Page 1

December 2011

Issue 30, No 11 December 2011

with song

October Presbytery Synod Meeting News in Overview p. 6

Reflecting on the season and the songs that inspire pp. 9-12, 17

Enrolments Still Open For 2012



……………………………………………………………… Are you thinking of beginning your studies, looking to upgrade your current qualifications or considering a new career path? Its not too late to apply!

Together, let’s make sure no one misses out this Christmas.

Tabor Adelaide offers fully accredited courses in:

The annual Christmas Appeal helps everyone experience the joy of Christmas.

Teacher Education: Primary, Middle & Senior School Social Science: Youth Work & Counselling

Your donation will provide children, families and individuals in need with a special gift and food hamper.

Humanities: Creative Writing, History, Philosophy & English

Others will be blessed with clothing, warmth and toiletries.


Ministry, Theology & Culture Vocational & Training Education Training & Assessment FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP are available for most courses. For more information visit our website. 181 Goodwood Rd Millswood SA 5034

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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 Articles and advertising do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor. Phone: (08) 8236 4200 1300 766 956 (toll free from regional areas) Fax: (08) 8236 4201 Email: Street address: Level 2, 212 Pirie St, Adelaide

Postal address: GPO Box 2145, Adelaide SA 5001

Of all the Christmas carols, ‘Cantique de Noël’ or ‘O Holy Night’ is perhaps one of the most loved. For me, it’s the only one I really enjoy. It has a soaring melody, a mood of hopeful anticipation and an unforgettable finish. There are, however, two things that are impossible about this song.

The second impossibility is that of missing a very clear, and wonderful, extrapolation of the gospel message. Through the course of three verses we sing first of the birth of “the dear Saviour”, with all its hopefulness and bright joy. At the sight of the “new and glorious morn”, we are commanded to fall on our knees – that is the gravity of this event. In the second verse, the Saviour is introduced as the King of kings. This king is both the greatest of kings, and the one who shows a close knowledge of,

Finally, from this one who is born, our King and Saviour, we are taught how to love one another, from a law of love, and a gospel of peace. And what can be said once we know what it is to love one another?

Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,

As Paul reminds us, it doesn’t matter the manner in which the good news is spoken. What matters is that this good news is shared: “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill... The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached.” PHILIPPIANS 1:15-18 (ABRIDGED) Joyeux Noël,


The first is the impossibility of everyone hitting the super high note - try, though, as they might. (Yes, it is actually, a G above high C, not a note somewhere awkwardly hovering between D# and noteven-close...)

and friendship to, us as “our weakness is no stranger” and “in all our trials born to be our friends”. This King is also the one to whom we must “before him lowly bend”.

His power and glory ever more proclaim! His power and glory ever more proclaim! With numerous re-recordings, favoured placement at carols nights and frequent Christmas-time radio-play, O Holy Night brings us face to face with the God who came to us, the God who brings hope and life, the God who teaches us how to love. Whenever we fear that the spirit of Christmas has been lost, we encounter it here, very obviously, amongst us in the Christmas season.

‘Cantique de Noël’ was composed in 1847 by Adolphe Adam from the French poem ‘Minuit, chrétiens’ (Midnight, Christians) by Placide Cappeau, who had been asked by a parish priest to write a Christmas poem. In 1855, Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight, created a singing edition based on the French poem.



Rev Rob WIlliams Singing Christmas Carols has certainly been part of my heritage.

any frills. “While shepherds watched their flocks” was one of these.

As a teenager it was great fun being driven around the suburbs adjacent to the local church on the back of a truck, dangling our legs over the side, singing carols accompanied by an inadequate reed organ or an inaudible guitar. Part of the deal was that we also encouraged householders who came out to listen, to give to the Christmas Bowl Appeal as it was then. Most did.

Carolling as part of the youth group was a sure sign that Christmas was near and it always brought an inner sense of something that felt good even if it was hard to express in words.

On a hot summer’s night I guess we didn’t think much about the incongruity of singing, “In the bleak midwinter” or “ the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.” Some didn’t like “Unto us a boy is born” for its violent third verse. However, Herod’s slaying of the “innocents” just happens to rate a mention in Matthew chapter two. The carols told the story of the mystery of the incarnation simply and without


Times change, however. I thought I’d look up ‘favourite Christmas Carols of today’ on the web. I felt like I’d entered another world. Amongst those named were “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus”, “Rocking around the Christmas Tree” and the most surprising of all “Grandma got run over by a reindeer”. Poor Grandma! The shift from the mystery of the incarnation was obvious. Yet there’s something about Christmas and the carols we still sing. In my last rural placement, a large regional centre, one of the best attended services for the year was the 11pm Christmas Eve service. Moving

back to the city, I experienced this again. They came as families, young children and all, to sing carols in the candle light, to receive the bread and the wine from the table of the Lord and to explode into joy when midnight arrived. What is it that draws many from the community to our churches at this time of joyous celebration? Is it just a tradition, a hangover from childhood? Is it the beginning of a tradition for new family units, however they are comprised? Maybe there’s just something in the carols, the candlelight, the lateness of the hour that brings an inner sense of something that feels good – even if it’s hard to express in words. Maybe that’s part of the mystery of the incarnation.

Connecting with loneliness form, loneliness can lead to depression, anxiety, alcoholism, and even suicide. Unfortunately, loneliness is a pertinent issue around the “most wonderful time of the year”: Christmas. At Christmas, when everyone around us is celebrating, loneliness can intensify, and even begin to overwhelm us. This is one reason why the Uniting Church has focused its Christmas campaign on loneliness with the phrase: “no one should feel alone”. This message will appear on radio and in print from 12 December through Christmas, up to the New Year. For many, the ‘festive’ season isn’t really that festive at all. Each year, a number of Uniting Church congregations host ‘Feeling Blue’ services – a space to reflect and remember. Details for these services and all Uniting Church Christmas services, are available from the website. The website is also promoting a host of community groups to help people

reconnect – the most proven method of helping reduce feelings of loneliness is to reach out to others, or by letting them reach out to you. One of the most obvious ways to find support, though, is within existing relationships. Maybe it’s time to rekindle a friendship or family relationship. It might be as easy as picking up the phone – or sending a Christmas card.


Recent research has found that Generation Y is our loneliest age group. Gen Y is the title given to those born between 1979 and 1990, and there are 4.5 million Gen Ys in Australia. Though often viewed as self-assured, sometimes overly so, this is a generation that has grown up closely connected to technology, but not necessarily to each other. In 2010 a study by AVG Technologies reported that 84% of Australian children have an online presence before they are two years old. Children are being raised with an online profile but as they grow into their teenage years, the research suggests that the more “connected” they are, the lonelier they seem to be. It’s not just young people though – everyone experiences loneliness at some times, even those who seem well connected. Loneliness can leave us feeling empty; sad, isolated, distanced from others and lacking in confidence. In chronic

No one should feel alone.


Congratulations, conversations and consensus At the meeting of the Presbytery and Synod of South Australia, many exciting decisions were made, lives celebrated and futures inspired. Here are a few snapshots of the meeting, held in late October at Adelaide West Uniting Church:

Rev Bill Reddin

synod wrap up

Retiring ministers “Just because they are retiring, doesn’t mean their ministry has ended,” commented Moderator Rev Rob Williams before introducing and thanking the four retiring ministers, Rev Bill Reddin, Rev Dr Elizabeth Vreugdenhil, Reverend Richard Miller and Reverend Noel Bekker, to share reflections on their respective ministries. Bill, having spent many years as a prison chaplain, promoted the need for prison chaplaincy, and the need for ministers to face such a challenging experience. “All Ministers should do a stint in prison,” commented Rev Bill Reddin in his retiring speech. Context for such a comment, was obviously very important...

New Ministers of the Word Congratulations to Michael Dowling, Amel Manyon, Douglas Monaghan, Julia Pitman and Nathan Whillas on being accepted unanimously by the Presbytery Synod as Ministers of the Word.


Disaster Ministry

Moving house

“I think Forrest Gump would have said disaster happens, but he chose a different word,” commented Andrew Clarke drily. Post-Disaster Ministry has launched a new resource to help equip ministers, should disaster ever strike in their patch. Resources are available online from

The Presbytery and Synod moved to consensus quickly over the proposal to co-locate the Uniting College and Presbytery Synod office on the Annesley College site. This agreement is subject to (1) an independent valuation and (2) the Resources Board finding the inherent risks and commercial returns, associated with the move, acceptable to the church.

