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March 2006

Issue 25, Number 2 PP 565 001/00190 ISSN 0726-2612

Living in harmony MAUGHAN Uniting Church, Adelaide, has received a Federal Government grant under the Living in Harmony community program. The first event at Maughan was a Focus on Food for people from the general community and the Sudanese community. The program encourages local communities: TO PLAY a positive role in addressing issues of racism in the community TO PROMOTE harmony between people and groups from different cultural and racial backgrounds. Program manager at Maughan, Judy Shaw, said the programme seeks to increase understanding of one another and to build relationships between people of different cultures. “We’ll be identifying our similarities and celebrating our differences,” she said. Maughan is one of many Uniting Church congregations working with Sudanese and other refugees.

Pictured at Maughan Uniting Church are, from left, Gabriel Garang, Sara Nyaluot Puoch and Maria Top.

inside… Mwandi orphans

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Honoured

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Pancake Day

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Having eyes to see

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Year of Call to Ministry

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Pray for our church

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Rethinking evangelism

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Refugees: How you can help

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WHY ALL the cuddly toys? For the answer, see page 2

Please hand out at your church door


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NEWS

1,000 cuddly toys UNITING CHURCH Adult Fellowship members and friends have set themselves a challenge. They’re attempting to knit 1,000 cuddly toys for orphaned children in Zambia. The soft toys are destined for children in Mwandi village who have lost their parents through HIV/AIDS. Fiona Dixon-Thompson from Port Lincoln has been supporting vulnerable children in Mwandi for the past four years as a UCA Associate in Mission. UCAF (SA) president Cynthia Gifford said, “We’ve heard through Fiona that these children have no toys and don’t know how to cuddle or play with them. “We want to knit enough cuddlies for all of the children that Fiona cares for through the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children’s Project, in association with the United Church of Zambia.” A simple knitted toy pattern is available in the January/February

UCAF (SA) president Cynthia Gifford and UCAF committee member Norah Norris surrounded by some of the cuddlies already knitted by fellowship members. issue of “Together” magazine. UCAF members aim to have 1,000 cuddlies by August when they meet to celebrate Fellowships Day at Adelaide West Uniting Church.

Help Mwandi orphans A PLEA has gone out to South Australian congregations, fellowship groups and families to help educate orphans and vulnerable children in the Zambian village of Mwandi. Fiona Dixon-Thompson from Port Lincoln has been a UCA Associate in Mission in Mwandi for the past four years and is supporting hundreds of children whose lives have been shattered by HIV/AIDS. Fiona works in association with the United Church of Zambia on the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) project, which is significantly improving the children’s lives through providing clothing, blankets and more nutritious meals. More than a third of the



A child in the Zambian village of Mwandi. Photo by Jo Watts 10,000 Mwandi villagers have HIV/AIDS, particularly men and women in the 20 to 40 year age group.

  

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MARCH 2006

Fiona is desperately seeking sponsorship to help educate children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS. With the support of her friend Jane Carey in Port Lincoln, Fiona has launched the Mwandi Orphans Sponsorship Program. So far more than 160 individuals and groups have signed up to sponsor a child’s education this year. However Fiona and Jane’s dream is to be able to send 550 children to Mwandi Basic School next year. “These children are desperate to attend school,” said Jane. “Some as old as 12 are now going to school for the first time thanks to the sponsorship program. “Sponsorship of just $70 a year covers the cost of school fees, a uniform, shoes, stationery and a bag for a child to attend the Mwandi Basic School. “It costs $240 a year for a child to attend Sesheke High School – this includes their boarding and examination fees. “These kids are just so grateful; they send letters to their sponsors thanking them for the good things that are happening in their lives. “We’re also seeking sponsorship of $75 a year to send children to evening classes next year. This will help kids that can’t go to school during the day because they are responsible for household duties or those who have fallen pregnant and have to care for their own babies.” Fiona is also desperate to find $400 sponsorship a year to send a 15 year old deaf boy to a special school. People wishing to sponsor a Mwandi orphan’s education can call Jane Carey on (08) 8684 2173, email ajcarey@aapt.net. au, or write to Jane C/- Box 2773, Port Lincoln SA 5606.

