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Pointers Vol.21-4 For Downloading

Pointers Vol.21-4 (December 2011)

Articles include:

Why Some Churches Decline While Others Grow.  New research from England provides an explanation which fits, in part, with the Australian experience. Read more in this edition of Pointers.

Dropping Out of Church. Not many children attend church today compared with years gone by. Yet the drop-out rates have not changed greatly. For the details of this new research, see this edition of Pointers.

Social Networking. Social networking is widespread among young people. What are some of the challenges and pitfalls associated with it? Pointers looks at the latest data gathered from secondary school students in the last 6 months.

Faith and Film. The Christian use of film has had many ups and downs. Today, there are new opportunities for local churches to use visual media effectively. Some of the possibilities are outlined in this article in Pointers.

Factors in Church Giving. Some new research on financial giving to churches in the United States suggests why some churches thrive better financially than others. Find the details here.

Price: $6.00

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Sowing And Nurturing: Challenges And Possibilities For Rural Churches

Sowing and Nurturing: Challenges and Possibilities for Rural Churches, by Philip Hughes and Audra Kunciunas

ISBN: 978-1-875223-66-4

This small book explores the challenges currently facing many rural churches. It explores possible answers to the issues such as where they can find suitable leadership? How do they effectively engage younger people who remain in rural areas? How can they give hope in difficult times? Options are presented to stimulate discussion, generate ideas and encourage reflection on the nature and life of the rural churches.

This book was developed out of research with Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran and Uniting churches in rural areas.

The book is very suitable for use by church councils. Contact the CRA for a special price for bulk orders.

Price: $5.00

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Responding To Need: A Study Of Church-based Counselling Services

Responding to Need: A study of selected church-based counselling services in Melbourne, by Vivienne Mountain

ISBN: 978-1-875223-67-1

Responding to Need describes the variety of counselling services offered by local churches in Melbourne. The stories of formation and the ongoing experiences of staff provide positive illustrations of what churches can do to live out Gospel values through interaction with their local communities. This book will be of interest to those currently working in church-based counselling services or local churches looking at starting such services.

Price: $10.00

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Building Stronger Communities

Building Stronger Communities, by Philip Hughes, Alan Black, Peter Kaldor, John Bellamy and Keith Castle.

ISBN: 978-08684-0-814-9.

This is a practical book that looks at ways Australian communities can be made stronger. Written in an accessible style for a wide audience, it offers useful principles and pointers for students, community workers, community leaders, policy makers and ordinary citizens.

The book is underpinned by recent Australian research, including two major surveys, as well as the authors’ many years of experience working with different types of communities in a variety of settings, including directly with community groups and social agencies as well as in academia. It is distinguished from comparable volumes by its extensive consideration of communities of interest and not just communities based on locality.

Price: $35.00

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Putting Life Together

Putting Life Together: Findings from Australian Youth Spirituality Research, by Philip Hughes

ISBN: 978-1-875138-07-4

How do young people between the ages of 13 and 24 put life together? What do they value in life? What parts does religion and spirituality play? Based on interviews and surveys over four years, this book provides a detailed and well-founded picture of Australian young people.

The book examines the influences of families, schools and churches on the lives of young people and describes how they can best help young people to enjoy positive and responsible relationships with themselves, close others, the wider society, the natural environment and with God.  It suggests ways of pointing young people to the spiritual dimension of life, respecting their frameworks for seeing the world, but also doing justice to the counter-cultural nature of the Christian faith.

This volume by Philip Hughes is a must for educators, youth workers and church leaders. Hughes’ meticulous research has probed the way Generation Y views the world and the relationships with self, society and nature. Probing even deeper, this research uncovers a dimension of the spiritual in all these relationships, a dimension that is not tradition but provocative, a dimension that is likely to transform society in the future. – Dr Norman Habel, Professorial Fellow, Flinders University.

This book is essential reading for all professionals involved in the education and care of youth. What makes it so valuable is that it not only reports significant research findings, it interprets the complexity of cultural influences on young people’s spiritual and moral development. Hughes has developed a most informative and helpful perspective on the spirituality of young people. – Graham Rossiter, Professor of Moral and Religious Education, Australian Catholic University.

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Price: from $8.50

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Australia’s Religious Communities 3rd Edition Cd-rom

Australia’s Religious Communities (3rd Edition)

Just fully revised, including data from 2009 and 2010.

This superb encyclopaedia of Australian religion contains detailed materials on the history, beliefs and practices, and organisation on each of the major religious groups in Australia. It also contains detailed up-to-date statistics, biographies of significant people, references and pop-up glossaries.  Videos show worship in most of these groups.

Less detailed materials are available for every small religious group. In all, this CD-Rom covers about 174 religious groups in Australia.

The CD also contains extensive materials about other aspects of religion. It looks at the history of religion of religion in Australia overall, religious dialogue, immigration, ethics and the impact of religion on values.

The CD has extensive hperlinks to allow students to follow themes as well as an internal fast search-engine.

It is full of colour photos and graphic elements.

It runs in a web-browser and functions on PCs, Mac and Linux computers. Site licences are available from the CRA for schools, libraries and wherever multiple copies are needed.

Price: $30.00

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Spirit Matters

Spirit Matters: How Making Sense of Life Affects Wellbeing, By Peter Kaldor, Philip Hughes and Alan Black

ISBN: 978-0980-827-507

Spirit Matters describes the various religious, spiritual and secular ways Australians approach life. It examines the consequences for personal and social wellbeing of these various approaches. The book argues that how we choose to live DOES make a difference to our experiences of life and our contributions to the wider society.

Prof. Ross Langmead (Whitley College and Secretary to the Australian Association for Mission Studies) writes:

‘Peter Kaldor, Philip Hughes and Alan Black have written a beautifully clear and accessible book on how Australians make sense of life, whether through types of Christian faith, other religions, alternative spiritualities or secular approaches. Based on the Wellbeing and Security Survey in 2002, it is full of fascinating data showing that how people nourish their spirit really does matter.  Along the way, the brief summaries of the background debates on topics such as secularisation, spirituality and well-being are gems of brevity and clarity.  An essential book for understanding Australian spirituality.’

Price: $35.00

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Shaping Australia’s Spirituality

A Review of Christian Ministry in the Australian Context, by Philip Hughes with assistance from Stephen Reid and Claire Pickering

ISBN: 978-0-980827-514

This book draws on a wide range of recent research to provide a picture of religious faith in the Australian context. In the light of this picture, the book reviews currend forms of Christian ministry – amongst children, families, youth, in the workplace and community, as well as in the churches.

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Price: from $8.50

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