Community and consensus

Often when I talk with people outside the Uniting Church about consensus decision-making, they are intrigued.

They find it hard to imagine a group of people who meet to look for common ground, who are willing to listen to each other and consider how they might hear God in each other.

If they know ...

One in Christ

the last couple of weeks I have found myself reflecting on Paul’s statement in Galatians (3:26-28) that through Christ we are all made children of God through faith. Divisions we construct are no longer the categories by which Christians are to view each other for we are all one in Christ.

We often act ...

Change is in the nature of our union

When I look at the photos of the inauguration, I barely recognise the current Uniting Church. In the photos, the Church is represented largely by a group of older white men. The only person of colour on the stage was a guest of the World Council of Churches. The majority of female faces are schoolgirls in a choir.

While ...

Hope-filled meditation

Among the many letters Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote when he was in prison was a poem that was later versified into a hymn. Since I first came across the poem and hymn I have spent some time each Eastertide pondering it.

Three small verses that, even if I meditate on them for the rest of my life I will never ...

Reflection, repentance and change

AS a church, we are now deep in the season of Lent. While many practices have now grown up around the observance of this season, the primary purpose is not about rituals but about taking time to think seriously about Jesus Christ and what it means to follow him.

In this invitation to reflect on who Jesus ...

Living our mission

Forty years ago, the inaugural Assembly of the Uniting Church issued a Statement to the Nation. This statement outlines the Uniting Church’s desire to be involved in “social and national affairs”. The Church engages with our neighbours worldwide but particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. The statement commits the Uniting Church to basic Christian values of the “importance of every ...

The energy and joy of Yurora

I’m writing this column the day after Yurora 17 (NCYC). I am tired of body but full of joy as I reflect on this inspiring gathering of a thousand young people from across the Uniting Church.

Yurora 17 was a diverse community made up of young people and adult volunteers all seeking a better understanding of God’s passion for ...

God’s sense of Christmas time

Christmas is fast approaching.

Every Christmas-countdown calendar, every new Christmas product on the shelf, every Christmas catalogue mocks my lack of preparation and fills me with an ever-growing sense dread about what I still need to do before Christmas.

In the popular imagination and the life of the church, Christmas is the pinnacle as the year comes to an ...

Forgotten meaning of Halloween

With Halloween goodies and Christmas delights jostling for space on the shelves of our supermarket, it can be hard to remember that the season of trick-or-treating has its foundation in the Christian celebration of All Saints and All Souls.

Traditionally Halloween is the vigil day before All Saints day. All Saints day is the day to remember that all ...

Caring for carers

I have written and spoken before about my partner Michael’s depression and anxiety and his death. With Mental Health Week approaching, I offer a brief reflection on some of the beliefs and attitudes I have experienced that make having a mental illness or caring for a family member with a mental illness more difficult.

People who have mental illness ...

Safety lesson is one we need to learn

Over the last few weeks I have spent considerable time thinking about safety, security and what it means for us to become a safer church. Some of this thinking has arisen from meeting with survivors of abuse.

Their courage in telling their stories and holding us accountable for what they suffered demands that we work as hard as we ...

Love, light, life

Goodness is stronger than evil;
Love is stronger than hate;
Light is stronger than darkness;
Life is stronger than death;
Victory is ours through Him who loves us.  – Desmond Tutu, An African Prayer book

Over the last few weeks I have found myself returning again to this powerful prayer written by ...