Why youth work is like couples’ counselling

I’ve only been in this job for nine months, but I love it. I consider it a joyous privilege to work with congregations, presbyteries and the Synod in the areas of youth ministry and contextual theology.

This is a great gig, but if I’m honest, I feel most of my work resembles the role of couples’ counsellor.

Allow me to ...

Schooled in real Christian examples


“Didn’t Jesus speak English?”

“Are you a Christian or a Catholic?”

“Ooh I know! We’re the one with the bird!”

Working with 450 children and teenagers features daily moments of wisdom, insight, and facepalms as I learn how little of the church and the Christian faith they know, despite some attending schools associated ...

Degrees of commitment

Marguerite Marshall

Christians have led many important social movements including the anti-slave trade, anti-Apartheid and African-American equality in the US and now we have a new and urgent challenge.

Last month’s UN special report on global warming says emergency action is needed if we want to maintain a safe climate for our children. If ...

Don’t screen God out of the workplace


“Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured.”(Heb13:13) 

This text preached by Rev Dr Davis McCaughey at my ministry exit valedictory service in 1972 still resonates with me.

In my first placement at outer suburban Knox, there were times I indeed felt “outside the city gate” ...

Fading dream of a new Sri Lanka

Devanandan Anandarajan

In 2016 I wrote my hope for Sri Lanka. At that time it seemed a space for democracy had been opened after the civil war and with the present government coming to power in 2015, backed by the overwhelming support of minorities.

These minorities (Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and others) realised that if ...

Ending the cycle of violence

Kenneth H Carter Jr

On 14 February, 17 people were killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Many learned of the news as they were preparing to attend Ash Wednesday services, which mark the beginning of the season of Lent. As we learned of the deaths of students, teachers and staff  the ...

Strengthening Sustainable Economic Security


Churches, along with other non-government organisations, have an important role in demonstrating that there are greater values than consumerism.

This was one of the challenging propositions to come out of a workshop organised by the University of Divinity Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy.

Keynote speaker, the renowned economist and public ...

Economy of death


The recently announced plans by the federal government to increase military exports and industry must be read as the latest step toward a militarised Australian economy.

This has already been demonstrated in the choice to build submarines, buy air fighters, host military bases and exercises, and to participate in Middle East ...

A mission strategy: the weekly Eucharist

‘Mission’ is everywhere in contemporary mainline churches, not least the Uniting Church and not least because changes in the fortunes of the church have seen us turn to the question of mission with renewed vigour.  Projects such as our Synod’s Major Strategic Review spring directly out of such concerns.

As we watch the Synod respond ...

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 ...

Big questions on a sunny Sunday afternoon



There was some lively debate last Sunday afternoon when some Uniting Church future-gazers were urged to ask, “Why should there be a Church in the first place?” rather than “how can we be Church in new ways?”

Rev Dr Geoff Thompson told the 50 plus participants gathered at Melbourne’s Centre for Theology & Ministry for a public forum that the first ...

The abused child I carry within

Participating in the Culture of Safety training and listening to the discussion around it, I am two people.

One is the experienced minister, analysing the changes being made and thinking about how best to introduce them to a congregation.

The other is the small child experiencing abuse, the one who still lives inside the ...