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Issue 28, No 11 December 2009 www.sa.uca.org.au/newtimes

24 month term investments

Open a 12 or 24 month term investment with UC Invest and, for a limited time, you’ll have these two very tempting rates to choose from. With these rates we understand it could be a difficult decision.

community=you&me&us&them

When you invest with UC Invest, you’re also supporting the Uniting Church SA, just by simply investing.

raising a new profile

This advertised offer is available from 1 October 2009 and is subject to change or withdrawal without notice. The minimum investment is $500. Interest is calculated daily and paid six monthly from the date of lodgement. UC Invest is an activity of The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.) ABN 25 068 897 781. Neither UC Invest nor the Uniting Church SA are supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA). Investments lodged with UC Invest are not protected by the provisions of the Banking Act 1959. UC Invest is designed for investors who wish to promote the charitable purposes of the Uniting Church SA.

PP 565 001/00190 ISSN 0726-2612

So...which great rate will you choose?

Uniting Church. Uniting People.


editorial

2

New Times

Tis the season to be Grinchy...

Caryn Rogers, the ed. Fa la la la la la la la la... grrrrrrrr. For those who don’t know me very well, you won’t know that I don’t go in for all this Christmas ‘cheer’ business. I don’t like carols, I find Christmas decorations a particular breed of hideous and I think red and green ‘match’ terribly. For reasons such as this (and many more) I am known as the Grinch by my Christmasloving friends, who put up their trees in November and start looking forward to Christmas in January. I find the energies and considerations engaged for this one ‘magical’ day quite amazing.

People go on Christmas crash diets so they can eat more on the actual day. Houses, yards and lives are spring cleaned, children’s manners and unruly hair are groomed, relationship gaps are bridged or a flag of surrender is waved - at least for the sake of festivities. Everyone wants to look, feel and behave at their best. I don’t know whether it’s because we kind of still believe that Santa exists and judges us as naughty or nice, or whether we think of Christmas as the occasion to remember how we pull our socks up and show the world what kind of Christian we are. I’m not entirely sure what it is that I find so distasteful about the Christmas frivolity

but I suspect it’s mostly the sheened-up show of it all – we can appear all bright and shiny on the outside while on the inside we’re still a little crooked and caved in, just pretending we’re not, lost amongst the pretty bows and wrapping. It’s our inner state, though, that helps us understand exactly why we needed Christmas in the first place– and why it’s such a celebration. It’s exhausting putting on a show for a day. And hypocritical. No matter how sincere and admirable that one celebrated day is in our calendar, perhaps the whole point of Christmas is so much more than just the birthday - it’s Jesus total existence, his daily support, guidance and rescue of us. Christmas is a miracle. I think often as Christians we hold onto Christmas for restoration as much as anyone else – and gosh, we need to. It recreates our awareness that he came so we could live better and more whole, loving lives. That we wouldn’t just put on the Christmas Spirit for a day, but that we would be the Christmas Spirit – all year round. Now that – that makes the Grinch in me say Merry Christmas.

Sharing Christmas reality Rod Dyson I once asked someone, “What is sharing the Christmas Spirit?” They replied immediately, “It’s a hot car, tired and tense children, long queues at the checkout, a depleted bank account and wishing it was another time of the year.” I’m sure we’ve all been there! So what is the Christmas Spirit for you? It leads me to our new puppy - who is growing in leaps and bounds! While he slept in the laundry for his first few weeks, the time soon came for him to live outside. The problem was - we didn’t have a kennel. But being hard rubbish in my area (a debated topic frequenting Adelaide radio at the moment!), a pre-loved kennel suddenly appeared in our street. My wife, Liz, took the station wagon down to fetch it but it was too heavy for her and our young son to lift (yes the Moderator was missing in action - again). “How far do you have to take it?” a man asked Liz. He helped her carry the kennel over to our car parked across the road. It was too big for our station wagon, despite trying a few different angles. Of course, this all happened on one of those 39 degree days. He then said, “I have a van. Where do you live? I’ll bring it down to your place.” Liz told him our address and went home. Ten minutes later there was a knock on the door - there he was. He helped carry the kennel around the back. Liz gave him a small gift and he said, “You didn’t have to do that.” She replied, “You didn’t have to bring the kennel either.” Some might think he didn’t fit the description of a Samaritan but he captured something of the Christmas Spirit for me. Our Uniting Church President, Rev Alistair Macrae, talked about the Beatitudes at our recent Synod meeting. They are a proper turning upside down of the way the world sees things. I think that’s what we really mean when people say they have been affected by the Christmas Spirit. We should be too. The Christmas Spirit means we see a whole different reality, the Kingdom of God. May the Spirit of Christmas do that to you this year. Merry Christmas!

Next issue:

Politics & Power

Ministry Theology & Culture 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 sa.uca.org.au/newtimes. Articles and advertising do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor.

Editor

Caryn Rogers 8236 4230 crogers@sa.uca.org.au

Advertising

Russell Baker 8361 6822 advertise.newtimes@sa.uca.org.au

Circulation and Enquiries

Alex McGrath 8236 4242 amcgrath@sa.uca.org.au

Production

Joie Creative

Printing

Cadillac Printing

Circulation 11 500

Editorial and Advertising Deadlines for February 13 January

Uniting Church SA

Level 2, 212 Pirie St, Adelaide

PO BOX 2145 Adelaide SA 5001

8227 0822

Cover Pics courtesy of iStockphoto.com:

Face 1 quavondo; 2 vdk; 3 kevinruss; 4 GaryRadler; 5 JJRD; 6 Elenathewise; 7 JJRD; 8 Ratstuben; 9 bloodstone; 10 SensorSpot; 11 starush; 12 DanBrandenburg

DECEMBER 2009

Postgraduate Intensives 2010 11th - 15th January 2010 THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF CREATION with David Wilkinson Dr David Wilkinson studied theology at Cambridge, and served in a variety of appointments, including a growing church in Liverpool, UK. He is currently Principal of St Johns College at the University of Durham, UK. His research interests include the relationship of the Christian theology to contemporary culture, from science to pop culture, with particular interests in preaching, missiology and apologetics. His books include a popular exposition of the biblical themes of creation in The Message of Creation: The Bible Speaks Today Bible Themes Series (IVP, 2002). For further information about postgraduate intensives or to make a booking please contact:

Rev Dr Graham Buxton – Director of Postgraduate Development.

T 08 8373 8720 Gbuxton@adelaide.tabor.edu.au

Tertiary education with a Christian perspective.


News

New Times

3

Rack ‘em, pack ‘em and stack ‘em? Caryn Rogers

Treasurer Kevin Foley’s infamous comment in May 2008: “what we’re making very clear is that if we’ve got to rack ’em, pack ’em and stack ’em we will,” is certainly a memorable, zippy tagline designed to inspire a sense of justice for law-abiding citizens. But this little ditty, controversially received by the public last year, sits in direct opposition to Mr Foley’s former views on imprisonment, as they were voiced in 1994. The Prison and Justice Advocacy Group sought to raise their concerns with the changeability of the government on issues of human life and imprisonment at the recent Presbytery and Synod meeting. Utilising Principal of Uniting College, Rev Dr Andrew Dutney’s, understanding of shalom, community and the justice of God alongside the statistical and evidential knowledge of Prof Rick Sarre, Professor of Law and Criminal Justice at the University of South Australia, over 250 ministers and lay people were engaged with a complex discussion of the issues at hand with the reform system – and what we, as the church, can hope to do about it. Following the presentation, table groups were invited to feedback a detailed response to the issues laid before them. Around 63% strongly agreed with Andrew that, “imprisonment means something has gone very wrong – not only in an individual’s life, but in the community. It means that the just, healthy community that God has created us for - shalom – is failing.” One Synod member noted, “I worked in juvenile probation from 1971-87...

I believe that every imprisonment is a confession of community failure;” another, “It challenges the church to be active in working with families and individuals to shift culture, values and hope.” A remarkable 79% strongly agreed with the data Rick presented that found prisons to disproportionately affect Indigenous Australians and other disadvantaged groups, one member noting that, “this is a disgrace – we have failed our indigenous people. They have lost hope and been rendered powerless.” While many agreed, generally strongly, with the discussion, there was some feedback that sought to acknowledge the necessity of punitive justice: “It can indicate that something is wrong with society, but some people just need to be locked away for the greater good.” Others called for understanding individual cases, “Two of my friends’ daughters have been murdered. One of the perpetrators ought to stay in prison – he is still a clever and dangerous person, but many, many other people in prison ought not be there – there are better alternatives.” The Prison and Justice Advocacy Group are continuing to look towards better ways of working with offenders and the criminal justice system. For a more detailed report of the Synod findings, go online to sa.uca.org.au. In the lead up to the federal election in 2010, the Prison and Justice Advocacy Group will continue to put the spotlight on political agendas and the reform system, to make sure we are adequately informed – before we go to our polling booths.

