Issue 26, Number 5
PP 565 001/00190 ISSN 0726-2612
UCA celebrates 30 years ON JUNE 22 the Uniting Church celebrates the 30th anniversary of Church Union, when the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches joined to form the Uniting Church. SA Moderator Rev Graham Vawser reflects on this milestone and looks ahead at what the future holds for the Uniting Church in South Australia.
I remember the excitement that Church Union generated in the congregations I was ministering to in 1977. We gathered to celebrate our past and we made a commitment to continue as Christ’s disciples, expecting to feel Christ’s presence as we worshipped and served with a new name and a new structure. For many congregations, this 30th anniversary of the Uniting Church will pass with little fanfare. While I am sure that we should acknowledge the moment, I believe that it is right not to spend too much time and effort on the celebrations. There are many more important activities to focus on. The Strategic Plan approved recently by the Presbytery and Synod renews our commitment to the blueprint set out in the Basis of Union. In that document we acknowledge our heritage, affirm the foundations of our faith, commit ourselves to continued reflection on how the Church must relate to each succeeding generation and are reminded that we share in a future blessed by God in Christ. In the Strategic Plan, the Church is called again to its ministry of proclaiming Christ as Lord and Saviour [Fostering Conversion Growth]. We are encouraged again to identify and train people to service in the various ministries of the Church [Raising Leaders]. We commit ourselves to the continuing processes of learning how to be the followers of Jesus [Growing Disciples]. Continued on page 15.
Uniting Church SA Moderator Rev Graham Vawser welcomes drought-breaking rain shortly before he officially opened the 29th KCO at West Beach at the end of April. See full story on page 9.
Resources to help us celebrate Wednesday, June 22, 1977 was an auspicious day. After years of discussion, negotiation, and endless uncertainties the unity of the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches was sealed and the dream of a stronger church — one that would be ecumenical, evangelical, Australian, peaceful, just, reconciliatory, and progressive, was born. The inaugural service of the Uniting Church in Australia was held at Sydney Town Hall and broadcast live on ABC television. “I’ve seldom felt as exhilarated as on that day 30 years ago,” says Rev Gregor Henderson, President of the Uniting Church. “The following
Sunday every congregation celebrated. There were marches through the streets with banners flying, the Uniting Church emblem was unveiled on buildings and notice boards, people welcomed each other as part of the one new church, the faith was affirmed anew in sermons and creeds and congregational commitments, hymns and songs resounded the whole day long.” The 30th anniversary of this historic occasion offers an opportunity to reflect on the journey and to consider the unity that continues to be the backbone of the life of the church.
inside… Origins of UCA logo
Our leadership vision
Basis of Union relevant NCLS results
Presbytery Synod news
Planting new models
Early end to KCO
Indigenous business help
Padthaway UC active
Continued on page 15.
Please hand out at your church door
How we got our logo
IN 1975 a Brisbane based group of 12 people representing the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches was asked to design a logo for what would be known as the Uniting Church. Called the ‘Committee on Paraphernalia and Titles’, the group was also charged with deciding the name of the new church, the dress and titles of ministers and officers and the name for ministers’ residences. Thirty years on, the Uniting Church logo they designed is one of the most recognised Christian symbols in Australia. Committee member and final logo designer Jim Gibson said such widespread acceptance of the logo was an unexpected surprise. “We didn’t have a long term vision for it,” he said. “When we finished the job we felt the logo could just be a symbol for establishing the church and that it might then disappear. But it has been adopted by the church everywhere. “The logo has become owned by Uniting Church people. We wear it on our name tags and have it on the backs of our motor cars.” From start to finish the design process took about a year. Initially a graphic design company was asked to come up with ideas, but Mr Gibson said the resulting images didn’t reflect what the new church was trying to say. “None of them struck a chord with us and they didn’t say what we wanted to say theologically. Consequently the committee took a different path – asking the three combining churches for designs and thoughts on what the logo should include. Many of these designs included a Trinity theme as well as the Southern Cross, the cross, a boat and the letters “UCA”. “We focussed on two symbols that came out of these. One was the dove with wings of flame; the other was the cross over the broken circle. “We felt those two symbols encapsulated the essential elements as the church was coming in to union.” It was Mr Gibson’s job to turn these ideas into a graphic symbol. The result was an image where the combination of the parts reflected the Uniting Church’s place in the world. “A white cross over the darkened world, the people of God gathered at the foot of the cross and the image of the Holy Spirit which brings both peace and energy emanating from the cross and touching the people of God.” In recent years there has been talk of modernising the logo. Mr Gibson said if this happened it would be important not to lose the meaning and intent of the logo’s various parts.
Some of the early designs that preceded the official UCA logo.
30 years: It’s a time to reflect THE 30th anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on how the Uniting Church has made a difference at mission across South Australian communities, says UnitingCare Australia National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds. Lin, who grew up in the church and was 12 years old at union, said she continues to be “unashamedly passionate” about the church and what it stands for. “I love this church that is so young yet so willing to continue to risk following Christ’s call to the edges,” she said. “This church that welcomes all, includes all, celebrates all, regardless of label or stigma.” She added that while 30 years by anybody’s reckoning was not very long, the Uniting Church had made its mark in so many ways. “In the last five years I’ve been in a national role in the life of the church with UnitingCare and so have been able to be part of a movement of mission with and for those most disadvantaged,” she said. “A transformative movement
for change for good and that works for justice for all – that seeks to build and strengthen communities, neighbourhoods and families in which people belong, contribute and are valued ... “A movement that is grounded, as is UnitingCare, in the life and mission of the Uniting Church, as well as the considerable expertise of our service providers and the lived experience of those who use our services …” In South Australia, UnitingCare includes 16 agencies providing a wide range of services across the State. These services include welfare, hospital and health care, advocacy, emergency support, aged care, children, youth and family support and disability services. Lin said it took a special organisation with dedicated, professional, and compassionate staff and volunteers to deliver services to disadvantaged people in a way that improved their quality of life. “While UnitingCare provides
services and support to whoever needs them because we are part of the Uniting Church, we have a particular focus on those who are the most vulnerable,” she said. “This focus arises from the Christian understanding of God’s preferential option for the poor. The UnitingCare family, she said, was part of the church’s pilgrim journey, on the way to a promised end. “We grow tired together; we find renewal and joy together. We learn, we grow, we are transformed by our relationships with each other, with God, and with our communities. “We will continue our pilgrim journey as we hope and work for a nation and world shaped by love, justice, and grace. I believe that UnitingCare will play a significant part in bringing that future closer. “We have made a difference for the past 30 years. Together, we can continue to make a difference.”
A new vision for leadership Jill Freear
The church needs to develop mission-orientated leaders. That was a key factor behind a mini-review of theological education for the Synod and Presbytery of South Australia. Parkin-Wesley College principal Rev Dr Andrew Dutney undertook the review. He presented the findings to church members at the May Presbytery and Synod meeting. “Our present education system and institutions form excellent scholars and provide high standards of education – but they weren’t designed to form the mission-oriented leaders we need at the moment,” he said. Andrew said our educational system needs to be reformed in two ways.
