eNews – August 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Winter Clarity

By Executive Director Rev Dr Jenny Byrnes

The changing seasons of Melbourne always prompt many reflections as we navigate traffic, weather and the daily routines. I have always found the environment and our daily lives a rich source of illustrations, humour and insight for those ‘early words’ in the worship services once known as ‘children’s addresses’!

Lately I’ve become aware of the barrenness of many of the treed landscapes with which I engage in my normal routines. Now with the autumn leaves finally shaken from the branches, once hidden vistas open up to scrutiny. Rather than delivering bleakness it reveals a depth of detail often not visible in the other seasons. From my suburb I can now see the tall buildings of the CBD some kilometres away, with the morning and evening sun capturing the top floors of the Eureka Tower and spinning a beautiful bright reflection across a substantial distance. In the countryside, hidden hills and rocky outcrops, most often hidden by the leafy trees are now exposed and clear in the distance. There is a simple starkness and a breadth of clarity.

Each season brings its lessons of life and a beauty that is repeated as one season turns to another. I have just spent a rich two separate weeks each with a cohort of colleagues pondering the insights and depths of offering leadership within the Uniting Church. What a privilege it is to learn and reflect deeply with others. It is such times when distractions are stripped away and the contours of community life are highlighted and clear to all.

The contours of community learning are in high relief: the wisdom of experience, the insights from other disciplines, the discovery of new possibilities revealed through reflections and curiosity, the thankfulness of blessings received and given.

If learning with colleagues and in community is not part of your life – you don’t know what you are missing! Effective learning for discipleship and ministry can clear away some of the daily necessities and irrelevancies and place front and centre the important and urgent priorities of faithful and fulfilling discipleship and ministry.

In the coming months there is a kaleidoscope of opportunities to engage with new learning and refreshment of ministry and discipleship amongst a community of colleagues. Of course, in the coming few short weeks we will also celebrate a fresh season and all the insights and possibilities it marks for us all.

Makes You Wonder

Friday 11 Aug – Sunday 13 Aug @ North Ringwood Uniting Church

Find your own voice for your own faith in your own situation, through authentic friendship, prayer, respect and caring. Grow confident in sharing your own faith, with Rev Dr Ian Robinson.
Watch this introduction by Ian Robinson:

Register Now!

Horizons of Contextuality

Friday 22 September   9:00am – 5:00pm   @ Pilgrim Theological College
This symposium is organized around two key questions:

Farewell Jenny and Drew

Sadly this month we farewell two friends and colleagues, Jennifer Byrnes and Drew Hanna.

Jenny has been the Executive Director of CTM for 8 years and the centre has undergone several transformations under her stewardship. She was recently appointed as the inaugural Mission and Capacity Building Unit (working title) Executive Officer, for a five-year term, steering further change within the Synod.

Her guidance, wisdom and sense of humour will be sorely missed, although we are grateful she won’t be too far away. We wish her all the best in her new exciting and challenging position.

Drew started as Youth Ministry Co-ordinator with CTM 9 years ago, a role he has faithfully and diligently fulfilled. He has accepted a teaching role at Doncaster Secondary College which is part of the student health and wellbeing team. Drew writes: “It is a privilege to have been able to offer leadership into the church through (this) role. The Uniting Church has a long commitment to young people and I am thankful that will continue into the future in fresh and God filled ways.”

We wish him well as he embarks on this new career direction.

A Public Forum

New date announced – Sunday 15 October

Where is the Uniting Church heading and how will we find our way?
Marking the 40th anniversary of its inauguration, join two key leaders ( Dr Deidre Palmer, President-Elect of the Uniting Church Assembly and Rev Dr Geoff Thompson, Systematic Theology teacher at Pilgrim Theological College) for an afternoon forum to explore the current and future shape of the Uniting Church in Australia.
More information       Register Now!

THIS PLACE – Exhibition

Sunday 27 Aug – Friday 6 Oct @ CTM

THIS PLACE has a broad, open-ended theme, encouraging artists to express their sense of place, whether it be a physical place, or a mental, spiritual or imagined place.

The exhibition will be launched by Rev Sharon Hollis at an event on 27 August.
Full Details

August 2017

4 With All Due Respect: Theology, Feminism, and Conflict 
4 Readings in Christine Doctrine (1/4)
5 Prophets and their Writing (1/3)
5 Artist Network Gathering – August
11 Makes You Wonder
12 Effective Christian Leadership & Ministry (1/5)
18 Culture, Beliefs & Theology (1/2)
18 Wisdom’s Feast
20 Story Space – Winter Telling
22 “One-Two: What’s Next?”
23 Disability, Theology & the Church
25-27 Sonder Youth Camp
25 Re:Generations – Murrumbeena
26 Re:Generations – Frankston
27 This Place – Exhibition Launch
27 This Place – Exhibition
29 Re:Generations – Greensborough
30 Re:Generations – Mitcham

September 2017

1-2 The Art & Practice of Oral Storytelling (1/3)
1 Regenerations – Warragul
8 Pastoral Leadership
22 Horizons of Contextuality Symposium
24 Godly Play Workshop
25 Passionately Christian, Compassionately Interfaith

October 2017

6 Regenerations-Euroa
7 Regenerations-Myrtleford
9-11 NYMC 17
13 Regenerations – St Arnaud
14 Regenerations-Eaglehawk
21 Regenerations-Echuca
27-28  The Justice Conference

Register for Wisdom’s Feast

Wisdom’s Feast photo challenge

Attention Photographers: submit your photos of border crossings.

We encourage and invite you to think broadly about real and metaphorical border crossings and submit them to the Wisdom’s Feast Crossing Borders Photography Challenge. Christina Rowntree will be utilising the entries throughout the Wisdom’s Feast event.

Submit your offerings here

More information


This new and FREE resource takes as its source material the suggested readings from the Revised Common Lectionary, thus making it especially suitable for particular denominations (such as the Anglican, Lutheran and Uniting Churches) and usable by any church. Its basic approach is to take as a foundation the general principles of multi-age worship – such as seeking to be multi-sensory, multi-intelligence and multi-ability aware – and add a layer of intergenerational awareness. Broadly speaking, this resource addresses the Welcome, Call to Worship, Prayer of Confession, Music, Bible Reading and Prayers of the People elements often found in a typical worship service. This edition also includes a Take Home suggestion for each week.

As always, your feedback on these resources will be gratefully received. Please e-mail your comments to chris.barnett@ctm.uca.edu.au.

Download the entire resource here at CTM Resourcing 

Story Space-Winter Telling

Sunday 20 August 7.15pm – 9.30pm @ CTM

Story Space is a storytelling practice group who gather monthly on a Thursday evening at CTM, hosted by Katherine Jones and Jess Holt.  It is open to all participants of ‘The Art of Story’ short course which was first held at CTM in 2012.  The course has since run four times and has migrated now to Pilgrim College.  The Story Space group offers a place for reflection on practice with imaginative invitations and thoughtful ritual.

Katherine says, ‘Storytelling at its best creates room for the deepest questions of human existence to be examined, it is a dynamic practice that cannot be undertaken alone.  At Story Space we work on crafting our stories, providing feedback and encouragement to each other.’

Jess Holt says, ‘We love storytelling, it helps us take a breath and connects us to wider horizons.’

‘The Art and Practice of Oral Storytelling’ will be taught by Julie Perrin and Christina Rowntree as an intensive this September.

Register Now!