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Pointers Vol.23-2 For Downloading

Pointers Vol.23-2

Inside this issue:
Profile of Australian Clergy – The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) classifies ‘ministers of religion’ within the broader social and welfare professional occupation, and defines the occupation as people who perform:
“. . . spiritual functions associated with beliefs and practices of religious
faiths, and provide motivation, guidance and training in religious life for the people of congregations and parishes, and the wider community” (ABS 2006, p327).
This article uses ‘clergy’ to describe these people, although in many
denominations, this will not correspond with official usage of the term.
The information provided by ABS Census statistics on clergy in Australia provides a useful picture.
CRA Youth Ministry Research Discussion Day – Twenty-one people gathered for discussion about Youth Ministry Research on 5th February 2013. Among the participants were youth directors from different

denominations and dioceses around Australia, some advisors from organisations which work with youth including ACCESS Ministries, Scripture Union and Tabor College (Melbourne), and staff members of the Christian Research Association (CRA). Seven denominations were represented: Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, The Salvation Army and the Uniting Church in Australia.

Two Ways Anglicans and Other Christians are Responding to the Australian Culture – It is widely recognised that the Sydney Anglican Diocese is very different from most other Anglican Dioceses around Australia in its opinions, outlook and way of responding to Australian
culture. The difference has been apparent in relation to many issues, including the ordination of women and lay people presiding at the Eucharist. In 2011, Sydney Anglicans and the Threat to World Anglicanism: The Sydney Experiment by Muriel Porter was published. It highlighted many of the differences between Sydney and other Anglican dioceses. While this book focusses solely on Australian Anglicans, it highlights differences in the ways Christians are responding to the Australian culture across the denominations.
The Absence of Religion in the Czech Republic -The Czech Republic was one of the strongholds of the Protestant Reformation. Jan Hus (1369-1415), a Czech priest, was one of the earliest reformers. In 1950, 11 per cent of the population of Czech republic identified in the Czech Census with the Hussite Church. However, in the 2011 Census, the Hussites were just 0.4 per cent of the population.
Pilgrims or Tourists: the Origins of World Youth Day -An initiative of the late Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day has become the largest regular gathering of young people in the world, attracting hundreds
of thousands, and on occasions, millions of participants. The size and scale of the event has resulted in its comparison to the Olympic Games and it has also necessitated significant organisational and logistical
effort and financial support (Norman & Johnson, 2011, p.372).

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History And Theology Of Christian Welfare In Australia: A Review Of The Literature

History and Theology of Christian Welfare in Australia: A Review of the Literature – PDF

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History And Theology Of Christian Welfare In Australia: A Review Of The Literature

History and Theology of Christian Welfare in Australia: A Review of the Literature – Hardcopy

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Baptists In Australia:a Church With A Heritage And A Future – Hardcopy

Baptists in Australia:A Church with a Heritage and a Future – Hardcopy

Philip J Hughes
and Darren Cronshaw

“The 2011 Census showed that, at a time when many of the denominations were experiencing decline in numbers, the Baptists have continued to grow in numbers.
Furthermore, the 2011 National Church Life Survey shows that Baptist churches are generally growing and showing signs of vitality. It will be interesting to see whether there will be continued growth in a culture which enjoys its informality, but at the same time has a strong sense of community developed through high levels of involvement.”

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Baptists In Australia:a Church With A Heritage And A Future – PDF

Baptists in Australia:A Church with a Heritage and a Future – PDF

Philip J Hughes
and Darren Cronshaw

“The 2011 Census showed that, at a time when many of the denominations were experiencing decline in numbers, the Baptists have continued to grow in numbers.
Furthermore, the 2011 National Church Life Survey shows that Baptist churches are generally growing and showing signs of vitality. It will be interesting to see whether there will be continued growth in a culture which enjoys its informality, but at the same time has a strong sense of community developed through high levels of involvement.”

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Pointers Vol.17-3 For Downloading

Pointers Vol 17-3 (September 2007)
Articles include :
  • What Do the 2006 Census Figures about Religion Mean?
    The 2006 National Population Census shows that the percentage
    of Australians now describing themselves as Christian or
    identifying with a Christian denomination has declined to less
    than two out of every three Australians (63.9%). As the graph on
    this page shows, this is in line with a pattern of decline since
    1961. However, it marks an increase in the rate of decline. What
    does this change mean?
  • Chairman’s Report 2007
  • Annual Staff Report 2006 – 2007.
  • Spiritual Growth and Care in the Fourth Age of Life
    by Elizabeth MacKinlay
    – A Review
  • Religion and Culture:Theological and Sociological Reflections
    It is just over 50 years since the publication of that seminal book by H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture. The book has just been translated into Thai and to celebrate the fact, the Institute of Religion, Culture and Peace, Payap University held an  international conference in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand in June 2007.

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Australia’s Religious Communities: Facts And Figures

Australia’s Religious Communities: Facts and Figures – PDF

Australia’s Religious Communities: Facts and Figures provides statistical information on 90 religious groups in Australia. Using the 2011 Census and recent surveys, it describes the size of each group and the changes that have occurred over the years, the variation by capital city and state, the profile of age, and ethnic background and language. It also describes the people who are active in religious activities in the various groups.

