Seeing, naming and participating: the work of school leaders

One of the great challenges of the work of Uniting Church school chaplains and school principals is to be receptive to God’s Spirit moving in their communities. Our schools are full of the joy of children and the energy of youth. When you meet at a school you can feel the vitality of youth throbbing through the culture of these important places.

However, schools are not only celebrations of youth and places for learning. Clearly, learning is central to the work of schools; however they are also places where the Spirit of God moves among the community. We know God moves ahead of us and that faith and the values of the Gospel are gifts and graces from God (Eph 2: 1 John 4). Continue Reading

Free parenting course in the city

After their successful Alpha Course, Uniting Church in the City (UCIC) is now turning its focus to parenting. The Perth congregation is running two new parenting courses, Parenting Children and Parenting Teenagers. The ten week courses are free for anyone who is seeking advice on this popular topic.

The Parenting Children course is aimed at parents or carers with children up to ten years old and will focus on a range of topics such as building a strong family, meeting children’s needs, setting boundaries, healthy relationships and long term aims.Continue Reading

Religious history in a current context

Meredith Lake knows how to tell a story with soul. She’s the award-winning author of The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History and one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming Uniting Church National History Conference. In her latest venture she’s hosting Radio National’s new show, Soul Search. It’s about what we believe and the difference it makes in our lives. So who does Meredith speak with on the show?

I get to speak with a whole range of people – so far including soul singers, poets and Indigenous activists; mindfulness experts, theologians, even a life model and a liturgical designer!” she said. Continue Reading

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 meditation.

“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