Oct 31

Wind farmThe time has come when ethical investments are out-performing regular ones. With carbon trading, global warming, renewable energy and similar things becoming mainstream, those who invest according to biblical principles are actually reaping the rewards.

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Oct 30
bell curve– What the growing gap in our culture means for churches, leaders, and volunteers.

A while back I heard Len Sweet say that our society is moving away from the “bell curve” and toward something called the “well curve.” His comment got me doing some research on the topic and thinking about what all of this means for church leaders. Who knew that bells and wells were such important topics for church leaders to consider?

Since high school we’ve known all about the bell curve: that fundamental law of natural science and statistics that defines normal distribution as being massed near the middle while being low on the extremities. Represented on a graph, the distribution looks like a bell-shaped curve. The bell curve implies that most people gravitate toward the middle or average and avoid the extremes. For example, most people are of average height, have moderately sized families, and earn a “C” in statistics; few people are really tall or really short, few have very large or very small families, and few earn A’s or F’s.

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Oct 28

Pint of beerMelbourne’s newest church opens today in the Docklands area. The James Squire Brewhouse’s upper room will be home to the Docklands Church. Worship includes bible reflections, prayer, music and monthly communion.

For more information visit the Docklands Church website.

Oct 27

Chinese ChristiansIn a landmark decision, Chinese Christians are celebrating they have permission to build the first public church in China in 70 years. The Chinese Catholic community of the city of Yan’an in Shaanxi province has worked hard to negotiate permission to build the church in the city’s suburbs.

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Oct 26

Peace by Peace issue 2 coverPeace by Peace is a new magazine produced by the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

The first edition includes: an interview with Norman and Pat Kember; a photo-essay on building peace; the work of the Palestinian Center for Conflict Resolution; and how reconciliation and marathon running are being combined in Peru.

This magazine is availabe for free online. You can find it here.

Oct 25

Welfare signEureka Street has an eye for those who fall between the cracks. There are ever increasing demands on church organisations and social services to meet professional benchmarks for service delivery. They ask if it means churches are no longer able to prevent people from slipping through support networks.

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Oct 24

air pollutionRussia and two former Soviet republics have four of the world’s top 10 most polluted places, according to the Blacksmith Institute, a New York-based nonprofit group.

Blacksmith did not rank the top 10 because complete health records from some developing countries were unavailable.

For each site the group included the number of potentially affected people, who could face problems ranging from asthma to premature death.

The annual list was compiled with help from specialists at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Hunter College in New York, India’s ITT, University of Idaho, Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York and others.

The full report can be found here.

Oct 22

Iraqui teenage refugeesWhile around 4 million people have fled Iraq in recent times, Sweden is making headlines for being possibly the only country in Europe that could be described as welcoming to those displaced from Iraq.

In particular, Sweden is taking care of teenagers who are alone and desperate, but still make the difficult journey to find sanctuary.

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Oct 21

There are many cases where the persistence of the powerless have dramatically altered unjust power systems. The gospel story of the persistent woman calls us to lobby with a heart for God’s justice.

Sermon 21st October, 2007 (pdf)
St. David’s Uniting Church, Oakleigh
Rev. Arnie Wierenga

Oct 18

All are welcome to attend a Jewellery demonstration fund-raising event organised by Community Services.

Cost is $3, afternoon tea is provided.

Enquires: community@oakleigh.unitingchurch.org.au