Celebrating 850 years of preaching and counting Andrew Clarke

Grateful Commemoration

We recognised Lay Preachers who had reached a special milestone in their preaching lives, of 30, 40, 50 or 60 years.

The floor of the Synod stood for one minute in silence to give thanks for the lives of Ministers who have passed away in the past year: Edgar (Ted) Bray, Don Howland, Dennis Kowalick, David Muirhead, Harold Pitman, Brian Tossell.

Those celebrated were:

POD Graduands

40 years – Rosalie Smith, Graham Fleming;

“I’m proud to say I belong and am a fellow pilgrim on the journey within the Uniting Church,” said eDuard Helmbold, Period of Discernment graduand. eDuard and fellow POD graduands Susan Doughty, Robyn Caldicott, and Will Hall, shared their perspectives on the POD. Certificates were presented to graduating students. Craig Bailey shared that there are 44 students enrolled in the POD.

60 years – Jack Francis, Milton Hender, Merv Maddern, Peter Petherick, Howard Ramsay; 50 years – Fay Boxall, Keith Maynard, Janette Staehr, Malcolm McCauley, Clyde Ziegeler, Robin DixonThompson, Geoff Prime;

30 years – Val Andreassen, Linford Morris, Campbell Menzies, Craig Mitchell. A day was also set aside to recognise Lay Preachers in our own congregations – the first Sunday in August.

For full reporting and audio files from the Presbytery Synod Meeting, October 2011, go online to and follow the links to the 2011 Meetings.

Getting involved in Assembly 2012 Gwenda Kerley On the first Sunday in December, Assembly 2012 will be just 32 weeks away!

• Opening Worship/Induction Service and daily worship times throughout the week;

From 15-21 July 2012, about 350 people at the Grand Chancellor Hotel will gather together for seven days of business, worship and fellowship. Those attending include 270 voting members, overseas and ecumenical guests as well as those assisting with the business of Assembly.

• Administration – providing registration, assisting the Business Committee and maintaining the smooth running of details before and during the meeting of the Assembly;

The Opening Service/Induction will be held on 15 July, 7.30pm in the Theatre at the Entertainment Centre. This will be an exciting service as Rev Prof Andrew Dutney is inducted as the President of the Assembly. The Theatre holds 2000 people. Congregation members are encouraged to attend as individuals or in groups. There is no charge, but tickets are required for entry. These will available from early March from the Synod office.

If you are willing to offer your help either before or during Assembly, perhaps in any of the above areas or wherever you may be needed please contact me. Our aim is that, as the host Presbytery Synod, we will provide a well organised, worshipful, successful Assembly for the elected members, and for all those who are involved. Contact: Gwenda Kerley p. 8236 4283 m. 0409 696 440 e.


The other public occasion is the Cato Lecture. This will be held at Maughan Church on Wednesday 18 July at 7.30pm. The lecture will be given by Kirsteen Kim. Kirsteen is a leading missiologist and mission educator, and has lived and worked in Korea, India and the United Kingdom. She is currently the Associate Senior Lecturer in Theology at Leeds Trinity and All Saints in the UK.

• Technical people who provide and maintain the database, audio needs, computer and internet requirements – along with those involved with Communications, providing services for each of the Synods and Assembly needs.

As host Synod, we have many people already working on various committees to enable Assembly 2012 to run smoothly and efficiently. There are many aspects to consider – hospitality, business, worship, technical and catering – just to name a few. There are many people and committees involved as we seek to support and prepare our: • overseas guests who represent our partner churches and ecumenical links, particularly assisting multi-cultural members with orientation and language requirements; • Congress representatives to provide language and cultural needs so that our time together is meaningful and encouraging for all members of Assembly; • youth members prior to Assembly with a two day orientation and ongoing mentoring program throughout the meeting;

Rev Prof Andrew Dutney took a musical approach to the Bible studies at the recent Presbytery Synod meeting. Andrew is President-Elect for the Uniting Church in Australia, and will be inducted into the role on 15 July at the Opening Service of the 13th National Assembly in Adelaide.


6.00pm Festival of Readings and Carols with Pilgrim Choir and organ 10.30pm Christmas Eve Contemporary Worship With Communion


9.30am Christmas Day Celebration worship service includes communion Music with Pilgrim Choir and organ Ministers: Rev Jana Norman & Rev Sandy Boyce Ph: 8212 3295


Placements news: Placements finalised since the last edition of New Times: • Rev Andrew Diprose to Eldercare, Acacia Court from 1 January 2012 • Dianne Bailey-Walters (MOP) to Resthaven Mount Gambier from 17 October 2011 • Rev Rob Brown to Executive Officer, Uniting Care from 1 March 2012

Please join us as for the following special services:

The following is the current list of vacant (or soon to be vacant) approved placements:

Rev Judi Hartwig Spicer 16 January 2012

• Adelaide West • Bordertown, Buckingham and Mundulla from 1.01.12 • South West Fleurieu (Delamere, Inman Valley, Myponga, Range Road, Yankalilla) • Southern Yorke Peninsula (Brentwood, Corny Point, Curramulka, Edithburgh, Koolywurtie, Minlaton, Port Vincent, Stansbury, Warooka, Yorketown)


• Mitcham Village • Chaplain, Flinders Medical Centre

St. David’s Parkdale Uniting Church

Be transformed by oc eans of Chris t’s

Grace, Hope & Belonging

Expressions of Interest for Minister of the Word Expressions of interest are sought for a single full time ministry placement at St. David’s Parkdale Uniting Church. A visionary and energetic person or shared team is sought to provide leadership to the existing lay teams in the areas of preaching, worship, pastoral care, youth and children’s ministries, and mission to the community around us. The people from the three worship services seek to be discipled in faith through solid Biblical instruction so they can confidently live out and share their faith in Christ every day. St. David’s is situated in Parkdale, a bayside suburb of Melbourne. Inquiries can be made to the Secretary of the Placements Committee of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania at Commencement date is subject to availability. Closing date: 13 January 2012.


If you wish to express an interest in any of these placements, or would like to have a look at the profile, please advise Rev Philip Gardner, You should also inform your Mission Network’s representative on Placements Committee of your interest.



Rev Andrew Diprose Eldercare, Acacia Court January 2012 COMMISSIONINGS Nathan Whillas (Candidate for MOW) Loxton and Renmark January 2012 Michael Dowling (Candidate for MOW) Eldercare, Kirkholme January 2012

carols Love them or loathe them, Christmas Carols are a very audible part of the Christmas season. As Christians, Christmas Carols have been a rich part of our heritage as we have sought to rejoice and remember the true meaning of Christmas.

While Shepherds Watched Dr Julia Pitman While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night (Together In Song 299) is one of the oldest texts that can be reliably dated in the history of English church hymnody as it emerged after the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1662. The hymn was first published in Brady and Tate’s ‘A Supplement to the New Version of Psalms’, in 1700. At that time, the impact of Watts and Wesley on congregational singing was yet to be felt. Following John Calvin, congregations sung metrical psalms from his Genevan Psalter (1551), or close paraphrases of psalms from the King James Version. They sang in unison, in the vernacular and with no musical accompaniment made by human hands. Gradually, church musicians introduced hymns such as ‘While Shepherds Watched’ to improve the literary quality of the authorised books of psalters. They applied the scriptural paraphrase to passages other than psalms and to

– a hymn in history

contemporary life. The hymn was born. John Calvin would have been rolling in his grave! ‘While Shepherds Watched’ is one of three hymns in our hymnal by Nahum Tate (1652-1715), a Dubliner who moved to London in 1688 to adapt works for the theatre.

He became poet laureate in 1692. Tate also wrote and published metrical psalms. Tate and Brady’s New Version (1696) of Sternhold and Hopkins’ ‘Old Version’ (1562) influenced psalmody well into the nineteenth century.

