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Issue 32, No 1, 2013

The voice of Uniting Church SA

February 2013

Love is best when shared through people, places and pancakes

CANNED COMPASSION

NOT JUST ONE OF

Youth to collect cans for

THE TEAM

people in need

Australian sports

pp. 10–11

embrace chaplains p. 15


Contents FEATURES Ashes still settling Canned compassion

6–7 10–11

Beyond their own backyard

12

Not just one of the team

15

Towards a truly Stronger Future?

22

New Times Survey

23–24

REGULAR PAGES Moderator’s Comment

4

Letters to the Editor

19

Diary

21

Editor: Catherine Hoffman Editor-in-Chief: Bindy Taylor Advertising: Loan Leane Design: Les Colston/Joie Creative Print: Graphic Print Group For editorial inquiries: p. (08) 8236 4249 e. newtimes@sa.uca.org.au m. The Editor,

New Times GPO Box 2145

Adelaide SA 5001

For advertising bookings: p. (08) 7007 9020 e. advertising.newtimes@sa.uca.org.au

newtimes.sa.uca.org.au facebook.com/NewTimesUCA ISSN 0726-2612 New Times is the voice of Uniting Church SA. Published monthly, February through December, New Times represents the breadth, diversity and vision of Uniting Church members in SA. News policies, guides and deadlines appear online at newtimes.sa.uca.org.au. Articles and advertising do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor.

Print circulation: 10,600 Uniting Church SA Level 2, 212 Pirie St, Adelaide p. (08) 8236 4200 f. 8236 4201 country callers. 1300 766 956

PANCAKE DAY February & March 2013

March:

Love is the Easter story The emotions associated with the story of Easter are many and varied – contrition, compassion, grace – but it is love that features most strongly. Easter is ultimately a love story – a tangible expression of God’s love and sacrifice for us.

DEADLINE FOR MARCH Wednesday 6 February

rence! n make a diffe

ca Together, we

sa.pancakeday.com.au freecall 1800 060 543


editor

Love grows by sharing “You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” – Brian Tracy Have you heard the story about the stone soup? It’s an old fable about the creation of a delicious soup with very humble beginnings. With only a cooking pot, water and a stone, two poor and hungry travellers decided to make a ‘stone soup’. The pair took it in turn to ask villagers for garnish to improve the flavour of their dish. Inquisitive about what the travellers were doing, one by one the villagers donated vegetables, meat and seasoning.

Eventually a delicious, nourishing soup had been created and was shared with the entire community. Although this story is not a biblical one, it succinctly demonstrates what can be achieved when people are willing to share with each other – that love is best when shared. And that soup is, too. As Christians, we can share and show love in many different ways. It could be by donating a ‘garnish’ to a stranger, by sponsoring a child in a developing country, by opening our hearts and minds to the welfare of asylum seekers,

or by cooking a pancake to raise money for valuable UnitingCare community programs. Each of our gifts and talents have their place in the life of the church – none more important or ‘better’ than another. By sharing what we have with those both inside and outside of our church communities, we are best able to show our love of one another.

Bindy Taylor

In the December edition of New Times, Caryn Rogers announced that she would be leaving the position of Editor and Communications Officer. Caryn has been an invaluable contributor to New Times and to the Uniting Church over the past three years. New Times won six awards under Caryn’s guidance, including ‘Best Publication’ and a string of creativity awards. When one door closes, another one opens and I wish Caryn all the best with her future endeavours. Replacing Caryn is incoming Editor and Communications Officer, Catherine Hoffman. Catherine comes to us with practical experience as an Editor and freelance Journalist. She has recently undertaken volunteer and advocacy work for the Adelaide Festival Centre, and completed an internship with New Times last November. Catherine and I will be working closely over the next few months and I am looking forward to making this journey alongside her. Included on the back page of this edition is a New Times readership survey. Giving just ten minutes of your time to complete this survey will provide the New Times production staff with valuable insight into the future direction of the magazine as the voice of Uniting Church SA.

New Times Editor-in-Chief & Communications Manager, Bindy Taylor with newly appointed New Times Editor & Communications Officer, Catherine Hoffman.

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moderator

Love in action “Well, you can’t choose your relatives!” This is a phrase I often hear in times of family squabbles (other families – not mine, of course). Sometimes I’ve wondered if there’s a similar saying appropriate to one’s neighbours. I’ve had various negative experiences when living next to some neighbours. There was the dog who barked incessantly – always when I was out in my backyard. And there was the guy who tuned his V8 sedan in his garage at all hours of the night, only two metres from my bedroom window. I’ve reflected fondly on the times when I’ve had no immediate neighbours – the peace and quiet was great. When things went ‘bump’ in the night, however, I thought that a friendly, nearby neighbour would be handy and reassuring. Jesus gave some important teaching about neighbours. “Who is my neighbour?” When asked this question by an expert lawyer, Jesus told a story about a man who had been beaten up, robbed and left for dead at the side of a country road (Luke 10:25-37). Three people came upon him but only one of them was compassionate and loving enough to help him on his way towards healing. The hearers of the story knew that this one was the “neighbour” because of his actions. Our love in action towards others defines in part who we are. In 1 John 4:7-8, we read:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (TNIV) So what might we do to be recognised beyond our congregation as “children of God”? Easter Day on Sunday 31 March is also ‘Neighbour Day’, a national annual celebration of community which has five principal aims: 1. To strengthen communities and build better relationships with people who live around us. 2. To create safer, healthier and more vibrant suburbs and towns. 3. To promote tolerance, respect and understanding. 4. To break down community barriers. 5. To protect the elderly, the vulnerable and the disadvantaged. I believe these five aims should be considered by our congregations in the context of how we are relating to the wider communities we are called to serve in Jesus’ name. How are we going with sharing Jesus’ love with those around us, our neighbours?

