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October 2011

Balance and respect Issue 30, No 9 October 2011

Creation, order and harmony

To tax or not to tax Is there a carbon question? p. 9

Dreaming of country The Coorong, Ngarrindjeri and calling for balance pp. 10-11

Changing things when change is hard

Christmas e-card


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Draw or write “what would be your ideal Christmas Day” Winning entries will be used in our Christmas Appeal campaign and our UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide Christmas e-card Every entry will receive a prize Winning entries will receive a book voucher and the grand prize winner will have their entry mounted on canvas. For competition entry forms Call 1800 247 365 or log on to

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Caryn Rogers

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p. 8236 4230 e. Advertising

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Deadline for October October 12

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ISSN 0726-2612 New Times is the voice of Uniting Church SA. Published monthly, February through December, New Times represents the breadth, diversity and vision of Uniting Church members in SA. News policies, guides and deadlines appear online at Articles and advertising do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor. Phone: (08) 8236 4200 1300 766 956 (toll free from regional areas) Fax: (08) 8236 4201 Email:

Journalist Louise Heinrich

Street address: Level 2, 212 Pirie St, Adelaide


Postal address: GPO Box 2145, Adelaide SA 5001 Next issue: Disciples

in training

We hear it said that ‘our children are the future’. But how are we preparing them for that, in life, in relationships and in faith?

Happy 40th New Times This year, New Times officially becomes middle-aged. Started in February, 1971 as the Central Times, the newspaper sought to cover the news of the Methodist church on a fortnightly basis. On his first day as the first editor, Tony Nancarrow, was shown to his office where a dial phone sat on the floor and told that his first edition was due out on February 3 1971. The young man purchased himself a Remington typewriter for $60 and some second hand furniture, and got to work. Some 40 years on, the paper is still here, still telling the story of the Methodist church – within its new shape as part of the Uniting Church. It’s had a few facelifts along the way and a name change, but it’s still the same paper. Happy 40th New Times, and thanks to all who have contributed to its pages throughout the years. It wouldn’t have been the same journey without you. Here’s to another 40 years!

Uniting Church communications teams across Australia picked up a combined twelve awards at the recent Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) awards held in early September in Adelaide. The awards included: Uniting Church SA, New Times Gold: Best Improved Publication Bronze: Best News Release ‘Political Advert Offensive’ Uniting Church Vic/Tas, Crosslight Silver: Best Ecumenical Story Through the eyes of our neighbours


Uniting Church shines at Australasian Religious Press Association Awards Wesley Mission, Impact Silver: Best layout ACCatalyst Highly commended: Best review of another medium Brand new Aboriginal – Bran Nue Dae The ARPA Ansvar Awards are judged by leading professional journalists and awarded each year for excellence in religious journalism and publishing. Congratulations to all on their commitment to excellence in religious journalism.

Uniting Church NSW, Insights Highly Commended: Best Feature What Hath God Wrought Gold: Best Headline Hey Moses, you call that a tablet! Silver: Best Original Photograph Ecumenism means you, too Gold: Best Ecumenical Story Ecumenism means you, too Uniting Church in Australia Assembly, The Transit Lounge Bronze award: Best electronic publication Uniting Church WA, Revive Silver: Best Article Applying Faith to Life Grit, Dirt and the beauty of life Bronze: Best Story on Social Justice They have the right to be here


What makes a Mod? Rev Rob Williams has a great amount of responsibilities to ensure those under his care are happy and healthy. At times, the varied roles required of the Moderator can be incredibly demanding, and at times he needs to be released from smaller duties (like writing this column) so he can tackle greater issues. So this month, while the Mod is caught up elsewhere, we’re unveiling the mystery of his role.


Rob at his Installation as Moderator in 2010.


The focus of Rob’s term - Empowering community centred on Jesus Community and Jesus are the themed focal point for a forward-moving three years. Communities need a driving forward point (mission together) and a fulcrum from which all ministry ties. That fulcrum is Jesus. The ‘empowering community’ process begins internally, with people empowered through centring on Jesus, to more fully accept him and the mission of the church, which then outworks through evangelism and faithsharing, social justice and advocacy. The term of the role The Moderator’s term lasts for three years and focuses on a theme chosen by the Moderator, prior to their installation (induction as Moderator). The ModeratorElect is nominated by networks and congregations

for the role. At the main Presbytery Synod meeting, they present their vision for the three year term to the floor of the Meeting. The Moderator Nominees are then voted on; the one carrying the most votes is announced as Moderator-Elect. The Moderator’s term begins one year from their election as Moderator-Elect, at the Presbytery Synod meeting with the installation ceremony which the current Moderator presides over. This service is essentially a changing of the guard. The next Moderator will be installed in 2013. Leadership Rob’s primary task is to hear and articulate a vision for the future. As well as being a pastor, he is called to engage in theological and biblical reflection, and incorporate that in the direction of the Uniting Church. He encourages new initiatives, and promotes and encourages the mission of the church.

Representation As the public voice of the Uniting Church, Rob’s statements can often be read in different media outlets. He builds relationships with community, ecumenical and parliamentary leaders, as an ambassador of Christ and God’s people. Rob has the honour of being present at ceremonial government and church proceedings, and is fantastic at networking and interacting with a great range of people. Participation in Presbytery and Synod bodies The Presbytery and Synod staff are pastorally cared for by Rob, and he is also present at meetings. He has knowledge of strategic planning, policy development, as well as church governance. The Moderator listens to the debate and issues, and has a say in any issues arising. Field of Ministry Rob makes sure he spends time listening to the people of the church, so that the concerns and needs of churches are looked after. He also spends time explaining the vision and direction of governing bodies, to help people understand the church we‘re called to be.

Fiji Government muscles Methodists

Presbytery Synod SA Meeting

The Fiji military has moved in on the Methodist Church, attempting to influence Church leadership decisions and interfering in the life of the Church. All meetings, worship and fellowship services and programmes other than on Sunday have been banned. Church leaders expressed deep concern about the Fiji military interference in church decisions. “The Government must not decide who will lead the Church,” said Rev Dr Kerry Enright, National Director of UnitingWorld. “That role belongs to the Church alone. The Government needs to carry out its appointed role, and allow the Church to do the same.” “It is a clear violation of the fundamental human right to religious freedom at a time when the Church has been working hard to stabilise the relationship with the Government.” Methodists represent one third of the population of Fiji and Rotuma. The Church has been co-operative with regard to their activities and agenda and they are now being pressured to give in on the fundamental issue of autonomy over leadership decisions. Head online to for ongoing updates on the situation.

On 27 – 29 October, the annual Presbytery Synod Meeting will take place at Adelaide West Uniting Church. Amongst general business and reports, discussions will be had around the green evolution of the Synod by using up to date sustainable technology, the new ‘Called to Care’ program will officially be launched and nominated representatives will be elected to Assembly for 2012. Rev Dr Andrew Dutney, Principal of Uniting College for Leadership & Theology and President-Elect of the National Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia, will be conducting bible studies for the meeting.

New Times amendment Page nine of New Times September edition unfortunately went to print with an error of content. In column four, paragraph two, it was noted that CS Lewis wrote the Narnia series while has was still an atheist, which is incorrect. An amended version is available online at

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Placements news: Placements finalised since the last edition of New Times: Rev Dean Whittaker to Adelaide Congress from 1 September 2011 Rev Marty Rosenberg to Sunset Rock from 1 October 2011 The following is the current list of vacant (or soon to be vacant) approved placements: Profiles

available Adelaide West Bordertown, Buckingham and Mundulla from 1.01.12 Seaton (0.3) South West Fleurieu (Delamere, Inman Valley, Myponga, Range Road, Yankalilla) Spicer from 1.09.11

not yet available Southern Yorke Peninsula (Brentwood, Corny Point Faith Community, Curramulka, Edithburgh, Koolywurtie, Minlaton, Port Vincent, Warooka, Yorketown) from 1.10.11


If you wish to express an interest in any of these placements, or would like to have a look at the profile, please advise Rev Philip Gardner: e.