New Times

Honoured MS PAMELA duRieu Linke, of Colonel Light Gardens, was appointed a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. The award was for service to children, particularly early childhood development as a researcher and author on parenting skills and infant mental health, including chair, Publications Standing Committee, Early Childhood Australia; non-voting Member, National Executive; former SA National Vice-President and Deputy President; author of a number of books and articles; involved with developing national policies on parenting and child rearing. Board Member, Uniting Church Eldercare, 1996-2003. Among those awarded the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division were: Mrs Margaret Dorothy Daniel, of Tusmore, for service to the community through a range of organisations related to charitable activities, politics and the arts, including member, Methodist Ladies’ College Old Scholars’ Association; VicePresident, 1971-1972; taught music to country children and organised exams; involved with the Uniting Church in music and other matters. Rev Lindsay Douglas Faulkner, of Felixstow, for service to the community through involvement in church, aged care and social welfare organisations, including Moderator, Northern Synod, Uniting Church in Australia, 2001-2003; executive member, Victorian Council of Churches; member, Standing Committee, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania; established Bendigo Uniting Care Outreach and Bendigo Uniting Care Print Services; chair, State Disaster Committee;

Member, Standing Committee, SA Synod; chair, Lifeline Bendigo; chair, Lifeline Port Pirie; helped establish Lifeline Australia in Central Victoria. Mr Colin Middlebrook Haines, McLaren Vale, for service to the community through service clubs, church and charitable organisations, and to local government; including member, former Methodist Church State Christian Education Council; State Leader, Order of Knights; Secretary, Leaders’ Meeting; lay preacher; member, Uniting Church in Australia; secretary, Parish Council; member of Presbytery; Mayor, City of Marion, 1991-2000; alderman and councillor. Mr Maurice David Johnson, Coobowie, for service to local government and to the community of Yorke Peninsula, including deputy chair, District Council of Yorketown; Councillor; representative to the Coobowie Progress Association; secretary, Manse Trust, Yorketown Uniting Church elder. Mr Brian Lewis Jones, Adelaide, for service to the Uniting Church in SA and to the community, including Uniting Church in SA – president, Parkin Mission, president, Parkin Trust Inc; member, Board of Administration and Finance, SA Synod; member, Financial Services Sub-Committee; chair and treasurer, Uniting Church Insurance Agency; founding president and director, Pilgrim Foundation Inc; president, Uniting Church Historical Society; and a wide involvement with the former Congregational Union. Mr Donald Graham Noblet, Kensington Gardens, for service to the Uniting Church in Australia, to the Royal Guide continued page 11


New Times

NEWS

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Pancake Day fever hit SA PANCAKE FEVER hit South Australia last month as over 500 groups took part in UnitingCare’s annual Fundraiser. That’s more than double last year’s number. With so many groups participating this year there was an even greater need for volunteer help, Pancake Day coordinator, Aimee Burtenshaw, said. “Pancake Day this year would just not have happened without a very large number of people willing to give up their time and skills to support this cause,” she said Volunteers pulled up their sleeves and put on a yellow apron to help with everything from packing boxes to flipping pancakes in Rundle Mall. To find out how successful Pancake Day was in South Australia visit www.sa.unitingcare.org.au.

RIGHT: UnitingCare staff and volunteers packed Pancake Day Party Packs last month to be sent to registered agencies, congregations, schools, businesses and clubs in time for Shrove Tuesday – February 28. All money raised locally will be distributed to local UnitingCare agencies.

NCYC plans NATIONAL Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) 2007 has begun an internship program. NCYC 2007 will be held in Perth from January 3 to 9, 2007. The theme for the 2007 convention is “Agents of change”. Its vision is “God raising up a generation of change agents risking the way of Jesus”. The internship is open to young members of Uniting Church congregations Congregations are responsible for funding the position – about $6,800 for the year. NCYC’s web address is http://agentsofchange.org.au.

