Uniting Churches to observe Day of Mourning

Stuart McMillan, Assembly Consultant for Covenanting, shares his thoughts on remembering a Day of Mourning, annually on the Sunday before Australia Day.

This January, Uniting Church congregations across the country are being asked to hold worship services that reflect on the effect of invasion and colonisation on Australia’s First Peoples. The observance of a ‘Day of Mourning’ was endorsed by the 15th Assembly at the request of members of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC).

Rather than seeking a change to the date for Australia Day as some propose, the UAICC asked the church, in the spirit of the Covenant between us, to declare the Sunday before Australia Day as a Day of Mourning. Assembly members enthusiastically agreed.Continue Reading

Bencubbin remembers its pioneers

A very significant Service took place in St Mark’s Anglican/Bencubbin Uniting Church on Thursday 1 November, when thirty locals and visitors were welcomed at the entrance by church Elder, Tony Gillett, to remember our pioneers.

Jeanette Beagley had ensured the church was prepared and ready for the occasion by adding a bowl of beautiful fresh roses on the christening font to complement the glistening brassware and flowers on the altar.

The gathering celebrated and remembered the pioneers who had used their gifts to encourage and support the spiritual requirements of settlers, and to establish churches as meeting and worshipping places.Continue Reading

Sharing God’s love through the Christmas Bowl

“The love of Christ can be made more vivid through Australian Christian concern, on Christmas day, the one great day of sharing.”   Rev Frank Byatt, founder of the Christmas Bowl c. 1956

As Christians, we are called respond to, and faithfully live out, the Gospel call to be generous in our love, and to participate in God’s mission to bring healing, wholeness and hope to those facing hardship and injustice. It sounds like an overwhelming task, but in fact we can reach people in need with the humblest of actions.           Continue Reading

Creating a sense of belonging

Sarah* is a single mother of two children aged six and three. She lives below the poverty line on a government allowance and often doesn’t have enough money left at the end of each fortnight to buy medicine, pay bills, or put a proper meal on the table.

 While many of us are planning holidays, shopping for gifts, or deciding what size turkey we need for Christmas Day, all Sarah wants are the basics – to know the rent will be paid and her kids won’t go hungry. Anything else is a bonus.Continue Reading

We entered the bubble for people in poverty

Canberra is a bit of a strange place. Beautiful surrounds with an abundance of wealthier-than-most public servants, along with a somewhat Truman Show-like perfect design and apparently an invisible semi-permeable dome over the entire place (aka the Canberra bubble).

But if Canberra is peculiar, then Parliament House is another universe altogether. Like a self-sufficient satellite orbiting afar, once inside, lost in endless corridors and its mirrored layout, I wondered at times if we were still on planet Earth.Continue Reading

A light on every street

Mother Teresa of Kolkata is quoted as saying: “None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can something wonderful.”

Although we often think it’s the bigger stuff that makes the real difference, the evidence indicates it’s the small things that together make up the substance of all we hope for. With this in mind ‘A light on every street’ has been developed to enable us to step out in a small but significant way to share something of the Good News of the hope our faith has to offer.Continue Reading