The Values And Benefits Of Sports Chaplaincy In Australia

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

The Values and Benefits of Sports Chaplaincy in Australia

Australians love sport. Over a span of two centuries, much has been written about how this love affair has shaped the national identity. In Australia’s history, sport has played an important role in the good and the bad times. It is recorded, for example, that Australians played Aussie Rules and cricket on the battlefields of Gallipoli. Australians pride themselves on their reputation to compete on the international stage. Australia is one of only a handful of countries to have participated in every Summer Olympic Games. It has been argued that Australians regard sport as sacred to their way of life, an obsession that contributes to a collective sense of meaning in life, an “essential component that contributes to their story” (Cheong, pp.237-238). In this regard, sport has sometimes been referred to as the Australian religion. At other times, it has been suggested that sport provides an alternative to religion in providing identity, meaning and belonging.
In late 2012 and early 2013, the Christian Research Association, in a jointly funded venture with MCD University of Divinity, and supported by Sports Chaplaincy Australia, undertook a pilot research project
investigating chaplaincy in sport.

Rural Churches In The Uniting Church In South Australia: Models For Ministry

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Rural Churches in the Uniting Church in South Australia: Models for Ministry, by Philip Hughes and Audra Kunciunas

ISBN: 978-1-875223-32-9

Within rural Australia, a range of patterns of ministry are emerging. In many places, small churches operate in clusters. In other places, ecumenical partnerships have been formed. In many places, non-ordained leaders have replaced ordained leaders. Sometimes teams have taken the place of individuals in responsibility for church life.

This paper looks at examples of the different patterns of ministry among rural Uniting churches in South Australia. The patterns in 11 churches were examined. In each case, the researchers spent a while in the church, attending worship and talking with the leaders and members.

Spiritual Capital: An Important Asset Of Workplace And Community?

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Spiritual Capital: An Important Asset of Workplace and Community? by Philip Hughes

ISBN: 978-1-875223-33-6

This research paper  reviews the literature on the notion of spiritual capital as it is being used in relation to organisations. Spiritual capital is understood as ‘what a community or organisation exists for, aspires to and takes responsibility for’. The higher the values and purposes out of which an organisation operates the greater that organisation’s spiritual capital.

The ‘spirituality in the workplace’ literature, on which the literature of ‘spiritual capital’ builds, has noted that the inner life of people may be nourished by meaningful work that takes place in the context of community. It has also pointed to the importance of inter-relationships within the workplace.

The term ‘spiritual capital’ has the capacity to present an alternative focus for business and community. It encourages them to focus on the wellbeing of humanity rather than on the accumulation of financial wealth.

Exploring What Australians Value

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Exploring What Australians Value, by Philip Hughes and Sharon Bond, with John Bellamy and Alan Black

ISBN: 0-85910-975-5

This research paper draws on data from the Australian Community Survey. The research used a value instrument based on the work of Salom Schwartz’ revision of Milton Rokeach pioneering work in the sociology of values.

It finds that the most strongly affirmed values among Australians are ‘a world at peace’, ‘honesty’, ‘true friendship’ and ‘equality’. The results demonstrate that the overriding concern among Australians is for the depth and authenticity of their relationships.

Research identifies four major value orientatiions. There are those for whom order is the predominant concern, as seen in their affirmation of the importance of national security, politeness and cleanliness. For others, the dominant pattern revolves around the social environment: equality, freedom, social justice, broadmindedness and helpfulness. A third orientation revolves around self-enhancement: excitement, enjoyment, wealth and success. The fourth group emphasise spiritual values and the importance of a spiritual life.

The paper identifies how values vary across the different sectors of society and gives some valuable insights into the origins and consequences of value orientations.

Christian Faith And The Economy In A Globalised World

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Christian Faith and the Economy in a Globalised World, by Philip Hughes

ISBN: 978-1-875223-70-1

With increasing debt levels, ageing populations, climate change and deepening divisions between rich and poor, the world is staggering economically. Some Christian bodies have called for profound economic changes for the flourishing of human life in a more equitable and sustainable world. However, survey data shows that, while Christians have a compassion for the poor, many find it difficult to know how to apply the principles of the Christian faith to economic matters.

In summarising some of the viewpoints, this paper aims to promote consideration of these issues, as human beings seek new, just and sustainable ways of living in a globalised world.