From the General Secretary
Rediscover the wonder this Christmas
Our Christmas theme this year is a reminder to again return to the heart of the matter of the Christian faith.
God became incarnate so that the full redemption of humanity would be achieved through Christ. In the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we see the glory of God played out again and again.
As we come to the end of the year and we are feeling tired and maybe discouraged, remember that our story is part of this bigger transcendent story. Rediscovering this is part of our journey together.
As we journey through Advent, I wish you the peace and joy of Christ’s coming in your family, your work and your community.
Rev Heather den Houting
General Secretary, Queensland Synod
From the Moderator
Monday morning prayer
Join us for the Monday morning prayer in December:
Lord, in the midst of all this season brings, open our hearts to wonder at the babe of Bethlehem; the faithfulness of Mary and Joseph; the commitment to truth of the magi. Amen
In this week's moderator's musing, Rev David Baker reflects on the disruption of the Christmas story.
"As we face the disruptions of life, we too are called to place ourselves in the story, the story of God’s faithfulness, and God’s sometime disruptive purposes, and discover what our role is as disciples of Jesus." Read the full article.
Historic milestone for religious instruction in Queensland
For the first time in Queensland’s history, faith groups have come together in a unified peak body to represent religious instruction in Queensland’s state schools.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed that brings together 15 Christian groups as well as Queensland representatives from the Islamic, Jewish, Baha’i and Buddhist faiths under the name Multi-Faiths RI Peak Body. Read full media statement.
Presbytery and congregation news
Moderator's Christmas message now available
Share the wonder of Christmas with these free resources available on the Synod website.
Social media banner
Christmas music video
Moderator's Christmas video
Marketing and Communications Officer, Queensland Synod
Synod office news
Congregational bookkeeping service
The Synod office is currently proposing to set up a centralised bookkeeping service that is opt-in (no compulsion to join). The service can assist presbyteries and congregations that cannot easily obtain people to perform bookkeeping services or may choose to outsource these tasks.
We are asking all congregational treasurers, presbytery treasurers and presbytery ministers to complete this survey to ascertain whether there is sufficient interest in this service.
The survey will take approximately three–minutes and should be completed by 11 December COB.
Executive Director – Strategic Resources, Queensland Synod
Last week to give to Christmas appeals
One in eight Australians are living in poverty, with one in six children affected. So a Christmas morning without extra special treats or presents under the Christmas tree is a sad reality facing many families this year.
You can help spread the wonder of Christmas by giving a gift to place under the tree and/or a gift of food. All gifts collected will be distributed to struggling families across Queensland in partnership with the 2018 Target UnitingCare Christmas Appeal and Wesley Mission Queensland’s Red Bag Appeal.
Please bring unwrapped gifts and/or gifts of non-perishable food to the Synod office, Level 2 reception, 60 Bayliss St, Auchenflower before 14 December. For more information please email or call (07) 3377 9823.
Chief Fundraising and Marketing Officer, Queensland Synod
NIP to take the bite out of insurance bills
The Assembly has joined with the Synods of New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania and the Northern Synod to establish a national insurance buying group. Read full article.
Learn , contribute and connect
Do you want to join in the work of the Uniting Church nationally? The Assembly Circles of Interest are a new platform for learning and sharing, contributing your own ideas and connecting with others who are as passionate about things as you.
The seven circles encompass some of the core values of the Uniting Church and how we contribute to God’s mission in the world:
Walking Together as First and Second Peoples
Being a Multicultural Church
Seeking Common Ground
Working for Justice
Discipling the Next Generations
Growing in Faith
Join one, or more!
Research and Policy Officer, Queensland Synod
Reaching out and speaking out
Day of Mourning
Uniting Church congregations are being asked to hold worship services on Sunday 20 January reflecting on and acknowledging the dispossession, violence towards and murder of Australia’s First Peoples. We lament the fact that Australia’s Second Peoples and we as a church were, and remain, complicit.
The Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress asked the church, in the Spirit of the Covenant between us, to declare the Sunday before Australia Day as a Day of Mourning. This was endorsed by the 15th Assembly in July 2018, and 20 January will be the first official Day of Mourning. The event will become a fixture of the Uniting Church liturgical calendar.
Resources will be available soon on the Assembly website.
Research and Policy Officer, Queensland Synod
Christmas video resource available
An animated drawing video for Christmas called "A Yarn from the Barn" is the creative work of Jan Morris (author, illustrator and voiceover) and myself (video production).
By arrangement with the author, this video resource is available for Uniting Church congregations and agencies within the Queensland Synod at no cost.
You can view an unlicensed copy on YouTube and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like access to the licensed version for your church.
Rev Wayne McHugh
Minister, Northside Mackay and Seaforth Uniting Church