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Issue 27, No 10 November 2008

Casting a vision Colonel William Light had a grand vision for the city more than 170 years ago. Today our church is casting a new vision for ministry through our Strategic Plan.

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Introducing Russell Knight 3 • Strategic Plan update 4 – 7 & 10 • Revival at Greenock 8 SAYCO success 9 • Congress educates kids 11 • Eliminate violence 12 • UC Invest reassurance 13



New Times

Doomsday clock moves closer to midnight John Langmore, UnitingJustice member There are more than 25,000 nuclear weapons in existence. The US has about 5,400 which are operational and Russia about 5,200. Most people no longer think about this issue, both because it is too horrible to do so and also because the world has lived for 63 years with nuclear weapons without major incident. Yet the US and Russia still have about 2,500 of their nuclear forces on high alert, so they could launch a strike within 15 minutes. There is a stalemate in disarmament negotiations. Last year the editors of the ‘Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ moved the minute hand of the Doomsday clock from seven minutes to midnight to five. Nuclear weapons continue to be a threat to the survival of humankind. The World Council of Churches agreed on a powerful minute on the Elimination of Nuclear Arms at the Ninth Assembly in 2006 which asked churches to prevail upon governments until they recognise the incontrovertible immorality of nuclear weapons. All people of faith are called to advocate and support complete nuclear disarmament. This could be achieved by negotiation of a nuclear disarmament treaty. There are some signs of hope. In January 2007 George Schultz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry and Sam Nunn, all former US foreign policy leaders, published an article in the ‘Wall Street Journal’

advocating a world free of nuclear weapons. They wrote that mutual deterrence is decreasingly effective when more countries and possibly even terrorists acquire nuclear weapons or the capacity to make them. They proposed a joint enterprise with other nuclear countries, to achieve the goal of complete nuclear disarmament through a series of ‘agreed and urgent steps’ starting with increasing the warning time of deployed nuclear weapons. Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s running mate, said “‘the Wall Street Journal’ op-ed is a vitally important statement - it defines a new centre in American politics, where realist conservative Republicans and tough minded Democrats find common ground”. The article renewed motivation in Washington. In December 2007 Congress cut all funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead, a proposed project to upgrade US nuclear weapons. Barack Obama co-sponsored with Republican Senator Chuck Hagel legislation supporting ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and negotiation of a fissile material cut-off treaty. In a second article in January 2008 these four horsemen opposed to an apocalypse strengthened their advocacy by commending “the importance of the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons as a guide to our thinking about nuclear policies”. These articles by such eminent policy leaders create political space for others to

ISSN 0726-2612 Editor: Jill Freear, Ph 8236 4230, email Advertising: Russell Baker, Ph 8361 6822, email Circulation: Sarah Urmston, Ph 8236 4260, email Production: Joie Creative Printer: Cadillac Printing Circulation: 12,000 Distribution: On the first Sunday of the month Editorial deadline for December: November 11 Advertising deadline for December: November 13 New Times is published 11 times a year by the Uniting Church SA Communications Unit. Articles and advertising content do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or of the Uniting Church. New Times articles and policies are published on the Uniting Church SA website Office: Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide. GPO Box 2145 Adelaide, SA 5001.


take up the issue and the US presidential candidates have done so. In a speech in May John McCain said he shared President Reagan’s dream of a “day when nuclear weapons will be banished from the face of the earth”. Barack Obama has said repeatedly: “I will set and seek the goal of a world with no nuclear weapons”. Kevin Rudd has used this political opportunity too, by cooperating with the Japanese Government in establishing the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament and appointing Gareth Evans as co-chair. All Commission members are experienced foreign policy experts who have held powerful positions in their countries. Their political authority augurs well for the influence of the Commission’s reports. The Commission’s mandate is about the survival of humankind, for without reinvigoration of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and eventual nuclear disarmament the risk of use of nuclear weapons by accident or design will increase. Of course there will be innumerable political and technical impediments. But America is a democracy and a recent US poll found that three quarters of respondents support the verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons. Australian churches have a clear record of opposition to nuclear weapons as do nongovernment organisations like the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. The political, strategic and Christian case for nuclear disarmament justifies starting a determined attempt now. John is a professorial fellow with the Department of Social and Political Sciences at Melbourne University.

John Langmore

Lay woman to be new church leader The Uniting Church, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, has elected lay woman Isabel Thomas Dobson to be the Synod’s next Moderator. Ms Thomas Dobson served as Moderator in the former Synod of Tasmania between 1997 and 1999. She is a former political researcher and has also worked as a teacher and trainer for religious education volunteers. Ms Thomas Dobson believes the next few years will be crucial for the Uniting Church. “The church is moving from being a mainstream institution to something much more exciting, challenging and demanding – more like the emerging church of the first few centuries of the Christian era,” she said. Ms Thomas Dobson said she has two slogans on her fridge door. One says, ‘The only self-cleaning thing in this kitchen is the cat’. The other reads, ‘It is hard to follow God’s guidance if you are on a rigid path of your own’. “This means saying yes to what God is calling you to do without being quite sure where it will lead,” she said. Ms Thomas Dobson is presently the presbytery minister, pastoral care, of Loddon Mallee presbytery, which covers north-west Victoria. She will become Moderator in Victoria and Tasmania next September.

Church prepares for major Presbytery Synod meeting Members of the Presbytery and Synod of SA will gather at the Adelaide Showgrounds from Thursday October 30 to Sunday November 2 to discuss some major issues for the Uniting Church SA as it serves in the 21st Century. The four day meeting is not exclusively a business meeting; it also includes worship, celebration, learning, sharing information and the meeting of friends. Some of the major items on the agenda include Moderator Rev Rod Dyson’s report; Bible Study with Steve Taylor from the Opawa Baptist Church in Christchurch, New Zealand; the election of Assembly 2009 representatives; a review of the mission networks; a discussion on the Pastoral

Relations and Placements model, a review of pastoral care; a report on the Strategic Mapping Project and a report on rural ministry. A progress report will also be presented on the church’s Strategic Plan. The Celebration of Ministry service, including the recognition of retired ministers, will take place at 5pm on Saturday November 1. Several proposals will be put to the meeting on issues such as fair trade, peacemaking and the elimination of violence against women. The church’s concern for the environment will also be evident. Members will be greeted by a large display featuring Gum trees and reeds, depicting the plight of the Murray River.


New Times


Russell’s driving the Strategic Plan The Uniting Church SA’s new Associate General Secretary Rev Russell Knight will be responsible for driving the Strategic Plan as well as keeping the Strategic Map (information on local congregations and agencies) up-to-date. Before joining the Uniting Church SA, Russell was the executive minister at Robina (now Newlife) Uniting Church in Queensland, where he worked alongside former Uniting Church SA General Secretary Rev Stu Cameron. Russell said it was the call of God that brought him back to South Australia. “I was living in the Sunshine State and working in a fantastic regional church; newly married, having a wonderful time,” Russell said. “The reason I went for this job was that I just felt God touching me on the shoulder. I believe God’s got a purpose and a plan in this. Maybe the things that I’ve been through in my life will enable me to help the church in some way. That may sound really clichéd, or a bit shallow, but I truly believe that.” Russell’s lived an interesting and diverse life, with a variety of work experiences that will assist him in his new role. “I’ve done a lot of different things – from milking cows to truck driving – all sorts of stuff. That’s really exposed me to life and it’s been absolutely invaluable.”

Russell grew up in Murray Bridge and initially trained as a policeman, working in Adelaide for 19 years as a police officer, police prosecutor and detective. In the late 1970s he was involved in rationalising the number of police stations in South Australia. He later worked as a teacher, counsellor and chaplain at Woodcroft College in Morphett Vale. Here he helped increase student numbers from 270 in 1993 to 1400 in 2000. Russell didn’t grow up attending church, but became a Christian in his late 20s. “I am a convert, that’s why I’m so passionate about it. “I really believe deeply in what Jesus offers us. My real passion is to encourage people that Jesus is the answer for our lives.” Russell studied for ministry at Parkin-Wesley College over a number of years and was ordained as a deacon in 2000. A key part of Russell’s role is to support and encourage the Strategic Planning Steering Group and each of the six core teams responsible for implementing the six key directions of the plan conversion growth, raising leaders, growing disciples, developing new models of church, raising our profile and championing justice. He will also be the first point of contact for congregations,

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Rev Russell Knight is the Uniting Church SA’s new Associate General Secretary. He will be responsible for driving the Strategic Plan and keeping the Strategic Map up-to-date. faith communities, agencies and schools wanting further information on the plan or seeking to actively engage with the key directions. “I believe the Strategic Plan is important for local congregations as they work on their own development. It’s not prescriptive – we’re not saying

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‘this is what you’ve got to do’. But various parts of the plan will be relevant and helpful to different congregations. Each congregation should adopt the parts that will assist them in achieving their own goals.” The other part of Russell’s role will revolve around the Strategic Map, which he describes as an important blueprint. “The Strategic Map is the DNA of our congregations across the state. It gives us really good demographics and a solid understanding of where the state’s going and where our churches are heading. My role will be to keep the map up to date and viable.”

