Moderator urges Church to explore new ways of worship

By Stephen Acott

The Synod of Victoria and Tasmania’s new Moderator, Rev Denise Liersch, used her installation address to call on the Church to open itself to new ways of worship and not “cling to the status quo” or “yearn for the way things used to be”.

Speaking at a packed St Michael’s church in Collins St, Melbourne, Denise ...

Sharon Hollis calls for LGBTI debate to reflect God’s grace

Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Moderator Rev Sharon Hollis says all discussions around sexuality and Christian belief should be anchored in recognition that all people are children of a loving God and the way we speak about people’s gender and sexuality needs to reflect this love.

“Some have told me how painful recent public conversations surrounding Christian beliefs ...

Voluntary Assisted Dying the big issue for Synod 2019

The upcoming Synod meeting in July will, quite literally, be discussing matters of life and death, and for General Secretary Mark Lawrence this is a welcome change of focus.

That’s understandable considering the tumultuous events and transitions the Church wrestled with in the previous three Synod meetings, which Mark was charged with organising.

“It’s probably fair to ...

Plenty of neat lessons at Messy Church conference

In the space of just 15 years, Messy Church has become a worldwide phenomenon, something that was plain to see at a recent international conference in the UK.

Over 200 people from as far afield as the US, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Australia attended the Messy Church International Conference at the southeast English village of Hoddesdon, including five from ...

Julie Perrin’s kind of revelations in her new book Tender

If there is something Julie Perrin would like us to take away from her latest book it is that lessons in grace can happen in the most unexpected places and at the unlikeliest times.

This can even include a highly fraught taxi ride to the hospital to see a hurt loved one.

The Melbourne author’s new work, ...

Community Life survey reveals the state of pray in UCA

The Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania is a mix of old and new, a survey sent to all congregations and faith communities in the Synod reveals.

While many of the 52 per cent of congregations that completed the 2017 Community Life Return reported an ageing membership, the survey also showed 50 new faith communities.

These included ...

Some tips to help make a world of difference

UnitingWorld’s Australian Partnerships Coordinator Alexandra Bingham has seen the impact of climate change first-hand.

Alexandra said that in the tiny Pacific country of Tuvalu salt has been pushed up from the seabeds so they can barely grow their own crops.

Due to increased ocean temperatures, fish are being pushed further out to sea making it increasingly difficult for fisherman to ...

Meredith Lake’s award-winning soul focus on history

Learning about the past can open new ways of thinking about the present, something Dr Meredith Lake can personally attest to.

The award-winning historian and Radio National presenter grew up memorising Bible verses and praying at her dinner table in a devout Anglican household in Sydney’s outer suburbs.

She became hooked on the study of history in ...

Indigenous Hospitality House launches appeal

The Indigenous Hospitality House has launched its first appeal asking for help to provide low-cost accommodation for regional and rural Indigenous people visiting Melbourne for medical reasons or to support a family member in hospital.

The appeal, launched during Reconciliation Week, aims to fill a financial gap after a local hospital ended its annual $15,000 donation.

Since its inception in ...

Narana Centre swells with Indigenous pride

Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre is preparing to welcome some of Australia’s top Indigenous surfers, but can also boast a title holder of its own.

On 30 May, the centre will hold an opening event for the eighth Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles, which are to be held over the following three days at Bells Beach.

For Narana’s Aboriginal Cultural Educator, Anthony ...

UCA reaffirms same-gender marriage stance

The Uniting Church has strongly restated its stance on same-gender marriage in the wake of what UCA National President Dr Deidre Palmer called a “regrettable” and factually incorrect ABC story on purported divisions over the issue.

In a pastoral statement to the church on 26 May following the ABC story, Dr Palmer assured members who may have been disturbed by ...

Serving up goodwill

Peace, love and unity were on the menu at an Iftar dinner held at Ivanhoe Uniting Church on 18 May.

The event, which was jointly staged by the Victorian Council of Churches and Islamic Council of Victoria, invited Christians and Muslims to share more than just a meal.

Barriers were broken and friendships were forged, with conversation and understanding flowing ...