Plans for a Leadership Institute “Firstly we’re planning to establish a Leadership Institute – we’re presently defining the director’s role and will shortly start the recruitment process. “Secondly we need organisational and cultural change at Parkin-Wesley College.” Andrew explained that Parkin-Wesley was formed in the late 1960s when internationally there was a conscious policy of adopting higher educational standards for the clergy. This went handin-hand with the shaping of ministry as a profession. “At that time it made a lot of sense,” he said. “At Church Union we again committed to a ‘university style’ model of ministry education. “A little later the ACD (Adelaide College of Divinity) was formed and each of the three denominations involved (Catholic, Anglican and UCA) was interested in educating people for professional ministry. “The College was formed specifically to work with Flinders University – as the University would only work with an ecumenical consortium. “That was about 30 years ago and times have simply
changed …and the needs of the various denominations no longer coincide.
Pro-active, missionorientated leaders
“While maintaining high levels of intellectual integrity and scholarship … the Uniting Church needs its educational institutions to shift their emphasis from forming scholars to forming practitioners who are proactive, mission-orientated leaders.” The review recommends that Parkin-Wesley College implements three models of training: • “In situ training,” where the candidate serves in ministry with external supervision, completing their Core Phase part-time through distance and intensive methods of delivery. This model may be better suited to candidates in a rural setting. • “Apprenticeship training,” where the candidate serves in ministry under the supervision of a senior ministerial colleague while completing the Core Phase part-time through distance, intensive and oncampus methods of delivery. • “Intensive training,” where the candidate completes the Core Phase full time on campus. Andrew said the Uniting Church still needs continuing access to the Adelaide College of Divinity as a Registered Training Organisation and as a Higher Education Provider for the delivery of the Master of Ministry and the proposed Doctor of Ministry courses. “We also value the continuing relationship with Flinders University for guaranteeing the quality of the Bachelor of Theology and other courses, as well as the opportunities it provides for professional development.” Andrew said the review will ensure that the Church is goal-orientated about ministry education and it also requires our institutions to closely match the Church’s strategic directions and ministry formation needs. Presbytery and Synod members strongly affirmed the directions outlined in the review.
Plans for major changes to ministerial and lay education and training were outlined at the May Presbytery and Synod meeting by Parkin-Wesley College principal Rev Dr Andrew Dutney, General Secretary Rev Dr Graham Humphris and MRN executive officer Rev Dr Ian Price.
Five qualities for leaders Uniting Church SA General Secretary Rev Dr Graham Humphris highlighted the five essential qualities that ministers and key lay leaders need to lead our church into the future. Graham said that, while we still need leaders with good Biblical knowledge and sound theological understanding, other attributes are also important. “Trying to just produce ministerial scholars, by subordinating practical ministry skills to academic training, is just not going to be enough to build effective, healthy churches of the future.” Graham highlighted the following essential qualities:
• The need for passion and vision – with a deep sense of call and excitement and enthusiasm about God, the church and mission. • People skills – the ability to relate well and build positive relationships. • The ability to turn spectators into participators – to develop others and use their gifts. •The ability to manage change well – and the desire to be life-long learners. •The ability to communicate inspirationally. Graham said the need to develop leaders with these essential qualities “under-girded” the minireview of theological education.
Basis of Union - still relevant Rev Dr Andrew Dutney
As the data from the 2006 National Church Life Survey becomes available it’s becoming clear that the church’s future is all about mission. The future? No, the present. Today. The church is all about mission or it’s all about finished. The church’s focus must be on evangelism, serving those in need, reconciliation and community building. And in all of these areas the church needs to be open to innovation, encouraging initiative and empowering its members for their ministries. So what would a church look like if it was all about mission? That’s the question for today, 2007. But it was also the question that guided the Joint Commission on Church Union from 1957 until 1971 as it gradually prepared an agreed Basis of Union for
the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian churches.
A church which is all about mission has only one message: Christ is “the risen crucified One” who is “Lord over its own life”, “Head over all things” and “the beginning of a new creation” (para.3). The message about this Christ is “controlled by the Biblical witnesses” (para.5) and as the church proclaims him, Christ himself “reaches out to command attention and awaken faith”, personally transforming the lives of those he touches and gathering them into his church (para.4). A church which is all about mission will seek “continual renewal” and so “remain open to constant reform under [Christ’s] Word” (para.1). It will “keep its law under constant review” to ensure that its regulations and procedures release people for mission
and evangelism and do not hamstring them (para.17). It will pray that God “will constantly correct” it through the Holy Spirit (para.18), keeping it on track as “a pilgrim people, always on the way towards a promised goal” (para.3). A church which is all about mission will constantly draw from the wellsprings of faith: worship, the Scriptures, the sacraments, the creeds, the insight and example of its forebears, the contemporary world and its opportunities to “confess the Lord in fresh words and deeds” (paras.3-11).
A church which is all about mission will do everything it can to ensure that each member shares the gift of ministry they’ve received from the Spirit in mission (para.13). It will know that some ministries are crucial to the health of the church and ensure that members called by God to those ministries are
recognized, equipped and released for service (para.14). It will know that submission to Christ and effectiveness in mission requires taking counsel together (para.15).
One of the things I appreciate about the Basis of Union is that it was produced by the churches at a time when they were strong and confident. It was not a response to decline. It was not the fruit of fear or anxiety. So there was no pressure to sacrifice Christian authenticity to pragmatism. It’s visionary stuff. It was intended to resource the churches for the most radical changes that any of them had ever made – all for the sake of becoming fit for the mission of God in Australia. Radical change is required of us again – for the same reason, mission. A generation on, the Basis of Union will still resource us if we’re game.
The long road to Church Union 1901 – With the Federation of
Australia in the air, some of the leaders of the Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches thought it would be a good idea if their churches caught the mood.
1905 – Formal union negotiations were underway between the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian churches. These would continue until 1924 producing four bases of union and a series of votes at every level of the three churches. On each occasion, the vote was in favour of union, but the existence of a minority, particularly in the Congregational and Presbyterian churches, made union impossible for fear of creating a bitter division in the church.
1922 and 1923 – The Anglican Church sponsored a series of ‘reunion conferences’ with the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterians which continued for about ten years; but it
was clear that a union of Episcopal and non-Episcopal churches was not possible.
1933 – The Congregational and
Methodist churches began negotiations for a two-way union as a preliminary step towards a wider union. The plan was to unite the national offices and functions of the churches while still allowing a degree of autonomy at state and local levels.
1938 – The Presbyterian Church asked to be included in the Congregational and Methodist negotiations. This resulted in a similar scheme that was put to a series of votes at the national and state levels of the three churches between 1945 and 1948. Not all the state Assemblies approved the scheme so it was decided to conduct a referendum of members before the 1951 national Assembly. However the referendum did not take place. Due to the death of the church’s Law Agent, the referendum was missed
and the Presbyterians withdrew from the plan.
1954 – The Presbyterians finally tested the church’s view with a vote which was overwhelmingly in favour of seeking union. In 1957, a new Basis of Union was presented to the Assembly but was not accepted. 1960s – A number of Methodist and Presbyterian congregations around Australia were working in co-operation with each other, in anticipation of the union of the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches. At the national level, a Joint Commission on Church Union was established with the task of drafting a statement on which the three denominations could agree on as a basis to unite.
1959 – “The Faith of the Church”
was published - the first of two major theological papers that explored the faith the three churches had in common.
www.wesleykenttown.com JUNE 2007
1963 – The second paper “The Church: its Nature, Function and Ordering” was published. Attached to this was a Proposed Basis of Union. Both papers were approved by the three denominations and the Joint Commission for Church Union submitted them to the memberships for discussion and voting.