Nominating the next President-Elect The 13th Assembly meeting in Adelaide 15-21 July will elect the next President-Elect to take office from July 2015. Synods may submit nominations to the Assembly. Nominations will be received at the October Presbytery Synod meeting, to be held at Adelaide West Uniting Church, 27-29 October. As we prayerfully consider who God may be calling to fulfil this important ministry we are seeking one who is able to discern God’s Spirit at work in the world, is able to provide leadership in a time of change, who promotes evangelism and discipleship and enhances wider relationships and cooperation within the church and community, nationally and beyond. Any nomination that receives more than 50% support will be submitted to the Assembly. Nomination forms are available via the Uniting Church website and will be available at the Presbytery Synod meeting. Any further information available from Gwenda Kerley: p. 8236 4283 e.

8261 8211 All hours 26 OG Road Klemzig SA 5087


Geoff Lewis General Manager


Concern about suicide statistic silence right direction. “We need there to be a campaign like what the Motor Accident Commission has. Something like, ‘suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem: think again’,” said Dr Jorg Strobel, Deputy Clinical Director Health SA Mental Health Services. A resource pack is available for churches wanting to run their own Service of Remembrance, over coming months a number of rural and regional churches will be holding these. How might your church be involved in raising your voice on this devastating issue? For more information, head online to

Rev Sarah Williamson wore a singlet promoting the ‘Suicide: It’s no secret’ campaign in the World Suicide Prevention Day March this year. Over 45 of these singlets were worn in the City to Bay this year as part of the ongoing commitment of Uniting Church SA to promote healthy, responsible awareness and discussion around suicide.

On August 28, Uniting Church SA launched the ‘Suicide: It’s no secret’ campaign, spearheaded by Rev Sarah Williamson, Justice & Solidarity Officer, by releasing 200 black balloons into the sky from Scots Church, Adelaide, followed by a Service of Remembrance. The campaign was launched to lift what the Uniting Church calls a ‘silence around suicide’, calling for sensible, responsible, community and media discussion. The 200 balloons, symbolising the lives of South Australians lost last year to suicide, were a gesture of memoriam to the lives lost, and an announcement to the public that these lives would not be forgotten in silence. “As a Minister, I’ve had the

heartbreaking task of burying 15 young men, aged between 18 and 25, who found that suicide was the only way to deal with the pressures in their lives,” said Uniting Church SA Moderator, Rev Rob Williams. “I believe that healthy and responsible discussion about suicide by the media and within our community is a key to bringing healing and hope, and breaking down the stigma and shame associated with these losses so that more people will choose the path of life, not suicide, when they come under duress.” Prior to the launch, a community forum was hosted on Friday 26 August in the Uniting Church SA office featuring a panel of eight experts from various sectors, rural, corporate, media,



psychological and charitable. Those in attendance made it clear how concerned they were with the stigma attached to the issue of suicide, the silence around suicide deaths in the media, and the seemingly inhibited way people felt they were able to grieve for lost loved ones or find adequate help when it was needed. “Suicide and mental illness are seen as a weakness. How do we break down the barrier of it being seen this way?” questioned Rev Matt Stuart, who spoke of his particular concern for the ‘blokey’ blokes, a demographic significantly at risk. The panel discussion made it clear that there was no easy solution – but breaking the silence was a step in the

Barossa Uniting supports flood recovery Elizabeth Sibley


The Dawson River Valley in central Queensland saw huge damage to the farming community when severe floods hit earlier this year. Barossa Uniting Church members and friends donated over $4000, which was forwarded to Dawson River Valley Uniting Church to help with flood relief in their area. In late May, Bill and Elizabeth Sibley with Bev and Ian Rice, of Barossa Uniting Church, travelled to the afflicted area, where they stayed for a week on a local cotton farm. We assisted with cleaning up backpackers’ accommodation on the farm, and also attended a meeting for flood-affected farmers. The Barossa Parish money was used to provide a free meal following the gathering, making sure

that Barossa dried fruit was available. The atmosphere of the evening was one of helpfulness and appreciation, with two more planned in surrounding areas. Some of the stories which were shared described rising waters, stock floating away, damage to farms and roads, and sudden loss of income. The farmers were appreciative of the Uniting Church’s involvement in their recovery. Barossa Uniting was pleased to be able to assist those in the Dawson Valley, both financially as well as in prayer. As the region will not be restored for many months, it is imperative that we lend a hand to those who were knocked off their feet by floodwaters.

Celebrating fairs, fetes and families The first appearance of the sun...the fresh green grass emerging from the earth...the extra hour of daylight and the rising temperatures can only mean one thing: it’s time to party – and there are plenty of opportunities coming up in October. On Saturday 15 October, north-eastern suburb dwellers can enjoy a day of free family fun with Uniting People’s Family Fun Day, to be held at Civic Park, Modbury (opposite Tea Tree Plaza) from 11am – 3pm. Activities on the day are inspired by ideas from the 100 ways to spend quality time with your kids booklet, produced by the Uniting Church last year. On Saturday 22 October there’s sure to be a fete, fair, carnival or auction happening near you, as Crossways (Warradale), Adelaide West (Brooklyn Park), Gawler and Dernancourt Uniting Churches step into spring with their own community events. See the notices in the Diary section of this month’s New Times for more details. Playgroup in the Park, another free family affair, rounds off the month of activities at the Semaphore Foreshore on Friday 28 October from 10am – 1pm. Celebrating Children’s Week, the event is hosted by local Christian Churches and has enjoyed great success in previous years, with thousands of children enjoying the free games, craft activities and entertainment. For more information about the Uniting People Family Fun Day or Playgroup in the Park, visit


Bill and Elizabeth Sibley, Bev and Ian Rice are all smiles after a hard day’s work with Dawson River Valley locals Verlie & David Hutchinson at Moura Cotton Mill.

Is it a game? Rev Will Nicholas There is a new world, a gold rush of epic proportions. Millions of people from around our world are leaving their daily lives behind in search of fame, glory and treasure. Training is provided on arrival and no prior experience is needed, anyone can go and claim their stake in this new frontier. To enter this world we must remake ourselves to interact with the environment, form an avatar so that we can interact with this land. This personal incarnation is an opportunity to choose our gender, our race, and the skills for the professions we will have to contribute to this new world, the name by which we will be known. I have been there, I have seen this new world, its rich rewards, its life threatening challenges. In this world I am known as Magertom. A Goblin Mage, I have journeyed the length and breadth of Azeroth, I have stepped through the portal across the Twisting Nether to Outland, I have thwarted the evil plans of the Arthas the Lichking in the frozen wastes of Northrend and now I struggle with 15 million other expatriates from our world against the worst cataclysm Azeroth has ever known. Sounds exciting doesn’t it, like the script of a blockbuster movie or an idea for a hit new TV series or novel. It’s more than any of these, it is virtually a new world, a new frontier, a game of epic proportions. But is it just a game? Rev Will Nicholas is an avid gamer who enjoys both the emersion of Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games and the epic win of a table top board game. If you want to know more about this emerging conversation you may contact him via the new Facebook group Uniting Gamers.

Green “It’s not easy being green,” sang Kermit the Frog famously. He’s just a puppet, but he’s right. Being green is a complex business, with much at stake. With talk of the carbon tax, carbon sequestering, finding the balance and eco-friendly living, many are feeling overwhelmed with the extra effort that ‘being green’ appears to be. But is it that much extra effort? And could the effort now mean a better pay off in the end?

To tax or not to tax? Climate change is an issue, politically, practically and personally. This year it has been splashed negatively across our screen in association with the words ‘Carbon Tax’. If there’s one way to make people take notice of politics, it’s the introduction of the words ‘new tax’. The carbon tax bill has been heralded as a ‘suicide note’ for Julia Gillard’s leadership by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. Junior Climate Change Minister Mark Dreyfuss, has retorted that the Opposition is ‘in hysterics’. With so much hype and hurling of insults, it’s no wonder that many are struggling to come to terms with whether or not this carbon tax is a good thing, let alone be able to have a reasonable conversation about it. The carbon tax has been introduced to put a price on pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels, including coal and petroleum. The tax includes the cost of environmental damage caused through the burning of these fuels. The price increase for fossil fuels creates incentives, through negative stimulus, to develop and utilise technologies to reduce carbon emissions. It is hoped that this priced carbon usage will affect personal decisions made in regards to vehicles and appliances bought for commercial and private use. It is hoped that this will instigate a move towards a cleaner future. If pollution becomes more expensive, high-pollutant products become more expensive, and businesses opt for sound financial judgment to increase profit margins and decrease loss.