This hymn is a rare example from the early eighteenth century of a paraphrase of scripture that was not a psalm. It was borrowed from a Scottish paraphrase of the same text. The hymn rehearses line by line the angels’ appearance to the shepherds in Luke 2: 8-15. While many carols offer reflections on the season, few follow the scriptural text closely. The hymn includes the poetic device of anadiplosis, words to end one stanza and to start the next, in the use of the word ‘glory’ which appears in the last line of the first verse and the first line of the last verse. The use in Together in Song of Winchester Old follows the Australian practice of appropriating British tunes. Winchester Old was first published in Thomas Este’s Whole Book of Psalmes (1592) and may have been an adaptation of the second half of Christopher Tye’s music to chapter 8 of his Acts of the Apostles (1553). The words were finally fixed to the tune in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861).


’ s a l s e c n We


y t i s o r e n ge

UnitingCare agencies across the state have taken a leaf out of Good King Wenceslas’ book as they look out “on the feast of Stephen”. At this time of year, they always see an increase in need, as people struggle to provide their loved ones with the joys of Christmas cheer. Their work commends the last verse of the famous Good King Wenceslas carol: Therefore, Christians, be sure, Wealth or rank possessing, Ye who now will bless the poor Shall yourselves find blessing.

Christmas at Resthaven


Every year since 1935, Resthaven has celebrated Christmas with residents and clients. A Christmas luncheon is celebrated at each of Resthaven’s ten residential sites. These luncheons are attended by residents and executive staff members, including the CEO and Board President. Christmas events are also held for people who live at home and receive Resthaven Community Services. These include afternoon teas, meals and outings, offering an opportunity for clients to socialise with each other and enjoy this special time of year.

Ensuring joy Christmas is……family, celebration, excitement, happiness, joy. Christmas is……stressful, sad, lonely, hopeless. Not everyone thinks of Christmas in the same way. For those who don’t have anyone to share it with, the loneliness can be overwhelming. For parents who can’t afford presents for their children or food for the table, it can be shaming. For those who provide constant care for a loved one, it isn’t a day off. At UnitingCare Wesley Bowden we make it our mission to ensure everyone can share in the joy of Christmas. Please donate to our Gift of Christmas appeal and share the joy this holiday season.


Bright faces and huge smiles Uniting In Care Salisbury Inc. will prepare 120 Christmas hampers for needy folk in the Salisbury area. Most of these non-perishable food items are very kindly donated by Uniting Church members and various local groups. Presents for the children are collected from Target through Operation Santa Appeal and the local Triton Owners Club, whose members make wooden toys. We are always amazed at the number and quality of these fine toys. We all enjoy seeing the bright faces and huge smiles of those folk we help in some way over the Christmas season.

Hitting a Christmas bullseye with Target UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide is assisting with the distribution of toys to needy children this Christmas as part of UnitingCare’s Christmas Appeal, run in partnership with Target stores across Australia. UCWA’s Coordinator, Tracey, says that toys for boys aged 9-15 is the most challenging of the gift categories. UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide will collect, package and deliver toys collected as part of Operation Santa, which runs until Friday 23 December. Last year, UnitingCare and Target collected more than 65,000 toys, across Australia. This year’s goal is 100,000 toys.


Better than Christmas Last year, two staff members from Eldercare, Pat Grantham and John Milne, were seconded to work for a South African indigenous nursing home in Kokstad for four weeks. The experience was enlightening and made them both realise how much better the working conditions and aged care are in Australia. Before they left, Pat and John offered to buy the residents a special meal. Caroline, the Manager said that the residents would really appreciate Kentucky Fried Chicken. The residents were delighted with their meal with one of the residents saying “This is better than Christmas!”

Gathering, sharing, smiling At UnitingCare Wesley Port Adelaide (UCWPA) we recognise that for some people the festive season is a time of great need. “Our services are at their busiest at Christmas time, rising to meet the increasing needs of people seeking basic day-to-day essentials. With the help and generosity of our local community, we can brighten this Christmas for hundreds of people in need,” said Libby Craft, CEO. UCWPA provides a special Christmas Day lunch for more than 80 clients who otherwise would have spent Christmas alone. The fond aromas of a traditional festive meal, Christmas jingles, bon-bons and the exchange of gifts (kindly donated by staff at UCWPA) puts smiles on every face. Last year, one lady cried saying, “…my tears are those of thanks and happiness.”



Linda Sutton

Carols were first sung in Europe before the time of Christianity. This was pagan music, sung at the winter solstice celebration. The word ‘carol’ means dance or song of joy. The early church replaced the solstice celebrations with Christmas; carols were meant to be sung at that time only.

In answer to Dolly’s request, John Byron wrote some verses. When John Wainwright, the organist of Manchester Parish Church read them, he wrote a tune for the poem.

On Christmas morning, Dolly and her father awakened to hear a choir beneath the window singing. ‘Christians awake, salute the happy In 1749, when John Byron asked his morn, whereon the Saviour of the daughter Dolly, “What do you want for world was born.’ Christmas?” Dolly asked, not for two “I’m dreaming of a white front teeth but a poem! Imagine the Christmas:”, is hardly a song of joy, reaction to that request from twentieth and “Jingle bells,” although joyful, is century parents, who would expect a sung to welcome, not the Christ Child, wish list of the latest in technological but the mythical Father Christmas. games or gadgets. Our Western culture has seamlessly

integrated Christmas music which may not be exactly pagan, but is scarcely Christian either, and a thought for the organisers of ‘Carols by Candlelight’ to ponder. The theology of the Nativity is shared and the gospel proclaimed in the story-telling of Byron’s carol, “Christians Awake, Salute the Happy Morn”. The story of the birth of Christ is told in four verses, then the gospel is proclaimed in the last; “to sing, redeemed, a glad triumphal song (and) saved by his love, unceasing we shall sing.”

Casting a vision for mission and ministry 2007-2012

Edition 12: December 2011

Converting our conversations Conversion growth starts with a conversation. It sounds simple. Yet conversations about faith don’t seem to come as naturally to us as those conversations about the weather, carbon tax or our favourite footy team. “I’d love to see us, as a church and as individuals, be able to share with others anywhere, anytime, just how much God loves us and all people,” says Rev Ruthmary Bond, who leads the Conversion Growth team.

“At the moment this is not natural for us as a church and so it is a huge challenge.” Earlier this year the team launched a resource called Key, giving a copy to each Uniting Church congregation. It’s been a successful conversation-starter. “The feedback has been very encouraging,” comments Ruthmary. “It seems that having no dialogue in the DVD has given the opportunity for people to speak to what they see and how this makes them feel. Some churches are finding the

resource booklet very useful in worship and small groups.” Next year the team focuses on relationship building and aligning their tasks with existing activities by Ministers and congregation members. “We want to help the local church where it’s needed,” explains Ruthmary. “And so, we as a team ask; ‘how can we help you?’. “

Key Direction 1: Fostering conversion growth Team convenor Ruthmary Bond is working with Rev Roger Brook Rev Brant Jones, Cullen Bailey and Caryn Rogers to: • • • •

Foster an environment where introducing people to Jesus is key Encourage every UC Congregation / Faith Community in SA to actively engage with Matt 28:19–20 Improve stewardship of God’s gifts Help every congregation or faith community see people grow into faith within their communities

A scene from the DVD included in the Key resource pack, distributed by the Conversion Growth team earlier in 2011.

Healthy growth in Church leadership At the October Presbytery Synod meeting, the Leadership Development Council delivered a bright picture of leadership for the Uniting Church SA. There are currently 45 people engaged with the Period of Discernment. The PoD is a valuable method of encouraging people to take time to consider the best use of their God-given gifts and talents and grow future leaders of the Church. Exciting opportunities lie ahead for Uniting College, in light of the withdrawal

of the Anglican and Catholic Colleges from the Adelaide College of Divinity (ACD), and intention to withdraw from the Brooklyn Park property arrangement. College and Church staff are working hard to ensure that the College’s theological program will continue and the future location of the College will be thoroughly investigated. Principal of Uniting College for Leadership & Theology and President- Elect, Rev Dr Andrew summed things up well when he wrote; “The significant and difficult reforms

in theological education that the SA Synod has made over the last few years have not only put in place a College which is more vibrant and effective, but a governance structure which is far less vulnerable to disruption by events or decisions in our ecumenical partners.”

