One of the most common forms of youth ministry, past and present, has been to organise as many awesome events for kids and young people as we can, in an attempt to keep them interested and not straying elsewhere. But when you think about all the competing demands on their time – sport, BBQs, friends, late nights out – it’s not hard to see why lots of young people don’t put church towards the top of the list.
Growing up in the Uniting Church I always knew I was a part of the ‘one holy, catholic and apostolic church’ but never understood really what that meant and how it applied to my life. Recently I have had the opportunity of representing the Uniting Church in Australia as a delegate at the World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly in Busan, South Korea, from 30 October–8 November.
Have you ever wanted to just drop everything you’re doing in life, and take it in a different direction? Or maybe you want to start up a new project which arises from your ultimate passion.
Taking a leap of faith can be a daunting thought – how do you know others will be as passionate about your idea as you are? How do you know you’re not just setting yourself up for failure and humiliation? I guess you don’t – which is why it’s a leap of faith.
Tammy Solonec knows where her passions lie and isn’t afraid to fight for what she believes in. But courage isn’t something she was born with; it’s something that has grown inside her as she’s made her way through life.
A human rights lawyer, Tammy is currently serving as a director of the National Congress of Australia’s First People, and is also on the National Aboriginal and Islanders’ Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) and the NAIDOC Perth Committee, which finds her heavily involved in the organisation events including the Survival Concerts in Perth, held annually on January 26. Add to that, in 2012 Tammy won both Young Lawyer of the Year with the Law Society of WA and Young Female Lawyer of the Year with the Women Lawyer’s Association.
Rev Julie Nicholson is known worldwide as the vicar who couldn’t forgive. The Anglican priest stepped down from her position because she was unable to forgive the suicide bomber who had murdered her daughter at Edgware Road tube station in London in July 2005. She could no longer speak the words of reconciliation which were fundamental to her role.
Rev Neville Watson tried to convince me recently that he hasn’t made a difference in this world, despite having just minutes earlier told me about his time with a peace camp in Iraq during the war in 2003.
He doesn’t convince me for a second.
The man has spent his life comforting and standing up for others — and putting his own life at risk to do so. He may not have made a difference in the politics of the war, but you can be sure he made a difference in the lives of the people affected by it.
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.