Category Archives: Resources

Australia Talks – ABC Survey

On ReligionInformation release from ABC’s Australia Talks with Annabel Crabb

“Australians firmly believe that religious people are subjected to discrimination in this country.

But all the same, we’d rather the godly kept their views to themselves.

Seventy-one per cent of Australians told the ABC’s Australia Talks National Survey that religious
discrimination happens “occasionally” or “often” in this country.

Ironically, this is a point on which the devout and the heathen are in agreement.

Even among Australians with no religion, 68 per cent agreed that there is discrimination, as did 74 per cent of Catholics, 72 per cent of Protestants and 74 per cent of “other religions”.

Still, we’d rather the devout kept quiet  

But a broad majority of Australians — 60 per cent — would prefer that people keep their religious views to
themselves.

This was a view held most strongly, as you might imagine, by non-religious respondents, of whom 73
percent wished not to hear the religious views of others.

But even a slim majority of Catholics — 53 per cent — agreed that it was better to keep religion a private
affair.

Protestants were more inclined to support full disclosure; only 39 percent of them felt religious views should be private.

And people from other faiths were divided on the question: just shy of a majority — 47 percent — agreed
religion should be a hush-hush affair.

If you’re wondering why all religious respondents besides Catholics and Protestants are grouped together, it’s because only those two faith groups provided a large enough sample to isolate in a statistically reliable
fashion.

According to the 2016 Census, 2.6 percent of Australians follow Islam, 2.4 percent are Buddhist, 1.9 percent
are Hindu and 0.4 percent are Jewish.

Catholicism is the leading single religious group, claiming 23 percent of the population, while 13 percent
identify as Anglican and 16 percent as “other Christian”.

We are not our faith

Australia is not a country in which religious belief is the dominant determinant of identity, social status or
indeed even social activity.

When given a list of eight attributes and asked which was most central to the respondent’s sense of self and
identity, Australians placed religion stone-cold, motherless last.

Respondents were more likely to identify themselves through their political beliefs (this was the top-rating
response, scoring 6.4 on a scale of one to ten), gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation than they were through
their religious views, which rated 4.7 out of ten.

What not to bring up at a dinner party  

Intermingling between religious groups is commonplace in Australia; 84 percent of respondents said they mixed socially with people of different beliefs to themselves.

But there are some subjects probably best avoided at such ecclesiastically-mixed gatherings.

Climate change, for one; while 80 per cent of atheists think climate is a problem for them personally, only 63
percent of Protestants agree.

Gender roles, for another; 35 percent of Protestants believe that Australia would be better off if more women stayed home to look after children, while only 14 percent of the godless were also of this view.

Would more religion help or hurt?  

Overall, Australians are not looking for more religion. Only 15 percent of respondents thought the country
would be better off if more people were religious.

And one of the survey’s most striking findings is the poor esteem in which religious leaders are held.

When asked who they trusted, Australians opted for doctors and nurses (trusted by 97 percent) and scientists (93 percent) well ahead of their preachers.

Religious leaders were distrusted by a full 70 percent of the population, with 35 percent saying they did not
trust them “at all”.

Even within their own flocks, religious leaders were viewed with some suspicion.

Protestants were the most obedient among the faithful; 58 percent of them trusted their religious leadership. But only 47 percent of Catholics had the same level of faith, while other religions came in at 49 per cent.

It seems trust in religious leaders may be a thing of the past; nearly half (47 percent) of those aged over 75 felt it, but only 23 per cent of those aged 25 to 29.

Where do you fit?  

If you’ve not had a chance, use the Australia Talks online tool to see how you compare (and share it with
your family and friends). It is available in English, Vietnamese, simplified Chinese and Arabic. 

Then, tune in at 8.30pm on November 18 for our unmissable live Australia Talks TV event, which I will
present with my excellent co-host Waleed Aly. 
Annabell Crabb

   
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Progressive Church of Christ? Resourcing Ministry and Worship No.12

TLC Church Bayswater North, Melbourne.

