Issue 33, No 4, 2014
The voice of Uniting Church SA
All you nations
ARE WE A FAIR GO SOCIETY? RENEWING FAITH Striving for the lowest
Contents FEATURES Growing together, whatever the weather
Striving for the lowest common denominator
Forming connections, renewing faith
KCO – let’s go!
REGULAR PAGES Moderator’s Comment Getting to know...
Letters 21 Diary
Editor: Catherine Hoffman Editor-in-Chief: Bindy Taylor Advertising: Loan Leane Design: David Lombardi Print: Graphic Print Group For editorial inquiries: p. (08) 8236 4249 e. firstname.lastname@example.org m. The Editor, New Times GPO Box 2145 Adelaide SA 5001 For advertising bookings: p. (08) 7007 9020 e. email@example.com
w: newtimes.sa.uca.org.au facebook.com/NewTimesUCA 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 newtimes.sa.uca.org.au. Articles and advertising do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor.
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Next issue: Peace is the tangible symbol of shalom that we so urgently need. But, in our troubled world, peace and hope can sometimes be difficult to find.In times of challenge, the belief that God is present in all circumstances, offering refuge to all those in need, reminds us of God’s blessing for our lives. DEADLINE FOR JUNE 2014
Wednesday 7 May
Be encouraged, be empowered, gather information, enjoy conversations, entertainment and great food. Speakers include: • Dr. Deidre Palmer, Moderator of the Uniting Church SA, Choosing Life • Dr. Lynn Arnold, former Premier of SA and CEO of Anglicare, Turning the Journey of Life into a Pilgrimage Other Topics include: Ageing Well, Celebrating the Journey, Mentoring, Overcoming the Gloomy Bits, Caring for Yourself, Changing Spirituality, and more. To find out more and to register visit:
www.hopevalleyuc.org.au or ring Heather 0409 699 023 Hosted by Hope Valley Uniting Church 1263 Grand Junction Rd, Hope Valley SA
What we see depends on what we look for I have written previously about the human trafficking trip I took to India last August. I was appalled at the treatment of, and ignorance about, women and girls who are being abused in India’s billion dollar clothing production industry. On that same visit to India, I participated in a church service in one of the most affluent suburbs of Mumbai. Carolyn Kitto (pictured), the Australian Coordinator of Stop the Traffik, was invited to speak and she delivered a poignant and contemplative sermon on the Great Commission. Carolyn also spoke about the prolific nature of human trafficking and its detrimental effects on people throughout India. What really took me aback was that the minister did not acknowledge Carolyn’s words nor pray for the people of his country who were suffering at the hands of this significant crime, which Carolyn had very clearly described. I was left feeling bewildered and deflated by his actions. When I returned home, I came across a brochure for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation which stated “between 40% and 60% of Indigenous children in very remote locations across WA, SA and NT are achieving below minimum standard in Reading in Year 3.” My mind was immediately catapulted back to the minister in Mumbai. He seemingly hadn’t wanted to address the sorry state of his country’s trafficking issues nor its impact on people living there – yet there was a group of foreigners visiting his church whose sole purpose was to create change around this very issue. I felt like I was displaying a similar ignorance towards an unacceptable statistic affecting many people in my own country. The literacy statistic is just one of many examples which made me realise just how much, and how often, our country falls short in supporting its own people. We can and should draw attention to these issues and strive to make a difference. Psalm 47 encourages us to praise God and to stir up all people, all nations, to join in praising God, king of all the earth.
An important way in which we can acknowledge and demonstrate the reign of God is to seek freedom and justice for those who have been treated unfairly. A country which lives out these values provides glimpses into God’s perfect kingdom – a kingdom over all people and all nations. As we work to give others a foretaste of this kingdom, we are living out our call as disciples every day.
Cover details The cover photo was taken on the completion of the Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees on 13 April. The Uniting Church community was well represented at the march which began on the steps of Parliament House and finished at Light Square, Adelaide. Rally participants were invited to write messages of hope on the back of postcards to be delivered to those in offshore detention. On Saturday 17 May at 7.45pm, Rev Prof Andrew Dutney will deliver the annual Wilks Oration at the Effective Living Centre, 26 King William Road, Wayville. Andrew will speak on “Are we still a fair go society? The global ethic in Australia today.” This topic will allow him to reflect on how Australians relate to one another, with a focus on refugees, asylum seekers and First Peoples. For an introduction to this discussion, see Andrew’s article “Striving for the lowest common denominator” on page 7 of this edition.
Rich diversity In mid-2005 my family visited Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore, India. As part of our visit we attended an assembly at the school where our friends’ son was a student. We really appreciated being immersed in such a different cultural context, witnessing the work of the hospital and church. As the children gathered for the assembly, they sang “Shout to the Lord” – an Australian classic! In the middle of a town in India, we could join together with Indian school children to sing a song that was very familiar to us. This experience comes to mind when I hear the words of praise: “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” (Psalm 47:1 NIV) Since becoming Moderator, I have been blessed by worship in multiple contexts in South Australia. I have worshipped with the Northern Suburbs Dinka-Speaking Faith Community. I have preached at the Korean Uniting Church. I have heard the story of immigrants from Liberia, who are now members of Woodville Gardens Uniting Church where worship songs are sometimes offered in Liberian, English and French. I have been moved when listening to Psalm 23 sung in Fijian at Vermont Uniting Church. I have shared Easter with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress in Oodnadatta. I have worshipped with the Ethiopian Orthodox church that meets in a Uniting Church building. It has been a joy to share our common faith, offering praise and thanks to God in different ways through a variety of cultural lenses.
Just prior to Jesus’ ascension, he says to his followers: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NIV) Today there are approximately 2.18 billion Christians around the world, according to the Pew Research Religion and Public Life Project. Jesus’ followers have continued to respond to the Holy Spirit, sharing the good news of Christ’s transforming love and grace in every nation. The Uniting Church reflects some of the rich diversity of the global church. We seek to be an inclusive, hospitable community, woven together by the Spirit of God. In her book Breaking Calabashes, Dr Rosemary Dewerse encourages us to shape “genuinely intercultural communities” (p.10), and invites us to take time in prioritising and building relationships. She notes that this is not a fast food approach, but slow-cooking in a kitchen, creating a meal together before sitting around a table, praying, storytelling and studying Scripture together. I pray that, as a church, we will take opportunities to build relationships, enjoying the diverse ways we worship and respond to God, and meeting Christ in each other.
Dr Deidre Palmer
Placements News No placements have been finalised since the April Edition of New Times. Upcoming Commissioning Services: Linda Driver (MOP), Burnside City Uniting Church (0.8) on Friday 9 May, 7pm Upcoming Induction Services: Rev Simon Dent, Coromandel Valley Uniting Church on Saturday 17 May, 4pm Rev Steve Thompson, Morialta Uniting Church on Sunday 18 May, 3pm Upcoming Ordination Services: Steph Tai, The Journey Uniting Church on Sunday 18 May, 6pm
Dr Deidre Palmer (centre) with Christine Secombe (Urban Mission Network Coordinator) and Rev Yong Soo Song (Adelaide Korean Uniting Church Minister).
