February 9th, 2017
November 10th, 2016
Twenty-five Australians were part of a gathering of three and a half thousand people at the World Convention Global Gathering in Damoh. A report of this by Gary Holloway can be found here
After this, thirteen Australians were part of a group led by John Gilmore to visit a number of GMP’s Indian partners. Dennis Ryle’s India Journal gives a personal account of this whole trip.
Further stories of the GMP tour, and many other stories of our overseas mission partners, can be found on the Global Mission Partners website.
October 7th, 2016
Who wants to hear Good News? If you’re interested in finding out news from around the country, you can subscribe to State Churches of Christ newsletters. You can subscribe to GMP to hear about the wider work done through Churches of Christ in Australia. You can also subscribe to the National Council of Churches in Australia newsletter to learn of wider ecumenical work, and to World Council of Churches for international church news.
World Council of Churches: https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/en/resources/e-news
September 21st, 2016
It’s great to hear of so many Churches participating in Selfie Sunday around the country!
You can now upload your photos and church stories on the Selfie Sunday website.
Check out the Selfie Sunday uploading instructions before you begin.
Make sure your church is Part of the Big Picture!
September 13th, 2016
Selfie Sunday is nearly upon us… so it’s time to respond to your Frequently Asked Questions:
What’s Selfie Sunday again?
A day to take a snapshot your church community. Read the documents on the Selfie Sunday website to learn more.
Aside from taking photos, what information would you like?
Please fill out a response to this survey as much as you can: Selfie Sunday Questionnaire
What is the date of Selfie Sunday? The postcard doesn’t say.
A recommended date is the 16th of October. However, you can use any Sunday in October that suits your church.
Is Selfie Sunday just for small churches? How do we take a photo of a lot of people?
Selfie Sunday is for churches of all sizes; a snapshot in time of the hugely diverse Churches of Christ family. Large churches might chose to take a photo the big sea of faces, or take photos of different segments of the church so that the faces are more recognisable. If you need to submit more than 10 photos, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why are you asking for information about our church?
So we can get to know and learn from our wider church family.
Selfie Sunday is also a snapshot in time for future historians, in the same way the Jubilee History tells us about the early days of Churches of Christ in Australia.
How do we submit photos and information?
Find the UPLOAD tab on the Selfie Sunday website. This will generate a profile for your church. If you have difficulty using this, you can email email@example.com
What do we do if we can’t answer all of the questions?
Just do what you can! Don’t miss out on your church being Part of the Big Picture.
What about privacy issues?
You will need to let your congregation(s) know their photo will be used on the Selfie Sunday website, and allow anyone to leave who doesn’t consent to this. Checkout the website for more information and forms.
Why is there an option to include names of people in the photo?
Selfie Sunday is a community building exercise. One of the fun things you will be able to do on the fully-formed site is search for the names of people you met on a camp in 1963, or who attended the same youth group in 1975, or who you met at State Youth Games in 1999 (etc).
Selfie Sunday will also create a historical resource for your children’s children’s children (etc). The information for Selfie Sunday will be stored forever! It will be interesting to trace Churches of Christ families over time.
If it is difficult to record everyone’s names, (especially for large churches) a named photo of the church leadership team will be a helpful inclusion.
What do I do if I have questions or difficulties?
Please check out www.selfiesunday.org in the first instance. General questions can go to Janet Woodlock: firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9488 8800. Technical questions can be directed to email@example.com
Thanks for the interest and enthusiasm from so many in supporting Selfie Sunday. Make sure your church is Part of the Big Picture!
Churches of Christ in Australia
July 28th, 2016
Your church should have received emails and postcards about Selfie Sunday, a snapshot in time of your church community. This will become part of a giant self-portrait of Churches of Christ in Australia. For more information and resources, check out the website.
To join in the discussion, check out the National Facebook page
If you have any questions about this, or would like more postcards, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure your church is part of the Big Picture! And be in the Big Picture yourself!
July 4th, 2016
“CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD. AND PUT A NEW AND RIGHT SPIRIT WITHIN ME”. PSALM 51:10
A change of heart is so needed in this world of tears.
Starting with ourselves, rippling out to others, we pray.
In Resurrection faith, the first resolve of our NCCA Board was to call us all to deeper prayer.
Read more: Call to a Year of Prayer July 2016
June 15th, 2016
Janet Woodlock, Ian Smith and Natalie Oakes were Churches of Christ members participating in the recent National Council of Churches triennial forum. Some news about the forum can be accessed here. Some might be interested in the now-approved new NCCA Constitution. This will be administratively helpful for Act for Peace in particular, which is the aid and peace-making arm of the National Council of Churches.
June 1st, 2016
Do you want to play a simple but very significant role in a larger vision? Well, it all starts with Selfie Sunday this October.
It’s not about THAT kind of selfie! It’s more like this:
We begin this adventure with a self-portrait of our churches: capturing unique moments that will last forever. But it is also about so much more.
