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July 2006

Issue 25, Number 6 PP 565 001/00190 ISSN 0726-2612

How can we connect?

Marjorie Lewis-Jones

CANBERRA minister, Rev Gregor Henderson, will be installed as the national President of the Uniting Church in Australia on July 5. He has hopes that the church — despite facing some potentially divisive issues — will stay focused on how it can “connect with the 80 per cent of Australia who don’t have regular contact with the church”. The Uniting Church Assembly July 5-11 meeting in Brisbane will draw delegates from synods and presbyteries throughout Australia. It will explore the theme God’s Word, God’s World. Gregor believes the theme should provoke reflection on “how the church is living out God’s word in the challenging environment which exists today”. Attempting to model an emphasis on connecting with the world may stretch Assembly membership as it deliberates over the eight proposals coming before it regarding sexuality and ministry. Continued on page 2.

Jazz in worship: Ministry student and musician Sarah Agnew, is the instigator of “Black Wood Jazz,” a new style of informal worship involving jazz, at Blackwood Uniting Church. Sarah’s mother Marine is pictured in the background. See story page 9. Picture by Amy Brookman

inside… Assembly: Stay in touch

2

Sexuality, leadership

2

Fighting poverty

3

‘E-pray’ launched

4

Mission networks meet

5

‘The earth is the Lord’s’

6, 7

August presbytery

9

‘Young need mentors’

12

Rural ministry: The Mission Resourcing Network’s three rural mission planners, left to right, Deane Meatheringham, Eric Kirkham, and Malcolm Wilson, who all have a heart for the rural church. See story page 11.

Please hand out at your church door


2

NEWS

New Times

How can we connect? From page 1. Those proposals, which Assembly General Secretary, Rev Terence Corkin, says “reflect the diversity of opinion in the church on this matter”, can be found, along with other Assembly documents, at http://nat.uca.org.au/11thassembly. Other proposals to be discussed include: CALLING the Uniting Church to adopt lifestyles which have a minimal impact on global warming. ENCOURAGING synods, presbyteries and agencies to hold discussions about enhancing the practical expression of the covenant between Congress and the rest of the church. ALLOWING synods and presbyteries to tell the Assembly when they feel a decision is “vital to the life of the church”. OFFERING maximum support to the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua. Papuan culture faces marginalisation through transmigration to, and heavy-handed military action in, West Papua. Working groups will also spend time considering proposals in a report from the Assembly by the Specified Ministries Task Group. One is to amalgamate the existing ministries of lay pastor, community minister and youth worker into one new ministry called the “specified ministry of pastor”, to be in operation by 2008.

Stay in touch ON-LINE subscription is now available to a range of news services in the lead-up to and during the 11th Assembly meeting. Sign up now to receive: • A daily newsletter which will be distributed to members and made available as a PDF file on the Assembly website each day; • A daily news alert sent electronically each night which will capture the news of the day including stories, reports and resolutions; • A daily media resource kit for congregations who would like help to communicate with their local media; or • A special “round-up” Assembly newsletter distributed by PDF to subscribers to the Assembly daily news service. This round up will be designed so it can be printed off locally for congregations in time for Sunday worship on July 16, following the Assembly meeting. For more information on these services or to subscribe to either the Daily News alert or the media resource kit, visit the 11th Assembly website http://assembly.uca.org.au/11thassembly and follow the links.

 

  

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JULY 2006

Pictured are, from left, Assembly general secretary Terence Corkin, UCAF national president Alyson Madsen, and former UCAF national presidents Joan Kelley and Ann Connan.

Fellowships affirmed UCAF (Uniting Church Adult Fellowships) are valid, valuable and energetic according to Assembly General Secretary Rev Terence Corkin. Terence addressed UCAF members during the group’s ninth national consultation dinner in Adelaide in May. He told them how important and appreciated they are within the church. Terence said one issue is the number of adult groups in congregations that choose not to affiliate or identify with UCAF. “People are joining other groups that are meaningful to them,” he said. “The issue is how we can link all of these groups together to help them become aware of the ministries of the wider church. “We need to affirm the importance of networks and relationships, of broadening

horizons and resource sharing for congregational groups. “Whether the established adult fellowship model will prove to be useful, is a creative challenge for UCAF.” Terence also told UCAF members that, despite messages in the mainstream media implying that the church is no longer highly regarded, he believes the Uniting Church is a significant contributor locally and nationally. “The work and submissions of UnitingCare, Assembly and Uniting Justice are being respected and noted, particularly at government level,” he said. “In fact a senior government servant recently chose a secondment to UnitingCare over a variety of other community service organisations, because of the quality of our work.”

Proposals on sexuality, leadership MEMBERS of the Uniting Church’s 11th Assembly face heartache, soul searching and anxious times as they prepare to consider eight proposals concerning sexuality and leadership in Brisbane this month. Assembly General Secretary Rev Terence Corkin said the eight proposals cover every option that has ever been before Assembly in the last 20 years, including the current position. “Assembly members will hear how diverse we are on this issue and how unclear the way forward is,” he said. “The proposals reflect the diversity of opinions that exist in most congregations. Church members must understand this is a difficult and demanding task. “The issue is, will Assembly make a decision that will apply to the whole church? There is the capacity to make decisions according

to people’s convictions in congregations, presbyteries and synods. “We have to remember we lived with a diversity of practice on divorce, baptism and women in ministry until Assembly made decisions on these issues. “When Assembly speaks it binds the whole church and we must do it judiciously and with a strong conviction. “What is clear is that our church is divided. We should only act when we feel we have God’s conviction. Of course it’s not ideal to live with uncertainty, but we need to be open to God’s leading. “In the meantime we have to do the responsible thing and continue with our mission and ministry. Until we know what God’s mind is, we should be humble and bide our time.”