Russell is happy to discuss the Strategic Map and the Strategic Plan with church members. He can be contacted on 8236 4206 or email:

Strategic Plan Six Key Directions • Fostering conversion growth • Raising leaders • Growing disciples • Developing new models • Expanding our profile • Championing justice.

‘Sell assets and give to poor’

NOTICE is hereby given – That, the Annual General Meeting of UnitingCare Adelaide East Inc will be held on Wednesday November 19th 2008 at 6.30pm, in Hope Hall at the Clayton-Wesley Uniting Church complex, corner The Parade and Portrush Road, Beulah Park.

The Uniting Church Moderator in New South Wales wants the church to start selling off its underutilised property assets and give the proceeds to the poor.

A copy of the Agenda and supporting papers will be available from the head office of UnitingCare Adelaide East, at the Clayton-Wesley complex, from Wednesday November 5th 2008

“It’s time we started selling our assets and giving to the poor literally. It’s time to start providing for both the materially poor and the spiritually poor at our own expense.

Rev Niall Reid said while such an experiment could fail, it would ensure the church disappeared with a “blast, not a whimper”. “What we are doing is not working; our message is not significantly impacting upon or changing people’s lives.

“Owning property that is hardly ever used is like burying resources for ministry in a hole in the ground.” NOVEMBER 2008


Strategic Plan update

Developing a culture of conversion The pilot congregations in the Conversion Growth Team have been meeting for more than a year, discussing and defining what it means to create a culture of conversion growth. The pilot congregations, selected because of their diversity, are Adelaide West, Blackwood, Brighton, Christ Church, Malvern, Port Adelaide, Port Pirie, Rosefield, Tea Tree Gully, The Shed (Men’s Spirituality group at Aberfoyle Uniting Church), Waikerie and Whyalla. Each of the congregations is working with a mentor as they develop their own conversion growth stories and work to bring unchurched people to faith. Ultimately the congregations will feature on a DVD telling their stories for the wider church. Team leader Rev Beth Seaman says part of the journey involves identifying barriers and obstacles to the development of a conversion culture and implementing measures to overcome those barriers. “Each of these congregations is on a unique journey, “said Beth. “For example Rev Greg Pearce in Whyalla has been looking at the theology of conversion and encouraging his members to share their faith. “Rev Jonathan Davies at Malvern Uniting Church is planning a series of outreach events next year called ‘Mal-function’ to help his congregation connect with spiritual seekers in the surrounding community.

“Adelaide West Uniting Church’s youth group is growing through outreach work into local schools. “I’m facilitating the discussion and ensuring there is collegiate support as ministers and leaders engage in dialogue. “Eventually these congregations will be able to support and mentor other congregations. “Meanwhile if any other congregations are interested in joining our team’s bi-monthly meetings and journeying with us, we would be happy to talk with them.”

Key Direction 1: Developing a culture of conversion Team convenor is Beth Seaman, who is working with Jonathan Davies, Alan Dutton, Ian Price and the pilot congregations. Objectives: • Develop a definition of conversion growth • Support the pilot congregations in developing a conversion growth culture • Produce a DVD of conversion stories for the wider church • Identify and overcome barriers to developing a conversion culture.

A faith-sharing people The Whyalla Uniting Church congregation is growing passionate about sharing Jesus with others, even though it doesn’t come easily. The congregation is one of several pilot congregations involved in the ‘conversion growth’ key direction. Minister Greg Pearce says members have become much more intentional about sharing their faith outside the church and he’s actively encouraging them to bring Jesus into their everyday conversations with friends, family and workmates. “There’s simply no way anyone will want to share their faith if Jesus is not Good News to them,” said Greg. “So I’ve preached on what it is about Jesus that makes me want to share my faith with others. Jesus (1) gives my life meaning, (2) he gives me forgiveness, (3) he gives my life direction, (4) he helps in times of need and (5) he brings me into relationship with God, myself and others.” Greg’s also held workshops for church


members on faith sharing. One of these featured Raylene Winter, a former Interserve missionary, who has a gift for personal evangelism. Members are also being encouraged to visit the local shopping centre for a coffee to see if any faith sharing opportunities arise. “I intentionally walk through the local book shop once a week and ask people what they’re reading, as a way of opening up conversations,” said Greg. “Often I’ll come away knowing that God intended me to be there for a particular person, and I pray for them.” Twice a month Whyalla also offers a morning worship service for all-ages and invites families that have had some connection with the church. “Only a few of the invited families may attend, but it’s important that we keep issuing the invitation and keep in contact,” said Greg. “We need to befriend these people and pray for a spiritual break-through to happen.” The congregation also offers Café Church and believes it’s a helpful model to reach unchurched people.

Rev Beth Seaman heads the Conversion Growth Team working on the church’s Strategic Plan. She is happy to talk with congregations interested in conversion growth.

‘Conversion growth’ at Adelaide West

Rev Ashley Davis

Help UCW Bowden

Adelaide West Uniting Church has a simple understanding of conversion – it is our vision statement: ‘acceptance, hope and transformation in Jesus’. Here are three true stories about how members of this congregation are transforming lives.

UnitingCare Wesley Bowden (UCW Bowden) is gearing up to ensure all South Australians enjoy Christmas. Since 1930 the Uniting Church agency has prepared and distributed food hampers and toys to thousands of needy people. Donations of food, toys and money are needed now to ensure the agency can meet the Christmas demand. Last year more than 1,200 food hampers and 2,500 toys were distributed to families in need. Volunteers are also needed to pack food hampers, wrap presents and assist with logistics. If you’d like to help, contact UCW Bowden on 8245 7100 or visit: Food and toys can be delivered to 77 Gibson Street, Bowden from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4.00pm.

John had felt rejected all his life. Still only in his teens, he was a violent and angry young man. One day a stranger came alongside and introduced himself. He sat, listened and seemed genuinely interested. John told of his intense anger expecting the stranger to walk away but instead the stranger talked of hope for the future. Over time John heard the story of Jesus and finds acceptance for the first time in his life. He chooses to follow Jesus because

in him he knows hope and has a future. His journey continues. Sue tentatively visited church and sat in the back row. She deliberately came late and left early. She discovered a little peace in the place so she kept returning. Sue slowly became known and felt part of the community even though she still arrived late and left early. One day God spoke to her and said, ‘nothing can separate you from my love... not abuse, rejection or lack of worth... you are dearly loved’. Sue stayed late that day and prayed with those around her. She was transformed by that word of grace. Her journey continues. Rebecca was still in primary school and came to connect with the church through the family getting her baptised some years before. In ‘Kid’s Space’ she learnt of Jesus and his love for her, all people and creation. Rebecca decided she wanted to be a Jesus follower. She continues to learn all she can about him, she prays, she reads her Bible and like everyone else she gets life wrong from time to time but she keeps coming back to the place where she knows great love – in Jesus. Her journey continues. We don’t get it right all the time but by grace God still works in people’s lives.

Strategic Plan update

New Times


Appointments made at leadership centre

Dr Vicky Balabanski, a lecturer in New Testament studies, is one of the first people to be appointed to the faculty of the Uniting Church SA’s centre for leadership development.

Leadership centre established The Uniting Church SA’s new centre for leadership development has been established at Brooklyn Park. The centre is being overseen by a Leadership Development Council, chaired by Rev Dr Dean Brookes. Rev Dr Andrew Dutney, the centre’s acting director, says the centre is pioneering a new method of theological training that is being watched with great interest. “Our training will be based on some key principles,” says Andrew. “We believe that leadership can be learned from mentors, peers and other leaders. Our new model for training candidates is based on forming focussed missional practitioners, (rather than general practitioners) and some of their learning will take place within congregations, faith communities or church agencies. “Courses will focus on what each individual candidate needs to learn to be effective in the ministry they have been called to.” The centre also offers a Master of Ministry and a Doctorate of Ministry - a growing area of

professional development for people in ministry. In addition a new publication has been launched for church leaders called ‘Australian Leadership’. The bimonthly magazine is published by MediaCom Education and includes articles on ministry practice by Australian and international church leaders. The publication is being sent free to Uniting Church SA ministers for three years. Editor Ian Price is keen to receive feedback on the publication.

Key Direction 2: Raising leaders Team convenor is Ian Price, who is working with Andrew Dutney and Graham Humphris. Objectives: • Establish and develop a centre for leadership • Establish a Leadership Development Council • Appoint faculty for centre for leadership • Launch Australian Leadership magazine.

