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News from Long Gully

Since the last edition there have been two major events in my life: the first has been something of a transformative experience, which I reflect upon in a brief article here; and the second was the death of my father, Bill Cornford. Dad was 88 and struggling with Alzheimers, and in the end his passing was perhaps a mercy. Dad's (and Mum's) faith and life choices have significantly influenced my own. Dad was an ordained minister who always chose to place himself at the margins of the church where he could be of service to those at the margins in the world. He and Mum began ministry in urban mission in the downtrodden docklands of London's East End, where my brother and I were born. The bulk of his ministry (25 years) was spent in the Uniting Church Frontier Services, visiting remote sheep and cattle stations and communities in WA, then Nth Qld, and then Tassie. Dad's ministry was based on the conviction that Christian faith needed to be expressed in the practicalities of everyday life, a conviction that has been central to Manna Gum.

    

“The way ahead to a truly lively Christian Church must be paved with genuinely unselfish service.”  

Bill Cornford (1933-2021)

Manna Gum's work has continued steadily. Jacob Garrett has done a great job in compiling this edition and I have been mostly researching and writing for my thesis, interspersed with the odd teaching for TEAR or lectures for various universities. My current research has been case studies of how different Christian traditions in Australia have responded to capitalism, particularly Catholicism, the Uniting Church and the Radical Discipleship movement. I hope to share some of these insights in Manna Matters in the near future.

Registrations for the A Different Way course are beginning to fill, so if you want to come along, get yours in quick.

Jonathan Cornford

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