New Times

NEWS

3

Churches fight poverty

Nicholas Kerr

CHRISTIANS can get involved. We can make a difference to global poverty. Amanda Jackson, national coordinator of Micah Challenge Australia, is convinced of that. Micah Challenge Australia is part of a global campaign which wants political leaders to halve global poverty by 2015 by achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. The SA Heads of Christian Churches recently endorsed the campaign. “The Micah Challenge goes a lot further than just the Millennium Developments Goals,” Amanda said in Adelaide recently. “Justice isn’t just an add-on, an extra. It’s an integral part of who we are and how we live as Christians. “We may never completely solve the problem of poverty, but there is a lot we can do. We must never give up.” Amanda said Micah Challenge brings together “a whole heap” of churches and agencies. “The churches are already doing a great deal to raise money for aid and development work,” she said. “Micah Challenge allows us to speak together with one voice on poverty. “Aid and development aren’t just a matter of private giving. Governments have a responsibility as well. “The Bible makes it clear that government’s role is to protect the poor and the vulnerable. We’re reminding governments about this responsibility. “We’re not asking them to do anything new or particularly radical. Our government has already

agreed to do everything it can to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. “We’re saying: ‘We support you in that! Go for it!’” The Australian Government, she said, has agreed to increase aid. “It’s a very generous increase, but we are starting from a very low base,” she said. “We’re now at 0.28 of gross national income. Best guestimates of where we’ll be by 2010 is about 0.35. “That’s still a long way short of what we need to achieve our development goals. “If every rich nation gave 0.5 percent, that would be enough to reach the target.” Amanda said the fact that SA church heads have endorsed Micah Challenge shows they are concerned about poverty issues. “That gives an authority and a confidence to people from those churches to act,” she said. “It also sends a message that this isn’t something for just one brand of Amanda Jackson, national coordinator of Micah Challenge Australia, with Mike Penbethy, TEAR Australia’s SA coordinator, pictured in Adelaide. Christianity. “It’s a wide spectrum of Christians saying that poverty is wrong, but that we can do something to put it right. rights of the poor to deciding to take actions “Media and politicians like to TEAR Australia’s SA coordinator, Mike Penbethy, said he is delighted the SA Heads themselves – writing to politicians, actively categorise Christians, and put of Christian Churches have endorsed Micah promoting these issues so that the public at large us into boxes. Challenge. becomes more aware of them. “We’re saying, no, we can’t TEAR is one of the organisations supporting be put into boxes. All sorts of “It will be good for the Christian community to Australian Christians know that the Micah Challenge. become more educated on the problems affecting “It’s good that the heads of churches have this is important.” the poor both here in Australia and overseas. endorsed the campaign,” he said. The name, Micah Challenge, “Perhaps the next step is simply having the “The next thing is for church people to get comes from Micah 6:8: “And confi dence and the courage to make our voices behind it. what does the Lord require of heard. you? To act justly and to love “We’d love it if local churches would put “The Micah Challenge is a challenge to the mercy and to walk humbly some energy and passion into getting behind churches to move beyond philanthropy, to start with your God.” the campaign. Details are at www. tackling the causes of justice and poverty and do “It’s making that step from quietly accepting micahchallenge.org.au. more than treat the symptoms.” that the churches should be looking after the

‘It’s time for people to act’

JULY 2006


4

NEWS

‘E-pray’: Digital hymnbook launched

Among those taking part in the launch were, from left, Rev D’Arcy Wood, author of the new Companion to “Together in Song”, a former national President of the Uniting Church and a former Moderator, Uniting Church SA; Shirley Gale, organist at St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide, and chairperson of the SA Branch of the Royal School of Church Music; Megan McLaughlin, chairperson of the Church Music committee of the Uniting Church’s Victorian-Tasmanian Synod, and a member of the “Together in Song” committee; and Bishop Owen Dowling, retired Anglican bishop and member of the “Together in Song” committee. Bishop Dowling chaired the launch at Maughan Uniting Church and Shirley Gale accompanied the singing.

JULY 2006

DIGITAL hymnbooks and electronic companions herald an advance in shared technological resources among the mainstream churches, Anglican Bishop Owen Dowling said in Adelaide recently. Bishop Dowling, consultant to the Australian Hymnbook Committee, said the new concept “E-pray” was an electronic resource for use in churches. It would provide a cost effective way for churches to access the new edition of the Australian Hymn Book, “Together in Song”(TIS) as well as music and readings. He said churches purchasing the new technology would also gain relief from three or four copyright procedures needed to allow use of hymns and music under the traditional method. “Parishes can buy the technology which gives them the copyright coverage for all overheads, reproductions on church bulletins or service sheets for funerals and weddings,” he said. “E-pray gives them the music as well as the words.” Bishop Dowling said purchase of the technology reduced the need for hard copy hymnbooks

which cost around $30 each. “Also with annual subscriptions comes between 30 and 40 new items each year in digital form. “With new midi files a rector designing a sermon can call up the sound of a hymn to assess whether it is suitable.” Bishop Dowling said the Australian Hymnbook Company, which has launched the new technology, is also looking to supply piano and organ accompaniment recording of each hymn which can be plugged into a keyboard for instant musical backing. Bishop Dowling and Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide, Jeffrey Driver launched E-pray and its Companion at Maughan Uniting Church. The Companion was written by Rev Dr Darcy Wood. It gives a background to every hymn in the “Together in Song” hymnal and the circumstances in which it was written. – Mary Ann Stenberg

• There is an interview with David Schubert, SA member of the TIS committee on the Uniting Church SA website.


