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Pointers Vol.20-4 For Downloading

Pointers Vol.20-4 (December 2010)

Articles include:

  • Global Religious Trends – The religious trends occurring in Australia are not typical of the rest of the world. The Atlas of Global Christianity, a new book from the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity, plots the global trends.
  • Lausanne Congress 2010 – October 2010 saw Australian Christians on the move. Just in front of me in the passport queue was a nun on her way to Rome to celebrate the canonisation of Sr Mary Mackillop. I was heading in a different direction: to Cape Town, South Africa, for the third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. Since 1974, the Lausanne movement has brought together Christians from around the world to focus on mission and evangelism. It has been a global movement of evangelicals, inspired by the world mission of Billy Graham and John Stott. The third Lausanne Congress involved around 4200 selected participants from around the globe.
  • Attitudes to the Variety of Religions – The First European Settlers to Australia thought of Christianity as the only ‘civilised’ religion and had no interest in the religions of Chinese miners, Hindu peddlers or Islamic Afghan camel drivers. Since the 1970s, attitudes to other religions have changed markedly. The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (2009) provides the most recent perspective.
  • Who Reads the Bible? – The Bible Society of South Australia, Scripture Union, YouthWorks, the Lutheran Church and The Salvation Army are currently sponsoring a study of Bible reading among young people. The CRA is currently visiting youth groups around Australia talking with young people about their attitudes to the Bible, their reading habits (if any), the catalysts and the hindrances for reading, and how they interpret the Bible. As a prelude to this study, the CRA re-visited the  research it has done on young people in the Spirit of Generation Y Project (2002 to 2008) and the associated Schools Spirituality Project. It summarised the results of that earlier research in relation to Bible reading. The full report can be found on the CRA website. Here is a summary of the findings.
  • Attitudes to Issues of Sexuality – In revising the materials for the 3rd edition of Australia’s Religious Communities CD-Rom, we discovered some interesting patterns in the changing attitudes to issues of sexuality amongst Australians.
    As might be expected, Australian adults have become more accepting of pre-material sex and homosexuality. However, in relation to extra-marital sex, Australians have become less accepting. This suggests that while Australians usually move into a de facto relationship before marriage, they take faithfulness in marriage very seriously.

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Pointers Vol.22-1 For Downloading

Pointers Vol.22-1 (March 2012)

Articles include:

Is the ‘New Atheism’ influencing Australians?
There is little evidence from surveys of the Australian population that the ‘New Atheists’ are having widespread impact on people becoming atheist.For a detail account of Australians belief in God, and the factors inhibiting belief, see the first article

Changes in Beliefs and Attitudes to Life Among Students
Responses to surveys of 4100 students in Catholic schools in 2011 can be compared with students responses to surveys conducted between 2005 and 2008.

Being Faithful in Diversity
A series of lectures by Gary Bouma, published by ATF Press in a small book Being Faithful in Diversity, explores the challenges of faith in a multi-faith society.

Celebrating the Canonisation of Mary MacKillop
In May 2011, CRA researchers interviewed 14 students who had travelled to Rome for the canonisation. Eight months on, the interviews found that the students remained very enthusiastic about the event.

Attitudes to Abortion and Approaches to Ethical Issues
15% of Australians say that abortion is always or almost always wrong. Younger people are more likely to accept abortion than older people. However, the views of those who attend church are vastly different with 56% of them saying that abortion is always or almost always wrong.

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Taking Holistic Education Seriously

Taking Holistic Education Seriously
by Philip Hughes and Stephen Reid

ISBN: 978-1-875223-73-2

This paper shows how schools can and do contribute to the holistic education of their students.  Holistic education is defined by this paper in terms of the development of people’s relationships with themselves and their friends, and a development of a commitment to the wider society, the natural environment and religious faith. Based on surveys in 29 Catholic schools in four dioceses and two States, it suggests ways in which schools can measure and assess their influence.

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Pointers Vol.21-1

Pointers Vol.21-1. (March 2011)

Articles include:

  • Possibilities of Leadership in Rural Catholic Parishes – With the declining number of priests available, many Catholic dioceses are  investigating various ways of organising their parishes. The issue is similar to that faced by many denominations. Catholic parishes, however, have some issues not faced by some Protestant denominations in that priests have an irreplaceable role in celebrating the sacraments. Priests are central to parish life in the Catholic Church and there has not been a tradition of lay people as leaders of worship services. However, two case studies suggest that the patterns of leadership can change and may even strengthen parish life as they do so.
  • Catholic Religious Institutes in Australia – In 2008, the National Council of Catholic Religious Australia commissioned the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Pastoral Research Office to survey all Catholic Institutes of Clerical Religious, Religious Brothers and Religious Sisters in Australia.The final report of the survey, ‘See, I am Doing a New Thing!’, was launched in Sydney in November 2010.
  • Looking at Art Looking at Life – One way of understanding the culture that we inhabit is to consider how it is sustained in visual terms. This means looking at the visual shape of things as they are expressed through the images, signs and symbols of the world of hopes that make up contemporary consumer culture.
  • Spirituality, Care and Wellbeing in Education – Late 2009, Springer Publishing House released a huge twovolume collection of essays on spirituality, care and wellbeing in education. The volume is timely as schools and other institutions increasingly find themselves grappling with issues of mental health and wellbeing. The first volume of essays focusses mainly on the psychology of religion and spirituality. The second volume is primarily about educational programs and  environments in promoting holistic learning and wellbeing. This review will focus on the second volume.
  • Demographics of a Nation: Australia and the Church – This article from NCLS Research presents a summary of Australian population, age, marital status, education, country of birth and religion. The Australian population is compared with church attenders using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the 2006 National Church Life Survey.
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Pointers Vol.21-2 For Downloading

