The next issue of With Love to the World, which I edit, is currently being distributed. The issue covers half of the season of Pentecost, from mid-May through until mid-August. There are commentaries on biblical passages for each day (with the four “lectionary passages” included), along with a prayer, a song, a psalm, and a discussion question for each passage.
The resource is published by the Uniting Church in Australia, but is used by people of many denominations in a number of countries. As always, the resource exhibits a core commitment of the Uniting Church: to present “an informed faith”. This commitment was articulated in the Basis of Union for the UCA. Each contributor offers a reflection on the daily passage which is informed by their theological training as well as their engagement in pastoral ministry. The resource seeks to assist worshippers to come to Sunday worship with an awareness of the Bible passages they will hear read and proclaimed.
With Love to the World also seeks to be faithful to the UCA commitment to shape “a destiny together” with the First Nations Peoples of Australia. The period covered in this issue includes Reconciliation Week (in late May) and NAIDOC Week (in late June—early July), so the commentaries for those weeks are by a number of First Nations People, reflecting on the interplay between their cultural heritage and the Christian faith.
The striking cover of the issue is from a painting by one of those contributors, Kirsty Burgu, from Mowanjum in WA, who offers an interpretation of the artwork in her commentaries. There is also a powerful reflection on Mother Earth, from a First Peoples’ perspective, by Alison Overeem, from Muwinina country in Tasmania.
The other commentaries in this issue of the resource are provided largely by Australian Uniting Church people with Asian heritage, who know at first hand the complexities of living as a Christian in Australia with awareness of their own heritage. There are Korean, Filipino, Indonesian, Chinese, Sri Lankan, and Malaysian Chinese voices which can be heard and considered in this issue. This reflects the commitment made by the Uniting Church in 1985, to be “a multicultural church”.
In the following issue, which will have a Creation focus, each week will begin with a psalm which brings a creation focus. The writers in this issue will largely be Australians with a Pasifika heritage, including contributors from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Niue, and Tuvalu. As with the Asian-focussed issue, they have each been asked to invite readers into an exploration of the biblical passages from their distinctive cultural perspectives. We can expect many new insights to be offered!
Finally, the contributors to this issue—as, now, with each issue—include equal numbers of male and female writers, reflecting also the UCA ethos that the Spirit has gifted all people and that women and men equally take their place in ministry and leadership within the church.
With Love to the World can be ordered as a printed resource for just $28 for a year’s subscription (see http://www.withlovetotheworld.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Ordering-and-paying-for-Website-7.vii_.2020.pdf). It can also be accessed on phones and iPads via an App, for a subscription of $24.49 per year (go to the App Store or Google Play).
If you are not a subscriber and would like to sample the resource, I can send you a copy of this issue; contact me at email@example.com or text me on 0408 024 642, providing your postal address.