November 2016 Crosslight now available



Uniting Journeys recently returned from a cycling tour through Vietnam and Cambodia. Organised by Disability Sport & Recreation (DSR), the 13-day tour included nine riders with a range of disabilities who used specially modified bikes to complete the more-than 500 kilometre trip. Uniting Journeys’ goal is for travellers to have a positive impact in the ...

The future of faith

DEB BENNETT, NIGEL TAPP AND DAVID SOUTHWELL

Sandy and Robyn are two women who grew up in the Uniting Church. Both agree their church backgrounds and the friends they made are still very important to them. But, now in their 40s, they don’t think church is relevant to their current lives.

“There are two reasons I don’t go to ...

Christmas appeal celebrates 25 years of giving

UnitingCare and Target are calling on shoppers to give generously to support families in need this Christmas.

This year marks 25 years since the UnitingCare and Target Christmas Appeal began. Organisers hope to raise more than $1.5 million to support UnitingCare community service programs.

Supporters are invited to drop an unwrapped gift under the Christmas tree at the front ...

Fashion parade at Ocean Grove

The Ocean Grove Uniting Church congregation recently hosted a Spring Fashion Parade to raise funds for local and overseas communities.

The church op-shop, called ‘The Dove’, has been operating in the coastal town for the past five years. During that time, it has donated more than $335,000 to schools, agencies, non-profit organisations and international development groups.

In September, the ...

Reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka

TIM LAM

Sri Lanka is slowly emerging from the shadows of a decades-long civil war. The lighted oil lamps and candles in the accompanying image symbolise hope as the next generation seeks to learn from the past and write a new story together.

In 1983, tensions between the Sinhalese and Tamils escalated into a full-scale conflict. The Tamil Tigers ...

Judging Jonah

REVIEW BY BOB FASER

BOOK | SYMPATHY FOR JONAH: REFLECTIONS ON HUMILIATION, TERROR, AND THE POLITICS OF ENEMY-LOVE | DAVID BENJAMIN BLOWER

David Blower’s brief (60 pages) study of the Book of Jonah challenges the main foundation of most popular interpretations of this book, i.e., ...

Unpolished silver

REVIEW BY EMMET O’CUANA

BOOK | THE SILVER BARON’S WIFE | DONNA BAIER STEIN

Donna Baier Stein’s fictionalised account of Elizabeth ‘Baby Doe’ McCourt Tabor promises much. Here was a woman who lived an incredible life in the latter-half of the 19th century. McCourt was born to Irish immigrant parents in Wisconsin. She escaped an ordinary working life by ...

Beauty therapy at Phillip Island

Celtic theologian John O’Donohue once said a world without beauty would be unbearable.

“Beauty is so quietly woven through our ordinary days that we hardly notice it. Everywhere there is tenderness, care and kindness, there is beauty,” Mr O’Donohue wrote in his 2003 book Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace.

The UCAF (Uniting Church Adult Fellowship) at St John’s Uniting ...

Letters – November 2016

Flying the flag

The August issue of Crosslight has a dramatic cover of the cross, the main symbol of the Christian religion, being manoeuvred into position at Long Tan, and its articles on military chaplaincy expresses many views, pro, con and neither one way nor the other.

To me, the most relevant quote in the issue of military chaplaincy is ...

Community Life Survey

EMMET O’CUANA

For the fifth year running, synod operations has canvassed congregations in Victoria and Tasmania inviting submissions for two online surveys. The 2015 Financial Return and the Community Life surveys were designed to give insight on the life of the synod from a grassroots perspective. The online survey committee includes representatives from Presbytery Ministry Administration (PMA) as well as ...

Context and Contingency

Is there any theology that does not have a context? Is there any theology which can avoid a hermeneutic of suspicion? Clearly, the answer to both these questions is ‘no’. Are we obliged to do our theology in context? Absolutely ‘yes’. But, do we need ‘contextual theology’ to do theology in context? In my view, ‘no’. It is important to ...

All creatures

REVIEW BY REV IAN SMITH

BOOK | ANIMALS IN RELIGION | REV BARBARA ALLEN

This book is timely; in the midst of the growing global concern around climate change and the future of our world as we know and understand it, Barbara has brought a gift, an invitation to add a fresh layer to our discussions. The particular focus ...