265, Canterbury Road.

Truth and Liberation Concern (TLC Church) is an organic
community, responding to God’s grace and the call to love.
Just as the TLC community is a ‘work in progress’, so its vision
and mission statement is a work in progress. It is a snapshot of our
community and aims to give clarity to what is evident among us.
And it helps us dream and plan for what may be possible for the
journey ahead.

The TLC elders and pastors recognise and name the things that
give life and breath to the TLC community. We acknowledge the
founding faith statements and mission statements that have
underpinned our community for over 40 years.

Our Mission Statement

Spirituality and worship We affirm worship as an all-of-life endeavor, expressed in diverse ways as we respond to God and to one another. We seek to nurture the Christian faith within our community and to provide opportunities for spiritual growth.

A place to belong We offer people a home and a place to belong. We provide a space where people can find love, grace and dignity through their relationships with Christ and with one another.

Mission and community engagement We encourage one another to encounter God as we reach out beyond our boundaries, exploring and sharing the love and justice of Jesus.

An Empowering Community We empower people to take ownership within our community. We encourage one another to embrace both the freedom of the Gospel and the responsibility that the Gospel brings. Our challenge is to express our faith through the way we live.

Restoration & Healing We offer rest, healing and rejuvenation. We invite people to experience the love of God within our community, and we provide space for people to journey towards wholeness.

Go to – Our facilities

Go to – Global focus

Go to – Sermons

Go to – Fairs fair

Sunday Service – 10am.

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Grounded in Truth – Walk Together with Courage

Your guide for #NRW2019 and beyond!

Go to: NRW Grounded in Truth

At its heart, reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.

“… A reconciled Australia is one where our rights as First Australians are not just respected but championed in all the places that matter …”
Kirstie Parker – Board Member, Reconciliation Australia

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australia’s colonial history is characterised by devastating land dispossession, violence, and racism. Over the last half-century, however, many significant steps towards reconciliation have been taken.

Reconciliation is an ongoing journey that reminds us that while generations of Australians have fought hard for meaningful change, future gains are likely to take just as much, if not more, effort.

In a just, equitable and reconciled Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will have the same life chances and choices as non-Indigenous children, and the length and quality of a person’s life will not be determined by their racial background.

Our vision of reconciliation is based and measured on five dimensions: historical acceptance; race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity and unity.

These five dimensions do not exist in isolation, but are interrelated. Reconciliation cannot be seen as a single issue or agenda; the contemporary definition of reconciliation must weave all of these threads together. For example, greater historical acceptance of the wrongs done to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can lead to improved race relations, which in turn leads to greater equality and equity.

“Reconciliation must transcend Australian political theatre and promote a sense of national unity …” Patrick Dodson – The State of Reconciliation in Australia, 2016

“Reconciliation isn’t a single moment or place in time. It’s lots of small, consistent steps, some big strides, and sometimes unfortunate backwards steps …” – Karen Mundine – Chief Executive Officer, Reconciliation Australia

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Accessing Progressive Texts at Trinity Library Brisbane

Trinity Theological Library serves the Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod, by supporting theological, ministerial, adult faith and chaplaincy education through Trinity College Queensland, Adelaide College of Divinity and Flinders University.

It resources the learning community that consists of students and staff of Trinity College Queensland and Adelaide College of Divinity and Flinders University, Queensland Synod staff, Uniting Church members throughout the Queensland Synod and guests.

The Library offers free membership to Uniting Church members throughout the Queensland Synod, as well as Raymont Residential College students and St Francis Theological College members. Members of the public are welcome to join on an annual membership basis (fees apply).

