eNews – March 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Staying on course

By Executive Director Rev Dr Jenny Byrnes

I was lucky enough to see the Australian icebreaker the Aurora Australis a couple of years ago when visiting Hobart. It contrasted starkly with the many yachts that had just completed the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Aurora Australis looked strong and indestructible while the yachts looked fragile and dainty.

It was newsworthy in these past days to hear of the Aurora Australis running aground during a heavy blizzard, it broke free from its moorings… the wind catching its bulk pressured the cable sufficiently for it to be run aground.

What seemed indestructible was brought undone and incapacitated. Even the strong can be weak if the forces are coming from a particular direction and with sufficient force.

It reminded me of the Ephesians 4 verse – “blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery” (v14). Staying on course, not being unhelpfully battered by strong winds of trickery, takes some attention and intention.

Learning in community is one of the better ways I know to assist me in staying on course – enjoying the rough and tumble of new thoughts, testing ideas, exploring ancient wisdoms for today’s vital living; and maintaining my bearings and moorings in times of uncertainty.

Many events over the next months sponsored by the CTM and partners will bring that opportunity. Wisdom’s Feast in July is shaping to be such an opportunity and the Living leadership in Ballarat in April/May enables us to think through how to offer resilient and thoughtful leadership in uncertain times where the winds are blowing hard upon our communities of faith. And much more besides in the calendar for the coming months. Enjoy and stay fast to learning.

Art for Wellbeing 2016: Call out for visual artists

Hero image: The Olive Tree, Lara Bardsley, oil pastel and gold on canvas, 122cm x 92cm

Here’s an opportunity for everyone who engages creatively with visual art materials in support of their wellbeing. Many artists know the experience of “flow” when deep in their creative process, and now there is a growing appreciation of the value of art therapy programs in hospitals, agencies and programs for people with disabilities, dependencies and mental illness. How does your art practice support your health and overall wellbeing? We are putting a call out to visual artists for Art for Wellbeing 2016, organised by Artfull Faith in partnership with SacredEdge Festival and Kinross Art and Spirituality Centre. An exhibition will be presented at SacredEdge Festival 29 April – 2 May, and continue at Queenscliff Uniting Church through 26 May, 2016. For more information, contact chris.rowntree@ctm.uca.edu.au.

Pop-up icon exhibition

A pop-up exhibition of icons by Rev Peter Blackwood is on at the Centre for Theology & Ministry until 19 March. Calendar of Other Commemorations calls to mind a representative group of people from the communion of saints. Peter’s icons are the beginnings of a long term project to paint an icon for as many as possible of the holy days in the Uniting Church’s Calendar of Other Commemorations.

Each icon is painted in egg tempura on a pine panel covered with linen and chalk gesso. Peter will be talking about his work to the Saturday 19 March gathering of the Victas Art and Spirituality Network.

Feature image (Top): Simeon and Anna Icon, Peter Blackwood

Upcoming Events

March 2016

11-14 Synod Social Justice Family Camp
11-14 PC4U2016 Camp, Halls Gap
15 Census Date Semester 1
18-20 Surrender 2016

April 2016

7 Pilgrim Lunchtime Seminar Series #1: Robert Cousland
14-16 Transforming Service
14 Pilgrim Lunchtime Seminar Series #2: Sean Winter
15-16 Synod Lay Preachers’ Association AGM
19-20 LL Core – Living Leadership Intensive (1/2)
28 Pilgrim Lunchtime Seminar Series #4: John Martis
28 – 1 May Uniting Women

May 2016

20 LL Plus – Living Leadership Strategic Leadership
22 Radiate
19-20 LL Core – Living Leadership Intensive (2/2)
25 One World WonTok Conference

Leadership in Ballarat and beyond

The CTM recognises the organic and evolving nature of leadership in contexts of challenge within times of change. Our ‘Living Leadership’ events aim to build capacity, insight and resilience in your leadership.

There are three types of Living Leadership events on offer in 2016, called Core, Plus and Focus.

The 2016 Living Leadership program commences with a Core intensive unit running in partnership with the Presbytery of Western Victoria. This Core intensive event will be delivered over two two-day sessions at Ballarat, for four days in total. The dates are 19-20 April and 24-25 May, and members of other Presbyteries are welcome to attend the intensive.

On 20 May there will be a Living Leadership Plus event focused on strategic leadership. In June there are two opportunities to take part in Living Leadership Focus events, and rounding out the 2016 program the 14 September Living Leadership Plus will explore inter-cultural leadership.

Pilgrim Lunchtime Seminar Series

Pilgrim Theological College’s Lunchtime Seminar Series returns on 7 April with Assoc Prof Robert Cousland (University of British Columbia) presenting: “The Infancy Gospel of Thomas.” Semester One’s seminars carry the overall theme Texts from the Margins.


There will also be lectures on 21 April and 5 May. Visit the Pilgrim website for program updates.

The free seminar series is open to all. Attendees are invited to bring their lunch, or you can purchase lunch on-site at our re-furbished Sage + Grace cafe. Seminars start promptly at 1pm and conclude at 1.50pm, making them ideal for those looking to expand their knowledge of theological topics of interest.

2016 Formation program

candidates_wurdi youang
The 2016 Formation Program is well underway, with Formation students attending the first Formation Week of the year last month. The week saw the students undertake an Indigenous Immersion program with the UIACC at Narana. During the week students also visited the Wurdi Youang site run by the Wathaurong Co-op, in Geelong (pictured above). Formation Week was followed by a return to classes for the commencement of the Pilgrim academic year.

It’s a busy time of year for the students as they settle into academic life at Pilgrim Theological College, with the next major event on the horizon being the 12 April Formation Day.