A new model for leadership Rev Dr Andrew Dutney Has anyone noticed that we’re a bit fuzzy on the name of our college? There are two reasons for that – one practical and the other a matter of principle. The practical reason is that we haven’t had time to think of a name yet. The new college is taking shape quickly. It combines Parkin-Wesley College, the Leadership Institute and Coolamon College. Bringing them together and reshaping them towards a new vision has been keeping the Leadership Development Council busy – consulting with stakeholders, identifying key principles, redesigning the curriculum, appointing a faculty and at the same time maintaining existing operations to fulfil our responsibilities to current students. We thought we’d work on a name later, when the more urgent work is done. In the meantime we just call it “the centre for leadership development” – no capital letters, no logo. Not yet. The second reason we’re being cautious about the name of the centre for leadership

development is more a matter of principle. In the vision we have for leadership development the real “centre” – the place where the learning and growth in leadership and ministry actually happens – isn’t the Brooklyn Park campus. The real “centre” for the development of our leaders is your town, your main street, your neighbourhood – where your congregation is in mission. That’s reflected in our planning for the lay education program for next year. Almost all our face-to-face courses and events will be conducted off-campus in regional centres and our use of distance education will increase significantly. We also have a new model for the training of ordination candidates that shifts the focus from the college and an academic course to a focus on learning within a ministry placement. Missional leaders need to learn and continually practice the art of thinking about what they are doing while we are doing it – “reflection-inaction”. Christian congregations need to learn and practice the same art. It’s how we adjust to changing circumstances, rise to new challenges and stay faithful to the mission of God in the long haul.

Former Parkin Wesley College New Testament lecturer Dr Vicky Balabanski is one of the first people to be appointed to the faculty of the church’s new centre for leadership development at Brooklyn Park. Vicky will continue to teach New Testament studies at the new centre which will train missional-focussed leaders for the church. Vicky believes this will change the way she teaches, causing her to focus more on missional aspects of the New Testament. Vicky has an impressive list of academic credentials with two first class honours degrees and a doctorate in Biblical Studies. She has an equally impressive list of publications; most notably perhaps her involvement in the ‘Earth Bible’ series, which placed Adelaide College of Divinity on the map as a leader in ecotheology. Presently Vicky is writing a commentary for Sheffield Press, looking at Colossians from an ecological point of view. This new series has emerged from the ‘Earth Bible’ project. As for career highlights, Vicky says preparing the Bible studies for the Uniting Church’s 1997 Assembly, often referred to as the ‘Assembly of Tears’, was an interesting spiritual journey. And she says a year in Jerusalem as a visiting scholar and a Golda Meir postdoctoral fellow was also a wonderful yet difficult time in her life. Despite her strong academic focus Vicky is also involved in practical Christian service. On Friday afternoons she gives Bible lessons to primary school children at the Anglican Church in Bridgewater. Vicky’s husband Peter is an Anglican priest in the Stirling Parish and her volunteer work is a means of sharing and supporting his work. While Vicky grew up in the Methodist and Uniting Churches, she became a member of the Anglican Church in her 20s along with Peter. With a foot in both camps, she describes her church membership as one of “dual citizenship”. Interestingly Vicky has just entered into a Period of Discernment to determine if she’s called to be a Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church. Far from causing any family discord, Peter is supportive and encouraging of this move. However this doesn’t mean Vicky’s contemplating a congregational placement; she firmly believes her call will continue to be to a ministry of teaching. Meanwhile Dr Liz Boase from the University of Notre Dame in Freemantle will join the centre for leadership development next year as a lecturer in Old Testament studies. Liz is an active Uniting Church member and a lay preacher. The centre is presently advertising for lecturers in Missiology and Leadership. Dr Peter Gunn is the centre’s manager of Educational Resources and Administration.

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Strategic Plan update

Growing authentic passionate disciples Craig Mitchell, Discipleship Team leader “Faith is caught, not taught.” That wellknown phrase reminds us that growing disciples requires a vibrant community of faith. Growth in faith is an organic process, but it is not accidental. We know many practices of faith that help nurture and sustain mature discipleship. The Discipleship Team sees congregations as places where the seeds of faith are sown, watered, nourished and bear fruit. The team’s focus is on helping churches and their leaders learn from one another about how to foster genuine, life-giving, transforming faith throughout adulthood. We want to help churches see themselves as building people’s faith maturity. Worship plays only a minor part in that. Research shows that people grow through mentoring, faith conversations, regular spiritual disciplines and active Christian service. I see faith communities providing an ‘allyou-can-eat’ menu of growth and service opportunities, not just a Lenten Bible Study for the faithful few. But it’s more about being intentional than about having to offer sevenday-a-week programs. ‘Pathways’ is a simple assessment process that helps local church leaders to identify the strengths and gaps in the process of growing adult disciples. The Discipleship Team will be offering training in this process early in 2009. Produced by Church Resource Ministries in Victoria, it has been helpful for the UCA in Queensland. We will also be using insights from the ‘Reveal’ research from Willow Creek. This tool

helps to identify two or three ways to strengthen church discipling processes. ‘Making Disciples’, a six week discussion guide for leaders, is another more in-depth resource for congregations to look at how they engage adults in faith-maturing practices. This booklet will help church leaders examine the place of prayer and Scripture, service, everyday conversations, hospitality and other practices in the life of their congregation. The booklet will be available early next year. The team is also planning to launch a website shortly ( to provide discipleship stories, resources and local wisdom from ministers and lay leaders. An electronic discussion group has already been formed. We hope that people who are passionate about growing disciples will sign up at http:// and share their knowledge and enthusiasm with others.

Key Direction 3: Growing disciples Team convenor is Craig Mitchell, who is working with Sandy Boyce, Simon Dent and Louise Johnson. Objectives: • Assist congregations to focus on discipleship • Help congregations to create and resource discipleship pathways • Recommend discipleship resources, programs and strategies.

Be a Christmas angel

UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide wants to provide Christmas cheer to more than 1300 South Australian families this year. Food and donations are needed to make up festive hampers with everyday staples and Christmas goodies. The hampers help ease the financial pressure on struggling families and show that someone cares. The agency also needs donations of toys and toiletries suitable for tots through to teenagers. Often the presents provided through UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide are the only gifts some poor and disadvantaged children receive. You can support UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide by phoning 8202 5112 to make a credit card donation or by mailing a cheque or money order to GPO Box 2534, Adelaide, SA 5001.

Craig Mitchell

Guided by Strategic Plan Sarah Urmston Tumby Bay lay pastor Graham Ingram has found the Strategic Plan to be a useful background tool in guiding his congregation. While the majority of Graham’s first year in the parish has been spent getting to know church members in Tumby Bay, Port Neill and Lipson, he has his sights set on the future and the Strategic Plan is an important part of that. “I don’t want to introduce or encourage the plan as being something new because it is integral to the church’s mission,” Graham said. “But it’s been helpful to see the plan and work through it.” One key area that Graham is investing time in is raising leaders. This has already begun with the Tumby Bay Uniting Church Kids (TBUCKs) where young people who have the ability and gifting to lead have been encouraged and appointed as junior leaders. As a half time placement, Graham also relies on elders and other church leaders to take an active leadership role. “It’s about equipping people, realising their potential and encouraging their hope in the Gospel so they can step out on a limb,” Graham said. “Once we are prayerful, we look at decisions based on where God wants us to be and that is when we can implement the Strategic Plan.”

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Strategic Plan update

New Times


‘Fresh expressions’ Defining the meaning of a ‘fresh expression’ of church has been on the agenda of the team charged with developing new models of church that are relevant in today’s world. Team convenor Rev Rob Stoner said a fresh expression could be seen to be a group of people who are engaging with God in the world, and with life, faith and spirituality. “The group must also be intentional, regular and on-going,” said Rob. “It must be a connecting point for people who have not, or will not join a conventional congregation, and should also offer appropriate worship. In addition the group must be linked to an existing Uniting Church structure.” Rob’s core team is encouraging local congregations to have a go at establishing new groups that engage people outside the church and which may have the potential to become fresh expressions of church. Similarly church agencies and chaplains are being encouraged to develop new faith communities on the edge of their ministries. In the next couple of years Rob’s team wants to identify, encourage, and

Tim Hein and Nathan Vawser from the new CitySoul Uniting Church congregation for young people on Waymouth Street. CitySoul is an example of a fresh expression of church.