Vacant Placements: Profiles available – Aldinga-McLaren Vale Linked Congregations; Bridgewater (0.5); Clare; County Jervois (Arno, Cleve, Coolanie, Cowell, Driver River); Mallala and Two Wells (0.6); Newland (0.5 - 0.7); Port Augusta Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress; Rosefield; Waikerie; Western Eyre (Cummins, Cornerstone, Lock & Yeelanna); Whyalla and Yilki (0.3). Profiles not yet available: Flinders Congregations (Booleroo Centre, Booleroo Whim, Melrose, Murray Town, Wilmington and Wirrabarra); Windsor Gardens (0.5). For more information on any of these placements, or to view national placements, please visit sa.uca.org.au/pastoral-relations/placements-vacant
Growing together, whatever the weather Imagine a church where the roof is higher than you could ever touch, changing at every moment, dotted with clouds or stars, constantly varying with the seasons. Imagine a church where the floor is packed red dirt on which children’s hands and clothes make marks as they play. Imagine a church with no walls, allowing the fresh air to circulate. Imagine a church that could alter in a moment. The roof turns to clouds, to rain, to storm. The floor becomes muddy or sends up clouds of dust. The welcoming breeze, unhindered by walls, turns to a vicious wind. The Uniting Church faith community at Oodnadatta is all too familiar with this kind of church – one that offers both beauty and problems. The Oodnadatta community currently meet in an ‘open air’ church, but hope to build a property on the grounds to assist in developing their community and providing services. This year, funds raised by
the annual Pilgrimage of Healing will go towards helping the community to achieve this goal. The Pilgrimage of Healing has run annually since 2011 as a part of Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June). Each year, the project offers support for the development of Indigenous communities within the Uniting Church in South Australia. In 2013, funds raised through the Pilgrimage of Healing went towards purchasing a ‘troopie’ vehicle to traverse the rough roads around Oodnadatta, helping people in the faith community to attend Uniting Church events in Adelaide and beyond. In other years, the Pilgrimage has funded projects related to the development of young people in Indigenous churches and faith communities. Each project has been generously supported by Uniting Church congregations and individuals across South Australia.
This year, the Pilgrimage will focus on building developments for the Oodnadatta faith community and Adelaide Congress at Salisbury. As part of a mission project, the Oodnadatta development will also be supported by volunteers working together from different churches. Now, imagine a growing community joining together in worship inside their new church building – somewhere they can gather no matter the weather. How might you fit into this picture? If you would like to find out more about how you can support the work of the Pilgrimage of Healing, please contact the Uniting Church SA Covenanting Coordinator on covenanting@ sa.uca.org.au or 0427 183 274, the Congress Resource Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org. au or 0417 217 320 or visit sa.uca.org.au/ covenanting/reconciliation-sunday
Changes to wireless microphones Many Uniting Church congregations across South Australia use wireless audio devices, such as wireless microphones and public announcement systems. Currently, many of these devices use spectrum in the 694-820 Megahertz frequency range. As of January 2015, this frequency range will no longer be available for use by these devices as the spectrum will be used to deliver 4G mobile services. From this date, wireless microphones will need to be re-tuned or replaced. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has made a number of resources available to assist organisations needing to re-tune or replace their wireless devices. To support
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congregations needing to replace devices, UnitingCare Synergy has researched the availability of discounts on wireless microphones and public announcement systems. For fact sheets, frequency finders and other useful information on wireless microphones, please visit wirelessmicrophones.gov.au or contact the ACMA Customer Service Centre on email@example.com or 1300 850 115. For further information about discounts available through UnitingCare Synergy, please visit sa.uca.org.au/unitingcare-home/unitingcare-synergy
Supporting communities Have you got a creative idea for helping to build a vibrant Uniting Church community? Do you require assistance with an innovative project focussed on missional effectiveness? If so, Uniting Foundation may be able to offer support. Each year, Uniting Foundation provides funding to successful applicants for projects that will significantly enhance missional opportunities of the Uniting Church in South Australia. In 2014, a total of $300,000 is available for distribution, and the grant round is now open. Uniting Church SA congregations, faith communities and individuals are encouraged to apply for funding to assist with projects that demonstrate a capacity to extend the missional outcomes of the applying body and that are sustainable beyond the period of external funding. Projects that align with the Uniting Church SA Presbytery and Synod Strategic Plan for 2013-2017 are particularly desirable, as are those that have the ability to influence other Uniting Church congregations and/or organisations. This year, special consideration will be given to fresh expressions and church plant projects. Uniting Foundation currently has 17 active grants, including several projects where children’s and youth ministry workers are supported in roles within congregations and regions. Uniting Foundation also provides assistance in maintaining stipend ministry at the Adelaide Korean Congregation and the Northern Suburbs Dinka-Speaking
Commission comes to Adelaide The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has held private and public hearings across the nation during 2013. Through these hearings, the Commission plans to gain further understanding of the response of particular institutions to allegations of child sexual abuse. On Wednesday 12 March, the Royal Commission held its first public hearing in Adelaide. The Uniting Church Presbytery and Synod of South Australia has been preparing for this Royal Commission by establishing a Task Group specifically focussed on work surrounding the Royal Commission enquiry. The Uniting Church has also established a National Task Group to coordinate the responses of all the synods. For further information on the work of the SA Synod Task Group and how the Uniting Church is addressing the Royal Commission, please visit sa.uca.org.au/royal-commission-into-institutionalresponses-to-child-sexual-abuse For further information on the Royal Commission, please visit childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au or call 1800 099 340.
Faith Community. In addition to this, some limited financial support has been provided to congregations for improvements to facilities and equipment, enabling them to be more effective in their mission to the wider community. Applicants can seek funding for projects extending for a period of several years. The Uniting Church Foundation Grants Committee is responsible for approving the allocation of Uniting Foundation grants. The committee is currently undergoing a time of change, having seen Rev Phil Pynor resign as Chairperson in the latter half of 2013. Rev Graham Humphris will also be leaving the committee as he concludes his placement as Chief Executive Officer/General Secretary of the Uniting Church SA on Wednesday 30 April. In November 2013, the Standing Committee appointed Rev David Hoffman as Chairperson of the Uniting Church Foundation Grants Committee. Uniting Foundation grant applications close on Monday 30 June, 2014. Applicants will be advised of outcomes during August with funds available from September. To avoid ineligibility for a 2014 grant, a final project report is required from existing and former grant recipients. Uniting Foundation grant application forms are available online at sa.uca.org.au/uniting-foundation/applying-for-a-grant or by contacting Malcolm Wilson, Uniting Church Foundation Manager, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 8236 4206.
Talking about families On Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 May (International Day of Families), the Australia Talks Family conference will be held in Melbourne. The event will focus on needs and issues related to families in crisis. It will be attended by influential people from the diverse Christian community in Australia, including a number of individuals from the Uniting Church in South Australia. Further information about the conference will be provided in the July edition of New Times. To find out more about Australia Talks Family, please visit australiatalksfamily.org.au
Two birds, one stone Mother’s Day and World Fair Trade Day fall on consecutive days this month – Sunday 11 May and Saturday 10 May respectively. Why not celebrate both by ensuring you purchase Mother’s Day gifts that have been produced fairly and sustainably? Consider looking for labels that indicate items have met fair trade or ethical standards, such as the Fairtrade and Ethical Fashion Australia labels. Alternatively, consider purchasing a gift through the Everything in Common gift catalogue, which directly supports the work of UnitingWorld. A number of websites and phone applications can also provide comprehensive lists of ethical brands and products. For more information, please visit fairtrade.com.au The Everything in Common gift catalogue can be viewed at everythingincommon.com.au
a l l yo u n a t i o n s “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy” (Psalm 47:1 NIV). The Uniting Church in South Australia is wonderfully diverse. Congregations across the state provide spiritual homes for people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures, as well as offering a variety of worship styles and missional focuses. This month, New Times celebrates the diversity of the Uniting Church and the common bonds that bring us together.
Striving for the lowest common denominator Rev Prof Andrew Dutney
The Australian community is renegotiating its consensus on how people should treat each other. An obvious example is the recent proposal to amend Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. This amendment would remove provisions that make it unlawful to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" someone because of their race or ethnicity. Legislation of this kind reflects a broad social consensus on how people should treat each other. The fact that it’s up for debate is almost as important as the debate itself. It indicates that we’re in a time of renegotiating how we regard each other, what we owe each other, and how we should treat one another. There are other examples too, such as the need to agree on what’s acceptable when it comes to social media in every sphere of life. Another example is the debate about what the end of the ‘age of entitlement’ might mean for assumptions about how communities support others in times of need. And, of course, the most obvious example is the national debate on how we should treat people who make their way to our country in search of asylum. On every front we are renegotiating our consensus on how people should treat each other. But how do we determine the way we should relate to one another? Jesus said, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31). He said, "Love your neighbour as yourself" (Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31). It was nothing new – even Jesus’ critics knew that (Luke 10:27), and St Paul had known all his life that it summed up all God’s commandments to Israel (Romans 13:9). All of the world’s religions say something similar. Even the atheistic ethics of Peter Singer include a "principle of reciprocity": treat others as you’d like to be treated.
