Meeting expectations


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


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


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 ...

Embodiment of hope

A colleague recently commented to me that she had noticed that we don’t focus on the pregnancy of Mary. Mary has not often been depicted in art as pregnant. Rarely do we put pictures of Mary obviously pregnant up for Advent.

I’m not sure what she had in mind when she said this but it got me ...

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 ...