Rev Rob Williams

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news

The great love story From birth, we hear and read stories that shape our belief systems and define the way we respond and relate to others. Through these stories children learn about many things, including the nature and character of love. But what is learnt does not always apply practically to real life. The fairy tale idea of love – or for adults, the romantic comedy genre – spins a great story but in reality, offers an unrealistic, often unachievable, idea of how to give and receive love. That’s why this year, our Easter postcards are celebrating a far greater love story –one that is real, gutsy and captures a love for all people. The front of the postcard will feature the characters depicted in the ad below, as they come to life in a twist on a fairy tale classic. This year, the Easter postcard campaign goes well beyond letterbox drops though. There will be a synonymous advertising campaign livening up buses across Adelaide, posters for “holiday” towns to utilise, intergenerational worship resources available for congregations to engage with, tools for children’s ministry times, and much more. For more information, please visit sa.uca.org.au/postcards Postcard details Cost: $69 per 1000 (minimum of 1000) Orders close: Wednesday 13 February Available for pickup: Thursday 28 February Order online: sa.uca.org.au/postcards

Placements news Placements finalised since the December 2012 edition of New Times: Rev Frances Bartholomeusz (Deac) to Murray Bridge (0.4) from 1 February 2013 Rev Phil Hoffman to Blackwood from 1 June 2013 Vacant Placements ositions designated as placements are open to all Uniting Church Ministers, Deacons, Exit Students, specified Youth Workers and those in Ministry of Pastor. If you wish to express an interest in any of these placements, or would like to have a look at a profile, please advise Rev Philip Gardner, pgardner@sa.uca.org.au The following are the currently vacant (or soon to be vacant) approved placements: Profiles available – Ardrossan (Ardrossan, Clinton Centre, Dowlingville and Price) (0.5); Bordertown, Buckingham and Mundulla; Kangaroo Island Linked Congregations; Mallala and Two Wells (0.6); Mt Gambier. Profiles not yet available – Glenunga; Port Augusta Faith Community Congress; Rosefield; Woodville. For more information, please visit sa.uca.org.au/pastoral-relations/placements-vacant

Easter. Not your typical love story.

Postcards and resources available from sa.uca.org.au/postcards


news

Ashes still settling Wednesday 16 February, 1983, was a stiflingly hot day, temperatures rose over 40 degrees Celsius and strong northwesterly winds buffeted the countryside. After leading an 8.00am Ash Wednesday service, Anglican Priest, Rev Canon Peter Paterson, saw a bushfire start in Clare. By lunchtime, the ABC had reported major fires not only in the Clare Valley but also in Millicent and at Prospect Hill, south of Adelaide. There were further fires within the Adelaide Hills at Stirling, Mount Barker, Greenhill and Anstey’s Hill. Significant northerly winds drove the fire in “long corridors of flame” throughout the day before colliding with gale force south-westerly winds in the evening, causing fire fronts many kilometres wide to travel at more than 100 km/hr. It wasn’t possible to estimate when the fires would be brought under control, or how far and fast they would travel on their destructive journey. The last fire was extinguished by flooding rain which inundated parts of Nuriootpa and Gawler. In South Australia, these fires took 28 lives, injured far more, destroyed or seriously damaged 385 houses, damaged 3,200 properties and burnt 208,400 hectares of land. In Victoria, there was an even larger toll from their fires that day. The Emergency Fire Services, State Emergency Service, Police and St Johns Ambulance all provided aid in extreme circumstances over the next ten days. Welfare Services, aided by the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and many local congregations assisted those most severely affected who were not in hospital. Before 1983, Ash Wednesday was simply a title which described a day in the Christian calendar. But in that year, the title took on a frightening reality for the South Australians and Victorians facing devastating bushfires.

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Though the 2009 “Black Saturday” bushfires have overshadowed Ash Wednesday in terms of fatalities, Ash Wednesday is said to have had the greatest impact on the Australian psyche in relation to dealing with disasters like wildfire. For years after the fires, the people of Mt Barker felt anxious on days of extreme fire danger, noted Rev Canon Peter Atherton, the Anglican priest in the district at the time. Pilgrim Uniting Church member, Brian Ward, working as a government social worker during the time, led a response team to the Greenhill area. Six people had been caught there while trying to escape the major fire in their cars. He recalls the range of responses that every counsellor heard including, “Why is God punishing me?” and “Why did God take my partner and not me?” While Brian saw some struggle with insurance issues which took a long time to resolve, he also witnessed some positives outcomes – neighbours helping each other and wider community support that was expressed in many ways.