CitySoul all about mission Christy Spier A new congregation planted in the city centre believes following Jesus always means missionally engaging the surrounding context. This involves understanding the rhythms of the city and serving it’s needs. Recently launched by Uniting Church SA Moderator Rev Rod Dyson, CitySoul aims to attract students and young people and is already a growing faith community. The new congregation aims to embody the character of Jesus Christ in ways that are real and bring dignity to people. Pastors Tim Hein and Nathan Vawser say CitySoul is about people endeavouring to creatively serve the community in line with their skills and passions both in their homes and throughout the city.“It’s about both demonstrating and articulating the gospel,” they say. CitySoul members come from university residential colleges and the arts community. The congregation will

help its members play active and vital roles within the wider communities that they are part of. The new congregation is already thinking about ways to connect with people in the city – such as by holding an arts festival and art exhibitions, volunteering at Schoolies Week, providing inner city night-life support crews and hosting dance parties. Each Wednesday night CitySoul members gather for ‘Feast’ where they share a meal, listen to Biblical teaching, talk, pray and share communion. They meet on the second floor of a large art-deco building in Waymouth St. The interactive space is also used for lectures, training and other gatherings. CitySoul is a place to exhale, reflect and belong; and to be inspired. It is about people you can call family. It is open to all. We follow Jesus - no fine print. Stay tuned for more developments at Christy Spier is a member of CitySoul.

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resource three new and different examples of fresh expressions of church as models of what can be done. The team is also keen to support three new church plants from existing churches into strategic areas. Ultimately the group will produce a DVD and other resources about fresh expressions which will be shared with the wider church.

Key Direction 4: Developing new models Team convenor is Rob Stoner, who is working with Ruthmary Bond, Andrew Robertson and Trevor Whitney. Objectives: • Engage in conversations about ‘fresh expressions of church’ • Encourage congregations to engage with people outside the church • Encourage and resource three new and different ‘fresh expressions’ • Encourage and resource three church plants.

Rediscover the passion Rev Leanne Jenski, Blackwood Uniting Church

Maybe conversion growth is not about converting those outside our churches but helping those inside to rediscover their passion. Perhaps the church is dying because the spirits of those who attend are dying. Maybe conversion growth starts with us? Maybe if we are excited and fervent about what we have to offer we might be more inclined to share our good news. At Blackwood Uniting Church around 40 people gather monthly to hear three people tell their faith stories. Hearing these stories encourages members to think about their own faith and consider telling their own stories. Maybe we need to share our own good news and rediscover our passion …maybe then …maybe then… In the beginning we lived for our time together Our relationship was new and fresh It filled our souls We couldn’t wait for our time together wondering what would happen next desperate to see each other couldn’t bear to miss out But…Where did it go wrong? It’s hard to say Maybe it was the time that… Perhaps when… Ah, yes, it was when… At some point I must have felt hurt? lonely even…disconnected or maybe I just got bored. At some point I must have felt more needed than wanted or enjoyed …our time together

it moved past being a habit. Then I noticed that I wasn’t so excited about our time together. My enthusiasm had ebbed away… and I hadn’t even noticed It was easy then to allow other things to draw me away I longed for the beginning not the middle The middle…that takes commitment effort on my part. Like an old worn marriage – “Hang in there rediscover each other” or …like an old worn pair of shoes – “It’s time for new ones” And I am left to wonder… how can I rediscover my passion for the church.

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New Times

Revival at Greenock Uniting Church There’s something of a revival happening at Greenock Uniting Church.

afternoon. On other days there is a children’s story time group and social games.

Local people are flocking to the small church in the Barossa Valley despite the fact that the small ageing congregation ended formal worship services late last year, after their community minister retired.

But the biggest drawcard is the coffee shop which is open every Wednesday. Locals have embraced the church as a warm and welcoming space where good coffee and homebaked goodies can be enjoyed.

Since re-launching as a community outreach venture called ‘Connections’ the church has never been busier. Members say the church building is now providing real and relevant outreach to people of all ages and backgrounds in the local community.

A re-dedication and naming celebration for ‘Connections’ will be held on Sunday November 9 at 2pm.

On Tuesdays, a ‘Care, Share and Prayer’ group meets in the church in the morning and “All Sing’ happens in the

Greenock mums and babies enjoy coffee and chat in Greenock Uniting Church’s ‘Connections’ coffee shop.

New hall has mission focus Gawler Uniting Church members are excited as they prepare to open their new hall this month. And no wonder, the project has been on the drawing board for around 15 years. The $1.4 million building has been designed to blend with and complement the adjacent 140-year-old church. The hall will hold up to 150 people and includes a resource area, a semi-commercial kitchen and toilet facilities. The building was made possible with the aid of sales proceeds from surplus church

properties, a church loan and a Uniting Foundation grant of $200,000. Minister Rev Barry Littleford says community feedback about the hall has been fantastic, as Gawler has few community hall facilities. He says the congregation is looking forward to working in partnership and connecting with community groups interested in using the hall. Moderator Rev Rod Dyson will officiate at the hall opening on Sunday November 23 at 2pm.

Greenock Uniting Church chairperson Rose Hegarty can now share her faith while serving coffee and cake.

“Where there’s a Will there’s a way” For more than 100 years UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide has found a way to provide practical assistance and support to South Australians who are isolated, lonely and depressed. We need your support. You can help by remembering us in your Will.

UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide Inc. 10 Pitt Street, Adelaide SA 5000 GPO Box 2534 Adelaide SA 5001 (08) 8202 5177


From left; Gawler minister Rev Barry Littleford with the church’s Building Committee secretary David Taplin and chairperson Gilbert Cleggett in front of the congregation’s new $1.4m hall.


New Times


1102 ks to attend SAYCO

Photo: Aaron


Some of the young people who attended this year’s South Australian Youth Camp Out (SAYCO), at Mount Barker’s Cornerstone College travelled more than a 1,100 kilometres to reach the event. David Wright, a community minister with the Mobile Aboriginal Patrol, brought a bus load of young people from Oodnadatta to attend the annual camp for 12 to 15 year olds. Highlights of the event included music from the Queensland born, USbased, Christian Band ‘Alabaster Box’, the carnival and xtreme games. Tea Tree Gully Youth Ministry coordinator Martyn Smith was the keynote speaker. This year the young delegates composed their own songs, dramas and movies around the theme ‘Dream dreams’. More than 400 young people attended the event from October 4 to 6.

Training ambassadors for peace Marjorie Lewis-Jones It’s monsoon season in India and deep in ‘the abode of the clouds’ 37 Christians and one Hindu are learning how to prepare for battle in the fight for peace. Far away in the same country more than one million people have been trapped by floodwaters due to a river that changed course in Bihar; Hindu violence against Christians in Orissa has been escalating; and protests in favour of self-determination in Jammu and Kashmir have resulted in violent clashes.

These young people pledged to be peacemakers at a Young Ambassadors for Peace workshop in August organised by Uniting International Mission and the Presbyterian Church of India. Photo: Marjorie Lewis-Jones.

But it’s a peaceful outpost here for these 38 young trainees among the banana trees. They come with eager, shining faces, limbs flexed and notebooks poised.

Much of this first day they spend laughing and cheering, playing games, dashing about and even dancing. Their Philippines-born Australian leader Joy Balazo adopts a playful attitude; she’s beaming a broad smile and laughing a lot too. Joy works for the Uniting Church in Australia’s Young Ambassador for Peace (YAP) program. She and the Presbyterian Church of India (PCI) are responsible for organising this peace-building workshop in Umran. Joy starts the program with fun and games because the skills she’s teaching are best learnt with sponge-like openness awakened through child-like delight.

People in Mission placements for 2009 are now available Visit http://www.uim.uca. placement_opportunities for a full list of over 60 placement opportunities

Continued on page 14 NOVEMBER 2008 UIM PIM A1.indd 1

3/10/08 11:32:50 AM


Strategic Plan update

New Times

Showing how church makes a difference Advertising campaigns and promotional projects carried out by churches around the world have been closely examined by the core team charged with raising the Uniting Church SA’s profile. This material has provided much food for thought as the team devises an advertising campaign which will begin to roll out next year. The campaign will specifically target people aged between 35 and 50, with an emphasis on young families; as well as targeting the general community. Team leader Shannon Short said the advertising/branding campaign will seek to cost effectively position the Uniting Church SA as a dynamic, contemporary organisation that is making a positive contribution to the local community. “The campaign will aim to build awareness and increase goodwill towards the Uniting Church SA, but will not necessarily seek to increase church attendance,” said Shannon. As a precursor to the campaign, the team recently commissioned local market research company McGregor Tan to survey public awareness and perceptions of the Uniting Church SA. “That survey revealed both good and bad news,” said Shannon. “While 92 percent of those surveyed had heard of the Uniting Church, (which is exceptional), our profile is slipping with younger people.

“The survey also revealed we need to differentiate ourselves from other denominations and work harder at living up to our vision statement of being ‘an innovative, growing church, proclaiming Jesus Christ, empowered by the Spirit to transform God’s world’. “This research will provide a benchmark against which we can measure the effectiveness of our advertising campaign.” Congregations should keep an eye on ‘New Times’ to find out when the campaign will begin, and learn how they can link in with it, to maximise the benefits.