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MAGAZINE

Having eyes to see … Lawrie McArthur “NAMASTE!” Hello to you from Tansen, where we are now living and settled into life and work in country Nepal. What is it like living in another country? Different definitely. How can I describe the sights, sounds, and smells? Overwhelming to the senses. But what does it really feel like? In a nutshell, it is to always feel like the “odd one out”. To walk down the street, and to be stared at because you are different. Not ever fully understanding what is happening around you, or why … To hear people talking and only half understand what they are saying, To be second-guessing what the real issue is they are talking about. … To be speaking in Nepali, and getting a blank look, then a Nepali colleague repeats exactly what you said, and frustratingly all is suddenly clearly understood. The simple Nepali expectation is that you won’t understand any “bedishi” (white person) talking. To quickly reach the point that your conversational language, or asking about a person’s problem, is exhausted. So all the emotions of being the “odd man out” are aroused – frustration, negativity, uncertainty and loneliness creep in. As humans our natural instincts want to “fight or flight”, find a way through or flee into escapism. Recently I have been learning to use my eyes more, to look further beyond what I first see or experience. By the hundredth time you’ve said “Namaste” on a quiet walk, it is irritating, but to move beyond this feeling and see the smiling sparkling face of a child, is to see their bold courage in saying hello to a weird looking stranger …

South Australian, Dr Lawrie McArthur at work in Tansen, Nepal To observe carefully how a sick child is feeding and breathing, even if I can’t get as complete a clinical history, as I would like. To show love in the body language or attentiveness, when I can’t find the words to convey my sadness or helplessness of a child dying ... To just be there is to give encouragement to a parent giving loving gentle care to their comatosed child. As I walk everywhere, to lift my eyes beyond the muddy track, and appreciate the beautiful valley views, the majestic white Himalayan mountains ... Even though not a part of it, to hear the voices of women singing during the festival of Tej, to appreciate others enjoying themselves ... To keep listening, and try to learn

from what you hear, even if it is only one new word each time. It may be a beautiful mountain view. The daily taste of “Dahl Baht “ (rice and lentils). A moment of solitude. A vibrant sunrise. The gentle touch of a friend. Receiving an unexpected gift. An exhilarating bike ride. A moment of absolute clarity. A sense of God’s presence. Having the eyes to see, and appreciate, the smallest part of a moment, helps me handle the hard times of living in a country being destroyed by civil war, ineffective government and poverty. I pray each day to have the eyes to see truly. In a place with limited resources and medicines, to diagnose and treat the real sickness. To respond personally in the most appropriate way ...

www.sa.unitingchurch.org.au MARCH 2006

To encourage when timely. To give where the need is greatest. To change only what is adverse and unsustainable, to see the beauty in each and every person’s eye, and situation. To reflect a true image of Christ in someone else’s eye ... For “Namaste” is more than saying “hello” or “goodbye”. It also means to honour the goodness and beauty inside that person. • SA’s Dr Lawrie McArthur, his wife Alexa and children, Madeleine, Sarah and Daniel, live in Tansen in the “middle hills” of the Himalayan Hindu kingdom of Nepal. They serve at the United Mission to Nepal’ s Tansen Hospital, and are Associates in Mission with Uniting International Mission [UIM]. Nepal has been wracked by a Maoist peasant revolt since 1996.


NEWS

New Times

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Year of Call to Ministry THE UNITING CHURCH in SA is holding a “Year of Call to Ministry” this year. “We’ll focus on the call to ministries in general, but with a particular attention to the specified ministries,” Rev Dr Andrew Dutney said. Andrew is principal of Parkin-Wesley College. He spoke at the first meeting of the SA Presbytery last year in favour of the move. Presbytery decided: TO HOLD a “Year of Call to Ministry”. TO FOCUS on ministry, and particularly ordained ministry, in 2006. TO INVITE ministers and lay ministry teams to identify and approach potential candidates for ministry from within their congregations. The ministries covered by the Year of Call to Ministry are all ministers in placement, specified youth workers, community ministers, lay pastors and interns. “We have a significant need for a new generation of leaders,” Andrew Dutney said. “In a way we’ve lost our focus in the way in which a person with a sense of call to ministry in their own church, in their own locality, can recognise that as a ministry to the whole church. We want to refocus on that.” An example, he said, would be the period of discernment. “It’s a process many people enter into, either because they’re thinking of ministry for the future or they’re going through a change in their life. Perhaps they’ve left school and they’re not sure what to do. Perhaps they’ve changed jobs and are in the process of revaluating where they’re going. Perhaps they’re retiring and thinking about what God might be asking them to do. “In the period of discernment they have a chance to reflect on the range of ministry opportunities available to them including these specified ministries.” “Perhaps some people have stopped thinking about themselves as part of the wider church,” he said. “But one of the things about being a denomination is that strong parts of the church help weaker parts of the church. People in isolated areas of the church should have access to people in the more resourced parts of the church. “People still have a strong sense of God’s call in their lives. People are offering themselves to do things. But they’re not thinking so much of the wider church. They tend to be doing it in their own place. That’s a perfectly good thing – but we need this bigger context as well.”

