- Synod 2019
As we return to a sense of normality following COVID-19 lockdowns, a recent Synod online forum raised plenty of interesting questions around vaccination and how our congregations navigate the path towards reopening.
Moderator Denise Liersch has written a pastoral letter addressing questions which have arisen around COVID-19 vaccination, face-to-face worship and reopening requirements.
Ahead of COP26 which starts on October 31, Moderator Denise Liersch and Senior Social Justice Advocate Mark Zirnsak are calling for concerted action to address climate change.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc throughout the country, Uniting Church leaders have written an open letter recognising its impact on us all and asking us to "carefully consider vaccination".
Rev Sani Vaeluaga performed a very special act recently for Lara aged care resident Eve Crumpton, who decided, at the age of 101, that it's never too late to be baptised.
Ahead of NAIDOC Week, a recent visit to the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre has given Moderator Denise Liersch plenty of reason to feel optimistic about the march towards reconciliation.
To help you get the answers you need, our Coronavirus Crisis Team has listed your FAQs. This page will be updated regularly and we hope it will satisfy most of your queries, saving you from having to pick up a phone or send an email.
Moderator Denise Liersch has penned a pastoral letter reminding us of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. “Sometimes when we are in the midst of tough life experiences we can be more deeply in touch with our hearts than when life is running smoothly.”
Moderator Denise Liersch’s Easter message invites us to get personal. “Being known and called by name makes us into people considered by others as being of value and of worth. It includes us, holds us and enfolds us. It gives us a place and a home where we know we belong."
The April edition of Crosslight is now available at all of its regular distribution points. For those of you unable to get a copy, Crosslight is also available online in its popular Flipbook format and as a PDF for you to download and print out.
The February edition of Crosslight is now available at all of its regular distribution points. For those of you unable to get a copy, Crosslight is also available online in its popular Flipbook format and as a PDF for you…
Moderator Denise Liersch says "the Uniting Church supports the intention of the legislation to protect vulnerable people from the harm of coercive practices".
The Boroondara Community Outreach service has been recognised with a prestigious award for its wonderful work providing meals and other services during the COVID-19 crisis.
Faith community members in Tasmania had plenty to celebrate last Sunday as they gathered to mark the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Methodist mission to the Apple Isle.
The December edition of Crosslight is now available both in print and as an easy-to-access, reader-friendly digital “flipbook”. It features an array of engaging stories and thought-provoking opinion pieces.
Below is a ’boutique’ list of resources to engage young people in conversation around the significant of NAIDOC week. As always, if you think something is missing, please get in touch! The NAIDOC website seems a good place to start…
The October edition of Crosslight is now available in an easy-to-access, reader-friendly digital “flipbook”. It features an array of engaging stories including an investigation into how lockdowns have affected young people and a look at Tasmania and Victoria's very different COVID-19 experiences.
More than 260,000 people survived the twin attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One of them was Tsutomu Yamaguchi. Incredibly, he reported for work the day after the second blast.
The August edition of Crosslight is now available in an easy-to-access, reader-friendly digital “flipbook”. It features an array of engaging stories and thought-provoking opinion pieces that will either inspire you, give you reason to reflect or encourage you to take action.
Ilaisaane Pongi says lockdown has given her “ample opportunity for deep reflection on my life”. She also shares a Bible passage that has provided much comfort during these “challenging times”.
Lockdown restrictions have made Uniting Ballarat Social Enterprise Coordinator Jamie Cameron realise just how important community is. “I have been reminded of how … we contribute to each other’s lives,” he says.
When the lockdown is lifted, will we return to what we knew, or will a ‘new normal’ emerge, one that embraces the poor, lonely, marginalised, disadvantaged and vulnerable?
Lockdown has forced us to reevaluate many of our rusted on thoughts and beliefs. For Ellaine Downie, that has meant saying thank you in a way she didn’t think she could.
A school principal with a passion for science education and a former Uniting Church youth leader, who is still mentoring others in his 90s, were recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Leprena centre manager Alison Overeem believes the wisdom and resilience of the First Peoples will come to fore in healing the scars inflicted by the COVID-19 lockdown.
The June edition of Crosslight is now available in an easy-to-access, reader-friendly digital “flipbook”. The supersized 55-page special edition features an array of engaging stories and thought-provoking opinion pieces.
Isolation has been particularly challenging for our First Peoples, as has the closing of many national parks. But it’s nothing that a bit of Bon Jovi can’t fix, says Ayla Williams.
After May 31, Zoom users will need to upgrade to the latest, more secure, version (5.0+) to use the video-conferencing program to conduct church services, meetings and other activities.
Dennis Cousens is used to being constantly on the road as a patrol minister covering 10,000 square kilometres of rural Tasmania. He tells how his ministry has adapted to being forced out of the saddle.
Moderator Rev Denise Liersch has released a pastoral letter highlighting the Church’s response to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
Now that churches are able to open their doors again, Rev Sandy Brodine hopes congregations maintain the connectedness and creativity that have emerged during lockdown.