On Selfie Sunday you can take a picture of your church family. I’d love you to capture a taste of moments in the life of your church during the week also: the small things that we sometimes take for granted, and the things which really excite us.
It just wouldn’t be a true snap-shot of us if we didn’t receive from you a great selection of photos and stories reflecting the amazing diversity of the Churches of Christ family: from the simplest, poignant image through to the craziest of antics.
It would also be wonderful if you could share with us all a little about your church. I hope it will help you to explore these three famous questions:
- Who are you?
- How did you get here?
- And where are you going?
The leadership of Churches of Christ feel that now God is calling us to discern the Spirit’s work in our movement. We would love you to play a role in the larger vision. Your photos and stories will become part of a giant snap-shot of our church family at this point of time.
My hope is this will strengthen the unity and solidarity among us, as we build new connections in friendship and ministry. I believe that we’ll learn from one another’s stories, as we celebrate the liberty which drives the great variety of ministries happening in our churches. And I think in this kaleidoscope of life we will see in all things love. The love of Christ expressed in word and deed.
Perhaps this will be a witness to our God at work across the nation. We might even be inspired as we hear about great things being done in Jesus’ name. Who knows what the Holy Spirit might do through Selfie Sunday?
Where are you going as a church? Where are we going together as Churches of Christ? I hope you’ll join us in this journey and play your role in Selfie Sunday.
To find out more, look out for further updates in state newsletters and on the National Website.
Churches of Christ in Australia
April 22nd, 2016
My eyes fell upon the page of the book, and something stirred within me. Do you know that feeling when a ripple of excitement washes over you? When a picture forms in your mind, and a dream begins to form? When new questions suddenly captivate your attention?
My feeling that day led to a flurry of ideas, and a number of conversations. The conversations led to a proposal. The proposal was endorsed by Churches of Christ in Australia and the State bodies it represents.
As a result, I’d like to invite your church to take a self-portrait of your church community. This initiative is called Selfie Sunday.
This will involve taking a photo of your congregation on one Sunday in October. It will also involve taking some photos of your church’s ministries during the week, and writing a little about the life of your church. Your church will have its own dedicated webpage, and become part of a giant collection of church self-portraits from around the country.
A suggested date is Churches of Christ Sunday (2nd October 2016). However, this date does clash with school or public holidays in some states. Therefore you should pick a suitable date around this time for your own ‘Selfie Sunday’ celebration.
So what was the book that triggered this rather audacious idea?
It was the Jubilee Pictorial History of Churches of Christ in Australasia (AB Maston, 1903). The author made a photographic record of Church of Christ in Australia and New Zealand, and wrote up the story of each congregation.
I later learned the Jubilee Pictorial History is an unusual book. Other Christian traditions documenting their histories in this era told the stories of key leaders. This was a book of the people; of ordinary congregations. It captured images of men, women, children, and even the occasional dog. It was wildly popular. The Jubilee Pictorial History was a unifying force for Churches of Christ in Australia. It was a major stimulus for the first Federal Conference of Churches of Christ in Australia in 1906. This Conference led to the formation of the College of the Bible (now Stirling College) in the following year. Establishing a bible college was highly significant in providing trained ministers for Churches of Christ. Aside from some short-term local efforts, before this time aspiring ministers travelled to the United States for a theological education. Very few of these Australian trainees ever returned to our shores. The formation of the college paved the way for significant growth and consolidation of Churches of Christ in the decades that followed.
Maston noted in his book’s introduction:
“It occurred to me… that a splendid opportunity presented itself of gathering together the great leading facts of our movement and placing them in this permanent form, first of all as a matter of record; secondly, for the encouragement of those who at the present are engaged in the stupendous effort of calling the world’s attention to the simple plea of New Testament Christianity; and lastly, because of the unifying power of such a book among those who are engaged in this great work. I have frequently indulged in the fond hope that this book might serve the useful purpose of bringing closer together all the loose ends of our influence in this new land of ours” –
Some questions stirred in me as I read Maston’s words, and then flicked through the images in his book:
- What would happen if we did a 21st century version of such a project?
- Might it encourage our churches today?
- Might this foster unity? Inspire collaborative projects?
- What new things might God release as we learn from and about one another?
Many have expressed warmth and interest about Selfie Sunday to date. Some like the idea of celebrating the life of their church, and plan to have a celebratory lunch together on this day. Some hope they’ll gain fresh inspiration from the mission activities of other churches. Some resonate with the idea of expressing unity, and fostering a sense of being part of a big church family. Some value the opportunity to preserve their heritage.
I don’t what the fruit of Selfie Sunday will be. But I do hope your church will take part in this act of collective witness. Who knows what God might do in and through us as a result?
Please take note of further information in your State newsletters, or check out the National Website for updates on this exciting project.
May God bless you and your church community,
Churches of Christ in Australia
The Campaign for Australian Aid released a video of Janet Woodlock speaking on the Campaign for Australian Aid on Wednesday 20/4/16.