Assembly President, Rev Dr Dean Drayton, met young people at a Presidents’ Table event in North Adelaide last month. Pictured are, from left, Delvene Chadwick, Dean Drayton, Andrew Wright and Jo Watts.

President: ‘Pray for our church’ ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT, Rev Dr Dean Drayton, has called on the Uniting Church to pray for the church in the lead up to the 11th national Assembly. The Assembly will be held in Brisbane from July 5 to 11. Its theme will be “God’s Word – God’s World”. “On most issues we agree,” he said in a letter, “but there are important matters in which we need to discern the way through the Holy Spirit as we listen to each other and the scriptures so that we may be true to the way of Christ. We can never accept the relativistic values of our age; we must search for the truth which Christ has for us as his people.”

Dean asked for prayers for discernment of the way God is leading us as a Uniting Church, “that we may be refreshed as we discover ever anew, the wonder of the way the living God brings us the good news of our redemption in Jesus Christ”. He asked for prayers for Assembly and the people taking part in it – and for Rev Gregor Henderson as he prepares for his installation on July 5 as our next President. He also spoke in the letter of the number of asylum seekers who had been released from Baxter. The full text has been distributed to congregations. It is also on the Uniting Church SA website.

‘Confusion’ in debate MEDICAL, MORAL and political issues were confused in the debate over the “abortion pill” RU486. Uniting Church National Assembly justice spokesperson, Rev Elenie Poulos, said this in a letter to parliamentarians. “As the Uniting Church understands it, the issue is whether or not this particular drug is safe to be released for use in a country where abortion is legally available,” she said. “This is a decision that should be made by the Therapeutic Goods Administration using sound medical evidence and advice. “It is our belief that RU486 should not be made an exception from this independent process purely due to its application as an abortifacient. “This issue should be viewed separately from a debate on the moral and ethical issues of the abortion procedure itself.” MARCH 2006


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PEOPLE AND PLACES

New Times

Candidates asked their views about gambling THE HEADS of Christian Churches Gambling Taskforce is surveying candidates in the lead up to the forthcoming State election to ask about their views on selected gambling issues. The taskforce is working with other community groups to develop a “Charter for reducing gambling harm” Spokesperson, Mark Henley, said the charter will concentrate on gambling issues where progress can be made during the next Parliament. Among the issues dealt with in the questions being put to candidates are: • Should the minimum age for Lotteries gambling in South Australia be 18 years? The minimum legal age for all gambling except Lotteries

gambling is currently 18 years. For Lotteries products the minimum age is 16 years • Should Automatic Change Machines and Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) be removed from gambling venues? • Should people who gamble be able to pre-commit to spending limits before a gambling session? • Should gambling taxes be used to set up a Gambling Harm Minimisation Fund (like Quit funding) to promote gambling harm reduction? • Should there be a further reduction of poker machine numbers? Mark Henley said that late in 2004 the SA Parliament voted to reduce the number of poker machines by 3,000. So far 2,219 machines have been removed.

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A visionary remembered THE LATE Rev Bob DuRieu Vawser served Methodist and Uniting congregations in the Alawoona Mission (south of Loxton), Eudunda, Railwaytown (Broken Hill), Mitcham, Whyalla, Marion and Reynella. In 1975, Bob was appointed as Superintendent of the Methodist Home Mission Department. In this role he worked with colleagues in the Congregational and Presbyterian churches preparing congregations for transition to the Uniting Church, and consolidating the resources of the three churches for mission. He was appointed as Mission Officer at the first meeting of the Uniting Church Synod of SA. He became responsible for the recruitment and care of personnel in both Aboriginal and Overseas communities and, subsequently, Frontier Services as well. The Pitjantjatjara people became his special care. It is a matter of history that Bob gained the respect and trust of the Pitjantjatjara people, especially when the title to the tribal lands was under threat. He spearheaded a program to raise the awareness of the church and the community in relation to these matters. When the issue was finally resolved in favour of the Aboriginal People, Bob was given the title “Tjilpi”, a term of respect meaning “Old Man”. Bob’s passion to serve alongside of the Aboriginal people continued in one way and another for the rest of his life. He was the founding secretary of TACL (Training for Aboriginal Christian Leaders). In addition to his pioneering work in support of the indigenous community, Bob encouraged lay participation in ministry, and thus became a

