Young adult leaders sharing passion for God and faith

On Thursday 17 January, 120 young adults from all across Australia, including a group of 21 from Western Australia, came together at Nunyara in Adelaide, South Australia, for the National Young Adult Leaders Conference (NYALC). The group of young, passionate, driven faith leaders from each synod, were at Nunyara for four days, coming together to grow as leaders in the Uniting Church.

I first heard about NYALC from Janine McDonald, Uniting Generations Co-ordinator for the Uniting Church WA. She is so passionate about the young people of the church in WA and motivating us to do more on a local, state and national level where possible. Continue Reading

Connecting faith through Christian meditation

Rev Rodney Marsh, Chaplain at Great Southern Grammar in Albany, is inviting people to take part in a six week online course in mediation.

“The various forms of mindfulness or meditation are, I think, the only way to teach your brain to pay attention to the present moment. Meditation is not an extra thing to do to relax you, maintain balance or reduce stress – though it will still do these things – it is a way of being and connecting the prayer of Jesus in your heart. Meditation is not what you think,” said Rodney. Continue Reading

Godly Play for the elderly: supporting spiritual wellbeing

Stories for the Soul was offered as an additional training day to Godly Play WA’s full core training opportunity over the Australia Day long weekend. Trainer Judyth Roberts was invited by Rev Jeni Goring, Acting Senior Chaplain at Amana Living, and Godly Play WA’s Rev Chris Bedding, to present an introduction to this adaptation of Godly Play at St Mary’s Anglican Church, South Perth.

Godly Play is a Montessori method of Bible storytelling. Research studies in the United Kingdom (UK) into where Godly Play was being used, discovered that there was significant growth in its use in aged care as it was supporting the spiritual wellbeing of elderly and frail people who are often living with dementia.

‘Stories for the Soul’ describe ‘spiritual wellbeing’ as “belonging to a community in which we can be ourselves and our story is valued – where our feelings and emotions, our search for meaning and purpose, our sense of awe and wonder, our creativity, our beliefs and our relationships are supported.” Continue Reading

Dog walking prayer group builds community connections

Victoria Park and Districts Star Street Uniting Church has made a promising first step towards a fresh expression.

Following the first weekend of the ‘Mission Shaped Ministry’ course, church representatives agreed to make our first attempt at practising what we’d learnt, at the local dog park. We advertised a dog walking prayer group on local social media and on Sunday 10 March just two of us with our trusty hounds met and talked with the locals. Continue Reading

Checking our empathy

When I bought my first car, I was encouraged to do regular checks on key components of the car. Checking the water, oil and tyres is standard practice to maintaining a healthy functioning car.

Just as my car needs regular attention, so do other aspects of my life. I try and go to the doctor and the dentist at regular intervals, so that my physical and dental health is in good shape. In more recent months, I have been thinking about how I check my levels of empathy. Continue Reading

Diversity, inclusivity and humour in the Bible

We know that Jesus was a storyteller, but was Jesus funny? Is there humour in the Bible?

Rev John Bell, international theologian, musician and social justice advocate, thinks so, and will be in the country soon to tell us why. He’ll be setting off on an Australian and New Zealand tour in May. Despite the challenging time difference from WA, John shared some of his passions for the church, from his home base of Glasgow, Scotland.

John has been a member of the Iona Community for 50 years. On top of that he’s worked for the community as a resource worker in the areas of worship, spirituality and social justice. He’s also a published author, a regular radio broadcaster and a songwriter of many hymns – some of which we regularly use in worship here in the Uniting Church WA. Continue Reading