12 month term investments
Issue 29, No 1 February 2010 www.sa.uca.org.au/newtimes
24 month term investments
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Power, politics & the kingdom of God
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Open a 12 or 24 month term investment with UC Invest and, for a limited time, youâ€™ll have these two very tempting rates to choose from. With these rates we understand it could be a difficult decision.
fighting like a peacemaker
Power for a revolution 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.
Stirring the pot of justice p. 7-10
Uniting Church at Christmas
you&me&us&them across SA p. 4
Don’t dress as Batman In Australia, it’s apparently illegal to dress up as Batman (or Robin). I’m sure this law has its reasoning and rationale but, for the most part, it’s absurd. And, yes, there’re many more odd laws like it around the world! Unfortunately, absurd laws don’t inspire us to trust the powers that be, because it means aligning to their agenda, without a sense of trust. We don’t like people to have power over us - especially ones that we are suspicious of. I know that, for me, it confirms the shocking truth: I am not the most powerful person in the world, and, if others knew, they may purport and manipulate this fact to bring harm. Do I sound paranoid? Maybe. What can I say, I’m an Australian Gen Y, and as such, I’m suspicious of both politics and power. It’s because it means giving up the right to self-rule. And to show allegiance to Christ is the ultimate giving up of self-rule. Instead we are ruled, and called upon to not be selfishly ambitious, but instead to look to the interests of others, not just our own. Our attitude should be that of Jesus. He who, as God, gave up the power of equality with God, to be one of us, and less than one of us – to be our servant, in our skin. As a man, already totally humbled, he humbled himself further and experienced the humiliation of the cross – for us. (Phil 2)
This is a God who went to the enth degree to prove his trustworthiness. Surely, Jesus sets the highest example of what it is to live, and if we call ourselves ‘little Christ’ as the term Christian denotes, we must follow in his footsteps, and take the way of the cross, the way of self-giving sacrifice. If God as the all-powerful could, in Christ, give up his power for us, what choice do we have but to show our allegiance to him and give up our limited power? And what could be more politically controversial than to say ’yes I will serve and love you, come what may’? What could show greater power than to give up all of our power to harm others and to hold them under our control? Instead we choose to be human, to serve, and be humble – because we first were shown true humanity, service and humility. I always liked Wonderwoman better than Batman anyway,
Who is blessed?
Caryn Rogers, the ed.
Rod Dyson, the Mod.
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.
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At our October Synod meeting our president, Rev Alistair Macrae, talked about The Beatitudes (Matthew 5.1-11). The Beatitudes tell us what is reality in the Kingdom of God. The poor in spirit, those who mourn, the persecuted etc are all called blessed. That is they are in a place where they are likely to encounter God, to be very close to God. This is the reverse of how many would see people experiencing the things that the beatitudes list. The season of Advent and Christmas reinforces these thoughts for me. God comes in the most fragile way, well away from the sources of political power, completely dependent on a poor woman and man. Jesus’ birthplace is a box amongst animals, not a classy hotel or palace. The ragged shepherds, regarded as somewhat unclean and not fulfilling their religious duties, are the ones whom God chooses to tell about the Messiah. And then John the Baptist appears in the desert rather than the town square. Mary, Joseph and God’s anointed one become refugees. Despite all this Jesus was crucified.
I have been led to believe that this was a punishment for a political crime rather than a religious one. Another beatitude may perhaps read, blessed are those away from the sources of power. Lately I have been thinking a lot about congregations. They are places where we gather to worship, learn, serve and fellowship. They are very significant for all of us and there is a sense in which they are a home for us. I could also describe them as the place of the church’s power. They are the safe place in a world that often feels un-safe. Perhaps provocatively I could now repeat my new beatitude: blessed are those away from the sources of power. As I begin the New Year I wonder whether the main place we encounter God is away from our safe place – out in the community. I wonder whether blessed refers to the six days between Sundays. Is it time to spend less time and energy on one or a few hours a week and invest all that time in relating in the wider community and, together, discovering the presence of God there?
The times, they are a’ changin.. Yes New Times is changing! As of May 2010 we will be refreshing our format and taking on a new shape and design style. For any advertising queries associated with this full-colour facelift, please contact Russell Baker on 8361 6822 or email@example.com. Otherwise, watch this (changing) space!
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Families and Fringe-dwellers
Back on the strategic wagon Sarah Urmston, Communications Project Officer If you’re anything like me, you’ll view the start of each year as a beautifully clean slate. Here in the magical freshness of those first few days we find the opportunity to live life as we meant to last year - an opportunity welcomed with much joy and most likely, a hint of relief. Remember a few years ago when Uniting Church SA came up with six new resolutions? These resolutions are geared towards ensuring we know where we’re going and how we’re getting there; they’re steps to help us work towards our vision as, “we seek to be an innovative, growing church proclaiming Jesus Christ, empowered by the Spirit to transform God’s world.” It’s a big task. And that’s fine, because visions need to be big. But to even come close to achieving such a large vision, some kind of plan is necessary – a plan with God at the core, that purposes to offer him our minds and actions as we participate in the bigger mission of the Kingdom. So, need a refresher on what the resolutions are? 1. Fostering conversion growth 2. Raising leaders 3. Growing disciples 4. Developing new models 5. Expanding our profile 6. Championing justice The strategic plan is designed to support your congregation as you plan for the future; it’s there as a useful and relevant tool to help your
We’re better together. As we navigate through the strategic plan, our many congregations are all aiming at the one goal: to be an innovative, growing church proclaiming Jesus Christ, empowered by the Spirit to transform God’s world.
congregation live out our shared Uniting Church SA vision for 2010 and beyond. When you look at your congregation, chances are you’re already participating in one or more of the key directions of our strategic plan. Running weekly Bible studies? That’s discipleship. Encouraging further studies at Uniting College? You’re investing in leadership. Taking part in postcard campaigns? Way to raise your profile. Using fair trade products? Hello, justice! The question is: with the limited time and funds of your congregation, how do you decide what will and won’t be a priority? My guess is that these kinds of decisions are made with much prayer, discernment and combined wisdom. I’d like to challenge your congregation to take a fresh look at your current activities through the lens of the six key directions. If our goal, together as the Uniting Church in South Australia, is to live out our vision statement then each of the activities we do needs to have a purpose connected to a key direction. If the connection can’t be made, then perhaps we need to ask the tough question of ‘why are we doing this?’ We all have limited time and resources – that’s why strategy is so important! You may only be able to focus on one or two of the key directions – and that’s great. Perhaps your church is just more passionate about fresh expressions than it is about raising its profile. The key idea with the big plan is to know your strengths and weaknesses, choose to do what you can, and move forward. If we’re all moving forward under the same plan, we’re that much closer to becoming the church we have the vision to be.
Where to from here? As we use the strategic plan to assess our directions, know that you don’t have to go it alone. A central place to share your journey and learn from others is the strategic plan website – strategicplan.sa.uca.org.au. If you need resources or assistance with how to work towards a particular key direction, contact Rev Russell Knight on 8236 4206, and he can direct you to the right person.
Church launches online prayer room The Uniting Church SA launched South Australia’s first online prayer room – the Quiet Space – in December. The cyber-prayer room enables people to post a prayer and light a virtual candle that will burn for up to 24 hours. The website has been created by South Australian digital media company, I Love Biscuits, on behalf of the Uniting Church SA and features South Australian images and music by local artists. Those posting a prayer can choose from one of five different ‘locations’: Flinders Ranges, Indigenous art room, Local Uniting Church Clayton Wesley, Fleurieu Peninsula beach or McClaren Vale bush track.
