Pacific Partners

By BEN GRUNDY

When Cyclone Pam devastated parts of Vanuatu earlier this year, the North Ringwood Uniting Church swung into action. A close relationship developed throughout many years with the Paunangisu community (a small village outside of Port Vila) meant the church was able to act quickly to offer support where it was needed most.

Already engaged in a ...

Green thumbs for Shepparton’s newest residents

Shepparton’s newest arrivals are taking a step towards a healthier future with the creation of a community garden on the Kildonan UnitingCare site.

Clients from Kildonan’s Settlement Services programs are helping develop the garden as part of the Establishing Roots project, which was constructed following a Community Matching Grant from the Greater Shepparton City Council.

Local company Lenne Orchards ...

Vision for Australia

Justice and International Mission (JIM) unit staff member Denisse Sandoval is working with congregations in a new initiative to empower them to create social change. As part of this initiative, she is inviting congregations to reflect on the question, ‘What kind of Australia do we want to be?’

Ms Sandoval recently collaborated with Habitat Uniting Church’s social justice committee, ...

Safety launch

By Ros Marsden

National Child Protection Week (6-12 September) was chosen by the VicTas Synod as an appropriate time to launch the Keeping Children Safe Policy in Victoria. Planning is currently underway to also hold a launch of the policy in Tasmania.

The policy builds on the good work already being done in church communities to ensure a safe environment ...

Blessing of the animals

St Francis of Assisi is often cited as the inspiration for Christian concern for the environment. The 12th century monk is best known as the patron saint of animals and ecology, his legendary ability to ‘talk’ to birds and tame a wild wolf remind us of our human responsibility to all creatures.

The Feast of St Francis of Assisi, ...

The other Will and Kate

Review by Deb Bennett

Book | Will and Kate – The story of William and Catherine Booth | Dawn Volz, illustrations by Chris Green

Aimed at young children, this picture book tells the inspiring story of William and Catherine Booth, founders of The Salvation Army.

From their early life in 19th century England to leaders of a worldwide organisation, author ...

The church book

Engaging small children in church services has been an issue for generations. While churches attempt to attract families to their services, the question remains how to appeal to children.

Rev Peter Gador-Whyte is the minister at the Geelong City Parish. He said he has been struggling for some time with the important issue of nurturing children in faith.

“When ...

Synod snaps – September

1. Delegates from the Presbyterian Church of Korea visit the Korean Church of Melbourne. They joined in a special service to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and to pray for peace and reconciliation between North and South Korea.

2. Left to right: Fijian Pastor Isireli Cama, Rev Dr Apwee Ting and retired ...

Reluctant Organists

Many people associate churches with the music that emanates from the church organ. Hymns create the mood for prayerful worship and foster a communal spirit as congregation members join together in song.

However, playing the organ every Sunday is no mean feat.

It demands flexibility, poise and technique. An organist may accompany multiple singers or play alongside instrumental soloists.

...

Do your own theology

Review by David Merritt

Book | Testing Tradition and Liberating Theology. Finding you own voice | Val Webb

This is a rare book that makes the story of how Christianity has developed over 20 centuries accessible in language most can readily understand. The author’s purpose is not primarily to help us understand history but to encourage us to do ...

Picturing memories

Review by Tim Lam

Celia and Nonna | Book |Victoria Lane and Kayleen West

Taking place every September, World Dementia Day is a timely opportunity to reflect on the impact that ageing and illness can have on families.

For many children, watching their grandparents grow old can be a confusing experience. Illnesses such as dementia are particularly difficult for ...

Seeking sanity

Review by Larry Marshall

Book | Towards a sane society | Professor Siri Hettige 

Uniting Through Faiths was proud to launch this important book at the synod offices in Melbourne last month. It was officially launched by Lionel Bopage and Prof Paul Komesaroff, who gave excellent summaries of the breadth and depth of these essays on public policy.

The author, Prof ...