July 2016 Crosslight now available

Moderator Sharon Hollis was installed at a moving ceremony at Wesley Church in Melbourne on 3 June. The installation service was the start of Synod 2016. Click here for a snapshot of the five-day meeting or go to: victas-synod2016.org.au for our comprehensive coverage.

All of the July Crosslight stories are available here. ...

In conversation with Assembly leaders

Assembly President, Stuart McMillan and General Secretary Rev Colleen Geyer, were two of nearly 300 people in attendance at Synod 2016 at the Box Hill Town Hall last month. Crosslight spoke to them on the last day of the meeting:

Crosslight: How have you found your first VicTas Synod meeting?

Colleen:  Interesting is the word, because not only do ...

Synod 2016 – busy from dawn to tusk


There were a lot of elephants at Synod 2016 but thankfully the stately main meeting room at Box Hill Town Hall was large enough to accommodate them, as well as the 300 people attending in some style and comfort.

Sessions in the main hall were largely dominated by Synod’s consideration of the Major Strategic Review and its ...



It has taken years for the Southern Mornington Peninsula Uniting Church to secure funding for its ambitious plan to build supported social housing for people with a disability who are in the care of ageing parents. But, according to congregation member Peter Hunter, that’s just the beginning.

“It is an enormous first step,” Mr Hunter said of ...

Daring conference

Photos from the Daring Conference can be found here.


The Uniting Church is characterised by a diversity of cultural and theological perspectives. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the Church as it examines its stance on issues such as same-gender relationships.

The topic of diversity was discussed throughout the Queen’s Birthday long ...

Feminist theology


For Equality gives strength, in all things and at all times. Meister Eckhart.

Feminism: The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of the sexes. (Oxford dictionary)

To be a feminist in the context of being a follower of Jesus is to affirm diversity, protest discrimination and advocate equality for all.

The gospel of Christ ...

The future is here

Much of the business of Synod 2016 concerned the future of the Church based on proposals relating to Major Strategic Review. Discussion was at times emotional, as Synod members grappled with changes that would decide the future of the Church. Then one young woman, Karen Sooaemalelagi, stood up to remind the Synod that the future of the church was actually ...

Playing their part in the polls


Most of our readers will pick up Crosslight the day after the federal election.  A large number of Uniting Church halls across the Victorian and Tasmanian synod transform into polling booths on Saturday 2 July.  We asked Janice Laverty, who co-ordinates hall bookings at the Nhill Uniting Church in the Wimmera district of Western Victoria (as well ...

Power of love

How do you think about power? Is it a good word or an ‘ugly’ word in your vocabulary?

Often, it seems to be coupled with words like ‘too much’ or ‘too little,’ or use and abuse. Yet we all (yes all) have power, even if in different ways.

It could be the legendary power of the holder of the ...

A well-worn path

Book | Quarterly Essay- Firing Line, Australia’s Path To War | James Brown


Si vis pacem, para bellum.’ (‘If you want peace, prepare for war’).

As a pacifist, I came to former Australian Army Officer James Brown’s Quarterly Essay with some measure of apprehension.

Brown, a veteran of the second Iraq War and Afghanistan, applies ...

God in the margins

The Chinese Church has undergone dramatic change in the past few decades. Two men with considerable knowledge of the church in China are Rev Dr Ji Zhang and Rev Zhu Enshou. They will be bringing their stories and experience to regional Victoria when they speak at a conference at Hamilton Uniting Church on the weekend of 12-14 August.

Mr ...

Where there’s a will

Film | God Willing (Subtitled) | (PG)


Billed as ‘Italy’s #1 smash-hit comedy’ and titled God Willing, one can’t help but be a little curious.

In an era where the reputation of Catholic priests has been severely tarnished, this film provides an alternative narrative – priests can be cool, relevant, and offer a meaning to life ...