The tax is based per tonne on carbon pollution, yet there is still ambiguity on how this price will affect consumers. A distinct lack of information is creating concern. The price of certain goods, reliant on carbon pollution for their production, will go up. There is fear surrounding what this will look like – a recent survey of the Australian Retailers Association study also found almost 80 per cent of shop owners thought they would lose trade as a result of the tax. BlueScope Steel has reportedly deferred the construction of a cogeneration plant intended to use waste gas to produce electricity for its Port Kembla plant. The co-generation, as well as bolstering work in the area, would have cut the emissions of the Plant by approximately nine per cent. The deference – essentially an investment in green energy and jobs - is said to be as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the details of the carbon tax. Amongst all the concern, however, UnitingCare Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s clean energy legislation which was tabled in Parliament in September.

“We support this action to reduce carbon pollution. Not only does it promise a brighter future for the planet, it will help disadvantaged and vulnerable Australians who are already suffering the effects of climate change who will carry more of the share of the costs of climate change into the future,” said UnitingCare Australia National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds. The federal government has also made known their plans to move to an emissions trading system three to five years after a carbon tax is introduced. There are clearly plans in place that have logical and progressive momentum, but the quietness of detail is causing passionate voices to be heard loudly in dissent. The general public is in need of common sense dialogue on the matter of climate change, and its current bedfellow carbon tax, in language we can all understand – and care about. CR


Learning the


The Coorong is to Ngarrindjeri people, what Uluru is to Anangu people: sacred.


On 2-4 September, 13 Uniting Church people headed to the Coorong for Stepping Stone, a cross-cultural experience within our own state. The short weekend away was designed as a foretaste of About FACE, a three week Faith And Cultural Exchange program for over 18’s to connect with Congress Aboriginal communities around Australia. Arriving at Camp Coorong on Friday evening, the group mixed easily with each other, some staying up late sharing ideas on life, church and the state of relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. On Saturday, Ngarrindjeri Elders, Tom Trevorrow and Major Sumner, began to explain what it was like to grow up in Ngarrindjeri country, learning their own customs and culture, while being pushed out of their natural habitats by colonisation and farming. A people of harmonic balance with the earth, they travelled seasonally and ate from diets suited to their nomadic lifestyles and the natural ebb and flow of their country. In summer, the people would gather by the water’s edge and eat from its cool depths; cockles, oysters, and for a time, freshwater lobsters uniquely found in the salty Coorong.


In cooler months, the Ngarrindjeri left the Coorong’s shores for sheltered areas more suitable to natural living, and their diet followed suit. Lizards and other land creatures became easy food, and the Mallee Fowl were a favourite. Ngarrindjeri people no longer eat Mallee Fowl, nor can they catch freshwater lobster in the Coorong. The number of Mallee Fowls is too limited for the people to consider them an available food source. Lobster no longer exist in the Coorong because the balance of fresh and salt waters were upset by the near disappearance of soaks to the East combined with droughts that affected related waterways, most famously, the Murray. It was a carefully balanced ecosystem, and its upset can be clearly traced to non-indigenous settling into Ngarrindjeri land without due care for the land, its delicate ecosystems, nor its people. Behind Camp Coorong is a vision that the Ngarrindjeri people had back in 1985. They believed that they must have a place where people could come to learn about their heritage and culture, and to lead non-Aboriginal people to develop a better understanding of Ngarrindjeri traditions and their relationships to the land, waters, trees, plants and animals.

Basket weaving with Aunty Ellen was extremely popular with the group.

To do this, they teach the ways of their ancestors, the traditions and way of life pre-European invasion, as well as explaining what it meant for the Ngarrindjeri to be pushed off their land and onto missions. The weekend was a truly crosscultural experience. So much was unfamiliar for the city-dwellers; the dependence and relationship to the land, the seasonal movement of the people, a generosity of spirit with the earth - allowing it be fruitful and not making demands of it beyond measure. In the lead up to About FACE, this event prompted an awareness that we live on and share land which has traditional owners, who must be revered for their understanding of how to live on a land they have intuitive insights of. We have much to learn about balance and harmony with the land from our country’s traditional owners. And now, with our world groaning in discomfort under our human weight, there is no time more important to do so. About FACE takes place from 7-27 January 2012. More information can be found through contacting the About FACE office: p. (03) 9251 5271 e. www.

For the 4WD component of the track down to the Coorong, everyone piled into the ‘Troupey’. Yes – all 15; 13 from the Stepping Stone trip with our two tour guides.

The line of cockle shells in the sand hills denotes this as a midden - an occupation site where Aboriginal people left the remains of their meals. Oyster and cockle shells are most commonly found in middens, as well as animal bones. Some middens also contain artefacts and tools made from stone, bone or shell. For the Ngarrindjeri, these middens here at the Coorong demonstrate the seasonal habits of living by the water in summer months, then seeking shelter further inland during colder times. These middens represent a blueprint for sustainable harvesting of coastal resources. Studies have identified that when Aboriginal people had visited a certain area, they sometimes intentionally left the waste remains of the food they had consumed as the top layer of the midden pile so that the next people to visit could see what had just been harvested and would choose something else to eat so they didn’t over-use the resource.

Uncle Tom tells the story of his land and its role within Ngarrindjeri life and culture.


Ben Howland enjoying learning Ngarrindjeri crafts.

Aunty Alice, known for her skills in making flowers from Pelican feathers, teaches (pictured L-R) Ian Dempster, Rachel Dempster and Ben Howland.

Amber Whittaker holding her completed flower.

Katrina Levi and Jo Trudinger walk and talk their way along the Coorong.

A Sunday morning reflection incorporated the usual church fixtures, a Bible, some singing, candles and a message as well as some basket weaving continuing from the night before.

Kayli Taylor lights a candle to begin the Sunday morning reflection, with special emphasis on lamenting the past and working together for reconciliation.


Peter Trudinger One day, the Lord God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, summoned the man and the woman and asked them if they had obeyed his command. “Yes,” they replied. “We have been fruitful and multiplied and filled the Earth. Our children number in the billions and there is no corner of the Earth where they cannot live. We have subdued the Earth. We have levelled mountains and even moved them between continents. We have carved deep valleys and created lakes. We have watered dry land and turned pasture to desert. We have power over all the creatures of the world. Cattle graze freely where once the lion hunted. The elephant fades away. Terrible Leviathan the whale flees before us. We have created new crops and cloned old beasts. O Lord God, who created order out of chaos, we have obeyed your first command.” They paused, and then asked, “Mighty God, what shall we do now?”


And the Lord God, the one who in six days created Heaven and Earth and all that is in them, looked at the man and the woman with tears in his eyes, tears of pride and pain, and said in a voice as soft as silence, “Read Chapter Two.” The book of Genesis opens with a double story of creation. In the first story in Genesis One, humanity is given dominion over the Earth and all in it. In the second chapter (more precisely, starting in Genesis 2:4), the human being is set as a servant to tend the Earth as a garden. Up to now, we humans have lived under the mandate of Genesis One. For most of our history, ruling nature has been a struggle, but in modern times with increasing abilities in technology and science, that goal has been pretty much achieved. The outcome is bitter sweet. Everywhere we look we see the pain of species and planet pushed to the edge of existence. Now is the time to leave Genesis One and move to Chapter Two. Genesis Two highlights the community of humans and nature. The first human, Adam (who at the outset combines both man and woman), is made from the ground, the same stuff as the planet. A little later, God causes trees (representing all plants) to grow from the ground (verse 9) and then forms animals from that same ground (verse 19). These days we talk about members of a family sharing common DNA. The Bible does not mention DNA, yet that second story carries a similar notion. According to the Bible, humans share “common ground” with Earth, plants and animals. We are all family.