Disasters wreak a terrible toll; recovery can take years. Let us remember and give thanks for those in every denomination, who then and now provide pastoral care in these circumstances for people in their community. Congregations living in affected areas are always involved, ready or not. For some, the 30th anniversary of the Ash Wednesday bushfires will pass without notice. For others this will be a time to, once again, count the cost of this tragedy. Andrew Clarke will be leading an anniversary service on Saturday 16 February during the Presbytery and Synod Meeting. For resources to use in your church, contact Andrew Clarke on aclarke@sa.uca.org.au We are aware of two further memorial services on Saturday 16 February. One will be held at Mt Lofty at 6pm; another at Turner Oval, Millicent at 3pm. If you live in an area affected by the Ash Wednesday Bushfires, check with your local council to see if there are any memorial services closer to you.


news

In 1983, Rev Frank Measday was the Uniting Church minister at Millicent. He remembers seeing a band of fire up to a mile wide approaching Millicent from the south. He saw the wind change, turning a firefront of forty miles that burnt everything in its path. Farmers lost fences, stock, pasture, buildings and equipment. Many could not identify their boundaries for some time. He spoke of being with farmers as they had to shoot their breeding rams, placing their futures at risk. The follow-up of pastoral care continued for a year, long after the fires were extinguished. He describes Ash Wednesday as, “a day when God wept.�

Rev Bill Hancock was the Uniting Church minister at Gumeracha at the time of the fire. The fire had begun just east of Tea Tree Gully and went through Houghton, Inglewood and Cudlee Creek. It had come very close to Lobethal, Gumeracha and Kersbrook, and was the last major fire to be extinguished. His church freed him to do whatever was necessary to help in the recovery of the community. The recovery was slow and difficult for many families - local orchardists had to replant apple orchards, knowing that it would take seven years before the trees could be harvested. Bill, angry with God for some time in 1983, became very aware of the suffering that follows in the wake of a major disaster.

Photo courtesy of Eyes on Browne.

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L ove i s b e s t wh e n s h a re d Jesus was once asked, “Who is my neighbour?” Sometimes we forget that people who need our love and care live right beside us. UnitingCare agencies and schools are about sharing the love and care of Jesus with our neighbours right here in South Australia – and beyond.

Love in times of crisis Rev Luna Dingayan

It’s like history is repeating itself. The end of 2012, like the end of 2011, saw the deaths of more than a thousand people, the destruction of millions of dollars worth of property and agricultural crops, and thousands rendered homeless due to devastating floods in the Philippines. Perhaps the only difference in the disastrous ending of these two years is in the name of the typhoons that caused them. In 2011, Typhoon Sendong destroyed Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City in Northern Mindanao. More recently, Typhoon Pablo visited Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, also on the island of Mindanao. At the time of writing this, hundreds of people are still missing and many survivors, especially children, have

been forced to beg for food on the streets. There are some who use natural calamities such as these to further their own political agendas and advocacies. For instance, some bishops in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) interpreted Typhoon Pablo as God’s way of showing displeasure over the passing of the Reproductive Health Bill in Congress. The bishops had been opposing this bill for many years. I am not saying that there aren’t lessons we should learn from such calamities, but I believe these lessons are different from those interpreted by the CBCP bishops. The Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources has informed the public that the floods were caused by destructive mining and logging in the affected areas – something that government officials strongly denied. The lesson to be learned here seems to be

that we need to look after the precious earth that God has given us, and that we should not allow people to greedily exploit it. Unless something is done to put a stop to the environmental degradation on Mindanao, we may see many more devastating floods. However, crises like these can become opportunities for people near and far to manifest their humanitarian and Christian spirit to those in need. Individuals, groups, governments, public and private organisations, and churches, both in the Philippines and abroad, have been helping survivors to overcome this environmental tragedy. It is in times of crisis that the best of us can be shown, through our love and care of others. In any given year we are presented with many instances of crisis and times of hardship, on both deeply personal and widespread levels. Although difficult, such troubles can be seen as opportunities – opportunities for change, and opportunities to extend love and care to those in need. Rev Luna Dingayan and his wife Pearl at the 13th National Assembly of the Uniting Church in Adelaide last year.

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L ove i s b e s t wh e n s h a re d

Canned

Compassion In early March, youth groups across the state will gather to take part in Yes We Can – a food drive for canned goods and other foodstuffs. Catherine Hoffman talks to event organisers, Will Hall and Katrina Levi, about community, compassion, action and assistance.

Giving to those in need is not always as simple as giving to those who ask. “Could you spare a couple of dollars for some food?” Being approached with this question is not an uncommon occurrence in any big city. The responses to such an application are varied. Some, willing to assist, acquiesce quickly. Others gather the mountains of change in their purse or their pockets, all too willing to unburden themselves of its weight. Many refuse entirely – with sympathy, with confusion, with indignation or sometimes simply without change. No matter what the response, the debate that frequently follows such an exchange is quite predictable. If you give change, friends – or even strangers – will often comment that your monies will probably be spent on drugs or alcohol rather than on food or a bus ticket. And, if you don’t give change, often these are the reasons that form a self-justification. Not knowing whether your money will be used to nourish and support a person in a healthy way can often be a deterrent to giving. For this reason, events like Yes We Can (YWC) are invaluable ways to give to people within our local community with the full knowledge that what has been donated will end up where it is needed. YWC is an annual event, being held in South Australia for the third time this year from Friday 1 to Saturday 2 March. Youth ministries from all over South Australia will set up outside their local supermarket entrances to collect cans and other food items for those in need.

