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 mediation.

“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

Diversity, inclusivity and humour in the Bible

We know that Jesus was a storyteller, but was Jesus funny? Is there humour in the Bible?

Rev John Bell, international theologian, musician and social justice advocate, thinks so, and will be in the country soon to tell us why. He’ll be setting off on an Australian and New Zealand tour in May. Despite the challenging time difference from WA, John shared some of his passions for the church, from his home base of Glasgow, Scotland.

John has been a member of the Iona Community for 50 years. On top of that he’s worked for the community as a resource worker in the areas of worship, spirituality and social justice. He’s also a published author, a regular radio broadcaster and a songwriter of many hymns – some of which we regularly use in worship here in the Uniting Church WA. Continue Reading

Faith Leaders unite for climate action in response to budget

Faith leaders from different traditions in Western Australia have responded to the Federal Government’s Budget by calling for stronger, co-ordinated action on climate change from both Federal and State Governments, as well as industry and the community.

Leaders from more than five religious traditions met in Perth today following the handing down of the Federal Budget, to say that the Budget, as a statement of our national priorities, does not adequately address the climate emergency we are facing.Continue Reading

Kids grow with KCO

This year’s theme for Uniting Generations’ annual Kids’ Camp Out (KCO) was ‘Grow’. Held from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 March at Advent Park in Maida Vale, campers, junior leaders and camp  leaders came together for a weekend of fun, food, sharing and growth. Together they explored the theme, including looking back at photos from previous camps – which many of the kids had been part of.Continue Reading

Uniting Church joins National Redress Scheme

The Federal Minister for Families and Social Services, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP has notified the Uniting Church in Australia that the church has met the requirements to commence participation in the National Redress Scheme for people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse.

The scheme, operated by the Commonwealth Government, allows survivors to apply for counselling, a Redress payment of up to $150 000 and a direct personal response from the institution involved. Information on who can apply is set out on the National Redress Scheme website.

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A story that unites

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. Continue Reading