We used this picture in the December 2005 issue of New Times. It shows Moderator, Rev Graham Vawser, left, with his parents, the late Rev Bob Vawser and Marj Vawser. forerunner of what was to be a dominant culture of the Uniting Church some years later. On his 80th birthday, one month before his death, he proudly attended the installation service for his son Graham as the Moderator of the SA Uniting Church Synod. Bob’s ministry was characterised by a deep exploratory theology mixed with social action and outpouring of love that enabled people to grow into their own personal expressions of faith. His wisdom, counsel, and encouragement will be sadly missed by his family and his many colleagues. We commemorate a unique life of gentle yet powerful service, a life of prayer, faith, love, integrity, loyalty, devotion, courage, vitality, generosity and individuality. – Adapted from the eulogy by Rev Don Catford


PEOPLE AND PLACES

New Times

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Rethinking evangelism: from cookie-cutters to coaching “THE CHURCH has run many courses on evangelism, but they haven’t turned us into excellent evangelists,” says Rev Duncan MacLeod. “Evangelism shouldn’t be simply motivated by duty or guilt. And people outside the church are cynical about faith that is expressed using traditional words such as church, sin and salvation. However, many people do have a genuine everyday interest in spirituality. So the question for Christians is – how can our own healthy motivation to integrate faith with the rhythm of our lives become engaging with our friends and neighbours?” Duncan MacLeod is a mission consultant with the Synod of Queensland, and former national youth

coordinator for the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand. He will lead one of eight intensive learning streams at ParkinWesley’s inaugural “Grow and Go!” weekend on May 5 to 7. “The classical model of evangelism we’ve been given is to convince people that they’ve sinned and need God’s forgiveness,” Duncan says. “To ‘close the deal’ we run them through the sinner’s prayer. The reality is that most people’s first response to Jesus doesn’t fit into a cookie-cutter approach. We have believers who first said yes to Jesus’ offer of purpose and meaning. We have those who discover Jesus through an experience of life-giving community. It seems to me that relational evangelism is

more like life-coaching. That’s what I’m keen to explore – how people can coach their friends and family into faith and discipleship.” We hope that people will leave the weekend inspired and refreshed, with deeper faith and a wider vision of God’s mission in the world. It’s a great opportunity for congregations to send a whole team of leaders. Over 200 people are expected to attend. Session leaders for the weekend include Robin Mann, Ian and Sharonne Price, Peter Trudinger, Tony Eldridge, Deidre Palmer, Wendy Perkins and others. Topics include music in worship, children’s ministry, the psalms, preaching the parables, pastoral care, evangelism,

Principal’s position DR PETER GUNN is filling the principal’s position of Parkin Wesley College, while principal, Rev Dr Andrew Dutney, is on study leave. Peter has had 25 years experience in tertiary education. He is former Moderator of the Tasmanian Synod and former principal of Lincoln College, North Adelaide. Andrew Dutney is pursuing Doctor of Education (EdD) studies at Flinders University.



OPEN HOUSE: The Synod and Presbytery Office opened its doors last month to show church members the Mission Resourcing Network’s new Gathering Place and Resource Centre. About 120 people visited to tour the Uniting Church office and view the artworks of Bronwyn Drew, left, and Sue Adams, right. The artworks are for sale. They can be viewed until the end of March in the Uniting Church SA foyer.

Pilgrim hopes to engage the general community that work and live in the City of Adelaide in particular, and a wide audience across the larger city. The symposium will offer discussion about the values underpinning our society at this time and a critique of these and other positions, including

a comparison with Christian community values. The aim is to discern the values which could underpin a healthy society. This will be the first in a series of annual events over the next three years. Details of this year’s symposium are: Sunday, April 23, 7.30pm: “Where do our values spring from?”, with Hugh Mackay, Andrew Dutney, and Sue Shepherd, chair, Jonathan Barker. Monday, April 24, 7.30pm: “Economic values: who wins and who loses in the free market?” and “Poverty in an affluent society,” with Hugh Mackay, Hugh Stretton, and Mark Henley, chair, Jennifer Byrnes. Wednesday, April 26: Breakfast, Flinders Street Baptist Church, “The significance of Anzac Day for today,” with Hugh Mackay. Wednesday, April 26, 7.30pm: “Is there room for cultural diversity in our national values – How far diversity?” with Hugh Mackay, Lee Levett-Olson, Penny Wong, chair, Neil Quintrell. – Marelle Harisun

