A conference entitled “Leaning in to the Spirit: Discernment, Decision-Making and Reception” will be held in Canberra on the 6-9 November. Papers are invited at present on this theme. This is the 4th International Conference on Receptive Ecumenism: see here for more details.
A famine has been declared in South Sudan, and many lives are at risk among our brothers and sisters there. Global Mission Partners is partnering with the ACT Alliance South Sudan forum members and the South Sudan Council of Churches. These organisations have staff and resources on the ground and can act quickly and provide Food Relief, Nutrition, Emergency Health, seeds, tools and care. Around 250,000 severely affected people across South Sudan will benefit. Your tax-deductible gift to GMP through Churches of Christ Overseas Aid (COCOA) will bring humanitarian assistance to those in greatest need. See here for more details.
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.
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
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!
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
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!
“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
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.
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