“Our online prayer room is a simple tool designed to help people to find space to pray amongst the busyness of life,” says Rev Rod Dyson, Moderator of the Uniting Church. “Making space to reflect and talk with God is not just something that we do in churches but something people do while walking in nature, or driving their car or reflecting at the end of the day,” “We believe it is vital to ensure that spirituality has a place in cyberspace too.” The Uniting Church SA created the Quiet Space as part of its Uniting People campaign. You can access the prayer space via the Uniting Church’s new website unitingpeople.org.au or directly at prayer.sa.uca.org.au Restore your phonographic records or tapes to near original quality & preserve them on CD. Restore faded 35mm slides to original bright colour & preserve them on DVD. Ask us about VHS & 8mm film to DVD conversion.
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U N I T I N G C H U R C H a t C hri s tm a s
When ‘merry Christmas’ is too difficult Rev Jenny Ducker, Marion–Warradale Congregation
It is simply very difficult for a lot of people to be merry at Christmas.
While tinsel drapes across the city and ‘Frosty the Snowman’ blares in shopping centres, lots of people find it difficult to feel joy around Christmas. The whole world seems to expect that people will be happy, and families will want to be together at this time of year. For many people, this is simply not the reality. Some have experienced huge grief that makes tinsel seem more like a noose than a decoration. Others will be feeling the ‘chill’ of broken relationships, or damaged dreams.
Each year at Marion-Warradale Congregation we think of people who have suffered the death of someone they love, had a terrible diagnosis, experienced shattered relationships or perhaps lost their job, license or something else. These people are sent a personal invitation to come to a ‘Blue Christmas’ service, otherwise known as a ‘Service of Solace’. Others come because there are concerns within the world they want to acknowledge and grieve for at this time of year.
This service is an intentional time, set apart from the rush and bustle of commercial and community expectations. It is a space in which people are invited to know and name the dread, darkness and despair of human living; perhaps finding God ‘born again’ into our lives and travelling with us - especially during these times. A week and a half before Christmas Day, on a Wednesday evening, around 20 people gathered for the service of solace offered in the informal worship space of Marion’s Wesleyan Chapel hall. We gathered in a circle around a low table, upon which were the rich colours of
purple and gold, and dark green leaves. Purple candles were lit, and from these people lit their own candles as they offered personal prayers. Without fail, there are tears found on faces; partly because grief is so raw and sits so close to the surface, but also because there are few opportunities in our society to openly lament. In sharing the peace with each person, I am invariably invited to share in a small part of their journey. Equally without fail, people turn to one another and offer the comfort of embrace. This is truly Emmanuel, God with us.
Pollies and poultry fight poverty Kids march to church 977 hampers, 832 toy packages, 600 chickens, 150 volunteers and a handful of politicians helped make a brighter Christmas for 977 families in need through the UnitingCare Wesley Bowden(UCW Bowden) Hamper drive on Thursday 17 December. “Everyone has felt the pinch to some extent this year, but it’s easy to forget that those most disadvantaged suffer more,” said Natalie Martin-Loat, Volunteer & Fundraising Coordinator UCW Bowden. “There are children, teenagers, families and older people who often can’t afford to celebrate Christmas with gifts and luxury food like thousands of other South Australians do.” The Governor of SA, his Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce and Mrs Scarce, the Honourable Tom Koutsantonis representing the Premier of SA, the Honourable Michael Atkinson, UCW Bowden Board members and many other VIP’s were in attendance to help dedicated volunteers hand out the hampers. “All of those who volunteered their time, both in the lead up to the event and on the day itself, gained much from their contribution, including the stark realisation of just how many people in Adelaide do not normally experience a ‘magical Christmas’.”
Politicians, volunteers and UCW Bowden staff participated in the largest hamper distribution in the State on Thursday 17 December, 2009. 977 families in need were cheerfully helped by the team of helpers.
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From its formation, UCW Bowden has sustained a tradition of never closing its doors to people in need while resources remain, so the hampers, toy packages and chickens continued to be distributed for days after the actual event.
Pastor Grant Jewell The entire student body and teaching staff of Owen Primary school took to the streets on Tuesday 9 December, 2009. Their destination: Owen Community Church, where a team of volunteers awaited their arrival. The church and hall were packed with activities and displays, the kitchen with goodies for morning recess. Following the apt Christmas theme of ‘Jesus, Light Of the World’, the 70 children were divided into age groups for activities. Their teachers helped supervise the students as the team of church volunteers guided, assisted and encouraged the kids on their journey through the ten displays featuring messages, Bible verses and questions to answer. Our key display was a 1.5 metre high lighthouse, complete with rotating light. There were also, model houses, a ‘life’ pathway, Lego blocks and data projector messages. Thanks to the local principal and staff, we were able to make a connection between school and church institutions, and so introduce the value of a spiritual life.
Berri carols a great success A tradition was restored in Berri last Sunday with Carols returning to the riverfront after many years of absence. A 450-strong crowd attended joined in the carol singing at the community event, organised by a small committee representing the Berri Barmera Ministers Association. “The crowd really appreciated Ron Harris telling the Christmas story, a visit from the Christmas angel and the Rev Trevor Klar’s reminder to
respond to Christmas with awe and wonder,” one organiser noted. The event brought in $1280 for the Riverland Christmas Appeal. Organisers appreciated the assistance of the Berri Barmera Council and support of Fletchers Freighters for the provision of a stage. We hope, with anticipation, that this will become an annual event once again.
N E WS
Flipping for a cause
Turning up for life change Jane Moad, ncyc11 Marketing Team Coordinator For Alison Cox, ncyc11 Coordinator, her most memorable National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) experience was at Toowoomba, in 1991. “We were at an evening worship time where Tony Campolo had spoken,” reflects Alison. “The question posed was, ‘God is calling you, are you going to sit there or do something about it?’ “There was no way I could stay in my seat. My heart was pounding and I stood up having no idea that it would mean having a completely different life. “I’d planned to be a psychologist in South Australia - now I’m ordained as a minister in the Uniting Church in Queensland.” For the first time in NCYC history, ncyc11 begins in December, running from 29 Dec 2010 - 4 Jan 2011, meaning that attendees will welcome 2011 in special NCYC style New Year’s celebrations. Confirmed speakers for the conference include Gillian Best, speaker and Youth Ministry Coordinator for the Irish Methodist Church and Australian Christian comedian and magician, Christopher Wayne.
Have you registered yet for Pancake Day? Well come on, it’s that time again! Don your apron, dust off your frypan and get flipping for a great cause at the eighth annual UnitingCare SA Pancake Day. “The funds you raise at your event will help local UnitingCare agencies give hope to people in need,” said Alice MacFarlane, UnitingCare SA Events Officer. “Your support means we can help more people, including those without a home, those with disabilities, abused and vulnerable children and adults, older people and families in crisis.” This year’s Pancake Day officially falls on Shrove Tuesday, 16 February - but rest assured, you can hold your event anytime during the month of February. Last year, more than 450 groups registered to take part and more than $62,000 was raised for local UnitingCare agencies.