  

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Hugh Mackay will lead symposium PSYCHOLOGIST, social researcher and writer, Hugh Mackay, will lead a symposium of values at Pilgrim Church, Flinders Street, Adelaide, next month. This is a new initiative as part of Pilgrim’s major mission priority “to be a prophetic witness to the city”.

and leadership. A multimedia class will spend part of their time in a computer lab learning to prepare graphics for worship. We believe that investment in leadership development is one of the most important priorities for congregations. Rural leaders have expressed enthusiasm for this opportunity to come to Adelaide for face-to-face training. Parkin-Wesley is actively exploring ways to make lay education more accessible to people across the state, including distance topics on DVD. For more details about the “Grow and Go!” weekend, contact Rosalie at ParkinWesley on 8416 8427. – Craig Mitchell

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The spire on the Parade CLAYTON Wesley Uniting Church – the spire on the Parade – will mark 150 years of years of community and worship in the Norwood area on Palm Sunday, April 9. The occasion marks the year 1856 when an Independent Congregational chapel was opened on the site. The 1883 church (the “new” church) has become a familiar landmark because of its prominent location and the 38m high spire. The church has once again become a community centre. The church council and Rev Anne Butler are keen to further develop this. There has been some internal redecorating with new carpets, in dark blue, the original colour. The 33 frontal pipes of the Dodd pipe organ have been stripped and repainted in their original 1896 colours. The organ pipe work involved 18 volunteers over two days. It was a good project. It got members working together and there was plenty of great community spirit. And the pipes look wonderful, “probably as good as they did back in 1896” was a comment from former organist David Annear. A new website – www.claytonwesley.org.au – promotes what the church has to offer both to regular church attendees and the wider community. The opening of Café Spire augments the church’s regular community teas. Goodies, the church’s op-shop, has celebrates 10 successful years of operation. It has grown in size and reputation for its goods and as a community centre. The 150th celebrations will be the new minister’s (Rev Steve Thompson) first major event. Steve commences in mid March. Clayton Wesley 150 Concerts – a series of six concerts – will be held on Sunday afternoons during the year to mark the 150th anniversary. Most will be presented by school groups, promoting the musical excellence of some of our secondary schools (Pembroke, Walford, Marryatville). – Geoffrey Bishop

New Times An evening of Turkish Delights: Rev Vikki Waller, in conjunction with ETM Travel and Singapore Airlines, will lead a tour to Turkey from November 8 to 23, 2006, for $4,790 (conditions apply). There will be a presentation on the tour on March 14, 7pm to 9pm at Pilgrim Church Hall, Flinders Street. This is a Christmas Bowl event. Contact Vikki Waller, phone 8242 2769, email walwil@westnet. com.au or SA Council of Churches, 8221 6633, sacc@ picknowl.com.au. The Sins of Scripture: Verdun Uniting Church is hosting a book review of Bishop John Shelby Spong’s latest book, “The Sins of Scripture,” Wednesdays, 7.30pm to 9pm, for eight weeks, from February 22 to April 12. Register (no charge) by phone or email –phone Philippa Goodbourn, 8388 0163 or 0438 515 350; or register (no charge) by email, at philntrev@esc.net.au. Or just turn up. Contemplative worship: Stillpoint Contemplative Worship is held monthly at 6.30pm in the beautiful chapel at Nunyara. The next gatherings are March 19 and April 9. If you would like to

Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide. GPO Box 2145 Adelaide SA 5001 Phone (08) 8236 4260 Fax (08) 8236 4295 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 Deadlines and distribution dates: April issue: Closing date for contributions, Wednesday, March 8, distributed, Sunday, April 2. • May issue: Closing date for contributions, Wednesday, April 5, distributed, Sunday, May 7. • June issue: Closing date for contributions, Tuesday, May 9, distributed, Sunday, June 4. • July issue: Closing date for contributions, Tuesday, June 6, distributed, Sunday, July 2. • 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

APRIL 2006 issue: Deadline for contributions, Wednesday, March 8. The issue will be distributed on Sunday, April 2.