Through the generosity of Rodney Eivers (chair of UCFORUM), many progressive texts have been added to the library. Rodney continues to add more books on a regular basis. The current list of progressive texts is:

Webb, Val Testing Tradition and liberating theology
Hunt and Smith Why Weren’t we Told
Windross, Tony Thoughtful Guide to Faith
Flanigan, Martin Peter Kennedy
Jensen, Rod Two Small Books on Laypeople & Church
Lorraine Parkinson Made on Earth
Don Cupitt Ethics in the Last Days of Humanity
David Boulton The Trouble with God
Gretta Vosper With or Without God
Funk and Hooper The Five Gospels
Michael Morwood In Memory of Jesus
Webb Val In Defence of Doubt
John Spong Christianity Must Change or Die
Nigel Leaves Odyssey on the Sea of Faith
George Stuart Singing A New Song
Morwood Tomorrow’s Catholic
Heath, Emily Glorify
Crossan, John, Dominic How to Read the Bible and Still be a Christian
Taussig A New New Testament
Morwood God is Near
Mascord Faith Without Fear
Butler-Bass Diana Christianity After Religion
Morwood Faith, Hope and a Bird Called George
Robinson Honest to God
Bodycomb No Fixed Address
Smith & Hunt New Life – Rediscovering Faith
Robert Funk Honest to Jesus
Rex Hunt Against the Stream
MCNab Francis Discover a New Faith
Lloyd Geering Jesus Rediscovered
Preston, Noel Ethics, With or Without God
Dinah Livingstone This Life on Earth
Spong, John Jesus for the Non-Religious
Bodycomb Two Elephants in the Room
Macnab, Francis This Hungry Time

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Progressive Baptist? Resourcing Ministry and Worship No.11

Is Hamilton Baptist Church in Newcastle, NSW our first known progressive Baptist Community?

COMMITTED TO LOVE

“We seek to be a community in which people matter more than dogma or institution. We aim to value each other, celebrate each other’s joys, care for one another in difficult times, and spur one another on to be the people we were created to be..”

DIVERSE & INCLUSIVE

“We seek to be a community that embraces diversity in age, gender, sexuality, culture, and social status. Our congregation includes young and old, straight and gay, abled and disabled, and people of Anglo, Asian, and other backgrounds, each contributing uniquely to our community life.”

Are you a “Bible believing” church?

“Bible believing” is often shorthand for churches that have a very conservative outlook on social issues, fundamentalist approach to truth, claim that all their views are the clear teaching of the Bible, and see conformity to all those beliefs as the basis of their community life.

That is not the type of church you will find at Hamilton Baptist. We’re bound together by a common conviction that we want to be followers of Jesus and to love and support each other on that journey. We very much value and honour the Bible and look to the story it tells to enable us to understand who God is, who we are, and how we should live in this world. We recognise that interpreting the Bible is not always simple and that there is room for significant difference of opinion. We have also found that the values of the Biblical story, and particularly of Jesus, need to be applied afresh in every generation. Sometimes this means continuing past traditions and sometimes creating new traditions.

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Resourcing Progressive Ministry and Worship No.10

South Woden Uniting Church: A Church with No Walls

Vision:

We seek to explore the boundaries of faith for the 21st century: by focussing on how we live out the gospel and our faith in our daily lives and being aware of current religious issues and trends in theological thinking. We encourage a spirituality of compassion and freedom: by encouraging members to be actively involved in the preparation and conduct of worship, supporting social justice initiatives and building a Christian community which actively helps and cares for each other.

We celebrate life in all its aspects and phases: by sharing in a deep and realistic way the joys and sorrows of life from birth, baptism, relationships, family and working lives, children and grandchildren, life challenges, sickness, and death.

We look to be an enlightened presence in the wider community; by actively supporting social justice activities for asylum seekers and refugees, the homeless and other people in need. We also support and encourage members as they are involved in community and volunteer activities in the wider community.

We respond to the needs of people near and far with the resources we have: by intentionally setting aside a significant amount of money we have raised for selected wider work projects in the local community, Australia and overseas.