The role of the human in this second story is not to dominate, but to care for the garden Earth and all in it. The shift from the first creation story to the second has some big implications for interpreting the Bible. The key question is this: “Do we interpret a passage from the perspective of the mandate to dominate, as found in Genesis One, or from the command to care for Earth and all in it as family, as given in Genesis Two?” We can ask that question to help us understand what someone else has said about a biblical passage, or, even better, we can choose to follow the perspective of Genesis Two when it comes to working out the meaning of a passage for ourselves. Peter is Minister at Scots Church Adelaide and, together with Norm Habel, leads an international program on ecology and the Bible. They have recently edited a book of essays “Water: A Matter of Life and Death,” published by ATF Press.



A message from Paul Barnett

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What a super idea

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10 minutes with Lin, one of our valued UC Invest customers

p 15

How was your Welcome to Australia party?

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Are you ready for an About FACE?

Are you up for an About FACE? Stop Press! If you’re over 18 years of age and are looking for a life changing experience then About FACE (Faith and Cultural Exchange) could be just the event for you. About FACE will challenge your perspective on life and bring together your faith with the chance to make a difference in breaking down barriers in our community. About FACE is about increasing tolerance and understanding in the community through a hands on experience with indigenous communities. Recently, a group of passionate and enthusiastic South Australians headed to Hawker for the latest About FACE journey which included, visiting Wilpena Pound, seeing rock art and hearing dreamtime stories. They were exposed to another culture, built relationships with the Adnyamathanha people and heard about their story of the land.

The experience helped provide insight into what life has been like for indigenous people living in our society. Katrina Levi, a participant in the recent About FACE adventure and part of the Young Adults team at the Uniting Church SA says the experience was both memorable and incredibly insightful. “We want to bridge the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians through friendship. “It’s important to have these experiences, pushing us out of our comfort zones and outside our familiar culture. It gives us a chance to participate with Aboriginal people in their culture, life, customs and family,” said Katrina. About FACE offers the chance to expand your faith, build meaningful relationships with Congress Aboriginal communities and have the experience of a lifetime.......continued on p.14

In the last edition of Investor Returns, the story “The Refugee Support Fund – Punching above its weight in Adelaide” hit the mark with several of our investors. A number of donations were received totalling $5,050. Thanks to your generosity, at least two refugees will now have a chance to start a new life here in Australia. On behalf of The Refugee Support Fund – our heartfelt thanks.

UC Invest

Uniting Church SA ABN 25 068 897 781 Level 2, 212 Pirie Street Adelaide, SA 5000 GPO Box 2145 Adelaide, SA 5001 Call: 1300 274 151 Fax (08) 8236 4250 Email:

A message from Paul Barnett Spring has certainly sprung and what a great season it is. “From little things, big things grow,” sang Paul Kelly. The generosity in spirit and charity of our Uniting Church community never ceases to amaze me. It is thanks to the kindness of our readers that the lives of at least two refugees will now be changed forever, giving them the freedom to live in Australia. In this edition you’ll hear all about the Welcome to Australia Party held at Stonyfell winery, which highlights the positive ways in which we can all embrace and welcome new members to our community. The Mission and Service Fund is the main beneficiary of UC Invest’s grant money. In this and upcoming issues we will endeavor to highlight some of the great programs and people that are supported by the Fund. This edition features the About FACE and Stepping Stone programs. Each of these programs provide a wonderful opportunity for young Uniting Church

people to expand their faith, build meaningful relationships with Aboriginal communities and be part of something most Australians rarely get to experience. I have been thinking about our readers and I’m sure many of you manage your own super fund. Maybe you want to invest with us? We are safe and secure and our rates are competitive. Feel free to give us a call on 1300 274 151 if you’d like to chat about the best option to suit you. We’re always just a phone call away or pop in to say hi. As some of you may know, I had a near obsession with triathlons. It was 15 years ago that I met Lin and Lyn Green where we would catch up three mornings a week at the Payneham Pool. Our lives have since crossed paths many times. It’s with great pleasure that you will meet my friend Lin on page 15. I hope you get the chance to soak up some sunshine as you enjoy the latest edition of Investor Returns. Paul Barnett – Manager UC Invest

Are you up for an About FACE? The program encourages an “about face” in the attitudes and lifestyles of participants, with the aim that their experience will be shared with their congregations and communities. It is about breaking down barriers and building and increasing tolerance and understanding in the community. The essence of the program aims to challenge people’s perspectives on the world and provide a faith and cultural exchange.

Participants in Hawker for the latest About FACE experience.

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The next About FACE event will be happening from 7-27 January 2012. For more information visit About FACE is a national activity of the Uniting Church in Australia. A state based program “Stepping Stone” runs lead up events to About FACE. Both programs are financially assisted by the Mission and Service Fund which receives quarterly grants from UC Invest.

What a super idea Every well balanced super fund, whether the fund manages $200 billion or a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) with $100,000 of assets has investments in a range of different assets including cash, fixed interest, shares and property. Over the past decade many people have decided to take control of their financial future and open SMSF’s, which gives them the control to invest their super funds as they see fit. We are often asked, “Can we invest our super in UC Invest?” The answer is, yes. We offer at call and fixed term investments which are competitive on rates, have no fees, are safe and secure, and can have money such as dividends paid directly into them.

10 minutes with Lin, one of our valued UC Invest customers With a love of sport leading him to UC Invest, we thought we’d have a chat to Lin to get to know him beyond his visits to the UC Invest office, plus Lin has offered a nice piece of advice for us all too! Tell us a bit about yourself…. My wife Lyn and I are members of the Campbelltown Uniting Church. I am also involved with Rotary and Lyn enjoys her time as a member of Inner Wheel. We have a passion for sport and are Foundation members of the Adelaide Crows. We like to go along to support them at many of their games. Ever since I was a young child sport has been a big part of my life, including everything from cricket, football, football umpiring and getting involved with triathlons, which is where I met Paul Barnett (Barney).

Do you have a Self Managed Super Fund?

How long have you been a customer with UC Invest? Lyn and I became members of UC Invest soon after its inception. I also worked at Uniting Care Wesley for 17 years holding numerous executive positions. I invested Uniting Care Wesley funds with UC Invest in my early years with the organisation as well. What do you like about being part of UC Invest? It’s been great knowing Paul outside of UC Invest and catching up at triathlon events. I would have to say that I like being part of UC Invest because their competitive interest rates are very appealing and their service is outstanding. Investing with UC Invest has been a really convenient, simple and enjoyable process. It’s also good to know that UC Invest is an organisation I can trust and that means a lot when we’re talking about investing money.

UC Invest customers Lyn & Lin – it’s always great to see their smiling faces If you could describe UC Invest in three words, what would they be? Competitive, convenient and security What’s the best piece of wisdom or advice you have received about life? If you have not learnt to serve, you cannot hope to command!

How was your Welcome to Australia party? As you may remember in our last edition we talked about the Welcome to Australia party initiative. We are pleased to report that for over 150 young adults, their party was full of fun, laughter and most importantly the welcoming of refugees and asylum seekers to Australia. The Welcome to Australia Party held at Stonyfell Winery, organised by a group of passionate, energetic and enthusiastic young people proved to be a huge success celebrating the diversity of our community. With everything from a 12 piece Latin band, acoustic Filipino singer and Adelaide Crows players Ivan Maric and Chris Knights, party goers were set for a day of fun celebrations. Continued on p.16


How was your Welcome to Australia party? A highlight of the event was having five multicultural groups all singing songs in other languages, such as Chinese, Korean, Tongan and Cantonese – a special moment embracing some of the many cultures that are part of Australia. Will Hall, Youth and Young Adults State Coordinator for the Uniting Church who helped organise the Stonyfell Winery Welcome to Australia Party, said the event was a great way of not only welcoming new people to our country, but uniting to celebrate multiculturalism in Australia. “The great thing about the Welcome to Australia parties is that they provide a fun and easy way for people to get together and help make refugees and asylum seekers feel welcome in our community.

“The stories of the many refugees and asylum seekers who come to Australia looking for a safe and secure home for their families are inspiring and give us an insight into what life is like for those who weren’t lucky enough to call Australia home.

The Welcome to Australia initiative, supported by UC Invest, involved people holding their very own Welcome to Australia parties from 19-26 June 2011 in their home, street, office or sporting club to welcome asylum seekers, refugees, new arrivals and other migrants.

