Issue 33, No 1, 2014
The voice of Uniting Church SA
WHAT’S YOUR YURÓRA?
THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE
Planning for the future
of Uniting Church SA
Contents FEATURES A Destiny Together
Delighting in the earth
Passion at NCYC 2014
The changing landscape of the church
Caring for Cambodia
REGULAR PAGES Moderator’s Comment Getting to know...
Diary 20 Letters 21 Editor: Catherine Hoffman Editor-in-Chief: Bindy Taylor Advertising: Edi Leane Design: David Lombardi Print: Graphic Print Group For editorial inquiries: p. (08) 8236 4249 e. email@example.com m. The Editor, New Times GPO Box 2145 Adelaide SA 5001 For advertising bookings: m. 0412 073 167 e. firstname.lastname@example.org
w: 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.
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Next issue: Teach “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19, KJV). Jesus was called teacher by the multitudes and by disciples throughout the course of the gospels, but he also calls on us to teach others. In the March edition of New Times, we explore the idea of education and teaching in the Uniting Church today. DEADLINE FOR MARCH
Wednesday 5 February
Placements News Placements finalised since the December 2013 edition of New Times: Rev Scott Button to Hope Valley from 1 January, 2014 Gary Ferguson (Lay Pastor) to Frontier Services Hawker/Parkin Patrol from 1 February, 2014 Rev Tim Hein to Director of Christian Education and Discipleship at Uniting College from 1 January, 2014 Craig Mitchell (Specified Youth Worker) to National Director for Formation, Education from 1 January, 2014 Rev Sue Page (Synod of Qld) to Para Hills (0.4) from 1 January, 2014 Upcoming Induction Services: Rev Robyn Caldicott, Ascot Community Uniting Church on Sunday 9 February 2014 at 2.30pm Vacant Placements: Profiles available – Bordertown, Buckingham & Mundulla; Burnside City; Goyder Ministry Area; Kent Town (0.7); Mallala & Two Wells (0.6); Morialta; Port Elliot (0.5); Rosefield; Waikerie; Western Eyre (Cummins, Cornerstone, Lock & Yeelanna). Profiles not yet available – Aldinga-McLaren Vale Linked Congregations from 1 January, 2014; Clare; Klemzig (0.5); Newland; Port Augusta Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress; Windsor Gardens (0.5); Whyalla. For more information on any of these placements, or to view national placements, please visit sa.uca.org.au/pastoral-relations/placements-vacant
So much to give There are so many things in my life that I take joy in: The glimpses of sky seen between the reaching branches of trees in my backyard, drawing attention to the beauty and wonder of God’s creation. The interesting article that features a delicious sentence or introduces me to a charming new word (here’s one for my fellow word nerds – ‘scofflaw’). The hug of a much-missed old friend; a hug so tight it almost hurts. The quick rush of pleasure and happiness – the pure delight – caused by these moments emphasises how blessed and rich I truly am. At times like these, I am so thankful to be alive and to be present in the moment, able to appreciate what there is to delight in. After that initial rush of happiness, I want to share it with others – to draw a friend’s attention to the beauty of the sky, to share that discovered word with a similarly nerdy pal, to hug that person back equally as tightly. Through this sharing, and seeing someone else’s enthusiasm reflect my own, the joy of the moment is multiplied. But, while the memory of each of these instances remains golden in my mind, it can be hard to recall the exact feeling of them during times of stress or busyness. How much harder, then, is it for people in less privileged circumstances to do the same? Beyond that, how much harder must it be to find those things to take delight in? To take the time to appreciate those moments? To have those moments shared, those joys multiplied? These questions have been on my mind quite often recently, particularly as I consider the circumstances of people seeking asylum and refuge in Australia. Just as I want to share my joy with loved ones, I long to share the riches of this country with people who were not born here, but who are no less deserving of such a spectacular home. With this in mind, I attended the launch of the “Jesus was a Refugee: ‘tis (always) the season for compassion” campaign on Sunday 15 December. This initiative, created by Clayton Wesley Uniting Church and Uniting Communities, seeks to raise awareness of the
South Sudan prayer support Belinda Taylor Violence has raged across South Sudan recently, with over 10,000 people killed and more than 200,000 people forced to flee their homes for safety. Our South Sudanese brothers and sisters have lost family and friends and are unsure of the whereabouts of others, displaced during the crisis. UnitingWorld, in conjunction with Rev Amel Manyon of the Uniting Church SA Dinka Speaking Faith Community, has released a prayer resource. For more information, call UnitingWorld on (02) 8267 4267 or visit unitingworld.org.au and follow the links.
Blue ribbons were tied to the fence of Clayton Wesley Uniting Church at the “Jesus was a Refugee: ‘tis (always) the season for compassion” campaign launch as a sign of support for refugees and asylum seekers. To find out more about the campaign, please contact Michaela Tiller on email@example.com
circumstances experienced by those seeking asylum, hoping to create a more compassionate community. This campaign is close to the heart of many in the Uniting Church in South Australia – refugees from Africa, Asia and parts of the Middle East make valuable contributions to the life of many of our local congregations. I would like to encourage you to reflect on the things and moments you take delight in – the blessings that God has given you in your life. How much of these are because of the country you live in? How much of these would be altered significantly if you lived somewhere that was being torn apart by war, where Christians are persecuted or where starvation is never far away?
A large contingent of young people from Uniting Church congregations in South Australia recently attended the National Christian Youth Convention. The cheerful individuals pictured on this month’s cover are from the Dinka Speaking Faith Community, and they range in age from 16 to 27. They forgot to bring pillows to the event and were very happy to be given nice, fluffy new ones courtesy of a couple of friendly leaders. For more stories from NCYC, please see pages 10-12 of this edition.
The power of Christian community Standing on a school oval on the evening of Thursday 9 January in Parramatta, I thought to myself: “Life doesn’t get much better than this!” I was participating in a worship service with a thousand other people at Yuróra, the National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC). It was a delight to be part of this intergenerational, multicultural community of youth, young adults, children and older adult volunteers. Andrew Dutney spoke about God’s call on his life as a young adult, and the surprising twists and turns that have led him to his current ministry as our President. Together, we shared in Holy Communion. Julian Hamilton, a speaker from Ireland, reminded us that Jesus invites us all to this feast. We offered our praise and thanks to God, we embraced each other as sisters and brothers in Christ and we were inspired to put our faith into action in our daily lives. We sang, danced, prayed, lamented, laughed and experienced the power of the Holy Spirit moving among us. Life doesn’t get much better than this! I travelled by car to NCYC with my husband and daughter, in convoy with a
bus from Brougham Place Uniting Church. We had a great send off by the Brougham Place congregation on Sunday morning, 5 January. Present at that gathering was a person who attended one of the first NCYCs in the 1950s and a person who was about to attend their first NCYC. I was struck once again by the power of the Christian community we share. This was my ninth NCYC. I have attended as a young person, as a Bible study speaker, as an elective leader, and now as Moderator. There have been changes over the years; in particular, the way in which this NCYC (and the previous one) reflected more fully the multicultural nature of the Uniting Church and our covenant relationship with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress. As we prepared for NCYC, we heard of the sad news of the death of Rev Ian Tanner, the first Moderator of the Uniting Church in South Australia (1977 - 1979). I was a young adult working in our Synod office when Ian became Moderator. As young adults, Ian greatly encouraged and inspired us to believe that we had a significant contribution
to make to the Uniting Church. When, in our early years of the Uniting Church, we debated whether children should participate in Holy Communion, Ian was a strong advocate of children’s full participation. For many of us in South Australia, Ian was an inspiring leader, a mentor and friend. As I stood on that oval at the final celebration of NCYC 2014, I was conscious that we were not just 1000 people gathered, but we were surrounded by the communion of saints – people who have been faithful witnesses to the Gospel of Christ, whose legacy we continue with passion and hope. I invite you to join me in thanking God for the young adults among us whose passion for Christ and their Christian discipleship is ‘shaking the foundations’ of our church. I invite you to give thanks for the life of Ian Tanner, whose ministry among us faithfully witnessed to the love and compassion of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to create life-giving community.
Dr Deidre Palmer
Memorial service A Service of Thanksgiving for the life and ministry of Rev Ian Tanner will be held at Scots Church, North Terrace, Adelaide, on Monday 17 February at 10am. This will be an opportunity to honour the contribution that Ian has made to the life and mission of the Uniting Church in South Australia, and to give thanks to God for his faithful and inspiring service.