MARCH 2006

About this column: Notices for this column should be brief. To submit your Uniting Church event and to view the synod online calendar, visit www.sa.uca.org.au/pages/events/calendar/. know more about Stillpoint please contact Ann Siddall (8234 1199 mornings or annsiddall@bigpond.com) or Rev Gary Stuckey (8370 7923 or gstu@senet.com.au). UC Invest’s Gift Funding Night: This will be at Adelaide West Uniting Church on Thursday, March 30 at 7pm. Like to know what the rest of the church is getting up to? Come along to Gift Funding night and hear how more than 70 local congregations are using Gift Funding to further their mission and ministry. Please RSVP to Jill Freear on 8236 4228 or email jill@ sa.uca.org.au by Thursday, March 16. UC Invest - UnitingCare SA Charity Golf Day: Tee off with UC Invest to raise funds for UnitingCare. Join us for an afternoon of fun at the Mount Osmond Golf Course on Friday. April 21, from 11.30am. Tickets $100 pp – includes sausage sizzle lunch, cocktail hour and prizes. Call Jill Freear on 8236 4228 or email jill@sa.uca.org. au for further information and registration.

Fruit and vegetables for sale: Available for order in March – fresh oranges, dried apricots, dried peaches, fresh pumpkin, honey, chocolate coated apricots, peaches, nectarines, prunes, liquorice, ginger, and a fruit medley of all these, plus chocolate oranges. Happy eating! Order forms available online, www. sa.uca.org.au/pages/resources/ fruit/. Full details on the synod online calendar http://www. sa.uca.org.au/pages/events/ calendar/


PEOPLE AND PLACES

New Times

Just what is ‘vital’? THE 11th ASSEMBLY will be asked to grapple with the notion of just what is vital to the life of the church when it meets in Brisbane this year. Clause 39 of the Constitution has been at the heart of debate in the church especially the direction that the Assembly refer “matters vital to the life of the church to synods and presbyteries for concurrence.” While the current interpretation of the constitution is that the 280 plus elected members of the Assembly decide if a matter is vital and should be referred, the NSW Synod has suggested a new way forward. The NSW Synod will bring a proposal to 11th Assembly in

Brisbane to amend clause 39 of the constitution so that synods and presbyteries are able play a part in deciding what is vital to the life of the church. The proposal, if passed, would allow synods and presbyteries to tell the Assembly when they felt a decision was vital to the church life. If three of the five synods and at least half of the presbyteries agreed within six months of an Assembly meeting that a matter was vital, it would be referred to councils for concurrence. The Assembly decision could then be revoked if the majority of synods and two thirds of presbyteries did not concur with the Assembly decision.

Honoured: from page 2 Dogs Associations of Australia, and to the community, including chair, Financial Services Committee of Property and Finance Commission; chair, Investment Fund Board; member, Investment Committee; board member, Epworth Building; chair, Wesley UnitingCare, Bowden; governor, Parkin Trust of SA and Parkin Mission of SA; choir director, Broadview Uniting Church; organist; national president, Royal Guide Dogs Associations of Australia. Ms Rille Walshe, Exeter, for service to the community, particularly through social welfare roles and organisations supporting single parents and their children., including national convenor, National Council of Single Mothers and their Children; member for 25 years, also delegate and treasurer; Chair, Youth Ministry Support Group, Uniting Church, Port Adelaide and Le Fevre Peninsula Area.

Supporting the President THE ASSEMBLY Standing Committee has recommended changes to the constitution and regulations. The ASC said the changes would: ALLOW better support for the President. ENSURE more continuity between Presidents. GIVE the President more guidance in the role. The changes follow the ASC recommendation that the role of President move from a part-time placement to being normally a full-time one from the 12th Assembly onwards. Assembly General Secretary, Rev Terence Corkin, said the 11th Assembly would be asked to approve: • The new election process. • The concept of full-time Presidency. • Necessary changes to the regulations when it meets in July this year in Brisbane. One of the changes the November Standing Committee meeting agreed to was changing the constitution so that nominations can only be received by Synods and Presbyteries. Others were: • Closing nominations on March 31 in the year of the Assembly to allow candidates to complete a standard profile that is sent to all members of the Assembly. • Introducing a process from the 12th Assembly where the ASC advises the church of challenges and issues likely to be faced by the President before nominations for President-elect are received. • Reviewing these goals and priorities to take into account the skills and experience of the President-elect following the Assembly meeting.

