Please don’t tell me how I feel


When I thought about writing this column to tie in with Mental Health Week (7-13 October) I had planned to write a general column about mental health and the church.

But the general column didn’t come because this is not just a broad  issue for me – it’s personal and it’s personal in a particular ...

Mind fields

When Samantha’s* brother stopped coming home she felt a mixture of relief that her family could be normal again and guilt that she hoped he would never be found.

“I felt guilty about that for a long time. I actually tried to convince myself that Rob had gone to live with our dad interstate,” Samantha ...

Going rate

BARRY GITTINS The full-time permanent job is rapidly disappearing.

For the first recorded time less than half of all working Australians (49.97 per cent) have full-time jobs with leave entitlements.

The “casual” full-time workforce (those without leave entitlements) grew by 38 per cent between 2009 and 2017, while part-time work comprises 31.7 per cent of employees ...

Two decades of listening

For 20 years the Listening Lounge in Corio Central Shopping Centre has welcomed people in to relax, meet friends, have a chat or a deep heart-to-heart.

Last month, about 35 people gathered to celebrate the two-decade anniversary.

Joining Listening Lounge members and volunteers for the party were representatives of Port Philip West Presbytery and other community organisations.

The ...

Obituary – Rev Bruce Prewer

28/4/1931 to 11/9/2018

By Rev Stan Clarke, Minister at Sunbury Uniting Church

Rev Bruce Prewer is remembered as a nationally recognised poet and liturgist who gave Christianity a distinctly Australian voice.

Following a protracted illness Bruce passed away surrounded by family in Victoria on 11 September, 2018.

Born in 1931, the youngest of four children, Bruce’s early years ...

Machinery of death


A Melbourne pastor who was present at the executions of Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukamaran warns it is only a matter of time before another Australian faces the death penalty.

When Sukamaran’s last clemency plea was rejected, he chose Bayside Church pastor Christie Buckingham to be the official witness to ...

Changing course into a storm


When American theologian Rev Dr David Gushee called for full inclusion of LGBTI people in his 2014 book Changing Our Mind, the response from the mainstream evangelical community was brutally swift.

Within days of the book’s publication, universities and seminaries – including one in Australia – withdrew speaking invitations.

This is despite David ...

Above and beyond


An allegedly lop-sided table tennis rivalry led two Uniting Church ministers to partner in an innovative project to connect Christians who feel marginalised from traditional church communities.

Manningham Uniting Church minister Rev Lucas Taylor and Tecoma Uniting Church minister Rev Matt Cutler established Beyondering in 2015, but the history of the project traces ...

Why white is more than skin deep


Monday night is half-price movie night and the other week I walked down to see the latest film by director Spike Lee BlackKklansman.

It tells the (true) story of Ron Stallworth, a young African American police officer who in 1973 managed to infiltrate the local branch of the Klu Klux Klan. To ...

Brief encounters

Review by Alan Ray

Book | And He Talks with Me | Al Mewett

What an unusual publication. The title gives us a clue. Readers of a certain age, including this reviewer, may recognise the lyrics crooned by Elvis Presley: “And he walks with me and he talks with me/and he tells me I am his own/and ...

The Little Things

Margaret Gambold

It’s the little things that matter in this lifetime that we lead.
It’s the noticing of others in their desperate hours of need.
It’s the hesitating wisely if we’re getting in the way,
but soothing with a contact when their lives have gone astray.

It’s the little things that matter when we ...