Challenge of Assembly

By Dan Wootton

In his retiring address to the Assembly in Perth, former president Rev Dr Andrew Dutney quoted philosopher John Dewey who said, “We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.”

Readers who have never attended an Assembly meeting might be forgiven for thinking that there is ample time during ...

Looking for leadership

The Assembly of the Uniting Church gathers in Perth this Sunday for a week-long meeting, which is held every three years. Before the gathering of 265 members gets down to the business of the Assembly, a worship service is held at which time the new president, Stuart McMillan, is installed.

Leadership in the Uniting Church looks very ...

Called to our diversity

This month, the moderator has given his column to Rev Professor Andrew Dutney, who steps down from the role as UCA president at this month’s national Assembly meeting.

On this 38th anniversary of the inauguration of the Uniting Church in Australia, I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to take this ...

Joan Kirner: Mentor, friend and role model

I first met Joan in late 1995 or in 1996 when she was meeting with ALP women to talk about an organisation she was starting – EMILY’s List Australia. We met at a unit in Malvern and I was so excited to be in the same room as someone whom I had greatly admired from afar.

After ...

Love Is Indispensable

And yet I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that ...

Putting the ‘G’ into OMG

By Dan Wootton

The other morning as I headed down the hill in the dark, I felt something silently whiz past my face. I walked on, and as the dim light marginally improved, it happened again. This time I could just make out that it was a bat. Not a big fruit bat, this one was only about ...

The first impressions of an outsider

By Rev Dr John G Flett

As one new to the Uniting Church, I thought that I might relate my first and uninformed impressions. These no doubt occupy a narrow band of experience and fail to reflect the range of UCA constituencies.

But, fresh eyes sometimes highlight the unexpected and encourage conversations otherwise difficult to initiate.

First ...

Searching for the sacred

By Dan Wootton

Having been a banker, I guess a desire of mine in coming to work for the Church some 26 years ago was an endeavour to pursue the sacred and leave the profane behind.

But the profane keeps dogging me, particularly as the Church embarks on entrepreneurial ways to generate income for ongoing missional purposes.


It’s a conspiracy

By Jennifer Byrnes

It’s a conspiracy! Every Sunday, and at many other times in the week, the people of God conspire. The word conspire derives from ‘con’ meaning together and ‘inspire’ meaning to breathe in. Whether it is in our prayers, litanies of praise, our singing or our communal ‘Amen’ – we act together – we physically draw in breathe ...

Resurrection: Interpretation and Impatience

By Rev Dr Geoff Thompson

As always, Easter is an opportunity to engage with the meaning and credibility of the church’s claims about the resurrection. We are used to highly disputed interpretations of the resurrection narratives. Appeals are often made to the distinction between ‘literal’ and ‘metaphorical’. I have often wondered why this distinction, which illuminates so little, carries ...

Open our eyes to the Easter gift

By Dan Wootton

Many Christians prepare for Easter through self-sacrifice, by forgoing one thing or another.  At times, this may seem difficult.  But if we look at the period leading up to Easter as a time of misery, I think we’re missing the point.

Jesus effectively said that we are to die to ourselves in order to live. By ...

Retributive justice or mercy?

What should I reflect on?

Australia is currently wrestling with many issues: children in detention camps; child sex abuse;  asylum seekers; domestic violence; terrorism; how we relate to the religious ‘other’? –  to name a few. All very significant and pressing, requiring continued reflection and action on our part. I choose today to attend to the case of the ...