More than 150 people braved the 36oC weather for the Gopher Justice Rally to show the city of Adelaide that we want to see aged care accessible and available to all that need it.

Aged care for all On Sunday 8 November, over 150 people of all ages gathered at the Gopher Justice Rally to show that, as the Uniting Church, we value older people and will not remain silent while they are unable to access care, when and where it is needed. With significant appearances in print, radio and television media we were able to remind people that the aged care sector is becoming unviable – a problem that will, quite literally, continue to grow with age. Our question ‘is access to aged care a right or a privilege?’ received an overwhelming response – ‘right’. If you have personally experienced difficulty accessing appropriate care, we would like to hear from you at gopherjustice@sa.uca.org.au or by mailing ‘Aged Care Concern – Editor’, GPO box 2145, Adelaide SA 5001.

News from October Synod 2009 The October Synod meeting was a well-attended and thought provoking time for ministers and lay people from Uniting Churches across the state. The four nominees for Moderator-elect, Eric Kirkham, Deane Meatheringham, Sybil Peacock and Rob Williams, all shared strong heartfelt hopes for the Uniting Church and the mission we share;

Rob Williams will replace Rod Dyson as Moderator at the October Synod meeting next year. Other significant business included the controversial Preamble finding a supportive, yet mixed response from the floor of Synod; agreement, as a body, to write to the government on issues of refugee DNA testing; and the launching of the helpful

new database for the Uniting Church - ‘Online Directory’. Bible studies led by President Rev Alistair Macrae involved lively interaction from the floor. For a more detailed wrapup of Synod, go online to sa.uca.org.au.

DECEMBER 2009


4

News

Asylum dialogue needed

Productivity commission on gambling Mark Henley, Manager Advocacy and Communications UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide The Uniting Church has been active in seeking to reduce gambling harm over many years. During the early 1990’s the Uniting Church opposed the introduction of poker machines into South Australia. Poker machines were introduced in South Australia on 23 July 1994 and within four years gambling turnover in the State had increased by 350% and problem gambling levels had increased by about 600%. At the Anglican Church Synod in 1999 a resolution was unanimously passed to ask the SA Heads of Christian Churches to establish an interdenominational group to help churches respond to growing levels of gambling harm. The Gambling Taskforce was set up early the following year, with the Uniting Church as a foundation member. Current Uniting Church members of the Gambling Taskforce are Rev Graham Pitman and Mark Henley. Last year the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) asked the Productivity Commission to investigate gambling in Australia, for a second time; the first report having been released in 1999. Earlier this year the SA Churches’ Gambling Taskforce (GTF) members met with members of the Productivity Commission to identify concerns about gambling harm and to offer suggestions for harm reducing policies and programmes.

DECEMBER 2009

UnitingCare Australia also decided that a formal submission should be presented to the Commission. This submission was cowritten, coordinated and edited for the national UnitingCare network by UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide. The Productivity Commission’s draft report was released for comment recently. Draft findings included: • Only around 15% of Australian adults gamble regularly • About 5% of adults play weekly or more often on gaming machines. – Around 15% of this group are ‘problem gamblers’ and their share of the total spending (on poker machines) is estimated to range around 40% – A further 15% of pokie players face ‘moderate risks’ • Rough but conservative calculations suggest that even a 10% sustained reduction in harm could provide a gain to society of nearly half a billion dollars annually. UnitingCare is developing a response to state that the most important recommendation from the Commission’s report is that, “Governments should implement, by 2016, a universal pre-commitment system for gaming machines that provides a means by which players could set personally-defined pre-commitments… without being able to revoke these.” Thinking is well developed in South Australia about pre-commitment options and, indeed, this state is likely to heavily influence any national program.

The Uniting Church in Australia has written to Prime Minister Rudd and Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Sharman Stone, to express concern and disappointment at the Government’s responses to asylum seekers arriving by boat. President of the Uniting Church, Rev Alistair Macrae, expressed dismay that issues surrounding the movement of asylum seekers were once again being confused with issues of border security. “It is not a matter of national security that people come to Australia seeking protection as refugees,” said Rev Macrae. “Everyone has a right under international law to seek asylum.” Rather than feeding an unrealistic fear of ‘boat people’ Rev Macrae said, “We have urged Mr Rudd to demonstrate leadership of a different kind – one that directs public discourse away from such baseless fears and towards our moral responsibility to care for vulnerable people who seek our help. “As a stable and wealthy country, Australia has a responsibility to lead by example in providing protection to refugees,” said Rev Macrae. “The numbers of asylum seekers who come to Australia by boat are very small indeed and need to be kept in perspective.” “While we acknowledge the importance of appropriate national security policies, we do not believe these should adversely affect the fulfilment of our international obligations to people in genuine need of our protection from persecution.” The Executive Director of Act for Peace, Alistair Gee, concurs, “Every discussion about addressing the ‘boat people’ situation should include consideration of addressing the conflicts in their homelands and more assistance for those affected.” The Uniting Church has urged the Government to focus efforts on developing a regional solution that protects the basic human rights and dignity of people fleeing persecution while also welcoming the Rudd Government’s commitments to upholding our international human rights obligations. “It is our hope that the Opposition will not advocate a return to old punitive and harmful policies and that the Government’s responses to the current issues around Sri Lankan asylum seekers in Indonesia in particular, will remain consistent with the commitments they have made,” said Rev Macrae. “The situation in Sri Lanka has been highly unstable over the past year and there are still many people being held in displacement camps by the Sri Lankan army,” notes Mr Gee. “Until recently 300,000 were being held in these squalid camps. This ongoing humanitarian nightmare should have been the primary focus of Australian media and government, rather than 78 of them on a boat.” “If we do not learn to seriously look at conflicts causing displacement, then we will forever be chasing boats and not knowing why. The Uniting Church is currently doing what it can to face up to such conflicts by generously supporting the Christmas Bowl. The Christmas Bowl helps project partners assist over 1 million people living in war-torn communities and is an opportunity for the Australian public to engage with the root causes of these issues.”


Christmas Spirit

New Times

5

Have yourself a lonely little Christmas

Christmas, minus one Shannon Short Christmas won’t be the same this year. It won’t be the season for silly hats and corny jokes from the Christmas crackers. It will be my first Christmas without Dad. Like so many others dealing with loss, this Festive Season isn’t feeling so festive. So what will I do this year? And how do you help others in my situation? There are no easy answers as grief takes each one of us on a different path. For some of us, Feeling Blue services offer a quiet space to step aside from the Christmas festivities and remember someone we’ve lost. Our churches use a variety of names for these services – Feeling Blue, Service of Solace, or Blue Christmas. Whatever the name, the intention is the same: to offer a place for those of us who are hurting to retreat and remember. These simple worship services offer a quiet reflective space and often include lighting a candle in memory of a loved one. I’m not sure whether I will have the courage to attend one of these services – but I encourage you to let others know about them. They are an important gesture for those of us for whom the words ‘tis the season to be jolly’ will ring hollow this year.