Key Direction 2: Raising Leaders Team convenor Rev Dr Ian Price is working with Rev Dr Andrew Dutney and Rev Dr Graham Humphris to; • • • •

Establish a centre for leadership Establish a Leadership Development Council Appoint faculty for centre for leadership Launch Australian Leadership magazine

Rev Dr Andrew Dutney is a key leader in the Uniting Church and will be installed as President of the Uniting Church in Australia in July 2012, at the 13th triennial national Assembly. Photo: Jade Kearns

Strategic Plan Newsletter

Dare to live a life of grace Craig Mitchell Being a Christian is not about us; it’s about Jesus. Spiritual formation is about the life of Jesus being made visible in our bodies; it’s about engaging the Spirit because we are hungry for God; it’s about being disciples so that Jesus can pour his life into us. It’s about learning to love God with our heart, mind, body, and soul. It’s about having the courage to actually follow Christ — to place one foot in front of the other, to dare to live a life of grace. Derek Maul

“Discipling involves more than worship and pastoral care. It requires intentional faith development – whether we call that Christian education, formation, teaching or something else,” says Growing Disciples team convenor, Craig Mitchell. The Growing Disciples team want to encourage ministers and leaders to talk with other congregation members about their discipling methods. To facilitate these conversations, the team will host a series of lunches for ministers in 2012. More ‘Pathways in Discipleship’ courses will be run regionally in 2012, and host churches are being sought. The three hour workshop involves a checkup of a church’s discipling processes.

A website at provides information about discipleship resources, with reviews of what’s available and who might be using it, as well as information about Growing Disciples Book Club, which has sets of 29 different book titles for study groups to borrow. A new strategy involves helping leaders network electronically through a Facebook page - “Growing Disciples” - and a Twitter feed - @grow_disciples and #growingdisciples. They are also helping host an online Christian Education and Discipleship network at www. Join the conversation and be encouraged to grow disciples in your patch of South Australia.

Key Direction 3: Growing Disciples Team convenor Craig Mitchell is working with Rev Sandy Boyce and Rev Simon Dent to; • Assist congregations to focus on discipleship • Help congregations to create and resource discipleship pathways • Recommend discipleship resources, programs and strategies

The word discipleship has a lot of meaning behind it, so a visual tool like a word cloud is a great way to unpack the depth of what discipleship means.

A fresh perspective on Church Change is in the air – new models of church have been planted and are growing right here, in our very own backyard. The Uniting Church continues to invest in Fresh Expressions of church with the appointment of Rev Ruthmary Bond as the Fresh Expressions and Evangelism Officer and practical steps taken to begin training Pioneer Ministers through Uniting College for Leadership & Theology. “This year the Fresh Expressions team have spent time identifying already

existing fresh expressions of church as well as those congregations and people who would like to have a go at starting a fresh expression. We’re also identifying and encouraging people to become Pioneer leaders, whether lay or ordained and making sure there are ways of equipping them,” explained Rev Ruthmary Bond. Mission Shaped Ministry, a pilot course, involving Uniting College and the Lutheran and Anglican churches, was held in 2011. All 47 participants learned about how to start a fresh expression and looked at

evangelism, discipleship and handling challenges. “Fresh Expressions is not a quick fix,” warns Ruthmary. “It takes time, listening, having a go, gathering and growing. But it is part of a very hopeful future.” Interested in exploring Fresh Expressions? Contact Ruthmary or any of the core team members. You can also invite them to speak at your next Mission Network event.

Key Direction 4: Developing new models Team convenor is currently Alan Dutton, working with Rev Ruthmary Bond, Rev Steve Taylor, Di Price, Rev Sarah Agnew and Rev David Hoffman to; • • • •

Engage in conversations about ‘fresh expressions of church’ Encourage congregations to engage with people outside the church Encourage and resource three new and different ‘fresh expressions’ Encourage and resource three church plants and strategies

Rev Ruthmary Bond tempted members of the Presbytery Synod to enjoy a sausage sizzle whilst learning more about Fresh Expressions, at an Expo held during the October Presbytery Synod meeting.

Fun for kids & parents & communities Sarah Urmston The weather forecast was promising. But it didn’t stop one stubborn cloud patch from dumping an unbelievable amount of rain at the beginning of what was a key profileraising event for the year; an outdoor Family Fun Day. Held at Civic Park, Modbury on Saturday 15 October, the weather threatened to keep families from attending. Thankfully, after 20 cold minutes of rain and wind, the clouds moved on to leave blue skies and a warm sun, drawing 800-1000 parents and children across the day. The aim of the day was to offer families a free, no-strings-attached event that would be an opportunity and encouragement to enjoy quality time together. Activities were based on the ideas outlined in the ‘100 ways to spend quality time with your kids’ booklets. Over 200 of these booklets were distributed to families on the day – with many commenting that they had already downloaded it from the website.

The Family Fun Day would not have happened without those Uniting Church members who volunteered their time, supervising games, blowing up countless balloons, cooking sausages, painting faces and being Uniting Church. Uniting People. at this event. Thank you.


2. 3.

Key Direction 5: Expanding our profile Team convenor Belinda Taylor is working with Julie Johinke, Mark Henley and Sarah Urmston to; • Develop and launch a Uniting Church SA branding campaign • Develop a communications plan for the Uniting Church SA • Develop a coordinated media strategy • Investigate new ways of promoting church ministries • Increase the interactivity of the Uniting Church SA website Pic 1: Kids jumping in sacks. It’s not coordinated, but they’re having fun! Pic 2: Things got competitive with a mass tug-of-war bringing kids and families together in a feat of strength and teamwork. Pic 3: Free face painting was a highlight of the Family Fun Day. Pic 4: The ‘100 ways to spend quality time with your kids’ booklet was a hit, offering practical hints and tips for families.


25 - 34 is the loneliest number... New research by Relationships Australia has revealed that Gen Y are lonelier than the elderly While 11% of people aged 70 and over are frequently lonely, the same is true for 27% of people aged 25 – 34, and 19% of 18 – 24 year olds. During December and January, the focus of the Uniting People campaign shifts back towards the topic of loneliness, and will target those in the 25 – 34 year old age bracket. “Despite being more connected than ever, via the Internet and social media groups, young people are still

experiencing high levels of loneliness,” comments Uniting Church SA Communications Manager, Belinda Taylor. “The Church has a lot to offer in the way of real – not virtual – groups, friends and communities, and that’s a message we’re sending out in the Christmas/New Year period. “We invite congregations to ensure their community, youth and young adult groups and other opportunities for connection are up to date and listed on au.” During December/January, a revised Uniting People television and radio Strategic Plan Newsletter

commercial will air and print ads will be placed in The Advertiser in the week leading up to Christmas. The advertisements will direct people to, where the loneliness section has been updated and expanded. In addition, the Uniting Church. Uniting People. Facebook page will feature regular tips about overcoming loneliness, to encourage people to share their experiences and start a conversation.

Home-grown justice initiatives thrive Local community justice initiatives have been a key focus for the Championing Justice team. This year, the Team have provided seed funding for church members who have done the work of identifying justice issues in their communities and proposed initiatives to help address them. Here is a snapshot of three of the projects which received funding: Operation Kitchen Face Lift Gathering over a meal and providing hospitality are vital to a healthy, happy community. But for Congress, providing this hospitality was proving difficult with the older, outdated kitchen they used to have. Thanks to a grant from the Championing

Justice team, and free labour generously provided by Centacare’s ‘Ask Employment’ team, the kitchen has received a ‘face lift’, resulting in a functional, modern, muchloved and well-used kitchen. Food for Thought While providing emergency relief, volunteers at UnitingCare Kapunda regularly come across people in need of food, who are lacking in knowledge to make simple, cheap, nutritious meals of their own. The grant provided to UnitingCare Kapunda will be used to run workshops to teach low-income earners and widowers the basics of healthy cooking, using homegrown vegetables from the community garden.

Reconciliation Morning Tea The Lower Murray Uniting Churches have long desired to be a community in covenant with the local Aboriginal people. When they heard the local TAFE was running out of funds to provide morning tea for a Ngarrindjeri language class, congregation members saw the chance to build relationships by providing hospitality, as an act of reconciliation. The grant has provided the funds to train volunteers and supply food for morning teas.

Key Direction 6: Championing Justice Rev Ian Hunter and Peter Russell are working to; • Develop and resource new social justice communities • Resource ministries with marginalised groups • Increase the church’s capacity to engage and respond to justice issues It’s not surprising that many of the justice initiatives have a food-flavour. Relationships can be forged and strengthened over something as simple cup of tea, leading to reconciliation and hope for the future.