NEWS

New Times

5

Sharing stories REPRESENTATIVES from 10 of the 13 newly established mission networks met in Adelaide recently to share stories about their progress. The networks were set up after the Uniting Church SA’s seven presbyteries were replaced by one presbytery structure last November. Uniting Church SA Mission Network project officer Kate Tretheway said the 13 networks are moving at different paces and are at different stages of development. “Some are moving ahead quickly and some are still exploring what it means to be a network and the possibilities of doing things in new and different ways,” she said. “Some mission networks still have issues, but they’re working through them. On the whole the new network structure is working well.” Kate said a mission network gathering is likely to be held annually so the various network representatives can discover what is happening in other networks.

Urban Mission Network launch

At the mission networks meeting The representatives at the mission networks meeting are pictured above. In the back two rows are Mark Melberzs-Rozitis, Ian Price, Dean Brookes, Ernest Sorensen, Deane Meatheringham, Rob Martin, Louise Johnson and David Buxton. In the middle two rows are Ted White, John Minchin, Kate Tretheway, Ian Penny, Gwenda Kerley, John Lunney, Scott Button, Marion Bowes-Johnston, Christine Tabe and Ian Stead. In the two front rows are Eric Kirkham, Rob Stoner, Moderator Graham Vawser, Bruce Ind and Bill Harris.

THE Urban Mission Network was officially launched at Newland Memorial Uniting Church in Victor Harbor at the end of May. Network coordinator Rev Dean Eland said the Urban Mission Network is committed to strengthening congregational leadership. “We’ll talk and listen and support each other as we grow our humble mission and struggle to be a community with a vocation and calling to serve,” he said. “When public leadership in Australia offers no inclusive or positive vision, our congregations need to become communities of resistance showing by example there is another way.”

‘It’s not a solution’

AUSTRALIAN church leaders have written to “All it really achieves is removing them from Prime Minister John Howard opposing proposed the consciousness of ordinary Australians who changes to Australia’s processing of asylum would want to see those suffering people being seekers. given a fair go.” The changes would mean Australia would In their letter the church leaders urged the send asylum seekers who arrive here to Nauru Prime Minister to reconsider the legislation, until their claims are processed. and have asked the Government to act compassionately towards people arriving here in “If this new Bill passes into legislation, it genuine need of help and protection. will effectively mean that Australia will cease to be a place of refuge for those directly fleeing from violence and persecution,” Rev John Henderson, National Council of Churches in Australia general secretary, said. THE 2005 report of the Office of the UN High “If other countries behaved like this, the Commissioner for Human Rights, published last world would become a much more dangerous month, said there has been a reduction in the number of refugees worldwide. Their number place for everyone, especially those being fell from 9.5 million in 2004 to 8.4 million in persecuted. 2005. “There would simply be nowhere to go when But, the report said, the number of people you are in fear of your life. We can and should who live in situations similar to that of do better than that. refugees, but in their own countries, has “The regime of detention forced upon people increased. About 6.6 million people in 16 by the Pacific Solution has already been shown countries were displaced within their national to cause unnecessary trauma through prolonged borders because of conflicts. This is up from 5.4 million in 13 countries at year-end 2004. and isolated detention.

Refugee numbers

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JULY 2006


6

MAGAZINE

New Times

A new kind of worship

Jill Freear TUCKED in under the fig trees near the River Torrens, just east of Speaker’s Corner in Botanic Park, you’ll find a new kind of worship emerging from the Uniting Church. Rain, hail or shine, from 10am on any given Sunday, a group of ecoworshippers meet to celebrate and contemplate the meaning of life, the environment and God; and (wo)man’s place in the universe. In this sacred space, the pews are replaced by picnic rugs and worship begins with a yoga-style warm-up so the congregation can relax and “let go of their week”. The ecofaith community is a part of the ecofaith ministry recently implemented by nearby Scots Uniting Church and worship is led, (or at least “shaped”) by eco-minister, deacon, Rev Jason John. The ministry is one of the new initiatives through which Scots is seeking to respond to the call of minister, Rev Judith Gilliland, to create a ministry legacy for future generations. Jason originally studied zoology and the environment and had intended to become a vet. However in his early twenties God intervened. He became a Christian, studied theology and ended up an ordained deacon in the Uniting Church. Ecoministry is a way of combining his great passions in life. Jason describes himself as a progressive Christian with a biocentric theology. Biocentric theology was the subject of his PhD. He describes it as a form of Christianity which celebrates humans as an ephemeral part of life, but not at the centre of it. The ecofaith community has been meeting in Botanic Park since last November. It plans to continue all year round, to commune with the “God of all seasons”. Jason said many ecofaith worshippers have previously attended church, but no longer find traditional worship meaningful. “Most are very ecologically focussed and are looking for an informal worship style with a progressive theology, which no longer implies that God is just a big man, or even big person,” he said. Anyone wanting to know more about the ecofaith worship community can visit http://ecofaith.org or enquire through Scots Uniting Church.

Sustainable farming IN THIS article, rural ministry planner Malcolm Wilson shares his views on farming. In his former role as Wakefield Presbytery Minister Malcolm spent a lot of time travelling through the district talking to Christian farmers.

