sucker punch’ that has knocked the wind out of me. And the taste of ...

Conventionally inspired youth


NCYC is a familiar acronym to many who have grown up in the Uniting Church. Since 1955, the National Christian Youth Convention has been a central event on the UCA youth calendar.

Every three years, hundreds of youth between 16 and 25 gather to worship, form new friendships and celebrate the Church’s diversity. Approximately 1000 people from ...