While Victoria has been in lockdown, Rev Natalie Dixon-Monu and her team at BCO have provided about 5000 meals to vulnerable people in their community. She shares a note from one grateful recipient that will melt your heart.
Kelly Skilton, founder and director of youth community The Sonder Collective, reminds us "God teaches us that beautiful things can grow during times that look and feel barren".
Rev Jennie Gordon suggests fasting, rather than feasting, can foster “a deeper spiritual appreciation” given we can’t gather as one at the table for Holy Communion at present.
Army chaplain Andrew Delbridge says the ban on public gatherings will dishearten many veterans but is still hopeful Saturday will be “a very positive, poignant way for people to reflect”.
Hobart mother/grandmother Robyn Nandan is feeling acutely the isolating effects of the current lockdowns. The 72-year-old says the fact she can’t see her eldest three children is “challenging”. “I’m finding this most stressful,” she says.
Experts list five groups of people most at risk from the COVID-19 pandemic and give a six-point plan to ensure they are not discriminated against, as has happened overseas.
Absence makes the heart grow tender in these days of social isolation. And it also prompts the question: Is it OK to have Holy Communion online? Rev Dr Sally Douglas shares her thoughts.
Ellaine Downie has always resisted participating in the spiritually nourishing sacrifices that precede Easter. But this year is different. “Unwillingly, I am experiencing what the disciples must have felt,” she says.
St Andrew’s Gardiner UC minister Rev Ajub Jahja reflects on the function of faith during this pandemic. “Faith is important, but so is reason,” he says.
Rev Alex Sangster shares how St Andrews UC, Fairfield, a normally “low tech” congregation, has adjusted to church online and why she’s swapped the church building for her living room.
Children’s support worker Jo Austin talks about her weekly Sunday FEASTs, which provide nourishment of a different kind for families, and what is the most challenging part of her job now that people are house-bound.
The following resources are prepared for ministry agents and volunteers to ensure digital ministry remains a safe experience for all people, including the most vulnerable.
Aisha Ahmad says we should "make ample room to allow for a mental adjustment" during this time of social distancing. "Given time, your brain will reset to new conditions, and your ability to do higher-level work will resume."
Moderator Denise Liersch and General Secretary Mark Lawrence explain what the COVID-19 restrictions mean for church life – everything from weddings and funerals to use of church halls.
Moderator Denise Liersch and General Secretary Mark Lawrence respond to the National Cabinet's announcement that places of worship are to be temporarily closed.
"In this time of great anxiety, faith leaders have a responsibility to step up with words of comfort and compassion, drawing on the depths of their sacred traditions and texts."
Here are some simple guides to help congregations or other church groups live stream worship services and other events during the Coronavirus crisis.
Longtime Bairnsdale UC member Alan Cracknell is typical of those prepared to swap their Sunday best for the yellow uniform of volunteer firefighters whenever the need arises.
Pilgrim Theological College farewelled 44 departing students, six of whom were exiting candidates for ministry, at a Valedictory Service on 31 October.
The UCA has called for changes to the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill to ensure the legislation will not override other human rights or existing protections from discrimination.
Muslim women are one of the most victimised groups in society. Synod has spent five years researching a booklet that aims to help eradicate the problem.
Victorian and Tasmanian UCA congregations and other ancillary groups who are doing the mission work of the church are invited to apply for next year’s Lenten Offering grants to support innovative projects.
Scores of UCA members and Synod staff joined an estimated 100,000 people to march in Melbourne as part of the Global Climate Strike on 20 September, demanding action against climate change.
Homelessness Week (4-10 August) is a time for us to stop and think about what life is like living on the street, particularly as temperatures continue to plummet.
This pastoral letter from Moderator Denise Liersch was sent to congregations in Victoria and Tasmania following Synod's decision on how to respond to Victoria's Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation.
The 14th Synod saw the installation of Reverend Denise Liersch as Moderator, a formal response to Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation, introduction of the new Disability Action Plan and much more.
The day began with a Bible study led by Dr Liz Boase, which was followed by reports from Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Victoria, UAICC Tasmania, Walking Together Group and Synod Ethics Committee.
Day 1 of Synod kicked off with a welcome by new Moderator Rev Denise Liersch. What followed was a mix of reports, proposals, Bible study, reflections and other activities, such as Choose Your Own Adventure.
Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre is preparing to welcome some of Australia’s top Indigenous surfers who are taking part in the eighth Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles.
UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer has reaffirmed the Uniting Church's stance on same-sex marriage after the ABC published an article stating the church is divided.
In the wake of the horrific bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, Uniting Church Reverend Dev Anandarajan has called for people to come together and reject violence and disunity.
A senior magistrate wants all Bibles to be removed from Victorian courtrooms because “they are relics from another time” that "belong in a museum, not a modern court".
Gas producers aren’t paying a fair share of tax and the government’s plans to cut back their future concessions do not go far enough, Synod’s Senior Social Justice Advocate Mark Zirnsak says.