Feeling Blue Services will be held at: Myponga Uniting Church Friday 11 December, 7.00 pm Brighton Uniting Church Wednesday 16 December, 7.00 pm Yankalilla Uniting Church Wednesday 16 December, 7.00 pm Marion Uniting Church Wednesday 16 December, 7.30 pm Morialta Uniting Church Wednesday 16 December, 7.30 pm St Andrews by the Sea Uniting Church Thursday 17 December, 1.00 pm Vermont Uniting Church Thursday 17 December, 7.00 pm Blackwood Uniting Church Thursday 17 December, 8.00 pm West Lakes United Church Sunday 20 December, 7.30 pm Summertown Uniting Church Sunday 20 December, 7.00 pm Tea Tree Gully Uniting Church Monday 21 December, 7.30 pm Adelaide West Uniting Church Monday 21 December, 7.30 pm

Sarah Urmston, Communications Project Officer

All the lonely people Where do they all come from? All the lonely people Where do they all belong? These famous Beatles’ lyrics, though penned some time ago, are still just as apt today – perhaps even more so. In our society we’re growing larger but we’re not growing closer and individualism often trumps community. In our society we’ll often invest more time in work than family and friends. We readily opt for convenient, toneless means of communication such as email, Facebook, text messages and blogs to continue conversation, rather than the time-consuming face-to-face conversation filled with rich expressions of emotions and body language. This year, on Christmas Day,

I will go to church in the morning with my husband, visit my parents for lunch and await the arrival of my husband’s family travelling from Melbourne to share dinner with us. I know I will be seeing people who love me and give me with a sense of belonging. Sadly, for many people this is not the reality of Christmas. In fact, it’s not even a reality of everyday life. So this Christmas, we’re putting a spotlight on the issue of loneliness, recognising this reality for many, as we begin Uniting Church SA’s profile raising campaign. The overall theme for the campaign rests on one simple word: and. Well, actually, it will be more like one simple symbol: &. It gives a simple, symbolic reminder to choose community, by choosing each other. The ‘&’ campaign, begins on Monday 14 December, to remind people that community is not just a collection of individuals – it’s you & me & us & them....& so much more. The ‘&’ symbol can help ease loneliness. I might be alone. But you & me means that I’m not lonely.

You & me & us & them creates community, breaking isolation. The ‘&’ campaign strategically utilises a range of media including radio, newspapers and outdoor banners; all pointing back to our community-oriented website – www.unitingpeople.org. au. “We want to connect with two audiences,” explains Shannon Short, Communications and Public Relations Manager. “Those who are lonely and those who want to help someone they know who is lonely. “The website will hold key information written by people from our agencies, such as Lifeline counsellors, schools and congregations. “It will also highlight our churches’ Christmas services and in particular, ‘Feeling Blue’ services, where people experiencing grief, loss and sadness can experience Christmas in a way appropriate for their needs. “Our depth of experience through our work with the community puts us in a unique position to offer credible advice and information to people.” In March – May 2010, Uniting Church SA’s public campaign will continue and shift its focus from loneliness to parenting.

What is the profile raising campaign? One of the key directions of the Uniting Church SA 2007 – 2012 strategic plan aims to expand the profile of the Church. This campaign will seek to connect people to the Uniting Church and the wisdom and experience we possess through our agencies, schools and congregations.

Key dates: December–January – focussing on loneliness. March–May – focussing on parenting

How can I be involved? There are numerous ways you and your congregation can get involved; in fact this campaign relies on you and your support! To find out more, contact Sarah Urmston, surmston@sa.uca.org.au or Shannon Short, sshort@sa.uca.org.au. Alternatively, go to the strategic plan website: www.strategicplan.sa.uca.org.au.

Rosefield Uniting Church Christmas Eve 24 December, 8.00 pm Go to www.christmas.sa.uca.org.au for full details.

Shine Choir

Would you like to bring the light of the gospel through music and song to both churches and the wider community?

Shine Choir is looking for a Musical Director to start in the New Year. Shine Choir is a vibrant Christian Choir that seeks to serve God in spreading the Gospel through the arts. For a job specification email office@shinechoir.org or call 0448 330 452. Applications close December 30, 2009.

DECEMBER 2009


6

Christmas Spirit

Recipe for community Gwen Secomb

Junior primary students came to hear the Christmas Story as part of Barmera Uniting Church’s Christmas Cafe and outreach to the community.

It all ended with a big bang Glenys Badger, Barmera Uniting Church The Christmas Pageant was over and the fireworks were waiting for the cover of darkness. Riverland Brass Band was playing outside, and inside the Barmera Uniting Church Hall the Christmas Café was in full swing with frothy coffee and cake, toasted sandwiches and extra tables being added. This was the last of four Fridays that the café operated before Christmas, offering a

place of friendship and (fairly good) food at reasonable prices to the community. There were books, local dried fruit and photographic cards of local scenery to buy but, best of all, there were friendly faces as Uniting Church people were joined by volunteers from other churches to make it all happen. “One of the best things,” one of the helpers said, “was having time to chat and get to know people from our own church as well as from other churches.”

Alongside the café area was the space where five groups of junior primary children from local schools came to hear the Christmas Story and make their own nativity scene. Each child received a gift of honey biscuits with the tag ‘Christmas is God’s gift of love to you.’

This year members of five churches – Hamley Bridge, Owen, Windsor, Mallala and Two Wells - have forwarded their favourite recipes for collation into a parish recipe book. Photos of the church buildings and the Uniting Church logo are featured on the front cover. The collection of over 100 recipes went to print at Balaklava and, following the annual parish service and annual general meeting at Mallala, the recipe book was made available to those present. To help people get to know the provider of the recipe they were encouraged to find the person and ask them to autograph their recipe/s. The result? Lots of conversation, laughter and a wonderful time of sharing! The 300 books are selling fast so don’t miss out. If you would like to buy one, or more, please contact Gwen Secomb on 85292036 or fax 85292286 or by email mgsecomb@twpo. com.au. Cost is $10 plus $2.65 postage & packaging.

Reg Casling

opened. The celebration gathering included Rev Rod On Thursday 5 November Dyson, our Moderator; Ivan 2009 the cutting of a green Brooks, Mayor of Mitcham; ribbon brought four years of as well as local, state and debate, design, digging and federal Members of Council building to an end as the Through the Christmas Café and Parliament and some $1.7 million Mitcham Village the message of Christmas lives 100 citizens of Mitcham and Cultural Hub was officially again. surrounding areas including New Times members of the Mitcham November 2009 edition Village Uniting Church, now 15 x 2 columns size (15cm deep x 10cm wide). part of the Hub. ROYAL SCHOOL OF CHURCH MUSIC The schools were so pleased that they asked if it would happen again this year. And the band asked to play on the last night too.

3rd – 10th January 2010

supporting older people and their carers Resthaven offers a range of support services for people living at home, in residential care and independent living accommodation.

In-home care and support for older people and respite options for their carers is available across metropolitan Adelaide, the Murraylands, Riverland and the Limestone Coast. For details call 1300 136 633 (cost of a local call and you will be diverted to the nearest community service location) or visit our website. Residential high and low care as well as short term respite is available at: • Bellevue Heights • Craigmore • Leabrook • Marion • Malvern • Mitcham • Murray Bridge • Paradise • Westbourne Park. Details: ph 8373 9123 or visit our website. Note: Inquiries about vacancies or employment at the new facility in Mt Gambier are premature. However, expressions of interest can be made by emailing pr@resthaven.asn.au

www.resthaven.asn.au DECEMBER 2009

Maureen Tucker was one of those who shared a recipe in the Adelaide Plains Parish Recipe Book.

Project complete

Cost : $330 plus GST. INTERNATIONAL Order No. 112224 Charge to Resthaven SCHOOL Incorporated SUMMER

Making a difference...

Better still, join us at one of our churches as copies are available there. Everyone is welcome for morning worship and fellowship; Windsor 9am, Owen 9.30am and 11am alternate weeks, Hamley Bridge 9.15am except for the fourth Sunday at 11am, Mallala at 9.00am and Two Wells at 10.30am. Copies also available from the Two Wells Craft Shop, Tuesday-Saturday 9.30-4pm and Sunday 2-4pm.

The Choir of the Summer School, conducted by Dr Jeffrey Smith, Canon Director of Music, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco You are invited to these events during the week Liturgy of the Gifts – Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 170 Flinders Street, Adelaide Wednesday 6th January at 7.30 pm Tenebrae – Pilgrim Uniting Church, 12 Flinders Street, Adelaide Friday 8th January at 8.30 pm The Liturgy of Light – St Peter’s Cathedral, North Adelaide Saturday 9th January at 9.00 pm Sung Eucharist – St Peter’s Cathedral, North Adelaide Sunday 10th January at 10.30 am ALL WELCOME CONCERT IN ST PETER’S CATHEDRAL Tuesday 5th January at 7.30 pm Music by Bach and Handel, and Australian and New Zealand composers Vocal and instrumental ensembles directed by Lesley Lewis, with Siegfried Franke, Principal Organist to the Summer School Tickets at the door: $20, concession $10 Enquiries: SS10@rscmaustralia.org.au Website: www.rscmaustralia.org.au

The Mitcham Village Uniting Church is now more open and visible to passing people, helping the congregation to accept the Hub after some initial hesitation. We are now searching out ways in which we can be involved in the cultural activities and offer to them our own special ways. A good time of working together is the plan. The timing of the opening, a little later than initially planned, is very providential, for the church‘s Christmas activities and services can be offered more easily and widely to attract those who only think of church at Christmas and may well be encouraged to come in instead of just passing by. Our Christmas services will be creative as they have been for several years with many of our congregation being involved in tableaus and other ways that will attract those who do not normally worship at this time. Being more visible makes the Christmas Gospel more visible.


