My name is Avril Hannah-Jones and I’m a minister in the Uniting Church in Australia and somewhat occasional and infrequent blogger. After twelve months of unemployment (no matter how gifted a minister one might be, being open about one’s non-heterosexuality and mental illness in one’s ministerial profile is what Sir Humphrey Appleby would call a ‘courageous’ decision) I am now the minister at North Balwyn Uniting Church in Melbourne’s green and leafy inner suburbs.
What I’ve been reading …
Sermon: We have not… on Sermon: In death and life John T Squires on Sermon: With gentleness and… Steve Beckham on Sermon: Life in abundance Britney on Archbishop of Canterbury takes… Sermon: In death and… on Sermon: Life in abundance
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I love reading your wise words – please keep them coming!
Hello, Avril. The new blog looks good. I’ve just put a link to it on mine. Bob.
Good blog, Avril.
You like it so much you’ve told me twice. Cool! 😉
Thought you were great on The Drum tonight.
Thank you so much.
I saw with concern that your FB site had been deactivated. I just want to check that you’re OK. Cld you drop me a line? I’d hate to ode touch with you again.
I’m fine! Just realised I no longer need to be on FB to run a congregation’s Page, so I’m taking some Zuckerberg-free time.
These both have the same meaning.
The Uniting Church preaches Christ the risen crucified One and confesses him as Lord to the glory of God. In Jesus Christ “God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor 5:19). In love for the world, God gave the Son to take away the world’s sin. (Basis of Union 3)
4.7 THE ATONEMENT
We believe that God’s answer to man’s sinful state is in the death of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, on the cross, whose sufferings and shed blood have made full atonement for the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and that there is no other ground for salvation (2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:25-26; 1 Peter 1:19-20).
The basic beliefs of all Protestant churches are the same. It is misleading people to claim they are not.
I think you are great, btw.
Oh, yes, that’s not my issue with the Australian Christian Churches (although there’s a distinct difference between “the world’s sin” and “man’s sinful state” and the Basis of Union is much less prescriptive about how God’s gift of Jesus has reconciled the world to God). My main problems are with their belief in biblical inerrancy (4.4), the reality of the Devil (4.5), baptism in the Holy Spirit as separate from what they refer to as “water baptism” (4.13), the “premillennial, imminent and personal return of our Lord Jesus Christ” (4.16), the eternal punishment of anyone who doesn’t accept Christ (4.18) and creationism (4.20). For churches that say they are biblically-based, they have gone a long way beyond the Bible. I don’t know how anyone can read “4.4 THE HOLY SCRIPTURES”, compare it to “The Biblical witnesses” in the Basis of Union, and prefer the former. Their “Doctrinal Basis” goes so far beyond what Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches believe and teach that it’s surprising that the rest of us are still talking to them.
Many Uniting Church and other Protestant church parishes have contemporary services which include songs from Hillsong and other Pentecostal churches and songwriters. The Uniting Church website provides a link to this resource for recommend music that includes songs by Hillsong.
The Sunday morning services at Hillsong are near identical to contemporary services I have attended at Anglican, Uniting and Baptist churches.