“The Welcome to Australia parties are a great way of uniting to celebrate our diversity and getting to know our new neighbours. With the event being such a success this year, I can’t wait to see how many parties will be happening next year,” said Will.

Nationally, there were more than 70 Welcome to Australia parties with well known Aussies including Jessica Rowe, Amanda Blair and Katie Noonan showing their support for the cause.

The event aimed to publicly celebrate the beauty and depth that diversity adds to our nation.

Brian Ruiz preforming at the Welcome to Australia party

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*Some conditions apply to the Fixed Term Investment special offers. UC Invest is an activity of The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.). The legal entity of the Uniting Church SA. Neither UC Invest or the Uniting Church SA are supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulations Authority (APRA). Investments lodged with UC Invest are not protected by the provisions of the Banking Act (1959). UC Invest is designed for those investors who wish to promote the charitable purposes of the Uniting Church SA.


Biological is best how to increase productivity by tapping into the Soil’s Organic Carbon (SOC) stocks. “The answers weren’t very strong. It was that you put on more fertiliser, and I did, and I kept all of my stubble, tilled my soil only once a year and very shallow. I wasn’t bashing my soil. “Even with all this best practice my carbon level was in decline and compaction was getting worse.” Soil carbon improves the physical properties of soil, plays a key role in the carbon cycle and is important in global climate models. The exchange of carbon between soils and the atmosphere is a significant part of the world carbon cycle. Carbon, as it relates to the organic matter of soils, is a major component of soil and catchment health. Several factors affect the variation that exists in soil organic matter and soil carbon—the most significant has, in modern times, been the influence of humans and agricultural systems. There are clear benefits for catchment health by focusing on soil carbon – but efforts would need to be extensive and economical for the collective benefit to be realised. This is why Adrian thinks that, at a government level, Australia should adopt biological farming practices and allied farming technologies over 80% of its land use by 2020. “The advent of the carbon farming initiative being passed through Australian Federal Government where $1.7 billion is being attributed over six years to helping farmers understand how they can build SOC is a very progressive step forward for viability of agriculture in Australia. “We believe we’re at the tip of the iceberg, having proven

Adrian Lawrie, Principal of LawrieCo, Federal Minister of Regional Development Simon Crean and Mt Gambier property owner David Clayfield share about some of the Biologic Farming Technology that has enabled David to transform white sandy soil to fertile, carbon-rich soil.

over 15 years that through our programs we can build soil organic carbon, with a property in Port Pirie raised over 50% in 12 years. “When working on a new property we can bolster the nutritional integrity of its crops or pasture in its first year - with a few simple changes to the fertiliser program. “The sad reality in Australia today is that we have only 25% of the soil organic carbon we had 80 years ago, while in other markets the US has retained 75% and Canada 50%. “From a strategic food perspective, our 25% retention is a seriously challenging threat to future generations. My personal view is that unless we change our farming practices to improve soil organic carbon then we are on an

unsustainable downward spiral propped up only by increasing amounts of synthetic fertiliser and chemical support, that is costing more and more each year. “The issue of food integrity goes further than that though. From experience, it’s our contention that growing our food in a soup of chemicals in the soil reduces the microbial soil activity and reduces the plants capacity to access all nutrients and minerals in a balanced manner. “The end result is that there is a lot of food out there that does not have the nutritional integrity and the mineral density that it can have.” Adrian Lawrie attends Lefevre Uniting Church, and attributes the success of his company to his supportive family, clients, staff, and associates.


Adrian Lawrie has spent many an hour sitting on his tractor, several weeks on end, year after year, to get crops into the ground. So, he’s had a lot of time to think about farming, best practice, and the agricultural tools and balances God has given us in nature. The farmer by trade, has become a business man, in a bid to stem what he calls an ‘obsession’ and dependence on chemical agronomy (farming practices) that has developed over the past 50 years Adrian is a Director of LawrieCo, and with eight scientists working in and supporting the company, they believe that if half of Australia’s famers adopted biological farming practices, evolved from applied soil science, farmers could sequester 150 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum and also address our increasing soil salinity problem, and become more viable. “The distinguishing factor between what our team offer and the current mainstream offering is that we do address problems through nutrition management rather than through chemical management,” said Adrian. “We’ve accessed research papers from around the world and gone back to some of the original agricultural textbooks. There are answers for many of the day to day problems in farming - without reverting to fungicides, insecticides and increasing applications of chemical fertilisers.” Adrian’s journey towards biological farming started in his teenage years, growing lettuce on his family’s farm in Port Pirie. Thirty years on, while cropping 1500 hectares, he found himself asking the same questions he had as a young lettuce-grower about

Louise Heinrich It can seem like the green club only welcomes vegans who confront anyone washing their car in the driveway and weep at the sight of canned tuna. But you too can join the crusade to ensure our world is liveable for our grandchildren, and their grandchildren. Simple steps for making a difference in our own lifestyles can help save the earth. Here are five exciting environmental options to help you and your carbon footprint find better harmony with the earth.

1. Buy local produce You’d be surprised to discover how much of our food is imported from countries far away. To cut down on the amount of fuel used to transport the goods, buy your fruit and vegetables from markets which promote local produce. You could even strike up a relationship with the farmers who grew the apple you’re crunching on.


Shopping in this fashion causes you to acclimatise to buying what is in season – waiting for the juiciest Riverland Valencias rather than buying oranges from Mexico in the middle of winter. Try: Adelaide Central Markets Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers’ Markets (Sundays) Pooraka Sunday Market Willunga Farmers’ Market (Saturdays) Victor Harbor Farmers’ Markets (Saturdays) Battunga Country Growers Market (Sundays) Riverland Farmers’ Market (Saturdays) Wirrabara Producers’ Markets Eyre Peninsula Farmers’ Markets

2. Edible Garden When was the last time you reached deep into the earth, toiled for hours under a floppy straw hat to watch green tendrils miraculously rise from the soil, which grew big and fat enough to end up on your dinner plate? Immense satisfaction, and somewhat green smugness, comes over the consumer when eating food nourished by your very own love and attention. Not only does it cut out some grocery costs, it means that you aren’t consuming produce that has a) been transported vast distances to be delivered to the supermarket, b) been sprayed by damaging chemicals and c) arrives in unsustainable packaging.


3. Swap your commute Riding your bike (my little beauty’s called Esmeralda) is a fantastic way to appreciate the blue sky, the warm sun, and the fragrant spring as you cycle to work. Adelaide City Council revealed in September that $70,000 will be spent on improving safety for cyclists over the next year, meaning that our capital city is increasingly bike-friendly. Carpooling is an opportunity to connect with workmates, and public transport offers actual eye contact and casual conversation with a stranger. You never know who you might meet on a train (hopefully new friends with colourful stories to tell, not that guy who told you that he wrote a letter to his ex in his own blood).

4. Community Gardens Permaculture is a worldwide movement, based around developing a self-sufficient and sustainable agricultural ecosystem. The principles of permaculture are: 1. Care for the earth 2. Care for the people 3. E nough for all


There are growing amounts of community gardens which reflect the message of permaculture; places where anyone can help out, and take home some broccoli for their labours. These organic efforts maximise local resources and recycling, and focus on the community centred on the garden. Adamstown Uniting Church, in NSW, unites justice and sustainability with a program in which community gardens are designed to help, “low-income people sustain themselves,” thereby delivering fresh produce to people in need.

5. Eco-Escape A society of like-minded people? Check. House and land packages by the sea? Check. Village bylaws? Check. Aldinga Arts Eco Village is an ambitious self-contained community south of Adelaide which lives by an Aboriginal philosophy that people belong to the land. Committed to having a permaculture farm that is completely selfsufficient by 2020, these guys are all about sustainability. Community values, a dedication to arts, craft and music – this is basically an eco-friendly utopia. The microcosmic society encourages all who believe in an environmentally-friendly world to join their paradise – so what are you waiting for?


Tackling the Typhoons Rev Christa Megaw “It’s the poorest of the poor in the world, and this includes poor people even in prosperous societies, who are going to be the worst hit.”