Key Direction 5: Raising our profile Team convenor is Shannon Short, who is working with Jill Freear, Mark Henley, Julie Johinke, Tony Nancarrow and Sarah Urmston. Objectives: • Develop and launch a Uniting Church SA advertising campaign • Develop a communications plan for the church • Develop a coordinated media strategy • Investigate new ways of promoting church ministries • Increase the interactivity of the church website.

Members of the Profile Raising Group, Shannon Short, Sarah Urmston and Tony Nancarrow have been looking at advertising campaigns carried out by other churches around the world.

We’re not afraid to stand Proud to belong up for the under-dog Shannon Short, Raising our Profile Team leader

The team championing justice under the Strategic Plan would like to hear about any social justice issues in the community that are not presently being addressed. The team, convened by Rev Peter McDonald, is keen to establish new justice initiatives in partnership with local congregations, faith communities, schools and agencies. “The church has a long history of acting and advocating on justice issues,” said Peter. “Many of our congregations and agencies are actively supporting refugees, people with mental illness, newly released prisoners, domestic violence victims and so forth. “However our core team is sure there must be some new and emerging issues or groups that are being overlooked. If the wider church can help us identify these justice issues we hope we can become engaged in some new areas. “It’s possible that seed funding may be available to help finance some of these new ministries.” Meanwhile Uniting Church SA Justice officer Charlene Kent has been expanding the justice pages on the church website, in order to grow social justice awareness in the church and to help congregations engage and respond to these issues. A new solidarity and justice blog site has been set up to encourage church people to discuss justice issues. The site can be viewed at: NOVEMBER 2008

Rev Peter McDonald from UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide is chairing the Justice Core Team working on the Strategic Plan.

Key Direction 6: Championing justice Team convenor is Peter McDonald, who is working with Deanna Howland, Ian Hunter, Charlene Kent and Peter Russell. Objectives: • Develop and resource new social justice communities • Resource ministries with marginalised groups • Increase the church’s capacity to engage and respond to justice issues.

There is much to celebrate about belonging to the Uniting Church. We are a vibrant and dynamic denomination offering a genuine place to find hope and practical support. Through UnitingCare and Frontier Services we offer community programs in every part of the country. The church’s commitment to social justice and Indigenous issues is inspirational. It’s this broad diversity of the church’s ministry – together with my own congregational experience – that makes me passionate about raising the church’s profile. We need to continue to build our reputation so the wider community is more open to our message. The Uniting Church SA’s Strategic Plan casts our vision for ministry. One of the plan’s six key directions is raising our profile. Raising our profile means telling people who we are and what we stand for. One of the ways we do that is by clearly identifying our denomination in all we do. Brand awareness and brand identity are highly valued in the commercial world. Given that our brand is essentially the measuring stick for our credibility, it must be valued and protected. The Synod Standing Committee recently made two important decisions relating to profile raising. It endorsed guidelines encouraging congregations and councils to use the words ‘Uniting Church’ in their name or to identify themselves as a Uniting Church congregation. It also encouraged usage of the Uniting Church logo on building signage, letterhead and promotional material. The guidelines will be distributed to congregations as part of the UC Information mailing in November. If we are serious about sharing the message of Christ, we should do all that we can to build our profile and reputation in the wider community. Marketing guru Richard Reising effectively summaries the importance of branding in his article ‘Churches put their faith in branding’. “Church branding not only helps outsiders understand what to expect when they step inside. The brand creates a persona that the internal community is proud of. They become more inspired and more effective at inviting others.”


New Times


Indigenous employment

Rev Hohaia Matthews from the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community working with some of the young people at Tjinatjunanyi, a Congress program giving young people a second chance at education.

Congress program gives kids a second chance at education “Our children are not going to school.” This was the cry of Indigenous women in Port Augusta. Hearing these cries the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community decided to act. After extensive discussions with the Aboriginal community, Government representatives and the Uniting Church in South Australia’s Uniting Foundation, the Congress Faith Community decided to begin a program for some of these children. And so Tjinatjunanyi was born. “Tjinatjunanyi” is a Pitjantjatjara word which can loosely be translated as ‘footprints to freedom’. The program seeks to re-engage Aboriginal children between the ages of 12 and19 in formal education. Tjinatjunanyi began as a trial program in October 2006 and then became a 12 month pilot FLO (Flexible Learning Options) program from January 2007. Now Tjinatjunanyi is officially registered as a FLO program with DECS. This is a major outcome for the program and the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community. The school program runs for four days a week with a cultural day and a solid program of literacy and numeracy on the other days. Twenty children are presently enrolled. The holistic program has successfully reengaged Aboriginal kids in formal learning.

improve the trainee retention rate. “The mentors will improve the relationship between the trainees and the agencies by helping the trainees feel supported in the workplace,” he said. “There will be particular needs at particular times and mentors can help the agencies be more sensitive to these.” The trainees will either work for six months in a general placement or for a year so they may complete a certificate in Aged Care or Business Administration. It’s hoped the traineeships will result in continued employment for the young people within local church agencies. The initiative stems from a commitment made by the Uniting Church National Assembly in 1994 to ensure that two percent of Uniting Church employees are Indigenous.

The program provides the students with a range of career pathways through formal learning structures based around the Seven Key Competencies of the SACSA (South Australian Curriculum Standards Accountability) framework developing employment skills. Tjinatjunanyi has already helped the young people to achieve significant success. The majority of the students attend regularly and their literacy and numeracy skills are improving all the time. Some students have successfully transitioned back to school. Six students have made their first steps towards gaining SACE by passing their first SACE subject. For these students who have not had a good attendance record, this is a major triumph. The program has also created employment for seven Aboriginal people within the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community. A host of volunteers also give of their time. Your support and prayers are greatly appreciated, as Congress seeks to provide pathways for these young Aboriginal people. Tjinatjunanyi has been supported by a Uniting Foundation grant of $100,000 over two years, (in 2008 and 2009).The Foundation also granted the project $50,000 in 2007 to employ a case manager to establish the program. (Reprinted with the permission of the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community).

Are you being served well? Local congregations are being asked how well they are being served by the Uniting Church SA’s Resources Team – which includes Property and Insurance Services, Financial Services, and UC Invest. The general manager, Resources, Barry Atwell said his team is grateful for the contribution made by church councils, office bearers and countless volunteers to ensure that things happen in local congregations. “We are also mindful that local congregations can be much more effective in mission if the Resources Team can offer timely and practical help,” said Barry. “To help us serve you better, we would like to know what you think. How can we improve our services? What are your areas of need?

Sarah Urmston The Uniting Church SA is involved in a new Indigenous employment initiative. The program will be managed by UnitingCare Wesley Port Adelaide and is jointly funded by that agency, the Uniting Church SA and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Fifteen Aboriginal young people are due to start on the so-called ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Program’ (ATSIEP) in the middle of this month. A further 20 traineeships are due to start early next year. The initial trainees will be placed at UnitingCare Wesley Port Adelaide, UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide and Resthaven. The training program is being coordinated by Colin Graham from UnitingCare Wesley Port Adelaide. Graham says a key feature of the program is the role of mentors who should help

“We are aware that congregations may not be happy about having another form to fill in, but it is important that we hear from local leaders if we are to provide services that are actually needed - not just what we think congregations want. “We would be grateful if church council members, secretaries, treasurers, ministers, duty of care liaison persons and other leaders within our churches would complete the survey. We value your input.” The survey will be distributed at the Presbytery and Synod meeting in late October as well as via various mail outs during November. Responses are required by November 30 so that results can be collated early next year.

Resthaven payroll and administration officer Janelle Mannix (seated) started working for the aged care agency on an Indigenous traineeship. She has been employed there for more than nine years now.

Pastor Berlin freed Pastor Berlin Guerrero has had his case dismissed by the Philippine Court of Appeals and has been freed from jail. The Uniting Church has been working with churches around the world to free Pastor Berlin who was unjustly imprisoned in the Philippines for more than a year. Pastor Berlin unwaveringly protested his innocence. He used his time in prison to extend his ministry and offered pastoral care to the inmates of Cavite Provincial Jail. His prison ministry will continue now he is freed. Members from the Uniting Church SA recently visited Pastor Berlin in Cavite Jail to express solidarity and support.

PILGRIM UNITING CHURCH 12 Flinders Street, Adelaide Sunday 30 November



A progressive service of music and words for Advent Sunday 7 December


Former Organ Scholar King’s College Cambridge 11:00am Choral Eucharist Mass Setting by Gabriel Fauré 2:30pm ‘Journey from Advent to Christmas’ Virtuoso performance of major organ works $20:00, $15 con. admission at door




New Times

Proposal to support the elimination of violence The October/November Presbytery Synod meeting is being asked to consider a proposal concerning the elimination of violence against women. The proposal asks the church to become a signatory to the United Nations ‘Say No to Violence Against Women’ campaign. The proposal also asks that ministers and members be encouraged to acknowledge November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and to support the White Ribbon Campaign. White Ribbon Day was

created in 1991 by a group of Canadian men following the massacre of 14 women in Montreal by one man. The White Ribbon Campaign urges all men to speak out against violence against women. In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and a white ribbon has become the symbol for that day. People wear white ribbons to show they are committed to supporting community action to stop violence by men against women.