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Classifieds WORK WANTED CARPETS LAID, Expert repairs 0417 872 105 or 8344 4725. EXPERIENCED HANDYMAN; Hospital trained cleaner; roses pruned; friendly versatile service. “Your spare pair of hands” Phone 8346 0933.

ACCOMMODATION

BELAIR, overlooking the Adelaide lights. Nunyara Holiday Units. 3 star rated family accommodation. Sleep 4-6. Reasonable rates. A UCA site. Bookings phone 8278 1673. HOLIDAY UNITS ON THE SOUTH COAST - Devona (Pt Elliot) 3 star and Peter Wood Lodge (Victor Harbor) 3.5 Star 2 and 3 bedroom accommodation close to the beach. Reasonable rates. A UCA site. Bookings phone 8552 1657.

ADARE CONFERENCE CENTRE Victor Harbor. For your next church camp. Catered or self catered. Comfortable accommodation. Spacious grounds, close to the beach. CHRISTIAN-RUN HOSTEL. Country Special rates for UC groups. For information or bookings Burra. 2 hours from Adelaide. Private phone 8552 1657. rooms. Individual support. Home cooking. Pensioner rates. Limited FOR HIRE, Beach House close to transport provided. Enquiries “Olive Middleton Beach Reasonable rent Grove Retreat” 8892 2679 0429 695 275 MARION BAY HOLIDAY HOUSE, Sea views Large Deck Sleeps 5/6 New home Off Peak and Pensioner rates. Phone 040 2088 279.

Theatre by the sea CARNIVAL Night Shakespeare, an Adelaide-based Christian theatre company, and St Andrews By The Sea (Glenelg Uniting Church) recently joined together to produce a range of evangelical Christmas and holiday activities in the Holdfast Bay district. These projects aim to raise the local profile of St Andrew’s and provide additional activities particularly for children and families in the area. In January CNS held a kids’ drama workshop at St Andrews – five fun-packed half-day sessions learning drama skills and gospel stories finished up with a performance at the end of the week. Activities with CNS and St Andrew’s include street theatre on Jetty Road (most Sunday afternoons and additional days around holiday and peak times), the kids’ drama program, and special Christmas and Easter performances for the community.

Regular street theatre is planned as a combination of pure comedy and more meaningful content or commentary. CNS also hope to present the image of Christian people in the community as positive and active – an image that includes fun, joy and genuine feeling. – Thea Taylor

MARCH 2006


12

MAGAZINE

New Times

How you can help UNITING Church congregations across the state have raised more than $180,000 for airfares to help Sudanese refugees come to Australia. Now these refugees want to rescue people they love from refugee camps and appalling conditions in various parts of Africa. The young refugee, pictured at right, is from Southern Sudan. He is now in Nairobi. He hopes to come to Australia and join members of his family here. Uniting Church SA is launching a fund to help people like him. There are details in a leaflet in this issue of New Times.

‘Violence escalates’ REV D H Mvume Dandala, general secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches, has expressed concern over reports of escalating violence in the Darfur region of Sudan. A recent United Nations report said that killings, rapes, and attacks on civilians remain the norm in Darfur. The report also accused Sudanese soldiers of cooperating with armed militias in the region who are targeting black African minorities. Rev Dandala called the continued violence “inexcusable,” and emphasised his desire for a peaceful end to the conflict that continues to devastate Darfur.

Scholarships for women THE World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) has granted scholarships to 11 women from Africa in its ongoing effort to make theological education more accessible to women in the third world. The fund provides assistance for a first degree or diploma in theology. Studies are done in the candidate’s home country or region. Thirty women from Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America have received scholarships since the programme was instituted.

A step towards unity? LEADERS of two worldwide Reformed church groups representing 87 million Protestants are calling for a new global body named the World Reformed Communion. The unanimous recommendation comes out of a meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, US, where representatives of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) met for two days. “We also believe that this new, united, Reformed body will be a blessing to the broader ecumenical movement and to the reconciliation of the world,” a joint statement issued after the meeting said.

To make it in a tough world, keep in touch with God. Artwork ©Copyright Edi Leane

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

MARCH 2006


New Times - March 2006  

Living in harmony

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