“Food kitchens and agencies are often low on goods after Christmas and need to stock up before winter,” explains Will Hall, Youth and Young Adults State Coordinator. “It’s our vision to assist these agencies and get as many youth groups – as many ‘clusters of Christians’ – involved as possible. “It’s an opportunity to motivate young people to engage with their local communities as an act of service. Yes We Can acts as a great expression of God’s love to people outside the church community.” “It’s a way that youth groups can be missional in their own communities,” adds Katrina Levi, Youth and Young Adults Administrator. “It’s also a way for them to connect with Uniting Churches around the state by getting together with other youth groups committed to an excellent cause.” The collected food items will go to local UnitingCare agencies. These dedicated organisations provide a broad spectrum of services to the community, including food relief for struggling individuals and families amongst other practical expressions of love. By donating goods to youth groups outside of supermarkets on 1-2 March, you can get involved in the great supportive work of UnitingCare. If your youth group or church would like to take part in the event, please visit sa.uca.org.au/youth

Helping those who help others Homelessness and poverty are huge problems in South Australia. Over 1000 people ‘sleep rough’ each night in our state. Many people struggle to support themselves and their families on small incomes and with Centrelink payments that fall far short of pushing these incomes above the poverty line. UnitingCare deals with hundreds of requests for support services every day. The canned goods and foodstuffs donated to Yes We Can help to support these agencies and these people.


(L-R) Eliza Clapp, Andrew Kieselbach, Peter Fenner, Willow Fenner and Dougie Burne taking part in Yes We Can last year.

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L ove i s b e s t wh e n s h a re d

Beyond their own backyard Rev Brian Polkinghorne talks about how a gift given by one South Australian congregation, allowed them to assist people in Tanzania – far beyond that congregation’s own community.

“Hodi.” It was a rare day when my wife, Jill, and I didn’t hear this word. Living in Tanzania in 2012 – not our first time there – we often heard people saying this outside our front or back door. This short word, which roughly translates to “I’m here, is anyone at home?” was a comforting one to be greeted by. Before Jill and I left Australia to return to Tanzania last year, the congregation at One Tree Hill Uniting Church almost knocked us off our feet. They announced that they would be giving us $350 per month and that we were to use this in any way that we wished. It was a gift not only to us but also to many in Murgwanza, north-west Tanzania. It was an expression of love, care and confidence – all of which we were able to share in a wide variety of ways with a large number of individuals and groups. In addition to home-schooling the children of missionaries, Jill taught ESL at the local Bible school. The generosity of the congregation at One Tree Hill allowed us to buy diglot Bibles for each student in her diploma class. These dual-language Bibles enabled the students to gain more meaning and understanding from their English and theology studies. The monthly support allowed me to develop simple agricultural tools and to set up a local craftsman in production techniques. Collectively, Jill and I were able to assist three young secondary school graduates in establishing a business. They

Dewatering a well before pump installation

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were able to set up a sustainable and expanding bean buying and selling operation that will give a significant level of economic security to their families in the future. We lost count of the number of medical emergencies, school needs, transport, food, and household disasters we responded to and were able to assist with. We were able to educate, train and help more than 100 local church leaders in the areas of reforestation, water collection and conservation techniques, and zero-till agriculture. We were at home for anyone in need – all those who approached us saying “hodi”. The ways in which Jill and I were better equipped to assist others because of the gift One Tree Hill gave us were innumerable. The practical way in which we were showed love by this community allowed us to do the same with another community vastly different and very far away. “Love is best when shared.” God shared his love with us – something that is at the very source of our faith lives. There is so much we can achieve when we follow his example. Rev Brian Polkinghorne and his wife Jill will be speaking about their time in Tanzania for State Mission Fellowship. You can hear them at Scots Church on Tuesday 26 February at 10.30am.


L ove i s b e s t wh e n s h a re d

A new experience There is no shortage of cafes on Hutt St. Nor is there a shortage of cafes in churches. So what sets Experience Cafe apart from the pack? Ashlee Randell explains how CitySoul hope to turn a simple cafe into a place of community. CATHERINE HOFFMAN

On Monday 3 December, CitySoul opened their Adelaide premises as a cafe. The day started off slowly and continued that way – something welcome to those who were still being trained on the coffee machine. A list of beverages and food was available on every table. Rev Ruthmary Bond speculated that enchiladas might become the cafe’s specialty. The large space could have felt cold or intimidating; the lack of people could have been enough to encourage librarystyle whispering. But Experience Cafe was nothing like that. The atmosphere was bright, with artwork and comfortable chairs spread throughout the room; the people were inviting and friendly, ready to chat with anyone. A few months later, that welcoming feeling has not changed. Nor is it likely to, according to CitySoul pastor, Ashlee Randell. Building a strong sense of community within the cafe is one of the chief aims of the management team behind it. This is apparent not only in all that Ashlee says, but in her actions and her conversations with the cafe’s patrons. The type of community they wish to create extends beyond just the customers.