A Destiny Together – justice for First Peoples Church members are invited to engage in a week of prayer and fasting for justice for First Peoples in March 2014. Jennifer Whyte
One of the most poignant scenes from the 13th Assembly of the Uniting Church in 2012 was the silent walk of the members of the Assembly as they made their way through the streets of Adelaide to the South Australian Parliament building. On the steps of the Parliament, the Assembly prayed and sang in grief at the effects of the Federal Government’s ‘Stronger Futures’ laws. The 13th Assembly was moved to this action after hearing members of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) speak of their anguish and despair about the effects of ‘Stronger Futures’, and the earlier ‘Intervention’, on the lives of their families and communities. The stories shared were so powerful that the Assembly resolved to invite all members of the Uniting Church to come together in a week of prayer and fasting to seek justice for First Peoples – this week will be held from Monday 17 to Sunday 23 March, 2014. ‘A Destiny Together’, the theme for the week, is a phrase from the Church’s new Return to Contents
Preamble, and speaks of the Church’s belief that it is all of us together who are responsible for building a reconciled nation. It is an expression of hope that justice will prevail for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and is a reflection of the Church’s commitment to bear witness to the genuine transformation of relationship that is possible through Christ. A Destiny Together will feature a public prayer vigil on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra, on Tuesday 18 March, where members of the Uniting Church will come together to express their grief at the continued injustice, racism and marginalisation experienced by Indigenous peoples in Australia. The vigil will also be a sign of great hope and a public commitment by the Church to continue to seek justice and reconciliation. The vigil will be led by the Chair of the UAICC, Rev Rronang Garrawurra, and the President of the Uniting Church, Rev Prof Andrew Dutney.
It is hoped that many Uniting Church members will travel to Canberra to be a part of this historic public witness to justice and reconciliation. Every presbytery has been invited to send at least two of its members. Presbyteries and congregations are also encouraged to plan local vigils during the week and special services on the Sunday. The heart of the week will be a nationwide movement of Uniting Church individuals, small groups and congregations exercising a daily practice of prayer, fasting and reflection. The Assembly, led by UnitingJustice working in partnership with UAICC, will resource the Uniting Church with a range of information, prayers and worship resources to assist members engagement during the week. For more information, please visit assembly.uca.org.au/adestinytogether or call (02) 8267 4238.
Seeking something fresh? Fresh Words and Deeds, the 2014 National Ministers’ Conference of the Uniting Church in Australia, will be held at three different locations this year – western Sydney, Charleville and Jerusalem. Across the three locations, this conference aims to bring together ministers from across all Uniting Church Synods so that they may share, learn, be resourced and, ultimately, be refreshed in their vocation as ministers of the Gospel. The core program of the conference will be repeated at each location, however a further four sessions will be specific to the location the conference is held. Delegates have a choice of the following: Charleville, Monday 30 June – Friday 4 July. This conference, held in the outback
Queensland town of Charleville, will give attendees a chance to reflect on the Uniting Church’s renewed commitment to remote ministry, as decided at the 13th Assembly. Frontier Services will resource this event, sharing insights gained through their long history in serving remote communities. Sydney, Monday 21 – Friday 25 July. The 13th Assembly of the Uniting Church made a commitment to live faith and life cross-culturally. This conference, held in the diverse western suburbs of Sydney, will be resourced by the national Multicultural and Cross-cultural Ministry team. Jerusalem, Monday 22 – Friday 26 September. This conference will explore the foundations of faith and ministry in Biblical history and geography, with delegates
travelling to key Biblical sites as a part of the trip. The conference will examine the challenges of witnessing to Christ in the midst of conflict and in a multi-faith context. Delegates will also visit Palestinian Christian communities; the Uniting Church has a continuing commitment to fellowship and solidarity with these communities. Please note: registration for the Jerusalem conference is now full and has closed. These conferences are specifically for people working in ministry – to find out more about who is able to attend, to seek further information or to register your interest, please visit assembly.uca.org.au or contact the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly on (02) 8267 4428.
Church unplugged In March this year, Rev David Male will visit Adelaide, holding a number of sessions for the Uniting Church in South Australia. Dave is passionate about creating communities that connect with unchurched people. Through his many teaching roles, Dave hopes to help leaders create these communities. During his time in Adelaide, Dave will be leading an intensive course at Uniting College for Leadership & Theology. Running from Monday 17 to Friday 21 March, the pioneering ministry intensive can be studied for credit or audit at undergraduate or postgraduate levels. Uniting College is also exploring the possibility of some sessions being open to the public for a small fee. A resourcing event at Adelaide West Uniting Church on Saturday 15 March will be led by Dave as part of the March Presbytery & Synod
meeting. He will also present a training event for young adults and young adult leaders on Wednesday 12 March, 7pm at Burnside City Uniting Church. Dave holds numerous teaching positions in the United Kingdom, particularly in the areas of fresh expressions, pioneer learning, evangelism and mission-shaped ministry. He is the author of Church Unplugged: Remodelling Church without losing your soul, and regularly shares his thoughts and lecture notes on his blog, which can be found at davemale.typepad.com/churchunplugged For further information about the Uniting College ‘Pioneering Ministry Intensive with Dave Male’ please call 8416 8420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Other exciting events Around the Table – conversations with the Moderator is an event for youth and young adults within the Uniting Church in South Australia. This free event will be held at CitySoul Experience Cafe, 13 Hutt Street, Adelaide on Thursday 20 February, 7-8.30pm. Moderator Dr Deidre Palmer invites young people to share their experiences at this event, hoping that the conversation held can inspire the church’s journey towards a more hopeful and compassionate future. Rev Prof Andrew Dutney, President of the Uniting Church in Australia, will also be a part of the conversation. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by Monday 17 February for catering purposes. Contact Felicity Varsos on 8236 4221 or email email@example.com
A Clear Call is the National Mission and Evangelism Conference of the Uniting Church in Australia. It will be held from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 March in Adelaide. With more than 15 speakers and presenters over the course of just three days, A Clear Call promises to be a thought-provoking and engaging conference. The event will give people from the Uniting Church an opportunity to engage with practical ideas about sharing faith in daily life. For more information about this event and how to register, please visit sa.uca.org.au/clear-call or call 8236 4200.
Joining the festivities At this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival, Uniting Church SA congregations will play host to a number of performances. While some of these are simply using the church’s property as a venue, others have been created or presented by congregations and ministry centres. Featured here are just some of the events on offer over the course of the 2014 Fringe Festival, Friday 14 February to Sunday 16 March. To book tickets to any of the featured events, please visit the Adelaide Fringe Festival website at adelaidefringe.com.au
God at the fringe
A unique gospel event will take place during the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2014 – the first event of it’s kind to be featured in the iconic festival line-up. The event will feature three acts. Paulini will headline the event, sharing soulful gospel music; she’ll be joined by vocalist Charmaine Jones and GospoMusic, Adelaide’s leading gospel choir, who will deliver their take on gospel music, as well as blogger Ben Myers who will deliver a contemporary gospel message. There are only two shows scheduled, so get in early to grab a ticket! Both performances are to be held at House International Uniting Church, on the corner of Franklin and Pitt Streets in Adelaide, on Thursday 13 March, one at 6pm and the other at 9pm. Please check the Fringe website or godatthefringe.org.au for further details.
A spectacular Australian documentary, Beyond Bidwill, will be screened at CitySoul Experience Cafe during this year’s Fringe Festival. The film documents the hiking adventure of four boys, as seen through the eyes (and lens) of 16 year old filmmaker Josh Wyatt. The documentary tracks the boys as they undertake a tough trek from their home of Bidwill in western Sydney to the Tasmanian wilderness. In hiking for 10 days through rough terrain, far away from everything they have ever known, the boys find themselves facing a surprising spiritual challenge. Beyond Bidwill will be screened at CitySoul Experience Cafe a number of times between Wednesday 19 February and Saturday 15 March. During the course of the Fringe, Experience Cafe will also host Lovers and Other Strangers, and Season to Taste. Please check the Fringe website for further details.