“We’re hoping for similar numbers again this year. The funds are needed more than ever - many people are feeling the pinch of the current economic climate.” “Every cent counts in the fight against poverty and together, we can make a difference. And it can be with something as simple as sharing a pancake or two in your church or workplace.” To run your own event you can register now; online at www.sa.uca.org.au/goto/ pancake_day or by calling 1800 060 543. Groups receive an event host pack DVD to assist with planning as well as promotional materials. If you can’t host your own event, you can still be part of the pancake fun! Visit us in Rundle Mall at our launch event Tuesday 16 February, under the Gawler Place canopy. The launch will feature local celebrities and light entertainment and as always, there’ll be our annual pancake flipping race!
“My dream for ncyc11 is to see young people together in a space where they are free to ‘be’,” Alison says. To find out the latest news, announcements and information, you can register at the official website: ncyc11.com.au, follow ncyc11 at facebook.com/ncyc11 or twitter.com/ncyc11.
NCYC – At a glance The National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) is a week long youth event held by the Uniting Church in Australia to inspire, challenge and excite young people in their relationship with Christ. Every two years, hundreds of youth, aged 16 – 25, and their leaders gather to experience Christian community through a week long residential Christian convention. The theme of ncyc11, Turn It Up, focuses on the opportunity for young adults to ‘turn up’ their faith, engage with Jesus at a deeper level and share their faith more passionately with others. The two-yearly Uniting Church youth conference, National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC), is coming up again in 2011. Looking forward to ‘ncyc11’ is coordinator Alison Cox (left) and 23 year old NCYC ‘veteran’ Allison Tyquin (right).
Church partners respond to Haiti earthquake More than 100,000 people are feared dead and many more are left homeless by the catastrophic earthquake that has crippled Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia is responding to the tragedy through church partners in Haiti who have described the situation as ‘very chaotic’ and a disaster of ‘huge dimensions’. The earthquake was the most powerful to hit Haiti in more than 200 years. The 7.0 magnitude quake has caused scenes of chaos in the streets. Hospitals, schools, houses and shops collapsed, and people were screaming ‘Jesus, Jesus’, not knowing where to run. “This tragedy follows years of conflict and instability in Haiti,” said Alistair Gee, Act for Peace Executive Director. We are supporting the provision of water and sanitation materials, hygiene kits and psychosocial treatment for the victims of this tragedy. “Our partners are already in place, assisting those affected by the earthquake.” “It has caused major damage to water, electricity and road systems. The immediate need is to rescue people trapped in the rubble, then to get people food and water; children were still in school in the afternoon when the earthquake hit, so there are many children trapped in crumbled buildings. “Two of our partner’s staff members remain unaccounted
On 19 January, Anna Zizi is pulled alive from the rubble of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, one week after the city was reduced to ruins in a matter of seconds. She was rescued from the collapsed home of the parish priest at Port-au-Prince’s Roman Cathedral Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption by members of a Mexican search and rescue team, several of whom were in tears as they pulled the woman free from tons of rubble. Photo by Paul Jeffrey/ACT. for in Haiti, while most are still in shock after surviving the destruction.” World Council of Churches General Secretary, Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, also expressed condolences and solidarity with the people of Haiti. He said, “Once again they have experienced the great burdens of anguish, damage and death because of a natural catastrophe. They have already carried many burdens
of political instability and poverty.” Act for Peace is accepting gifts to the Haiti Earthquake Appeal and once immediate needs are addressed, we will focus on the long term rehabilitation of the affected populations. The scale of the damage is immense and we must make a long-term commitment to our partners to ensure they can rebuild.
You can give to this urgent appeal by: • Calling us toll free on 1800 025 101 • Mailing a cheque or money order to Act for Peace – NCCA, Locked Bag 199, Sydney NSW 1230 (please make the cheque payable to ‘Act for Peace Haiti Earthquake Appeal) • Giving securely online at: www.actforpeace.org.au/givenow
P o l itic s A N D P o w er
Flexing your political muscles Caryn Rogers
This year I will be celebrating a personal political milestone: my first decade of voting. I remember the first time I voted. I nervously approached the polling station, filled with the fear that I could, singlehandedly, lead the country into ruin. Sure, maybe my felt power was greater than in actuality, but all the same – there was genuine trepidation. Why? Because I wanted to change the world - voting was a privilege that could help me do that. Ten years on, I still want to change the world, but have a slightly more realistic awareness of what my vote gets. Though it might not be the difference between prosperity and irrevocable poverty as a nation, my vote still represents a voice, a contribution, a flag waving in the political breeze. My political posture is generally green, slightly left– wing with some elements of right, and always hoping the best for the underdog. Last year I became aware of a different underdog though: the imprisonment system. As well as being highlighted by the Prison and Justice Advocacy Group at last year’s October Presbytery/ Synod meeting, we have seen newspapers across the nation host numerous articles over recent months regarding concerns with reform, or lack of it. In the Australian Financial Review, Andrew Leigh, economist in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University, noted, “In 2009,
more than 20,000 Australians received a ‘get out of jail’ card and walked through the gates of 120 or so prisons dotted across the country. However, the sobering fact is that during the next two years, almost half of these will return to prison, and some will replay that prison-release scene again and again.” Anne-Maree Neal, of Quakers Hill, wrote into her local paper declaring shame on NSW’s former Premier Nathan Rees, “The government wants to be seen as being tough on crime but all they are doing is destroying the lives of young people who are the most vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalised.” The ABC proffered a new report last November highlighting the 35 young North Territorians in detention, 91 per cent of whom were Indigenous, on an average day in 2007-08. Back in New Times Dec 2008, Charlene Kent highlighted the South Australian Council of Social Services ‘Blueprint for the eradication of poverty in South Australia’, noting a number of current difficulties with the system including: • Issues related to poverty and disadvantage account for a 56% higher chance of participating in offending behaviour later in life; • Between 60-80% of prisoners are estimated to have literacy problems ; • Many prisoners have mental health and psychological issues. Between 1990 and 2005-06 there were 39 recorded suicides in South Australian prisons;
• Indigenous Australians are over-represented in our prisons, an indicator of disadvantage and marginalisation; • South Australia currently has the longest average prison term of any state in Australia;
This ‘prison issue’ is a political one, cycling around re-offending, indigenous and juvenile imprisonment as well as a lack of rehabilitation. What do we do as the Uniting Church? Well, we most certainly won’t tell you how to cast your votes. But as we approach the polls it’s time to inform ourselves so we have a good shot at making a change in this part of our world.