This book is invaluable for leaders of religious groups, students of religion, and all who are interested in the changes that occurring in Australian society. The book is currently available as a pdf or hardcopy.

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Pointers Vol.22-4 For Downloading

Inside this issue:

  • The Impact of Recent Immigration on Religious Groups in Australia– Since World War II, immigration has played a huge role in  the development of religious faith in Australia. That role has been most evident in the place that many of the world’s religions now have in Australia. Since 1971, the number of Australians associated with a religion other than Christianity has risen from just 0.1 million to 1.5 million. However, many millions of the immigrants have been Christian and some denominations would hardly exist today without the enormous influx of members that immigration has brought. The 2011 Census shows that the story of immigration and its impact on the religious life of Australia is a continuing one.
  • Immigrant Ministers of Religion – Among the recent immigrants to Australia are 1,362 classified as ministers of religion. Of these, 1,242 were Christian, 22 were Buddhist, 32 were Hindu, 11 were Muslims, 25 were Jews, 19 were of other religions, and 11 described themselves as having no religion or as not stating their religion (possibly secular celebrants).
  • Encouragements and Discouragements in Reading the Bible –
    About 4 per cent of young people read the Bible daily, another 6 per cent read it at least once a week, and 15 to 20 per cent read it occasionally (Hughes, 2010). In 2009 and 2010, the CRA conducted 333 interviews with young people and youth leaders in youth groups across Australia to discover what encouraged and discouraged young people in reading the Bible. The project was commissioned by a group of organisations including The Bible Society, Scripture Union, YouthWorks, the Lutheran
    Church and The Salvation Army (Southern Territory).
  • Spiritual but not Religious  – In many parts of the Western world, belief in God as creator and as active in history is in decline. Yet people are increasingly looking for the meaning of life in ‘the Spirit’. This is occurring both within the churches, through Pentecostal and charismatic movements and through mystical movements, and outside the churches through the New Age movement and through interest in holistic  wellbeing. Why is this happening and what is its significance in  understanding our changing Western culture?
  • Ministry in Anglican Schools – While congregations are dwindling, church schools are growing. The proportion of Australians sending their children to schools associated with a Christian denomination has continued to grow for many years. Close to one-third of all students now attend a Christian school. Catholic schools are by far the largest part of this with more than 1,700 schools across Australia. The second largest group is the 147 Anglican schools. In many denominations, however,
    questions are being asked about why the denomination should sponsor schools, what their aims should be, and what forms of ministry are appropriate in schools where few students are committed to the Christian faith. A new book from Anglican Schools Australia, Ministry in Anglican Schools: Principles and Practicalities, explores some of these issues. (The following references are all to that book.)

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Pointers Vol.23-1 For Downloading

The Missing 1.8 Million. In 2001, the Census told us there were 12.8 million Christians. Between 2001 and 2011, 1.4 million children were born in Australia who were identified with a Christian denomination in the 2011 Census. In addition, 767,000 migrants arrived from overseas who identified with a Christian denomination. There should be nearly 15 million Christians. In fact, the Census counted only 13.15 million. This article looks at what has happened to the ‘missing Christians’.

Comparisons with Canada. Reginald Bibby has identified similar patterns in Canada to those we have found in Australia. Religion is not disappearing, but it is growing largely because of immigration to Canada, and there are challenges in ‘internal market for religion’.

Church Attendance among Young People. How many young people in Australia attend a church? Obtaining accurate answers is very difficult. This article identifies some of the problems with sampling and getting accurate information. We conclude that probably about 10 per cent of teenage Australians attend a church monthly or more – somewhat less than the average for the population.

Almost Christian’. In America, many young people attend, but research has indicated that they practice a highly diluted form of the Christian faith which some researchers have described as Moral Therapeutic Deism. Kenda Dean has written a book about the problem and suggested that teenagers are simply not being introduced to articulate, passionate Christian faith that changes lives. While her book contains many challenges for those involved in youth ministry and will assist us in our research on youth ministry, we wonder, however, how well she has understood the fact that young people today ‘put their own lives together’.

The Midi-Narrative of Students in Australia and India. The ways young people do put their lives together and some of the contextual influences on that process are illustrated in conversations with several groups of young people in India. These conversations also reflect two basic approaches to religion in our contemporary age: as tradition and as a personal life-style.

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Australia’s Religious Communities: Facts And Figures

Australia’s Religious Communities: Facts and Figures

An essential reference on Australia’s religious groups with the latest information from the Australian 2011 Census.  Church leaders and everyone interested in the changing profile of Australia’s profile will find this invaluable. This book describes the changing profile and participation in each religious group. Find here:

  • changing numbers – growth and decline,
  • the impact of immigration – and what languages immigrants use,
  • profile of age – and like trends in the future
  • who is participating in worship … and who is not.

Every religious group with over 1,000 people identifying with it is covered in the book. Are we really becoming a secular nation? How large, really, is the Moslem population in Australia and how fast is it growing? What is the fastest growing religious group in Australia? You will be surprised by many of the answers!

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