Scots Uniting Church’s ecofaith minister Jason John and congregational minister Judith Gilliland in Botanic Park.

EVEN though I may own the legal title to the farm, I actually believe we are simply custodians of the land. I have always been aware of the need to maintain and improve the land and believe that farming practices have to be sustainable. It’s not just about chasing the biggest financial returns. Nowadays my son employs modern farming practices, such as total stubble retention, which improves the organic content of the soil and protects against erosion, which is mainly caused by wind in our area. We also use minimal till or cultivation techniques. Mainly we plant crops by direct drilling, which means there is no pre-working of the ground. With this method there is still some soil disturbance, but it is minimal. To grow a marketable and profitable crop, it has to be clean and contain no weeds or other contaminants. As we are not killing contaminants by cultivation, we need to kill them by chemical means. So the down side of minimal tillage is an increase in the use of herbicides. Most of those are selective herbicides. I know that some people have concerns about the detrimental environmental impact of herbicides. I would have to defend the farming community on this one. I believe that 95 per cent of farmers are very responsible in their use of herbicides because it impacts on the sustainability of their livelihood. Even to be able to buy certain herbicides my son had to obtain a chemical certificate and undertake a certification and accreditation course. So essentially we employ stubble retention techniques which give us better soil quality and a more sustainable environment for our cropping program. We also use selected herbicides and overall the farm is sustainable. The bottom line is we have to make a living, it has to be profitable. We have to balance sustainability with profitability and being environmentally friendly, otherwise we wouldn’t be farming in the long term.

• There are longer versions of these stories on the Uniting Church SA website JULY 2006


MAGAZINE

New Times

7

‘The earth is the Lord’s’ Brian Polkinghorne YOU CAN see a lot by looking, said Yogi Barbour. Sounds strange, but that’s what I did while working in Tanzania. I was confronted by a rapidly deteriorating environment and escalating poverty, but as I looked outwards at environment and inwards at the Word of God, I started to “see”. What I “saw” first was that I had been taught, and was living contrary to Biblical principles. Re-reading Psalm 24:1 hit me between the eyes one day – “The earth is the Lord’s and everything on it”. Dare to let the truth that the earth is the Lord’s seep into your psyche and your attitudes and actions will be transformed – for the better. Then, as I read and looked, this awkward little “all” word kept on creeping in to disturb me even more. God had inconveniently included “all living beings” (four times) in the very first covenant with Noah and his family. ALL things in the environment were thought to be important enough by God to be included in the covenant? This was getting disturbing – and the implications for life were plainly uncomfortable. Then the Psalms and Prophets echoed time and time again that ALL things had the ability to praise God – so it seemed to me as though we should not move them towards extinction, otherwise we were downsizing the volume and harmony of the heavenly choir that will join together on the Day of the Lord to praise and honour our God. Uncomfortably, Paul gets in on the act as well when he affirms that

Rev Brian Polkinghorne: Every part of the creation, the environment, is good in God’s eyes.

ALL things in heaven and on earth are reconciled by the blood of Christ on the cross! Just think about that for a minute or two! When speaking of the Word, full of grace and truth, and made flesh among us, our Lord and Saviour Jesus, John says, that “nothing in all creation was made without him”. Nothing!

Therefore we and all the little and big and extreme bits of creation are his – his property, which he loves. Every time we pollute, use beyond sustainable limits, exterminate and contaminate anything in the heavens and on earth, we are betraying and denying Christ – and are certainly not worthy to be called Christians! Any wonder the world has difficulty

accepting the gospel when they see us throwing dirt in the face of our Lord and King? May the merciful Lord forgive us and show us the path back to true faith and shalom. • Rev Brian Polkinghorne, of Woodville, has spent many years on environmental and agricultural projects in Africa.

What is the world coming to? Kate Tretheway CLIMATE change is happening. There is now a general acceptance that significant changes are occurring to the climate as a direct result of human impact on the environment. The number one culprit is carbon emissions caused by the use of fossil fuels which are changing the way in which weather patterns operate, with potentially devastating effect. Tim Flannery, in his recently released book, “The Weather Makers”, puts forward three scenarios of what may happen to the world depending on our response to the issues of climate change: • If we are too slow to reduce our emissions, we could be facing dramatic climate shifts as early as 2050 – which would fundamentally destabilise society and, in Flannery’s words, thrust us into “a protracted Dark Ages far more mordant than

any that has gone before”. • If we have a moderate impact on emissions, we might avert outright disaster but we will be living on a knife edge for decades, or even centuries, with very tight controls needed. • If we act promptly to reduce emissions, at all levels (individual, national, corporate), we can avoid serious climatic consequences. How should we respond? Should this question even need to be asked? Faced with the realities of climate change, surely the only response we can make is to do all that we can to make a difference. The encouraging thing is that there are steps that each one of us can take to reduce our impact on climate change. • Kate Tretheway is Uniting Church SA Solidarity and Justice Officer.

11 steps to reducing climate change 1. Change to an accredited Green Power option (in SA offered by ActewAGL, AGL, Origin Energy and TRU energy). 2. Install a solar hot water system (see www.sea.vic.gov.au/renewable_energy/). 3. Install solar panels (BP solar (www.bp.com.au/solar) or Origin (www.sliver. com.au). 4. Use energy efficient whitegoods (to get energy ratings go to www.energyrating.gov.au). 5. Use a triple-A rated shower head. 6. Use energy efficient light globes. 7. Check fuel efficiency of your next car (see www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au). 8. Walk, cycle or take public transport. 9. Calculate your carbon footprint (www.climatefriendly.com/calc.php). 10. Suggest a workplace energy audit. 11. Write to politicians expressing your concern about climate change.

