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The Bible According To Gen Z

The Bible According to Gen Z

See Whats Working – The Latest Research – Sucess:Case Studies

Help your young people enjoy life with the Bible

This latest booklet in the Bible Society Essays series begins with the research findings from the Christian Research Association about Bible engagement among Australian Young people.

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Pointers Vol.23-4 For Downloading

Pointers Vol.23-3

Inside this issue:

Religious Concentrations
No religious group is spread evenly throughout Australia. For each religious group, there are areas in which they are more concentrated and other areas where they are less so. One might expect that such concentrations have to do with vitality of local religious communities. However, the patterns tell us much
more about the history of settlement and the ways people make decisions about faith.

Australian Megachurches
If one defines a megachurch as one with more than 2,000 attenders on a typical Sunday, then Australia had about 21 such churches in 2012. While they constitute is a very small proportion of the more than 15,000 churches in Australia, they account for about 5 per cent of all people attending a church on a typical Sunday. Sam Hey, a lecturer at the Christian Heritage College, has
completed an excellent doctoral thesis on the megachurches, which has now been published as a book. It is highly recommended for those interested in the development of church life in Australia.

World Youth Day: What difference does it make?
World Youth Day has become the largest regular gathering of young people in the world. Conducted every two to three years, World Youth Day regularly attracts more than one million participants, including thousands of young Australians.

Media Matters

At the Connect Christian Media Conference in 2013, Peter Bentley spoke with Phil Cooke, media consultant and film producer. Phil is a prominent leader in media and filmconsultancy in the not-for-profit and Christian organisation arena in the USA, generally working with Protestants. The Salvation Army, Mercy Ships, and Media Ministry International are among the many groups he
has advised. As well as media qualifications, Cooke has a PhD in theology which has given him an unusual profile in Hollywood.

Postmodern Forms of Religion in Asian Islam
Over the past 50 years, Western forms of religiosity and spirituality have changed markedly. The individualism and consumerism of the post-traditional age have had great influence on the way that religion is expressed. As illustrated in the article on megachurches in this edition of Pointers, Pentecostal and charismatic megachurch growth has arisen in an age of ‘free market’ religion in which individuals have sought for that expression of faith which best suits their needs, rather than being attached to a denomination that is part of their heritage and a church which serves the local area. This has encouraged many churches to become ‘seeker sensitive’ in the ways they present their services. While the focus of research on change has occurred in Western countries, and in relation to Christianity, there have been some similar movements in Asia. At the International Society for the Sociology of Religion conference held in Turku, Finland in June 2013, the University of Western Sydney researcher, Prof Julia Howell pointed to growing new expressions of Islam in Indonesia.

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The Values And Benefits Of Sports Chaplaincy In Australia

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.

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Pointers Vol.23-3 For Downloading

Pointers Vol.23-2

Inside this issue:

Opening the Doors:Teenage Participation in Local Churches
Over recent decades, the involvement of young Australians in worship services has been declining. However, analysis of surveys of students in Catholic schools has shown that many young people who do not attend services of worship are involved in churches in other ways. The most common form of involvement is through sporting clubs, but others are involved in small groups, social welfare and social justice activities, in
music and drama. This pattern reflects the individualistic and consumer-oriented way in which young people decide upon their
involvements. It is a reminder to the churches that if they want to engage young people today, they need to open many doors to them, not just the door to worship.

Growing Youth Spirituality Conference

On Friday 19th and Saturday 20th July 2013, more than 80 people gathered at Tabor College in Melbourne for the ‘Growing Youth
Spirituality’ conference. Those who attended came from around Australia and from a broad range of denominations. Many were working as teachers or chaplains in schools. Others were youth workers and some were working in local churches. A couple of priests and a bishop joined the conference. Other participants were working in educational or denominational offices developing programs and activities for youth ministry.

CRA Staff Report July 2012 – June 2013

CRA Finances 2011-12

Chairman’s Report 2013

Sexual Abuse by Clergy and Other Church Workers
In this issue Philip Hughes looks at the release of two recent books:- ‘For Christ’s Sake’ by Geoffrey Robinson, and  ‘Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: Gender, Power
and Organizational Culture’ by Marie Keenan.

Report on the ISSR Conference 2013:
Rethinking Community: Religious Continuities and Mutations in Late Modernity

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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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