Time to say goodbye Sarah Urmston, Communications Project Officer, has worked for the Uniting Church SA since October 2008, coordinating Strategic Plan communications, assisting with Key Direction 5: Raising our Profile and other tasks within the Communications and Public Relations Unit, including the Easter and Christmas postcard campaigns. Chances are, you know Sarah better as Sarah finishes up at the Uniting Church at the end of 2011, and is off to Melbourne to seek new challenges and longer shopping hours. In a slightly cheeky move, Sarah conducted her own farewell interview for this, her last edition of future@sa.uca. Sarah: Sorry to hear you’re leaving! Tell us, what have you enjoyed most about working at the Uniting Church? Sarah: It’s been such a rewarding time, I can tell you. I started my role as a graduate with lots to learn, and I’m immensely grateful for the support of the people I’ve worked with, who have helped me grow and learn along the way. I’ve most enjoyed getting

to know people from across the Church, hearing their stories and getting to write about them. This Church is a great, diverse community of individuals and I feel like it’s been a privilege to be in a position to help tell its story. Sarah: Have you got any memorable moments from your time with us? Sarah: That would be the October 2010 Presbytery Synod meeting, when I donned the ‘super-kid’ outfit with my fellow Communicators, Caryn and Josh, to promote the Uniting People campaign. I’m not sure the combination of tights, shorts, mask & cape had ever been witnessed at a Presbytery Synod meeting before –and I wouldn’t be surprised if some people actively pray that it won’t happen again! Sarah: What will you miss most about Adelaide? Will Melbourne ever compare to its charm? Sarah: Adelaide has been so good to me and holds many dear memories, it’s difficult to pick one thing. As I’m writing my

own interview, I’ll take the liberty of naming a few, which would be; my church family, my work colleagues, the luxury of living 5km from the CBD, the beautiful weather, Bracegirdles House of Fine Chocolate and having only 6 degrees of separation between myself and every Christian in the state. And no. No place could ever compare to the charm of Adelaide.



“Silent Night” (Together in Song No. 311) is perhaps the most beautiful and popular of all Christmas carols, most certainly because of its glorious melody which gives a peaceful ambience to a wonderful night, the eve of Christmas. Joseph Mohr, (1787 – 1863) a primary school teacher and church organist, wrote ‘Silent Night’ in 1816 but it was first performed in the Nikolaus-Kirche (Church of St Nicholas) in Oberndorf, Austria on December 24, 1818. Mohr asked his friend Franz Gruber, a Catholic priest, to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment especially for that church service. The words and the melody fit nicely together. We have no details of any specific inspiration for Mohr writing this most beautiful of carols, however, the Silent Night Society in Oberndorf says that there are, “many romantic stories and legends,” that add their own anecdotal details to the known facts. The fifth of six children, Franz Gruber worked as a weaver until he was 18 and then, with his father’s blessing, began a career as a school teacher. In 1807, in a custom not uncommon for the times, he married the widow of the former schoolteacher, Maria Elisabeth Engelsberger. They had two children, both of whom died at a young age. After Maria died in 1825, Gruber married a former student, Maria Breitfuss. They lived together for 15 years, with 10 children born of the marriage; four lived to reach adulthood. In 1841, his second wife died while giving birth to their last child, who also died. He married a third time in 1842, taking vows with Katharina Wimmaer, the widow of a master shoemaker and friend of his second wife. Me thinks he should have written the Bridal March Here Comes the Bride but he left that to Mendelssohn! He died of natural causes in 1863 at the age of 76. The song was sung simultaneously by troops in English and German during the Christmas truce of 1914, as it was one of the few carols that soldiers on both sides of the front line knew. How odd we can have a truce to sing, yet shortly afterwards seek to blow each others heads off! Silent Night has been sung by many artists including the old time favourite Bing Crosby. I understand Irish singer Enya has recorded it too, in Irish. I’d like to hear that! This article was written by the “hymns” columnist for the Golden Grove Gazette. The columnist always writes anonymously.


mission resourcing

At Mission Resourcing we’re all about relationships. We want to be supportive and encouraging to the people in our churches, to ensure that they’re best equipped to partner with God for the healing of the world. Throughout this year our team have all used their skills expertly, some are reflecting here on how to work more effectively in the future.

Creating a Countercultural Church Rev Rod Dyson Mission continues to thrill and trouble us in the Uniting Church. We overuse the word in describing church activities, and we struggle to be genuinely missional – yet we know that we are sent by God to be involved in the reconciliation and renewal of all creation. Although I’m not interested in riding across the United States on horseback, the life of Eustace Conway is a fascinating true story. Conway was captivated by the American outback, and over time became a countercultural hero. His life could be a parable of the daily Christian life. Conway discovered his meaning within the wilderness as we find our centre in Jesus Christ. Inspired by the beauty of God’s creation, Conway often prayed, and was nourished to the depth of his being. Likewise, our prayer and spiritual life nourishes our being. It is the reason for who we are and motivates our actions. Imitating Jesus leads us to live differently to our world, and our overspilling joy and exuberance capture the attention of others. We too can be countercultural heroes, who model a fulfilling life. This year, Mission Resourcing SA has become a new team. Fresh staff members have been appointed, and others have come into the Synod office from former MRN centres. Together, we use our gifts and experience to work across the state and in partnership with five churches overseas. We’re about refreshing, reimagining, reconciling, reconnecting and resourcing. We imagine a church refreshed daily by the Spirit, seeing and joining in the new things that God is doing, involved in the reconciliation of all creation, reconnecting Christians with the wider community, and being resourced to act this way. We exist to resource you. Please telephone us at the Synod office or refer to our website to see what we can do for you.

SAYCO beyond expectations Jo Lohmeyer “I thought this was going to be like a boring church thing, but I really love the sessions. This is cool!” – SAYCO camper. Of the 550 attendees, nearly 300 were 12 – 17-year-old campers, who were cared for by 160 leaders and 92 members of Team SAYCO. We’ve received fantastic feedback about the talented band and our speaker Ralph Mayhew. Essential fun parts were the dance party, and the shaving cream and flour fight! Praise God for this inspirational event that encouraged our young people to make a world of difference. The hard work of Team SAYCO ensured the program ran smoothly. As summed up by Tribe Coordinator, Jamie Munyard, “There was a fantastic family aspect to the team this year and it was an absolute joy to work with everyone.” SAYCO will be back at Woodcroft College in the next October long weekend: September 29 – October 1, 2012. Our theme will be ‘True Identity’ with the return of the Night Life party, messy Tribe Games and inspiring worship. Don’t miss it!


Children & Family Ministry Mel Cellier and Mary Jo Zwar Whether meeting over coffee or on the phone, at leaders’ gatherings or at events like Church &..., we aim to build connections with leaders in children and family ministry, to encourage and equip. At KCO we coordinated the new Explore program that helped kids connect with prayer, mission, story and their church. We continue to write resources to connect churches with families (Faith Family, Playgroup Ideas), to bring different demographics together at church (All-age worship services) and to unite leaders with new ideas (What’s Up). By supporting local mission initiatives which join with families – such as Playgroup in the Park – the Children and Family Ministry Team keeps on connecting. Further to last month’s New Times, you can find out more about Faith Five by visiting our website:, or by calling the Children and Family Ministry office on (08) 8236 4281.

Mission Officer (Urban)

Mission Officer (Rural & Regional)

Rev Beth Seaman

Alan Dutton

Consulting with Mission Resourcing means that you’re speaking to a team that is knowledgeable and experienced in helping you discern God’s purposes for evangelism, community development and discipleship. The Mission Officer role has been mobilising resources for congregations who are seeking to explore new initiatives in mission and ministry.

Currently, four rural resourcing ministers are in place, and they make a supreme effort to serve 34 congregations around the state. We also employ a Mission Officer and a Pastoral Relations Officer to focus on country SA.

We have been exploring the most effective pattern of training, supporting and equipping mission and ministry in our rural areas. A fantastic initiative that we have developed is ‘Refresh’, a regional event that brings people together to experience wonderful teaching. Refresh is held at Robe and Melrose, equipping those in rural churches to be passionate leaders in their communities.

