Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Thinking historically about same-sex marriage

A version of this essay was published in Cross Purposes, Issue 29, December 2012.

In common with the rest of Australian society, the Uniting Church does not have a single sexual ethic.[1] Reflecting recently on his experience of the Church’s (homo)sexuality debate Alistair Macrae mused: ‘In my long engagement with this issue, you’ve probably got twenty per cent of our Church on each end who have very strong opinions on this issue, mutually exclusive positions, and sixty per cent in the middle who are saying “complex issue, not sure”’.[2] Continue reading


December 27, 2012 Posted by | Life, etc., Ministry | , , , , | Leave a comment

Submission: Supporting the provision of general Religious Education in Victorian schools

The Christian Religious Education (CRE) Task Group of the Uniting Church Synod called for submissions on various issues to do with religious education in Victorian schools. The one I was most interested in was the question of the provision of General Religious Education. This is my submission: Continue reading

May 1, 2012 Posted by | Life, etc. | , , , | 1 Comment

Book review: The Girlfriends’ Clergy Companion: Surviving and Thriving in Ministry

The Girlfriends’ Clergy Companion: Surviving and Thriving in Ministry
Melissa Lynn DeRosia, Marianne J. Grano, Amy Morgan, and Amanda Adams Riley

Alban, 2011
ISBN 978-1-56699-418-7

Don’t be put off by the title

This probably says more about me than the book, but I was a little disconcerted when David of Uniting Church Resources gave me a copy of The Girlfriends’ Clergy Companion, complete with floral cover, and said that he’d ordered it thinking of me. In my head the collective noun ‘girlfriends’ is more likely to refer to a group of drag queens traversing the desert than to a group of my ministry peers. But once I got over the title (and the flowers) I found this an extremely helpful book. Continue reading

February 17, 2012 Posted by | Ministry | , , , | 1 Comment

The Messy Middle that is the Uniting Church

(A longer version of the letter that appears in the August Crosslight.)

I have been reading the debate on hope and the essentials of the faith in Crosslight with interest, and I am starting to worry that some lines are being drawn too rigidly. There is a danger that in this debate false dichotomies are being created. Christians are being asked to choose between being either progressive or fundamentalist; between reading the Bible literally or seeing it as no more significant to faith than modern poetry; between accepting the scientific worldview without criticism or retreating from science into creationism or a belief in intelligent design. Most worrying, we are being asked to choose between being inclusive and welcoming to all, and the orthodox faith. Continue reading

August 4, 2011 Posted by | Ministry, Slightly Higher Culture | , , , , | 1 Comment