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We still have plenty of differences. Even different families of Christians have beliefs or practices that distinguish them from other followers of Jesus; differences between religions are far more profound. But we have this thing in common – we all agree that we should treat others as we would like to be treated. This is our lowest common denominator. This is easier said than done, however. To know how I’d like to be treated if I was in your situation, I have to imagine what it’s like for you to be in your situation. That’s hard to do without knowing a bit about you. Your name and background is a good start. (This is part of the morally corrosive effect of the policy of hiding asylum seekers and all their personalising, human details from the public – it leads to horribly ignorant responses of the ‘let them eat cake’ variety.) And then there’s the small matter of following through with action – actually doing the things that I’d want done if I was in your situation.
With the demise of the age of entitlement, attitudes are up for renegotiation and examination. During this process, we should ensure that discussions focus on selfish ‘I’ll do what I like’ stances. We need to address the sense of entitlement that produces statements like ‘we’ll decide who comes to this country and under what circumstances.’ The Australian community is renegotiating its consensus on how people should treat each other. Let’s aim high and see if we can’t agree on the lowest common denominator: do to others as you would have them do to you. On Saturday 17 May, Rev Prof Andrew Dutney will give the annual Wilks Oration, speaking on “Are we still a fair go society? The global ethic in Australia today.” The event will be held at the Effective Living Centre, 26 King William Road, Wayville. Doors open at 7pm, with the oration beginning at 7.45pm. Bookings are essential. For further information, please visit effectiveliving.org or call 8271 0329.
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Rev Paul Turley demonstrates how to use the coffee machine.
The delicious spread at Hope’s Café.
Hope is in the name Under the banner of ‘The Spire Community,’ Clayton Wesley Uniting Church and the Uniting Communities Eastern Services Office have recently begun mobilising some important joint projects, which are slowly growing to service the wider community. Natalie Oliveri, the Community Development Worker for Clayton Wesley Uniting Church, writes about The Spire Community’s most recent development – a community café. Born out of the ashes of the old Café Spire and fuelled by the needs of people newly arrived in Australia, Clayton Wesley Uniting Church and Uniting Communities Eastern Services recently decided to launch a new community café. Enthusiasm for the project was high upon its inception – volunteers, patrons and goods were quickly lined up. The only bump in the works came when considering a name for the café. The team behind the new café wanted a name that paid tribute to Café Spire, which ran out of Hope Hall at Clayton Wesley for approximately eight years. Over time, the determined volunteers who staffed the café became less capable, mainly due to age and the demanding nature of running a commercial kitchen. It was hoped that the new café would be a testament to the commitment of those former volunteers. There was also a desire to choose a name that reflected the true purpose behind the café – to provide a much-needed space for new arrivals in Australia to learn English and socialise. The plan is for the café to become a platform for refugees and others to receive support in a friendly, welcoming environment. The café planners were also provided with a coffee machine through a Burnside City Council grant. With the intention of creating employment opportunities for the marginalised, café staff will offer training on the coffee machine to interested people.
So, what do these purposes have in common? They are focused on a hope that the new café can make a difference and provide people with opportunities for a better life into the future. Because of this, the team behind the project decided to name it Hope’s Café. Hope’s Café opened in early March and is starting on a small scale, open only on Fridays from 10am until 4pm. The café is based on a pay-what-you-can-afford system, to ensure everyone can enjoy a coffee, a piece of cake, some soup and a bread roll. Marisha, a regular café volunteer with a strong knowledge of Iranian culture, provides delicious cultural treats like Persian bread and pomegranate fruit. From 11am, one-on-one English lessons are delivered by a healthy cohort of volunteer teachers, and a mixture of voices can be heard under the chuckle and swoosh of the coffee machine. “Our hope is that this is eventually a fully functioning café that people can come to everyday and talk, dream up new ideas and make them happen,” says Clayton Wesley minister, Rev Paul Turley. Both Uniting Communities and the Clayton Wesley congregation see the project growing into something that provides support to the local community every day of the week. For more information on Hope’s Café, please visit facebook.com/ SpireCommunity or call the Clayton Wesley Uniting Church Office on 8331 9589.
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Seven years and tracking Susan Tilley, Manager Aboriginal Policy and Advocacy, Uniting Communities
For many years, Uniting Communities has developed a strong relationship with the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara peoples across the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. This connection with the nations of the Central Desert has its origins in the Ernabella Mission on the APY Lands, and the Presbyterian Ernabella Church, which was established in 1937 and became part of the Uniting Church in 1977. In 2006, a group of Anangu who were concerned about changes being made to the APY Land Rights Act contacted Jonathan Nicholls at Uniting Communities. This initial contact resulted in ongoing dialogue and prompted the organisation to consider the need for Anangu to have reliable, current information about the actions of government and other service providers. In November 2006, the Uniting Communities Board decided to expand the organisation’s advocacy on Aboriginal issues, with a strong focus on South Australia’s remote Anangu communities. The decision to deepen the organisation’s engagement with Anangu was strengthened and encouraged by the Uniting Church’s 70-year plus relationship with the people of the APY Lands, and resulted in the establishment of the Paper Tracker Project in 2007. Initially, the Paper Tracker was an online project that monitored government commitments to Anangu and published
accurate, up-to-date information on important projects and services through a website and an electronic newsletter. In June 2011, the Project was expanded to include a weekly radio show in both English and Pitjantjatjara, which was broadcast through Radio Adelaide 101.5fm and across the APY Lands through PY Media and other community radio stations. Most recently, a dedicated Facebook page has been added and weekly podcasts of the Paper Tracker radio shows are distributed via the website. In 2012, the Paper Tracker’s website refined its focus to five key topics – employment, food security, housing, access to dialysis, and the recommendations of the Mullighan Inquiry. Emphasis was also given to discussion regarding how to secure a positive future for Anangu communities and ensuring that Anangu are meaningfully involved in decisions that affect their lives. These key issues continue to be explored by the Paper Tracker today. Recently, the Paper Tracker has championed a number of critical issues that affect the lives of Anangu. It has been joined by the Uniting Church in a number of these causes, most notably advocating for appropriate renal dialysis services for Anangu. The Paper Tracker has worked closely with Uniting Church SA Moderator Dr Deidre Palmer and other Uniting Church representatives around the issue of improving services and support for dialysis patients
living in remote Aboriginal communities. The aim of the Paper Tracker is to encourage the establishment of a permanent dialysis facility on the APY Lands. At present, individuals in the APY Lands who suffer from end stage renal disease must rely on the ad hoc visits of a mobile dialysis unit or relocate to treatment facilities in Alice Springs, Port Augusta or Adelaide. Many of the patients suffer from extraordinary homesickness and isolation upon leaving their homes and families. A permanent dialysis facility would allow APY Lands patients to remain home with their families where they can remain active, valued members of their local communities. It is hoped that the South Australian government will listen to the voices of the Paper Tracker Project and the Uniting Church, taking action to establish a permanent dialysis unit for remote APY Lands communities. To find out more about the Paper Tracker Project, please visit papertracker.com.au or facebook.com/papertracker or call 8202 5867.
Reflecting on missions During May this year, the Ernabella community will be the focus of a historic photo exhibition held in Adelaide. Organised by the Uniting Church SA Historical Society, “Affirming identity through traditional culture” will trace the story of the Ernabella community in northern South Australia and the Mowanjum community in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Both of these areas have a long history Return to Contents
with the Uniting Church and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress. The exhibition will reflect the impact of changing government policies, land rights and issues of self-determination throughout the history of the two communities. The exhibition will be held at Scots Church Adelaide from Tuesday 6 to Friday 9 May, 10am to 4pm. One hour seminar sessions will be held between 10.30am and 1pm,
Wednesday to Friday, and will be led by Rev Dr Robert Hoskin and Rev Dr Bill Edwards. The exhibition will transfer to Pilgrim Uniting Church from Monday 12 to Friday 16 May (excluding Wednesday 14 May), 12noon to 2pm. For further information, please visit historicalsociety.unitingchurch.org.au or call 8297 8472.