Fresh Expressions & Evangelism

Synod Resource Centre

Ruthmary Bond

Bev Freeman

Fresh Expressions (FE) are ways that communities can integrate creative opportunities to be outward-focused. We have discussed FE at Presbytery Synod, Network gatherings, church councils, in ministry teams, and with individuals, which has spurred a flurry of activity (see the ‘local stories’ section of our website at

The vision of Mission Resourcing SA is to provide support for congregations, ministers and church leaders, and the Synod Resource Centre provides a practical demonstration of that vision.

As a church, the Uniting Church is ready to reach communities in ways that we have never done before. It may be new and a little scary, but we can never let fear stop us acting with purpose. The word evangelism makes many people nervous, as it connotes “being pushy” and brings to mind a vast number of unhelpful images. My hope for the future is that people will be able to respond to God’s love, and will put their experiences into words to share with a friend or neighbour.

In conjunction with MediaCom and other suppliers, we have a wide range of resources covering various topics in Christian ministry and leadership. Our aim is that the Resource Centre is relevant to various needs of church leaders throughout the state. We welcome feedback and suggestions of titles to stock. As with all of Mission Resourcing, the Resource Centre is here to serve.

Uniting Young People Katrina Levi We’ve achieved a lot this year, including North and South youth group gatherings, with a combined number of 500 gathered at local churches. A healthy network is forming within the state as local youth ministries show their commitment to unity. As well as this, the Young Adults Volunteer team are forming a strategy in partnership with local young adult leaders in aim to establish a system of support. Next year we look forward to launching the new Uniting Young People website. This will be an excellent resource for local churches to learn and grow in ministry, evangelism, and understanding the demographic.

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mission resourcing

In collaboration with the Mission Officer (Rural & Regional) our current focus is in encouraging congregations to develop a culture where ‘mission is the organising principle’.

These faithful workers often travel to Kingscote, Edithburgh, Ceduna, Orroroo, Renmark and Port Macdonnell – and many communities in between! They are intent on building healthy congregations and fostering mission.

Beyond the ignition five years on from mission ignition


Rev Matt Carratt ‘Overseas travel is expensive.’ ‘What impact can we have in less than four weeks?’ ‘Couldn’t our money be better used by donating it instead?’ Just five years ago, these were the thoughts running through the back of my mind as I prepared to lead a Mission Ignition trip to Thailand. Not having been on an adventure like this before, I was both interested in the experience yet sceptical of its ultimate value. Putting those thoughts aside, I joined our South Australian team and jetted off for Asia on 28 December, 2006. Within a few days the real value of the trip became clear. We were not tourists in this foreign land, nor did we have a lot to offer. Instead, we were being exposed to another nation and culture at both its worst, and its best. Prostitution, human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, orphans, refugees, slums, the poor… few days went by where we weren’t exposed to another chapter

of an ever-complex story of need. This wasn’t easy on the group, best described by one participant as being “crushed by the hurt and suffering” we could see. Yet for every deep need, we met inspiring people who were making a very real difference. These seemingly ordinary people were doing extraordinary things, each playing some part in finding solutions amongst the lives they came in contact with. We met young Christians whose decision to follow Jesus meant separation from their families. Their devotion to God and commitment to reach their own people was nothing short of amazing. We met other locals along with missionaries from across the world whose following of God’s call had come at significant cost. All this had a lasting impact on each of the participants, opening our eyes to the physical and spiritual reality of the people we encountered. Upon coming home, we could

not help but view our Western lives differently. After completing her nursing degree in Adelaide, participant Tahnee March has been using her skills as a volunteer in an Indian orphanage. “I will always see the opportunity we had to visit Thailand as the first step in what will hopefully be a marathon of a life in missions,” she reflects. The trip opened her eyes to a world of need as well as

opportunities to help, and has been valuable preparation for this ongoing work. For others the trip confirmed a call to local mission, stirring a passion to make a difference in their local context. The real value of an exposure trip like Mission Ignition cannot be fully measured. Five years on, however, we can each testify that our lives will never be the same again.

How to enjoy paying bills Simplicity is the key to paying bills on time, and getting yourself out of debt says Terry King, co-author of I Like Paying Bills! I Like Paying Bills! is a useful guide for recipients who need help with paying bills. Terry King and Beth Arnold co-authored the resource with a view to taking on the misery which many in our society experience. The title comes from Terry’s unique passion: he likes to pay bills. “Nine times out of ten the bill can be paid the same day as it is received. I look forward to getting a bill and paying it that same day. I’m a bit of a one of a kind!” As emergency assistance counsellors at Enfield Uniting Church, Terry and Beth


are hopeful that the resource can have a positive influence on the welfare of low income households. In their area, they are meeting a lot of need with helping people pay bills on time – without financially assisting them. In a little under two years, Terry and Beth have had 800 appointments with people who need help paying bills. “There is a need. With a number of our people, they’re second or third generation welfare recipients – they simply don’t know another way than struggling to pay bills.” I Like Paying Bills !is a free, simple outline of a ten step program designed to help low income households. While the

program is enjoying success through the emergency assistance outreach program at Enfield Uniting, Terry and Beth encourage free and unlimited circulation. “We’re committed to helping as many people as possible. It’s as simple as that.” Copies of the booklet can be obtained by contacting Terry King and are free to be reproduced ad infinitum: c/o Enfield Uniting Church 2 Park St Sefton Park, 5083 p. 8344 7857 e.

Testing a commitment The hopes of the DUC Mission Committee for a partnership were at a low ebb, when committee member, Jenny Charlesworth received a phone call from Siegeru Woda, Principal of Gaulim College. Siegeru said that he was in Brisbane attending a course in Public Financial Management for several weeks under sponsorship. Arrangements were made for him to extend his stay in Australia and visit with Dernancourt Uniting during mid October. During this time, Siegeru shared his vision for Gaulim College, which has become run down because of a lack of resources. The College’s needs are great. What Siegeru shared about the poor state of the College buildings and facilities was overwhelming. Siegeru comments, “My heartfelt gratitude is inexpressible and will linger in my heart as I take the memories with me back to Gaulim and share it with my staff and students. Together we will take the responsibility to revive the initial mission

of Gaulim Teachers College beginning now. Once again thank you everyone and God receives the glory.” The DUC Mission committee hopes that Siegeru’s visit to Adelaide is a catalyst for developing a longer term personal connection with the College which may go beyond financial support. Any other individuals or congregations, who would be interested in exploring this opportunity to join with Dernancourt Uniting in this partnership, or to respond in some other way, are invited to contact: Rev Adam Tretheway, Uniting World Mission Officer: p: (08) 8236 4239 e:


Dernancourt Uniting Church (DUC) is buzzing with excitement. Their vision to establish a personal connection with a church organisation in Papua New Guinea has just taken a giant leap forward. Almost a year ago, the congregation decided to sponsor a student from a remote area of Papua New Guinea for the two years of training required to become a primary school teacher. Attempts to communicate with the Gaulim Teachers College, an institution of the United Church of Papua New Guinea Assembly, to set this up, (with the help of Uniting World National and SA Offices), were not initially fruitful. Despite the best efforts of both these enabling bodies, specific details about what was required were difficult to obtain. Attempts to use the telephone were only marginally helpful when the connection was intermittent and “dropped out”. We tried the fax, which “went through”, but the College’s response was apparently lost in the mail.


Every year the Uniting Church calendar highlights stories of encouragement and challenge from within our mission and ministry. We only see a short snippet of those stories in the calendar, so New Times will be sharing a little more with you over in each month of the coming year.