Shine Choir Celebration Concert Shine Choir is celebrating its 15th birthday by holding a special Fringe show. The choir will be putting their own spin on a range of contemporary and traditional music – from jazz to spirituals, contemporary worship to Motown, and, of course, a whole lot of gospel. The 10 singers and three musicians who currently make up Shine Choir come from a diverse range of Christian denominations, including members of the Uniting Church, and are united by their passion for sharing the gift of God’s love through song. House International Uniting Church will host the sole Shine Choir Celebration Concert on Saturday 8 March at 7pm. Please check the Fringe website for further details.
Carpe Idiotus presents... Holy Cow! Mime, music and madcap fun are promised at Holy Cow!, a new show by the comedic Carpe Idiotus, presented by Pilgrim Uniting Church’s Pilgrim Arts. Performing artist Dennis Clare and singersongwriter Tony Williams have been entertaining audiences of all ages as Carpe Idiotus for several years, and currently stand as one of Australia’s top comedy duos. Pilgrim Uniting Church, 12 Flinders Street in Adelaide, will host a number of 7.30pm performances of Holy Cow! between Friday 14 and Thursday 27 February. Please check the Fringe website for further details. Return to Contents
Quick bites Some other church Fringe events that may be of interest are outlined below. For further information check the Fringe website. A Grande Serenade presented by Lincoln Brady. Two Uniting Church congregations will host A Grande Serenade, performed by musical pair Duo Orfeo. The repertoire of the duo, made up of Maria Foot (Flute) and Lincoln Brady (Guitar), includes classical, jazz, Latin and popular music. Scots Church Adelaide will host the concert on Sunday 16 February at 5pm. Malvern Uniting Church will host on Sunday 23 February at 2.30pm. A Moment’s Grace presented by Pilgrim Arts. This free exhibition features a series of spectacular images detailing moments of life, love and loss as seen through the lenses of local photographers. The exhibition will be featured at Pilgrim Uniting Church between Tuesday 11 March and Saturday 22 March. Please check the Fringe website for opening times and days. Pilgrim Uniting Church will also host Only Chopin, Sufi Soul, and The Mystic Sitar. No Compromise – the music of Keith Green presented by One Glad Monkey. Come and relive the soulful gospel music of Keith Green at this live show, featuring a full band and talented local performers. Many of Keith Green’s songs will be familiar to churchgoers, who are sure to recognise a number of his hits from the 70s and 80s at this event. The sole performance of No Compromise will be held at St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church in Norwood on Saturday 8 March at 7.30pm.
Uniting College for Leadership & Theology
8261 8211 All hours
www.ivanbutlerfunerals.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org 26 OG Road Klemzig SA 5087
Big Year Out 2014 Living the big questions: Who am I?
Where am I going?
Why am I here?
A fantastic year-long journey for young adults to go deeper in your faith in a loving community, exploring God, yourself and life. Study in Certificate IV in Christian Life & Ministry. Suitable alongside Uni, TAFE or part-time work. We will be holding an info night on 4 Feb 2014 7:30 pm at Uniting College, 34 Lipsett Tce, Brooklyn Park S.A. Uniting College for Leadership & Theology is the ministry training and theological education agency of the Uniting Church SA. Uniting College is a member college of the Adelaide College of Divinity (ACD), a registered Higher Education Provider and Registered Training Organisation.
CONTACT: 08 8416 8420 email@example.com unitingcollege.org.au acd.edu.au
FUNERAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION
New GeoffTimes Lewis General Manager
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Can you inspire multiple stakeholders to support this work?
Are you passionate about connecting Australian and overseas communities?
Can you integrate theological insight, strategic thinking and effective management in the cause of mission and international development?
UnitingWorld is looking for a National Director to provide leadership and vision for its work in international mission, relief and development and global church partnerships.
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To express your interest and receive a full position description with selection criteria, contact Executive Assistant Jade Lor-Chan on 02 8267 4267 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Applications close on 21 February 2014. UnitingWorld connects people and church communities in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa to partner in God’s mission: overcoming poverty and enabling discipleship and faith-filled action.
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UnitingWorld is an agency of the National Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia
Delight In the everyday hustle and bustle, it can be easy to distract ourselves from the amazing gifts that God has given to us – we all too easily fall into the traps of stress and preoccupation as we go about our daily lives. This month New Times celebrates the delight that can be found in abundance in God’s community and creation.
Delighting in the earth Sarah Williamson
There is something fundamentally powerful in creating, caring, and watching the fruits of your labour grow. This relates to all parts of life as a human – to our work, to raising children, to fostering relationships, right down to nurturing plants in our gardens. My five year old son has a taste for radishes. Unusual, yes. As we were preparing our vegetable garden, tending to the soil and turning in the compost, we visited the nursery to choose what vegetables to plant in our garden. My son was delighted by the choice of varied radishes; he selected some longish pink and white ones and planted them eagerly. As we have cared for the vegetable garden, it has been a joy to see his enthusiasm for the massive growth that has taken place, the roots that have set down and the vegetables (and radishes!) that have at last come to fruition. The theological overtones here cannot be missed. In this process of growth, we can easily imagine the loving care and toil that our Creator offers us – whether we notice the extra sprinkle of water in the dry heat or not. The incredibly rich gift that God has given us through our environment cannot go unnoticed either. Our Indigenous brothers and sisters know in their bones that we are intertwined in an inexplicably deep way with the earth – that we are, in fact, nothing without it.
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The Uniting Church has a special commitment to the earth and its care, as expressed in an Assembly statement from 2009: “God, as the Creator of the universe, calls us into a special relationship with the creation – a relationship of mutuality and interdependence which seeks the reconciliation of all creation with God. We believe that God’s will for the earth is renewal and reconciliation, not destruction by human beings. “For the sake of the planet and all its people.” This has built on the Uniting Church’s 1977 foundational statement that: “we are concerned with the basic human rights of future generations and will urge the wise use of energy, the protection of the environment and the replenishment of the earth’s resources for their use and enjoyment.” As much as God is creator, sustainer and redeemer for people, this is true also of the created earth and its inhabitants. Sometimes the Church is so consumed with the immense needs of people, that we forget that the natural world has needs, too. As humans, we sometimes forget that all the earth is the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1) rather than our own. The congregation at Morialta Uniting Church is one that tries to maintain a deep connection with care for the earth in a way
that is doable in a suburban environment. In 2010, the Morialta congregation worked in collaboration with the Burnside City Council and formed a proposal to create a community garden. The people of the church dropped fliers in 1500 letterboxes, seeking to gauge public interest in the idea; people interested in the venture were added to an email list and then invited to take part in the growth process. The Burnside City Council passed the proposal and built the garden; it was opened in May 2012. Morialta Uniting Church continues to contribute significant resources to this project; the congregation has a strong belief in community and service, and supporting the garden is an expression of this. The plots in the garden are held by different community groups and are supported by locals from all walks of life. Working together, swapping and sharing vegetables, a real sense of collaborative community is created in the garden, with local children also delighting in taking part. The Chapel Street Community Garden is a strong representation of God’s community and incredible, bountiful creation working together. For more information about the community garden, please contact Christine at email@example.com or call Morialta Uniting Church on 8331 9344.
Passion The National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) is a biannual event for young people hosted by a presbytery or synod of the Uniting Church in Australia. In 2014, the event took place from Tuesday 7 to Friday 10 January on Burramatagal land in Parramatta, New South Wales. The theme of the convention was ‘Yuróra’, which means ‘passion’ in the local Dharug language; it was a theme expressed in the program of NCYC, and in the experiences of those present. Here, attendees share their stories of the joy, faith and community experienced at NCYC 2014.
What is your yuróra? Tilly South Communications Officer, Uniting Church in Australia Assembly
“Faith is a practical thing,” preached Julian Hamilton, of the Methodist Church of Ireland, on the third day of the 2014 National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC). “We must perform the text, and when we do God turns up.” With a week full of worship, song, dance and social justice, mixed in with a healthy dose of yuróra (passion), how could we not be performing the word of God? As over 1000 delegates and volunteers pulled up outside the Centre for Ministry in Parramatta, it was clear their yuróra was calling them. It was with this passion that the Parramatta Nepean Presbytery and the NCYC committee brought together a diversity that members of the church rarely see in their dayto-day lives. There was a wide range of speakers and events on topics from ‘How Green is your God?’ to ‘The face of poverty: why God cares and you should too’ and ‘Honouring Australia’s First Peoples’. Delegates attended worship sessions held by different community leaders from around the Church including the United Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC), theological colleges and a multitude of multicultural congregations.