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Samantha and David Pursehouse during their "lap of Australia."
Forming connections, renewing faith Since its establishment in 2005, the Outback Links program, operated through Frontier Services, has relied on the contribution of hundreds of volunteers to provide support and ministry. Sometimes travelling across several states, volunteers gladly give their labour and skills to help isolated families in times of great need. Strong connections are formed between families and individuals, often from vastly different backgrounds and locations in Australia. In tribute to the people who have woven the rich fabric of Outback Links during the past nine years, Dan McAloon shares the story of David and Samantha ‘Sam’ Pursehouse, whose greatest gift to the people of remote Australia was the joy in which they gave of themselves. From her home in Port Macquarie, Sam Pursehouse, 26, describes a 1,400 km road trip she made two years ago to a cattle station northeast of Rockhampton. “I was determined to step out of my comfort zone to work with an unfamiliar family,” says Sam. She was at a crossroads in her life. At Toorilla Station, Sam worked for over two weeks to reduce the sprawling workload of her hostess, Trudy. She spent her days mustering cattle on horseback and supervising schoolwork undertaken by Trudy’s children as part of their distance education syllabus. “I enjoyed teaching the children,” says Sam. “I was told I was a teacher in the making.” She took this affirmation to heart. Today she is two years into completing her qualification as a primary school teacher. Toorilla Station was a transformative experience for Sam. The joy of being in a family had salved some of the grief she felt in having recently lost her husband, David, to cancer. Working in isolation, far from family and friends, Sam says she found her resilience.
“I discovered strength and courage that will allow me to achieve more than I can imagine,” she reflects. Toorilla had been Sam’s second posting through Outback Links. A year before, she and her husband had stopped at Yalpara, a sheep station in northern South Australia. Both aged 23, and married for a little more than a year, David and Sam were doing “a lap of Australia,” towing a caravan behind them. Committed Christians with overseas mission experience, they were keen to do volunteer work in the inland. Via Outback Links they learned of a family in South Australia who needed support. “The owner of Yalpara station, Rob, had leukaemia and was unable to build the shearer’s quarters in time for the shearing season, so we went to give a helping hand,” David wrote in a reflection. “That impulse was typical of David,” says Sam, ‘If someone knocked on the door in the middle of a rainy night saying their car had broken down, David would grab a torch and go out to help.” An electrician by trade, in appearance tall, strong, and fit, David Pursehouse did wonderful work on Yalpara’s new shearers’ quarters. However, his happy demeanour belied an inner turmoil. David at the time was battling an aggressive brain tumour, and was still receiving low dose chemotherapy treatment. Emotionally, he wrote, “I was in a bad place.” “On the outside I was mostly alright but inside I was a mess – getting steadily worse,” David wrote. He went through a time of doubting God’s existence, ready to give up on his faith. Incredibly, he discovered a confidante in the station manager, Joe, a passionate Christian and active Emmaus member. The two men would converse long into the night, staring up at stars hung like
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Working at Yalpara station.
diamonds above Yalpara. But still David struggled. “As encouraging as this was, my problems were not solved,” wrote David. “My wounds were deep.” At dusk one Friday evening, with the mustering for the day done, Joe’s black kelpie, Cobber, failed to return. No amount of whistling or calling could summon the faithful working dog. The weekend passed anxiously, everyone fearing Cobber lay injured or dead somewhere on the station. On Sunday night, David and Joe drove the ute out into the dark expanses. “We stopped when I thought I heard a yelp,” David wrote. “We listened in silence for a long time, staring at the stars.” But the dog could not be found and tensions grew. On Tuesday morning, Rob, the owner, was in a fury. A flock of sheep were standing in a paddock that the men had previously cleared. “No gate left open; no fence pulled down. It was a mystery,” reflected David. That morning as David and Joe rode out to the paddock on trail bikes, David described how he was “praying solemnly, downtrodden and in despair.” Inside the paddock, he rode the boundary looking for breaks in the fence where the sheep might have come in. Although he didn’t find any breaks, he did find something else – a distant black lump under the fence. “I shouted over the noise of the motorbike- a shriek, ‘Cob!’ At once the black lump sat up at attention!” When he got to Cobber, David found the dog neatly tethered. “The clip on his collar was clipped to the fence wire,” wrote David. How could this have happened, here in the middle of nowhere? And what chance that David should find him there four days later?
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“As I rode back to the gate with Cob dutifully following, I was struck by wave after wave of awe. God had performed a great miracle – not the parting of the Red Sea or feeding of the 5,000, but in my heart he’d restored faith that could now hold steadfast through challenges far greater than in the past.” Soon after this event, David and Sam left Yalpara and resumed their travels. When they returned to their faith community in Menai/ Illawong in New South Wales, David told the congregation of his ‘miraculous’ story. His faith in God had been renewed. This article will also be featured in the May edition of Frontier News. Sadly, David’s health deteriorated some months later. With his wife, parents and sister beside him, David Pursehouse died on 4 August, 2012. For further information on Outback Links and Frontier Services, please visit frontierservices.org or call 1300 787 247.
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Lament for the past, hope for the future The April edition of New Times featured an article providing details of the prayer vigil held in Canberra as part of A Destiny Together: A Week of Prayer and Fasting. This month, Pastor Esteban Lievano of Adelaide Congress Ministry shares his experience participating in several of the events held for A Destiny Together in South Australia. A Destiny Together was a very significant event for our community at Adelaide Congress Ministry in Salisbury North. Members of our congregation participated at a state and national level, seeking to raise awareness about the need for recognition and justice for First Peoples. The Canberra prayer vigil held on the Parliament House lawns attracted Uniting Church members from across Australia – including a number from Adelaide Congress. A forum following the vigil was also well-attended. At the event, members of our congregation, including Rev Dean Whittaker, joined together to sing “I’m gonna praise the Lord,” a song written by Nelson Varcoe specifically for A Destiny Together. Anangu members of Adelaide Congress also sang and shared some of their own stories. Back home, Adelaide Congress was invited to participate in events with two other Uniting Church congregations in addition to a chapel service at Uniting College for Leadership & Theology. At Blackwood Uniting Church, Adelaide Congress members participated in a time of discussion and conversation about A Destiny Together. Eden Hills, a suburb neighbouring Blackwood, was once the location of Colebrook Home, a mission which housed mostly Aboriginal children, some of whom were forcibly removed from their families. One of the elders at Adelaide Congress had been taken from her family as a child and was placed at Colebrook Home for several years. It was meaningful for all involved to hear Aboriginal voices express their lament for the past and hopes for the future. Enfield Uniting Church decided to recognise A Destiny Together through a candlelight vigil. Adelaide Congress members appreciated
Pastor Esteban Lievano speaking at Adelaide Congress in Salisbury North.
the chance to sit with people from Enfield, lighting candles and praying together for justice and recognition. The Uniting College chapel service was an excellent opportunity for Adelaide Congress to worship alongside staff and students. Communion was shared, and two members of our congregation spoke of their hopes for the future. As a recent migrant, I found it particularly meaningful to hear the stories shared together and see that these events represent a significant step towards building a closer relationship between First, Second and Subsequent peoples of our nation in the Uniting Church. Adelaide Congress Ministry has collected stories and photos from churches around Australia, who met under the same banner of hope and declaration of intent, sharing spiritually in this unique event. For more information, please visit the Adelaide Congress website: adelaidecongress.org.au
Walking alongside Julia Lennon, the leader of Congress ministry at Oodnadatta, attended the Canberra prayer vigil as part of A Destiny Together in March. Sharing in worship, confession and communion, Julia felt that the heartfelt pleas and cries of her community had been heard. There was a real sense of healing in the experience of sharing with Uniting Church and Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress members from across Australia. Julia journeyed to the Canberra vigil after attending the Surrender conference in Melbourne, which was themed “Walking Alongside.” Through her experience on the lawns of Parliament House, Julia felt that the entire Uniting Church had truly heard the voices of Australia’s Aboriginal brothers and sisters, and had ‘walked alongside’ them. In May, there will be more chances for congregations to join together, seeking justice and healing for First Peoples. National Sorry Day falls on
Monday 26 May, and National Reconciliation Week takes place from Tuesday 27 May to Tuesday 1 June. Resources for services focussed on these issues can be found online at sa.uca.org.au/covenanting
Julia Lennon (left) shares communion on the Parliament House lawns.
