Letters to the editor – December 2017

Dying with dignity

During the debate on Voluntary Assisted Dying, I have been waiting for a church to come out and say: “Death is not necessarily a bad thing. It does not have to feared and prevented at all costs.”

In April 2013, I spent four days in ICU with acute renal failure. I was told that, ...

Sorry for sins of the past


The Uniting Church’s relationship with the nation’s First Peoples has changed markedly throughout the last three decades. Those of non-Aboriginal heritage have sought to throw off the cloak of paternalism that dominated much of the early relationship between First Peoples and the formation churches.

In 1985, the UCA Assembly unanimously endorsed the establishment of ...

Global gift giving


Last year the extended Maynard family provided each of their nine children with $50 to choose what they wanted to buy for another sibling for Christmas.

The gift was not a present handed directly to the other child but something bought in their name to support an ethical project overseas.

The gifts could ...

Embodiment of hope

A colleague recently commented to me that she had noticed that we don’t focus on the pregnancy of Mary. Mary has not often been depicted in art as pregnant. Rarely do we put pictures of Mary obviously pregnant up for Advent.

I’m not sure what she had in mind when she said this but it got me ...

Small steps and spirited generosity

In 2013, the Presbytery of Port Phillip West adopted its three-year strategy called Regenerating the Church. Following a thorough review in 2016, the next phase of this strategic project, Regenerating the Church 2021 Strategy, was formulated. This current Strategy clearly identifies links to the Synod’s Strategic Framework including the Mission Principles and Strategic Priorities.

The 2021 Strategy gives ...

Patchewollock celebrates 90 years of worship

The north-west regional Victoria town of Patchewollock may only have a population of 133 people, but more than 100 churchgoers and visitors gathered at the local Uniting Church in early November to celebrate the congregation’s 90th anniversary.

In 1927, the Patchewollock Uniting Church foundation stone was laid at its current site on Yenolom Street. Patchewollock Uniting Church secretary Sandra ...

Uniting Network urges church to change marriage policy

The Uniting Church’s LGBTIQ network has called on the Church to amend its policy on marriage following the results of the marriage law postal survey.

Australians overwhelmingly voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, with more than 61 percent of respondents voting ‘yes’.

Uniting Network national secretary Warren Talbot welcomed the results of the survey and urged ...

Safe spaces

This year the Victorian parliament legislated to establish the Reportable Conduct Scheme. Overseen by the Commission for Children and Young People, the legislation only applies in Victoria. The Reportable Conduct Scheme commenced on 1 July this year and aims to improve organisational responses to suspected child abuse by workers/volunteers and to identify people who pose a risk of ...

Money or mission?

Friday Forum

A few weeks ago I participated in the biennial South Sudanese National Conference in Melbourne.

The theme for the conference was ‘First Be Reconciled’ based on Mathew 5:23-24.

It was my privilege to share the weekend with my brothers and sisters from South Sudan. I listened to their stories of war and conflict, pain and suffering, ...

Birthday bash at Burwood Heights

Burwood Heights Uniting Church’s English conversations group reached a new milestone last month when it celebrated its fifth birthday.

ECOS (English Conversations for Overseas Students) was formed in 2012 to provide informal English practice for international students, working holiday travellers, new migrants and refugees.

Approximately 11 to 17 participants gather at Burwood Heights Uniting Church every Sunday ...

Congress shares with Canadian Indigenous leaders

Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Tasmanian-based minister Rev Tim Matton-Johnson still recalls, with some emotion, witnessing a cleansing and healing service for indigenous Canadian children in Saskatchewan earlier this year.

The moving service – for those who died while in Canada’s residential school system – was a memorable moment of the three-week exchange with local Indigenous leaders organised ...

Launceston South Church closes after 180 years

After 180 years of meeting the spiritual needs of the people of Launceston South, the South Esk Uniting Church Cluster closed the doors on the Uniting Church building in Margaret St, for the final time with a closing service in late October.

In the final sermon, the acting synod liaison minister Rev Michelle Cook said the service was about ...