Editorial: Looking for a simpler way

In researching for this edition’s feature article, I recently took a quiz to find out my ecological footprint (find out more at www.wwf.org.au). It turns out that if everyone  on earth consumed as much as I do, we would need three planet Earths to sustain us. THREE! That must be about the average, because the same is said for Australia as a whole.

Interestingly though, I took the test for a second time, this time ticking all the right boxes while still living in Australia. I pretended I was a vegan, didn’t drive, lived in a ‘green’ house  and hardly ever bought new gadgets or fashion. With all this, it would still take 1.5 planets to sustain that lifestyle if everyone on the planet lived in the same way. We would still kill  the planet. Continue Reading

Moderator’s column: Yearning for a simpler life

Whilst living in the Middle East in 1980 I mail-ordered my first personal computer. That is, I ordered a kit to build a Sinclair ZX80 personal computer, along with a correspondence  course on BASIC programing (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). With my trusty soldering iron in hand I swiftly – and to my surprise successfully – assembled the  computer, plugged it into the TV aerial socket, powered it up and, armed with my correspondence course, entered the brave new world of personal computing. Continue Reading

This one thing you lack

The story strikes terror into the heart of middle class Westerners like me: surely this is not a command for everyone, at all times?

When we think of a theology of simplicity we need to remember that we are under grace, not law. Grace leads us to whatever form of discipleship towards our material goods – and the way we conduct our lives – to which God calls.Continue Reading

Kindness and love: Simple principles of success

The South Perth Childcare Centre enjoyed a wonderful week of celebrations to commemorate the anniversary of its 20th birthday in October. Past  children, staff, members of the committee, parents, Uniting Church ministers and members of the South Perth Uniting Church congregation met  each evening to reminisce about their participation in the centre over the past 20 years.Continue Reading

Less stuff, more life

Have you ever taken stock of how much ‘stuff’ you buy each month?

If you live a comfortable lifestyle in Australia, you’d probably be surprised at the amount you buy without even realising it. And while a lot of the time we might try to be aware of how we are consuming, with Christmas approaching we can easily start making excuses to let it all go by the wayside and just go nuts. Continue Reading

Skills and tools for the mind, soul and body

Having just returned from a trip to North America for the Woodworking in America conference only days before, Greg Miller lays a pile of wooden spoons on the table to show me. He had carved them at a workshop on using ‘green wood’, and keenly told me about his dream to begin teaching others how to do the same, now that he is back home.

Greg’s passion for woodwork is clear, but it’s his approach to the craft that is gaining interest from people the world over.Continue Reading

Simplifying ministry: Getting back to basics

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.Continue Reading

Homemade giving at Christmas

In the Christmas story, three wise men bring gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus to celebrate the birth. Gift giving is a great way to show you care about the  people in your life and homemade gifts are even better. They cost less, are fun to make, and mean so much more to the person receiving them. Parents and grandparents especially  love receiving homemade gifts which they can keep as you grow up, as a reminder of when you were young.Continue Reading