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In Papua New Guinea women like Sarah (left) often have to walk long distances to collect water.
Children gather around a tap which provides them with safe water to drink at school.
Hardship and hope Jane Kennedy, Papua New Guinea Project Manager, UnitingWorld
Two weeks ago, I was in Papua New Guinea visiting a UnitingWorld water and sanitation project in a picturesque village at the eastern-most point of the mainland. Whenever I travel, I always find it quite jarring to see such beauty and such struggle coexisting together. The people of Papua New Guinea are strong and resilient, their country one of the most beautiful and resource-rich in the world. Yet weâ€™ve heard much in the Australian media recently of their many challenges. While the tension between hope and hardship may be an ongoing reality for humanity, the lives of many of our Papua New Guinean neighbours could easily be improved. Most people are unaware that one of the most basic difficulties faced by communities in Papua New Guinea is the lack of clean drinking water. More than 60 people die every week in Papua New Guinea because of waterborne illness. They simply donâ€™t have to. On my recent trip, I met women and children whose lives have changed dramatically as a result of having access to clean, safe drinking water in their village. The gratitude of these people is immense, and can easily be seen in the faces of the women who have typically borne the burden of collecting water. Itâ€™s impossible to underestimate the impact that clean water has upon families and communities in Papua New Guinea. Access to a fresh water supply in their village means women have more time for community life and are able to take part in decisions that would otherwise be left to the men. Children are able to attend school, and the incidence of waterborne diseases decreases. People live when they might otherwise have died; they are no longer just getting through the day, they are thriving.
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You might be surprised how relatively simple it is to bring this transformation about. Capable, committed local people work with UnitingWorld and the United Church in Papua New Guinea to install low-cost technologies including tanks and a gravity-fed water system in remote areas to ensure clean water supplies. Although these groups work with the whole village, the focus is on providing water supplies to schools and health clinics so that hygiene practices can be taken home from school or after a health check. More children are likely to attend school when they can access clean water, and disease is less likely to be spread by people attending the health clinic with wounds and infections. At UnitingWorld this month, we are launching our biggest appeal of 2014, hoping to provide clean water and sanitation for communities in the Pacific, Asia and Africa. Contributions to this appeal will be combined with an Australian Government Aid grant, which will allow donations to go much further. That means more families drinking from a clean water source, and more opportunities for children to survive past their fifth birthday. It means more chances for hope to win out over hardship. Please consider providing families with a chance to access clean water by giving a donation to the UnitingWorld clean water appeal before Monday 30 June. You can donate online at unitingworld.org.au/water or call UnitingWorld on 1800 998 122.
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Living well in a changing landscape Rev Paul Turley
Being Church today is a real challenge. Things are shifting rapidly. I have highlighted four ways I’m trying to improve my thinking in an attempt to understand and live in the changing environment of the Uniting Church. One – I’m trying not to worry. In the Uniting Church, most of us are a bit worried. Some of us are frightened. Some of us are digging in and hoping that by force of will we can just keep everything going as we always have. Some of us are angry, although we’re not sure who we’re angry with – the last minister, the Synod, the government, ourselves. Some of us are just really tired – we’ve done our very best and it seems to be turning out not to be good enough. It’s easy to worry. Some people have even more worries than others. I’m a Minister of the Word - a truly great privilege, most of the time. To be able to use my gifts, education and training in my work is a real gift, as is the financial support I am provided with by the Church. However, I recognise that the sub-group I am part of – full-time, financially supported ordained ministers – is one that is fast disappearing. It is likely that I will not belong to this sub-group up until my retirement, and many of my colleagues are already confronting the realities of fewer paid hours. Two – I’m trying to avoid anyone with ‘easy’ answers. I’m trying to avoid people who begin sentences with the following phrases: “It’s simple. All we need to do is…” “The Bible clearly says...” “Isn’t it obvious that...” None of the issues we face as a changing church are obvious or simple. Not one of Australia’s institutions is as solid as it looks – ask anyone working in television or print news. The issues we face are really complex (and really exciting!). Because of this, we must work hard to understand ourselves and each other, and what it is that God is calling us to right here, right now.
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All of the thinking, listening and responding we do takes time, but there is no understating how important this process is. If you are frustrated with the amount of talking done in the Uniting Church, there are plenty of churches where a guy up the front (and isn’t it always a guy?) will happily be the leader and tell you his ‘vision.’ It’s probably an okay way to run a church; it just isn’t the way we run ours. In the Uniting Church we are all about inter-related councils and that means talk, more talk and even more talk. Three – I’m trying to remind myself as often as I can that this is not my Church, it’s God’s. It’s God’s job to sustain and renew the Church, not mine. So I can relax… a bit. I can try to spend less time anxiously feeling that I need to understand and control everything. Instead, I can spend that time wondering what God is doing in the world. I’m also trying (emphasis on ‘trying’) to be more observant - quick to listen and slow to speak. Four – I’m trying to enjoy the experience. I’ve lived in a lot of different homes over a few different countries. Each move has brought a little stress as well as a sense of excitement. Each new place provided wonderful opportunities to think new thoughts, explore new places, understand different assumptions about life, and experiment with different ways of living. The Uniting Church is moving too, and with that comes both stress and excitement. How thrilling is it to imagine a different future for the Church? To see us free of what is holding us back? To imagine how creatively we can use our larger resources of people and buildings and also money? To see us treasure, rediscover and dust off gifts from the past, sometimes the very distant past? We may have no idea what is around the corner, but we have the great joy of going forward to see. As John Wesley said at the end of his own journey, “The best of all is, God is with us.”
Resources The Resources Ministry Centre of the Uniting Church in South Australia encompasses areas as far-ranging as Property and Information Technology. This edition of New Times contains question and answer sessions with three of the departments that fall under the Resources banner – the remaining teams will be detailed in the upcoming June edition.
Honouring the past, looking to the future Peter Battersby, Executive Officer, Resources
The Resources Ministry Centre oversees investment and finance, property, insurance, payroll, information technology, telecommunication and human resources. In my seven years working for the Uniting Church I have had the privilege of collaborating with some significant church leaders. You will know some people like this yourself – those who offer great expertise and wisdom and a true passion for God’s work in the world. The legacy such leaders leave behind is significant, and can be missional, inspirational or even financial. Managing the resources of the Uniting Church is a balancing act between preserving the generous legacies gifted to the Church by past leaders, such as the RH White Trust and the Parkin Mission, and providing sufficient and sustainable resourcing to current ministries. Such decisions can be complex. I work closely with the Resources Board, the members of which have great expertise in investment, finance, property and mission, and show extraordinary skill at navigating this challenging terrain. The Board is also well supported by the Uniting Church Investment Committee and the Property Committee, and receives guidance from the Ethical Investment Working Group. I also have the privilege of working with the Resources Ministry Centre team based at the Synod office at 212 Pirie Street. At a recent training day, this team, some of whom have answered questions for this feature, calculated that together they have almost 400 years of combined experience working and participating in the life of the Uniting Church. I was struck by the vast experience, knowledge and dedication the Resources staff bring to their roles. Whilst we see ourselves as the Church, it’s important to remember that Government and regulating agencies see us as one of a large number of not-for-profit organisations. Although largely made up of volunteers, the Church needs to comply with legislation and regulations governing how we go about our business. There are a number of Resources staff members who dedicate significant time to ensuring we meet all the necessary requirements. As we grapple with being a pilgrim people, it’s a good time to think about how the Uniting Church in South Australia will respond to the challenges ahead. It’s also a good time to consider what our own legacy will be for future generations in God’s church.