Getting involved 1. Get involved in initiatives supporting prevention and early intervention. 2. Write to your local MP, the Premier, the Attorney General and the leader of the Opposition, calling for better rehabilitation programs for prisoners and improvements in prevention and early intervention. 3. Speak to Bill Reddin, Uniting Church chaplain at Yatala Correctional Facility, about the post-release prisoner program ‘U-Turn’, ph: 8343 0469. 4. Investigate ministry opportunities. Kairos Prison Ministry Australia www.kairos.org.au. They currently have programs in SA booked for 11: 13 - 16 April (Mobilong), 27 - 30 Sept Torch (Cavan), Kairos Outside: 30 April - 2 May and 10 - 12 September. Caring For Ex Offenders (CFEO) is running an information workshop for churches, Sat 13 March at Parafield Gardens Uniting Church, 9-4pm. Call Grant (CFEO SA liaison) 85286036 for more info. OARS SA (Offenders Aid & Rehabilitation Services of SA Inc.) www.oars.org.au Prison Fellowship South Australia www.pfi.org.au/sa Alpha for Prisons www.alphafriends.org.au/prisons Angel Tree helps the children of prisoners with presents at Christmas time through www.angeltree.org
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P o l itic s A N D P o w er
Be the change Caryn Rogers
Dave Andrews, keynote speaker at this month’s Presbytery/ Synod meeting, knows it takes more than words to start a revolution - the Bible lays down transformative, life-changing words that we need to hear and act upon, now. “Plan A has been to treat others like they treat us; Plan Be is to treat others how we would like to be treated,” comments Dave, in his aptly titled book, Plan Be. “The trouble with an ‘eye-for-an-eye’ policy is that in the end it makes us ‘blind’ – we are no longer able to see - let alone do the sort of things that make for peace and love and justice.” With the Uniting Church President Alistair Macrae’s expounding of the beatitudes at the October Synod meeting, Dave is sure to follow on with equal passion for action. Working extensively through the beatitudes, or ‘be-attitudes’ as Dave calls them, Plan Be is part of an excellent resource pack from Bible Society Qld. Highlighted at the state meeting, the Uniting Church’s core discipleship team will be calling on churches to utilise these resources and be part of a be-attitudinal change, with the support of the MRN and Uniting College. What Plan Be does is to show that the time for talk is done and that Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount are critical to being the change we want to see. February’s Presbytery/Synod meeting will be held at Adelaide West Uniting Church from Friday 26 - Saturday 27 February 2010. Contact Heather Bald in the MRN centre on (08) 8236 4243 or firstname.lastname@example.org to order resource packs for you and your congregation. For more information, head online to growing-disciples.org or visit the information desk at the Presbytery/Synod meeting.
Plan Be helps readers to make a genuine heart connection to the beatitudes in a way that must action lifestyle change. The author, Dave Andrews, is the keynote speaker at February’s Presbytery/ Synod meeting.
Are you interested in serving as a Board member? Volunteer your time, support your local Uniting Church agency or school and enrich your life through serving as a Board member. To register, visit http://unitingdirector.sa.uca.org.au Uniting Director links people wishing to serve as a Board member with Uniting Church agencies and schools seeking to fill Board vacancies. Register yourself: tell your colleagues, friends and social networks and help spread the word.
Rev Tony Eldridge and Rev Sandy Boyce are encouraging those who’ve been hurt by ‘the Church’ to enter their doors for an honest attempt to begin healing. Photo: Caryn Rogers
Giving power back Rev Tony Eldridge, Pilgrim Uniting Church
At its best we know the church to be a community that enables God’s love and care to be expressed in words and actions to all people. It is a place of growth and nurture where Christ’s ministry is shared with individuals and with the wider world. The reality is that the church is made up of fallible people with mixed motives and agendas. The church is not a ‘thing’ somewhere ‘out there’ or inanimate. The church is people; people who have the power to make mistakes, and people who have the power to cause harm, unintentional or otherwise. Most people have experienced or know somebody who has experienced ‘the Church’ as a cause of significant pain in their life. For some, the very thought of walking into a church fills them with dread. There can be many reasons lying at the core of their hurt; misunderstandings, not being heard or cared for, being overlooked, judgemental attitudes, abusive comments and actions - just to name a few. Unaddressed, these hurts can fester and grow; from unease with others through to leaving the church and, perhaps, even losing faith in God. Here at Pilgrim Uniting we wanted to reach out and offer help to those for whom, for one reason or another, feel hurt by the church. In this endeavour, we’ll be hosting a series of four services throughout the year to help begin a healing process.
The services will be sensitive and discreet, giving liturgical and symbolic opportunities to express hurts. We will also create space within the services for reflective silence and, in our prayers for healing, we will be real about the sources of hurt and invite God into the healing process. Our primary concern is that these opportunities might be helpful for people to find voice for their hurt, grow and step into a new stage in their healing process. We hope that enabling hurt people to reconnect with God and church may be a part of this healing. We are very aware that this is an integrated and potentially lengthy process. Resources and information will be offered at these services for follow up with professional counselling and further support. For further information please contact the Pilgrim Uniting Church Office on 8212 3295 or email@example.com.
Steps towards healing services Pilgrim Church, 12 Flinders St, Adelaide Wednesday 17 Feb, 5:30 pm Tuesday 27 Apr, 5.30 pm Thursday 8 Jul, 12.15 pm Sunday 19 Sept, 5.00pm www.pilgrim.org.au
P o l itic s a n d P o w er
The Adivasi’s struggle for identity Tomas Ganderton, UnitingWorld Communications Officer The influence of power and politics means different things around the world. As Australians, we can enjoy relatively carefree lives. We have a national government healthcare system, a guaranteed place in school and access to housing, employment, food and water is rarely a problem. But there are countless examples around the world where a people’s opportunities to look after themselves and build their own future are buried under longstanding structures of power and domination. India is home to some of the world’s fastest growing developments and corporations which exist alongside some of the most marginalised communities in the world - like the Adivasi. Believed to have been descended from the original population of India, the Adivasi (roughly translating to ‘earliest inhabitants’ or ‘forest people’) of Nilgiri Hills in Southern India know ‘political burial’ all too well. Although around 400 Adivasi communities are living in India today and have their own language, culture and customs, the authorities consider them as lacking an official identity. As such, they cannot own land or access basic civic services. The Adivasi were excluded from India’s administered ‘caste system’ which, before its abolition in 1997, stratified the population into four distinct groups with varying levels of rights and privileges. Today, they are listed as one of the lowest ‘scheduled tribes’ - creating a widespread social stigma of worthlessness. UnitingWorld’s Associate Director, Relief and Development, Mr Rob Floyd, has seen firsthand the problems associated with this lack of official identity. “The Adivasi lead marginalised lives, cut off from mainstream society by long-lived structures of
Australia & India – the contrast In an area of 7.69 million square kilometres, Australia comfortably houses around 21 million people in our six states and two territories. India, in contrast, houses roughly 1.1 billion people, approximately 16% of the world’s population, filling 28 states in just 3.3 million square kilometres. The highly populated country boasts a vast array of distinct cultural groupings.
The Adivasi people struggle as one of the most forgotten and marginalised people groups in India. In partnership with the Church of South India, Uniting World has begun to see some significant victories won for these people; like 98% of children, including the girls pictured above, now attending school daily.
oppression,” said Rob. “The wide-reaching consequences for both current and future generations within the Adivasi stand in place as a barrier inhibiting development.” For decades the Adivasi have lived traditional and self-sufficient lifestyles, living amongst the immense forests in rural India in communities consisting of only a few hundred people each. Over time, the Indian authorities rezoned the land where Adivasi people were living. Consequently, hundreds of acres of forest could be legally felled to make way for cash crop developments, like tea plantations. Entire Adivasi communities have been uprooted and
driven to the edge of forests or the outskirts of expansive developments. “Many are forced to work under bonded labour agreements with developers in order to stay alive, with interest rates so high that repayment is nearly impossible,” said Rob. The Relief and Development Unit at UnitingWorld has been working with Adivasi in Nilgiris Hills to address this structural imbalance and empower them to lift themselves out of poverty. Working in partnership with the Church of South India, official identity papers have been obtained, resulting in land rights being gained for many communities. Educational facilities have been
established and now 98% of children are attending school daily. Nutritional awareness programs are working together with medical facilities to improve the health of tribal populations. Women are being empowered through self-help groups to address the gender imbalance operating within communities, resulting in many gaining meaningful employment. We can happily report that great progress has been made in some communities, with the cycle of prejudice and injustice slowly starting to deteriorate. There is still much more work to do be done, however, to bring about lasting change for the Adivasi.
