What does it mean to be called?

Barry Gittins

We use the word “calling” lightly, when the idea of a vocation to ministry has the potential to change many lives, including the lives of those called. In this feature, we call on three members of the Uniting Church to ask them what it means to feel God wants them to be ministers of the gospel.


Community minded


Outside the church hall it’s a grey, wet and wintry Melbourne morning.

But inside, the atmosphere is warm and inviting, as well rugged-up diners tuck into steaming plates of pasta bake and vegetables.

Good Grub, the free Tuesday lunch put on by Boroondara Community Outreach (BCO) at the Habitat Uniting Church in Kew, ...

Looks like a right royal event

Horsham Uniting Church might not have had quite the who’s who roll-call of dignitaries and celebrities attending but it still managed to show it could put on a pretty decent royal wedding.

One day ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tying the knot at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, England, Horsham Uniting Church staged its own ...

Budgets missing the mark on mental health

Preventative mental health programs and help for the elderly are glaring areas of need that governments are failing to address, a post-budget breakfast hosted by UCA Funds Management heard on Thursday.

At the event held in the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, UCA Funds Management CEO Mathew Browning introduced four speakers who discussed how the recent Victorian and Federal ...

Split decision

Review by TIM LAM

Film | Come Sunday | M

Carlton Pearson was one of the most popular preachers in America during the 1990s, his Pentecostal mega-church regularly drawing more than 5000 worshippers.

But when he saw footage of starving children in Rwanda, Pearson had an epiphany: Jesus died for all humanity and ...

Table of togetherness

When Brunswick was named as a terrorist target in 2016, the local religious community decided they would respond by showcasing the neighbourhood’s thriving diversity.

Moreland community leaders, including Christian, Muslim and other faith representatives, formed Moreland Together.

Synod interfaith community development worker April Kailahi was one of the network’s founding members.

“As soon ...

Not just playing anymore

SOWING the seeds of faith, developing relationships and entrusting people to lead have been key to fostering North Ringwood Uniting Church’s flourishing intergenerational ministry.

Last month, North Ringwood members Trevor and Merry Sweatman told a Stories of Childhood Conference at the Centre for Theology and Ministry how the church was turning a wildly successful ...

Being present for others

The Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program is not something to be entered into lightly.

The program, run by The John Paver Centre and based out of the Centre for Theology and Ministry, requires 400 hours of supervised pastoral practice and education.

“People are surprised by the emotional demands,” John Paver Centre director Rev Andy ...

Deidre’s discipleship


“I actually think leadership grows out of discipleship,” Dr Deidre Palmer says.

“As an educator, as someone who contributes to people’s formation in faith, I see leadership arising from inviting people into a deeper relationship with God.”

Youth worker, Christian educator, academic, theologian, social worker, counsellor, Moderator – from July 2018, Dr Deidre ...

Rescue hut

Review by Nick Mattiske

Book | The Shepherd’s Hut | Tim Winton

In Tim Winton’s fiction, reconciliation, sacrifice, redemption and the like work themselves out in the lives of society’s fringe-dwellers – those not usually thought of as upright, moral citizens.

In Winton’s latest novel, The Shepherd’s Hut, main character and narrator Jaxie is a ...

Keep the embers alive

In his final national message the 14th President of the Uniting Church in Australia Stuart McMillan has urged Church members to address the “unfinished business” of sovereignty and Treaty for First Peoples.

“I started my presidency with the Yolŋu words Bala limurr roŋyirr ŋorraŋgitjlil – ‘Let us return to the white ashes of the fire’,” ...