Season to be thankful

As we come close to the end of the year, we might be filled with anticipation and a sense of hope about Christmas this year. Borders are reopening. Restrictions on work, travel and gatherings are easing. There is a sense of promise that long-separated loved ones might be reunited.

At the same time, many of us are feeling weary and ...

What and why of worship

By Sally Douglas

It is very easy to turn God into our own image. To make ideas of God – what God looks like, what God wants and who God loves – conform to the shape of our own beliefs. This happens across Christian churches, and other faith traditions. It is increasingly clear this also happens in circles who claim ...

How do we reopen doors?

By Andrew Humphries

As Victorians emerged from the sixth, and hopefully last, COVID-19 lockdown in late October, they were confronted with challenges around how the state could safely reopen and what role vaccination would play in that.

The Synod of Victoria and Tasmania is grappling with those same issues as congregations return to physical worship amid some confusion, ...

Bell tolls for violence victims

By Andrew Humphries

At 2.30pm last Sunday, the bell at St Peter’s Eastern Hill Anglican Church tolled 39 times to remember the women lost to domestic violence so far this year.

Moderator Denise Liersch joined St Peter’s Vicar Rev Dr Hugh Kempster, Victorian Council of Churches executive officer Rev Ian Smith and Sr Nicole Rotaru from Catholic Social Services Victoria ...

Novel approach to religion

By Donald Moss

Murder-mystery author Bob Faser wants to reassure readers of his debut novel that there is no such person as the Bishop of Launceston.

That’s probably just as well, because it’s the fictitious Bishop’s death that opens the Hobart-based retired Uniting Church Minister’s murder-mystery, Fresh Expressions of Murder.

The Bishop is found dead at the bottom of Launceston’s ...

Mery promises to serve

By Cath Taylor

Even before she was conceived, Mery Kolimon had a calling. Her parents, Timorese nationals from one of Indonesia’s most beautiful archipelagos, dedicated their first child to God’s work even before Mery’s mother fell pregnant.

It was a promise with a profound impact.

Rev Dr Mery Kolimon is the first female Moderator of the Evangelical Church of Timor, ...

Dealing with disillusionment

By Melanie J Saward

With such eagerness, we all waved goodbye to 2020 and invited the “fresh start” that 2021 promised, but as time passes there’s still an unspoken sense of uncertainty, courtesy  of COVID-19.
Of course, we have fared much better than many abroad, but I am sure, like me, you have wondered how exactly we are ever ...

Good food for a good cause

By Andrew Humphries

Summer is the time our bathers come out, our sprinklers come out, the kids’ cricket bats come out and our barbies come out.

And often it’s all in the one day.

This year, as it has for the past 10 years or so, Frontier Services is hoping you will think of our farmers as you and your ...

Tuning in to the Holy Spirit

By Andrew Humphries

Do a quick Google search for quotes relating to the power of music, and quite a few come to hand.

“Music is life itself”, says one, while others suggest that “music is the soundtrack to your life” and that “music is love in search of a word”.

But perhaps its meaning is best summed up by Lebanese-American ...

It’s time to act on climate

By Donald Moss

As leaders and environmentalists gather in Glasgow at the end of this month for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), the world will be hoping for definitive action to tackle our climate emergency.

Watching on from Melbourne will be Moderator Denise Liersch and the Synod’s Senior Social Justice Advocate Mark Zirnsak.

Before then, though, Denise and Mark ...

Recognising God’s guidance

By Malcolm Dunjey

Today, perhaps more than ever, people are asking, “what does God want me to do now?”.

The future may appear uncertain, considering current events, but my lifetime of experiencing God’s guidance has taught me how to recognise His voice in the wilderness.

At God’s direction, my wife and I have experienced dramatic and overwhelming changes to our ...

No scorecard for success

By Sally Douglas

I could paint a picture of the congregation I currently serve according to the success criteria of our culture. I could tell you, with great flourish, that since I arrived, the church has more than tripled in size and the predominant age group of newcomers is those in their 20s and 30s.

While this is true, this ...