Volunteer for helpline UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide has approximately 150 Domestic Violence and Lifeline telephone counsellors but is always looking for more volunteers. In February and June new volunteers undergo comprehensive training over a 20 week period. Volunteers range in age from 18 to 80 and come from all walks of life. They are asked to make a two year commitment and are usually asked to work for three or four hours once a fortnight. To volunteer as a telephone counsellor call 8202 5820.

Learning to forgive Mal Young, chairperson Kairos Prison Ministry SA John Moore is a mildmannered, quietly spoken, smiley bloke. You might wonder what he is doing in prison. David Hawkins is altogether different. He’s an ebullient character and rather business-like. Both are in Mobilong Prison, near Murray Bridge - but neither is a prisoner. John is the leader of the Kairos Prison Ministry team which conducted a short course in Christianity for 23 prisoners at Mobilong last month. David is his deputy and will lead a course next April. Kairos is an interdenominational ministry to prisoners. In South Australia it is strongly supported by Uniting Church members. Twenty-four of the team of 38 are Uniting Church members, including Scott Hutchinson, who chairs the Kairos Mobilong Committee, and me. Looking around the room, there were plenty of prisoners who challenged the stereotypical image of an inmate. Most were young – half of the 290 prisoners in Mobilong are under 25. They sat around tables with Kairos team members in ‘family NOVEMBER 2008

groups’ which were formed for the course. For three and a half days they listened, discussed, prepared posters to summarise learnings, ate meals provided by the team, worshiped together and engaged in some profound liturgies. One of those was a Forgiveness Service where they each brought a list of people they had not forgiven. They had been adding to their lists all day, as different speakers presented Jesus’ teachings about forgiving those who have hurt us. Eventually the lists were burnt to symbolize that the hurts had been handed over to God and that they had begun to forgive those listed - often this included themselves. One of the young prisoners told us he had never experienced love like we had shown that week. How about re-reading Matthew 25: 31- 40 and asking if Jesus is calling you into Kairos. There are roles for both women and men; but women do not visit men’s prisons and vice versa. If you would like to know more call Scott Hutchinson on 8272 5116 or me on 8271 2824.

Jenny Bates and Chris Dolman, from UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide, who support victims of domestic violence and men who abuse.

Domestic violence a serious issue Jill Freear Violence against women continues to be a serious social problem in Australian affecting the lives of hundreds of people each year. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that more than one-third of Australian women experience physical or sexual violence from the age of 15. UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide is one organisation that provides help to victims and to men who abuse. The Uniting Church agency runs a Domestic Violence Helpline offering counselling, support, information and referrals. The helpline receives between 3,500 and 4,000 calls a year. One of the helpline’s counselling supervisors, Jenny Bates, who is a member at Maughan Church, believes these figures are just the tip of the iceberg. “We’d actually like to get more calls, said Jenny. “We believe there are many more cases - people just don’t speak about it. We strongly believe that silence feeds violence.

Help for victims

“We operate as a referral service and explore options with callers. It’s important they know there are people who can help. “Domestic violence is more than just physical. It’s also spiritual, sexual, financial, and social. “Many women tell us they can deal with the physical; it’s the other forms they find harder to cope with. “Generally the abuser is the male partner and there is a repeated pattern of abusive behaviour - not just isolated, one off instances. Any physical or sexual assault is a criminal offence. “Abusers want power and control and their behaviour usually escalates over a number of years. “Abuse happens across all age groups, cultures, socio-economic situations and professions – it’s just the forms that may be different. “Often the first incidence of domestic violence happens when a woman is pregnant. This is a time when their focus is not totally on their male partner and the relationship is changing. Usually the violence doesn’t abate unless there is some intervention. “When someone calls we consider the risk that person is in. Often victims underestimate this.

“Quite a number of our callers have been injured. We tell them that their safety and the safety of any children is the first priority. “We help victims look at their options ultimately it is their choice to stay or leave. “Lots of things stop women from leaving – such as finances, beliefs about family, fear and concerns about how they will survive on their own or with children. “The time around separation is the most dangerous. We help them make a safety plan and suggest they have a bag packed with prescriptions, Medicare card and important documents like passports, in case they have to leave in a hurry. The Domestic Violence Helpline number is 1800 800 098.

Help for men who abuse

UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide has a specialised Family and Relationships Counselling Team. An important aspect of its work is responding to issues of abuse and violence in families. In the last financial year the team met with more than 1,480 people. Counsellor Chris Dolman, who attends Aberfoyle Uniting Church, frequently works with men and groups of men who are concerned about their abusive and violent behaviour. “These men seek help when they realise they have crossed a line and have hurt people they care about,” said Chris. “Sometimes men are prompted to seek help because their relationships have ended or are in the process of ending or because their partner, children or others have expressed concerns. “We use the metaphor of a journey and help men develop more respectful ways of relating with partners and children. “We invite them to think about their own values and ethics and about the kind of partner or father they want to be. We also challenge unhelpful attitudes and beliefs in relation to gender and relationships. These are not easy conversations. “Ultimately, violence and abuse is a choice and that choice is informed by a sense of entitlement. “We support men to change and to connect with people in their lives who may be able to support them.” To contact the Family and Relationships Counselling Team call 8202 5190. Services are available in Adelaide, Salisbury, Christies Beach and Murray Bridge.


New Times


UC Invest reassures customers The investment arm of the Uniting Church SA has taken the unprecedented step of reassuring its 2,200 investors that their investments are secure despite the crisis gripping world financial markets. In a letter to investors, UC Invest manager Paul Barnett and chairperson Brian Pickering state that investments are secured by UC Invest’s financial resources which are backed by the other assets of the Uniting Church in South Australia. The letter says: “UC Invest has $85 million worth of external investor’s funds. These investments are supported by UC Invest’s asset

base of $120 million plus the Uniting Church SA’s substantial property asset base. “While investments are not covered by the Federal Government’s guarantee, the UC Invest Board believes that UC Invest, with the backing of the Uniting Church SA, provides the capital security that investors expect.” The letter goes on to say: “UC Invest has always maintained a strong liquidity position and this has not changed. All withdrawals will continue to be processed as requested.” Investors who are still concerned are invited to contact UC Invest directly on 8236 4220.

Thurna upgrade complete Volunteers have given more than 700 hours to undertake a massive renovation of the kitchen at Thuruna Campsite, south of Tumby Bay. A fully equipped commercial kitchen was installed over a four week period, thanks to help from local church and community volunteers. The renovations have been funded from various sources including $25,000 from UC Invest Gift Funding. The Thuruna Campsite committee is planning to have an official opening in February next year.

The campsite was established in 1962 when a local famer donated seafront land. Initially a meeting hall with built on the site for youth groups and the broader community. Now the site offers self-catering, dormitory style beach-front accommodation for up to 85 people and is used by more than 6,000 people each year. Thuruna offers sandy beach walks, dolphin watching, fishing and boating and is used by family, sporting, church, school and community groups.

Western Eyre Uniting Church minister Michael Duke, far right, shares a joke with Thuruna Campsite committee members Janet Shepherd and Graham Pugsley as they restock the completed kitchen.

Bill Broughton from Port Lincoln assisting builder supervisor Ric Mansell in the final stages of the Thuruna Campsite kitchen renovation.

Preaching for 54 years in 105 churches Margaret Houston

In September Philip Houston celebrated 50 years as a lay preacher during a service at Balhannah Uniting Church. Philip became a Christian when he was eight years old, while attending a Christian Endeavour rally. His father was a minister in the Methodist Church, serving in many country ‘circuits’ where he encouraged young people to form worship teams and undertake services. And so Philip was introduced to preaching. Philip had his first solo “performance” at the Watervale Methodist Church, while studying at Teachers College in 1954. Since then he’s preached in numerous places

throughout the state, including Hoyleton, Mintaro, Willunga, McLaren Flat, Nangkita and the South East. In 1990 he was interviewed by the Synod Selection Committee and recognised as a suitable person to undertake the Ministry of Lay Pastor. In 1991, he went to Jeparit, in Victoria, for a four year placement. He then served in South Australia in interim ministry placements at Tumby Bay, Woodside, Gumeracha, SYP, Minlaton, Salisbury, Croydon Park and Loxton, before concluding active full-time ministry in 2001. During these past 54 years, Philip has shared God’s Word in worship in 105 churches in South Australia and Victoria.

Shane Claiborne from the ‘Simple Way’ community in Philadelphia is the keynote speaker at NCYC09 in Melbourne in January.

