Jul 29

The majority of asylum seekers will no longer be detained under major immigration reforms described by Immigration Minister Chris Evans as a more compassionate approach.

The Government will not completely scrap mandatory detention but Senator Evans says the Department of Immigration will have to justify why a person should be detained.

“A person who poses no danger to the community will be able to remain in the community while their visa status is resolved,” Senator Evans said.

Senator Evans says indefinite detention is not acceptable.

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Jul 27

The kingdom of heaven is like …

Weeds, poisonous yeast, rotten fish? Jesus throws up some provocative images to get us to think about the kingdom of heaven, who is included and why.

Sermon 27th July, 2008 (pdf)
St. David’s Uniting Church, Oakleigh
Rev. Arnie Wierenga

Jul 26

A researcher for the Australian National University says Christian denominations need to do more to address climate change.

Steve Douglas has studied the policies of the Catholic, Anglican and Uniting churches and found the Anglican Church is the least effective.

He says the Uniting Church has more policies but a poor record for implementation and the Catholic Church has a small environmental organisation but is restricted in policy making.

Dr Douglas says all three denominations need to become more focused.

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Jul 25

The dramatic rise over the past twelve months in global food prices poses a threat to the very poorest and to humanity as a whole, says a new specialist report from the United Nations – which is seeking to coordinate global action.

The report of the High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis published its Comprehensive Framework for Action a week ago.

It stresses that global food and nutrition security is imperilled by the current situation, which creates a host of humanitarian, human rights, socio-economic, environmental, developmental, political and security-related challenges.

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Jul 23

A yachting adventure will see Jordan Garkut deliver goods and offer practical help around the southeastern islands of Papua New Guinea for the next three months.Relief primary school teacher Jordan set out on Sunday, farewelled by his family and friends from Highway Christian Church, on an adventure he has been waiting years to fulfil.Laden with school teaching and learning resources, stationary, fishing gear, clothing, seeds, hats, guitars, supplies for basic first aid, Christian resources and Bibles, Jordan is heading for Kawano Waters on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

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Jul 22

The latest issue of Christianity 9 to 5 is available online now. Issue 32 focuses on Christian Leadership and discusses a number of issues including putting people first in management, and how to develop leaders.

Jul 20

Jacob discovers the blessings of God when he least deserves it. Not only that, Jacob is running away from his past and meets God in an obscure and desolate place.

We reflect on where God is found and how that changes our lives.

Sermon 20th July, 2008 (pdf)
St. David’s Uniting Church, Oakleigh
Rev. Arnie Wierenga

Jul 15

Story of stuffIf you are wondering what drives seemingly endless western consumerism, check out this interesting expose by Annie Leonard on the Story of Stuff.

The description below is from the website: 

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Jul 13

Van Gogh - The SowerFrom Matthew’s gospel we hear the parable of the Sower, where seed is scattered with reckless abandon onto places that seem wasteful. This sign of God’s abundance is added to when Jesus speaks of the harvest from fertile soil – it is much more than farmers could ever hope for in reality.

Is this a sign of how much God loves us? Is it a story with a simple moral – that we ought to listen?

Sermon – 13th July 2008 – Matthew 13 (pdf)
St. David’s Uniting Church, Oakleigh
Rev. Arnie Wierenga

Jul 8

A covenant is an agreement. The Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress walks in covenant with many non-indigenous Australians of the Uniting Church. For the latest news and information including NAIDOC week (this week), check out the latest edition of covenanting news.

Covenanting News – July (pdf)