Game of Thrones and the reality of fantasy

By Brunswick Uniting Church minister Rev Ian Ferguson, who definitely will be watching the new season of you know what. 

Spoiler Alert! What follow spoils the endings of Game of Thrones (season one), Lord of the Rings (volume one), and the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (Testament New).

I remember the moment of horror vividly: the executioner raised ...

Why this land is not ours

By Rev Dr Sean Winter, Head of College, Pilgrim Theological College

Debates about border protection and the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers show no signs of going away.

In the midst of the political rhetoric, and despite the obvious and real challenges that face politicians, it is important to remember the longer story to which our ...

Rose to the occasion

By Reverend Dr Robyn Whitaker Coordinator of Studies – New Testament, Pilgrim Theological College

When it comes to Valentine’s Day most of us think of roses, chocolates, romantic dinners and greeting cards. Yet St Valentine’s Day is named after a third century martyr who was beheaded after being imprisoned and beaten.

How did we get from beheading to romance?

...

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

BETH DONNELLY

“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

JOHN BOTTOMLEY

“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

JOHN LANGMORE

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

FRIDAY FORUM YOUR VIEWS ON THE NEWS

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 ...