The Indigenous presence on Burramatagal land was a particularly exciting aspect of this year’s NCYC. From the thousand delegates registered, 150 were Indigenous attendees, coming from locations as far flung as Port Augusta (South Australia) and Elcho Island (Arnhem Land). Bradon French, NCYC chairperson, believes that this diversity was an integral part of the theological basis for Yuróra. “The Uniting Church’s Basis of Union tells us that we should seek to be inclusive – of men and women, young and old and of all our different gifts and skills,” he said. “It’s this inclusion that has driven the yuróra spirit; bringing together people of different cultural, theological and linguistic backgrounds to worship and praise God together. It’s amazing to see, and a humbling privilege to be part of.” For young people from Indigenous backgrounds, the vibrant mix of cultures and languages was inspiring and exciting. “I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people,” said Dre Ngatokoruo, a delegate from Port Augusta, “especially meeting a range of people from different cultures and backgrounds.” For Dre, it wasn’t just his own learning that was so important to him.
“I will try and take back the things I’ve learned here to all the kids that weren’t able to come, so I can teach them the same things.” A public rally on the final night of the conference affirmed the multiculturalism and insistence for the common good that are such vital aspects of the Uniting Church in Australia. Heartfelt speeches from young Pacific Islanders demonstrated their willingness to use the church and their community to keep young people out of trouble and on a path to purposeful life through their program PI Ignite. This initiative works to give Pacific Islander young people the courage to maximise their education, to keep their brothers and sisters out of juvenile correction, and to celebrate and serve God together. It wasn’t just the formalities that brought people together at NCYC – a game of volleyball, football on the oval and coffee at The Commons Cafe saw delegates and volunteers from all walks of life telling stories, sharing experiences and exchanging details. If Yuróra is the future of our church, then it looks to be one that is multicultural, inclusive and diverse.
Insight and inspiration Joanna Palmer NCYC delegate, Rosefield Uniting Church, South Australia
Yuróra 2014 was an amazing experience. In fitting with the theme, it was a time of people sharing passionately about their faith – through worship, Bible studies, electives, music and conversation. This was my fourth NCYC as a delegate, and I was thrilled to again be part of the vibrant community that NCYC creates; a community that, for me, began as I left Adelaide and convoyed up to Sydney. The 2014 NCYC was in the style of a festival, allowing people to explore their own yuróra. Multiple worship styles, different Bible studies on offer, and a wide range of music and electives were available to delegates every day, meaning that each participant had a unique NCYC experience. There were many highlights for me, including hearing Geoff Bullock play and
share some of his journey, and experiencing the wonderful, relaxed community of The Commons Café. Ben Myers’ Bible studies and electives were both inspiring and challenging, and I look forward to hearing more from him at ‘God at the fringe’ during the Adelaide Fringe Festival. One of the excellent morning worship styles on offer was Worship Unplugged; this session featured a ‘Yuróra Campfire’, which delegates shared in by lighting candles – a powerful moment. There was a strong focus on social justice and environmental sustainability over the course of NCYC. One elective I attended was run by UnitingWorld, which provided a challenging insight into the factors that cause poverty, and discussed work with our international partner churches. Uniting Earth also ran a series of electives.
The Recognise Campaign, for recognition of Aboriginal people in the Australian Constitution, was an important part of this NCYC. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the campaign, particularly with an upcoming referendum on this issue. Many talented artists participated in Yuróra, adding to the festival atmosphere and expressing their faith through music. A highlight amongst these was the CrossCultural Open-Mic, where the multicultural community of NCYC was wonderfully celebrated! During Yuróra, we were reminded of the importance of the journey after NCYC – continuing with our inspirations and new insights. NCYC was encouraging for my faith and how I express it through different ways including music, social justice and vocation.
Exploring passions Kai Stroebel NCYC delegate, Brougham Place Uniting Church, South Australia
Yuróra means passion. While I’m not sure if I found my underlying passion while at NCYC, I certainly found things to be passionate about. I had the great fortune of being able to listen to, and share with, some of the UAICC Elders and begin to anticipate “Our Destiny Together” [see page 5 of this edition for further information]. This week of prayer and fasting looks to be a fantastic opportunity to engage the whole Australian community in the discussion regarding constitutional recognition for Australia’s First Peoples, and to stand in solidarity with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters.
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I also – quite unexpectedly – found a passion for early Christian preachers and theologians. Bible study with Ben Myers gave great insight into how the early Church approached the scriptures. There was a lot to learn in looking at the scriptures through the lens of early Christian teachings. Yuróra was also a place to be challenged. The festival began with performance poet Joel McKerrow telling us that what we say is not what we believe, but how we act is what we believe. I’m very good at telling the world what I believe, but words come easier than actions, and this message is something that I need to keep hearing. I was also faced with questions
of faith in the light of new knowledge through science. I tend to put these questions in my internal ‘too hard basket.’ While I don’t know how much closer I am to reconciling these thoughts, bringing them into the forefront of my mind is taking me on a journey to consider the nature of God – wish me luck. I think my experience with Yuróra was also an opportunity to reflect on 2013 and kick start the year ahead. I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I found Yuróra to be a safe place to leave some of the baggage from the past year, and face the new year with revitalised spirit and purpose.
Embracing diversity Adam Smith NCYC delegate, Rosefield Uniting Church, South Australia
NCYC has reminded me why I am so proud to be a part of the Uniting Church. Seeing the passion for diversity and social justice amongst my fellow delegates was inspiring. The first morning I sat with a group of people from Tonga in worship and hearing the passion with which they sang to God made me want to sing louder and with more enthusiasm than ever before. Dancing with some kids from Aboriginal Congress created instant connections and, although we never
learnt each otherâ€™s names, we just had fun together in fellowship. Although we all came from different lands and cultures, when we all stood on the last night and took communion together, I was reminded how vast and wide the family of Christ is and how humbling it is to be a part of that.
Thanks to Will Hall, Deidre Palmer, Joanna Palmer, Dean Whitaker, Dave Williamson and the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly for providing photos of this yearâ€™s NCYC event.
These three girls, Georgina Garrett, Jemima Taylor and Imogen Senior of Picton Uniting Church in New South Wales, are looking forward to exploring the Give it UP for Lent youth resources.
What could you give up? Lisa Birch
What would it be like to live with less? What would it be like to live without furniture for a weekend? How about cutlery, talking or sugar? Give it UP for Lent, the new initiative created by UnitingWorld in collaboration with the Uniting Church SA Youth & Young Adults team, encourages teens to ask these questions in the lead up to Lent. From Friday 7 to Sunday 9 March, young people across the country will take part in Give it UP for Lent, abstaining from something for the course of three days.
With a wealth of resources encouraging high-school students to reflect spiritually on what it means to intentionally give something up, the campaign also provides teens an opportunity to meaningfully consider the consequences of poverty. Give it UP for Lent is a way for young people to become involved in Lent Event, exploring ideas of wealth and what it means to live just, merciful lives. Simulation games, Bible studies and practical suggestions of ways teens can advocate for others all form part of the Give it UP for Lent campaign.
By responding to Lent by sacrificing a daily indulgence, Give it UP for Lent helps young people engage with this tradition in a reflective and youth-orientated way. The website empowers young people to take collective action and run the event in the manner that is most meaningful to their lives. Individuals and groups who would like to become involved with Give it UP for Lent can register interest and find resources on giveitupforlent.com
Connecting communities During Lent, Christians spend time reconnecting and refocussing in preparation for Easter. It has also traditionally been a period during which people sacrifice something, putting their faith into action and discovering what it means to depend on God. Created in 2005, Lent Event builds upon the historical tradition of Lent, whilst also providing communities and individuals the opportunity to reflect upon issues of poverty. The campaign asks individuals to give up an item or two from weekly spending, and to donate this money to UnitingWorld, the Uniting Churchâ€™s relief and development agency. The funds are then used to assist projects run by overseas partner churches in Asia, the Pacific and Southern Africa; examples of projects include: training midwives in South Sudan, Return to Contents
empowering women in Indonesia and promoting education of females in India. In 2014, individuals, groups and congregations are encouraged to take part in Lent Event from Wednesday 5 March until Saturday 19 April. Over these 40 days, participants will not only be raising funds to support people living in poverty, they will also be undertaking a spiritual Lenten journey. To support this journey, a number of Lent Event resources have been made available and include: a weekly Bible study, a worship resource, daily prayers and an engaging new childrenâ€™s resource. For more information about Lent Event, please visit lentevent.com or call (02) 8267 4267.
