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The Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod


24 April 2018


It is our hope Uniting News continues to help you grow, transition and innovate as the people of God.

Rev Heather den Houting
General Secretary, Queensland Synod

From the Moderator

Monday morning prayer

Join us for the Monday morning prayer during April:

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Loving God, strengthen us to overcome our fear so that we can be present to those who are mourning. Amen

Vale: Silas Wolmby and Vicki Ashford

Please remember the communities of Aurukun and Thursday Island, and the families of Rev Silas Wolmby and Vicki Ashford in your prayers.

Silas was the first Indigenous person ordained in the Queensland Synod. He was ordained at Aurukun in 1983 and served the Aurukun community as its minister, and also as a Shire Councillor.

Silas served with strength and humility; supporting the community in all its challenges.

He brought before the wider church the prejudice his people suffered, and advocated for justice, for land, for freedom.

Vicki Ashford offered herself to serve the church as a lay person. She had previously completed post-graduate studies in psychology and counselling. Having a strong commitment to the sensitivity of multicultural dynamics, she served at the Mt Isa congregation, and then was called to Thursday Island, where she led the congregation. She also served as chaplain to UnitingCare’s “Star of the Sea residential aged care centre.

Vicki had a very grounded personality that was ready to meet people just where they were at. Her compassionate and encouraging nature strengthened people’s hearts. She led the congregations in which she served, bringing them together in unity.

Rev David Baker
Moderator, Queensland Synod

Presbytery and congregation news

Commissioning service for Levon Kardashian

South Moreton Presbytery invites you to the commissioning service of the Multicultural Project Officer, Levon Kardashian at 7 pm on 27 April, Beenleigh Region Uniting Church, 32-50 Mt Warren Blvd, Mt Warren Park.

Fellowship and supper to follow service. For more information, please contact Michele Cochrane.

Michele Cochrane
Administration Officer, South Moreton Presbytery

Position vacant

May placement vacancies

The list of current vacant placements is now available.
People in specified ministries who are seeking a new placement are invited to make contact with the nominated person if they would like their names considered for any of these placements.

Rev David Fender
Associate General Secretary, Queensland Synod

Learning news

Principal's Hour: Week Six

In this sermon, Rev Dr John Frederick, Lecturer in New Testament at Trinity College Queensland unpacks the teaching of Ephesians 3 in which—paradoxically—the Scriptures teach that the way to spiritual fulfilment is not through acquiring anything but through relinquishing everything for the sake of God and neighbour.

You’re invited to Principal’s Hour 11:45 am on Tuesdays even if you’re not enrolled in one of our courses.

Listen to John Frederick's sermon and subscribe to our SoundCloud channel today!

Tisa Lacey
Marketing and Event Coordinator, Trinity College Queensland

Reaching out and speaking out

An ocean of plastic – hope is in our hands

This is an informative and useful reflection on how plastics are destroying our oceans and what we as Church communities or individuals can do about it. Bigger pieces of plastic break down into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics. Creatures like krill, which whales eat, ingest the microplastics which then become nanoplastics! The small pieces of plastics act like sponges for toxins. Are they accumulating up the food chain to our food? Scientists are working on this, but we need to be acting now! Check out the comprehensive Microplastics Toolbox and the top ten marine conservation activities for churches.

Photo: Microplastics on Cape Canaveral National Seashore Florida. Supplied.

Rumbling tummies: Child hunger in Australia

Foodbank’s new report gives the frightening facts about child poverty in Australia. Did you know that in food insecure households, at least once a week, 11 per cent of children go to bed without eating any dinner? Or that 18 per cent have gone to school with no breakfast at least once a week?

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) explains food insecurity. This is a significant issue in Australia with certain groups at higher risk including Indigenous people (24%), unemployed people (23%) and single parent households (23%). AIFS gives some ideas to support people in this situation, as well as pointers for advocacy.

Sue Hutchinson
Research and Policy Officer, Queensland Synod

National Uniting Church news

Neoliberalism, civil society and the church

United Theological College in Parramatta is holding a two-day conference (28–29 June) on "Neoliberalism, civil society and the church" and is calling for papers.

  • What is the impact of neoliberalism on the way the church engages in civil society?
  • How does the church contribute to social policy?
  • Does it have an impact upon service delivery?
  • Does the church tend to act as if we still lived in a social liberal community, and have we failed to respond to the way government and civil society have shifted under neoliberalism?”

Papers or workshops are sought. Provide a 250-word abstract by 25 May to Chris Budden.

Rev Chris Budden
Sessional lecturer, United Theological College 

Agency and service provider news

Welcome the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

In a media release last week, UnitingCare Australia congratulated the Turnbull Government and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt for creating the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. This is a step in the right direction for a country that needs to strengthen the provisions around caring for all of us as we age.
UnitingCare National Director Claerwen Little said “We have been increasingly concerned about the anxiety that negative coverage creates for residents and families, as well as the stress that it creates for our staff. This is the first step in re-establishing confidence in a system which, by and large, works well.”

Tom Finnigan
UnitingCare Australia