Education and Library Resources

The Education Support Team provides educational resources and information to help you on your spiritual journey

Please browse the library (at the rear of the church, to the right as you come in)
If you would like to borrow anything, please write the details in the borrowing book, or see Heather.

Please ask us if you would like more details on study materials or courses.

There is a Children's Library section along the wall opposite the main library, a gift in memory of Beryl Farrell

Library Resources:

Recent Acquisitions

The Ark, the Reed and the Fire Cloud

By Jenny L Cote, Living Ink Books, 2008
This story is written through the eyes of the animals that came to the Ark. Their story includes exciting biblical truth, and weaves History, Geography, Science and Mathematics into the adventure.
Max is a Scottish terrier and Liz a petite black cat from France, who become the brave leaders of their group along with their lovable partners and various other animals they meet along the way. The end climaxes with unexpected twists and turns, taking the reader from despair to hope.

Do you have a cat or a dog; what comfort does it give you? In later books of this series, The Maker sends messages to them for their next missions with Prophets, Kings, shepherds and Roman soldiers, Mary and Joseph, composers and more.

Thunder Dog

By Michael Hingson, Thomas Nelson 2011
Michael Hingson was blind from birth. His parents refused to send him to an institution, and provided a mainstream life as far as possible. His own resilience and determination led him through school and university into a well-paid position in computing.
On September 11, 2001, he was on the 78th floor of World Trade Center Tower 1, when an aircraft crashed into it a few floors above. With his guide dog Roselle, and a colleague David, he walked down 1463 steps in the fire escape, out through the concourse, and into the relative safety of a side street just as Tower 2 came crashing down.
The journey down the stairs, and eventually back to his wife Karen, at home in Newark, takes up most of the book, interspersed with reminiscences from his childhood and working life.

There are many inspiring stories of walking, riding a bicycle, even driving a car using non-visual cues for navigation, as well as sharing his life with a number of assistance dogs. He gives great credit to the mutual support of Roselle that day, as well as his very real sense of the presence of God with him. The theme of trust and interdependence recurs throughout the book: Karen uses a wheelchair, she is his eyes and he is her feet when they go out together. There are also insightful comments from Mike and others in the blind community, on the interaction of blind and sighted people, describing blindness as a nuisance rather than a disability.
Mike Hingson now travels the world as an inspirational speaker, with his latest assistance dog, since Roselle is no longer alive.

Marathon Wheeler

By Heather Coombes
Many of us will remember Rev. Heather Coombes, who was a part-time minister at our church in the 1990s. She did not let the limitations of Cerebral Palsy stand in the way of seeking a meaningful career, which included becoming a Minister in the Uniting Church, and undertaking many pastoral and chaplaincy positions. While in our congregation, she introduced the Crossroads fellowship for people with disabilities, which she had helped with while in a church in Queensland.

Heather writes candidly and entertainingly about the many facets of her life - the blessings she received from her congregations, colleagues, and strangers - and when the difficult times came, the blessing of God who was always close. Rather than saying she has overcome her difficulties, she prefers to say that it is an ongoing pilgrimage. But it is one that she has taken on with great determination, finding much joy along the way.

Now in retirement, Heather has had the opportunity to write this book to show the possibilities of living a life of service, and to wish us all the gift of perseverance. Her authentic, friendly style is a great encouragement all of us as we encounter others with different abilities from those we take for granted.

Thanks to Elaine Charlton for this addition to our Library.

The Triumph of Christianity

By Bart D. Ehrman
-- How a forbidden religion swept the world
How did a religion whose first believers were twenty or so illiterate day laborers in a remote part of the Roman Empire become the dominant religion of the West, converting around 30 million people in just four centuries? Bart D. Ehrman is a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina and a leading authority on the New Testament and the history of Christianity.

This book provides great hope for the future and a much clearer picture of the rate of conversion needed to build the Kingdom of God. Based on the statistics if 100 people convert 3.4 people each and every year then 1000 Christians become 6 million people in 260 years. At the beginning it was and today it still remains the most effective way of growth is by each one of us seeking to encourage one other in their faith journey. Individuals sharing with other individuals what it means to be Christian. Out of a continuing desire for church growth this book now donated to the church library.