1971 – A second draft of The Basis of Union was submitted to the three churches by the Joint Commission. This amendment sought to deal with criticisms that the first draft did not define the Bible as “the Word of God” in a way that described the scriptures as verbally inerrant. 1976 – The Basis of Union was
finally adopted by the three national councils of the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches.
1977 (22 June) – The Inauguration of the Uniting Church in Australia was celebrated around the nation.
NCLS - good and bad news Rev Dr Ian Price
Preliminary data from the NCLS (National Church Life Survey) reveals both good and bad news for the Uniting Church in South Australia. The good news is that we have improved our rating in six out of nine categories, namely Faith, Worship, Vision, Innovation, Service and Inclusion. Another good sign is that congregations are identifying and owning their own vision. When this is coupled with our strongest indicator – Innovation - it appears that congregations are laying the foundations for a vital and strong future. Another positive sign is a marked growth in people’s experience of growing in faith within their congregation. This again provides evidence that we are moving in the right direction. However, the not so good news is that church members are experiencing a decline in their sense of belonging, in leadership and in faith sharing. Members appear to be feeling a growing sense of distance from their leaders. People want to use their gifts, be encouraged in their development and be engaged by leaders in vision and ministry. Members are also reporting a sense of disempowerment. This is shown in the decrease in their sense of belonging; although this can partly be accounted for by the fact that 25 percent of participants have been in their congregation for less than five years. Faith sharing continues to be lower and the biggest concern is the reticence of members to be willing to follow up and engage with people who may be drifting out of a congregation. Fortunately the Uniting Church SA’s Strategic Plan addresses the negative aspects of the NCLS results - by recognising the need to work on conversion growth and leadership development. The encouraging news is that we are making progress as a denomination and have a real sense of hope for the future. If we focus our energy and attention on helping people between 18 and 30 to develop their faith and discipleship and continue to risk ourselves for the sake of Christ’s mission, then the growth we are seeking will continue.
NCLS – much to celebrate
National Church Life Survey communications manager Dr Ruth Powell presenting the Uniting Church SA’s preliminary NCLS survey results to MRN executive officer Rev Dr Ian Price.
INITIAL NCLS (National Church Life Survey) results indicate the Uniting Church SA has much to celebrate, according to NCLS communications manager Dr Ruth Powell. Ruth highlighted two key survey results. Firstly that 15 percent of the 10,000 Uniting Church SA members surveyed felt their congregation was always ready to try something new, (up from 10 percent in 2001). And secondly the fact that 62 percent of members were aware of and committed to their congregation’s vision, goals and directions, (up from 51 percent in 2001. “It is fantastic to see that Innovation is your top Core Quality,” said Ruth, “and statistically it is highly significant that this has increased by five percent. “Clearly people are open to new possibilities – this is definitely cause to celebrate.” Seventy four percent of local church members surveyed also felt their leaders encouraged innovation. Ruth was also encouraged by the fact that local church attendees have a clear understanding of their congregation’s vision and are committed to it. “Having a clear and compelling vision is a powerful predictor of whether a congregation has a future,” said Ruth. “There has been a massive shift in the number of people who are now aware of their congregation’s vision – this has moved from 60 percent to 73 percent in five years. “This is what really matters and it’s really exciting.” Some potentially discouraging news was that fewer people felt church leaders were encouraging them to use their gifts and skills. Ruth said this could mean that attendees like where their church is going and want to be part of it. “I see this as a positive – people want to be mobilised. And if you want to be a church that is relevant to people under 50 you must empower people and allow them to be part of the big picture.” Meanwhile Ruth said NCLS church attendance figures should be available early next year, once all congregations have returned their survey results. More comprehensive information about our church’s regional Church Life Profile is available on line at www.ncls.org.au. To access the report follow the links related to Church Life Profiles and type in “CWFJHM” as the profile number. JUNE 2007
Presbytery Synod meeting news Strategic Plan DVD and bookmarks
on 8236 4237 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. org.au.
The Synod viewed a new DVD outlining the Uniting Church SAâ€™s Strategic Plan and our Six Key Directions for the next five years. Members received a free copy of the DVD and bookmarks for their congregation. The eight minute DVD is suitable for playing during worship or in congregational or church council meetings as a way of sparking discussion about how we might work together to implement the Strategic Plan. If you would like a copy of the Strategic Plan DVD, bookmarks or newsletters please contact Strategic Plan project manager Linda Bastick on 8236 4212 or email email@example.com. Linda is also able to arrange a Strategic Plan speaker for mission network gatherings.
Preparing for Ordination The Presbytery of SA agreed to ordain Simon Dent, Tony Goodluck and Ruthmary Bond as Ministers of the Word. Seven people who have undertaken a Period of Discernment were also acknowledged â€“ Titus Ng, David Hoffmann, Benji Callan, Nathan Whillas, Tim Hein, Mandy Scott and Jan Shaw.
Around 130 South Australian young people attended the recent National Christian Youth Convention in Perth. Ernest Sorenson presented a DVD of highlights from NCYC 07. Copies of the DVD are available from Ernest on request; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Victoria will host NCYC in 2009. For more information visit www.ncyc.org. au.
Rural resourcing ministers
Sandra Webb and Dianna Bartlett picked up copies of the free Strategic Plan DVD and bookmarks for church members from the Presbytery and Synod meeting.
Devona The Synod changed the Trust Deed for the Devona property at Port Elliot. This will enable the Property Trust to sell Devona and re-invest the proceeds to provide better quality holiday accommodation for ministers and church members.
Gift Funding projects A wide range of church initiatives
will soon get an injection of funds thanks to UC Invest gift funding. More than $660,000 will be shared between 22 property projects, 10 requests for equipment and six mission initiatives. There will be three Gift Funding rounds in 2007 with a total of $268,000 available. For a copy of the guidelines, an application form or more information contact grants officer Louise Johnson
The Uniting Church SA has committed $1 million to rural ministry over the next three years. This money will support the placement of ministers in rural communities. A strategic mapping exercise is being carried out to identify key congregations and ministry opportunities across the State. A full report will be brought to the Synod meeting in July.
Pastoral Visitor Project A grant from the Uniting Foundation will enable a Pastoral Visitor Project to be established. The project will support and equip people to provide pastoral care in congregations and agencies. Dianna Bartlett has been appointed project officer from July.
Resurrecting churches REV DR STEVE Taylor was called in as a last-ditch effort to breathe new life into the 96year-old Opawa Baptist Church in New Zealand. While Steve had successfully planted an emerging café style church in Auckland, he had no idea if he could inject new life into an established church. “Opawa was the most conservative Baptist church in Christchurch,” said Steve. “The last three ministers had left under less than ideal circumstances. The congregation had lost 400 people in the previous 10 years. “When I started there were about 100 members and I was afraid of finding a dysfunctional, broken place. “The challenge for me was to see if there could be hope, even a resurrection, in such an established place. “I asked Opawa people to give me the space to enable innovation and development using a multi-congregational model.” Steve and the team he gathered proved up to the challenge – the suburban church which had lost its former glory is rediscovering new missional life. In the space of four years, Opawa has planted five new congregations – all fresh expressions of church – and is planning a sixth. There is an espresso congregation; a hymn congregation offering hymns and soup in the afternoons and
the “Side Door” alternative worship service where people are free to question their beliefs. This congregation also manages artistic endeavours, such as setting up a Stations of the Cross art installation at Easter and a Christmas Labyrinth.