Pancakes with Poh Julianne Rogers
UnitingCare Pancake Day is about community: getting your community together to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company while also helping to raise funds for the benefit of the wider community in South Australia. It’s fun with a great cause behind it! That’s why we are so happy to have national food and TV personality, Poh Ling Yeow, join us as one of our UnitingCare Pancake Day ambassadors. Poh is always full of radiant smiles and she loves to laugh. She is, in person, just as she seems on the TV screen. Early in September 2013, we joined Poh at her vibrant, artistic home in the eastern
suburbs of Adelaide. The photographer took shots of Poh mixing, pouring, flipping and eating delicious blueberry pancakes – the fattest ones I’ve ever laid eyes on! Conversation flowed easily around the photographer, and Poh was incredibly patient with all of our crazy requests, saying that it was for a worthy cause. At the end of the day, I cheekily asked if we could take the extra pancakes home to eat and she was happy to wrap them up for us. As we drove away, we received a text message from her: “Don’t eat the pancakes, they are rubbish!” Disobediently, I ate them – they
were the very best pancakes I have ever had. Here, in preparation for Pancake Day on Tuesday 4 March, Poh shares her pancake recipe with New Times readers. Agencies in the UnitingCare network can be found all over South Australia, even in some pretty remote areas. The work they perform each and every day in our communities may be less visible than the work of others, but that makes it all the more important. For more information, or to register your Pancake Day event, please visit sa.pancakeday.com.au or freecall 1800 060 543.
Poh’s Blueberry Pancakes & Spiced Orange Syrup OR Banana Pancakes & Spiced Lime Syrup Syrup
zest of 2 oranges OR limes 250 ml orange juice OR 180 ml lime juice 3/4 cup caster sugar 1 cinnamon stick broken in half 2 star anise
Crème Fraiche Anglaise 125ml créme fraîche 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted
To make the syrup, combine all syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir until the sugar is melted. Cover, remove from the heat and set aside to infuse further. To make the batter, mix the milk and vinegar in a jug. Add the eggs, vanilla and melted butter, then mix to combine. In a medium mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients and the wet mixture , then whisk until smooth. Heat a non-stick frypan on medium heat, stab halfway into the cube of butter with a fork and grease by whizzing it over the surface of the hot frypan. Ladle about 1/2 a cup of batter into
1 1/2 cup full cream milk 1/4 cup white vinegar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract (3 tsp ground cinnamon if using bananas) 3 tablespoons melted butter 2 cups plain flour, sifted 3 teaspoons baking powder, sifted 4 tablespoons caster sugar 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries OR 1 large banana, peeled, thinly sliced 1 x 4cm cube of unsalted butter
the frypan then drop about a dozen blueberries or banana evenly over the surface. When the pancake is ready to be turned over, it should have risen about 1cm, the edges cooked and the surface pitted like a crumpet. Flip and cook on other side until golden. You should get about four 12cm pancakes. To make your crème fraiche anglaise, beat crème fraiche, vanilla and sugar - to soft or stiff peaks is up to you. Serve hot pancakes with a drizzle of the syrup and a dollop of the crème fraiche anglaise on top.
I had a month of disastrous results with a basic pancake. Eventually, I had to come to terms with the fact that I had no memory of ever having cooked a great pancake! It just goes to show, sometimes the simplest things can elude you. After the testing of many recipes and a fair bit of anguish, I finally arrived at this delicious result. If you are curious about the white vinegar, it mimics the lightly cultured flavour of buttermilk, which can sometimes be difficult to find. This recipe is hard to beat if you want moist, fluffy, grief-free pancakes. If you prefer plain pancakes like me, simply omit fruit and serve with maple syrup. -Poh
The lost art of discipleship Mandy Harvey
It struck me recently, whilst pondering my youth, that the only real teaching I received on personal discipleship was ‘read your Bible and pray every day, make sure you marry someone who is a Christian, and whatever you do (horror of horrors!) don’t sleep with anyone before you get married’. While this won’t have been everyone’s experience, few people in my life seemed to know much more than that. From time-totime, I would be handed Bible study notes like “Every Day with Jesus,” and over the years I have attended some wonderful home groups, but I have never been given solid instruction on how to put personal discipleship structures into my daily life. As I have gotten older, I’ve sensed that it is assumed by many in church leadership that we’re all engaged in personal devotional practices – even though many of us probably aren’t! I’m going to put my neck on the line and voice my suspicion that most of us have little idea how to put discipleship practices into our personal lives. But why is this? Historically, there has been an element of control by church and political authorities. In times gone by, when large numbers of people were uneducated, it was not encouraged or possible for people to make their own discoveries in spiritual life. While control is no longer the issue (I hope), my experience is that churches still suffer from this lack of teaching, and what we aren’t taught, we can’t pass on to others. Perhaps my understanding of ‘mission’ was also detrimental to how I viewed personal discipleship. I saw the aim of mission as leading people into relationship with Christ. While this is true on the surface, there is much more to mission – and to discipleship. In holding this definition, I failed to realise that entering into relationship with Christ is just the beginning of mission; we all require personal discipleship practices as a constant guide on what is a life-long journey. Having realised a need to explore my own devotional and discipleship practices, I began exploring different avenues and I want to share my discoveries with you now. While the following tools won’t be right for everyone, for me they have been a breath of spiritual fresh air. Over the last few years I have introduced into my life the silent meditative practice known as contemplative prayer, as well as spiritual direction, which encourages people to reflect deeply on the experiences of daily life. In addition to these, I have also undertaken the regular reading of the Daily Office and Lectio Divina (divine reading), the prayerful reading of Scripture. These provide a foundation upon which my relationship with God continues to grow and from which I now engage with the world around me. Using these tools has meant disciplining my life – not easy when our generation is used to doing things only when we feel like it. However, I have found that it is only since I have chosen to do this I have really begun to grow spiritually. Personal discipleship has been neglected for far too long, and my hope is that we, as a church, will address this vital issue. Return to Contents
Mandy Harvey is a member of the Stillpoint Faith Community and works at a local chemist.
Stillpoint Spirituality Centre, a Mission Centre of the Uniting Church in South Australia, can provide information and resources about personal discipleship. For further information, please visit their website at stillpointsa.org.au If you have any questions about personal discipleship, consider talking to your minister or contact the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre on 8178 0048 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The changing landscape of the church In 2014, New Times will feature a series of articles centred on the changing landscape of the church, recognising the challenges faced by the Uniting Church in South Australia moving into the future. These articles will focus on the Changing Landscapes discussion papers, which were produced by the now-disbanded Changing Landscape Working Group (CLWG). To progress the work of the CLWG, the Presbytery Strategy and Planning Team are continuing to formulate plans for the church’s future which includes a series of discussion articles for New Times. The articles will be thought provoking, with content that aims to inform and challenge the way readers think about the future of the Uniting Church in SA.
We are all aware that the Uniting Church is dwindling and ageing, but what can we do about this moving into the future? The Changing Landscapes discussion papers attempt to actively confront this issue head on. Although the Changing Landscape Working Group was officially disbanded at the October/November 2013 Presbytery & Synod meeting, the papers and ideas they presented continue to be developed by the Presbytery Strategy and Planning Team, as well as by congregations and individuals from the Uniting Church SA. The Changing Landscapes papers were intentionally designed for in-depth discussion by congregations, faith communities, chaplaincies, agencies and Mission Networks. Bold and confronting statements are contained within the papers, aimed to get people talking and confront the realities of a rapidly changing church life. The discussion papers acknowledge God being at work within churches and faith communities, but they also highlight the
many challenges currently faced by the Uniting Church – including an ageing church population, a decreasing number of opportunities for ministers, and the management of church buildings and finances. The Presbytery Strategy and Planning Team were requested to undertake the following in preparation for future planning of Uniting Church SA: • prepare study material to guide reflection on the Charter for a Pilgrim People; • receive, from all parts of the church, stories and general feedback on the ideas contained in the draft Charter for a Pilgrim People and specific suggestions for wording, with a view to bringing a final draft Charter for a Pilgrim People for adoption at the November 2014 Presbytery and Synod meeting; • throughout 2014 the Presbytery Strategy and Planning Team conduct a series of debates/conversations/forums each of which will deal with a specific,
provocative suggestion for institutional and administrative change within the life of our church; • bring specific proposals to the Presbytery Synod of November 2014 that specifically address institutional and administrative changes required to meet the concerns of the CLWG’s brief from October 2012. These issues and topics will be further explored in future editions of New Times. Those individuals or congregations who would like to contribute to the discussion on these pages should provide input to the Presbytery Strategy and Planning Team (contact details on opposite page) or consider writing a letter to New Times: e. email@example.com m. New Times, Uniting Church SA, GPO Box 2145, Adelaide, 5001 The original Changing Landscapes discussion papers can be found on the Uniting Church SA website at sa.uca.org.au or by contacting the Uniting Church SA head office on 8236 4200.