The changing face of Dollars & Sense When it was first published many years ago, Dollars & Sense was a double-sided black and white photocopied newsletter. Provided by the Financial Services team, the publication was focussed on the needs of Uniting Church SA congregational treasurers and other finance-related volunteers. In recent times, the publication has changed – not just in appearance, but in audience. In April 2014, the Resources team published the first Dollars & Sense aimed at all office bearers within Uniting Church congregations. As well as information from Financial Services, the newsletter now contains articles and updates from Human Resources, Information Technology and Telecommunications, Insurance Services, Property Services, Uniting Venues and UC Invest. Dollars & Sense aims to provide helpful information to congregations, and to equip and encourage office bearers in their roles within the life of the Uniting Church. To find out more about Dollars & Sense, please visit sa.uca.org.au/dollars-and-sense or call 8236 4200.
Human Resources Management What is Human Resources Management? Human Resources Management recognises the importance of people. Human Resources Management specifically refers to the practices, policies, and systems that influence behaviour, attitudes and performance of employees and volunteers, leading to improved utilisation of human resources, congruent with the missional objectives and effectiveness of congregation life. The Uniting Church SA Human Resources Management department covers a wide range of areas including: workplace policies and procedures, recruitment and selection, remuneration and benefits, induction, performance management and discipline, employee benefits and entitlements, training, development and further education, work health and safety, and other workplace compliance matters. Why do we need Human Resources Management? Uniting Church SA congregations have a proud tradition of inviting members and adherents to use their gifts in various ways to build the life of the Church. This is expressed through both paid employment and voluntary work. The Church has a theological as well as legislative obligation
to ensure that it is a good employer of people. Therefore formal and structured human resource processes are crucial to ensure a shared understanding of human resource practices and to avoid the possibility of non-compliance. The employer is responsible for Human Resources Management. Who is the employer in Uniting Church congregations? Within congregations, the employer is the Church Council. To ensure that the status of the Church Council as the employer is recognised, only congregational office bearers, ministers, deacons, chairpersons, secretaries, treasurers and working groups established under the direction of the Church Council, should be involved in matters related to Human Resources Management. How do congregations go about Human Resources Management? Information and resources have been developed, and continue to be developed, by the Uniting Church SA Presbytery & Synod Office to aid congregations in Human Resources Management practices. The Uniting Church SA Human Resources Management department can primarily provide assistance in terms of compliance with Fair Work Act 2009 and Work Health and Safety Act 2012. For further information, please contact Human Resources Management on 8236 4234 or 8236 4278, or email email@example.com
Information Technology and Telecommunications When was the Information Technology and Telecommunications (IT&T) department created? The IT&T department was established approximately six years ago and since then has undertaken significant work to update the IT environment of the Synod office. What does the IT&T team do? We support over 150 client devices and 25 servers over six different locations – the Synod office, Uniting College, Uniting Venues SA, Congress, Adelaide College of Divinity* and South Australian Council of Churches* (* on a cost recovery basis). We provide hardware, software, networking, telephony and database support as well as undertaking projects, performing application maintenance and general programming. What is the biggest challenge? Providing appropriate high quality solutions to such a diverse group of departments. These departments provide a large range of services including finance, investment banking, ministerial support, public relations, education, accommodation and events. Finally, do you have any IT tips for congregations? Two things: Return to Contents
Make sure you use secure passwords. These need to contain at least 8-10 characters and should not be based off a single word (i.e. “Creation19” is still not overly secure). Make sure you have a backup! Online services are becoming popular to achieve this task. When choosing an online service, be careful – if they don’t have versioning and are only a synchronised copy then an accidental delete will also be replicated to your backup and you will lose your file.
UC Invest What is UC Invest? It is an activity of the Uniting Church in SA which has been specially set up to provide investment services for the Uniting Church community. Why would the Church want its own investment services? Because it can maximise the amount of money our community has to achieve its missional priorities. How does UC Invest maximise the Uniting Church’s money? This is achieved in a number of different ways. UC Invest has the experience and expertise to provide a quality investment service that seeks to maximise investment returns whilst investing within an approved risk management and ethical investment framework. It also generates profits by pooling the community’s funds together and investing in a diversified and large investment portfolio with a long term investment time horizon. Surpluses are used to provide grants and sponsorships to the Uniting Church SA community. What types of grants and sponsorships has UC Invest made recently? UC Invest makes grants to the Mission & Service Fund every year (operating budget of the SA Synod) – $1.68 million was granted to the Fund during 2013. UC Invest also sponsors several events which significantly benefit the Uniting Church community. Annually UC Invest sponsor UnitingCare’s Pancake Day, SAYCO and KCO. These events are attended by thousands of people of all ages from across South Australia. UC Invest also has an annual golf day which has corporate sponsors (organisations within the financial community with which UC Invest has existing business relationships). This event raises substantial funds for a specific Uniting Church agency program each year. In 2013, UnitingCare Wesley Country SA received $10,000 for a literacy program for disadvantaged children under five. If you invest with UC Invest you get a good interest rate return, whilst helping the Church in a very tangible way. For more information, please visit ucinvest.com.au or call 1300 274 151.
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Nairne Uniting Church The quaint Adelaide Hills town of Nairne has a growing population of over 4,000 people. Its picturesque setting and appeal as an attractive location in which to raise a family means the local Nairne Primary School is the largest in the Adelaide Hills. Nairne Uniting Church has a great working relationship with the local Lutheran church through shared use of the Uniting Church buildings. Regular worship is conducted by the Lutherans at 8.30am each Sunday, with the Uniting Church following at 10.30am. The two congregations also share a worship service every third Sunday and a shared lunch on the fifth Sunday in addition to regular cross-denominational Bible studies. The worship team at Nairne Uniting Church organises weekly services, which were led by a lay pastor until quite recently. The congregation is currently exploring the possibility of finding a part-time minister. Members of Nairne Uniting Church are very caring and are willing to help anyone in need – something that has recently led to the beautification of the grounds and improved access to parking at the church. The congregation’s motto is to see Jesus more clearly and to be guided by the Holy Spirit as he leads them into the future.
Other activities Nairne is involved in include a ‘Know Your Bible’ study each Tuesday morning and a coffee club. The coffee club includes a meal and is held at a variety of local venues on the second Sunday of each month. People from outside of the church are invited to attend coffee club events as part of the church’s outreach to the local community. Nairne members are also involved in catering four meals each year for Hungry No More an outreach of Mount Barker Uniting Church. The congregation also provides a morning tea for new mums. These gatherings are held at the local primary school and are organised by the school chaplain. The school holds a popular market every two to three months, and both the Lutheran and Uniting Churches have started planning an activity to become part of the event. In addition to these local activities, Nairne Uniting Church provides financial support to Frontier Services, UnitingWorld, Care and Share (Mt Barker), Operation Christmas Child, and a missionary in Ethiopia. Members regularly volunteer their time at packing day (Frontier Services), Care and Share, Carols in the Park (organised by the Lions Club), and the local op shop.
At the moment, the congregation is busy preparing for the church’s 130th anniversary to be held on the Sunday 26 October, 2014, at 1.30pm. The Nazmen will perform as part of the entertainment, and memorabilia will be on display. Nairne Uniting Church is very grateful to all past and present ministers and lay preachers who have blessed the congregation by sharing in worship.
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Noarlunga Uniting Church Noarlunga Uniting Church is not to be confused with the Old Noarlunga Uniting Church which is located further south in the Old Noarlunga Township. Noarlunga Uniting Church serves the central southern suburbs of Reynella, Morphett Vale and Christies Beach. It is an amalgam of three Uniting Church congregations – Hackham West, Trinity (Christies Beach) and Hillier Road. The Noarlunga congregation sold the Hackham West property and now gathers at two worship centres, Hillier Road and William Road. There are two ministers based at Noarlunga Uniting Church, Rev Ross Honey and Rev Titus Ng. The congregation worships weekly on Sundays at the Hillier Road location, while the William Road site hosts special services and other events. Music is a focal part of worship at Noarlunga, and the congregation is blessed with both a choir and a band. In addition, on the first Sunday of each month, Titus brings his own band along for a communion service. This service is preceded by a breakfast, which is well-attended and has evolved into a significant time of fellowship.