The church also holds family film nights and there is an “Intermediate Club” for at risk kids. All of these innovative ideas came from the grassroots – growing from church members’ ideas. “It’s about seeing what will work in your community – not photocopying what somebody else has done,” said Steve. “It’s also about trying to find simpler ways of doing church. “We will just keep on planting congregations to reach different people.” Steve still has lots of ideas that are “swishing around”. “We’d like to help parents and children form faith together – rather than sending the kids out to Sunday school. “I’d like to plant a physical fitness-outdoor recreation style church where everyone goes cycling then comes back and has coffee and works on doing mission together. “I’d also like to experiment with a virtual church. “We’ve already tried ‘Spirituality to go’ – where we created an Easter church service for people to take away to their holiday homes. “And at Christmas we
Rev Dr Steve Taylor, a church planter and lead pastor from the Opawa Baptist Church in Christchurch, New Zealand, was the keynote speaker at the May Presbytery and Synod Resourcing Day. He provided food for thought for members who have been challenged to establish new models of church under the Strategic Plan. produce Advent art cards with a beautiful picture, scripture and reflection. We give these to people so they can celebrate Christmas without necessarily coming to church.” The inside of the concrete block 70’s-style church at Opawa has also changed. There is a coffee machine and lots of couches and art works, making for a more warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The church council is now planning a $500,000 face-lift to open up the church foyer and install a café.
Steve is happy to support the renovations, as long as they don’t impact negatively on mission.
A DVD of Steve’s presentation to the May Presbytery and Synod meeting is available from ParkinWesley College – call 8416 8420 or email: p- wcollege @flinders.edu.au for details. Steve is the author of “The Out of Bounds Church?” and is also a lecturer in Practical Theology at the Bible College of New Zealand.
Uniting Church SA Moderator Rev Graham Vawser at the recent Presbytery and Synod meeting.
Eyre Peninsula KSO Rev Ian Dow, Tumby Bay
15 years of craft WESTBOURNE Park Uniting Church’s Thursday Craft group celebrated its 15th Birthday last month. The church’s community networker Beryl Hunter (top right) said the group was not only celebrating a major Birthday, but also a record 350 enrolments this term.
SIXTY CHILDREN and their leaders gathered at Thuruna Uniting Church Campsite near Tumby Bay in April for KSO (KUCA Sleep Over). The children came from churches and kids clubs across Eyre Peninsula. The camp aimed to grow courageous Christian disciples, through the theme “G*I*Deon’s Boot Camp”. The children were told the story of Gideon from Judges 6-8 and considered what discipleship meant for them. A radio play, “The Battle of Trus-Tanobé” introduced Biblebased devotions around the ideas of trusting God and being obedient to God’s call. Songs followed the theme, recognising the power and grace of Jesus and the power his Spirit gives to his followers. Worship times were very significant as none of the children experience child-friendly worship like this on a weekly basis. We hope we have opened new pathways for them to experience Jesus in fresh ways. The children also participated in games, a beach march, craft and evening entertainment with each group presenting an act. Throughout KSO there was a deliberate policy of raising a new generation of Christian leaders through development of junior leaders. Young people led games, provided music and acted in the radio play, as well as taking on humble jobs like toilet cleaning, kitchen assistance and dorm sweeping. They did a fantastic job - KSO wouldn’t have been as effective without them. An offering of $362 was collected for needy children in the Solomon Islands.
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Heavens open over KCO DROUGHT-BREAKING RAIN caused organisers to call off KCO (KUCA Camp Out) just four hours into the 24 hour event at West Beach at the end of April. This year KCO was a month later than usual. The Adelaide Shores venue was not available earlier due to a large number of major events in Adelaide. Uniting Church SA events manager Linda Driver said that, while it was disappointing that persistent heavy rain and strong winds brought an early halt to the 29th KCO, it was still wonderful to have significant rainfall after months of drought. Initially campers were encouraged to stay in their tents and listen to the opening worship and drama sessions which were broadcast on the KCO radio station. A few hardy campers sheltered under umbrellas and tarpaulins to briefly brave wet conditions in the main arena. KCO was officially opened by Moderator Rev Graham Vawser who acknowledged the importance of children and young people in the life of the church. Campers enjoyed craft activities at their individual campsites and under a central sheltered area. However by late Saturday afternoon some groups discovered they were inadequately equipped to deal with the wet conditions. The KCO organising committee reluctantly decided to cancel the program for safety reasons. Groups were given the option of staying on or seeking alternative accommodation.
A large contingent from Woodville Gardens ‘Kids’ Church’ also braved the wet conditions to worship in the main arena.
Silver lining Linda said that, despite the disappointment over the event’s cancellation, many positive stories had emerged. “KCO 2007 will certainly be remembered as the year the drought broke,” said Linda. “It will also be remembered for its wonderful community spirit, for the forming of new and stronger relationships and for the adaptability and creativity of campers. “For example Westbourne Park Uniting Church opened its church hall to Pinnaroo campers, who slept over and attended worship and Sunday school the next day. The Clare group were washed out but they teamed up with Booleroo and had their own campout in the Clare Uniting Church hall – with games, devotions and a movie on a big screen. “The kids from Brougham Place continued their camp out back in their church basement. “Woodville Uniting Church kids had a great time – they stayed on at West Beach and enjoyed a movie night in their tent. “The Hallett Cove group also stayed on and prepared a worship service which all the remaining campers were invited to on Sunday morning. “There are numerous wonderful stories. In many ways God provided an outcome that was even greater than we could have hoped for!” Ironically the KCO offering will be donated to the Uniting Church SA’s Drought Relief Appeal. KCO groups may send cheques to the KCO office.
David and Kim Wright from the Mobile Aboriginal Patrol brought a group of children from the Hawker region to KCO – a round trip of 800 kilometres.
Kensington Park minister Ruthmary Bond (centre) braved the elements with her group to dance and sing during KCO’s opening worship service. JUNE 2007
‘We must be involved’ UNITING Church President, Rev Gregor Henderson, was in Adelaide recently for the President’s Table dinner and the annual general meeting of the South Australian Council of Churches. Keren DeBoo reports.
CHRISTIANS must be involved in aid and development, Uniting Church President, Rev Gregor Henderson, said in Adelaide recently. “We have no choice but to be involved,” he said. “We can’t be faithful disciples if we’re not involved in working for peace and justice.” The churches’ aid and development arms stemmed from the “extraordinary realisation in the 1950s and 60s of the suffering of millions and millions of people in Africa and Asia from poverty,” he said. The response to this by governments and non-government agencies, including people of faith, was “to take action to try and relieve that suffering,” he said. “Global problems like climate change again drive churches into saying ‘We’ve got to address this’, hopefully with one voice, as people of faith together. “The churches ecumenically have a strong and long history of working together for justice throughout the world.” Gregor said there has been progress in ecumenical aid and development action recently. In February this year Action of Churches Together Development (ACT Development) was launched. This alliance of World Council of Churches member churches involves around 55 agencies, including the National Council of Churches in Australia and Christian World Service. These agencies have “made a commitment to work more cohesively in terms of delivering aid to countries that are suffering and also a commitment to greater efforts on advocacy,” he said. ACT Development will undertake
Gregor Henderson in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya large scale projects. Better coordination will lead to better use of resources. This in turn “will increase our effectiveness and our efficiency in delivering aid from Australian churches into Africa and Asia particularly, and to a lesser degree, the Pacific.” The Uniting Church has also made a commitment to advocacy – in Australia with the Indigenous population, and around the world through the “Make Poverty History” campaign. “Over the last decade, Aboriginal needs and aspirations have dropped off the national agenda in large measure,” he said. After a Uniting Church delegation’s visit to Port Augusta in November last year, the Uniting Church Assembly Standing Committee decided the church must rectify this.