Adapted from “The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change” by Tim Flannery was published by Text Publishing, Melbourne last year. JULY 2006


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COMMENT

New Times

Aboriginal communities

Peter Russell WHAT’S wrong in Aboriginal communities? Almost every columnist and media commentator has been peddling an opinion about this question. Having lived, worked and travelled between remote Aboriginal communities for six years and only recently returned, I read these stories with interest and concern. Few of the stories say anything worthwhile. Few are penned with any real in-depth experience of the situations described. Few have listened to the experience of Aboriginal people. Yet they and governments have long had the information necessary for proper action to be taken. Report after report has been written – all largely ignored. The Royal Commission on Deaths in Custody findings have been available for years, yet the suicides continue and the rate is worse now than then! Tom Calma, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, in his 2005 Report said that “although there have been a number of well intentioned strategies and frameworks in Australia, there are few improvements to the health of Aboriginal Australians”. Not many Indigenous communities have adequate housing, sanitation and basic health services, basic rights most Australians take for granted. Many Indigenous people living in our towns and cities also suffer from inadequate housing and primary healthcare and lack employment. The real question is, What’s wrong in the wider Australian community? Why have we let

the situation for our Aboriginal brothers and sisters become so bad? It is appalling that our governments continue to talk up tax cuts while failing to fund the necessary infrastructure and programs that would bring equitable standards in healthcare, education and employment opportunities to Indigenous Australians. The Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress has long had a revolutionary vision for Aboriginal Australians and preaches a holistic gospel that in the words of founder, Rev Charles Harris, “will reach my people and pull them up”. We need to find every way possible to help. What better way to begin than by assisting and supporting our Aboriginal brothers and sisters in and through Congress. Pray for: Rev Ken Sumner, Congress minister, and his family as they work in bringing Christian education to Aboriginal children and families near Murray Bridge. Pray for Rev Dean Whittaker and the Congress congregation at Salisbury. They need bus drivers to help gather people for Sunday worship and help with children’s ministry. Pray that practical help may come. If you can help, would like further information or are interested in joining or starting a support group or would just like to keep in touch, contact me, Peter Russell, Covenanting Coordinator, at the MRN SynodPresbytery Office.

About your letters

Please keep your letters short — about 150 words is ideal. Longer letters will be cut or rejected. You’re welcome to email letters to newtimes@sa.uca.org.au or they can be posted to us at GPO Box 2145, Adelaide 5001

CENTENARY More than 60 former ministers, parishioners and friends from WA, VIC and SA gathered on Saturday May 27 for the Glencoe Uniting Church centenary celebrations. The sun was shining – in contrast to 1906 when, in wet weather, parishioners came JULY 2006

in open and closed buggies and on foot, with umbrellas and wearing coats and mackintoshes. Chairperson of Church Council, Mrs Wendy Agnew, welcomed everyone to this historic occasion. She especially welcomed Rev Ashley Davis, the only local resident to candidate for ministry from Glencoe who presented a sermon on God’s faithfulness. Also welcomed back was Rev Rossalyn Read, the last Minister in placement for Glencoe, who presided over the sacrament of Holy

Westminster School

‘QUASI-MARRIAGE’ Prime Minister John Howard shows a lot of common sense in seeking to overturn the new ACT “quasi-marriage” law for homosexual couples. For thousands of years, marriage has meant the exclusive sexual union of a man and a woman. And not just any man or woman – a man cannot marry his niece and a woman cannot marry her brother. There are minimum age requirements as well. If the law is changed to allow two people of the same sex to “marry”, there will soon be pressure to change the law again to allow three or more people to marry. Next, a man and his dog? When marriage means everything, it will mean absolutely nothing. Roslyn Phillips Tea Tree Gully

Communion. Mrs Verna Whitehead was organist – she was the organist for the jubilee celebrations in 1956. A free will offering of $845.45 was received and will be forwarded to missionaries, Scott and Rachael Litchfield, co-workers with the Church of Christ in Thailand. Speakers included Rev Clive and Mrs Margaret Morey who cut the celebration cake. Rev Morey was the Minister of the congregation in 1956, the Jubilee year. Lorraine Frost Secretary, Glencoe Uniting Church Council

Westminster School, a Uniting Church R-12 co-educational day and boarding school, is seeking applications for the following position, which falls vacant at the end of 2006.

Senior Chaplain Responsible for providing spiritual leadership and counsel in the life of our dynamic School community, the Senior Chaplain will lead the School worship program, will be a key member of our pastoral care team, and will assist in developing and maintaining the positive relationship between our School and the UCA Synod of South Australia. Experience within a school environment is an advantage, but is not essential.

Essential information for prospective applicants is available on our website www.westminster.sa.edu.au under 'Employment at Westminster'. Applications close 4.30pm on Monday 31 July 2006. Westminster School Alison Avenue, Marion South Australia 5043 Telephone 08 8276 0276 ws@westminster.sa.edu.au www.westminster.sa.edu.au BNGD_SC_NT6/06


9

New Times

Our Vision A compassionate, respectful and just community in which all people participate and flourish. Please visit:

www.unitingcarewesley-sa.org.au

Chaplain, Aged Care Services Aldersgate & Murray Mudge UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide ●

One Full Time or Two Part Time Positions

The successful applicant(s) for the Presbytery placement at UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide will provide Chaplaincy at Aldersgate (Felixstow) and Murray Mudge (Glenelg). The roles will focus on the provision of quality care practices as an integrated part of service delivery at both sites. The positions may be filled by one or two applicants. Position descriptions, person specifications and an application for employment form can be accessed via the website at www.unitingcarewesley-sa.org.au or by phoning 8202 8886. Requests for further information should be directed to Rev Peter McDonald on 8202 5880.

UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide Inc (UCW Adelaide) is an agency of the Uniting Church, providing an extensive range of innovative and responsive community services to South Australians. UCW Adelaide is an Equal Opportunity Employer. UCW Adelaide especially welcomes applications from Indigenous people. Applicants are expected to be in sympathy with the Vision and Values of this organisation.

A21712

Applications, application form and a current resume addressing the Person Specification and including three current referees, marked Confidential and sent to Rev Peter McDonald, UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide Inc, GPO Box 2534, Adelaide SA 5001 by 9am Monday 7/8/06, or apply online.

Ministry Team Leader To work with an enthusiastic lay leadership team in a regional congregation serving a central area of the beautiful Mid North Coast of NSW. • • • • • • •

Growing regional service centre (population 71,000). Congregation embarked on journey of change. Growing small group ministry. Strong community service ministries. Seeking to grow in evangelism. Excellent church facilities. Walk to beach from manse.

An exciting placement for a Minister with vision for creative ministry in both church and community, energy, and delight in worship, with strong leadership and mentoring skills. For further information, including a congregational profile, contact Rev Janet Dawson, phone (02) 6582 1767 or email mncpresby@tsn.cc. Applications close 24 July 2006.

PORT MACQUARIE, NSW

Under the Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998 it is illegal for prohibited persons to apply and a “Working with Children Check” will be required.

JULY 2006


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PEOPLE AND PLACES

FUNCTIONS of spouses/partners of ministers for 2006 include: • Coffee and chat evening; July 5, 7.30pm, at the home of Judith Purling, 26 Hawkins Ave, Hillcrest, phone 8261 1283. • Ministry partners’ luncheon; October 27, 12noon for 12.30pm, Church of the Trinity, 318 Goodwood Road, Clarence Park. Please bring food for a shared meal. For further information, contact Helen Blanksby on 8351 5770. DR MITRI Raheb, Arab Christian leader, director, International Centre in Bethlehem, and an advocate of peace in Palestine, will speak at a public lecture and forum held in conjunction with the Charles Strong Trust. It will look at the issues of peace within the Middle East – Saturday, July 8, 7.30pm, Effective Living Centre, 26 King William Road, Wayville. Registration $10, concession $8. Booking essential, 8271 0329. THE Flinders University 40th anniversary and 2006 annual lecture in theology will be held on Thursday July 13, 8pm to 9.30pm, at the Adelaide College of Divinity, 34 Lipsett Terrace, Brooklyn Park. Rev Professor Daniel Madigan will speak on “God’s Word to the World: Jesus and the Qur’an, Incarnation and Recitation? Enquiries, phone 8416 8400. SIXTY years service as a lay preacher is a great accomplishment. Bill Cederblad will be the special guest of an afternoon tea held by the LeFevre

Peninsula congregations to celebrate this milestone. The afternoon tea will be held at St. Luke’s Uniting Church, 84 Hargrave Street, Exeter, on Sunday, July 16, at 2.30pm. All Bill’s friends are invited to share this afternoon with him. Contact 8341 5710 for more details. A “MISSION under the Microscope” program will be held at Walkerville Uniting Church on Sunday, July 16, at 3pm. It includes presentations by Scott and Rachael Litchfield (mission co-workers in Thailand) and Maureen and Trevor Miller (recently returned Volunteers in Mission who worked in Thailand), followed by a forum which will look at what “mission” means in today’s world. All returned missionaries are especially invited. Shared tea at 5pm. For more information, phone Jill Polkinghorne, 8340 2515. AN EARTH Leadership for Life weekend will be held on July 21 to 23 at Nunyara, Belair. Its purpose is to develop and support a network of young adult Christians across the state. Register now for a weekend of inspiring speakers, great Bible studies and a chance to meet other Christians aged 18 to 35. UPSTAGE Theatre will present “King Arthur and his Magic Sword” on Saturday July 22, at 2pm at Blackwood Uniting Church Hall (on the roundabout). Tickets, $20 per family (2+2 or 3+1, under 2 free) or $7 per person. Bookings,

New Times

For more Uniting Church events, visit Uniting Church online www.sa.uca.org.au and click on “What’s On”. There is also an online form which you can fill out to contribute notices to Notebook. phone 8278 7699 or 266 Main Road Blackwood, (10am to 3pm Tuesday to Friday). After-show activities included in price. Refreshments extra. (Bring a cushion to sit at the front). Proceeds for the Play Equipment Fund, Blackwood UCA. CALLING 18 to 30 year olds! Open to new experiences and challenges? Eager to experience God in another cultural setting? Yes! Then Mission Ignition in Thailand is for you – 25 days from December 28, 2006. Contact John or Lyn on 8236 4239, johnm@sa.uca.org. au or see www.sa.uca.org.au/goto/mrn and click on the International Mission page. Applications close July 31. AS PART of the Tintinara Centenary Celebrations weekend (August 11 to 13), a service to celebrate the Christian presence in the district will be held in a big marquee on the grounds of the Tintinara Area School. This service will be hosted by the Tintinara Uniting Church and will begin at 1.30 pm on August 13, following the Tintinara Area School Reunion. For details of the weekend’s events, phone Jo McKenzie, 87572260, or visit www.tinty100.org. A QUIET day with the Lord – a day retreat at the One Tree Hill Uniting

Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide. GPO Box 2145 Adelaide SA 5001 Phone (08) 8236 4260 Fax (08) 8236 4265 Email: newtimes@sa.uca.org.au www.sa.uca.org.au

Telling stories about an innovative, growing church which is proclaiming Jesus Christ and is empowered by the Spirit to transform God’s world. Who we are: New Times is a monthly tabloid news magazine serving the Uniting Church SA. It is published 11 times a year with a combined January-February issue. New Times is a member of the Australasian Religious Press Association. It has won the Gutenberg award for excellence in religious publication. Its editor has won the same award for excellence in religious communications. Advertising: To advertise contact Russell Baker, phone 8361 6822, fax 8361 6865, email ribad@bigpond.com New Times accepts advertising in good faith. Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement. Deadlines and distribution dates: August issue: Closing date for contributions, Wednesday, July 12, distributed, Sunday, August 6. • September issue: Closing date for contributions, Wednesday, August 9, distributed, Sunday, September 3. • October issue: Closing date for contributions, Wednesday, September 6, distributed, Sunday, October 1. • November issue: Closing date for contributions, Wednesday, October 11, distributed, Sunday, November 5. • December issue: Closing date for contributions, Wednesday, November 8, distributed, Sunday, December 3. Subscriptions: New Times is distributed free to Uniting Churches in SA. You can also subscribe and have New Times posted to you. Subscriptions cost $30 if you are within SA, $35 if you are interstate, $40 if you are overseas. Submitted material: New Times does not take responsibility for returning submitted photographs or other material. Our partners: Many of our readers support New Times by making a gift to help us keep up with our costs. Gifts can be sent to us at GPO Box 2145, Adelaide, 5001. Distribution: We are distributed on the first Sunday of each month. Opinions: Opinions expressed in New Times do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the policies of the Uniting Church. Editor: Nicholas Kerr. Assistant: Jo Watts. New Times is designed by Edi Leane and Les Colston of Joie Creative, PO Box 29, Kent Town, SA 5071 and printed by Cadilac, 64 Kinkaid Avenue, North Plymton, SA 5037

Deadline JULY 2006

AUGUST 2006 issue: Deadline for contributions, Wednesday, July 12. The issue will be distributed on Sunday, August 6.

Church, led by Rev John Blanksby. Cost, $20, includes morning and afternoon teas, lunch and tea. Further information and registration, phone Rev John Blanksby, 8351 5770, by August 20. THIS year’s training for field education supervisors will be held from August 21 to 25. Cost of the course is $50. We need more leaders in the church who are willing to offer this service to candidates as part of sharing the gifts and fruits of their ministry with others. Please register your interest with Nichola Shaw on 8416 8420 or Beatrice Panne on 8416 8423. SURRENDER 06 will be held from Friday, August 25, to Sunday, August 27, at Belgrave Heights Convention Centre, Melbourne. For information on Surrender 06 go to the UNOH website www.unoh.org. THE 7th biennial national conference of the Australian Church Library Association will be held at Nunyara Conference Centre from September 29 to October 1. 2006. The theme is “Soaring higher, sharing hope”. Anyone interested in church libraries is welcome to attend. For the conference program and registration form ring Joy on 8278 3370.

Big vision for Tarooki Campsite THE UNITING Church’s Tarooki campsite at Robe is to be upgraded and developed as a new centre for ministry and learning in the South East. A chapel will also be built on the Tarooki site and will be the new home for members of the Robe Uniting Church. Robe’s old stone church in Davenport Street is in the process of being sold. Members hope to continue worshipping in the building until the new chapel is built from sale proceeds. Tarooki, which overlooks both Guichen Bay and Lake Fellmongery, is within walking distance of Robe’s town centre. The camp was established in the early 1960s by the Methodist Church to provide an outreach to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Today Tarooki is used mainly by families and school groups. Recently a Uniting Church SA rural ministry school was held there for lay preachers and church leaders. The campsite was recently granted $16,000 in UC Invest Gift Funding. This will be used to install new kitchen floor coverings, a freezer, dishwasher and a cool room at the campsite. The camp’s management committee is looking for further funds to build en suite toilets and showers for the leaders’ accommodation. Further down the track they would like to build a recreation hall. However Tarooki management team chairperson Karen Parker said finding the financial resources will be a challenge. “We’re hoping church people may provide short-term interest free or low interest loans to fund the work,” she said. “We’re also looking for a new caretaker for Tarooki from the end of August. Ideally we’d like someone who is a Christian and interested in activities such as surfing, bushwalking, canoeing, sailing, fishing and mountain biking, so they could widen the scope of campsite offerings.” To book a camp at Tarooki contact Uniting Camps on 1300 304 560. For more information on assisting with outreach at Tarooki contact Karen Parker on 08 8767 2405.