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The Noarlunga congregation has a special ministry to the Eleanora Centre at Noarlunga Downs. The Eleanora Centre is a self-funded agency of the Uniting Church in South Australia, and provides temporary, emergency housing for up to 30 people. The agency is run by a board of seven, five of whom are active members of Noarlunga Uniting Church. Titus, whose ministry is financed from the proceeds of the sale of the Hackham West Church, has a special focus on the wider community. He has helped to establish valuable ties with the Eleanora Centre community through events such as ‘open mike’ evenings. The two church properties are used throughout the week by both church and non-church groups. A quite separate Christian congregation, which seeks to recover the Jewish roots of the faith, worships at William Road each Saturday. Care and craft activities occur at both venues, which are also used for fellowship, child-care, Bible study and a prayer group. Every Monday morning, a food parcel ministry operates from Hillier Road. This occurs under the aegis of the Government-supported Southern Urgency Relief Fund.
The Mission Council meets monthly to consider God’s calling for the congregation. A study is currently being undertaken to determine the way forward for Noarlunga Uniting Church’s mission. The members of the congregation seek to be ambassadors for Christ and are continually challenged to engage more actively within the local community. Noarlunga Uniting Church is part of the Community Mission Network and, over the years, has sent a number of people into ministry and provided one Uniting Church Moderator. Some of the more recent recruits to the congregation’s ranks are very mature in the faith and contribute greatly to the life of faith and witness in the church. The Noarlunga congregation fully endorses the description of the Uniting Church in the Basis of Union as a ‘pilgrim people.’ Noarlunga Uniting Church stands ready to enter into the future that God is setting before us (Hebrews 6:18).
Presbytery Minister The Presbytery of Sydney North invites applications for appointment to the full-time position of Presbytery Minister for Ministry, Mission and Strategy. The appointee to the position will provide key leadership to ensure the efficient execution of Presbytery responsibilities and the advancement of its mission strategy. The Presbytery Minister will be the Team Leader, for established and additional staff. The position is a five year placement, as per the Regulations of the Uniting Church,and a residence will be provided should the appointee be a Specified Minister. For a copy of the Position Description or further information contact Rev. David Gore, Presbytery Chairperson at firstname.lastname@example.org Applications should be sent to: Rev Jane Fry, Synod Associate Secretary, email@example.com. au, 02 8267 4452 Applications close 30 May, 2014. The applicant must hold or be willing to apply for a Working with Children Check Clearance.
Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod The Synod of Queensland is seeking a new General Secretary to commence from November 2014. The General Secretary provides collaborative leadership to develop the Synod’s capacity for mission and ministry in partnership with presbyteries, congregations and agencies. The General Secretary leads Synod Support Services and exercises the responsibilities of Secretary to the Synod (as per Regulation 184.108.40.206). Expressions of interest are encouraged in writing (email is appropriate) to the chair of the General Secretary Selection Committee Mrs Sharon Kirk. For full details of the position including position description please go to personnelservices.ucaqld.com.au/vacancies Please mark correspondence with the title General Secretary – Expression of Interest to Angela.Maskell-Drew@ucaqld.com.au or Mrs Sharon Kirk, GPO Box 674, BRISBANE QLD 4001 Applications close 2 June 2014
Only people with the right to work in Australia may apply for this position.
MISSION OFFICER MULTICULTURAL & CROSSCULTURAL MINISTRY MISSION RESOURCING SA Uniting Church in Australia Presbytery and Synod of South Australia Applications are invited from gifted and highly motivated ordained or laypersons to this strategic position within the Church. This 0.5FTE position is currently available. The task embraces the functions of: • providing strategic missional leadership and support to the Uniting Church SA in the expression and development of multicultural and cross-cultural ministries • resource the Uniting Church SA by developing relationships and raising awareness of multicultural and cross-cultural ministry, and the provision of resources for congregations and agencies The successful applicant will have: • a passionate commitment to the gospel and the mission of God • the capacity to think strategically and the ability to continue to increase the level of missional momentum A full information pack and Position Description is available from Bev Freeman, Personal Assistant to the Executive Officer, 82364243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications close 4.00pm Wednesday 14 May 2013. Please forward applications to: Rev Beth Seaman, Executive Officer (Interim) Mission Resourcing. GPO Box 2145, Adelaide SA 5001 or email@example.com
MISSION OFFICER URBAN MISSION RESOURCING SA Uniting Church in Australia Presbytery and Synod of South Australia Applications are invited from gifted and highly motivated ordained or laypersons to this strategic position within the Church. This 0.5FTE position is currently available. The task embraces the functions of: • providing strategic leadership for the mission of the Presbytery and Synod through mission planning with congregations, identifying new opportunities to engage in evangelism; community development; developing new initiatives; deepening faith and discipleship and developing strategic leadership capacity • providing congregations with the resources to enrich their corporate life, worship, education and key leadership development The successful applicant will have: • a passionate commitment to the gospel and the mission of God • the capacity to think strategically and the ability to continue to increase the level of missional momentum A full information pack and Position Description is available from Bev Freeman, Personal Assistant to the Executive Officer, 82364243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications close 4.00pm Wednesday 14 May 2013. Please forward applications to: Rev Beth Seaman, Executive Officer (Interim) Mission Resourcing. GPO Box 2145, Adelaide SA 5001 or email@example.com
letters to the editor
Why are we as a church employing a Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/General Secretary? For a moment, leave aside the negative connotations that the term ‘CEO’ has for many, as corporations increase their stranglehold on the earth’s resources and the profits therefrom. Put aside the possibility that the turn toward corporate-style professionalism and bureaucratisation in the structures of our church during the second half of the 20th century may well turn out to have been one of the key elements of our current distress and inflexibility. Can we truly say that the title Chief Executive Officer, and all that it implies about governance, is a part of the Uniting Church’s ethos? I submit that it is not. The current Job and Person Specification for the CEO/General Secretary includes the following: “The CEO/General Secretary provides pastoral, strategic and governance leadership and advice to the Presbytery and Synod in order to assist the Church as it seeks to develop its capacity for mission and ministry.” Is that true? Is that really what we want the person in this position to do? Not in my reading of our Basis of Union it’s not. Isn’t all of the above the responsibility of the actual leadership of the church, its interrelated councils? A CEO is employed to run an organisation under the authority, and with the advice of, the board to which she or he reports. A General Secretary, on the other hand, is just that, a general secretary responsible for carrying out tasks as directed by the organisation’s leadership. What we want in this role is a secretary to manage a secretariat for two of our interrelated councils; our Presbytery and our Synod. Language matters. We need to say what we mean. In this role we do not want someone who will provide leadership; that is our job as the councils of the church. As fraught and as complicated as that is, we cannot pass on the responsibility or ‘hire it done.’ It is our work. P. Turley, Adelaide
New Times Intern • Journalism internship • Three month contract (0.4) FTE • Unique opportunity to progress your career Are you interested in a future in journalism? If you are a tertiary student or recent graduate of Journalism, Communications or a related field, New Times is offering an internship that will bolster your knowledge with hands-on experience. This position is based in the Uniting Church SA Presbytery and Synod office and reports to the Communications Manager and Editor-in-Chief. Interested candidates must have an affiliation with the Uniting Church. Applications must include a resume (including at least two referees) and a cover letter addressing the selection criteria outlined in the position description which is available from the positions vacant page on the sa.uca.org.au website. Applications close Friday 16 May at 5pm. The role is a three month fixed term, part-time (0.4 FTE) internship. For more information, please contact Human Resources: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 8236 4234.
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Send your letters to: email@example.com 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.
Living in harmony On Friday 21 March, Payneham Road Uniting Church joined together with Inclusive Directions Inc and Open Space Theatre Inc to celebrate Harmony Day. The organisers of the event sought to bring together people from across the community to learn more about one another and celebrate the cultural diversity of the local area. Over 250 people attended the Harmony Day event, many of whom had never set foot on the Payneham Road Uniting Church property before. The event featured a school art exhibition focused on ‘living together inclusively,’ food and beverages from all over the world, and a variety of multicultural singing and performance groups. Information was also provided about the local area and the dominant cultures residing there.
