November 2017 Crosslight out now

Our November cover image features Achala, a young Sri Lankan refugee who lives in a camp in Tamil Nadu, India, and her grandmother (and carer) Praveena. Diagnosed with leukaemia in 2015, for the next two years, Achala was in and out of hospital in Chennai for monthly chemotherapy treatments. The Organisation for Eelam Refugee’s Rehabilitation (OfERR) ...

Let’s get ecumenical

THE Uniting Church in Australia is a denomination born of ecumenical engagement between the Congregationalists, Methodists and Presbyterians.

The authors of the UCA’s founding document, the Basis of Union, clearly expected more denominations to enter the Uniting fold – as evidenced by the name ‘Uniting’ rather than ‘United’, the name adopted by other merged ...

War trauma and the art of healing


When Coming Home art exhibition organiser Gordon Traill returned to Australia from Iraq, he was unaware that he was yet to suffer the real toll of six months spent in an urban warzone.

“When I came back I thought everything’s fine, of course,” Mr Traill said.

“There’s nothing wrong with me.”

Mr ...

Learning for life


Book | Educating for Purposeful Living in a Post- Traditional Age | Philip Hughes

One of the fundamental pillars of wellbeing is the feeling that we matter, that our very existence and our contributions have made a positive difference in this world. In the field of positive psychology this is labelled as ...

Letters to the editor – November 2017

Care for all

I was saddened by the letter to the editor entitled ‘Chaplain Disappointment’ in the September Crosslight.

As a hospital chaplain I feel it is a great privilege to care for patients, families and staff.  However, I am aware that many patients do not receive a visit.

Pastoral care is important to a patient’s ...

The nature of God

One night recently, as I was preparing to go to bed, I listened to the news. One of the news items was about the genocide currently taking place in Myanmar targeting the Rohingya people.

The report told of the army moving into villages, shooting men in front of their loved ones, of women being sexually assaulted and ...

Knowing Nixon


Book | Richard Nixon: The Life | John A. Farrell

Richard Nixon remains a relevant political figure. Much of our present distrust of politicians, and culture wars between right and left, can be traced back to his era. His story reminds us that we need to keep a watchful eye on both what ...

Prophetic voice in Zimbabwe


Speaking up against oppression and injustice is not optional for a Christian, the head of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe says.

“You cannot say you are preaching the Gospel if social justice is not part of your work,” Presiding Bishop Solomon Zwana said while in Melbourne last month.

Dr Zwana led a ...

Statements of Intent – sparking helpful conversation

Together with other key components of the Synod’s Strategic Framework, the 10 Statements of Intent seek to spark helpful conversations within our gathered communities – conversations focused on our community life as participants in the mission of God.

Our new Synod Standing Committee has begun to weave these Statements into their conversations.

At the request ...

Time to decide

In his recent book Die Wise, Stephen Jenkinson makes the point that, “Dying is not what happens to you, it is something that you do.” In other words, dying is an action, a process that calls forth our participation and considered decision-making.

In the light of the proposed assisted dying legislation, which the Victorian state ...

Russell Rechner

15 June 1940 to 16 September 2017

Russ Rechner passed away aged 77 in Toorak Victoria. He was a dedicated family man who enjoyed a distinguished career across retail and banking sectors and made a major contribution to the Presbyterian and later Uniting Church.

Born in Adelaide in 1940, his father’s career as a ...

Great expectations

Review by NIGEL TAPP

Film | A father’s dreams | Wyn Moriarty

To commit the story of your life thus far to print – the good and the bad – seems like a massive undertaking.

How will those I know now, who did not know me then, react? Will they view me differently? How will my ...