Pointers, Vol.21-2.  (June 2011)

Articles include:

  • Global Trends in the Changing Context of Mission – Reflections on the 6th Lausanne Researchers Conference, Sao Paulo
  • Researching the Church at the Local Level – While several papers at the 6th International Lausanne Researchers Conference focused on overall issues in Worldwide Christian mission, a number of researchers presented papers outlining issues in research at the local church level. Each of the papers presented a local context for church ministry: the vitality of local evangelical churches in Rio de Janeiro, alternative models of church development and planning in Germany, and the inclusiveness of churches to disabled people in Brazil.
  • The Church and Family Life in Australia – The following paper was delivered by Stephen Reid at the 6th International Lausanne Researchers Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in April 2011. Whilst the paper looked at family life in the Australian context, comparisons to other countries was possible through analysis of data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) and the World Values Surveys (WVS).
  • Cross-Cultural Ministry Now and Then –
  • Publications in the Religion-and-Film Field – In the tradition of Pointers 2008 (vol. 18, no. 3) and 2009 (vol. 19, no. 4), below is the third compilation of useful articles in the religionand- film field for your interest, enjoyment and edification.
  • On-Line Religion – The Internet has become an increasingly important part of people’s social interactions as well as a means of accessing information. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009), the proportion of Australian households with computers rose from 44 per cent to 78 per cent between 1998 and 2009. Access to the Internet has increased even more rapidly, from just 16 per cent of households in 1998 to 72 per cent in 2009. It is inevitable that the role of religion on the Internet would also increase over time. A recent edition of the Australian Religion Studies Review was dedicated to articles on religion and
    spirituality in cyberspace.

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Models Of Leadership And Organisation In Anglican Churches In Rural Australia

Models of Leadership and Organisation in Anglican Churches in Rural Australia, by Philip Hughes and Audra Kunciunas.

ISBN: 978-1-875223-68-8

This research paper focusses on some quite different models operating in various dioceses, including:

  • Ecumenical cooperation
  • Enabler supported ministry
  • Full-time stipended priest or minister
  • Large area team ministry operating over multiple parishes
  • Ministry leadership team.

Five case-studies seek to capture the stories of individual churches and examine at depth the factors operating in each situation. At the heart of the study is the question: what are the preferred options in rural situations where the resources are few and the numbers of people small?

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

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.

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Spiritual Capital: An Important Asset Of Workplace And Community?

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.

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Pointers Vol.21-3 For Downloading

Pointers, Vol.21-3. (September 2011)

Articles include:

  • Religion and Youth: World Perspectives – an exploration of how young people are relating to religion around the world.
  • Who’s Coming to School Today? – the attitudes of students, staff and parents to Catholic Schools in Queensland.
  • Access and Values: Functions of Religion in Australian Society – what Australians regard as important functions of religion.

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A Handbook For Cross-cultural Ministry

A Handbook of Cross-Cultural Ministry, by Philip Hughes and Sharon Bond

ISBN: 0-85910-990-9.

From the very beginning of the church, cross-cultural ministry has been part of its charter. With the great flow of people into Australia from all over the world – every second person in Australia is either a first- or second-generation immigrant – the challenge of ministering cross-culturally is on the doorsteps of many Australian congregations.

A Handbook for Cross-Cultural Ministry explores how to raise awareness of cross-cultural ministry. It examines how people from different cultural backgrounds may be fully included in church life, appreciate that cultural diversity can enrich the whole community. It suggests how support may be given to faith communities of people from different cultural backgrounds.

Far from taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach, A Handbook for Cross-Cultural Ministry describes the emergence of several patterns, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. The book reflects on the current status of cross-cultural ministry within our churches and the role of such ministry in the context of the changing nature of Australian society.

This book shares ideas and stories that emerge from a survey of more than 300 local church leaders and interviews with ministry coordinators in eight denominations. Each section contains questions to facilitate discussion about cross-cultural ministry by church leadership teams. We believe this book will inspire churches to think through the potential for cross-cultural ministry and provide leaders with some ideas, practical possibilities and insights.

The book was written by Philip Hughes and Sharon Bond, and commissioned by the Victorian Council of Churches.

Price: $10.00

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