Experience Cafe provides a place where new migrants and young adults just out of high school are given an opportunity to work in a hospitality environment without any past experience. They are given free barista training and learn how to deal with customers and money – invaluable practical experience that may assist them in landing that lucrative ‘first job’. The management team hopes to grow this aspect of the cafe. “We’re in talks with a few different groups like Uniting Communities and Welcome to Australia, trying to see if we can get them to connect us with people who would like training in a cafe setting. We also hope to start offering English language classes,” explains Ashlee. There are many future hopes for the cafe – having bands and visual artists, acquiring particular kinds of tea, being open during the evening throughout the Fringe Festival – but nothing is set in stone. “We want to be guided by the people we have volunteering here. If we get a lot of jugglers who want to volunteer their time then maybe we’ll have juggling shows instead of bands playing,” Ashlee jokes. “We want things to happen organically.”

In the past couple of months, time has been spent getting procedures to run smoothly, training new volunteers and moving furniture to make the space feel cosier. Although there is still work to be done, the team feel like the lead time has allowed them to prepare more adequately for the cafe’s Grand Opening event. “We’re working on ideas for the Grand Opening now. I’ve been toying with the idea of some sort of take-home gift,” Ash muses. “Whatever happens, it’s going to be a really good night.” CitySoul pastor, Ashlee Randell, outside Experience Cafe on Hutt St.

Experience Cafe Grand Opening Where: Experience Cafe at CitySoul

13 Hutt St, Adelaide SA 5000

When: Wednesday 12 February, 5.30-7.30pm What: Bands, special guests and good coffee.

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L ove i s b e s t wh e n s h a re d

Showing kindness, sharing love After the busy Christmas period has passed – that time of giving to family, friends, strangers and charities – it can be easy to forget that there are people around us who are still in need. By participating together in activities like Pancake Day, we are able to show love and kindness to many and make a difference in their lives. JULIANNE ROGERS.

In reflecting on the stories that Jesus told us, and applying them to modern settings, we are often doubly reminded of our loving duty towards our friends and neighbours. The idea that love is best when shared is particularly poignant in the tale of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). This story has been reimagined below in an attempt to make readers think about giving and kindness in a modern day setting, even after Christmas has passed. We asked Jesus, “So, who is my neighbour?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Adelaide to Mt Gambier when his tyre suddenly burst just past Padthaway. His car went into a ditch and he hit his head on the steering wheel. He got blood on his shirt, and was wobbly and shaken-up. “By chance, a minister was going down that road. When he saw the man, he thought that he was drunk. He decided to keep his distance and simply pass by, intent on making it to church on time. “Soon afterwards, a woman came to the place and saw him while she was talking on her phone. Afraid of what the man might do to her, she too passed by on the other side of the road. “Next a gang member came near the man in the course of his own travels. When he saw him, the gang member was moved with pity. He went to the man and bandaged his wounds, using his own bandana to do so. He put the man in his own car, unworried about the blood, and brought him to Keith Hospital where he waited with him. The next day he took

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out $200, gave the money to the man, and said, ‘Use this to get some new tyres. After that, I’ll take you back to your car and we can put the new tyres on together.’ “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who was in the car accident?” We said, “The one who showed him great kindness.” Jesus said to us, “Go and do likewise.” In the Uniting Church, we show great kindness in so many beautiful ways. One thing that we take time to do is to celebrate Pancake Day. By simply cooking pancakes for morning tea, a club meeting or fun snack, around 400 groups choose to show great kindness by volunteering time and funds for UnitingCare. One of the wonderful things about Pancake Day is

that when everyone’s contribution comes together we can do great things! There are tangible results for our work – agencies are able to put in place specialty programs or purchase items which wouldn’t be possible without a grant from Pancake Day and the money raised by all the caring people involved. Pancake Day is held on Shrove Tuesday which will fall on 12 February this year. To learn more about Pancake Day visit sa.pancakeday.com.au


L ove i s b e s t wh e n s h a re d

Not just one of the team Sports chaplaincy is an integral part of Australia’s sporting life – both at an elite and amateur level. The position of sports chaplain commonly stands in the shadows of the more high profile roles that make up key sporting leadership teams. Enjoying a recent growth in demand, sports chaplains play an important role both on and off the field. Bindy Taylor speaks to Roger Johnson, State Coordinator of Sports Chaplaincy Australia about the key role chaplains play in Australia’s popular sporting culture.

Think of any South Australian sporting club and you can be fairly certain there is a sports chaplain linked to it in some way. The demand for chaplains in sports has spiked recently with many clubs considering them an essential part of the community. 95% of AFL football teams now have a team chaplain and just last year the Victorian Football League were looking for 850 chaplains to work with teams right across the state. In South Australia, sports chaplains are actively involved in many different clubs from netball to motor sports, from amateur to Olympic levels. Included in these are wellknown cricket team, the Redbacks, as well as the Adelaide Thunderbirds netball team and Cycling SA. Soccer team, Adelaide United, has also welcomed a chaplain recently. Last year, newly appointed coach, John Kosmina sought the assistance of Roger Johnson, SA’s State Coordinator for Sports Chaplaincy Australia. In his brief phone call to Roger, John explained that he had valued the mature approach of the chaplain who supported his previous team in Sydney. He felt that there was a need for this kind of person both as a key member of his leadership group, and as an essential ingredient in creating a high performance team. The role of chaplain in a sporting team can often be overshadowed by the high profile positions of coaches and doctors – particularly in elite sporting organisations. However, the role a chaplain plays is often very important to the members of the team. Just as a player’s fitness levels need to be maintained and their sporting injuries cared for, a player’s spiritual side also needs to be nurtured. Roger comments that all people like to be cared for and listened to, and that a spiritual part exists in every person.