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.
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Politics of affording power Mark Henley, Manager Advocacy and Communications; UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide
Frontier Services’ Patrol Minister Rev Jenny Swanbury is based in Orooroo. She provides pastoral care to the people and communities in the area located along the Barrier Highway to the NSW border as well as the Gawler Ranges. Jenny is also the face of June in the Uniting Church SA 2010 Calendar.
Long-distance call Rev Jenny Swanbury, Frontier Services Sturt Patrol Minister As I reflect on politics and power in the context of the remote region in which I live, I experience an immediate sense of gratitude. In this remarkable area whose people continue to demonstrate incredible resilience in the face of hardships, there is relative peace here. I am struck, though, by how easy it is to feel distanced from the centres of power and politics in my ‘patch’. Among the ancient, ochre-red landscapes of the Gawler Ranges, the stations and communities scattered along the Barrier Highway and the former railway towns of Yunta and Cockburn, politics and power appear no closer than the edge of the horizon. But people, no matter where they live, want to feel that they matter; that they are listened to at the coalface, so to speak. This feeling was evident recently in the strong reaction to the State’s Minister for Health, John Hill. The government’s non-consultative approach to the apparent curtailment of health services at rural hospitals resulted in protest. The government has promised to engage more with the local populace and what their vision is
for health over the next 10 years. Only time will tell if they keep this promise. The recent debilitating dust and sand storms in the north-east of the state have also highlighted the entrenched disparity between power, politics and people. While images of an eerie, orange dust stifling Sydney appeared in media across the nation; news of the storm’s devastation at its origin seemed to disappear in the haze. Station people at the storm’s centre say they had never seen anything like it. The dust destroyed feed so, with significant difficulty, animals were trucked off to be fed. After hard lobbying by individuals and organisations, eventually, a little government finance was offered. When someone from this devastated area said; ‘We have been abandoned!’ it was difficult to argue. Politics and power may seem a world away from the daily routine but it is everywhere. From the price of milk to what services are available where. Too often it takes a crisis or an emergency for its impact to be appreciated, especially in remote Australia.
Over the last decade Australian Governments, and some overseas jurisdictions, have progressively privatised the provision of utilities, seeking more efficient management and competitive pricing for ‘the long term benefit of consumers’. Increasingly, environmental implications of essential service overuse are being recognised too. Environmental sustainability principles need to apply as the generation of electricity accounts for about 50% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and the pressure on water availability has been highlighted by recent drought years. People with economic or environmental perspectives often say that current pricing for utilities is too low and that prices should increase to reflect scarcity and environmental impacts, in turn, encouraging more judicious consumption. Of great concern is that utilities include essential services, particularly electricity and water, which we all need for living and for which there are no substitutes. A social justice perspective says that these essential services are just that, and therefore must be accessible and affordable for all citizens. UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide says that after a doubling of
electricity prices over the past decade, indicative estimates suggest that the price of electricity could double again in the next five years - without the impacts of a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, which will be cost neutral for households. Currently, about one in five households cannot afford to pay their electricity bills on time. The poorest 20% of households, on average, are currently spending 11-12% of their household budget on electricity; the wealthiest 20% spending about 1%. This suggests that lower income people are wasteful in their energy use but the reality is that the wealthiest 20% of households use about 50% more electricity than the poorest households, who use less, on average, than anyone else. Noting that affordability of essential services is likely to be a significant ‘driver’ of poverty over coming years, Uniting Care Australia has recently established a national energy project to focus on the social justice aspects of energy policy. The suggestion is, initially, that fair utilities policy will require a mix of demand management (finding ways of using less energy / water), pricing policies that both reflect ability to pay and which increase for higher use households and finally concessions to maintain affordability for disadvantaged households, larger families and people with higher energy health needs.
Any groups or congregations interested in a discussion about energy affordability and policy issues are encouraged to contact Mark Henley to set up a time and place. These discussions will help inform Uniting Care’s input into national energy policy. Email Mark Henley: mark.henley@ucwesleyadelaide. org.au for more information.
Leading leaders Caryn Rogers Having taken up the Director of Leadership mantle at Uniting College part-time in July 2009, Craig Bailey has made a fresh, full-time start at the College in 2010. Though sadly farewelling his role of Senior Pastor at Aberfoyle Uniting Church at the end of 2009, Craig feels ready to sink his teeth fully into the role. “My experience at Aberfoyle of 14 and a half years has been an incredible journey of learning and discovery,” reflects Craig. “I’ve worked with wonderful leaders, wonderful teams and wonderful servant-hearted volunteers. “It was quite painful and a real grief for me leaving that role, but there is a great satisfaction in knowing that Aberfoyle is well positioned for further growth and development.” So what would make a minister give up ministering in a church well positioned for future growth? Simple. Craig’s a born leader who loves developing leaders – this was a great opportunity for the innovative teacher. “I’m really excited about the leadership development council’s vision for leadership training. I think in my hearts of hearts I’m a teacher - this gives
me the opportunity to exercise that gift more extensively. “There’s a significant responsibility in this role, both to bring a leadership mindset to the college while, at the ground level, training ministers and leaders in leadership.” Craig’s draws on a broad range of leadership resources and models. He considers the ‘leadership thing’ to be a very broad discipline. “While trying to meet the needs of the new church and faith community models, there are still three elements at the heart of all leadership. They’re understanding leadership in the context of ministry, valuing leadership itself and gathering skills in leadership that is part of being a missional church. “Were not just talking about leadership of anything – it’s leadership that forwards the mandate of the Church to be missional - by that I mean to evangelise, connect with community, seek conversions and grow churches.” Craig is excited to be part of the changing culture at Uniting College that is looking towards new models of training ministers and leaders, without losing the academic integrity of the past.
Further appointments at Uniting College for 2010 include 1. Beatrice Panne as Lecturer in Pastoral Care (0.5) for a period of five years commencing 1 January 2010. 2. Rev Roger Brook as Supervised Field Education Coordinator (0.7) for a period of five years commencing 1 January 2010. Roger will also continue his employment with Hope Valley Uniting Church as Executive Pastor, part-time.
Pastor Craig Bailey (right) is the fulltime Director of Leadership at Uniting College. Craig handed the leadership reins at Aberfoyle Uniting Church over to Rev Phil Pynor (left) at the end of 2009. The two are pictured here at the launch of 56, Aberfoyle Park’s community facility. Photo: Caryn Rogers.
Pastor Craig Bailey Since coming to faith as a 17 year old, Craig has found himself in positions of leadership – children’s and youth ministry, church leadership and more – with sound evangelistic outcomes. Craig’s six year stint in the Synod office saw the development of Kid’s Camp Out (KCO) and South Australian Youth Camp Out (SAYCO) - initiatives that share the love of God with thousands of young people each year.