Reflections for moving forward In 2013, Lynne Taylor wrote a series of articles for New Times reflecting on the results of the most recent National Church Life Survey (NCLS). Here she speaks to New Times to provide context around the Changing Landscapes papers, how these can assist discussions of the Uniting Church’s future, and how they relate to the NCLS results.
1) Why are the Changing Landscapes discussion papers important to the Uniting Church in South Australia? The Uniting Church came into being in 1977, having gestated over years of discussing, dreaming, planning and praying – it was birthed into a particular context, at a particular time. The Basis of Union rightly affirms that the Church is a pilgrim people. Therefore, regular investigations of the changing landscapes that surround us, as pilgrims, are essential. If the Uniting Church was being birthed today, in 2014, one can presume (and presumably hope) that it would look different to the church that came into being in 1977. Our cultural and demographic context is different, our resources are different; the landscape within
and beyond the Church has changed irrevocably. The Changing Landscapes discussion papers name some of these changes. The papers shine a light on some of our realities and invite us to consider our future in the light of the present, marking the beginning of a process, and seeking permission to ask some hard questions. 2) Should churches be continuing the discussion around the papers? If so, how should they be recording what they have discovered? All congregations should be considering how the issues raised within the papers may inform their own practice, including mission and ministry, whilst asking what this means for the church today and in the future.
magazine In many ways, the entire document is too broad and wide-reaching to be meaningfully considered by congregations; it is about more than local congregations and needs to be viewed through a wider lens. Having said that, anyone for whom the paper and the process sparks an interest or passion should certainly be engaging with it, and providing their thoughts and responses back to the Presbytery Strategy and Planning Team (refer to the contact details at the end of this article). Questions for local congregations to consider (and record and share answers to) could include: 1. What in the document resonates? 2. What makes me/us feel excited? 3. What makes me/us feel afraid? 4. If the Uniting Church was being established in 2014, what would/should/could ‘church’ look like in our local community? The Uniting Church has gifted, skilled and equipped people who can prayerfully and wisely prepare and then consider material such as that contained in the Changing Landscapes papers. Some of these people have been involved in the process thus far, and there are others, for example Uniting College faculty, who could be involved in the future (the role of such ‘Scholarly Interpreters’ is affirmed in the Basis of Union). It is also crucial to remember that the Changing Landscapes discussion papers are only the beginning of a process. They do not include all the information required to chart a way forward – more reflection on the current landscape is necessary. In regards to the most recent statistics from the National Church Life Survey (NCLS): 3) In a nutshell – what is promising and what needs work? Many Uniting Church congregations are ageing and decreasing in size. Attendees find worship services less inspiring than they used to (and less vital and nurturing than attendees of other denominations). Few new people are joining Uniting Church congregations, even when members are engaged in activities that involve the wider community. Uniting Church members are unlikely to invite people to their local congregation, and unlikely to follow up on people drifting away from church. On the positive side, respondents state that they are open to change, and express an appreciation of leadership. Uniting Church members are keen to use their gifts, and for others to also do so. 4) Will embracing the suggestions featured in the Changing Landscapes papers help to solve some of the issues raised by the NCLS? The NCLS data is, by definition, primarily about the church in its current form. The Changing Landscapes papers also describe a current reality, again predominantly about the church. It acknowledges that change is necessary but does not outline what that change should look like. As such the Changing Landscapes documents give opportunity for a conversation to begin about what the future shape of church could be. Return to Contents
5) The report asks the question, “Why are young people not remaining in church, and why are they especially not remaining in UCSA congregations?” Can you provide any answers on this one? Firstly, let’s learn from the congregations that are actually retaining young people. I heard a testimony at one such (Uniting) congregation, where a young woman spoke of ‘doing life’ together with others in the church. This is a congregation with active engagement in their local community, opportunities for social action into the world, a commitment to a variety of worship styles that are connective for a range of people, and they actively mentor young people to shape the worshipping and service life of the congregation. The church also created opportunities for people to experience a sense of communal life-beyond-Sunday, as demonstrated in the testimony of this young woman. Could it be that this whole-of-life approach is one reason this local congregation retains and attracts young people? What else is happening in congregations that are retaining young people that we can be learning from? Secondly, congregations with fewer young people have an opportunity to love and care for the younger people that they do have. Strong intergenerational relationships are crucial to the health and wellbeing of individuals and congregations. Thirdly, congregational members can ask honest questions about what they like about their existing forms of worship and other gatherings, and why they like it. It is likely that there is a sense of continuity between the types of music played on Sunday and the types of music listened to during the week. In addition, songs sung may remind congregational members of times and experiences past. Some forms of church in the Uniting Church today were innovative 30-40 years ago. Others follow even earlier patterns. Do these forms of church hold any resonance for the cultural expressions of young people? What are the good and right values of young people that could be built into church life today? If you would like to contribute to discussion about the future of the Uniting Church in South Australia, please contact Presbytery Strategy and Planning Team representative, Rev Paul Turley firstname.lastname@example.org or 0488 537 781.
g e t t i n g t o k n o w. . .
Kadina Wesley Uniting Church Love God; Worship and Spirituality; Caring, Nurture and Acceptance; Witness and Mission. These words are branded onto the wall hangings which greet attendees of Kadina Wesley Uniting Church, identifying the church’s core values to all who attend. Each week, Kadina welcomes approximately 50 people to its Sunday worship service at 9.30am before sharing in fellowship with a morning tea held after the service. Services take place in the church building on the corner of Taylor and Hayes Streets, which was opened on 25 March, 1962 as Kadina Methodist Church. Approximately 120 people are actively associated with the church at present. As a congregation, Kadina Wesley Uniting Church has a very active Property Committee, day and night fellowship and a Bible study group. They offer Exploring Together (ET) for children during Sunday worship; three times a year the ET team lead a Children’s and Family Service followed by a special morning tea.
In addition to the Sunday morning service, Kadina holds Messy Church once a month on a Friday afternoon. Messy Church has regularly operated over the past two years and has a regular attendance of about 40 children, along with a faithful band of helpers to run activities and serve the meal. The Kadina congregation has a commitment to the wider community, serving in numerous ways to meet local needs. Some of the projects they have been involved with are: • A mental health seminar led by Rev Mark Boyce in October 2013, branded as a CommUnity Day event • UnitingCare Copper Triangle – assisting with furniture relocation, micro-credit, and Christmas gift and hamper programs • Catering for funerals and community events • Pancake Day at the local markets, Harvest Christian School (Kadina) and within the church community • Barbecues held at the local Stratco hardware store
• Kernewek Lowender (a biennial Cornish Festival held in Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo) where they took a large role in celebrations, including hosting a dinner for 84 guests The Kadina congregation is looking eagerly to the future, and are keen to engage with new ideas. In 2013, the church undertook a Strengthening Life and Witness consultation process with the Pastoral Relations team from the Synod office. This has provided them with much to consider, moving forward. Kadina is now entering into an exciting and challenging period. Rev June Ladner will continue to serve the church with a reduction in time commencing this year. As a parish, Kadina Wesley Uniting Church is engaging in Mission Planning under the guidance of Rev David Buxton. Focussing on faithfully loving and serving God in their community, the congregation is eager to embark on the next stage of their church life.
g e t t i n g t o k n o w. . .