Athletes come to chaplains with a wide range of life issues, pressures and stresses associated with daily life and with sporting life. Having a chaplain there to listen can often assist in improving on-field performance, as well as quality of life offfield. Lay people are eligible to take on roles in sports chaplaincy but as Roger explains, “You have to have a heart for people or it just doesn’t work." Most chaplaincy roles in sports are unpaid and volunteers often make a commitment to attend both training sessions and games, with an average attendance of at least two sessions a week. Roger recommends that interested parties undertake sports chaplaincy training to become accredited sports chaplains. Training is available two or three times a year in Adelaide. The first course this year will take place from Monday 3 to Friday 7 June. For more information, visit sportschaplaincy.com.au or contact Roger Johnson on 0429 356 601.

Sports Chaplaincy Australia’s SA Coordinator and chaplain of the Redbacks cricket team, Roger Johnson, at Hawthorn Oval in Mitcham.

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magazine

Sharing KCO style H

ave you ever shared hot chocolate from a huge pot on a BBQ? Have you ever shared a picnic blanket at a worship service? Have you ever shared communion with over 2000 people? This is KCO-style sharing. KCO (KUCA [Kids of the Uniting Church in Australia] Camp Out) is the annual Uniting Church SA camp for children aged 7-12 years old. It aims to be a place for kids to meet Jesus, make friends and have fun. In 2013, KCO is being held on Palm Sunday, 23-24 March. The theme is ‘Team Jesus’ and will focus on the events of Palm Sunday and Easter - events that that happened because “God so loved the world that he gave...” (John 3:16). God shared his love by sending us Jesus so that we could all be invited to join ‘Team Jesus’ – a team that is for everyone. At KCO, campers will explore this theme through worship, games, crafts, drama and gathering together. Children will experience and participate in our Christian community of welcome, generosity and growing together in Jesus. As they share hot chocolate, picnic blankets and communion, KCO campers will discover God’s love given for them. To find out more contact the Uniting Church Events Office: e. kco@sa.uca.org.au p. 8236 4246

Children enjoy the fun and games at KCO in 2012.

Or visit the website: w. kco.sa.uca.org.au

Celebration of ordinands at Adelaide West

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delaide West Uniting Church was full of people for the ordination of Frances Bartholomeusz (Deacon) and Cheryl Wilson (Minister of the Word) on Saturday 12 January. Uniting Church SA Moderator, Rev Rob Williams, opened and coordinated proceedings, whilst CEO/General Secretary, Rev Dr Graham Humphris, presented the ordinands. Rev Tim Hein gave an inspiring sermon, ‘An Unashamed Proclaimer’ reminding the ordinands of the great value they bring to the community. Rev Frances Bartholomeusz has just filled a part time position as a Deacon with a special responsibility for pastoral care at Murray Bridge Uniting Church. She will also be continuing her work as a volunteer chaplain for Adelaide Women’s Prison. Rev Cheryl Wilson has accepted a full time role as Eldercare chaplain on the Yorke Peninsula. Prayers of support went to both ladies as they continue the work of God’s spirit in the lives of others through their new roles.

Ordinands Cheryl Wilson (left) and Frances Bartholomeusz with Moderator Rob Williams.

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magazine

Sharing God’s love the Messy Church way “It’s not church as other people would maybe recognise it, we’re willing to take a bit more risk,” says Gils Mann, Messy Church coordinator at Henley-Fulham Uniting Church. “We don’t mind if the church gets mucked up. We’re really hoping that it encourages people to come through the door.”

Gils was challenged to get involved with Messy Church when she attended the Church &... conference in 2011 where she heard from Lucy Moore, creator and encourager of Messy Churches globally. Reflecting on her own experiences, Gils realised that while many of her non-church going friends were unwilling to go to more traditional services, there were aspects of Messy Church that they were happy to engage with. “Messy Church is a way of getting people through the door so that church becomes a place that they know and feel comfortable in.” There will be plenty of opportunity to find out what Messy Church is, and how it works, this month as Lucy Moore hosts a number of events and workshops in Adelaide. The events will be held at a wide variety of churches from 20-24 February. For more information on the events, please contact Melissa Neumann: e. children@sa.uca.org.au p. 8236 4281 Or visit: w. sa.uca.org.au/childrenandfamily/messychurch Messy Church creator, Lucy Moore will be speaking at a number of events throughout February.

May peace prevail on earth

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n 11 November 2012, the members of Seacliff Uniting Church unveiled a Peace Pole on their grounds. Donated by the Church of Christ in St Charles, an American congregation who has had a ministerial exchange with Seacliff Uniting, the Peace Pole is part of an international project that started in Hiroshima several decades ago. The Peace Pole Project (PPP) is run by the World Peace Prayer Society, who have established Peace Poles all over the globe, each bearing the message ‘May peace prevail on the earth’ in various languages. The aim of the PPP is to represent a common wish for

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peace for all of humankind; to remind people to think, act, and speak in a spirit of peace and harmony. A pole is used as a silent, visual reminder of this desire for peace. Unveiled by visiting American pastor, Rev Dr John Rodgers, the pole featured the PPP’s message in English, Japanese and Kaurna. As the unveiling fell on Remembrance Day, the assembled congregation offered a prayer for peace and observed a minute’s silence for those who have served in war. To find out more about the Peace Pole Project, visit peacepoleproject.org


letters to the editor

South Australian Frontiers

Responding to rhetoric

I read with interest Rev Roger Bassham’s review of Storry Walton’s book At the Very Heart – 100 years in Remote Australia.