Christmas Spirit

New Times

7

Everything in common Rob Lutton, UnitingWorld Community Relationships Manager

UnitingWorld has launched it’s 2009/2010 Everything in Common gifts catalogue and website www. everythingincommon.com.au. The catalogue provides unique gift ideas which connect communities for life, just in time for gift giving occasions such as Christmas. The catalogue also provides a range of project ideas for churches, mission groups and Adult Fellowships within the Uniting Church. The catalogue outlines some of the Uniting Church’s international partners’ needs in ways that enable supporters to respond by choosing convenient and meaningful gifts. The gifts support community development, peacemaking, Christian education and volunteers in Asia, the Pacific and Africa to name a few.

Everything in Common has a gift for every budget ranging from $20 for books or seeds to $7000 to conduct a peace workshop. Larger projects are ideal for community or church groups. Supporters are able to donate smaller amounts of larger projects as desired. With each purchase a gift card is available for supporters to send the card themselves or have it mailed directly to the recipient. UnitingWorld works with our partners in 22 different countries across Asia, Africa and the Pacific through our program areas of Relief and Development, Experience, Peacemaking and Church Solidarity. The Relief and Development Unit of UnitingWorld is fully accredited with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and is signatory to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct.

Congregations, Missions and Fellowship groups are encouraged to order bulk copies of the catalogue by contacting UnitingWorld by phone 02 8267 4267 or email info@unitingworld.org.au. Gifts can also be purchased online at www.everythingincommon.com.au

$10,000 for UnitingWorld Max Howland, UCAF President Adult Fellowships have done it again! Uniting Church Adult Fellowships (UCAF) in SA have conducted a special appeal in 2009 for the AIDS ministry of the Church of Christ in Thailand, a partner church of Uniting Church in Australia. At the annual Fellowships Day on Wednesday 28 October, UCAF Secretary Janet Woodward presented Rev John Minchin with a certificate recognising $7000 already given by Fellowship groups and members in support of UnitingWorld. Janet indicated she had every confidence that a further $3000 would

follow by the end of the year. “The generosity of fellowship members is just amazing,” she said. Fellowships Day also saw the launch of Past, Present, Future – stories of Adult Fellowships in South Australia by Mrs Elizabeth Finnegan, former Moderator in SA and staunch supporter of Adult Fellowships. Copies of the book, which contains histories from some 150 fellowships, can be obtained from Janet for $20 and $6 postage. Profits from sales are going towards the AIDS Ministry project. Contact Janet on 8236 4275.

DECEMBER 2009


8

Christmas Spirit

New Times

Christmas spirit alive and well at Resthaven Julie Johinke

Lil Bousfield likes to share the Christmas spirit all year round. She and another Resthaven resident raise money for Camp Quality through baking tasty treats, like the scones pictured here.

EVERYONE DESERVES A SPECIAL CHRISTMAS

Lil is the October ‘Calendar Girl’ in the Uniting Church 2010 Calendar, pictured learning how to use the computers with the help of students at Westminster School. Each week, she joins other residents on the bus and heads off to the school to use their computers under the tutelage of Year 9 and 10 students. Lil not only rises to the challenge of learning new technology, but also raises funds for children with cancer through Camp Quality by cooking and selling delicious scones at Resthaven. “You’re never too old to do a good turn,” says 94 year old Resthaven Marion resident, Lil Bousefield. A few years ago, a Camp Quality guest speaker attended the ‘Community Windows’ current affairs knowledge program at Resthaven Marion. Describing the work of Camp Quality, she explained that it costs approximately $200 to send a child with cancer to camp. This prompted Lil to join another resident, Jack Cullen, to cook tasty items for sale to raise funds. They have raised more than $10,000 so far. Each fortnight, everyone looks forward to special home baked treats. Lil bakes in accordance with the Food Safe Guidelines in the Carinya Room at Resthaven Marion, which is difficult at present due to building upgrade work. The irresistible smell of freshly cooked scones wafts through the facility, tempting fellow residents, volunteers and staff alike to come and buy her wares. In addition, Karen Neighbour, Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator says, “Lil contributes enormously to the Resthaven community, helping daily, serving morning tea to other residents as well as being a ‘buddy’ to a number of new residents whom she takes under her ‘wing’. “Helping others for whom life has been difficult or not as fortunate, in even a small way, is important to Lil. She is an inspiration. “Lil promotes positive ageing in a very practical way, adding a little Christmas cheer throughout the year whilst giving back to the community.”

Christmas sans family Rev Tim Hein, CitySoul

Donate to UnitingCare Wesley and help make Christmas special for people in South Australia Donations can be made to: Adelaide, 10 Pitt St

1800 247 365

Bowden, 77 Gibson St

8245 7100

Port Adelaide, 70 Dale St

8241 0211

Port Pirie, 60 Florence St

8633 8600

www.unitingcarewesley-sa.org.au DECEMBER 2009

When I was a kid, my Dad took me to the motocross. Although Dad was already into his retirement years, we sat on the hard concrete grandstand to watch the bikes speed past. Dad felt a small kick in his lower back and a tap on his shoulder. Behind us a family of five sat comfortably in deck chairs. The tap was from the father, who leaned over to ask my Dad to move down to the next step as his youngest son didn’t have enough leg room. This father was taking care of his son, but totally missing the bigger principle of elders in our community because his family came first. Every year we hear the universal cry that ‘Christmas is about family!’ but I don’t think it is. Christmas is actually when God put his family second, in order to include everyone else. It’s when he gave his Son, in order to embrace, frankly, sinners. Vast amounts of people are not linked to what we’d call a normal family. Christmas is a reminder of that fact. When we call ourselves a family church we exclude a massive percentage of our society - living alone is the fastest growing household arrangement in our cities! With whom did the Apostle Paul fellowship? Or Jesus, for that matter? It’s so important we seek to seriously cultivate genuine communities that include people who, for whatever reason, are not deeply linked into the conventional model of family.


Christmas Spirit

New Times

9

Targeting Christmas cheer Brenda Cross and Judith Barker are two very special ladies. The pair are part of UnitingCare Copper Triangle’s volunteer team who collects 100-150 gifts per year as part of UnitingCare’s Christmas Appeal – distributing the gifts locally across the Peninsula and all the way across to Balaklava. The ladies have been involved for ten years now, and continue to do so – just to put a smile on the faces of those who’ll receive the gifts. Last year, through the UnitingCare Christmas Appeal, a total of 92,227 gifts were donated altogether; SA received 9,784 gifts and 242 gift cards (totalling $3,595) as well as distributing 3,695 hampers as part of the appeal. This year, UnitingCare and family-friendly chain-store, Target, are hoping to collect and distribute 150,000 gifts across Australia. Over its 18 year span, the UnitingCare Christmas Appeal has brought unexpected gifts to 1.6 million Australian children, homeless teenagers, lonely older people and families in crisis.

Donate a gift to the UnitingCare Christmas Appeal

Brenda Cross and Judith Barker can’t help smiling as they parcel up the gifts donated to UnitingCare Copper Triangle for their Christmas appeal. Brenda and Judy are part of a very large team of volunteers across Australia who help bring a little Christmas joy to those who might otherwise not partake in the Christmas spirit at all. Photo by Shannon Short

Visit your nearest Target store and choose a gift tag from the UnitingCare Christmas tree. Buy or make a suitable gift for that person and place it underneath the tree. Gift cards are also available for purchase from any checkout or online at www.target.com.au/giftcards. There are a number of other ways you can get involved so head online to www.unitingcare.sa.uca.org.au Every donation counts as we continue to put smiles on the faces of those less fortunate.

Volunteers get into Christmas spirit Volunteers from Gambier East Uniting Church have been slaving over hot ovens, making Christmas puddings which will be sold to raise funds. The dedicated group spent three weeks making more than 220 Christmas puddings as an annual fundraiser. Volunteers attended at Arthur and Judith Chambers’ home, where each person played a role, whether it was mixing, cutting the cloth or licking

the spoons clean after use. The team prepared 12 mixes a day and each batch took about four hours to cook. Small puddings are estimated to serve eight people, while the large puddings will serve about 15. A lot of the puddings have already been pre-sold; the remaining puddings were offered at the church on the first Saturday of December. * Story and picture courtesy of Border Watch, 28 August.

