Home values


Our little weatherboard home was built by a wise man and his wife in the 1950s.

Tools were basic, hammer and nails, and help from Jimmy over the road, an odd job man supplying practical skill and a garage of handy items. A small bank loan was obtained and work proceeded as wages ...

Time to refresh the Soap Box

Consider this article a bit of a ‘taster plate’.

There are 16 candidates for ordained ministry within the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania at the moment. Sixteen high energy, clever, culturally diverse, interesting people who the Church has selected to work toward ordination for either Minister of Word or the Diaconate from across five presbyteries.

The Church is ...

Waiting for gospel – a strategy

‘Pray also for me that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.’
(Ephesians 6:19).

Here in Ephesians, Paul comes towards the end of his letter asking for prayer. He asks for the provision of ...

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 ...

The indeterminate zones of ministry

SOME years ago, when ministering in a congregation, a retired minister asked to speak to me on matters of faith and ministry. I willingly agreed and spent an enriching couple of hours sharing stories and listening to the highs and lows of ministry in the ’50s and 60s.

One of his comments has stayed with me: “I ...

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 ...

New reality of reconciliation

Language carries layers of meaning and shapes our imaginations. ‘Ash Wednesday’ in Australia calls to mind the bushfire season. We are attuned to the attendant media images of potential destruction.

The force of fire, wind and heat was used by the First Peoples to cultivate the land, opening seedpods and prompting new growth. For the Aboriginal peoples, the power ...

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 ...

Political populism and a theological response

2016 was quite a year. Its enduring images include the mass sexual assaults in Cologne, Germany, on New Year’s Eve, the conflicts in Syria and Yemen with the horrific images coming out of Aleppo, the ongoing refugee crisis, ISIS and the terror attacks happening throughout the Middle-East, Europe, and America. Combined with ongoing consequences of the 2008 financial crisis, ...

What makes Christmas?

By Bill Pugh

For weeks the shops have been telling us Christmas is happening.

Father Christmases abound in the shopping centres, with long waits for a photo. Stores are overloaded with gifts. Charities sell Christmas puddings and cakes. Bottle shops are booming. Patient queues shuffle by Myer windows to see this year’s display. Children write wishlists for Santa.

But ...

Christmas for all creation

By Rev Barbara Allen

As we approach the Christmas season, we are probably trying to stay true to ourselves and to our beliefs and ideals, holding fast to what it means to be ‘Christian’.

Where do we feel Christians would be if we used the IUCN scale? The IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) is the global authority ...