As the midday radio news was broadcast on 19 December, I listened closely to the story about the planned apology to those affected by forced adoption in the 1960s and 1970s. Since that time, there have been mentions of this within the Uniting Church, of which I have been a member all my life.

Your readers I am sure would be interested to know that Margaret Morey, with the support of South Australia’s support group for Frontier Services – “The South Australian Team” - has put together a booklet, celebrating the centenary of the establishment of the Australian Inland Mission, and it specifically focuses on the history here in South Australia. The booklet, entitled Then and Now – Stories from South Australia, details the early work in South Australia of the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in remote areas, leading up to the formation at Union in 1977 of Frontier Services, and goes on to tell the story here in South Australia right up to the present day. I commend this booklet to you. It is available from Uniting Church SA or Margaret Morey (phone 8332 5249) for $5. M. Thomas, Mile End

Is a new direction the key? I enjoyed New Times December, including photos & succinct articles (p19) of creative & encouraging events at local & regional levels. I also commend the careful thought put into the new Key Directions. My perception is that (p20) the new Key Directions tend towards a more 'inward' & 'passive' direction than I would have expected. Words like "build, deepen, affirm, celebrate, remind, refresh, resource, engage & address" are important but don't convey the kind of dynamism & mission/outreach/ evangelism I would anticipate as part of a church's direction in the 21st century (cf 1st Century). It is particularly pertinent when we read (p3) “...the failure to include, retain & grow young adults beyond high-schoolers…” I wonder whether we perhaps need a fifth dimension/direction containing elements such as inspiration, imagination, risk, mission/action. Thanks Caryn & best wishes for the future. N. Bennett, Port Adelaide

Send your letters to: newtimes@sa.uca.org.au or PO Box 2145, Adelaide 5001. Be topical, be brief, be timely. Letters over 150 words will be edited; responses to previous letters /articles will be considered within two months of the original item’s publication only. All letters are published at the editorial team’s discretion.

My husband and I adopted two babies in the early 1970s, just before the Whitlam Government brought in the Supporting Parents’ Benefit. The horrific wording of the radio story in particular implies that, suddenly, we have become baby-stealers who have comforted ourselves by believing that the birth mothers of our children were bad mothers of dubious morals. Is that how the Uniting Church sees us? The social movers and shakers of today can live in their politically correct castles in the air for their own purposes if they wish, but should I and the people I love be forced to pay the rent for them? Name and address withheld by request* *a request in line with legal requirements around matters of adoption. Due to the sensitive nature of the letter regarding adopted children and their families, UnitingCare/Uniting Communities was asked to clarify their position, and the position of the Uniting Church, in this matter. Rev Rob Brown, Executive Officer of UnitingCare SA, has written the following response: On 15 November 2010 the Federal Senate commenced an Inquiry into The Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices. As the Uniting Church had been involved in caring for women and their children, and in adoption processes, it was decided to participate in that Inquiry. In preparing a joint submission, the Synod of SA, working with Uniting Communities (who spoke extensively with relinquishing mothers, adoptees and adoptive parents), found that coercive pressure had been applied to some young women to give up their babies for adoption and so issued an unreserved apology to Mothers if they had experienced such coercion. The Synod is greatly concerned that subsequent media reports may have conveyed a sense of condemnation for those who adopted and cared for children from the Kate Cocks home. That was certainly not the intention or essence of any report or apology that has been made thus far and it will remain the intention of Uniting Church SA and UnitingCare SA to convey gratefulness towards those who took in these children in good faith.

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positions vacant

p o s i t i o n s va c a n t . s a . u c a . o r g . a u 20


diary Pancakes @ Pilgrim – 12 February 2013. We are gearing up for another pancake cook-a-thon on Shrove Tuesday under the shade of the trees at 12 Flinders St from 7.30-11.30am. If you are in the city join in the fun! www. pilgrim.org.au The Australian Christian Meditation Community SA is holding a Community Day on Saturday 23 February from 11am-3pm at St Francis Xavier Cathedral Hall, Wakefield Street, Adelaide. Guest Speaker will be the Rev Gary Stuckey, Director of Stillpoint Spirituality Centre. He will speak on “Living the Contemplative Life.” Please bring some lunch to share. Donation $15. For more information contact Bev 0407 392 809. State Mission Fellowship Tuesday 26 February at 10.30am at Scots Church, North Terrace, Adelaide. Speakers Rev Brian & Mrs Jill Polkinghorne will talk about their experiences in Tanzania over the past year. All welcome, lunch and morning tea available. 125th Anniversary of the Wesley Church in Broken Hill. The Broken Hill congregation of the Uniting Church in Australia will be holding a week of activities to celebrate 125 years of ministry. These celebrations will begin on Sunday 28 July with a Service of Worship at Wesley Church/Broken Hill Uniting Church, and will culminate with a Combined Churches Luncheon and Worship Service on Sunday 4 August. The Church invites people who have an association with the Sulphide-Blende or the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Broken Hill to assist them by providing memorabilia, information and/or photographs from weddings, baptisms, concerts, or any other activities at the Church. If you wish to contribute or to find out more, please contact the Broken Hill Uniting Church Office: phone (08) 8087 5317; email bhuca@westnet.com.au; or Post Office Box 79, Broken Hill, NSW, 2880.