“We need, alongside the Congress, to commit to bring Aboriginal agendas back on the national agenda this year,” he said. Advocacy for Indigenous Australians
should be part of the Federal election this year. “It’ll be the national leadership of the church, along with the Congress leadership, going in together on these advocacy efforts to politicians.” Gregor said the church must also be involved in international aid and development. “In the last 10 to 15 years, government efforts have achieved a lot to reduce poverty in some parts of the world,” he said. “But it has been nowhere near fast enough. “The churches have realised that our voluntary efforts to reduce poverty and suffering in Africa and Asia are just not going to achieve it.” This recognition has lead to the creation of the “Make Poverty History” movement and the campaign to reduce poorer countries’ debt burden. The church has been heavily involved in both. Governments are now realising the need to work together with the UN on this front. “Our own national government signed to the Millennium Development Goals back in 2000,” he said. “Our progress, half way to the 2015 end date for those MDGs to be realised, isn’t really on track to meet those targets. We have a commitment to continue our advocacy very strongly there.”
Christians have no choice WHY SHOULD we be involved in aid and development? Gregor Henderson said we have no choice. “Why?” he asked. “Because it’s a faith requirement ... “Because our Lord Jesus Christ went out of his way to care for the poor and the suffering people … “Because he preached good news to the poor ... “Because he wanted his followers to care for the poor ...
“Because he wanted his followers to be involved in working for justice and for peace – ‘blessed are the peacemakers; blessed are the poor’. “We have no choice but to be involved. “We can’t be faithful disciples if we’re not involved in working for peace and justice – involved in our local neighbourhoods, nationally and internationally.”
Take lead on ecumenism
INTERNATIONALLY, ecumenism is in a healthy state, Uniting Church President, Rev Gregor Henderson said. But here in Australia, the situation is not as positive. “Things said by leaders haven’t really translated very much into local ecumenical action,” he said. Dwindling numbers in local churches, he said, have had an impact on the amount and kind of ecumenical activity undertaken by churches. “Churches then turn in themselves. They work hard for their own denominational survival. “Ecumenical activities are seen as an optional extra which may not draw people into your own denomination. I’m not sure that the logic of that attitude is necessarily accurate, and it’s certainly JUNE 2007
not helpful.” The involvement of the Assemblies of God in the National Heads of Churches meetings, he said, is a step in a positive direction. “Some other Pentecostal churches are beginning to show more interest in working alongside and with other mainstream churches.” For a while now, the growing edge of Christianity in Australia (the Pentecostal churches) has not been involved in much ecumenical activity, he said. But this is set to change. “There’s a growing understanding among the leaders of Pentecostal churches and mainstream churches which will, hopefully, lead to more openness to some joint action.” Three years ago, here in Adelaide,
members of the National Council of Churches in Australia met to discuss and sign a covenanting agreement. “Fifteen member churches signed the commitment to pray for one another and explore means of cooperating with each other,” he said, “It’s one of the most comprehensive covenanting arrangements between member churches of a national council of churches anywhere in the world. “Something like 11 (of the 15 member churches) said that we should be sharing our resources in common efforts in mission. “I don’t see us translating those covenanting commitments as readily as we should be. “I think we need to be asking questions of ourselves in the Assembly,
Synods and Presbyteries: ‘How well known is this covenant that we signed?’ “We have a long way to go on that. But I reiterate that this covenant opens up enormous possibilities for us. It’s an excellent piece of work. We as a church need to take it far more seriously than we have in the last three years.” The Uniting Church needs to take the lead in ecumenical activities and projects, Gregor said. “We have this proud history of very strong commitment to ecumenism, being a child of the ecumenical movement ourselves as the Uniting Church Australia. “A temptation for us is to sit back and not take the lead that we, through our commitment to being a Unit-ing Church, should be very much committed to.”
Teaching preaching differently Tony Eldridge PARKIN-WESLEY Theological College is turning preaching on its head. Learning to preach is a life long experience. It is an intentional and ongoing process of improving delivery skills, working with the Scripture text and being attuned to the changing social and church context. Preachers often reflect on the relentless nature of preaching, the flexibility needed to cope with crisis, the need for resources and creativity and the importance of ongoing feeding and nurture of a congregation through preaching. With this in mind, teaching preaching is undergoing a revolution at ParkinWesley. I have moved from teaching people the task of preaching, to preparing them for the “preaching life”. The implications of this shift have been backed up by my PhD research where I have interviewed key preaching teachers from the United States, Europe and Australia. It has been exciting and interesting to compare how things are done here with other seminaries and colleges worldwide and to pick up tips on how others teach preaching in a rapidly changing world. Some principles remain ageless. For example, most people’s first experiences of preaching are based on imitating others and they continue to learn by practising.
For people just starting out, approaching the class raises a mixture of feelings. Some are apprehensive while others feel confident, but all are there to improve their skills. The research project focuses on the role of the classroom to enhance learning by using an apprenticeship model alongside formal input. One professor in the United States commented that he had dropped the weekly readings because he said, “nobody learns preaching by reading a book”. This professor doubled the time in the classroom and moved to an apprenticeship model. At ParkinWesley we have also dropped the weekly readings and focus on practical exercises. Class members must present exercises at each session including: • A crisis scenario with two days notice to make a sermon response. • Preparing sermons in places such as a Centrelink office, Adelaide Railway Station, Centennial Park Crematorium or in a café – to aid their ability to contextualise the readings. • Delivering a biblical passage without words to help with “gesture”. • Learning stories to re-tell the class to help with memorization and oral skills. • Rather than a lecture on the “History of Preaching”, participants preach a portion of a historical sermon.
Students studying preaching at Parkin-Wesley College are (back row, l to r) Naomi Rosenberg, Brett Green, Matthew Bond and Peter Daly; (front row, l to r) lecturer Tony Eldridge and students Frances Bartholomeusz and Cate Clarke. This brings the historical context to life, showing that each sermon is an engagement of the Gospel with contemporary theological and social issues. An important aspect of the preaching class is to get people on their feet and talking straight away. Preaching is mainly about making choices, risk and vulnerability; hence
we introduce students to the notion of being outside their comfort zone. In many ways this will be their way of life as a preacher. Initial comments from participants are positive and I now enjoy teaching at a whole new level. The proclamation of the gospel remains core business for the church and the equipping of preachers is a vital concern in these changing times.
Second chance Table Tennis - a hit! at education ABORIGINAL youth who have dropped out of school in Port Augusta are getting a second chance at education - thanks to an innovative venture between the UAICC and Department of Education. A new education program called Tjinatjunanyi - (the Pitjantjatjara word for freedom) - has been operating since late last year. It is presently based at the old Umewarra Mission at the Davenport community in Port Augusta. Between 13 and 18 students, mainly boys, are attending classes there four days a week. Each student has an individual education plan and the aim of the program is to integrate the young people back into mainstream education. The program has some state government funding and support and a part-time teacher has been appointed. In the interim UAICC minister Rev Hohaia Matthews has been teaching students, with support from Congress worker Denise Champion and Aboriginal elder Reggie Reid. Their work is being supported through a Uniting Foundation grant. Other part time workers are funded by Congress. Uniting Church SA covenanting coordinator Peter Russell said there are a variety of reasons why the young people have not been attending school. “Sometimes it’s because they have clashed with teachers or other students and sometimes it’s because the school isn’t sensitive to Indigenous culture and issues,” he said. “Some of these young people have not attended school regularly for up to two or three years. “Consequently their academic skills are generally very poor, particularly in literacy. “However both Congress and the Education Department have been amazed at the change in the kids, who are not only attending regularly, but who are also really applying themselves and working hard. “Tjinatjunanyi is giving these young people a chance to achieve a better future, despite very limited resources.” If you would like to help support this program, contact Peter Russell on 0427 667 607.