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The South Australian Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) is helping congregations rediscover their spiritual connection. Pictured (L-R) are honorary Secretary of the CCJ, Anglican Deacon, Rev Dawn Colsey; Jewish Co-Chair, Ron Hoenig; Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky from the Beit Shalom Synagogue and Christian Co-Chair, Rev David Houston. Rabbi Shoshana is pictured here reading from the Holy Scriptures as key representatives of CCJ SA engage with the text of Exodus. Photo: Caryn Rogers.
It’s time to rediscover the Christian/Jewish connection David Houston, Christian Co-Chair, Council of Christians & Jews SA Through my involvement with the South Australian Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ), I have made the observation that many Christians know that Christianity has historic and biblical links with Judaism but rarely give time to exploring their significance. For those who do however, the effort is richly rewarding - it leads to new friendships and understandings. Reverend Dawn Colsey, Anglican Deacon and honorary Secretary of the CCJ SA, recently described her pathway to understanding
the link between Judaism and Christianity: “I first became interested in Judaism as a living cultural and religious reality through becoming close to a Jewish family who had arrived here from Egypt in the late 1950s. They were understandably wary of my interest and aware of my ignorance, though I was a well-informed Christian, or so I thought. “Decades later, while studying theology, I came to the realisation that Jesus was a faithful Jewish man, who knew his scriptures and practiced his faith. I have come to understand Jewish history, faith and culture as the basis of Christianity. My own
Christian faith has been greatly enriched.” I recall a meeting planned by CCJ SA at which Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky from the Beit Shalom Synagogue, and Dr Vicki Balabanski from the Uniting College for Leadership and Theology shared a reflection on Psalm 34, particularly, verse 15, to “seek peace and pursue it.” One person, from a group attending for the first time, remarked, “It has been a most informative and inspirational meeting, so many fresh insights came through to us – we look forward to coming to more presentations like this one.” To encourage a renewed exploration of the links between
Judaism and Christianity, I have prepared an easy, accessible workshop activity for small groups in local Christian congregations. The workshop plan can be found on the CCJ SA link to the national CCJ website: www. ccjaustralia.org/en/ The workshop considers six topics, including ‘Jesus was and always remained a Jew’ and ‘Jesus regarded the Law (or Torah) as central for himself and his life and teaching’ – these, and other topics, aim to stimulate rewarding discussion and new understanding. Nigel Mitchell, a teacher of Religion and History at Saint Ignatius College, reflecting on the workshops
said, “It’s always important to remind one-self that Jesus is a Jew. By studying the Judaism of Jesus and the Judaism of today, Christians grow in their understanding of the Bible, and begin to turn around some of the fear and misunderstanding which characterises ChristianJewish relations for the past two millennia. David Houston’s study provides an excellent way to open up this conversation in your church.” For groups who may like to take up this workshop activity, follow the links and contacts on www.ccjaustralia.org/ en/ or contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 8296 0395.
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A new year – a new team Ian Price, MRN Executive Officer Who was it that said ‘the only certainty in life is change’? As we begin 2010, the Mission Resourcing Network (MRN) is entering another fascinating, exciting and, yes, changing phase. In the first quarter of the year the MRN will experience a review of every aspect of its ministry. What a great opportunity to consider how best to help the Uniting Church SA to engage the future. We welcome Al Brocklehurst who will help the MRN team develop its web presence and education capacity. Al comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge. We have Ken Sumner joining the team as Covenanting Coordinator. Could there be a more informed person than the National Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress to bring such a wealth of knowledge and relationships to this area? Will Hall starts as the Mission Planner with Youth. Will has been a youth pastor with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Chaplain at Endeavour College and has great skills in building networks and developing initiatives. To complete the scene, we will have new people working in international mission, solidarity and justice and multi-cultural ministries by May. This promises to be one of the most creative times for the missional part of our Church for a long time. The opportunities that are before us to deepen our mission and ministry as a whole church are tremendous - God is really blessing our church.
I was disappointed to read your views in ‘Tis the season to be Grinchy (Dec, New Times), that you do not go in for this ‘Christmas cheer business’, the singing of Christmas carols, and Christmas decorations. Christmas surely is a time for a great celebration, when we remember the wonderful time when Christ, our Saviour was born. How lovely to see the smiles on people’s faces, and to give love to others because of Christ’s love for us. I know, through my time spent on Lifeline that there are many people for whom Christmas brings back memories they would rather not have, and we must be conscious of those people, and help where we can, but please editor, let us celebrate cheerfully each Christmas, this wonderful birth and life of our saviour, Jesus Christ, and carry that Christmas spirit with us throughout the year. Christmas is a miracle, so let’s celebrate!!!!! S. Winsor Send your letters to:
email@example.com or PO Box 2145, Adelaide 5001. Be topical, be brief, be timely. Letters over 150 words will be edited; responses to previous letters / articles will be considered within two months of the original item’s publication only. All letters are published at the editorial team’s discretion.
Will ‘Get it Done’ Hall Caryn Rogers Will Hall started his role as the new Youth Mission Planner in the Mission Resourcing Centre, midJanuary this year. The ex-Lutheran Youth Pastor, Chaplain and newlywed took five minutes to discuss his passion for the task ahead, jumping ship denominationally speaking, and a love for going MIA to plan strategies for success.
How are you qualified for the year ahead? I generally have a high, energetic work ethic, which is definitely what this job requires. I’m a pragmatist, and known as the ‘get it done’ guy, because that’s exactly what I do! I spent five years establishing leaders and building a youth ministry from zero to flourishing at Good Shepherd Lutheran. I’ve also worked as a college chaplain, so understand the importance of one-to-one rapport with young people and the cultural shifts that have taken place over the past few years.
When did you first get into youth ministry?
I was appointed in late 2003 at Good Shepherd. At the time, I wasn’t interested in that field, but the Senior Pastor, Peter Steicke, said ‘hey can you stand in as a youth leader for six months?’ I was working as an actor at the time, as a result of my first Bachelor degree, but I was between work; it seemed to be a stop-gap that worked for both of us. And well, like Cinderella – the shoe just fit. Of course Peter and the other staff had planned on this affinity, and the rest is history.
What will be the first task on the agenda for you?
strategic ministry moves? I usually disappear to a remote shack for a week with a big sheet of paper, a Bible and a fishing rod; then I just dream and listen. At the end of it I’d write a strategic plan. That’s been my planning process for the past six years. So if you’re in youth ministry, in some capacity at all, keep an ear out – I’m sure Will Hall will be knocking on your door sometime soon to ‘get it done’.
Relationally I want to meet everyone - every youth leader, pastor, worker, whatever and find out what they want, what they need, and the best way to resource and empower them in their work. If I don’t do it that way – not many people are going to like me! After the initial network building I’ll create a strategic plan for Uniting Church youth ministry and get to work on it with my newfound UC youth pastor friends.
Where is your favourite place to plan your world domination, I mean,
Will Hall: MRN’s new Youth Mission Planner.
Kickstarting faith at KCO Jo Watts, KCO and SAYCO Event Officer such a large percentage of people make their commitment to Christ at camps - why not let us help you kick-start your ministry this year? KCO (KUCA Camp Out) is a 24 hour camp committed to assisting 7-12 year old children explore faith through their own discovery and encouraging sharing and relationships with their peers. At KCO kids enjoy a wide range of performances, activities, games, worship and music - based on a central theme unpacking
Jesus’ life and teachings in an understandable, age-appropriate and incredibly fun manner. This year fly with us to ‘KCOnia United’ and discover a universe of faith, fun and friendship; celebrating community united under the cross of Jesus and life together as God’s people, encouraging and serving others. You bring your group - we run the program for you! So join us on 13-14 March, at the Barossa Valley Tourist Park. Head online to www.sa.uca.org.au/goto/kco or talk to your local congregation for more information about KCO.
