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 ...

The Spirit’s call

SHARON HOLLIS

As we move towards the Feast of Pentecost when we celebrate the gift of the Spirit to the church and each follower of Jesus, I am reminded again of the privilege I have witnessing so many signs of the Spirit’s presence calling us to worship, witness and service.

This year I am seeking to ...

Three blessings

SHARON HOLLIS

One of the most constant sources of comfort, encouragement and challenge in my prayer life over the last few years has been blessings written by Jan Richardson. As I have journeyed through Lent and begun to reflect on Easter I have turned once again to Jan to guide and shelter me.

One meaning of the ...

The promise of new life

As I was reflecting on the readings for Lent in the Revised Common Lectionary, I noticed that running through the sections from the Hebrew Scriptures is a theme of God’s faithfulness to God’s people and the way this brings joy, renewal and life.

Many of us will have taken on Lenten practices and disciplines to ...

Position of privilege

In January, I was privileged to attend some of the 2018 Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Conference (UAICC), which is held every three years.

The theme for the conference – Trauma and Healing – created space to name the pain and trauma in need of healing as well as celebrating the resilience and strength of ...