PEOPLE AND PLACES

New Times

THE FIRST in a proposed series of rural ministry schools was held at Tarooki campsite in Robe at the end of April. It was a resounding success with participants. The event was run by the MRN’s (Mission Resourcing Network’s) rural mission planners, Rev Deane Meatheringham, Malcolm Wilson and Rev Eric Kirkham. It was the first time the three have presented as a team, since joining the MRN in January. Usually Deane focuses on equipping congregations in the Mid North and Eyre Peninsula, Malcolm assists those on the Yorke Peninsula and part of the Riverland and Eric covers the South East. “This first ministry school focused on worship and preaching,” Deane said. “Our aim was to give rural lay leaders a boost and reenergise them for ministry. “We tried to speak about ‘why’ we do things, rather than ‘how’,” Eric said. “We allowed them to explore ‘how’ to do things through their own experiences and they were very innovative.” A Uniting Foundation grant of $56,000 will support future rural ministry schools, which are provided free to participants. Another school will be held in Cleve on October 21 and further events may be held in the Mid North, Riverland and York Peninsula. The three rural mission planners are keen to hear from people interested in attending a ministry school in their area. Future schools will be tailored to meet local needs and may focus on resourcing people for mission.

CWS appeals CHRISTIAN World Service (CWS) has launched appeals to provide support for the Indonesian Earthquake and East Timor humanitarian emergencies. Indonesia’s earthquake toll has reached more than 5,000 with estimates of 20,000 injured and 200,000 homeless. CWS, the aid and development agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, has three partner agencies on the ground. They have been running mobile clinics and distributing thousands of packs of food, shelter and hygiene supplies since the day of the earthquake. The response is being coordinated by ACT International. CWS and the partners of ACT International are seeking to raise $2 million for this appeal. In East Timor an estimated 25,000 people have been displaced as a result of recent unrest. CWS is responding through its partner, Yayasan Sosial Naroman (YASONA) by distributing food supplies to displaced people in the districts of Aileu, Same and Ainaro. YASONA staff are meeting with village people to assess the growing needs.

Classifieds WORK WANTED EXPERIENCED GARDENER, Roses pruned, I am your spare pair of hands. Phone 8346 0933. CARPETS LAID, Expert repairs. 0417 872 105 or 8344 4725.

ACCOMMODATION MARION BAY HOLIDAY HOUSE, Sea views, large desk, sleeps 5/6, new home, off peak and pensioner rates. Phone 0402 088 279.

See New Times under Latest News.

Bible Society Bookshop moves THE BIBLE Society bookshop which has been in Rundle Mall for the past 42 years has relocated to the Tabor College Campus in Millswood. The shop opens at its new location on Monday July 3 and visitors are invited to enter the Goodwood Road site via Mitchell Street. The shop can be contacted on 8373 8747. Bible House is now located at 770 South Road, Glandore, phone 8292 4888.

Group Life Insurance Agencies Advisers for the Lutheran Group Salary Continuance Plan Dave Shrowder is a member of Golden Grove Lutheran Fellowship

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A heart for the rural church

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Davzil Pty Ltd, trading as Group Life Insurance Agencies, is a Corporate Authorised Representative (ASIC number 255589) of Elders Trustees Ltd trading as Elders Financial Planning (AFSL 237752). Dave Shrowder (ASIC number 255624) and Andrew Hentschke (ASIC number 255616) are Authorised Representatives of Elders Financial Planning.

JULY 2006


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MAGAZINE

New Times

‘The young need mentors’ Nicholas Kerr

TODAY’S YOUNG people need mentors. That was one of the key messages Bo Boshers gave when he spoke in Adelaide recently. Bo is youth pastor at Willow Creek, Chicago. He was keynote speaker at the recent Out of the Valley conference. “Young people need to be able to talk with someone for whom Jesus is real,” he said. “The volunteers who serve in our churches and youth ministries are obviously limited in the time they can give. “That’s where mentors come in.” Bo said that probably everyone who was at the sessions he ran could be a mentor – and so could many other people in churches round SA. “Young people are looking for authenticity,” he said. “They’re looking for authentic Christians – not for someone who pretends to have it all together. “They need to talk with people who know where they are in their own relationship with Christ, in all their own strengths and weaknesses. “Really, anyone who wants to work with young people can be a mentor.

A scene from the Out of the Valley conference at Edge City Church, Wayville. The conference was sponsored by Hope Valley Uniting Church. “They need to want to have a relationship with God, to want to be more Christ-like. “They’re people who are still maturing in their relationship with Christ but who can honestly say: I know I haven’t got it all together – but I know that Christ helps me in my marriage, as a father, as a mother, as a student – whatever it may be.”

Bo said he wanted to encourage everyone who works with young people. “It’s hard work,” he said. “Sometimes the results are slow. It takes patience. “My main message is about spiritual transformation. “How does a young person really grow in their relationship with Christ? “It’s not just going through the

motions. It’s not a kind of checkbox living, ticking the boxes of what the younger generation thinks a Christfollower is. “It’s a lifestyle – not a set of rules. “God’s Word says that we should be transformed by the renewal of our minds and hearts.” This, he said, happens in community. The younger generation has a real heart for community. Relationships are very important to them. They need small groups. That’s where life change happens most effectively. It’s in the context of relationships.” Bo said the church has to be careful that Christianity doesn’t turn into a series of program driven activities. “It’s not just going to church, or about an event,” he said. “When Jesus chose his disciples he chose them to be ‘with him’. “The big message is that this ‘be with’ factor changes lives. “Jesus was very intentional about deepening relationships. “Life change isn’t going to happen effectively in an hour at church, or in a bible study, or at a conference. “It happens in those moments of relationships, in sharing life, with all our strengths and weaknesses.”

© Copyright 2006 Edi Leane. Artwork not to be reproduced in any way without the written permission by Edi Leane of Joie Creative. All Rights Reserved.

To advertise in New Times: Contact Russell Baker phone 8361 6822, fax 8361 6833, email ribad@bigpond.com

JULY 2006


New Times - July 2006