A unique opportunity for ministry Join an exciting team of adventurers Frontier Services has opportunities for Patrol Ministers in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.

For further information please contact Rosemary Young, National Director. Ph: 02 8270 1320 or email rosemary.y@frontierservices.org

www.frontierservices.org

To have your upcoming event or message published here, email diary@sa.uca.org.au with ‘Diary’ in the subject line.

RESTORE your phonographic records or tapes to near original quality & preserve them on CD Restore your faded 35mm slides to bright colour and preserve them on DVD. Ask us about VHS or MiniDV video tape & 8mm film to DVD conversion, SA MEDIAWORKS, Kent Town SA Ph: 8362 2251 samediaworks@soundtrack.net.au. Beachfront 3br ground floor apartment at Encounter Bay with glorious sea views across to Granite and Wright Islands. Relax in cool a/cond comfort and watch the waves roll in. Café’s nearby. Feb, March & April $600 pw or $170pn (min 3 nights)- Easter $800 for 4 nights. Self-catered accommodation –special winter rates available . Managing agents Dodd & Page P/L ph Kerry 8554 2029 or email Kerry@doddpage.com.au and ask for details and web photos of “By The Sea”. Holiday apartment.” Holy Land Tour: 16 day Jordan-Israel tour leaving April 15. Cost $6200. 18 day Turkey Greece Tour leaving April 29. Cost is $6400 or $4575 if you do both tours. All tours include 4* accom, breakfast & dinner & gratuities. Single supplement avail. Contact Rev. John Lucas on 0448132262 or john@walkingfree.com.au. Places close Feb.14

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reviews

Towards a truly Stronger Future? Siobhan Marren

Book: A Decision to Discriminate Author: Michele Harris Available from: concernedaustralians.com.au RRP: $15.00 For many Australians, the 2008 National Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples brought hope for a reconciled future far removed from the racist and discriminatory policies that characterised our social and political landscapes since colonisation. Instead, what we have witnessed since that remarkable day nearly five years ago is the introduction of a series of policies and laws under the veneer of non-discrimination that have done nothing to reduce inequality in Australia. The Australian Human Rights Commission estimates that Aboriginal people will live 17 years less than their non-Aboriginal counterparts; will have twice the rate of infant mortality; are three to five times more likely to be hospitalised for mental health issues; will endure unemployment rates three times the national average; and are 15 times more likely to be incarcerated. These are not merely worrying statistics or trends. They are an abominable indictment on a country that claims to have rejected the norms that permitted decades of state-sponsored abuse against Aboriginal peoples. The Stronger Futures legislation, passed through the Senate in the early hours of the morning on 29 June 2012, has perpetuated feelings of hopelessness and disempowerment among Aboriginal communities, many of whom view the discriminatory aspects of the laws as simply an extension of the Intervention. The book, A Decision to Discriminate – launched at Adelaide’s Pilgrim Uniting Church on Sunday 9 December – is a record of the opposition these communities voiced during the Senate Inquiry into the legislation.

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There comes a time in the history of nations when their peoples must become fully reconciled to their past if they are to go forward with confidence to embrace their future. Our nation, Australia, has reached such a time. That is why the parliament is today here assembled: to deal with this unfinished business of the nation, to remove a great stain from the nation’s soul and, in a true spirit of reconciliation, to open a new chapter in the history of this great land, Australia. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples, 13 February, 2008 The book provides a space for the voices of Aboriginal people so marginalised throughout Australia’s white history. It documents their own personal experiences of truth, and creates a narrative tapestry that shows all too clearly the devastating impact that our Government’s refusal to listen to Aboriginal people has had on both communities and individual lives. The National Apology provided a glimpse of what we as a nation could achieve if we named the injustices of our past and sought a brighter future. The narratives of Aboriginal disempowerment contained within the pages of A Decision to Discriminate demonstrate that we still have a long way to go. The Uniting Church in Australia has been a vocal opponent of both the Intervention and the Stronger Futures laws, not least because they represent an abject failure to move away from top-down, paternalistic policies that do more harm than good. It cannot be left to

Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM travelled from Darwin to speak at the Adelaide book launch.

governments alone to set the path towards a reconciled nation – it is up to us all to call for justice, compassion and respect to be placed at the heart of our political landscape. A Decision to Discriminate may be purchased from the ‘concerned Australians’ website: concernedaustralians.com.au/media/ ADTD_Order_Form.pdf Siobhan Marren is Senior Policy Officer for UnitingJustice Australia.


New Times 2013 Survey It’s time to play ‘20 Questions’, New Times style. Help us create a better version of the news-zine that is the voice of the Uniting Church SA. It should only take you about five to 10 minutes – it’ll take us a bit longer to address the

Tell us about your reading habits with New Times… 7. How often do you read New Times ? Every issue Most issues

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Positions Vacant

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New Times - February 2013