ON MONDAY nights Ascot Community Uniting Church comes alive with people playing table tennis. Just like any church social event, this is an opportunity for people to come together for friendship and fellowship. What makes the table tennis night different is the variety of people who attend.
Thirty to 40 people gather each week from a range of cultural backgrounds to ‘have a hit’. Originally a social event for church members, the table tennis grew into an outreach program aimed at international students from nearby Flinders University and for people who attended the church’s weekly English class. It has since grown to include former detainees from Baxter Detention Centre and members of the community. Each week a local doughnut firm donates doughnuts to the church for the table tennis players and everyone is encouraged to eat them or take some home. Minister Sue Langhans has become known as ‘the Doughnut Queen’. “It’s very much about hospitality,” Sue says. “Every time someone walks into table tennis, we say hello. And every time people leave, we say… ‘Got your doughnuts?’ It’s about relationships… it’s about being there.” Meryl Gemo is the coordinator of the Multicultural Ministry at Ascot. She says connecting with people from different cultures is very much about being hospitable and helping people to link in with their community.
Ascot Community Uniting Church minister Rev Sue Langhans, (centre) who has been dubbed the ‘Doughnut Queen’ by people attending the church’s Table Tennis outreach nights.
Connecting with people “It’s important to connect with people in a multitude of different ways – it’s that aspect, rather than any one single program that makes the difference. The interpersonal relationships are the important things. When members of the congregation start to do that, we start to see things happen.” Ascot Community Uniting Church started English classes around ten years ago and people from a variety of different cultures and religions have come to learn English, make friends and be part of the community. The table tennis activity has helped the church’s other ministries because it has provided an opportunity for weekly contact. Meryl believes
relationships are only built through such frequent contact. Last month Ascot’s Multicultural ministry Centre joined with Scripture Union, Tabor College and Interserve to hold a ‘Bridging the Gap’ workshop. This ecumenical event aimed to encourage Christians to engage with their local multicultural community in holistic ministry. Ascot Community Church became a MRN (Mission Resourcing Network) Centre for Multicultural Ministry two years ago. The centre recently received a Uniting Foundation grant for $75 000 over the next three years. The funding will support the table tennis program as well as enabling the church to grow other outreach programs.
Be refreshed with this beautiful CD of inspirational ballads and hymns by Peter Steer. Available at Word, Currie St, Adelaide. Great value - only $15
N E W S
Nurturing Indigenous businesses Electronic communications more popular More people are visiting the Uniting Church SA’s website which was revamped last year. Webmaster Steve Davis reports that “unique” visitor numbers have increased from just over 4,000 a month in February to nearly 7,000 in April. “This is a huge increase,” Steve said. “Every month there are now around 6,700 unique visitors coming to our website – www. sa.uca.org.au. “If they all came during business hours, it would equate to a new visitor every 90 seconds.” “Visitors are attracted to the stories in the “latest news” section and to event information. “There was also a big increase in the number of visitors wanting information relating to UnitingCare’s Pancake Day in February.” There is also growing interest in the Uniting Church SA’s weekly UC E-news. This electronic newsletter is a useful information source for people compiling church newsletters. If you would like to sign up for, or contribute to the UC Enews, contact Jo Watts on 8236 4260 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebuilding South Sudan Brougham Place Uniting Church member Ben Yengi is about to return to his homeland to help rebuild the Southern Sudan after years of civil war. Ben Yengi was one of the first Sudanese refugees to arrive in Adelaide in the late 1970s.
is right to rebuild,” said Ben. Ben and his family will be officially farewelled at a Benefit Concert at Brougham Place Uniting Church, North Adelaide on July 29 at 2pm.
At 67, when most people are thinking about retirement, Ben is planning to return to the village he fled 45 years ago to help rebuild the community.
From left: An Indigenous business client receiving advice from Indigenous Business Centre advisor Mark Thyer. An Indigenous Business Centre has been opened in Adelaide to support new Indigenous business ventures. UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide has launched the business incubator with funding support from the Federal Government. UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide Minister, Rev Peter McDonald, said the new business centre will provide an innovative and supportive space where Indigenous people can dream, develop and grow their own businesses. “They will also have the opportunity to build on the inherent skills, knowledge and experiences of their cultures,” Peter said.
Centre business advisor, Mark Thyer, said the centre will help reduce business failure by providing practical assistance at the early stages, with mentoring, training, encouragement and advice on establishing a professional business culture. “Bringing Indigenous entrepreneurs together in one place will also create a great space to workshop business ideas and enable people to support and encourage each other,” Mark said. The Adelaide Indigenous Business Centre is at 47-49 Waymouth Street and includes professional office suites as well as a boardroom for meetings and presentations.
Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide. GPO Box 2145 Adelaide SA 5001 Phone (08) 8236 4260 Fax (08) 8236 4295 Email: email@example.com www.sa.uca.org.au
Ben said law and order are slowly being re-established following the signing of a peace agreement two years ago between the Government of the North and the Sudan People’s Libration Army of the South.
Telling stories about an innovative, growing church which is proclaiming Jesus Christ and is empowered by the Spirit to transform God’s world.
“A government has been formed in South Sudan and with peace holding, the time
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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. Advertising: To advertise contact Russell Baker, phone 8361 6822, fax 8361 6865, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Help them get to school Simply Sharing Week has taken its annual education program online for what promises to be the best interactive campaign the churches have ever launched. Simply Sharing Week is a program of Caritas Australia and Christian World Service/National Council of Churches in Australia. The theme, “Send My Friend to School,” aims to educate Australian students and church members on why school is such an important component in poverty reduction and peace. Simply Sharing Week will be celebrated from June 17 to 24. To create a “friend”, order printed resources, or to download an education resource pack, go to www.simplysharingweek.org.au . Resource kits are also available from the SA Council of Churches office.
– Kaylea Fearn, national coordinator, Simply Sharing Week
Deadlines and distribution dates: July issue: Closing date for contributions, Tuesday, June 5; distributed, Sunday, July 1. • August issue: Closing date for contributions, Wednesday, July 11; distributed, Sunday, August 5. • September issue: Closing date for contributions, Wednesday, August 8; distributed, Sunday, September 2. • October issue: Closing date for contributions, Tuesday, September 11; distributed, Sunday, October 7. • November issue: Closing date for contributions, Wednesday, October 10; distributed, Sunday, November 4. • December issue: Closing date for contributions, Wednesday, November 7; distributed, Sunday, December 2. 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. Staff: Acting editor, Jill Freear, Assistant to the 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
July 2007 issue: Deadline for contributions, Tuesday, June 5. The issue will be distributed on Sunday, July 1. JUNE 2007
A BACK TO BASICS Children’s and Family Ministry Training Day will be held on Saturday June 16, 9am - 4pm at Parafield Gardens UC. Cost $20 (incl. lunch). Sessions on “Making Disciples” and “Discipline in Children’s Ministry”. For enquiries and registrations contact the Resource Centre for Children and Family Ministry on 8285 7104 or email@example.com.
