Feb 16

Dalai lamaThe Dalai Lama has written to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, congratulating him for the apology to the Stolen Generations.

He has told Mr Rudd that he was very encouraged to hear about the apology, describing it as a timely, appropriate and civilised thing to do.

(from ABC news)

Feb 15

Sandy Yule

by Sandy Yule

If four letter words are traditionally rude, let’s start a rumour that five letter words are gracious. Sorry is easy to say if we are ready to be truthful about how we have hurt other people. Sorry is hard to say when we want to hang onto being always in the right, or when we don’t want to repair the damage that we have caused. When we say sorry, we reach out to people whom we have alienated through our thoughtless or mean actions. What matters here is what we want to protect.


Feb 14

UCA presidentPresident of the UCA, Rev. Gregor Henderson, has congratulated the Federal Government on its long-awaited apology to the Stolen Generations. The Uniting Church made an apology to Aboriginal Australians in 1996 along with other churches and organisations and welcomes ‘Sorry Day’. Rev. Henderson urges real action so that the apology truly does make a difference.

video of Rev. Henderson’s speech

Feb 13

A new periodical from the Uniting Church’s Centre for Theology and Ministry is available now online. Conversations is an e-journal that aims to bring the resources and people involved with Victoria and Tasmania’s ministry education closer to all who share a passion for ministry and theology.


Feb 12

Sorry the first stepYesterday candles on the lawn of Parliament house in Canberra spelled out the message Sorry the first step as the Rudd government prepares its final wording of the long awaited apology to indigenous people over the Stolen Generation, where children were forcibly removed from Aboriginal parents as part of government policy.

The formal apology is a watershed moment in Australian history. The Uniting Church expressed its deep regret at damage done by the policy and gave a formal apology around ten years ago.

Reverend Shayne Blackman, National Administrator of the Aboriginal arm of the Uniting Church, the Uniting Aborigianl and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC), said the Church and the UAICC have had a longstanding view about the need for the Australian Government to say sorry.

“The proposed formal apology from the Government is greatly welcomed by UAICC members,” Rev. Blackman said.

“However, we believe that true repentance involves both an apology and a change of attitude and we hope the Government takes further action to clearly demonstrate its commitment to the apology, such as tailored Indigenous programs and opportunities for socio-economic equality.

The apology will be telecast on ABC TV live tomorrow morning at 8:55 am Easter Summer Time. 

Feb 11

Alice & JakeyThe New York times reports something that ought not be a surprise to most pet owners – that having a pet such as a dog has enormous health benefits. One study done in Melbourne suggests that pet owners had lower cholesterol, blood pressure and heart attack risk compared with people who didn’t have pets.

The church has St. Francis to thank for the blessing of the animals, as a celebration of the creatures that God has blessed us with – as assistants who raise our quality of life in a wide variety of ways. Dogs have long helped humans to see and hear, and the leading edge of research is examining their role in “sniffing out” hypoglycemic episodes before they happen, and even in the early detection of cancer.

As a dog lover, I give thanks for dogs and pets of all persuasions.

New York Times article 

Feb 10

The dual stories of Adam and Eve being tempted by the snake in the garden, and Jesus being tempted into the wilderness are archetypal stories of the human condition. The message this week ponders the reality that “life is difficult”, as Scott Peck puts it, and considers where God is during the highs and lows of life.

Sermon Sunday February 10th, 2008 – Lent 1 (pdf)
St. David’s Uniting Church, Oakleigh
Rev. Arnie Wierenga

Feb 9

As mediation to solve the disputed Kenyan presidential election enters a critical phase, top-level figures from the two parties have met an international ecumenical delegation, which asked them to move on from the electoral dispute and seek a compromise solution.

The seven-member group of church representatives sent by the World Council of Churches as part of its “Living Letters” initiative in solidarity with churches facing situations of violence, visited Kenya from 30 January to 3 February.

Read more>>

Feb 8

Gregor HendersonThe Uniting Church in Australia and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) have congratulated the Federal Government on its planned formal apology to members of the Stolen Generations. A formal apology was made to Australia’s Indigenous people by the Uniting Church more than a decade ago.

The President of the Uniting Church, Reverend Gregor Henderson, said the Christian view of confession was a recognition of wrongdoing.

“We take confession to mean that what has been done is not in accordance with the hopes and possibilities that God has for us,” Rev. Henderson said.

“Confession is both an acknowledgement of this and an expression of resolve to live, by the grace of God, differently in the future.

“Our partnership and covenanting agreement with the UAICC is one way in which we have demonstrated our resolve to walk alongside our Aboriginal and Islander brothers and sisters; to seek forgiveness and reparations.

“The Government’s apology to the Stolen Generations marks the beginning of a sense of renewal and we hope it will be backed up with practical measures for better outcomes for Indigenous Australians.”

Read more from the UCA assembly web site>>

Feb 7

Plan Australia, in partnership with the Youth Research Centre, at the University of Melbourne, and RMIT University, has been awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project grant, valued at $283,000 over three years, to generate a new model of sustainable partnership across NGOs and learning institutions with the aim to provide youth-led, global education programs for school-aged youth.

Known as the Global Connections Program, the project will facilitate the development of effective processes toward young people’s greater participation in social life and will focus on social connections across racial and religious boundaries.

Read more>>