Kent Town (Wesley) Uniting Church Established in 1865, Wesley Uniting Church in Kent Town has a long history of connecting with local community through events and services. At present, the large church building is host to a small but dedicated congregation, whose mission statement is “sensing the presence of God and sharing the vision in a spirit of openness.” The congregation also uses their striking, cathedral-like building to connect with community and highlight the creative arts by hosting regular events. There is a solid focus on music within the Kent Town congregation. The congregation’s worship style is traditional with a contemporary edge, and is supported by choral singers and an impressive organ. The church organ has recently been enhanced to become one of the largest pipe organs in the state, a feat achieved through the enthusiasm, generosity and perseverance of the congregation and friends of Kent Town. Choir scholarships are offered to singing students in return for their contribution to worship each Sunday. Fitting with their strong tradition of classical music, the church holds a series of five concerts under the banner ‘Arts at Wesley’ during Winter and Spring. These concerts take place on Wednesday afternoons and are followed by afternoon tea. Attendance has grown rapidly over the last few years with approximately 150 people attending each concert. The church has an active patchwork and quilting group which meets weekly. The group has produced quilts and rugs for those in need, and to raise money for charities; members also work on their own projects
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during this time. A mosaic group has recently commenced this year to add to the diversity of art opportunities on offer. The Kent Town building has long been utilised by the Uniting Church, as well as other organisations and individuals, as a picturesque place to hold events. Since first opening its doors, the church has witnessed numerous services, including ordinations, installations and school services, in addition to hosting thousands of weddings, baptisms and funerals. Several hundred people use the extensive property each year, pursuing interests in the arts and fitness. The Kent Town congregation continues to seek creative ways to reach out to the participants of these groups. Over the past three years, Wesley Uniting Church in Kent Town has engaged in serious self-examination, including undergoing consultation and the placement of an Intentional Interim Minister. The congregation is now prayerfully seeking the placement of a Minister of the Word to work with them in pursuing their goals for the future. Planning has commenced for the church’s sesquicentenary (150 year anniversary) celebrations in 2015. Those interested in the program of events should forward their names and addresses to the church at 27 Grenfell Street, Kent Town, 5067 or via email to email@example.com
Children, Youth & Family Worker 0.8 FTE to full-time, negotiable Three year contract, renewable Lay ministry of Pastor appointment
Office Manager Part-time, 15 hours per week Two year contract, renewable
Rosefield Uniting Church Highgate, SA
A thriving, all-age, inclusive faith community with a commitment to creative, vibrant worship, faith development for all ages and engagement in mission, both locally and overseas.
CHARITY SPEED DATING EVENT. Señores y Señoritas, a charity speed dating event for under 30s, will be held on Friday 14 February at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. This is an event for young adults in the Uniting Church and an opportunity to meet new people, and grow friendship circles. $25 ticket (drinks and nibbles included), money raised will go to supporting the work of UnitingWorld. Find out more and buy tickets visit sa.uca.org.au/young-adults UNITING CHURCH HISTORICAL SOCIETY SA. First meeting of the year. West Terrace Cemetery Tour led by Brian Jones. Friday 14 February, meet at gates at 6pm. Car parking on site. GARAGE SALE. The Corner Uniting Church will hold its first Sale for 2014 on Saturday 15 February, 9am to 1pm. Fun and Bargains for all the family. Stalls, sausage sizzle, plants, cakes, and kid’s corner. Devonshire Tea in the café area. Corner Oaklands and Diagonal Roads, Warradale – from the City catch Bus 248 to Stop 27 on Diagonal Road. Come and join in the fun! LIFE@DEATH EASTER ART EVENT. You are invited to participate in the Mitcham Village Uniting Church 2014 Easter Art Event, Life@death, which is exploring the theme of "Letting Go". Artists, church groups or other organisations interested in obtaining an entry form or finding out dates should contact Gallery One at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 8272 4504. For more information, please contact Rev Dieter Engler on 0426 813 538. To have your upcoming event or message published here, email email@example.com with ‘Diary’ in the subject line.
classifieds 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications close 28 February 2014. For information about position descriptions and remuneration contact the church office. email@example.com 08 8271 9528
National Director - Frontier Services 14/01/2014
Staff Advert Feb 2013.indd 1
The Uniting Church Assembly is seeking a dynamic leader with passion for the mission of Frontier Services to care for the people of remote & rural Australia. We are looking for a National Director to provide professional leadership within Frontier Services. The successful candidate will: • Provide strong visionary leadership to our committed staff team • Enhance our good name broadly within the Australian community & with key stakeholders • Ensure the highest levels of integrity, transparency & accountability The ideal candidate will be a proven leader who will work in a collegiate relationship within the Uniting Church Assembly leadership team. Strategic planning, policy & moving Frontier Services forward missionally within the context of today’s Australian environment will be paramount for the Board in conjunction with the National Director. The National Director reports to the Assembly through the General Secretary and is responsible to the Frontier Services Board. To express your interest and receive a full position description with selection criteria, please contact Jenny Bertalan at firstname.lastname@example.org or on (02) 8267 4202. APPLICATIONS CLOSE ON 7 MARCH 2014. To read more about the work of Frontier Services please visit www.frontierservices.org
National Director - Frontier Services
The Uniting Church Assembly is seeking a dynamic leader with passion for the mission of Frontier Services to care for the people of remote & rural Australia. The issues of distance, isolation and access to services continue to challenge Australians living in remote Australia. Almost 100 years ago, John Flynn (“Flynn of the Inland”) pioneered medical and other
HOLIDAY APARTMENT. “By The Sea” self-catered furnished 3 br ground floor apartment on the Esplanade at Encounter Bay; Victor Harbor. a/c and nicely appointed. Relax with views to Granite and Wright Islands and watch the waves roll in. $170pn (min 2 nights) or $650 p.w.—see Dodd and Page website for photos and more details Ph Kerry @ Dodd and Page 8554 2029 or email kerry@doddand page.com.au HOPE VALLEY UC CHOIR. Hope Valley UC choir has vacancies for singers – in particular men’s voices and altos. If you enjoy choir singing please contact conductor, Graham Warren at 8337 5795 or 0400 061 571 . “DARKNESS INTO LIGHT” Do you have a print, “Darkness into Light”- Brisbane World Expo, 1988? Please contact Claire on 8388 1818. MORIALTA UNITING CHURCH STUDENT HOUSES VACANCIES 2014. Undergraduate university/TAFE students from rural/ regional areas. Furnished single bedrooms, shared bathrooms, living areas. Close to UniSA, Magill. Easy travel to city for Adelaide University and UniSA, and to Mawson Lakes Campus. Rent $320 monthly. Anne Ind 8336 6836 Church Office 8331 9344. Now is the time for students heading for tertiary studies to apply for accommodation in our Student Houses.
letters to the editor
Peace and Harmony Peace and harmony flow advancing upward in slow and rhythmic steps. My heart is lifted spirited up with rising tones.
Community Christmas A Christmas Community Day Lunch was held for the first time at Naracoorte Uniting Church on Wednesday 25 December, 2013. A number of people within the church had been mulling over the idea of holding a Christmas Day lunch for several years, hoping to create a sense of community for those who would otherwise spend the day alone or who could not adequately fund their family meal. This past Christmas, the timing was right for this worthy idea to come to fruition. Christmas Day saw Naracoorte Uniting Church host a traditional three-course meal that included soup, bread rolls, roast meats, ham and a wide variety of vegetables followed by a dessert of plum pudding or fruit salad. This sumptuous meal was followed by hot drinks and a variety of biscuits, slices and cakes. There was ample opportunity for all attendees to overindulge themselves! Support for the event was overwhelming as encouragement and donations flowed from the local community, as well as people from Adelaide and inter-state. Organisations were also generous in supporting the event: while some food was donated, most was purchased at local supermarkets, such as Woolworths, Foodland and The Veg Shed, who all provided generous discounts. People from within the Naracoorte congregation, other local churches and the general community, pulled together to assist with cooking, serving and cleaning to make the lunch a wonderful event. Young people from Naracoorte Uniting decorated the hall and made items to give to each guest. Over 40 people were involved as either helpers or guests at the lunch, including Rev Ian Dow. There was a great sense of community as servers and cooks sat with guests to share food, faith and conversation. Of those who attended, 13 people had little to no connection with any church. Three guests were from Afghanistan, while another was temporarily stranded in Naracoorte and was merely staying overnight in a local motel. All were delighted to share lunch with people from the Naracoorte congregation. Although there was plenty of hard work in organising the meal, it was a clear success as it allowed people to connect and feel a sense of community on Christmas Day. The Naracoorte congregation learnt a great deal from this debut event and are already planning ways to make it bigger and better in 2014. Return to Contents
Strength and courage may ebb and flow but life rambles on. The sea rolling swell upon swell carries me forward. Surging waves build to a crescendo of inspiration. G.Graetz, Hillier Send your letters to: email@example.com 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.
