The challenge of change

By VicTas Synod Moderator Rev Sharon Hollis

Each new year brings a raft of articles, social media posts and lists of resolutions that invite us to change ourselves and our churches. Through them we are encouraged to think about our lives and how we can be a better version of ourselves.

As we think about change in the life of ...

Rose to the occasion

By Reverend Dr Robyn Whitaker Coordinator of Studies – New Testament, Pilgrim Theological College

When it comes to Valentine’s Day most of us think of roses, chocolates, romantic dinners and greeting cards. Yet St Valentine’s Day is named after a third century martyr who was beheaded after being imprisoned and beaten.

How did we get from beheading to romance?


The science of playing God

Etienne and Janelle (not their real names) were together for several years and chose to try to start a family.

Months later Janelle was overjoyed with a successful pregnancy test, quickly calling Etienne to share the news.

However, their joy turned to fear and stress after they were told their child would be born with extremely severe and ...

Why youth work is like couples’ counselling

I’ve only been in this job for nine months, but I love it. I consider it a joyous privilege to work with congregations, presbyteries and the Synod in the areas of youth ministry and contextual theology.

This is a great gig, but if I’m honest, I feel most of my work resembles the role of couples’ counsellor.

Allow me to ...

Plenty of belief up on the big screen

Korean War veteran Mike Kowalski whiles away his days camped on his porch in the Michigan suburbs growling a racist’s thesaurus of insults at or about his ethnic neighbours. So, it would a stretch to call him a Christlike figure.

However, by the time Mike (played by an ultra-flinty Clint Eastwood) faces off alone against an armed-to-the-teeth gang ...

The spirit of youth and keeping the faith

By Stephen Acott

Social media was invented with the best of intentions, a means to connect people and help them better communicate. And, on that score, it’s been an overwhelming success.

Post something, anything, online and you’ll get a response – almost instantly. However, not all of those responses will be agreeable because, more often than not, it isn’t cool ...

Double take – Will and Amanda Nicholas

Amanda and Will Nicholas are Uniting Church ministers. And they’ve also been married for 22 years – which is quite remarkable when you take into account Will’s fruit-testing technique.


I had only just arrived in Tasmania the day before I first met Amanda in 1996 on the 26th of January.

At age 24 I was taking a ...

Tim Matton Johnson – first and foremost

Rev Tim Matton Johnson has retired after more than 30 years of ordained ministry during which he played a prominent leadership role in helping the Uniting Church live out a Covenant relationship between First and Second Peoples.

Tim first became involved with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) in 2003 was serving as regional chairperson in ...

Fighting the good fight – Mark Zirnsak Q&A

What’s your title?

I am the Senior Social Justice Advocate for the Justice and International Mission (JIM) cluster of the Victoria/Tasmania Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia.

That’s quite a mouthful, you’d need a big business card just to squeeze it all in. What does it mean?

(laughs) It means I deal with social justice ...