This statement sums up what many have been predicting for some time now: that it will be the poor and vulnerable who will most suffer the consequences of environmental damage. These people often live on land in remote or marginal placesand have the least power to protect themselves and recover afterwards. Five people were killed in early September in a landslide of the rubbish dump in

Baguio City, North Luzon, where Uniting Church SA has a longstanding partnership with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. These were some of the poorest people, living downhill from the dump and unable to protect themselves. Many other people have also been killed by the typhoons that have struck the Philippines in recent weeks. These typhoons have always happened but many environmental scientists have reported that, in recent years, they have been happening with more frequency and intensity, due to global warming. Uniting Church SA has recently made a three year commitment to fund the training of pastors in leading their communities to take precautions against disasters, as well as helping

people to cope with the results of disasters. The pastors will also be trained in community organising and conflict management as well as fostering the links between the Gospel and their indigenous culture through art, music, dance and drama. Uniting Church Minister, Rev Andy Tiver, is helping to coordinate this program at the Ecumenical Theological

Seminary in Baguio City. Synonymously, UnitingWorld is funding a Community Development program to train indigenous people in the Philippines in preparation and response strategies for natural disasters, such as typhoons. This project was supported by Lent Event SA 2011 and is making a significant difference to many remote communities in the Philippines.

Whose responsibility? Louise Heinrich In 2008, the Carbon Dioxide Info Analysis Centre prepared a report for the UN which ranked countries by the amount of their carbon emissions. China was the top culprit, releasing a whopping 23.3% of all global emissions, while India produced just under 6%. Australia only emitted an alleged 399,219 metric tonnes of the pollutant in that year, a minuscule 1.32% of the world’s total. “We pay for China’s carbon,” cried Andrew Bolt’s indignant headline in the Daily Telegraph (June 2011). It summarises the argument many foist against the Carbon Tax: we shouldn’t pay for other’s mistakes. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. According to Australian government fact sheets, in 2010, we imported $39 billion worth of Chinese goods, and just under $2 billion from India. Both


of these countries comprise a major portion of our trade industry. Our country buys an enormous quantity of goods from the main offenders, who ignore their global carbon responsibility. And we do this because they are cheap. Goods and services from China and India are inexpensive because costs are cut in every available avenue, resulting in exploitative labour practices (which Australian consumers, separated from the misdeeds by at least one ocean, are happy to ignore), as well as procedures which completely disregard environmental impact. Thirdworld conditions mean that in many circumstances, human rights and concerns for the ecosystem are ignored in favour of cut-price production. We buy household goods, computers

and mobile phones, chemicals and auto parts from China. Even products that are purchased from Australian companies, especially textiles, often bear the ‘Made in India’ tag. Local consumers are often unaware of the prevalence of outsourcing goods from cheap overseas companies. China is proposing a carbon tax on fossil fuel sources in the next few years, but has invested millions in clean energy, whilst India has a $1 per metric tonne tax. Although this shows more concern than Australia’s “Say No!” campaigners would care to admit, the efforts of the major culprits are comparably smaller to Gillard’s proposal of $23 per tonne on our nation’s top polluters. Indirectly, we should pay for China’s carbon because, in a globalised world, we’re all entangled.

Mission Resourcing SA

Green disciples

Getting to know...

It can be tempting to compartmentalise, to put barriers between different parts of our lives. We separate the physical from the spiritual. Often, we don’t consider how being a disciple affects the ways that we treat the environment. But a very different view is present in scripture. Chapter four in the Book of Hosea says, “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land... Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away.” Paul, in Romans eight, understands the linkage between ‘sin’ and the health of our world, between the work of Jesus and the renewal of all things. God certainly affirmed the goodness of creation. The value of our environment is endless. It is integral for farming and industry, for recreation, it is a place where we encounter God – and it’s beautiful. How do we respond to the talk of global warming, and its denial? I think that we are called to value all of the gifts of God. In Genesis we are called to rule over, fill and subdue the earth, but also to tend and care for it. Let us lovingly steward this wonderful gift of God.

Hospitable, outgoing, chocolate–loving Rev Ruthmary Bond passionately enjoys her role as Fresh Expression and Evangelism Officer at Mission Resourcing SA. The fun mother-of-five has lived in four different continents during her life as a missionary. She’s definitely a road-less-travelled kind of person, whose philosophy can be summarised by the saying: “The definition of insanity is doing things the same way we’ve always done them, and expecting to get different results!”

REV ROD DYSON Executive Officer, Mission Resourcing SA

Family: Husband Matthew, and children Jonathan (19), Cate (16), Jessica (15), Michael (14), David (12). Background: I am originally from Bundaberg in Queensland. When I was 17, I joined a mission group which focused on drama, and met my husband. I travelled for 16 years and lived in India, New Zealand, USA and South Africa before returning to Australia 12 years ago. I worked on the set of McLeod’s Daughters as a Child Coach, and was also employed as an Extras Agent for the film Broken Hill. When my youngest was two, I returned to study, and took my first placement as minister of the word at Kensington Park Uniting Church. Hopes for this position: For Evangelism and Fresh Expressions to become a natural part of who we are in the Uniting Church. I believe that when we see God at work in our lives, it will be a natural desire to share our faith with others through our actions and our words. I am also passionate about thinking outside the square when it comes to being the church. We need to take risks, try new things, and continually learn how to do things better.

Reflection on Church &... Melissa Cellier The Church &... conference was three days of sharing, growing, networking, learning, story telling, engaging, watching, eating, laughing and occasionally getting messy! Designed to encourage fresh expressions for ministry with children and families, the conference creatively engaged participants in worship and teaching. The feedback from the over 100 participants was overwhelmingly positive. It was a great time. Thank you to everyone who attended for your willingness to interact and share. Thank you to everyone who helped with organising, presenting, catering and cleaning up! Thanks to MediaCom, Uniting College and UnitingCare Synergy with CCI who were key supporters of this event. It was also very exciting to run this conference through a joint initiative of the Uniting Church Synods of NSW/ACT, Vic/Tas and SA to enable us to have Lucy Moore from the UK as our keynote speaker to equip and encourage us.


Suicide is no secret

Potter is not harmless

The service at Scots Church in August on ‘Suicide: It’s no secret’ was a privilege to attend and a thoughtful way to reach out to a wide ranging group of people. The role Sarah Williamson played in bringing this sad secret to the fore, to help families and friends begin to articulate the isolation suffered when some one commits suicide, was constructive and thought-provoking. The liturgy was one of open spaces, to invite reflection, not judgement, and helped people to explore some of the ways that their lives were enriched by knowing someone who had chosen this way to end their struggle.

Dear Caryn,

How would it be if the council of the City of Adelaide, together with the church, have flags at half-mast one day a year, to create connection between those who struggled and died, and those who struggle to live?

Harry Potter is not a harmless fiction (I naively read them all to my first daughter). It is based largely on real witchcraft. My second daughter will be having NOTHING to do with them or the many others of their ilk - Twilight etc.

This initiative from Synod is deeply appreciated by many silent nods. Thank you Sarah!

You are in a powerful position there Caryn, and you will be held to account for all those you mislead. It’s not cool, it’s dangerous.

L. McLaughlin, Fullarton

J. Elischer, Aldinga

Palliative Care at work

A. Coplands letter “Applauding Activism” (Aug 2011) has inspired me to throw my hat into the ring. I do not agree with those who believe controversial subjects should be excluded from general discussion. No doubt I will be offending some of your readers, but it is my opinion the decline in the number of people who attend church services is directly related to the usual sermon preached. I for one do not wish to be continuously reminded about what Jesus did and said.

What on earth are you doing editing a Christian magazine? Your opinions are New Age. Your Harry Potter article reveals a dangerous naivety to the realities of witchcraft and Satanism. You call it ‘pop culture’, well that pop culture is increasingly occult saturated. I suggest you investigate the testimonies of William Schnoebelen and Johanna Michaelsen, ‘Lucifer Dethroned’ (www. and ‘The Beautiful Side of Evil’.

letters to ed

Need for fresh sermons I found Rev Jennifer Hughes ‘Fence-sitters anonymous’ piece on euthanasia last month very interesting and helpful. At the same time, I find it surprising that so many SA Parliamentarians want to introduce legislation to allow voluntary euthanasia. Don’t they know about the provisions of the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act that was proclaimed almost 16 years ago? This Act avoids potential undesirable consequences of euthanasia that are worrying some people. This ‘Palliative Care Act’ does not authorise medical treatment for the purpose of causing death or to assist suicide. However it does provide that when a person is in the terminal phase of a terminal illness a medical practitioner, “incurs no civil or criminal liability by administering medical treatment with the intention of relieving pain or distress... even though an incidental effect of the treatment is to hasten the death of the patient”. South Australia already has legislation that allows effective and caring end-of-life medical treatment, and for people to choose to die with dignity. P. Fopp West Beach

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Far better to take a leaf out of his book by defying the many everyday evils perpetuated by those in authority (and others I regret to say) as he did during his life. That is what needs to preached. WR Mildren, Elizabeth

Send your letters to: or PO Box 2145, Adelaide 5001.