Glenda Koop, Margaret Hill and Meryl Hill (back) from Gambier East Uniting Church spent hours making delicious Christmas puddings to be sold in a church fundraiser.

Education with Uniting Church Schools

89 Greenhill Road Wayville South Australia 5034 P: 8422 2288 F: 8272 0142 www.annesley.sa.edu.au

Campus Drive, Aberfoyle Park South Australia 5159 P: 8270 3033 F: 8370 7734 www.pilgrim.sa.edu.au

PO Box 571 Kent Town South Australia P: 83341200 F: 83630702 www.pac.edu.au

Carruth Road Torrens Park South Australia 5062 P: 8274 4333 F: 8274 4247 www.scotch.sa.edu.au

546 Portrush Road Glen Osmond 5064 Telephone: 8303 9000 Facsimile: 8303 9010 www.seymour.sa.edu.au

Alison Ave, Marion South Australia 5043 P: 8 8276 0276 F: 8 8276 0277 www.westminster.sa.edu.au

Our independent schools provide education for around 6,000 students in South Australia from Early Learning to Year 12. They offer a variety of learning environments, and a world-class standard of excellence in facilities and academic standards. While these schools respect the faith diversity of all students, the story, values and practices of the Christian faith are expressed with integrity in order to nurture young lives for sound learning, faith, compassion and responsible service.

DECEMBER 2009


10

News

New Times Faith is not always knowing. It’s not always knowing where the water is. Sometimes it’s letting yourself be thirsty. Sometimes it’s letting yourself be lost. It’s having the courage to wait where it’s parched, and to let that be enough. What do you thirst for? What is your prayer? Cheryl Lawrie, NCYC 2009

‘Sunlight in Trees’ was taken by Jonny Baker in Gunnersbury Frost, Ealing Parks. Jonny is one of the curators for ‘The Landscape of Desire’, an interactive art installation space at Pilgrim Uniting Church for the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2010.

The spirit of the ‘not yet’ Craig Mitchell Adelaide is known as the ‘Festival City’ hosting the Adelaide Festival every two years and the annual Fringe Festival. These festivals feature hundreds of artistic performances and presentations across the city. I have a vision of a church actively engaging the public at times like these, having a presence in the marketplace through high quality, evocative, edgy art and performance, both contemporary and classical. Great art provides a window through which we might encounter God, even before we acknowledge that there is a God, whether it’s an image, a song, a painting, a poem, or a dance. God’s prophets have

often been artists - painting visions with prose and patinas, sculpting the Creator’s call in bronze and stone, evoking the Spirit’s stirrings in breathless movement. Their poetic voices discomfort us, for they either coax or shove us from the ‘now’ to the ‘not yet’. I well remember the fervent creativity of the churches in SA in the early 1980s. Many of my artist friends from those days have since left the church, in part because they found it unaccepting of their unorthodox musings about faith and life. If the arts provide a window through which the soul might encounter the divine, then the Christian church should be brimming with artistic daring.

Faith is always a leap - of trust, of hope, of intuition. Sometimes Christians try to make that leap too easy for others. We tell them the answers to their questions. We too hurriedly step into the space where the ‘still small’ voice of God might be heard and fill it with our own noise. Faith requires doubt. To be found is to uncover our ‘lostness.’ The whisper of God needs a silence in which to be heard. And of course, light and dark are always side by side. As Leonard Cohen sings in ‘Anthem’, “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” What might it mean to be a church that embraced the arts and was a home to artists?

I suspect that in the first place it would mean not putting all our artistic endeavours into the worship service on Sunday morning – it has the least room to step ‘outside the box’. Rather, a church of the arts will be interfacing with the public in presentation, dialogue, exhibition and experimentation. In those arenas we not only learn whether we have anything to say at all, but we also make space for others to be creative without having to be members of our congregations. In 2010, Uniting College will partner with Pilgrim Church to host an interactive art installation space called ‘The Landscape of Desire’ as part of

the Adelaide Fringe Festival. It will be curated by Jonny Baker from the UK and Cheryl Lawrie from Melbourne. Over the week of 8-12 March, Jonny and Cheryl, along with Tim Hein (CitySoul) and Steve Taylor (Uniting College), will lead seminars and conversations about spirituality, creativity and mission. My hope and prayer is that the church today might become a bubbling community of creative expression, engaging the spiritual lives of the public, and giving voice to the prophetic imagination. For more information about the March 2010 events go to www.unitingcollege.org.au or call 08 8416 8420

Hope is Our Song

The New Zealanders have put together a great collection of 158 carols, hymns and songs featuring 48 authors including Shirley Elena Murray, Colin Gibson and Marnie Barrell. The book includes full keyboard settings for all songs and guitar chords for a selection of songs. $35.00

Unichurch Books

Your Uniting Church Bookshop www.unichurch.victas.uca.org.au

unichurch@victas.uca.org.au

Ph 03 9251 5291 DECEMBER 2009


News

New Times

11

Calling all crafties to KCO Jo Watts, KCO and SAYCO Event Officer

Kids love the craft stations at the Uniting Church’s annual festival for children – Kid’s Camp Out. Pictured here are participants in last year’s campout – could you see yourself helping out in March 2010?

KCO celebrates community, united under the cross of Jesus where children can experience life together as God’s people, encouraging and serving others. If you are interested in coming as a group or sending children, please contact your local church and encourage them to register, if they haven’t done so already. For more information about KCO, please visit the website www.sa.uca.org.au/goto/kco.

On March 13-14 2010, Kid’s Camp Out (KCO) 2010 will hit Barossa Valley Tourist Park – outer space-style. KCO is a fun-packed campout for children aged 7-12. This year, KCO takes kids on an imaginary intergalactic adventure to KCOnia United – a place where young people discover a universe of faith, fun and friendship. The Uniting Church’s 2010 Christmas postcards could have been made to order for the busy KCO craft coordinators, Maureen Howland and Anne Headland, with their title phrase, ‘there’s no time like the present, and no present like your time.’ “If craft-wise people could offer us their time for Saturday 13 March it would be a huge help, a really useful Christmas present!” says Maureen. “Giving your time is not always easy to do, with our busy lives, but it can be so rewarding - just ask any kid who’s been to KCO, and they’ll tell you how fantastic craft is; it’s often one of their favourite things about the whole weekend.” “We need to find more craft volunteers for 2010, as well as a variety of recyclables (e.g. small screw top jars, plastic jar lids and CDs) if we are to keep up the excellent tradition of craft at the new KCO venue in the Barossa.” Maureen and Anne understand that travelling to the Barossa is a bit more of a hike than travelling to West Beach and are considering offering a bus service to transport willing volunteers and provide lunch for the journey. If you would like to help with craft at KCO, please contact Maureen (mhowland@internode.on.net) or Anne (headlandc@ adam.com.au) so they can make appropriate arrangements. If craft isn’t your ‘thing’, you could help with the KCO ‘carnival’ - we provide many activities like a bouncy castle, mini golf, giant slide, animal farm and good-old-fashioned Sunday school picnic games, like the egg and spoon race. Carnival coordinator, Bec Honey, would love your help, so if you’re willing and can give your time, please contact her on bech911@hotmail.com.

Burnside City Uniting Church transitions Rev Ruthmary Bond The congregations of Beaumont, Kensington Park, Tusmore Memorial and Tusmore Park are officially coming together as one congregation, on one site, in the first week of February. Plans are in action to help with the transition. A series of children’s talks are being done to acknowledge what is important to take with us, both for historical and practical uses. The elders are spending time with the young people talking about the stained glass windows, the communion table, the playground, the café and much more! It’s amazing that, when we understand what is going on, transition is much easier for

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everyone – it’s an exciting time! This engagement with the young people is helping the whole congregation as we respond to the call of God and come together to enhance God’s mission in the Burnside City area.

Tusmore Park celebrated their story as a congregation on Sunday 29 November. Please feel free to join us as our other three congregations celebrate their stories: Sunday 6 December Kensington Park 286 Kensington Rd 10am worship (cafe style)

As Burnside City Uniting Church approaches its official ‘coming together’ in February, the four congregations are preparing themselves and their young people for the change. Pictured (right) are children from the Beaumont congregation, enjoying some time on their church’s playground which will make the move with its congregation.