Smith Street, Walkerville. Program followed by a shared tea. All welcome. Enquiries to 8295 7745.
AN INTERNATIONAL theological conference will be held in Canberra in July. The “Global Neighbours and Faithful Citizens: Theology in the Public Domain” conference will gather theologians and others interested in public theology. Enquiries to Dr Christine Ledger on 02 6273 1572 or email: anzats07@csu. edu.au or download registration forms from www.csu.edu.au/ faculty/arts/theology/pact/.
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. A LIMITED amount of money is available to assist Uniting Church congregations with mission projects or initiatives. Applications will be received until June 30, 2007. They should be limited to one page and sent to the Chairperson, St Andrews Capital Fund, Woodville Uniting Church, 44 Woodville Road, Woodville SA 5011. STATE MISSION FELLOWSHIP will be held on Tuesday June 26 at 10.30 am at Scots Church, North Terrace. The speakers are Doug and Jennie Hosking who recently returned from Rarongo
and profile raising event such a success. We would also like to acknowledge our top 10 fundraising churches. They were Two Wells Uniting which raised $525; Woodville Uniting - $505; Balaklava Uniting PANCAKE DAY - $472; Tumby Bay Uniting UNITINGCARE SA wishes Church Fellowship -$468; to thank everyone who held a Jamestown Uniting- $440; Pancake Day event during our Strathalbyn & District Uniting 5th national Pancake Day in - $400; Wudinna United Central February. Fellowship - $380; Pilgrim In South Australia there were a Uniting - $354; Marion Uniting record 806 registered events and - $308; and Scots Church, so far more than $60,800 has Nuriootpa Uniting, Salisbury been raised for local UnitingCare Uniting, and the SE Uniting agencies. Church & Community which all raised $300. Our special thanks to those in local congregations, schools In addition a record $3,470 and agencies who have helped was raised from our major make this national fundraising Rundle Mall event. It’s also
Theological College, New Britain and Kimadan, New Ireland, P.N.G. Also Deanna Howland, project officer for “Earth”. Enquiries to 8295 7745. A PUBLIC forum “Our Eco-footprint - Treading Lightly on Our Earth” will take a practical approach to understanding our impact on the Earth. It will be led by ecominister Rev Dr Jason John, at Blackwood Uniting Church, 266 Main Road Blackwood (at the Blackwood Roundabout), on Thursday May 10 at 7.30pm. Supper provided. Gold coin donation. very encouraging that already 150 Groups have registered for Pancake Day next year. Ruth Jeffrey UnitingCare SA events officer RED DOVE CAFÉ The Adelaide Show will be held again from September 7 - 15 this year and the Red Dove Café is looking forward to another successful year. Last year after expenses were paid a total of $41,000 was given to mission projects and needs in South Australia. Funds were distributed as follows: Mental Health Chaplaincy $8,000; Drought Relief $8,000; Refuge Support $2,000; Prison Chaplaincy $2,000; Noah House $5,000; Kairos $1,000; School Ministry Group $3,000; Kids and
Enquiries to Ewan Hazeldine on 8370 3502 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A FORUM for ideas in Science and Religion will be held in Adelaide from June 21 to 24. Topics include Darwin and evolution, stem cell research, euthanasia and women in science and religion. Enquiries to Hilary Regan at Australasian Theological Forum on 8354 2299 or visit www.atf.org.au. A RETURNED missionaries gathering will be held on Sunday July 22 at 3pm at Walkerville Uniting Church,
Ministry Moves REV IAN DOW will move from Tumby Bay Uniting Church to Naracoorte from 1 January 2008 and Rev Dean Brine will move to Strathalbyn and Districts from 1 July 2007.
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 email@example.com or they can be posted to us at GPO Box 2145, Adelaide 5001
Youth Camp-out; UnitingCare Port Adelaide $2,000; UnitingCare Adelaide East $2,000; UnitingCare Bowden $2,000; UnitingCare Port Pirie $2,000; Eleanor Centre Noarlunga $2,000. The Red Dove Café has been providing a Christian presence at the showgrounds for nearly 60 years. You can help by donating groceries or cash, making curries, washing tea towels and volunteering to work a shift. If you can work for half a day contact Pauline Giles on 8556 2194. Graham Watts Red Dove Café chairperson REFUGEE MAPPING UNITINGJUSTICE wants Uniting Church members who are working with asylum seekers and refugees to respond with details of advocacy and service provision for inclusion in a national database. This project will help improve service access and networking and facilitate an understanding
WOULD YOU like to learn about our UCA partner churches? Consider a Short Term Exposure Trip to Zambia in September 2007, for two weeks, Tonga in August/ September 2007 for two weeks or Thailand in October/ November 2007, for two weeks. Contact the People in Mission Office - Sandy 8236 4240 or Judi 8236 4273.
of the breadth of this ministry within the church. UnitingJustice wants to hear from anyone delivering specific services to asylum seekers and refugees or offering any form of assistance to refugee communities as well as any ecumenical and communitybased initiatives involving Uniting Church groups or members. Activities might include the provision of material support for holders of bridging visas, counselling and other professional services, travel loans for family reunions, chaplaincy, lobbying on individual cases with Government, legal support for asylum seekers, detention centre visitation and political advocacy. Responses should be sent to: Kerryn Clarke on 03 9251 5277 or email kerryn. firstname.lastname@example.org. Kerryn Clarke Victoria BAD TELEVISION Most television is bad. “Action” programs are full of violence and sex. “Comedies” mock religion, marriage, families, and fathers. Ads and “quiz” shows encourage greed. “News” programs turn serious issues to personality brawls. Lodge a complaint. Why not? It isn’t hard. At the top of a page, write “Complaint”. Then print your name and address. In a few sentences state what you didn’t like and why. Sign it. Post it to the channel concerned. In 60 days, if you’ve had no sensible answer, send a copy of your letter to: Australian Communications and Media Authority, PO Box Q500, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney 1230. Arnold Jago Mildura
M A G A Z I N E
UCA celebrates 30 years
From page 1. The Church will listen to the prompting of the Spirit, leading us to make new connections with people and cultures [Developing New Models]. More effort will be made to enable the wider community to know what the Uniting Church is doing [Expanding our Profile]. We will also continue to be advocates for all who are vulnerable and disadvantaged in our communities and to make Biblical and theological responses to issues such as climate change [Championing Justice]. As we celebrate this anniversary of the Uniting Church, I pray that we ground ourselves again in these activities that Jesus calls us to.
Resources to help us celebrate From page 1. A new set of resources, “God’s Word, God’s World, God’s Church: Resources for the 30th anniversary of the Uniting Church in Australia,” has been developed and is available to members, congregations, presbyteries, synods and agencies.
The resources include prayers, songs, suggested themes and gospel readings and are designed to be adjusted and adapted to local situations as well as to inspire other ways of acknowledging and commemorating the 30th anniversary of the church. The 30th anniversary is an opportunity to recognise the strength and the strides made in key areas such as community services, multiculturalism, and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress.
Classifieds Work Wanted CARPETS LAID. Expert repairs. 0417 872 105 or 8344 4725. EXPERIENCED HANDYMAN Gardener. Stephen is your spare pair of hands. Phone 8346 0933.