We advocate for justice and peace in our nation and in the world: by supporting social justice programs, making representations to decision makers, and where appropriate participating in protest activities.

We continually challenge people to respond to the grace of God in Jesus Christ: by involving the congregation in decision making, affirming people in the contributions they make to the wider community, and to encouraging a faith community which is meaningful, spiritual and life giving.

Sunday Worship: 9.30am

Pearce Community Centre, Collett Place, Pearce, ACT.

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Resourcing Progressive Ministry and Worship No.9

West End Uniting Church, Brisbane

This church is a safe place for all people to worship, regardless of age, ability, gender, race, cultural background or lifestyle. The church and hall are wheelchair accessible.

They affirm and celebrate the place of LGBTIQ people in the church, and welcome the decision of the Uniting Church Assembly to allow same-sex marriages to be celebrated in Uniting Churches.

To find out more about WEUC click here.

Sunday Service Times

9:30am – Family Worship including children’s activities. Refreshments are served after worship in the hall at the rear of the church.

5:30pm – Contemplation Service (check Facebook/newsletter)

6:30pm – West End Explorers – (2nd & 4th Sundays); check Facebook and newsletters re times/events; or contact: weuc.explorers@gmail.com


Located on the corner of Vulture and Sussex Streets, West End, Brisbane (adjacent to the well-known Boundary Street cafe and coffee strip and a ten minute stroll from South Bank).

Inspired by Jesus’ vision for a world made new, a world where justice and compassion, especially for the marginalised and disadvantaged, are the key values and priorities.

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Resourcing Progressive Ministry and Worship No.8

St Andrews Alphington Fairfield Uniting Church

85 Gillies Street, Fairfield, Melbourne, 3078

Fairfield Uniting Church is a diverse community gathered around the Jesus Story, coming together to break bread, nurture the vulnerable and challenge the status quo.

An ultra progressive congregation….

We are passionate about the spiritual nourishment of children and feel called into the ongoing development of a JUST CHURCH, which seeks justice, mercy and walks humbly with our god.

Minister: Rev Alex Sangster

Services: Every Sunday they gather around the Jesus Story at 10am (85 Gillies St, Fairfield). They are a welcoming and diverse group.

Podcasts:  Messages

Mission: Approach

Faith exploration: Exploring progressive theology

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Resourcing Progressive Ministry and Worship No. 7

Thanks to subscribers for referring churches to us.

Stonnington Community Uniting Church

59 Burke Road
East Malvern VIC 3145

“As a community of faith we are more interested in:

  • exploring life than having the answers to life.
  • being fully human and celebrating the beauty, wonder and mystery of life.
  • valuing life, and every creature as a unique expression of the Divine Energy of life.
  • being companions on the way, listening, learning and helping each other in the journey of life.

Stonnington Community is:

  • A listening Church
  • A helping Church
  • A learning Church

We are a Christian Community committed to following the way of Jesus rather than following religious dogma.”

Worship

“Currently our community meets regularly on Sunday morning at 10.15 am.  Our gathering is traditional in style but contemporary in content. Our public services are a celebration of our experiences of God’s love and goodness to us.

We all come from different backgrounds and experiences of God. Each of us will interpret the foundations of our faith through different lenses. Some interpretations will be helpful while other interpretations may be a stumbling block to us living in the experience of the Divine loving presence. Each generation and community needs to interpret the heart and truths of the Christian life in its contemporary context. To this end we commit ourselves to an evolving liturgy and worship celebration that reflects our contemporary insights and discoveries.”

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Resourcing Progressive Ministry and Worship No. 6

Pitt Street Congregation, Sydney
Uniting Church in Australia
264 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000

A progressive faith community of justice-seeking friends in the heart of Sydney.

Pitt Street Uniting Church, Sydney
The Sunday gathering is vibrant, inclusive, participatory and progressive. Everyone is welcome.

Start your tour of Pitt Street Church and what it has to offer here.

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