This Sunday marks 282 years since John Wesley’s often called ‘conversion’ experience where he uttered the words: “My heart was strangely warmed.” This change in his understanding of faith eventually led to the formation of the Methodist Church. The Methodist Church in Australia is one of the three Australian churches that came together to form the Uniting Church in Australia in 1977.
Rev Steve Francis, Moderator of the Uniting Church WA has shared his Easter message for 2020. Steve reflects on the troubled times we are currently living in, and the hope which the death and resurrection of Jesus brings us.
Watch the video, or read the transcript below.
Rev Dr David Ferguson, Presbytery Officer for the Uniting Church WA, shares some biblical reflections on leadership during times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 outbreak we are currently experiencing.
What does Christmas mean for Christians, or Christ’s ones? Is the celebration of Christ’s birth central to our faith or can we do without it?
Two of our four Gospels do not include the story of Jesus’ birth and Matthew and Luke – which do – tell the story from significantly different perspectives. It seems that the celebration of the birth of Christ in a special day or season only commenced two or three hundred years after the time of Christ and the earliest church.
During September, the Uniting Church WA supports the Season of Creation through Sustainable September. You can get involved by downloading and using resources, available online at ecochurcheswa.net/worship.resources
As one of the Biblical scholars intimately involved in The Earth Bible project, Rev Dr Vicky Balabanski shares her thoughts on Christian faith and its connectedness to all of creation.
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).
I’m not a great one for formulas and creeds when it comes to shaping my Christian faith. Rather, give me a good story, a character, or a song. You know, the concrete stuff of lives lived; that’s where I feel most at home.
Take for instance the eternal Lord God, who may well exist as ‘one being in three persons, the Blessed Trinity’ that our various creeds declare. Who am I after all to argue with centuries of learned debate?
But such a doctrinal formula is almost meaningless to me. What does speak to me though are stories and images: Lady Wisdom calling to me from her door; the creative Spirit hovering over a restless sea; Saul being confronted by a voice and blinding light along the road; the image of a loving father running down another road to embrace me; the jilted lover in Hosea; a potter forming me like clay from Jeremiah; the stern face of the judge separating the sheep from the goats; the playfulness of a child from Proverbs; a pillar of fire and cloud guiding the people; the water of life springing from the rock… Here is God for me, in these and a myriad of other images, parables and songs.