Accommodation MARION BAY HOLIDAY HOUSE Sea views, large deck, sleeps 5/6, new home, off peak and pensioner rates. Phone 0402 088 279. VICTOR HARBOR Peter Wood Lodge and Devona Holiday Units at Victor Harbor and Pt. Elliot, 2&3 br,
s/c accommodation for UCA people. Reasonable rates. Priority bookings and discounts for UC ministers and staff. Phone (08) 8552 1657. ROOM TO RENT $140 per week including gas and electricity. Marion Road, Torrensville, Adelaide. Fully furnished, modern house – bus stop outside front gate. Phone Kate on 8535 4444 or 0474 853 544. HOLIDAY PACKAGE Broken Hill Congregation’s “Hospitality Venture” 6 –day holiday package, 6th to 11th September 2007. Phone our church office (08 8087 5317) for a brochure or for more information.
“JUMPIN’ JOEYS”, “Kool Kangas” and “Flying Roos” don’t sound like anything to do with a church – but this “Roo Family” is part of an outreach program operating fortnightly from the Padthaway Uniting Church hall.
Gregor leads the call to celebration. “May our anniversary celebrations remind us again of God’s call to receive his love and salvation in Christ, and may they strengthen our commitment to be followers of Christ’s way,” he said.
Church member Terry Brown said the church hasn’t had a Sunday school for several years because there are only a few families who worship regularly in the congregation.
“God’s Word, God’s World, God’s Church: Resources for the 30th Anniversary of the Uniting Church in Australia” is available at: http://assembly.uca.org.au/30th/.
“Despite this church members are actively involved with children and families in the district,” Terry said.
WESTMINSTER School has welcomed a new senior chaplain, Pastor Patrick Gillespie, after farewelling senior chaplain, Rev Dean Davidson, at the end of last year. Patrick is from the United Kingdom and has spent the past 12 years pastoring in churches in Victoria. His last appointment was in Ballarat, working with Uniting and Baptist churches, and taking a role in religious education and chaplaincy for local schools. Patrick believes Westminster School’s environment has the potential to engage a developing faith and still be in harmony with those not yet seeking to pursue this aspect of their lives. – Peter Trenorden
ACCOMMODATION TERTIARY STUDENTS VACANCIES IMMEDIATELY Morialta Uniting Church Student Houses undergraduate university/TAFE students. Furnished single bedrooms, shared bathrooms, living areas. Well located for Uni-SA, Magill. Easy travel to city and northern campuses. Rent $280 monthly Mary (83322041) Church Office (83319344).
FOR SALE Bell & Howell overhead projector. Old. Basic. Good condition. $35. Phone 8293 2522.
Roo Family in Padthaway
The Queensland Synod has posted a “Hitchhikers Trip Through The Basis of Union” on its website as a resource for the 30th anniversary reflections on the character and mission of the Uniting Church. This can be found at http://www.ucaqld.com. au/downloads/hitchhiker.pdf
New chaplain for Westminster
On Friday mornings the church hall is opened to parents and carers of children under five – “Jumpin Joeys”. Usually between 10 and 20 “Joeys” turn up for songs and craft, while the adults enjoy chatting over a cuppa. “Kool Kangas” are the five to eight year olds who turn up on Friday afternoons for a snack, songs, craft and games based on a Biblical theme. The group also enjoys sleepovers, bonfires and special outings. The “Flying Roos” are the nine to 13 year olds who show up on Friday evenings for
games and other activities. This group also enjoys more adventurous activities such as “survivor nights” adventure caving, tree planting and kayaking. Terry said the “Roo Family” are invited to family worship celebrations, some of which have been in woolsheds and vineyards, as well as in the church building.
Drought relief PADTHAWAY locals are grateful for funding from the Uniting Church SA’s Drought Relief Appeal which has helped them weather extended drought conditions. In March two events were held in the Padthaway Uniting Church hall. They were attended by about 100 people. A special “Pampering Night” was held for local women – they were welcomed with champagne and punch which was followed by professional massages, facials and foot spas. The church also held a free “Drought Relief Barbeque” night, offering locals the opportunity to relax and talk about their concerns during a tough time.
COMMON DREAMS Progressive Religion as a Transforming Agent You are invited to join Keynote Speakers
BISHOP JOHN SHELBY SPONG & REV STEPHANIE DOWRICK at a gathering of progressive religious and spiritual people from around Australia.
SYDNEY - 16th to 19th August, 2007
Bishop Spong will launch his new book Jesus for the Non-Religious on Thursday, 16th August, 7.30pm at the Pitt St Uniting Church, Sydney. He will also be speaking in Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane as part of a post-conference lecture tour.
Early Bird and Concessional Discounts available. For Program and Registration details:
www.commondreams.org.au or phone (02) 9267 3614 JUNE 2007
New director appointed REV DR Tony Floyd was recently appointed the new national director of Multicultural and Crosscultural Ministry. Tony, who emigrated from England, has worked in ministry based with congregations in Victoria, Tasmania, and Chicago. He succeeds Rev Helen Richmond in this position. Multi/cross-cultural connection both with migrant and Indigenous Australians has been a feature of Tony’s personal and professional life. He is, as he puts it, firmly “committed to the reality that God created a multicultural world” and to the Uniting Church as a “self-declared multicultural church.” In Tony’s view, multicultural and crosscultural ministry is not about
establishing a multicultural church so much as recognising and embracing our identity as a multicultural church with a focus on “living out who we are”. As to the future direction of the ministry, Tony says one priority is second generation Australians. Another focus will be encouraging the church to make use of the documents and guidelines the Church has adopted. And the increasing number of small communities, such as refugee groups, linking with the Uniting Church — The Basis of Union has been translated into Arabic as well as one of the Sudanese languages — means there is increased need for attention in this area. Tony’s position is fulltime with seven to 10 days a month at the National Assembly office in Sydney and the remainder based in Melbourne. Over the next few months Tony plans to visit the synods and meet with people face-to-face to discuss his agenda of advancing a national network of crosscultural experiences and vision where “all peoples of every language and culture find their place alongside one another in God’s promises as gifts of God’s grace”.
Soul’s Journey exhibition ROSTREVOR ARTIST Audrey Emery has been doing some soul searching over the past two years, the results of which will be displayed this month in her “Soul’s Journey” exhibition. The show includes 19 poems and 45 art works which are contemporary and combine painting, pen and wash, photography and collage to express the universal journey of the soul. Audrey says the inspiration for many of
the works came during her regular walks through the Morialta Conservation Park.
The free exhibition will run from June 8 – 30, from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 12 noon to 5pm at the Pepper Street Art Centre, 558 Magill Road, Magill. Audrey will speak about her exhibition on Saturday 9 and 23 June from 2 to 3pm.
Rostrevor artist Audrey Emery with one of the paintings from her “Soul’s Journey” exhibition which is running this month at the Pepper Street Art Centre in Magill.
Celebrating Frontier Services THE VAST work undertaken by Frontier Services was celebrated on Frontier Services Sunday during at a service last month at Murray Bridge Uniting Church Keith Simmons led worship and welcomed Rev Jenny Swanbury who spoke to the Lower Murray Uniting Church congregations about the work of Frontier Services. The gathering was told that Frontier Services’ programs cover 7.5 million square kilometres of outback and remote Australia - about 85 percent of the continent. The organisation employs more than 450
people in over 75 services including health care, counselling, family support, aged care, migrant settlement services, patrol ministry, accommodation for students and a broad range of community services. Rev Jenny Swanbury is the Sturt Patrol padre and she covers an area of 150 kilometres either side of the Barrier Highway between Peterborough and Cockburn on the SA and NSW border. The patrol is made up of a number of small communities along the Barrier Highway plus about 51 pastoral stations. - Rev Rob Mayne