MIGHTY HELPFUL MITRE 10 321 Unley Road, MALVERN Tel: 8272 8566 Fax: 8271 4930 Email: malvern@barrowandbench.com

For all your property needs OPEN 7 DAYS

Sunday 20 December Tusmore Memorial 384 Portrush Rd 10am, light lunch after worship Sunday 31 January Beaumont 100 Devereux Rd 9am & 10.30, light lunch after worship Pews Needed The UCA church at Pukatja (Ernabella) S.A. is now a heritage listed building. The church has been recently restored using a federal government grant and looks great. A recent church work party has performed marvellously restoring the old church but the church looks bare without seating. Pews are needed. Does your church have any pews that we could obtain and locate in this community church? Please contact Mervyn Brown 0417 055 100 mervyn.brown@adsl.on.net

DECEMBER 2009


12

Magazine

New Times

Blokes and a big shed

Pictured (L-R): Jeff Saunders, Alan Dixon, Colin Gill, Colin Webb and Bill Broughton gather out the front of the new Men’s Shed in Port Lincoln. It’s hoped that the Shed will help men continue to feel a valued part of community life.

Help fill theChristmas Bowl

Lindley Webb

Paul Jeffrey/ Action by Churches Together

It seems that in our modern society there is often a need for men, especially retirees and those who have lost their partners, to have companionship, feel productive, learn new skills, pursue hobbies and even contribute to the community they live in. They need to feel part of the community even though their paid work lives have finished. It is hoped the Men’s Shed will help with that and keep men physically, emotionally and mentally active at the same time. Aided by grants from Uniting Church SA, the local council, service clubs of Port Lincoln and local church groups, this community-spirited project was constructed on church property. Includes woodworking and metalworking areas, a kitchenette, disabled toilet, TV, armchairs and tables, the facility was fitted out by local businesses - many of whom gave their time voluntarily. Many hand tools, power tools and a welder were also generously donated to the Shed. A spokesperson from the group said they hoped the Shed would provide a safe area for men from all walks of life and all ages to come for fun, fellowship (cuppa and chat) and to keep their hands and minds busy with various activities. The Shed was opened on Sunday 11 October 2009 by the Mayor of Port Lincoln, Mr Peter Davis and dedicated by Presbytery Property Advisor, Mr Robin Dixon-Thompson. Restore your phonographic records or tapes to near original quality & preserve them on CD.

The Christmas Bowl is a program of Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia.

Free Call 1800 025 101 • Visit www.actforpeace.org.au DECEMBER 2009

ABN 64 493 941 795

Give to the Christmas Bowl

Restore faded 35mm slides to original bright colour & preserve them on DVD. Ask us about VHS & 8mm film to DVD conversion.

SA MEDIAWORKS

Kent Town SA Ph: 8362 2251 samediaworks@soundtrack.net.au www.samediaworks.soundtrack.net.au

WANTED TO BUY Australian Aboriginal New Guinea and Pacific Tribal items WANTED Weapons, boomerangs, artefacts, masks, bowls, carvings, figures, ALSO DOT paintings, BARK paintings, watercolours by Aboriginal artists. Phone Tony Bond (08) 8363 1351 or 0401 008 488


MAGAZI N E

New Times

13

Letters to

the Editor

Girls from the Senior Class in St Andrew’s by the Sea Sunday School helped to paint the small classrooms in the old Church, pictured here around the 1920’s. St Andrew’s by the Sea is delighted to be part of the Glenelg ‘scenery’; this year celebrating 150 years of Christian presence on the main ‘drag’ in Glenelg.

150 reasons to celebrate Glenelg’s St Andrews by the Sea Uniting Church has been a prominent landmark on Jetty Road since it opened in 1880. It was Glenelg’s finest building when completed in 1859. The Church’s Minister Rev CE Palmer retired from his position at Glenelg and returned to England in 1861. When the next Minister, Rev Charles Manthorpe started in 1862, the cause was at a very low ebb, the house of God in a most unfinished state and heavily burdened with debt. Rev Manthorpe was an inspirational preacher and the congregation soon exceeded the church’s size. A larger church was built on property in

front of the former church - it was finished and opened on 19 September 1880. Since that time, the former Church has operated as the Church Hall. Today it is a hub for outreach activity.

The foresight and faith of the ‘Pilgrim Fathers’ of the Congregational Church in Glenelg has provided us with a rich heritage of dedication and service to the wider community. As stewards of that heritage, the members of St Andrews by the Sea Uniting Church, Glenelg look forward to the future with optimism.

St Andrews by the Sea has ‘150 reasons to celebrate’ with a special service being held on Sunday 13 December 2009 at 9.30am to mark its 150 years. Rev Bruce Grindlay will officiate at the service. Anyone with an association to the church is welcome. Website: http://www.standrewsglenelg.org.au

Rev John (Jack) Bentley 22/4/1921 – 15/9/2009 Compiled by the Bentley Family

“A real friend and counsellor; a man of faith, charm and learning, warmth and wit - a real gentleman...” Born at Tanunda into a Methodist family, the youngest of six children, John later attended Unley High School. In 1941 John enlisted in the RAAF, demobilised in 1946 as Sgt Bentley and joined the ‘Flying Squad’.

Having matriculated, John attended Adelaide University and went on to New College, Edinburgh. In Scotland John was profoundly influenced by the Iona Community. He was licensed in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, “to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.” He accepted a Call to Plympton Park/Seacliff Presbyterian Churches and was ordained on February 21 1956. In 1961-63, he served as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in SA. After

Uniting around Jesus The Uniting Church and Anglican Church in Hamley Bridge recently combined to hold a service of dedication for all school students in our town as they enter the last term of the school year. The response was wonderful and all local churches and schools were very supportive. It was a real celebration of youth, of family and of our faith that all denominations came together. The music and service was student oriented and the message of Jesus, the capstone for a full life, was a most appropriate theme and encouraging to the Christian witness in our town. All our churches are struggling with numbers so to offer something different and to experience such an uplifting occasion gives us a great pointer to the futures of our churches. The fact that 100 worshippers from Catholic, Anglican, Uniting, Church of Christ and AOG churches came together as one in support of the students and their schools made it a true ecumenical experience. D. French Hamley Bridge

My Past for their Future I would like to express my appreciation for the support given to my unbirthday celebrations at Woodville Uniting Church last Sunday 8 November. Despite the very hot weather a very large crowd came from all over the state to enjoy the concert and afternoon tea. $5302 was donated to support the two causes for poor children in India. The money has already been sent to Helping Hands at Christian Medical College Vellore and The Pragathi Sports Project in Bengre Mangalore. The children who will benefit join me to thank you. Rev G. Nicholls

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.

his marriage to Christine in 1964, he adopted Cheryl and John and moved with his new family to Geelong, where he was Chaplain/ Teacher at Geelong College. Donald and Andrew arrived later. Appointments followed at Prospect/St. Peters/Finchley Park Presbyterian Churches, Marion United Parish and Tusmore Memorial Uniting Church. He spent his retirement as Chaplain at Kirkholme and in several interim ministries, so he never really retired! He was a founding member of the Uniting Church Commission on liturgy, which produced two

volumes of ‘Uniting in Worship’. As Chairman, in 1991, John was the Australian Uniting Church representative at the Church of Scotland General Assembly, Edinburgh. Through the 53 years of his ministry, he was a consummate minister of the word and sacraments, as well as a faithful pastor. The wider church benefited from his leadership, but never to the detriment of his family life. John is sorely missed by Christine, his partner of 44 years, his four children, their partners, and six grandchildren.

