What has COVID-19 taught us about connection?

By Moderator Rev Denise Liersch

Like so many of us, I’ve spent a lot of time in Zoom meetings or on the phone over the past months and have been struck by how much I keep hearing the themes of connection from so many people, from all sorts of contexts.

It’s a theme of our public health messages and across ...

Birthday message from the Moderator

We have been celebrating our 43rd birthday this past week.  Many celebrated a day early, on Sunday, others celebrated on the day and others are still celebrating – as I know from the emails I have been receiving this week from Church members.

The emails have been to wish our Church “happy birthday” and to say something about how ...

Why going back ‘to normal’ isn’t good enough

By Moderator Rev Denise Liersch

In the past few months, we’ve been hearing stories of people’s experiences as they have been travelling this roller coaster we call “the pandemic”. We keep hearing phrases like, “when this is over …”, or what the “new normal” might be like. Those phrases carry something of the depth of sadness, struggle and ...

From the ashes, Lent is a time of reflection and hope

As we come closer to the beginning of the season of Lent, the name of that opening day, Ash Wednesday, triggers a strong memory of past bushfire tragedy. 

The emotions stirred up are so much heightened this year, as those memories are being lived out again in the threat and destruction wrought through bushfire. This is ...

Moderator Sharon Hollis signs off with a message of hope

As I have travelled around the Synod these past three years many of you have spoken to me about the future of the church, the Uniting Church or of a congregation. Many of you want to know what we can do to ensure the future of the church, often with a focus on numbers ...

Black Saturday anniversary prayer

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires that killed 180 people and devastated  communities across regional Victoria, Moderator Sharon Hollis prays for those who continue to be affected.

 

God of compassionate love,

on this anniversary day of Black Saturday

we pray for all who continued to be affected

by the devastation of those fires.

We pray ...

Looking to Jesus with a sense of Advent-ure

SHARON HOLLIS, MODERATOR

I’m writing this column just a few days after one man’s actions in central Melbourne’s Bourke St brought death, fear and anxiety to so many people. Also on my mind is a personal anniversary that causes me sadness and an awareness that many people are carrying sadness, anger and despair.

And while all this ...

Acts of renewal and hope

SHARON HOLLIS

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had one of those patches where life and its demands threatens to overwhelm me.

My diary was fuller than I would like, there were difficult conversations to have as November, the anniversary month of my partner’s death, loomed. I felt that I was running on empty or ...

Please don’t tell me how I feel

SHARON HOLLIS

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 ...

Love letter

If you have been following the Revised Common Lectionary you most likely have spent some time recently reading the letter to the Ephesians.

If you haven’t paid much attention to the letter I encourage you to read it because it is particularly helpful for not just thinking about the life of the Church but the ...

Meeting expectations

SHARON HOLLIS

Several years ago, I overheard my young daughter’s Barbie dolls having the following conversation:

Barbie 1: ”What are you doing today?”

Barbie 2: “I’m going to a boring meeting.”

It was a salutary moment for me as I realised I had used that exact phrase – “I’m going to a boring meeting”– ...

Life begins at 41

This month we commemorate the 41st anniversary of the Uniting Church in Australia. It’s not nearly as exciting as last year’s 40th birthday. There will be fewer cakes and parties and events I imagine.  After the excitement of last year, this June’s anniversary reminds us that the life of the church is mostly lived out in ...