eNews – October 2016
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
A Small, Shy Hope
By Executive Director Rev Dr Jenny Byrnes
Many years ago I was introduced to the thought that many of us in the Uniting Church are not skilled at articulating our faith – we rely on the basics of our faith to be already known by the broader community. So much so, that a good proportion of us perhaps even struggle to find the words to speak out the faith because we have not had to learn the language. We have been carried along with the words from liturgy, hymns and ‘cliché’ faith language. So when it comes to explaining how and why we believe, we are often caught speechless.
I was reminded of this two weeks ago when preparing some devotional material I came across a term coined by Manning Clarke – “a shy hope”. Clarke states “a shy hope in the heart aptly expresses the nature of Australian religion and spirituality. There is a profound shyness – yet a deeply grounded hope – held tenderly in the heart of Australia” cited in Australian Soul: Religion and Spirituality in the 21st Century by Gary Bouma 2006:2.
This seemed so apt for describing many members of the Uniting Church – a shy hope or a shy faith – a faith which we rely on and within which we are grounded but about which we are so often too shy to share.
Now I have one solution, there are no doubt many! Yes, learning and growing with others. Being in a study group where we practice speaking of our faith – our shy hope. This can be in formal spaces or informal spaces.
It is critical in this day and age that good people of faith need to find the words to express our faith and our hope – to step out of our shy shadows and be people of hope in a world filled with tension, hostility, ambiguity and dis-ease. Join with others in the journey of learning and put away our shyness!
The New and Improved CTM Resourcing Site
CTM Resourcing (the revamped Unichurch Resources) is a rich trove of resources for supporting, encouraging and informing discipleship and ministry. The resources available include texts, products and materials, primarily UCA-based, some sourced from external publishers and others generated by the Centre for Theology & Ministry. We are committed to resourcing and facilitating learning opportunities across the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, and to the rest of the Church, available to groups, presbyteries and individuals, whether they are lay or ordained. There is no need to hold an account to purchase-it is optional. However, if ordering on behalf of a congregation or presbytery, please include the Treasurer’s details in the billing section.
Products are either ‘in stock’ and will be posted immediately, ‘need to be ordered’ and will take a bit longer to receive, ‘special orders’, which are ordered on special request or ‘digital downloads’ that are produced in-house. These items, once ordered, will be sent directly for download via email.
Some of the resources you will find on the CTM Resourcing website include all your Uniting Church needs –baptism certificates, UCA logo stickers, Basis of Union commentary, accounting transaction sheets and copies of Together in Song. We also have all the key resources that will help your focused ministry areas such as Youth and Young Adults, Children and Families, Lay Preachers and more.
UCA members receive a 10% discount when purchasing online – just enter this code UCAMember16 at checkout.
Coming in 2017 – Students will be able to buy Pilgrim College required texts as listed in the handbook.
|8||Make it Messy!
|2, 16, 23, 30||Art of Story|
|11||Thesis Boot Camp|
Implementing the Victorian Child Safe Standards
19 October (South/East) 21 October (North/West)
Victorian law requires organisations, including churches, that engage with children, to meet the Victorian Child Safe Standards by 1 January 2017. Whether you are wondering where to start or are already on the journey toward implementation, the Getting Ready! one-day workshops will enable you and your congregation to:
- Grow in your understanding of the Child Safe Standards and Principles
- Develop your process for implementation of the Child Safe Standards
- Increase your awareness of the available support and resources
Getting Ready! is a FREE (if pre-registered) ecumenical event suitable for church leadership teams, ministry teams and individual leaders engaged in ministry with children and their families. Ideally, participants will attend with others from their church team.
On Wednesday 7 September 2016, Dr Helen Gardner of Deakin University launched Beth Graham’s book Dear Family at the CTM. This important book draws extensively on letters Beth Graham wrote from Arnhem Land in the 1960s and adds significantly to our understanding of the missions being run by the Methodist church at the time. As Helen Gardner commented at the launch, the source material itself is valuable but Beth’s work is much more than that:
“I was not prepared for her vivid, lively and deeply political missives home to her family from the top end, where she lived for 3 years, first for language school at Millingimbi, then for over 2 years at Yirrkala and finally for 6 months at Croker Island. … This is a story of a young couple, a time, a place and a people that was crucial to the history of mission, the history of mining and the history of land-rights. Therefore while Yirrkala was 500 miles from Darwin, it was, in many respects the centre of many important aspects of Australian life in the 1960s. This is a past that continues to play out in our present”.
Dear Family is available from CTM Resourcing.
The Greening of Hope: Hildegard for Australia
Book launches do not usually begin with evening prayer but on 16 September we combined a celebration of the new collection The Greening of Hope: Hildegard for Australia (edited by Katharine Massam and Fotini Toso) with prayer remembering Hildegard of Bingen, medieval abbess, musician, artist, preacher, reformer and healer. The occasion was something of a reunion for participants in the 2012 Festival of Hildegard, and the book brings together contributions by a number of key authors who presented papers at that Festival (including Constant Mews, Sabina Flanagan, Jane Woollard, Jane Foulcher and Julie Hotchin).
The liturgy crafted by drew on Hildegard’s own writing and music as well as the monastic pattern the services of vespers and vigils. Sr Brigid Arthur of the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project launched the volume and spoke powerfully of the links between Hildegard’s context and our own, identifying the challenge and inspiration of Hildegard’s feisty response to her times.
There are more resources related to the Festival of Hildegard on the CTM website.
The new volume The Greening of Hope is available from CTM Resourcing.