Be topical, be brief, be timely. Letters over 150 words will be edited; responses to previous letters /articles will be considered within two months of the original item’s publication only. All letters are published at the editorial team’s discretion.

On October 14 -15, the Centre for Music, Liturgy and the Arts will host performer, conductor, speaker, teacher and social inclusion activist Jonathon Welch. Jonathon’s talent and passion were showcased on ABC’s Choir of Hard Knocks program. More info: Jennifer Hughes or visit Crossways Uniting Church at The Corner, Warradale together with Scots Church, Adelaide present ‘Diversity of One’, the first solo art exhibition in 10 years by Indigenous artist Max Mansell. The exhibition will be at Crossways from 15 October - 11 November. Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10.00am – 3.00pm. Saturday & Sundays, 1.00 to 3.00pm. The exhibition then moves to Scots Church from 14 - 25 November. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10.00am – 3.00pm. More info: Pauline Shinkfield 8376 2666. Driver River Church, Verran 100 year celebrations. 15 & 16 October. Saturday afternoon program, book launch, opening of improvements, Strawberry Fete and Sunday worship service. Also a Sundays Music group reunion. All past members are welcome to attend. Enquiries: Bronwyn Smith Progressive Christianity Network SA presents Rev Dr Margaret Mayman in a Common Dreams on the Road 2011 event. “Heads, Hearts and Hands: Why Progressive Christianity Needs the Compassion and Action of Liberation Theology”. Tuesday 18 October, 7.30pm at Clayton Wesley Uniting Church. Cost $20. Bookings through Effective Living Centre - 8271 0320, More info:

Adelaide West Uniting Church’s Spring Community Fair happens on Saturday 22 October. Commencing with pre-fair pancakes from 8.00am. Stalls selling bric-a-brac, cakes, books, garden & craft open from 8.30am - 3.00pm BBQ, hot food, sandwiches, drinks. Entertainment by local school groups, Henley & Grange Concert Band, Adelaide West UC Men’s Choir & local artists. Free entry all day. Enquiries 8234 1199. Family Fair Gawler Uniting Church on Saturday 22 October, Tod Street Gawler. 9.00 am onwards. Enjoy craft, cakes, toys, plants, books, bric-a-brac, sausage sizzle, devonshire tea, bouncy castle, other free kids activities. Fun for all the family. More information: 8522 5269 (leave a message for Kelly to call you back).

To have your upcoming event or message published here, email with ‘Diary’ in the subject line.

Members and Friends of the Wellspring Community invite you to the Wellspring Quiet Day on Saturday, 22 October, 10.00am – 3.30pm at Christ Church (26 King William Road, Wayville). The presenter is Lynona Hawkins. Bring a plate of food to share for lunch. Cost: $5. Pay at the door. Register your interest with Jean Stirling: 8376 6371, by 19 October. Kent Town Wesley will host a celebration for ministers who have reached 50 years since their ordination on Sunday 23 October at 4.00pm. This year we celebrate the ministry of 8 people; Revs Brian Ball, Vern Cracknell, Robert (Bob) Miller (dec.), Brian (Rusty) Nicholls (dec.), Ian Parsons, Maurice Secombe (dec.), John Watson and Mr Tom Pearce. Rev Allan Shephard will deliver the address. Afternoon tea to follow the service. All welcome, particularly friends and family members of celebrated ministers. Changing things when change is hard - an advanced Christian Leadership Intensive for leaders, lay or ordained, in ministry or preparing for ministry, who are serious about seeing real and sustained change in a congregation or community of faith. Nov 14 – 25, 2011. Contact Linda Driver for further details info@unitingcollege., (08) 8416 8420. Hymn Fest – Sunday 23 October from 1.00pm at The Corner Uniting Church. Enquiries: Mavis Thomas 8377 1921. Woodville Uniting Church invites you to come and hear the SA Police Dixie and Brass Band. Wednesday, 26 October at 7.30pm in the Church Hall (44 Woodville Road, Woodville). A donation of $10 with tea, coffee & biscuit supper. Proceeds in aid of the Q.E.H. Mental Health Chaplaincy. Following a safe and successful Tour in 2010 Phil Hoffmann is leading another group to Palestine, Israel and Jordan in May 2012. If you would like to be included on a register of potential participants contact Phil at, 0412 665 252. Volunteers are needed to welcome, provide transport and possibly accommodation to overseas delegates at the Uniting Church Assembly in Adelaide (15 - 21 July 2012). Help is also needed before and after this week. To express your interest, contact John Minchin or Christa Megaw 8236 4203,

Seeds marks church growth

Family Fun Day - venue and date change

Senior Pastor Phil Pynor

A free Family Fun Day will be hosted by Uniting Church Uniting People on Saturday 15 October, providing an opportunity for parents and children to enjoy playing games and spending time together. However, a change of venue means that the event is now happening at Civic Park, opposite Tea Tree Plaza in Modbury. The Fun Day will run from 11am – 3pm. Activities on the day are inspired by ideas from the 100 ways to spend quality time with your kids booklet, produced by the Uniting Church last year. Information is available from or contact Sarah Urmston, 8236 4260.

In the wake of expanding to multiple campuses and services, Aberfoyle Uniting Church has been renamed Seeds Uniting Church. Following the name change, church activities are no longer bound by the 5159 postcode, which means that members can live out their faith in practical ways in any suburb, such as the Church in the Pub, U Count Support Services and XS Youth. For more information on Seeds Uniting Church go online to


diary notes

Crossways Uniting Church (cnr Diagonal & Oaklands Roads, Warradale) are holding a Carnival on 22 October from 9.00am – 3.00pm. Gardening, cooking, floral art, music & op shop fashion parade. For the kids there’s a jumping castle and craft classes. A variety of stalls and food also available. More info: The Corner, 8350 5400.

Dernancourt Uniting’s annual fete & auction – 22 October from 9am-1pm. Doors open 9am. Auction starts at 9.30am. Lots of stalls. Activities for children include face painting, Calvin Klown (10am 11.30am), Yellow Duck Road and playground. Donations of goods are welcomed. Please phone Church Office on 8369 0802 or email

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A grieving community unites Mardi Lumsden In the early hours of 24 August, a house fire in Slacks Creek, Brisbane, took the lives of members of three generations of a family who are associated with the Logan Central Multicultural Uniting Church, in Brisbane’s south. Moderator Rev Bruce Johnson said it was a sad day for the whole Church. “We are now aware that this family was closely connected with many of the Tongan and Samoan communities within the Uniting Church,” he said “Our hearts go out to the extended family and friends as they mourn the deaths of those they loved.” “In times like this we recall Paul’s words that when one part of the Body of Christ suffers, we all suffer together.” A community prayer service on 25 August saw thousands of people, including local politicians, squeeze into the Logan Metro Sports Centre as people showed their support for the family and the community. Prayers were said in Tongan, Samoan and English.

Rev Lu Senituli is a relative of the family and minister at Bayside Uniting Church. “When tragedy happens it is indiscriminate,” he said, “but standing shoulder to shoulder

Relatives remember the beloved Taufa and Lale families.

with strangers, supporting the family and the public lament, they formed a community of grief. “The community is a very resilient one because it is a community brought together firstly, and mostly, by their Christian faith and then by their culture.”