Full Time Youth & Young Adults Pastor Pastor Westbourne Park Uniting is a vibrant Christian community for all ages with a strong emphasis on Youth & Young Adults ministry. We are seeking a person with passion and vitality to oversee and grow this area as an integral member of our ministry team. Ideally you will have a heart for and interest in young people and their faith issues and journey. A strategic approach to raising and nurturing leaders is highly desirable. For information about the position please contact the WPUC office by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (08) 8271 7066. Please address application to Rev. Tony Eldridge Applications close Monday 26 May 2014. Website at: www.wpuc.org.au
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Sa moce noqu Viti – Goodbye my Fiji
Book: Tala tala Author: Noela Boorman Recommended for: Those interested in Methodist Missions 1930s era with a focus on Fiji In short: This is the story of young missionaries Don and Olive Boorman, their years in Fiji in the 1930s with Methodist Missions, and their momentous decision to leave in 1940, as researched by their daughter, Noela Boorman. Available from: amazon.com or by contacting the author on (02) 9797 1108 In the missionary biographies of my youth ‘faith conquered all’ and we venerated
missionaries as superhuman. In Tala tala (which means ‘minister’ in Fijian), Noela Boorman tells the story of her parents’ missionary struggles in Fiji with Methodist Missions in the 1930s with down-to-earth honesty. This is an account of real people with real needs. Olive is the fragile wife, terrified of childbirth and childrearing on an island 200 miles from civilization. Don is the protective husband, very much in love with Olive, experiencing conflict between this love, his commitment to his call to missionary service, and the unheeding demands of the church hierarchy. The warmth and understanding of the Fijians, as well as their adaptability in spite of deeply embedded cultural practices, contrasts with the coldness and rigidity of the church hierarchy. I wondered what the
diary TWO EXHIBITIONS will be held this month at The Corner Uniting Church (93 Oaklands Road, Warradale). First: “Mixed Platters” by 12 members of The Marion Art Group, Friday 2 to Friday 23 May. Second: “Community,” complementing the SA Combined Churches dinner and Uniting Church SA CommUnity Days. This exhibition includes various media, textiles, glass, sculpture, jewellery, timber, floral etc., and runs from Thursday 29 May to Saturday 28 June. Both exhibitions are open Tuesday to Friday, 10am-3pm. For further information, contact Pauline Shinkfield on 8376 2666 or Reception on 8350 5400. The AUSTRALIAN CHURCH LIBRARY ASSOCIATION will be holding a meeting at Edwardstown Baptist Church, corner of Dorene Street and Rothesay Avenue, St. Marys, on Saturday 17 May, 10am-4pm. The speaker will be Rev Geoff Burger and MediaCom will have a display. All welcome. Enquires 8278 3370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org HYMN-LOVERS SING. An afternoon of singing favourite hymns will be held at Mannum Uniting Church, Walker Street, Mannum, on Sunday 18 May, 2-4pm. Members of the Brougham Place Uniting Church choir will help the locals make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Mannum is less than 80km from Adelaide, so it’s ideal for those who’d like a day’s outing to visit the mighty Murray River. Afternoon tea will be provided to lubricate the vocal chords. All welcome. For more details, ring Carl or Lyn on 8569 7392 or email email@example.com. STATE MISSION FELLOWSHIP, Tuesday, 27 May, 10.30am. Various speakers will share their stories of the 2014 National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC). Come early for morning tea and stay for lunch, $5. All welcome. Enquiries 8261 3843. A SILENT RETREAT DAY will be held by the Australian Christian Meditation Community (ACMC) - SA on Saturday 31 May at St Ignatius Church Hall (Queen Street, Norwood) from 11am-4pm. The retreat is to be led by Ruth Fowler (co-founder of the ACMC), and the theme will be “The Journey Continues—on the Path of Christian Meditation.” Suggested donation of $15; lunch not provided – please bring your own packed lunch. Enquiries can be made to Bev on 0407 392 809.
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solution might be. Don and Olive’s decision to leave in 1940 is made with sorrow, but also with courage, reason and faith. Noela’s personal account of her emotional journey of discovery resonated with me, as did the conflicts faced by her parents. I would have liked the inclusion of excerpts from her father’s letters, which she says are wellexpressed and show a young man of “deep passions and gentle humour” (p125). If you have ever asked in seemingly impossible circumstances, ‘Where are you Lord?’, this is the book for you. Betsy Wearing
CONGREGATIONAL YOUTH FELLOWSHIP (CYF) REUINION. “Lo here is Fellowship,” a CYF reunion, will be held on Sunday 21 September from 2.30pm at Clayton Wesley Uniting Church (280 Portrush Road, Beulah Park). All former members and friends of the CYF are invited to this reunion. Tell others to put this in their diaries. Program includes best of this tradition and singing, and attendees are asked to bring a plate! Donations will go to the Ken Leaver Scholarship Fund. Enquiries, suggestions and RSVP to Rev Dr Dean Eland on firstname.lastname@example.org
classifieds RESTORE your phonographic records or tapes to near original quality & preserve them on CD Restore your faded 35mm slides to bright colour and preserve them on DVD. Ask us about VHS or MiniDV video tape & 8mm film to DVD conversion, SA MEDIAWORKS, Kent Town SA Ph: 8362 2251 email@example.com HOLIDAY APARTMENT RENTAL-Victor Harbor S.A. “By The Sea” self-catered furnished 3 br ground floor apartment on the Esplanade at Encounter Bay; Victor Harbor. a/c and nicely appointed. Relax with views to Granite and Wright Islands and watch the waves roll in. $170pn (min 2 nights) or $602 pw—special winter rates @ $504 pw - Dodd and Page website for photos and more details. Ph Kerry @ Dodd and Page 8554 2029 or email firstname.lastname@example.org ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR REQUIRED The Valley Singers from Hope Valley Uniting Church Are in need of an assistant conductor to work together with Graham Warren and the singers If you have a love of music and feel you have the required skills to fill this very rewarding position Please contact Graham on 0400061571
KCO – let’s go! Imagine an event where children gather in the most picturesque setting, where shouts of delight fill the air, and the bright colours of children’s clothing and carnival games contrast with the natural beauty of God’s creation, a serene backdrop of sunshine and greenery. This bright, happy atmosphere is found each year at KCO (KUCA [Kids of the Uniting Church in Australia] Camp Out). Held in the Barossa Valley on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 March, the main KCO event for 2014 was full of joy, learning and fun. As children and leaders moved between activities and learnt more about the theme “Team Jesus – Let’s Go!”, there was a real sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence. “God’s Spirit is much, much bigger than I thought!” one camper exclaimed, drawing on both the atmosphere and the theme of the event. Each year, the KCO theme helps to guide and teach children about Christ. This year’s theme built on John 14:16-17, and enabled participants to discover Jesus’ constant presence and the abundance of God’s love. The Group Coordinators, leaders and support staff are an integral part of KCO. In 2014, over 550 volunteers contributed their time and energies towards a successful camp, mentoring over 800 children aged between 7 and 13. Planning has already begun for KCO in 2015 when the event will focus on the theme “KCO is A-OK.” Further information, as well as photos from the 2014 event, can be found online at sa.uca.org.au/kco
A leader’s perspective Mitch Winkel-Davis
At KCO this year, children participated in plenty of fun and games with their church groups, creating handmade crafts and exploring the message of Jesus through fun activities. At first, the theme, “Team Jesus – Let’s Go!”, turned me off, – but the children learnt a lot about their role on Jesus’ team. Surprisingly, I found that I learnt something too. One of the KCO devotions explained the concept of being on ‘Team Jesus’ with God as the team captain and us as team members. As captain, God brings us together to follow his lead. In this scenario, Jesus is the hero – he performed miracles, showed us how to live, and sacrificed his life so that we could play
on his team. Finally, the Holy Spirit is the team coach, walking with us every step of the way and showing us how to live out the team’s mission and strategies. As team members, we have a responsibility to go and share the message of the Gospel (the mission of the team) through caring for and loving those around us (the team strategy). Often, I get stuck on my role in the team – thinking that I’m too young, too inexperienced, not wise enough or that I don’t have the strength or courage to live out my mission. While some of those things may be true, it’s in moments like these that we need to remember that the Holy Spirit equips us to play on the team in the best way we can.
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Published on Apr 29, 2014