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 ...

A glimpse into the despair of detention


When I visited a Melbourne asylum seeker detention centre recently, I was not allowed to take in a bunch of flowers for my friend’s birthday. No reason given except ‘it’s policy’. So instead, I sent her a photo of the flowers.

At Easter, the small chocolate eggs I wanted to give her were refused: ...

Trump ignores global warning


The United States has never been one for collective global agreements. Last Friday, the US government pulled out of the Paris Accord – the global agreement by countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stop climate change.
The US did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol – the agreement prior to Paris – and has not ...

ReGen rejects ACL views on helping drug users

UnitingCare ReGen, the lead alcohol and other drug treatment and education agency of UnitingCare Victoria & Tasmania, has  responded to claims made in last Friday’s Herald Sun that a change in the Victorian government’s opposition to the establishment of a pilot Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in Richmond, “would enrage Christian groups” (‘Services back injecting room’, 02/06/17).

The Long Road to Reconciliation


It’s Reconciliation Week again. This year we’re remembering some big milestones.

Fifty years since the referendum that included First Australians in the census. Twenty-five years since the Mabo decision which overturned the legal fiction that Australia was a land without people when it was stolen by the British. Twenty years since the Bringing Them Home ...

Learning patience

A good friend of mine died recently. We hadn’t seen each other for more than five years. But there are people that you meet in life whose wisdom you come to value and to rely on, irrespective of whether you actually get to spend much time together.

In the final days of Alan’s illness, I was able ...

Understanding Pope Francis’ (and Andrew Garfield’s) spirituality

What do Pope Francis, and actor Andrew Garfield, who plays a lead role as a Jesuit priest in Martin Scorsese’s latest film, Silence, have in common? Answer: they have both undergone the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuits in 1539, and whose Exercises are at the core of Jesuit spirituality.

For both Pope ...