eNews – April 2017

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Continual Resurrection

By Executive Director Rev Dr Jenny Byrnes

How many years was Easter Sunday? This is the provocative question asked by John Dominic Crossan in his book Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography.

His question arises out of research from archaeologists who have been unable to find the town of Emmaus mentioned in the post-resurrection story in the gospel of Luke. Crossan concludes that the story of Emmaus, rather than a historical event, was a metaphor.

Crossan provocatively concludes – Emmaus never happened, it is always happening!

He further surmises that the little we do know of the writings of that time could lend itself to suggest that the stories relating to Easter Day are condensed into our Scriptures, and indeed actually reflect the experience of the community of disciples over many, many years rather than one day. Hence his question ‘How many years was Easter Sunday?’

I would need to check with informed colleagues as to the status of Crossan’s claims however, the perspective that resurrection is always happening, whether or not it is based on one particular succinct episode or a growing awareness of a new reality, is a current reality for many of us.

We know Easter Day, with its celebrations, stretches into the Sundays beyond Easter Day – and for good reason. Rather than re-focus our attention on the next festival or celebration, we are encouraged to bathe in the resurrection and continue to enjoy and move within the many stories and images that the ongoing resurrection provides for us.

Our ultimate challenge is to move the resurrection from a reading about others’ experience, to one describing our own lives as individuals and as a community.

Like many insights or experiences, transformation can be both sudden and time-bound and incremental and deepening – as long as we place ourselves in the way of ongoing revelation – a little like life-long learning! May your Easter resurrection life be rich and generous.

Hosted by the Lay Preachers’ Committee of Management of the  Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. 

7 Jul 2017 – 10 Jul 2017
5:00pm – 1:30pm @ CTM

info@ctm.uca.edu.au or  9340 8815 for more information.

Surrender 2017 Conference

“Embodying the Way”

Hundreds of  Christians from various denominations attended the 3 day Surrender Conference in late March. They came to be enlivened and resourced to incorporate Christ into their personal lives, missions and ministries. None of the participants left disappointed, least of all CTM’s Youth Minister, Drew Hanna, who discovered the importance of knowing and living out his faith, in action with his neighbours.
He clarified, “That is, how do I be authentic, vulnerable, open and curious about my neighbourhood and how may I join God in that space?” Drew found inspiration in the session held by Karina Kreminski who declared that “Spiritual transformation occurs when we put into action the things we learn about at conferences, online and in books”.  
The highlight of the conference for Drew was, “…the meaningful and vulnerable response of those present to the Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri Aunty Di. Karen. A UCA Next Gen leader responded in Samoan and spoke of the importance for her journey of being welcomed to the land. It was an emotional and spirit filled time which we are all better off for having experienced.”

Men’s Health (and academic life)

You’ll have heard about men’s health. It’s in the media all the time. We’re told that men often ignore health problems and hope they’ll go away. Or they complain to their partners, rather than seek health advice that would make life easier and less painful. If you’re in ministry, you’ll have seen this among the men of your congregation, and you’ve probably suggested that they go to the doctor.


Well, you won’t be surprised to know that men do not seek advice on writing and research skills either. They hope academic problems will just go away (but problems persist) and they complain to their families, rather than contacting a professional. You’d probably suggest they get in contact with our Academic Skills tutor, wouldn’t you? And you’d act now, rather than leave it until the last week of semester.

Email me with a specific question about your writing and research, or to arrange a meeting. Hope to hear from you soon.

Kerrie Handasyde
Academic Skills Tutor

Upcoming Events

April 2017

1 Educating and Ministering through Life’s Passages (5/5)
1 VicTas Art and Spirituality Network Gatherings
6 Beyond Colonialism: John Flett and Mark Brett in Conversation
7 Psalms: Exegetical and Theological Study (2/3)
21 Conversations: Interdisciplinary Theological Perspectives on Contemporary Issues (3/3)
26 Living Leadership – Core Intensive (1/2)
29 Psalms: Exegetical and Theological Study (3/3)
29 Stories of Childhood
29 Educating and Ministering through Life’s Passages (1/4)

May 2017

5 Art for Wellbeing
6 Educating and Ministering through Life’s Passages (2/4)
7 New Texts in Context (2/3)
11 Inter-cultural Leadership – Through the lens of generations
11 Australia & “The Divine Image” Symposium
13 Educating and Ministering through Life’s Passages (3/4)
19 Lay Preachers & Pastors Training (LP + MoP) (2/4)
20 Educating and Ministering through Life’s Passages (4/4)
31 Living Leadership – Core Intensive (2/2)

June 2017

3 Make it Messy Conference
4 New Texts in Context (3/3)

Stories of Childhood

Playgroup & Preschool Conference
Saturday, 29 Apr 2017 9:45am – 3:00pm
The annual Stories of Childhood conference is especially suitable for anyone involved in ministry with children 0-5 and their families.
Download flyer   Register online now

Make it Messy Conference

Saturday 3 June

Join with others from churches across the state for a day of active engagement, stimulating discussions, encouraging stories and helpful electives that will empower your ministry in your local context.

Download flyer   Register online now

Living Leadership

Enhance your capacity as a leader or leadership team across the church to exercise effective leadership.

Intercultural Leadership – Through the lens of generations

11 May will provide an opportunity for you to engage with key principles of leadership in the intercultural context, explore leadership in the context of the Uniting Church as an intercultural church and enhance your capacity for exercising intercultural leadership.

Uniting Church Leadership

11-13 July focuses specifically on leadership within the Uniting Church context. Drawing on the theology, history and life of the Uniting Church in Australia, as well as the Basis of Union.

Core Intensive

Build capacity, insight and resilience in leadership through participation, by yourself or with other team members. This special program has been designed to foster collaborative learning and is suited to both teams and individuals from congregations, presbyteries and agencies.
26-27 April   31 May – 1 June   24-28 July

More information and registration

Australia & “The Divine Image” Symposium

A public program presented in conjunction with the 64th Blake Prize Touring Exhibition (7 April – 26 May 2017) hosted by Kinross Arts Centre and Toorak Uniting Church. The symposium provides an opportunity to bring together audiences and experts in the field of the arts and spirituality.

More information and registration

So, you want to be a minister?

For those contemplating ordained ministry, there is a brand new webpage on our site which includes all forms and information you will need on your journey.