Attention Women CWCI Weekend Convention at Victor Harbor 19th to 21st March 2010 with two Excellent Speakers Theme “Who IS in control?” For brochures www.cwciadelaide.net or contact Judy Pettit 08 8248 1772 or mob 0439 573 759 Closing date for registration 14 March 2010

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DECEMBER 2009


14

RE V IEWS

New Times

Tis the season to be jolly

Science Meets Faith

Exploring faiths

Compulsory Heroes

150 Years in the Making

Book: Carol: A Story for Christmas Author: Bob Hartman Recommended for: a challenge to our thinking about Christmas, the world and everything In short: Describes one person’s experience. Is it just a dream or can it be true? RRP: $14.95

Book: Real Scientists, Real Faith Edited by: RJ Berry Recommended for: academic insights and discussion prompts In short: A lively and contemporary introduction to the relationship between faith and science. RRP: $22.95

Book: Honourably Wounded Author: Marjory F Foyle Recommended for: an insight into overseas missions In short: Discusses the support strategies for emotional and spiritual health in ministering across cultures, and oceans. RRP: $19.95

Book: The Light on the Hill: Brougham Place Uniting Church 1859-2009 Author: Trevor Schaefer Recommended for: an insight into the history and progression of a church, 150 years in the making In short: Changing programs for changing times. RRP: $35 from Brougham Place Uniting Church

In time for Christmas I read two small books which each made an impact in very different ways. Max Lucado’s An Angel’s Story: the first Christmas from heaven’s view is an imaginative account of the battle in the heavenly realm to prevent the coming of Christ to earth. Based on scripture, but with other details added, it gives the back story to the incarnation. In Carol: a story for Christmas by Bob Hartman, a successful business man is shown the way the spirit of Christmas can change the world. Although billed as being a modern retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, it stands alone as a challenge to each of us to take another look at the values we live by and see how a small change in our lifestyle, for example foregoing one cup of coffee a day, can make a huge impact on someone in a developing nation. The impact for me was heightened by hearing Philippa Goodbourn from Verdun Uniting Church talk about her work with an orphanage in Zimbabwe. Something small to us for example a tiny knitted cap can make the difference between life and death for one small baby on a cold winter’s night. The time travel in Carol is whimsical and one is left wondering just who Carol is. To say more however, would spoil the story. It was easily read in one sitting, tastefully presented and would make an ideal Christmas gift. It may even change someone’s life! - Glenys Badger

In the book Real Scientists, Real Faith, Berry creatively draws together a varied and fascinating series of articles by 18 contemporary scientists from a wide range of disciplines. Contributors were asked to write about how their faith affected their science and alternatively how science, as an important facet within their lives, affected their faith. This they did so with honesty and clarity, drawing on the varied experiences of their work in particular fields. All chapters are interesting, some enthralling. For instance, Denis Alexander tells of some dramatic experiences in the Middle East where he worked mainly with Muslim students, before returning to England to become the Chair of the Molecular Immunology Program at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge. The views of Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Research Institute in Maryland for 15 years, offer a fascinating insight into the medical and ethical dimensions of this extraordinary project. He also explores some tough questions about evolution including the Intelligent Design theory and how moral issues about the use of the three billion letters of the human genome will continue to be part of the science-faith discussion. This book provides a comprehensive mix of helpful insights and challenges for readers and ultimately is a very good read. - Rodger Bassham

Book: Out of Darkness into Light Authors: Jamal Rahman, with Kathleen Schmitt Elias & Ann Holmes Redding Recommended for: those wishing to understand Islamic faith In short: A spiritual guide to the Quran with some Jewish and Christian reflective thoughts. RRP: $24.95

‘Stress among Christian Workers’ says the subtitle. “Bewdy,” I think to myself, “I’m a hard working school chaplain, lay preacher and the son of the ordained leader of my local church, this is exactly the book my parents and I need.” It wasn’t until I opened the cover and began reading the introduction that I realised this is a book more suited to those heading for India to be doctors rather than those heading for the local colleges to be counsellors. The point that leaders must seek to understand ministers’ differing needs for training, affirmation, and support are valid, and comparisons can be drawn between the mission field of overseas and the mission field of home. Honourably Wounded would make useful reading for people active in their support of interns in mission and the workers on the ground in Bible translation and AIDS Awareness programmes. However, if I were looking for a book to recommend to a local minister who is feeling a little overwhelmed by their congregation, I’d begin by pointing them elsewhere. My copy is a 2009 reprint of the 2001 second edition, which followed the 1987 first edition, and reads like the mission tales of old. It has several of the riproaring conversations of notable worthies of the tropics, but the prose is a bit ‘last generation’ for my Gen-X sensibilities. It is heavy going in terms of its missiology and psychology, but whilst it didn’t turn out to be the book for me, if you’re into that sort of thing it is readable even enjoyable. - Damien Tann

North Adelaide Congregational Church was first conceived by Manoah Morris and Thomas Frost in 1854, five years before the church was inaugurated. It was later known as Brougham Place Congregational Church and became a member of the Uniting Church in 1977. Trevor Schaefer, a member, has carefully researched and written the 150 year history of this notable church. Schaefer has chosen his several sources to provide a chronological, rather than thematic, account from the arrival of the first minister, the Rev James Jefferis, in 1859 until the anticipated arrival of the present ministers, John and Jenni Hughes. There is a wealth of information including births, marriages, deaths, statistics of Sunday School attendance and much more. En route there are glimpses of the impact of some of the larger societal and theological movements, although the strictly chronological structure does not encourage fuller exploration of these and other themes. A novel approach was adopted for the fifth of the seven chapters. This was originally written in draft form by the Rev Ken Leaver, a former minister and interim minister, and later edited. The book highlights significant people, ready access to whom is available through an ample index. Seven appendices provide the names of the ministers in charge, the text of the Trust Deed of 1860, the original 1859 members, and the text of sermons by four of the church’s ministers. - Ian Forbes

DECEMBER 2009

There appears to be more darkness than light when Christians talk to their neighbours of Jewish or Islamic faith. Muslim people have ideas about Christianity and Christians often view Islamic faith with suspicion. It is seen as one great monolithic entity. There is no understanding of the fact that there are at least two major groups into which the Islamic world is divided and that different cultures bring subtle changes of practice. In all, a great sea of ignorance, darkness and suspicion. Out of Darkness into Light is an attempt by three people to guide us toward an understanding of others and their faith journey. Rahman has based his guidance on a premise that his grandfather taught him as a young child and I quote him, “without inner spaciousness … we cannot walk the earth on spacious paths. For love, joy and peace flow in us so that we can do what is beautiful; we need to create inner spaciousness by transforming the ego and unclenching the heart.” This is a book to be approached from that spaciousness for, by doing so, we may dispel some of the darkness that is appearing as a black cloud called bigotry that is clouding our world. - Lindsay Faulkner


15 MAGAZI N E

New Times To have your upcoming event or message published here, email notebook@sa.uca.org.au with ‘Notebook’ in the subject line. The annual Christmas Carols service for the lesbian/ gay community at Semaphore (and their families and friends) will be on Monday 14 December at 7.30pm at Semaphore Uniting Church, next to Exeter Hotel on Semaphore Road. Supper will follow the Carols. All welcome.

Cherry Gardens Uniting Church is hosting Community Christmas Carols on Friday 18 December from 7.30pm in the memorial hall. Local talent will be showcased. Children are invited to take part in the Nativity tableau and come dressed as shepherds or angels. Supper will be provided after, with the opportunity to meet and enjoy community. Enquiries to Alan Dube: dubes@internode.on.net.

To advertise in New Times: contact Russell Baker p. 8361 6822 f. 8361 6833 e. advertise.newtimes@sa.uca.org.au

Children’s Ministry Leader Negotiable to full time. Further information from Rev. Ashley Davis at Adelaide West Uniting Church, 312 Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Brooklyn Park, 5032. P: 8234 1199. E: minister@awuc.org.au Applications close Dec 21st

General Secretary Synod of New South Wales and the ACT The Synod of New South Wales and the ACT is seeking a new General Secretary to commence from August 2010 due to the retirement of the Rev. Paul Swadling effective next July.

The National and World Mission Support committee invite all interested to the Annual Mission Picnic at 12 noon on Tuesday 12 January 2010 in the Brougham Place Uniting Church hall. Please bring food to share. Contact Joy: 8295 7745

EXPERIENCED HANDYMAN Complete, friendly home-help and maintenance service. “Your spare pair of hands” Phone: 8346 0933 ACCOMMODATION TERTIARY STUDENTS VACANCIES POSSIBLE FOR 2010 Morialta Uniting Church Students Houses – undergraduate university/ TAFE students. Furnished single bedrooms, shared bathrooms, living areas. Proximity Uni-SA Magill. Easy travel to northern campus and city for Adelaide University and Uni-SA. Provisional applications are invited. Mary Thornley (8332 2041) Church Office (8331 9344) Rent $300 monthly.

Children and Families worker 0.4 FTE

For Sale Adjustable bed – electric. As new. $1,200. Phone 8536 4196. Hospitality Venture Holiday Package Broken Hill Congregation’s Hospitality Venture dates for 2010 have been set: a six day package in Autumn or Spring from 20th May or 2nd September. Contact the Broken Hill Church Office on (08) 8087 5317 for a brochure or for more details. Don’t delay – enquire today. Early bookings ensure a place as numbers are limited!