Big red gum country Buckingham Uniting Church, located in ‘big red gum country’ in the South East of South Australia, recently celebrated its 129th anniversary. The church is the oldest operating place of worship in the Tatiara District; the Wesleyan chapel was established by David Jones and was opened on 27 February, 1885 at a cost of 180 pounds. Over the years, many faithful worshippers have participated in the life of the church. Today, numbers are small but very loyal. Worship occurs on the first and third Sunday of each month at 9am, and a Sunday School also operates at these times. At the recent anniversary service, approximately 40 people came together to celebrate the past and present life of the church. Attendees joined in song and prayer, recalling past memories and rejoicing in the care that members of the congregation have for one another. It was clear that Jesus remains a cornerstone in the life of Buckingham Uniting Church. For further information about the church, please contact Grant on 8752 0123.
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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Thanks to your have contributed Investing forsupport now andwefor the future. Investing and for the future. $1.68 millionfor to now the Church in 2013. Invest with someone who invests in your community. Invest someone who invests in your community. Invest who invests your community. Visit with uswith atsomeone ucinvest.com.au or in call us on 1300 274 151. Visit ucinvest.com.au call 1300 274 151. Visit usus at at ucinvest.com.au oror call usus onon 1300 274 151. UC Invest is an activity of The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.) ABN 25 068 897 781, the legal entity of the Uniting Church SA. Investment services are provided on behalf of the Uniting Church SA pursuant to ASIC Policy Statement 87 exemptions and APRA Banking Exemption No. 1 of 2013 (“The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.)”). Neither UC Invest nor the Uniting Church SA are prudentially supervised by APRA. Investments and contributions UC UC Invest iswith an activity of The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.) ABNABN 897897 781, the legallegal of the Uniting SA. are Investment services are are provided ontobehalf of the Uniting Church SA pursuant to ASIC Policy Invest is UC an activity of The Uniting Church indepositor Australia Property Trust (S.A.) 25 068 781, the entity ofoffered the Uniting SA. Investment provided on behalf of Uniting Church SAofpursuant to ASIC Policy lodged Invest will not benefit from the protection provisions of25 the068 Banking Act (1959). Allentity products byChurch UCChurch Invest designed forservices investors who wish promote thethe charitable purposes the Uniting Church SA. Statement 87 exemptions andand APRA Banking Exemption No. No. 1 of12013 (“The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.)”). Neither UC UC Invest nor nor the the Uniting Church SA are prudentially supervised by APRA. Investments andand contributions Statement 87 exemptions APRA Banking Exemption of 2013 (“The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.)”). Neither Invest Uniting Church SA are prudentially supervised by APRA. Investments contributions lodged withwith UC UC Invest will will not not benefit fromfrom the the depositor protection provisions of the Banking Act Act (1959). All products offered by UC Invest are are designed for investors whowho wishwish to promote the the charitable purposes of the Uniting Church SA. SA. lodged Invest benefit depositor protection provisions of the Banking (1959). All products offered by UC Invest designed for investors to promote charitable purposes of the Uniting Church
What’s your favourite tree? Each year, Willunga Uniting Church holds a much loved community event, the Willunga Christmas Tree Festival. The popular festival continues to evolve each year, encouraging the local community to not only attend, but to get involved. The basic idea behind the Willunga Christmas Tree Festival is for individuals and groups to create or decorate a Christmas tree around a certain theme – in 2013 the theme was “Christmas around the world.” This theme produced some wildly creative entries, including one tree made entirely of atlases! The designs are always spectacular, but the event goes beyond the display of decorated trees. Last year’s festival featured workshops, including a popular Advent wreath workshop, bus tours, school visits, Advent worship, Devonshire tea and Christmas stalls. The event was run by a number of enthusiastic volunteers, all working towards raising funds for Uniting Church projects and the Christmas Bowl Appeal, which this year sought to raise money for girls’ education in Afghanistan.
Special congratulations go to the children from Willunga Uniting Church Sunday School who created Christmas cards to sell, successfully raising funds for Cambodian children living in slum conditions in Phnom Penh. In 2014, Willunga Uniting Church is celebrating its 175th anniversary. The theme for the Christmas Tree Festival in 2014 is ‘Past, Present & Future.’ For further information on the Willunga Christmas Tree Festival, please visit facebook.com/WillungaChristmasTreeFestival or contact Jenny Esots by email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail Willunga Christmas Tree Festival, PO Box 307, Willunga, 5172. The Christmas Bowl Appeal is run by Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia. For more information about the appeal or Act for Peace, please visit actforpeace.org.au/christmasbowl or call 1800 025 101.
Pilgrims win at hymn competition On Sunday 24 November last year, Helen Wiltshire and Norm Inglis of Pilgrim Uniting Church were awarded top accolades for their original hymn, “The Gift That All May Give.” The award was announced at the Australian Hymn Book’s first international hymn competition, where Helen and Norm’s entry was chosen above over 100 others to win the ‘general’ category. The lyrics of the hymn, written by Helen, focus on the theme of love as expressed through the writing of Paul in 1 Corinthians 13. Norm’s accompanying tune perfectly complements the words and message of the song.
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“The Gift We All May Give” is not the first hymn produced by this talented duo, who have often collaborated to create new songs for worship in the past. For more information about the competition, please visit the Australian Hymn Book website at togetherinsong.org Pilgrim Uniting Church is home to a number of composers. For more information, please visit pilgrim.org.au or call 8212 3295.
Left and centre: Mission work in Cambodia. Right: Macclesfield Uniting Church held a large group baptism event to raise funds for Cambodian mission work.
Caring for Cambodia Lisa Birch
From 21 January to 9 February this year, a group of six volunteers from Macclesfield Uniting Church are heading to Cambodia as part of their commitment to mission and service. In 2013, the congregation invested in a number of missional projects, including one based in Cambodia. Macclesfield connected with the Cambodian mission project through Pastor Darryl and Anne Stott. The Stotts first travelled to Cambodia in 2006, working with Christian organisations, TEAR and Samaritan’s Purse, to offer a week of training for two groups of 80 counsellors. With a focus on spiritual input based on Biblical values, the counsellors honed their skills through workshops, lectures and role play. The language barrier required both written and oral translation, a job undertaken by a local man named Engchy. Engchy was inspired by the work of the Stotts and resigned from his
well-paying job to minister to people across eight villages. Engchy, along with a team of others, also established a Christian teaching class and began working with kindergarten students. Anne and Darryl reconnected with Engchy upon their return to Australia, and it was through this international friendship that the Macclesfield congregation became involved in outreach work in rural communities around the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. During 2013, the congregation has donated $10,000 to help support Engchy’s ministry. Having donated financially to this ministry, some congregation members felt called to embark on a mission trip to Cambodia to assist in a more hands-on way – a move that has been supported by the wider Macclesfield congregation through fundraising events. A small group from Macclesfield are currently with Engchy in Cambodia for a two and a
half week visit. The team is helping to build a house for a local widow, teach English, provide support and food for locals, share their faith, and present practical teaching for everyday living. “Everything has a Christian flavour,” Darryl explains of the trip. The group plan to use their outreach to help local people to come to Christian faith; Darryl believes that the people of Cambodia are very open to hearing the Good News at this time. “Last time [we visited] there was an amazing outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” Darryl says. “People were overcome with joy; it was very stirring.” The Macclesfield group has asked for prayer for safety during the trip, and for the fruitfulness of their missional work. To donate to this work, or to find out more, please contact Pastor Darryl Stott on 8388 9923 or email@example.com
Helping remote Papuan communities Late last year, the International Mission Op Shop at St Andrews by the Sea Uniting Church in Glenelg, raised over $10,000 to assist partner church, the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua (GKI). These funds will assist in buying a speedboat and outboard motor, which will help to support the remote communities of the Padaido Islands, off Biak.
Funds have also been sent to support the GKI Presbytery of Numfor to purchase medicines which will be sold to the local community at a reduced cost. These funds have been raised through the Waikerie Fruit Project. For further information on these projects, please visit sa.uca.org.au/international-mission
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