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Since 2008, the ‘Sit n Stitch’ group from Adare Uniting Church, Victor Harbor has been stitching in solidarity with the poor. The group meets in the Manse once a fortnight. Altogether, they have handcrafted and given away more than 180 ‘Love Quilts’. In 2009 they made 43 Love Quilts for survivors of the Victorian Bushfires; more recently they’ve sent 40 quilts to flood survivors in Queensland. In between those times of particular need, the group has made over 100 quilts for locals, nursing home residents and patients of the Women’s and Children’s hospital. As well as offering washing instructions, the label on the quilts summarises the ethos and vision of Sit n Stitch: “Made for you with love and prayers from Adare UC Victor Harbor SA.” “Thank you letters from folk who’ve received quilts have indicated that it’s the thought of people so far away thinking of and praying for them in their crisis, as much as the quilt itself, that really touches them!” Sit n Stitch member, Karen Kitto, reflects. “We don’t do it for the thanks, but it’s a bit mind blowing to hear the impact our work and prayers have! We’ll certainly keep it up!” It’s been a busy year all round for the Adare Uniting Church congregation in the area of mission outreach. Earlier in the year they were quick to respond to the Uniting Church Flood Appeal with a special offering. In October, Adare hosted an “Outback Barbeque” to support the work of Frontier Services. A Men’s Shed has been established with the vision to be a “community based, non commercial activity which is open to all men where the primary activity is the provision of a safe, friendly and inclusive environment where men are able to meet and/ or work on meaningful projects”. The Shed is now open every Friday from 9am-3.30pm at the Encounter Centre. Currently, Adare is supporting two ‘Work Parties’ who headed off in different directions in November. The first group travelled to an isolated station near Yunta to repair and paint the homestead for an elderly widow who cannot get tradesmen to come out; an opportunity set up by Frontier Services. The second party travelled back to Kinglake, Victoria to assist a young family with building a kit home. These are only some of the events that Adare has been involved with this year. There’s still more that could be reported and, of course, more already planned for next year. The Sit n Stitch story features in the January page of the Uniting Church 2012 calendar. As there is no edition of New Times in January, this story has featured here in December.


Sit n Stitch members Coral Maxwell, Jaelene Slade, Beth Duke, Karen Kitto & Marj Wills. Photo: Sarah Urmston

Scrap Lectionary readings

Ethical Investment Policy needs update

On reading October’s editorial letters I would like to add my view for discussion. After a recent lengthy trip I came home absolutely depressed at the quality of sermons being presented. Pitiful and inadequate to their faithful congregations. It is my opinion that the mandatory “Lectionary” directives – not suggestions – be scrapped immediately. Leave our ministers/pastors free to speak on matters that the Holy Spirit has led them into researching.

Debate at the recent Presbytery/Synod meeting on proposals to change the Church’s Ethical Investment Policy (EIP) was marred by uninformed and irrelevant comment, political rhetoric, and blinkered self-interest. For me, a spirit of generosity and justice was sadly lacking. All policies should be reviewed from time to time, especially those subject to changing values and insights. Our worldview has changed significantly since the EIP was written and it is now time it was reviewed. It lacks the vision and rigour not only of policies in other synods but also those of non-church ethical investment funds. Away from the heat and invective of the Synod meeting, Standing Committee should establish an independent review process which draws on expertise in both finance and ethics and consults widely both within and beyond the church. In the meantime, those of us who seek not only acceptable returns but a more positive screening and targeted use of the investments themselves, must continue to place our funds elsewhere. B. Ward Marden

Large churches, cathedrals, small churches are poorly attended because of lack of Christ’s leadership on relevant day to day concerns. They were sad, upsetting visits indeed, hence the impetus to write this letter. M. Zerna, McLaren Vale The Times have changed! It was timely that I was able to pick up a copy of the October issue of New Times while visiting our former church at Warradale. Some 18 years have passed since I last saw a copy of what was then a newspaper.

A. Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW

Send your letters to: 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.

letters to ed

Clearly the times have changed! Now a magazine, multi coloured; sharp fonts and clear layouts. No wonder you have picked up the Gold ARPA award for the Best Improved Publication – congratulations!

Fostering Discernment It was interesting to see one reader’s response to the article on Ethics and Harry Potter two months ago. I don’t believe it is dangerous to raise an issue for discussion. What is dangerous is not teaching children to be discerning. Parents may need to read controversial books with their older children and discuss them so the children will learn how to detect what the worldview of the author and/or characters may be. Such open discussions along with prayer in families can only foster intelligent discernment in the young, so that when they grow to an age when they are reading independently they will make wise choices. Banning books rarely teaches discernment. R. Hawke Kapunda

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

National and World Mission Support will be holding its annual Returned Missionaries and Friends event in the Brougham Place Church hall on Tuesday, 10 January, 2012 at 12:00pm. There will be a shared lunch and a short program to follow. All welcome. More information: June Heath (08) 8278 5562 or Jill Polkinghorne (08) 8522 6188. Dr Julia Pitman is preparing a book on the history of the ordination of women in the Congregational Churches in Australia. She is keen to hear from anyone who has information about and/or photos of two women in particular: Alice Elizabeth Cochrane Jeavons (née Ferris) b. 24 February 1912 from Brougham Place and Linda May Loader b. 29 November 1921, who worked mainly in Victoria and d. 25 September 1982 in South Australia. Please call 0411 094 185 or email KCO 2012, with the theme of ‘A World of Wonder’ will be held on March 24-25 at the Barossa Valley Tourist Park. Discover more about God’s love and our world in a way that is filled with creativity, play, exploring, worship, friendship and fun. Get ready for the adventure that is KCO 2012. Please save the date! For more information visit Diary continues p. 24


Diary continued from p. 23 WOMEN IN CHURCH LEADERSHIP: Pastor Lewis (Lew) McMaster is researching the influence of Gender Status Beliefs upon the leadership opportunities for women in the church as part of a doctoral thesis at Tabor College. In preparation is a survey of leadership attributes that will be available shortly over the Web using the SurveyMonkey facility. Readers will have an opportunity to register their views over the Web to help build a profile of perceptions of leadership attributes for men and women. Lew is also keen to bring together a focus group of women leaders to share their views and experience as leaders in the church and their thoughts about future roles for women in leadership. Lew can be contacted at mobile 0438 362 852 or e-mail , (

Accommodation Available Ideal for Uni Students or persons Studying. Accommodation is available, self contained bed sitter. Walking distance to bus, train, Mitcham Shopping Centre and Westbourne Park Uniting Church. Contact Julie (08) 8374 2367 ACCOMMODATION TERTIARY STUDENTS VACANCIES FOR 2012 Morialta Uniting Church Student Houses accommodation for undergraduate university/TAFE students from rural/ regional areas. Furnished single bedrooms, shared bathrooms, living areas. Close proximity to Uni-SA Magill Campus. Easy travel to Adelaide University and Uni-SA Mawson Lakes campus. Rent $320 monthly. Mary Thornley 83322041 Church Office 8331 9344

positions vacant

ROOM FOR RENT Bedroom with en-suite and WIR for rent in Sheidow Park. 10 minute drive to Marion shops and Flinders Medical Centre. Close to local shopping centre. Weekly rent is negotiable. Contact Kim 0400 400 791. Holiday Rental –Victor Harbor 3br ground floor apartment on the Esplanade at Encounter Bay with glorious sea views across to Granite and Wright Islands - Relax in cool a/cond comfort and watch the waves roll in – self catered accommodation -close to restaurants and cafes –Vacancy 10-17th January 2012 @$1,008 pw – vacancies in Feb and March 2012 @ $600 pw or $160 pn (minimum of 3 nights.) -Contact Kerry at Dodd and Page P/L ph 8554 2029 and ask for “By The Sea” to see “on line” details and photos. 24

Penong celebrates

ChristmasWishes. H

Your gift this Christmas will help create a fulfilling and positive experience for South Australian families and communities during what can be a challenging and stressful time of year. Please give generously. For further information about our Christmas Wishes appeal or to make a donation please telephone 8202 5111 or go to


In glorious morning sunshine, the Penong Uniting Church celebrated its Centenary Service on Sunday 6 November 2011. The congregation was welcomed and greeted by church elder Maryanne Michell and Jill Oats who gave out the order of service; Rev Sue Ellis welcomed guests to the very special occasion of the centenary of the laying of the foundation stone of the former Methodist, now Uniting Church. Karen Murray enlightened the congregation on some of the history of the church over the last hundred years. She had spent many hours researching all of the available history to compile a booklet for everyone to take home and read at their leisure. This included information about past ministers, weddings, christenings, ladies guild, Sunday school and much, much more. Once the service was complete guests were invited to the church hall to enjoy light refreshments and look at the memorabilia that had been collected. Many hours had gone into displaying the items, which included wedding and Christening gowns, ladies guild, many photos of special occasions throughout the history, Sunday school items, and some treasures that were found beneath the floor boards when they were replaced. There was much reminiscing amongst the guests. Past minister Rev Milton Hender was especially asked to say ‘grace’ before a hot roast lunch was served at the Western United clubrooms, followed by pavlova for dessert. Rev Sybil Peacock, the longest serving minister for the area, blew out the candle and cut the traditional centenary cake, made and iced by Tricia Shipard. Rev Sue Ellis also took the opportunity to congratulate the committee on a job well done for the amazing amount of work that was undertaken at the church, as well as the organisation for the day’s celebrations.