Custodian/Caretakers Frontier Services is recruiting for custodian/ caretakers for the Frontier Services museum in Birdsville (formally the old Birdsville Hospital), QLD. It is in need of an energetic and committed volunteer couple with an interest in Outback history to live in and maintain the facilities as well as provide a welcome to visitors.

Westbourne Park Uniting Church is looking for a person who: • to give oversight and leadership • to grow children in their faith in Jesus Christ • to help families find their place in the church community • To network in the wider community

If this opportunity is of interest to you or someone you know, contact Rosemary Young for more information on 02 8270 1320 or email rosemary.y@frontierservices.org

Contact Rev Judi Hartwig on 82717066 Closing date for applications is 16/12/09

Applications are encouraged in writing to the Moderator, the Rev. Niall Reid (on behalf of the General Secretary Nominating Committee). A full advertisement will be published online in December at http://news.nsw.uca.org.au/employment/ when the job description will also be available. Please mark correspondence with the title General Secretary – Application to kathyjam@nsw.uca.org.au or c/- the Secretariat, PO Box A2178, Sydney South NSW 1235

Canberra Region Presbytery

Presbytery Minister

www.frontierservices.org

Chaplain Aged Care Services Aldersgate One Half Time position The successful applicant for the Presbytery/Synod placement at UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide will provide Chaplaincy at Aldersgate - Felixstow. The Chaplain will work as a member of the Aged Care team to ensure the highest possible quality of care and support to older people utilising our residential services. Applications close Monday 14th December 2009

The Presbytery of Canberra Region seeks applications from Ministers of the Word, Deacons and suitably qualified lay members of the UCA, for a full-time Presbytery Minister within the new Presbytery Ministry Team staffing structure.

Job descriptions and person specifications can be accessed via the website at www.careersatucwesley.org.au or contact Rev Peter McDonald 8202 5886.

The Presbytery has a diverse range of congregations, in suburban, regional and rural settings and sees its primary focus as assisting congregations discern and resource their mission.

UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide Inc. is an agency of the Uniting Church providing an extensive range of

The Presbytery Minister’s role will be to provide leadership in the areas of Mission and Education across the Presbytery.

innovative and responsive community services to South Australians. UCW Adelaide is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are expected to work within the Vision and Values of this organisation. As an organisation we take the responsibility to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults very

Enquiries for further information and for a copy of the job description should be directed to the Presbytery Chairperson, Gordon Ramsay, phone 02 6254 1733 or gordon@kippax.org.au.

seriously and all staff recruited to work in those areas are required to sign off on and work within the “Code

Applications should be sent to Synod Assoc Secretary (Ministry), Meg Herbert, megh@nsw.uca.org.au or PO Box A2178, Sydney South 1235.

limited to police checks, qualification checks, referee checks, identity

of Conduct for working with children and young people” as well as the “Code of Conduct for working with vulnerable adults”. All applicants need to undergo a comprehensive checking mechanism including but not including 100 point checks and professional registration checks. Police checks are repeated for designated positions as per policy.

Closing date for applications - 26 February 2010

DECEMBER 2009


16

Christmas Bowl

New Times

Christmas Bowl helps churches act for peace Edwyn Shiell, Act for Peace Marketing & Communication Coordinator This year’s Christmas Bowl seeks to help church partners assist over one million people in some of the world’s most war-torn communities and in resolving the conflicts they face. Mr Alistair Gee, Executive Director of Act for Peace, said, “Christmas is a time for cherishing family, giving thanks and sharing with those less fortunate; Christmas Bowl is an opportunity to help provide real peace and hope for wartorn communities.” The support of Australian churches last year made a real difference. Last year’s Christmas Bowl poster depicted six Sudanese girls with school materials running to a temporary school that had been established in the Deraige Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Darfur. The Christmas Bowl helped provide them with supplies and education. Fourteen-year-old student Izdihar’s face lit up when she said, “The exercise books are precious and will help me with my studies… This will help our families to save up for other things that we need.” Izdihar was driven from her home village four years ago by the ongoing conflict. In June 2009, the church partners supported by the Christmas Bowl finished building the girls’ new, permanent school which now provides education to 1256 students. Mr Gee said, “With assistance from the Christmas Bowl, church partners in Sudan have helped a quarter of a million people throughout the past year and incredible improvements have been achieved in the areas of water and sanitation, health and nutrition, peace building and support for schools. These partners have also coordinated a number of successful peace processes to end fighting in southern Sudan. “The support of Australian churches for this year’s Christmas Bowl can make a real difference. A’isha, pictured above, is a refugee girl who has also been displaced by the conflict in Darfur and now lives in a camp with 28,000 other displaced women and children. A’isha is making a bowl as part of a conflict DECEMBER 2009

A’isha, pictured here, is making a bowl as part of a conflict trauma counseling project supported by the Christmas Bowl. She is a refugee girl, one of 28,000 displaced women and children living in a camp in Darfur. trauma counseling project supported by the Christmas Bowl, which helps victims overcome the personal loss during war. Please remember A’isha and others in war-torn communities and help fill the Christmas Bowl.” With your support of the Christmas Bowl this year: • $50 can provide a day’s worth of medicine for a mobile health clinic in East Timor • $150 can train a community leader in conflict resolution in Sudan • $370 can provide a Burmese refugee with one year’s worth of nutritious food To make a tax deductible gift or to order the Christmas Bowl Resources, please free call 1800 025 101 or visit www.acforpeace.org.au

The Christmas Bowl is a program of Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia. Working through church partners, the Christmas Bowl helps war-torn communities to survive and rebuild in 15 of the most conflict-affected countries and Pacific communities to reduce the risk of disasters and Indigenous communities to reduce poverty in Australia.

Addressing cultural poverty roots in Ethiopia Jordan Shank, Act for Peace Marketing & Communication Director My expectations of Ethiopia were the images flashed regularly on prime time television during my childhood – sad thin faces, bloated bellies and a dry, desolate land. My experience was a confronting surprise. On my third day in Ethiopia after visiting our project partner the Development & Interchurch Aid Commission’s (DICAC) offices in Addis Ababa, we were driven north into the highlands to visit the Integrated Rural Development Projects in the Goncha region. The mountainous, wet climb in our vehicle was terrifying as we regularly passed flipped B-doubles that had crashed 20 metres below. What I didn’t expect was the in-depth level of integration DICAC uses to address several Millennium Development Goals at once. Recognising the need to tackle the cultural roots of poverty, DICAC seizes opportunities, when implementing development projects, to empower women through group leadership, educating the community on nutrition and other health-related matters, like HIV and malaria. These projects also provide an opportunity to discuss some crippling issues that have hindered development for thousands of years. The issues predate religion and are known as ‘harmful traditional practices’ or ‘HTPs’. HTPs such as early child marriage, physical and emotional abuse and gender disparity pervade these communities from generation to generation. One particular HTP that affected me more than any of the others is the devastating custom of female genital mutilation (FGM). Thinking of the young girls that surrounded me facing this painful torture shocked and saddened me to my core.

Emebet Woldeyes, the Gender & Development Division Head of DICAC told me that after conducting a gender analysis a few years ago, they found that the majority of the community surveyed believe that if a girl is not cut, she will not be sexually attractive, acceptable for marriage or able to bear children. This practice is so ingrained that the main propagators encouraging it to continue are the mothers and grandmothers. Women and girls suffer life-long from this harmful traditional practice. After a girl is cut, she will often face severe childbirth complications - tearing, excessive bleeding, reproductive damage or even death of mother and infant in labour. Gender roles run deep in this area, but they are improving. Through developing women’s associations educating the community and training local clergy to speak against HTPs in their congregations, DICAC is making great strides to protect females from these practices. Back in Australia, you don’t hear about HTPs - the dark underbelly of development work. Core issues like food security and clean drinking water are splashed on aid posters on every street corner. Discussing female genital mutilation with your neighbour is more confronting. I was humbled at how well DICAC sensitively integrates these issues into its basic development projects through training, use of information, education and communication materials to get rid of HTPs in the area. I want to make sure that these stories are heard in my community and we continue to take action to stop this unnecessary suffering. The Christmas Bowl supports the work of DICAC, reducing the widespread poverty and high maternal mortality rate, making a profound difference for future generations in Ethiopia.


New Times-December 2009