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• Residential • Commercial Sales • Leasing “Maybe the market’s better than you think. Talk to us… we put you first!” John Riggall Principal 8342 3399 24 Hours…All areas 469 Regency Road, Prospect
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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A life well lived Book: Inlander at Heart: The Story of Arch Grant Author: Joy Grant Hicks Recommended for: an insight into an AIM Padre’s life and Ministry In short: A dramatic, painful, and inspiring record of ministry in the Outback, with insights into the founding of the United Church in Darwin and Alice Springs. RRP: $45.00 This book tells the story of the ministry of Arch Grant, one of the pioneers in the work of Frontier Services. The enthralling read, written by his daughter, utilises much of Arch’s own written material, augmented by detailed research in the Australian Inland Mission (AIM) files, UCA records, and NT archival data. The 446 footnotes are an indication of a meticulously documented history; but it’s much more, with many marvellous stories. A great tribute to her father, Joy offers an important insight into the many aspects of the ministry which the AIM offered, including the introduction of wireless communications, the Flying Doctor service, and the inauguration of the United Church in North Australia. Arch played an important role in the Presbyterian Church discussions which led to the formation of the UCA. His ministry included a number of creative and compassionate responses to events as varied as the bombing of Darwin, the evacuation of hundreds of children from floods in the region of Maitland and the establishment of the Ella Community Centre in the Haberfield area. This is a book which will educate, inspire and inform many through the record of Arch and Erla Grant’s long life and ministry, lovingly and carefully portrayed in Inlander at Heart. - Rodger Bassham Available from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or 5 Fountain Avenue Encounter Bay SA 5211. Packing and postage $10.00
Through the eyes of an artist Book: Borrowing the Eyes of Others: Reflecting with Paintings, Volume 1 Author: Denis McBride Recommended for: personal reflection and immersion in other perspectives In short: The imagined stories of figures in art, flawed yet compelling. RRP: $27.95 When you look at a painting, what do you see? The technical elements, like colour, form and brushstrokes? The art history you learnt in high school? Or are you like Denis McBride, drawn to the stories hidden on the canvas in front of you? Selecting ten paintings from renowned artists including Vincent Van Gogh, to those more obscure like J W Miller, McBride invites us into a space of imagination and reflection. The penitent figure in Paul Cézanne’s ’Old Woman Praying the Rosary‘ is imbued with a story in the first person; with hopes and fears, complexity, frailty, confusion and faith. The other nine stories are presented in a similar relaxed prose, provoking conversation between the spectator and the subject. This volume provides an implicit invitation to slow down and consider the conversations around us. While I commend this approach, I struggled to hear the individuality in such different characters; each story is clearly written by the same pen. To fully explore these stories, to borrow the eyes of others, it would have been inspired for McBride to invite actual people from divergent cultures, backgrounds and experiences all to reflect on the one painting, to show how God speaks to us personally. That said, the choice of art is wonderful, especially the surprising choice of the logo from the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the stories engaging. - Matt Osborn
The second Adams? Book: Hitchhiker’s Guide to Evangelism Authors: Bill Tenny-Brittian Recommended for: people like me, who are too scared to speak up at work In short: Keep the faith; just don’t keep it to yourself. RRP: $24.95 Apistoiphobia, a word previously foreign to me, is defined as the irrational fear of unbelievers. Trepidation in the face of the lost has seemed rational for my inner-circle over the past three and a half decades that I have been a churchgoer. WWJD had nothing on WWOT (what will others think) as a motive to act. In the face of this, Hitchhiker’s Guide to Evangelism encourages every Christian to follow his/her pain. Who or what breaks your heart? Who are your friends? What cause are you passionate about? Tenny-Brittian encourages his readers to be intentional about making a difference in these situations asking, “what is it about your experience of Jesus that your neighbour cannot live without?” This is a question I am confident to answer now. I like the practical and imaginative ideas for engaging with aspects of the unchurched world. This is a guidebook, not just telling Christians what to do but helping us to get underway and to continue with thinking outside the box. Hang an icon in your office, put a mezuzah on your front door, make a shrine out of a shoebox for your lounge. Celts and Jews know that every event is filled with sacred meaning: Western Christians can feel encouraged to speak and teach the idea of sacred space and sacred time in life. This book takes some reading and is overtly American/ Canadian, but with the introduction to Jesus based on friendship and conversation rather than targeted conversion; this is a book for even the most introspective of twenty-first century evangelists. - Damien Tann
Chosen and special, or rejected?
A Cranmerian feast for the academic mind
Book: The Girl in the Orange Dress: searching for a father who does not fail Author: Margot Starbuck Recommended for: anyone who is adopted or knows someone who is In short: Explores the feelings associated with rejection and the journey towards accepting who she is. RRP: $26.95
Book: Signs of God’s Promise Author: Gordon P Jeanes Recommended for: Anglicans, historians and theology geeks In short: An academic study of the maturation and historic situation surrounding the life of the great Anglican forefather Thomas Cranmer. RRP: $49.95
I always enjoy reading people stories. This autobiography of Margot Starbuck shares the honest struggle of a woman to come to terms with having been adopted. She asks all the usual questions. Why couldn’t my mother keep me? How could she give me up? What was it about me that made me unlovable? By her own admission, Margot always describes her adopted family as loving, despite her parents’ marriage breaking up and the advent of a less than satisfactory stepfather. She comes to realise though that deep down she feels rejected, particularly by the important male figures in her life. For me the most poignant part of the book is when, having met and formed a relationship with her birth mother, she receives no recognition or wish for a relationship from her birth father. Yet another rejection. All this, understandably, has repercussions for a relationship with a God imaged as a Father. The chapters of the book are broken up into short sections each with a heading I found somewhat intrusive and responsible for impeding the flow of the narrative. While Starbuck uses humour, it sometimes seems rather flippant and self-deprecating, but maybe it’s just American. Nevertheless it is a detailed story told with a degree of honesty and self disclosure which is admirable. It gives a refreshing insight into one woman’s quest to discover who she really is and where she finds the answers. - Glenys Badger
Thomas Cranmer was instrumental in the creation of the liturgy so pivotal in Anglicanism. Although the form of the prayer book changed under the reigns of royal contemporaries, Henry VII and Edward VI, Cranmer’s theology has influenced the church ever since, particularly in the rites of Baptism and the Eucharist. Jeanes’ complex but informative work fills the gaps left by previous Cranmer historians on how his influence brought the church from a mix of sterile rituals to a heart and theology filled with meaning and purpose, as well as the growing pains of the church during this transition. The humanity of Cranmer is evident as we see his theology evolve over time, grasping the opportunity for ‘liturgical reform’ at the death of King Henry VII. The point is made that his theology is quite similar to that of the protestant reformer Huldrych Zwingli, at the same time being wholly ‘Cranmerian.’ One example is in the matter of the Eucharistic presence of Christ where it is stated beautifully that the grace of Christ is present, not necessarily his physical body. After an analysis of Cranmer’s theology, Jeanes looks at the immensely popular 1549 and 1552 Books of Common Prayer, Anglican Church staples for hundreds of years. Signs of God’s Promise is not for the faint hearted; those of us who enjoy depth and historic theology will be well pleased though. - Callum Iles
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To advertise in New Times: contact Russell Baker p. 8361 6822 f. 8361 6833
Robe Uniting Church is now meeting in the new chapel at the Tarooki camp site in Robe. The official opening is on 7 February. All welcome to attend. The Robe congregation would like to thank everyone who has helped and prayed for them to make this possible. We would like to invite any interested people to attend anytime they are holidaying in Robe.