Kiribati, not Kiribass In the last edition of New Times, the church partnership between Naracoorte Uniting and two churches on the island of Arorae, Kiribati was highlighted (November, p. 8). A spelling error occurred in transcribing the interview, and Kiribati was misspelled as Kiribass. Our apologies for any offence which may have occurred because of this error. Seeing the silver lining of the situation, Rev Ian Dow quipped, “At least people will stop calling it Kiri-batty now!”

Save your stamps for Sally! As your Christmas cards begin to pour into your letter boxes, Sally Stamp group has requested that you keep your stamps, and bring them into the Uniting Church Synod office. The Sally Stamp group sell these used stamps in aid of mission funds, and every stamp counts – so please, save your stamps!

8261 8211 All hours 26 OG Road Klemzig SA 5087


Geoff Lewis General Manager


Educating through story Alan Warburton and Pamela Jones, co-authors and Rosefield Uniting Church members, are both passionate about health, education and giving children an opportunity to make good choices. They recently shared with New Times about what inspired ‘Alex’, their recently released nov-ed (their name for an educational novel).

Operation Life Change – Alan Warburton In my energetic youth, and into my early thirties I was deeply involved in sport. I liked to kid myself that I was “dangerously fit”. Then one dull, maudlin day - it dawned on me that I was going to seed. I was fortyish, fattish, flabby and floundering. And so I gritted my teeth and resolved to do something about it. Since that moment I have succeeded in living a healthy lifestyle. Let’s jump decades. In February this year, the Heart Foundation and Cancer Council Australia warned that one in four high school children are obese or overweight. They say there is an impending, catastrophic flood of chronic disease because obesity can be linked to most chronic disease. Being a victim of chronic disease - cancer, diabetes, heart etc - is clearly no joke. If you’re young, it’s a disaster.

rev i ew s

Sometime ago I felt an overwhelming call to write a book that would be a flashing light to young people, alerting them to the grave risks to their health if they didn’t grasp this reality. And so the idea for Alex was born. What happens when your life is in tatters- then you meet a mysterious stranger? My name is Alex Worthy. Soon after my 13th birthday party my life began to fall apart. I suddenly realised I was not the girl I thought I was -my best friend was acting weird, and something bad was happening with my Mum and Dad. Luckily for me I had my Grandma Bella and Grandpa Bob to share my troubles. My life was difficult for ages, then - you know what…? Sorry I’m not going to tell you what happened, because that would spoil the story for you.

Engaging with life - Pamela Jones From the first chapter, Alex engages the reader. But Alex is unique. It’s not just a fascinating, “un-put-down-able” noved, it opens up the many different aspects of life, including faith, health, friendships and more. It enables families, youth or school groups, to discuss and tease out the important issues it flags. During the course of her intriguing story, serious health and lifestyle issues are raised in a gripping and sensitive way. Further information is added, after the story is completed, including a Five Point Plan for a healthy living. Cancer Council Australia, Diabetes Australia and Lifeline each gave input to the addendum of the book.

Available from: MediaCom (credit card orders): 1800 811 311 “Grandma Bella” (cheques) PO Box 179 Glen Osmond SA 5064 RRP: $14.95 + P&H An EBook is available for purchase from: Online: RRP: $9.95


Finding hope and truth

Tell me the truth: Conversations with my patients about life and death Ranjana Srivastava is an oncologist (cancer specialist) in a Melbourne hospital. She has a wealth of experience in talking with patients about how cancer will affect their lives, and what treatments may be available to help them. Her use of story is a valuable tool in exploring life and death issues; she brings deep insight into the varied situations people face in coming to terms with serious illness. She is not afraid to present her own experiences of hospitalisation, and the death of her grandmother, to illustrate ways she has learned to cope with these matters. Her personal experiences have shaped her medical approach to cancer which developed into the idea that, “caring was as important as curing.” When writing of her own time in hospital she remarked, “a gentle touch can be as therapeutic as the strongest medicine”.

Author: Ranjana Srivastava Available from: Bookshops

In 22 chapters, Ranjana covers many issues for example: I’m afraid it’s bad news, You have to help me, It’s hard to let go, Tell me the truth, and You have helped me decide. These chapters help readers to explore many issues cancer patients and their families must face. Most patients need to decide on what treatment they will experience – surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are the most common – and most have to endure some side effects. The oncologist is a crucial person to guide patients and families through this process.

Recommended for: anyone in contact with cancer patients, who wish to understand more about the personal, medical and ethical dimensions of diagnosis and treatment. In short: a wonderful insight into cancer treatment by a skilled cancer specialist.

Ranjana is the kind of specialist you would want when facing cancer, as she brings a human dimension to her work, and in reflecting on her work says, “I am touched by my patients’ assertion when they say, ‘I feel better after talking with you’.”

RRP: $32.95

Prayer’s possibilities

Don’t judge Judges

Book: Praying in the Messiness of Life Author: Linda Douty Recommended for: individual and group study seeking to renew their relationship with God In short: An encouragement to break out of routine prayers and become more aware of God, even within the messy parts of life. Available from: MediaCom; 1800 811 311 RRP: $10.75

Book: ‘Books of the Bible’ series: Judges Introductory comments: John Bell Available from: Uniting Church SA Office Recommended for: people wanting to explore the book of Judges. In short: An invitation to read Judges and engage with tales of our spiritual ancestors to ponder, not models to emulate.

This is a practical and easyto-read guide to living a more centred and prayer-filled life. Linda Douty encourages us to step out of our preconceived notions of prayer and to move into the possibilities of meaningful relationship with God. Through the introduction of various prayer styles and methods, Douty invites us to “become more aware of God’s presence” in our lives, the lives of those around us and those in the wider world. This book is both guide and story, as Douty shares her own journey of faith. It has guides for individual contemplation at the close of each chapter and group

study guides in an appendix. This useful tool will no doubt be of use to any serious seeker of spiritual growth. Its greatest strength is perhaps its only weakness as well. In covering so many methods and techniques, Douty uses quick illustrations and generalisations. She does this with care and humility, however, offering sources for further study along the way. - Rev John Hughes


- Rodger Bassham

RRP: $12.95

The Darton, Longman and Todd ‘Books of the Bible’ series is designed to reignite a passion for reading the Bible. The pocket books contain the complete text to a book of the Bible and, for each book, a Christian writer or leader has been invited to write a brief introduction, to provide a fresh ‘lens’ for reading the text. The book of Judges is introduced by hymn-writer John Bell. He highlights the very raw and unfiltered ‘family history’ in Judges – ‘warts and all’ – with regicide, infanticide, genocide, murder, rape, seduction, deceit and doubt. It is a far cry from the way many people may read the Bible with a kind of domesticated ‘niceness’ and

quiet piety. John’s introduction invites people to read Judges not seeking ‘models to emulate’ but rather to engage with ‘tales of our spiritual ancestors to ponder’. Their stories are recorded to ‘enable every generation to see that God does not operate through an elite cadre of spiritual super-heroes, but through fallible mortals who sometimes get it right and sometimes get it wrong’. The books have helpful and descriptive titles to each section to guide the reader. They are portable and can be read in the quiet moments of our days wherever we are. - Sandy Boyce



Donate a gift or gift card at Target and help someone in need. Be a part of Operation Santa at Target, Target Country and Urban by Target stores this Christmas. Your support will help UnitingCare spread the joy to people in need within your local community. Please donate a gift or gift card at Target stores today. DATE: 28/09/2010

CLIENT: Target




JOB No: TA7936




FILE NAME: TA7936_UC_Santa



No trapping has been applied to this file. Check artwork carefully and apply necessary trapping before proceeding to print. This artwork is to be used in conjunction with the colour proof provided. All queries should be directed to Troy Moloney prior to output of separations on 03 9867 7877.

NewTimes - December 2011  

Celebrating with song

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