Tim Costello speaks on the African drought crisis The awful crisis the people of Somalia and many in the Horn of Africa face, as they attempt to cope with the worst drought in decades, will be highlighted at the Walkerville Uniting Church early in November. Walkerville Uniting has invited the CEO of World Vision, Mr Tim Costello, to be their guest speaker at a dinner meeting on Tuesday 8 November and he has generously accepted this invitation.

be welcome to simply make donations for famine relief in Africa by making donations through World Vision.

As the host church, the Walkerville congregation are planning an evening meal using the catering facilities recently developed in this near city church. A modest charge for the evening meal will raise funds for hunger relief in Somalia, while not discouraging people to come and hear Mr. Costello.

“People from all across South Australia and especially Adelaide will have a rare opportunity to hear first hand of this crisis and to see what is being done to offer relief and aid,” Geoff added.

Other fundraising activities are also being planned and guests will of course

Walkerville Uniting Church Minister, Rev Geoff Ellery, said the congregation were very pleased that Mr. Costello was coming to the Uniting Church and felt that the sheer enormity of the human catastrophe emerging in Eastern Africa made this dinner and fundraiser an event well worth supporting.

The Walkerville community expects that neighbouring congregations will want to be involved in this practical initiative and come to hear the message that Tim Costello will bring. Individuals or groups

seeking to secure a spot at this event or wanting to book a table, should mark Tuesday 8 November in their diaries and contact the Walkerville Church Office on 8342 5875.

Mr Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision, will be speaking at Walkerville Uniting Church in November to raise funds and awareness of the drought crisis in East Africa.



One week after the fire, people still kept a constant vigil outside the house, singing hymns and praying, and will most likely do so until funeral details have been finalised.

Money in a missional context Spirited Generosity

Author: Carolyn Kitto Available from: Uniting Church SA Office Recommended for: Church finance staff and strategists In short: A how-to guide with practical monetary and missional advice

Not everyone gets excited by Income and Expenditure Budgets or financial spreadsheets. As one who is overcome by confusion when confronted by a piece of paper filled with tiny numbers, I was very eager to be invited to explore Spirited Generosity. I attended a workshop for this resource with several of the leaders in my congregation. Here we re-discovered the importance of Mission Action Plans, which means identifying the areas of mission for our congregation. We also gained insight in how to prepare a Mission Action Budget – one which reflects the mission of the church.

rev i ew s

From this beginning, we took the Spirited Generosity resource home, and delved into it deeper. What we have discovered is a simple to use, detailed resource. It outlines each step to change our church’s habits: from meeting the bills as they arrive, to planning financially for the mission to which God calls us, and in which God works alongside us. The resource has encouraged us to look at all the aspects of our congregation, from maintenance of the property and utility bills, to the requirements of various activities and ministry time. With pro-formas and guidelines, Spirited Generosity contains all we need to shape our budget for mission, rather than preservation, and to reflect our desire to be a congregation aspiring to serve rather than be served. So far, the Church Council has used Spirited Generosity to create our Mission Action Plans for the next 12-24 months, to begin to shape our Mission Action Budget. We have a leadership team appointed to begin engaging the congregation with the Plan and Budgets on a deeper level. We eagerly look forward to what we can achieve for God’s mission in our area (and in the world) through this resource.

- Rev Jenny Ducker – Marion-Warradale Uniting Church.

Spirited Generosity can be purchased from MediaCom Phone: (08) 8371 1399 or toll free: 1 800 811 311. MediaCom is happy to supply copies on approval providing they are return in pristine condition. The Resources Board is organising and subsidising workshops led by Carolyn Kitto as follows • 2011, Friday 4 November, 7.00pm – 10.00pm Saturday 5 November 9.00am – 5.00pm • 2012, Friday 17 February, 7.00pm – 10.00pm and Saturday 18 February 9.00am – 5.00pm Rural and regional • 2012, Saturday 11 February, 10am – 4:30pm, Robe • Workshops for the Fleurieu and Mid-north are yet to have their dates confirmed For further information see or or contact Peter Harbison: p: 8236 4270 e:


An Age-Old Question Explored WHY?

Are the Queensland floods a consequence of lack of repentance, or are they simply a result of too much rain? The meaning behind the horrors we see in the world is a question that has plagued our society since its origins. Fire and brimstone preachers condemn disaster-stricken societies for their sin, while objective scientists deny all moral accountability and explain the disasters in purely scientific terms. Anglican New Testament scholar Ray Barraclough tackles the immense task of explaining this difficult topic by exploring an extensive list of modern-day tragedies. Author: Ray Barraclough Available from: Recommended for: Investigators of meaning in disaster. In short: A well-researched offering of modern theology seeks explanations of tragedies, yet leaves us questioning.

He evaluates how these events have been rationalised historically, and provides an exhaustive review of literature by noted theologians who have sought to account for these tragedies. Barraclough has a long and storied career in lecturing and ministering, and as a result comes across as dismissive of the conclusions drawn by other theologians. The book flows well, moving from objective research into a review of modern theological thought; however, I was left wondering what the author himself believed. Perhaps the complexity of the subject made it difficult to draw solid conclusions, but to tackle this topic and not provide some original thought is a little weak. What is evident though, is that when people are affected by tragedy it is unhelpful to try to explain it. We are promised that in this world we will have trouble, and we are called to be present and give silent understanding.

- Callum Iles

The increase in exploiting the vulnerable puts all sense of fairness in the shade. Dozens of local workers can be sacked due to cheap off-shore labour, echoing the atrocities of our colonial history. The insights of this book incorporate serious discussion

Learning to Adore

Book: Them & Us Author: Will Hutton Recommended for: Those interested in the link between economics, politics, and ethics. In short: A detailed study of moral and financial bankruptcy

Book: The Fire of Your Life Author: Maggie Ross Available from: Koorong Recommended for: People who need instructions in how to slow down. In short: A mystic’s year of seasonal reflections.

of economics, political decisions, and democratic participation. Hutton also highlights the increasing volatility of the global financial situation, which is not unlinked to profiteering corporations. He does believe, however, that we can act to change this. As Christians, we have a great sense of charity and justice, which guides us to act against poverty and destitution. Hutton’s dialogue encompasses the monumental causes of problems within our systems, and the individual suffering which results. - Rev Alan Jones

“Be still, and know that I am God.” This is not only an invitation, but a command. Jesus took time away from the crowds and the twelve to be alone with his God. If the Son needed to do this in Roman Judea, then in a constantly connected world, we do too. First available in 1983, this new publication inspires readers to see the world around them in a different way. Ross is a professed solitary who nonetheless writes for the practical needs of today’s Christians in a busy society. Using motifs from nature and powerful images from our corporate culture, she weaves

spiritually poetic devotions which guide readers through everyday actions and thoughts. This covers the need for a taxi in New York, or how to understand chastity in a world of conflicting values. The fire of my life needed stoking up, and thanks to the wisdom I have read here I made the time and had the courage to do just that. This book will inspire you to retreat and seek the Almighty’s influence in your life. - Damien Tann



There are signs that all is not well with Capitalism. Former editor-in-chief of British newspaper Observer, Will Hutton, explores the great injustices that the economic system is based on, and questions the fairness of our vastly unequal society. While he writes about England, the subject matter is incredibly relevant to Australia.

Immoral economic system

‘Tis the season to order postcards


Sarah Urmston ‘Twas two months before Christmas, And all through the State Preparations for the day Were still being made

At just sixty five dollars For 1000 cards Many people were reached And the bank account was unscarred.

As congregations cast For Nativity skits Parishioners began to wonder – ‘Who’s gonna see it?’

So, to share a Christmas message Of peace and goodwill And to promote the services So your seats will be filled,

When thankfully, in New Times, A helpful article they read ‘How to promote festive services And get the word spread.’

Jump on the net and give us your info We’ll get sorted with your Christmas promo

The idea was simple, The answer was clear They’d order Christmas postcards And send them far and near. When the Church Council approved it, The plan was set in motion And well before 31st October The congregation registered for the promotion.

It’s time to take action! You can’t delay! Order your church’s Christmas postcards – today. Ordering your postcards Congregations can order their postcards by filling in the simple online form at: by 31 October. Postcards are $65 per 1000, with a minimum order of 1000. For further queries: Sarah Urmston p. 8236 4260 e.

NewTimes - October 2011  

Balance and respect - Creation, order and harmony