NCYC promises the best seven days since Genesis Next year’s National Christian Youth Convention in Melbourne is being touted as “possibly the best seven days since Genesis” on the NCYC09 website. According to coordinator, Rohan Pryor, “Melbourne is the place to be from January 3 to 9, 2009.” NCYC09’s keynote speaker is Shane Claiborne. “Shane is a radical evangelical from the Simple Way community in Philadelphia,” says Rohan. “They aim to change the world one loving act at a time. “Shane is in demand as a speaker around the world. He is committed to simplicity, spirituality, hope and non-violent civil disobedience. “Shane will be joined by Amie Dural, a young activist from the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and Rev Robyn Whitaker who was a chaplain at MLC in Melbourne and is presently studying in Chicago.” Music will be another feature, according to Rohan. “We’re rapt to have ‘Scat’ – a big band from Brisbane, along with Simeon and local band Raize. Christian poet Cameron Semmens will also be performing. “Bible studies are a massive part of NCYC. We have Bible study leaders from all over Australia, including Craig Mitchell from South Australia and Rev Stu Cameron (former Uniting Church SA general secretary) who coordinated the Adelaide ’95 and Launceston ’97 NCYC’s. “NCYC09 will encourage delegates to actively live out their faith. In a festival-style atmosphere, young people will be able to choose between a variety of electives and activities – everything from Sabbath economics, a refugee simulation and faith in film, to swimming, scrapbooking and dancing! “Half way thru the convention is the ‘Submersions’ day. Delegates will be engaging in action, service, lobbying, public liturgy, protest, political stunts, simulation and culture jamming across Melbourne. “Most nights, ‘Nightlife’ will be offered – it’s a chance for delegates to wind up, or wind down at the end of the day.” Registrations close on November 30. For more information and registrations visit: or phone 1300 00 NCYC (6292). Blackwood Uniting Church ‘at the roundabout’

Community Art Craft & Fitness Program NOVEMBER DISPLAY DAYS Fri 28th 10 – 6pm & Sat 29th 10 – 2pm Crafts, plants, preserves, toys, jewellery and MUCH MORE… A fabulous display of skills and talents from the program. With over 20 stalls, come & do your Christmas shopping! Refreshments and lunch available

Ph 8278 7699 for details NOVEMBER 2008



Morialta Uniting Church (26 Chapel Street, Magill) is holding its ‘Mighty Magill Christmas Market’ on Saturday November 22 from 9am to 3pm with a variety of stalls and ‘photos with Santa’. An art exhibition titled ‘Rituals, Symbols and the Spirit’ will be held during the market and from Monday November 24 to Wednesday 26 from 9am to 3pm. The Wellspring Community (inspired by Iona) has five meetings and a retreat each year. We invite you to a shared tea and discussion in the chapel at Disability SA, 103 Fisher St, Fullarton on Wednesday November 12, from 6.30 to 9pm. The theme is ‘Buddha/Christ’, with discussion led by Flinders University chaplains Peter Hawkins and Geoff Boyce. The New Zealand Hymnbook Trust is holding a conference titled ‘Hope is our Song’ in Palmerston North from October 24 to 26, 2009. Keynote presenter is Clive Pearson. Register your interest by emailing: Rockleigh’s ‘Carols in the Bush’ will be held on Sunday, November 23 at 6.30pm at the Rockleigh Uniting Church. BYO chair, warm clothing, rug and torch. Donations to the Royal Flying Restore your phonographic records or tapes to near original quality & preserve them on CD. Restore faded 35mm slides to original bright colour & preserve them on DVD. Ask us about VHS & 8mm film to DVD conversion.


Kent Town SA Ph: 8362 2251


New Times

For more Uniting Church events, visit Uniting Church online and click on “What’s On”. There is an online form which you can fill out to contribute notices to Notebook.

Doctor Service. Enquiries to Barbara on 8538 7060 or email: Brougham Place Uniting Church celebrates its 150th Anniversary next year. Various events will be held including an anniversary service and dinner in October. Expressions of interest sought from past members of the BPUC community. Enquiries to Tina on 8267 2657 or email: The ‘Churches Together Choir’ will perform a Christmas concert on Sunday November 30 at 7.30pm at the Salvation Army Worship Centre at Arndale. Entry is free, but donations will be accepted for the Schools Chaplaincy Support Association. The Australian Human Rights Commission has commissioned the Australian Multicultural Foundation, (AMF) in association with RMIT and Monash University to prepare a report on ‘Freedom of

Religion and Belief in the 21st Century’. Public Submissions close on January 31, 2009. Visit: au/frb for details. Oasis (the Religious Centre at Flinders University) invites you to a seminar on December 1 from 10am to 3pm to hear responses to a discussion paper from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission on ‘Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century’. Enquiries to Mike Pietsch, email: mike. or call 0409 725 573. The Delamere Uniting Church celebrates its 150th Anniversary with a Pleasant Sunday Afternoon of music, memories and guest speakers on Sunday November 9 at 2.00pm followed by afternoon tea and a memorabilia display. Church history book also for sale. RSVP to Sophie Piron on 8558 2674.

Westbourne Park Uniting Church’s Thursday Craft Group is holding its annual Craft Display Day on Thursday November 6 from 9.30am to 2.30pm, on the corner of Sussex Tce and Monmouth Road, Hawthorn. Stalls, Devonshire tea, lunch and a wide range of crafts on display. Entry by gold coin donation. Join Philip Worsley for a mission awareness visit to Thailand for a fortnight in mid-February 2010. Experience another culture and visit a partner church for around $2,500. Enquiries to Philip on 8265 1198. Interserve SA’s annual dinner is on November 15 at 6.30pm with guest speaker Andrew Schachtel; at Colonel Light Gardens Uniting Church (558 Goodwood Road, Daw Park). The cost is $20 per person or $55 per family. Bookings essential. Contact Scott Litchfield on 82932900 or email: saoffice@interserve. State Mission Fellowship will be held on Tuesday November 25 at Scots’ Church; Thanksgiving Day for groups and individuals and an overview of our mission work with Rev John Minchin.

The ‘New Times’ team is planning themes for 2009. February’s theme will be ‘Holy holidays’. If you would like to contribute to that theme, or if there is a topic you would like featured in 2009 contact editor Jill Freear on 8236 4230 or email

Ministry moves Rev Tony Goodluck will be inducted as the minister of the Modbury and Para Vista congregations at a service at Modbury Uniting Church on November 30 at 2pm. Rev Michael Duke will take up a placement at Balhannah Uniting Church in January. Rev Jill Lienert will start at Payneham Road and Argent Uniting Churches in January. Ministry intern Matthew Bond will be recognised at a service at Kensington Park Uniting Church on November 21 at 6pm. Intern Jennifer Hughes will be recognised at a service at Brougham Place Uniting Church in February; and John Hughes will be commissioned as a pastor at Brougham Place in February. Pastor Grant Jewell will be commissioned at Adelaide Plains in January.

Training ambassadors for peace the rest of India by a narrow 20 kilometre ‘chicken neck’ of land. The first games are introductory; It is one of the most ethnically and establishing names, identities, histories, linguistically diverse regions in Asia and breaking the ice. In subsequent sessions border, sovereignty and tribal issues have the games prove more strategic. It’s battle, played a key part in the area’s history. after all, and dangerous. Young people from four of the seven These young teachers, pastors, small North Eastern hill states are at this business operators, students and social workshop sharing thoughts about their workers will tunnel into the heart of regions and making plans. conflict and butt up against powerful Joy the young people that the YAP people with vested interests to protect. motto is “You are your word”. “There is not Rather than guns and knives, they’re a word Christ said that he did not do. We, learning how to deploy a far more as peacemakers, are trying to live by that ingenious arsenal drawn from within and example.” sketched on brown paper. When an individual chooses to be a Four days’ and several nights’ worth peacemaker, Joy says, there is a ripple of sheets tacked up around the walls will effect on families, relatives, churches and come to represent crucial stages in the other organisations which, ultimately, process. means society and the world will change. Meditating on individual prejudices and “Change does not come from outside but burning them in a group ritual is a stage from within,” she says. “The change starts that proves cathartic. It frees the young with you.” people to move forward to a change in Peacemaking is difficult, she says, and thinking, emotion, words and action. this means many people, acting as “human The challenge they face seems more than machines” rather than human beings, find Olympian: To build peace in the conflictexcuses not to do it. riven states of North East India where they She urges participants to leave the pain live and work. They will have to contend of the past in the past. “Transfer the pain with inter-ethnic conflicts, uranium back to where it belongs. That will create mining, militancy, HIV/Aids and domestic space so you can live in the present.” violence. Motivated and inspired, these 38 young Joy trawls state groups as they hunker people leave Umran with practical skills in down, teasing out each area’s distinctive how to: features and major conflicts. • spot a conflict before it erupts; North East India has more than 2,000 • deal with discrimination and powerful kilometres of border with Bhutan, China, people; Burma and Bangladesh and is connected to Continued from page 9

• run a mediation session; • choose what issues are worth pursuing; • draw a conflict map; • formulate an action plan; and more. They leave committed to being peacebuilders. They feel connected into the amazing YAP network that’s bringing peace throughout Asia and the Pacific. In Joy will return to North East India to run further training for 20 or so of the young people, so they can train others. This will ensure that the power that builds continues to confront the power that destroys.