Canberra Region Presbytery
Presbytery Minister 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. 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.
EXPOSURE TRIP: An interesting mix of culture, church and tourism along with some fabulous scenery in Bali and Manado in the Sulawesi Islands. April 5 - 16 (school holidays). Group Leader: Rev Sue Langhans, Ascot Community Uniting Church. Phone 8293 6680 or email email@example.com for further information.
The Presbytery Minister’s role will be to provide leadership in the areas of Mission and Education across the Presbytery. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications should be sent to Synod Assoc Secretary (Ministry), Meg Herbert, email@example.com or PO Box A2178, Sydney South 1235. Closing date for applications - 26 February 2010
Art exhibition at Blackwood Uniting Church to be held on 15 - 18 April with the theme of ‘Community’. An opportunity to create and exhibit artwork through painting, sculpture, photography, textiles, glass, ceramics and other mixed media. Entries close on 12 March. Application forms from the website: www.blackwood. unitingchurch.org.au. Enquiries to Christa on 8278 8308. Blackwood Uniting Church invites to you to take part in the Community Program. Come and learn a new skill, meet new people and have some ’me’ time. Free crèche and a cuppa included. Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am 12noon and 1pm - 3pm during school terms. There are over 25 different classes, including beading, felting, mosaics, Mah Jong, gardening club, adult continuing learning as well as yoga and pilates classes. For more information: 8278 7699.
General Manager, Camps and Conference Centres At Uniting Church SA we’re about connecting you & me & us & them. Through networks and communities Uniting Church. Uniting People. we offer innovative ways to bring people together. Our camping and conference centres operate throughout South Australia as places to re-connect; for recreation, refreshment and reflection. As General Manager you will provide strategic leadership, management and development over all aspects of Camps and Conference Centres’ operations. You will be instrumental in planning financial forecasts, responsible for all marketing strategies while empowering staff to achieve outstanding results – at all facilities. You must be able to deliver within agreed timeframes while providing exceptional customer service.
Finniss Uniting Church will be celebrating their centenary on 16 May 2010. All welcome to a pleasant Sunday afternoon at the church commencing at 2pm. Enquiries: (08) 8536 3882. To have your upcoming event or message published here, email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Notebook’ in the subject line.
We need someone with a demonstrated capacity to work professionally within a diverse and demanding work agenda.
EXPERIENCED HANDYMAN Home maintenance with gardening $20 per hour “Your spare pair of hands”. Phone: 8346 0933. Wanted Antique motor bike complete or in parts. Please phone 8396 7469.
Wanted Very nice old pocket watch wanted – over 60 years old – working or not working condition. Please phone 8271 6842.
Relevant tertiary qualifications and an active involvement in a local Church are required. So why not take up the challenge? Please contact Nicky Blenkinsop on (08) 8210 8585 or via email to email@example.com quoting Reference Number 1601. Mps People Solutions is a member of the Morton Philips Group of Companies
P rep a ring f o r E a s ter
Enriching your heart and soul at Easter Mark Hewitt, Spicer Uniting Church
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” rings true at Spicer Uniting Church at Easter time; here all attendees join in the Passion narrative as ‘Jesus’ (Norman Johnston) enters Jerusalem in their annual Easter Play.
‘Easter Sights & Sounds’ lies at the heart of our Easter tradition here at Spicer Uniting Church, St Peters; the Easter Play has been a regular expression of our ministry and mission since 1995. Spicer’s Easter play begins its narrative with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and concludes with the Resurrection. The whole church complex is used to create stages for the different scenes; beginning outside in a ‘market bazaar’ in ‘Jerusalem’ the audience are then lead on by a narrator. Performances are every half hour, for an hour in duration. Continuing the tradition of experiential spiritual involvement, each scene is performed by congregational members, supported and augmented by other church communities. All involved have found it an important part of their own spiritual and Christian journey - many members even take annual leave from work so they can participate. Each season of Easter Sights & Sounds has seen more than 600 people attend and it is advertised widely throughout the Adelaide community. The interactive play is suitable for all ages - families, school and youth groups are welcomed. Daytime performances are running between 24 - 26 March 2010 with additional evening sessions on Thursday (25) and Friday (26). Bookings are essential for daytime performances and advisable for evening performances. We invite you to engage in this spiritual practice, either as an actor, member of the crowd or crew member, or just to come and see the play. Check our website, www.spicer.org.au, or ring the church office, 8362 3771, for more information and session times.
Once again, Lent means Lenten Appeal The Lenten Appeal is a central feature of our journey as a Church. As we make our pilgrimage towards Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter Day, we look towards the needs of others. Jesus, obedient and faithful even to death on the Cross, calls us in love to reach out to others - 2010 is no exception! This year’s projects link us with partner churches and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress. They offer us a great opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of people in need.
AIDS Ministry, Church of Christ in Thailand Over three years (2009-2011) Uniting Church SA is funding a church and community foster care programme for children with parents affected by HIV/ AIDS. Ten congregations have already been trained and are now offering care to children whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS or are too ill to care for them.
TB Hospice, North Korea
UnitingCare Wesley would sincerely like to thank everyone who supported our
The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea is one of our SA partner churches. Our support of a project in North Korea is an opportunity to provide encouragement and partnership as they minister to people in the north of the deeply divided Korean Peninsula.
Your generosity made it possible for us to assist
OZ-iwi and Ninti Time, UAICC
2009 Christmas Appeal
more than 4000 families across South Australia.
We look forward to your continued support throughout 2010 Donate at...
Adelaide 10 Pitt St Bowden 77 Gibson St Port Adelaide 70 Dale St Port Pirie 60 Florence St
1800 247 365 8245 7100 8241 0211 8633 8600
www.unitingcarewesley-sa.org.au FEBRUARY 2010
Our Congress project this year is based in Port Augusta. ‘OZ-iwi’ will bring together young people from Congress and the Evangelical Maori Fellowship of Aotearoa, NZ at an Easter Youth Leadership Training Camp in Port Augusta. ‘Ninti* Time’ is an afterschool program for primary school children, offering children and their parents the Good News in stories, songs, dance, language and lots of fun. *‘Ninti’ means ‘clever’.
The 2010 Lenten appeal is supporting three projects including AIDS ministry in Thailand. The Thai Village Pastor (pictured) is fostering children whose parents have died of AIDS. Resources available to congregations for the Lenten appeal include: • Powerpoint presentations on each project • Up-to-date information on the website – mrn.sa.uca.org.au • Worship resources To access these resources head online to www.sa.uca.org.au/ goto/lenten_appeal, or contact the International Mission office on 8236 4203.
Lenten Appeal 2009 The 2009 Lenten Appeal brought in more than $45,000. It boosted the Congress youth and children’s program in Oodnadatta; sustained PNG’s microfinance project and supported the North Luzon Jurisdiction pastors in poor rural communities, post-typhoon devastation in late 2009.