Editorial: Finding direction

So often in life we float through and take things as they come. In fact, I think most of my life is spent in this way – I’m messy, disorganised and probably a bit too ‘cruisy’. While that  might have its place, I’ve heard it’s also important to have in mind some sort of direction or purpose… Maybe one day I’ll get there, but in the meantime I can say I’m honestly inspired by some of the stories I’ve heard and people I’ve met for this edition of Revive. Continue Reading

Investing in a better future

Bill McKibbon (centre) founder of 350.org, on  his recent tour in Australia. 350.org is an  international campaign encouraging divestment in the coal industry. Bill congratulated the NSW/ACT Synod on their recent decision. Bill is shown here with Dr Miriam Pepper, Uniting Earthweb; Rev Dr Brian Brown, Moderator of the Uniting Church in NSW/ACT; Justin Whelan, mission development officer, Paddington Uniting Church and Rev Elenie Poulos, national director of UnitingJustice.

Bill McKibbon (centre) founder of 350.org, on his recent tour in Australia. 350.org is an international campaign encouraging divestment in the coal industry. Bill congratulated the NSW/ACT Synod on their recent decision. Bill is shown here with Dr Miriam Pepper, Uniting Earthweb; Rev Dr Brian Brown, Moderator of the Uniting Church in NSW/ACT; Justin Whelan, mission development officer, Paddington Uniting Church and Rev Elenie Poulos, national director of UnitingJustice.

At the last Synod meeting for the Uniting Church in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), a bold decision was made to divest in companies involved in the extraction of fossil fuels (coal and coal seam gas) as they seek to invest, instead, in renewable energy. It was a big step for the Synod, and a decision that wasn’t taken lightly.

But what is ethical investing, and why should we be thinking about it?

When money is invested into an account, the financial institution’s role is to make the most out of it they can, by buying and selling shares – this is where ethics comes in. Without  doing the research, you could unknowingly be buying shares in companies involved in weapons, gambling or tobacco, just to name a few. Continue Reading

Called to be Christ in our community

Dongara Uniting Church. Typical of small country towns, the church can be the hub of the community.

Dongara Uniting Church. Typical of small country towns, the church can be the hub of the community.

‘A rural community is people living across a wide rural-based area serviced by a small town (often with limited facilities) which is a central hub for interdependent activities which meet  social, commercial, educational and spiritual needs.’ Rural Ministries Working Group

Jesus came and lived amongst people, ministering to people, loving people. The church is a community of people who are bound by that rule of love, giving of themselves for one another  as Jesus gave himself for them (John 13). The community of the church is called to live that life of love in all aspects of its life which includes in the wider community.  Community in a rural setting tends to be far more intense than in the city. In our small country towns each person is known to the other through the network of community groups in the  town. In pastoral care of each other this both helps and hinders the local church community. Everyday pastoral care comes naturally to those we know, and the church community  relates easily to the whole community.Continue Reading

Building belonging through mentoring

Building community with – not for – young people is one of the main principles of the First Third concept. The idea being that people feel more connected and included while breaking  down the ‘us and them’ paradigm that so often exists between the generations.

In the Metro West Region, Jessica Morthorpe, First Third specialist, is trialling a new path for the region, moving on from the old youth group model and encouraging mentorship through participation in small interest groups.Continue Reading

From the burbs to the outback: It’s not all beer and skittles

A train returns to isolated Tom Price

Over the last two decades, Western Australia has seen a 400% increase in fly-in fly-out work. It has become so prevalent, that it’s likely you know someone who works a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) or drive-in drive-out (DIDO) job, if not someone in your own family.

As of May 2012, The Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded that the resource industry in Australia employs around 269,300 people. Although there is limited data about how many of  these people work FIFO, one private survey, with over 18,000 participants found that 47% of mining employees were working FIFO or DIDO practices.

While a lot of families and communities benefit from this kind of work, which incurs extensive travel to a workplace resulting in being away from home for periods of time, it can also  come at a cost.Continue Reading