New Times

Church slams axing of ABC Religion Report Uniting Church president Rev Gregor Henderson is appalled at the proposed axing of the ABC’s Religion Report. ABC Radio National recently announced several programs will go next year, including the Religion Report, Media Report and Sports Factor. The national broadcaster says the changes will allow it to focus more on online and digital content. Gregor said the decision to axe the program is short sighted. “The program bridges social stigma and presents the latest news on religious affairs in Australia and overseas,� he said. “With religious intolerance growing increasingly apparent in many parts of the world, never before has informed and considered analysis of religious affairs been more important. “We have witnessed some ugly clashes, based on religious prejudice recently – think of the Cronulla riots or the fierce opposition to an Islamic school in outer Sydney. Meanwhile, Australia’s churches and other faith groups have been working together, towards building mutual understanding and peaceful relations. Increasing understanding in our multifaith society is vital if we are to continue to live in harmony. “According to its Charter, the ABC is committed to exploring both ‘cultural diversity’

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Accommodation Holiday accommodation. Baptist Camp Halls Gap. Located in the heart of The Grampians National Park. Church and Family Groups welcome. Bookings: or David: 0439 001 547. Stamps Wanted Wanted to buy nice old stamp collections over 50 years old kept in books or albums. Please phone 8271 6842

Young Families Emerging Church Minister Part-time (0.5) Placement (Ordained or lay) Seeking ‘fresh expressions’ of being church. This placement has exciting possibilities to plant a new ‘emerging’ congregation beside traditional congregation in Hobart. Three year appointment. Expressions of Interest by 14th November 2008 (see profile) Wesley ‘in the city’ Uniting Church Hobart For more information: Rev David Parker 03 6231 4033, Email: Website

and ‘national identity’. We would affirm the importance of including religion in our collective understanding of both those terms. “Perhaps rather than worrying about revenue and ratings, ABC management should be considering the question: Who are Australians losing greater faith in: their religion or the ABC?� The decision has also been criticised by Uniting Church SA MRN leader Rev Dr Ian Price who says axing the Religion Report is to “disregard one of the most influential areas of life - namely spirituality and faith. “This is tantamount to deciding not to broadcast the cricket,� said Ian. “This program has provided thought provoking, insightful and helpful information on a scale not achievable elsewhere. Is this the future of informed debate in this country? Think again ABC.� Religion Report presenter Stephen Crittenden recently criticised the decision on air, claiming it spells the death of religion at the ABC. “That such a decision has been taken in an era when religion vies with economics as a determinant of everything that is going on in the world almost beggars belief, but you have to remember that just a couple of years ago they axed the Environment program,� he said.

Industrial Chaplain (Two Positions)

Toll Chaplaincy and Second Step Programs Applications Close January 30th 2009 The Toll Group is seeking to appoint two chaplains to join our existing Chaplaincy program. One role will be based in Adelaide, the other in Perth. The successful applicants will report to the co-ordinator of Toll’s Chaplaincy and Second Step Programs. The role is open to lay or ordained applicants. The position is made up of two separate areas of responsibility – s 0ROVISIONOFCHAPLAINCYSUPPORTFOR4OLLEMPLOYEESANDTHEIRFAMILIESAND s &ACILITATINGANDOVERSEEINGTHEPLACEMENTOFCANDIDATESWITHINTHE Second Step supported employment program.

Interested in a 21st century challenge? Are you theologically progressive? Does living in Australia’s vibrant national capital appeal? St James Uniting Church, Curtin, ACT seeks a Minister of the Word for a full-time settlement from August 2009. The congregation is an inclusive community with a parallel Centre for Progressive Religious Thought which encourages exploration of spirituality. The appointee will work with the Church Council to: lead participative, theologically progressive worship. provide leadership in the Centre for Progressive Religious Thought. encourage new and longstanding members in their spiritual journey. Contact Rodney Evans, Chair of the Church Council for more details on +612 61615214 or All applications to the Secretary of ACOMP, NSW Synod of UCA, PO Box A2178, Sydney South, NSW, 1235 by 31 December 2008.

Lecturer in Missiology Applications are invited from gifted educators keen to play a role in developing leaders who are passionate, Christ-centred, highly skilled, and mission oriented practitioners. The Lecturer will carry out teaching responsibilities in the area of Missiology among lay people, candidates for specified ministries, and ministers seeking professional development and continuing education. In particular he or she will play a key role in the development of leaders who have an advanced knowledge and understanding of Missiology and who can discern the purposes of God in the contemporary missional context and initiate and lead the church’s response to those purposes. The appointee will be expected to identify and develop a team of practitioners who will assist in the teaching of Missiology. The Uniting Church has established a centre for leadership development to resource the development of effective leaders for healthy missional churches throughout South Australia. The centre is part of the Adelaide College of Divinity and the Flinders University School of Theology. A position description together with the method of application is available from: The Principal, Rev Dr Andrew Dutney at Applications close November 14, 2008. Appointment effective from January 2009.


Lecturer in Leadership Applications are invited from enthusiastic, gifted and motivated teachers who have a track record of effective congregational ministry, a capacity to inspire students and colleagues and experience in helping form people for leadership. The Uniting Church has established a centre for leadership development to resource the growth of effective lay and ordained leaders for healthy, missional churches throughout South Australia. The centre seeks to appoint a Lecturer in Leadership who has the ability to articulate a vision for leadership development within the mission of the church and identify, develop and lead a team of practitioners who will assist in teaching. The appointee will play a key role in developing leaders who can interpret the Scriptures in the contemporary missional context. The centre is part of the Adelaide College of Divinity and the Flinders University School of Theology. A position description together with the method of application is available from: The Principal, Rev Dr Andrew Dutney at Applications close November 14, 2008. Appointment effective from January 2009.




New Times

Calendar launched The Uniting Church SA 2009 Thanksgiving calendar was launched at the Presbytery and Synod meeting. The calendar is a celebration of the rich and diverse ministry of the church in South Australia and is given free to congregations and members. The publication is also the church’s way of saying “thank you” to members for their contribution to the Mission and Service Fund. The calendars include South Australian public holidays, school terms and significant church events. The 2009 lectionary readings are also listed. If your congregation did not receive calendars at the meeting contact Uniting Church SA Communications project officer Sarah Urmston on 8236 4260 or email surmston@

Get noticed this Christmas Congregations are invited to promote their worship services and other Christmas activities this year through the Uniting Church SA’s 2008 Christmas postcard campaign. “Christmas is a key time for us to raise our profile in our local community. It is also a time when people are most open to invitations to join us for worship,” says Shannon Short, Communications and Public Relations manager. The integrated Christmas communications campaign has four key components: • postcards • posters • website • advertising

The postcards feature a contemporary Christmas light design and invite people to “See Christmas in a new light”. The design has been prepared by young graphic artist and Port Adelaide Uniting Church member Luke Roberts. For $65 congregations receive 1,000 postcards and a free listing on the church’s Christmas campaign website. The website will also be promoted through mainstream advertising the week before Christmas. “How many of our congregations can afford large advertisements in the ‘Advertiser’ or ‘Sunday Mail’? This is an economical way for our congregations to share the

Christian message of hope this Christmas,” said Shannon. Matching themed posters will also be available, which are suitable for congregations to post on community noticeboards. View both sides of the postcard design and order cards online at goto/christmas. The deadline for orders and text is Monday November 3. Cards will be available for picking up from the Uniting Church SA office on Monday November 24. For more information contact Communications project officer Sarah Urmston on 8236 4260 or

Staff celebrate milestone Uniting Church SA staff members Barb Dawe and Chris Hutchinson recently celebrated major milestones. Barb has just notched up 25 years working for the church and Chris has served for 20. Before becoming the much loved face at reception, Barb was the Synod printer, producing annual Synod papers, directories and KUCA Camp Out diaries.

Uniting Church SA receptionist Barbara Dawe celebrates 25 years working for the church and IT administrator Chris Hutchinson celebrates 20 years. NOVEMBER 2008

Chris’ role has continuously evolved during her 20 years with the church. She started as the secretary of the then Children, Youth and Young Adults’ department, (CYYA) under Craig Bailey, before moving to the Secretariat where she was involved in Placements and IT matters. These days Chris is the IT administrator.

New Times - November 2008  

Casting a vision - Strategic Plan Update

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