Angels of Mercy

By Lynette Ramsay Silver
--This is a book which follows the gripping stories of two different Australian nursing sisters who overcame the challenging adversities of two very different circumstances.

In the 1930's Marjorie Silver, [in the FAR WEST] the outback flying sister, (her pilot was Nancy Bird-Walton) fought almost single-handedly against the isolation, poverty, heat and dust of the far west of NSW to bring vital medical assistance to the far-flung patients.
(Sister Silver was given the opportunity by Rev Stanley Drummond who had a vision of bringing the children of the outback to the seaside for medical assistance, rehabilitation and the contrasts of living in the city by the sea. So became the "Far West Children's Health Scheme").

Sister Pat Gunther, who served [in the FAR EAST] on the battlefields of Malaya and Singapore, then fought a desperate battle for survival in the prison camps of Sumatra.

These two remarkable, highly resilient women may not be remembered as great Australians but they will be remembered for making Australia great.

God is Good for You

By Greg Sheridan
— Greg Sheridan is Foreign Editor of the Australian.
At a time of crisis for Christianity in the West, God is Good for You shows just why we need faith in our world. The Judeo-Christian tradition has created and underpinned the moral and legal fabric of Western civilisation for more than 2000 years, yet now we've reached a point in both Australia and many parts of the West where Christianity has become a minority faith..... At this point of crisis for faith, God is Good For You shows us why Christianity is so vital for our personal and social well-being,......
It carries a vital torch for Christianity in a way that's closely argued, warmly human, good humoured yet passionate, and, above all, convincing.

The Secret Message of Jesus

By Brian D McLaren
Uncovering the truth that could change everything. Could it be that the church has misunderstood or, in some cases, intenionally distorted Jesus’ core message?

What if Jesus was right — but right in different ways than we ever realized? What if many of us have carried on a religion that somewhere along the way missed rich and radical treasures hidden in the essential message of Jesus of Nazareth? If the answers overturn our conventional ideas, priorities and practices — what then? !

Reaching out for the Invisible God

By Philip Yancey
What can we expect to find?
How do I relate to a God who is invisible when I’m never quite sure he’s there?
Is God playing games?
What can we count on this God for ? How can we know?
How can we know God?.......
Philip Yancey explores six foundational areas:
• our thirst for God,
• faith during times when God seem unavailable,
• the nature of God himself,
• our personal relationship with God,
• stages along the way,
• and the end goal of spiritual transformation.

Doctor Number 49

By Grace Warren of the Leprosy Mission. By Grace Warren and Lesley Hicks
This Autobiography of Grace Warren who has brought hope and healing to thousands worldwide , saving feet and hands and transforming the lives of those suffering with diabetes and leprosy with inventive surgical skills, and her faith, her preparedness to obey God and following his leading.

Grace Warren is an Australlian retired and living in Sydney, always eager to share her surgical skills with younger surgeons, who want to learn to do these operations for the benefit of the patients and the benefit of patients in the future.

Rumours of another world

By Philip Yancey
What on earth are we missing? This book is for those who live in the borderlands of belief In regions of conflict, such as the Korean peninsula, armies on both sides patrol their respective borders, leaving a disputed territory in-between as a buffer zone, a no-man’s-land belonging to neither side.

In matters of faith, many people occupy the borderlands. So, give Christians a wide berth yet still linger in the borderlands. So what of the big questions of life — career change, the birth of a child , the death of a loved one — what are the answers to these? Is there a God? A life after death? Is religious faith a crutch or a path to something authentic?

How would you explain your faith to an atheist or a Muslim? What would you say? Will you continue to live the rest of your life in the same way or are you prepared to challenge yourself to “where to next” ?

Yarta Wandatha

By Denise Champion, with Rosemary Dewerse
In this book you will discover wisdom that is thousands of years old, wisdom that is full of God, wisdom that speaks to us today. Your guide and teacher is Adnyamathanha woman Denise Champion, a story-teller with faith as deep as the sacred waterholes of her people and as wide as the land that is Australia today. Denise Champion is Adnyamathanha. A mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and aunty, she works as a state development and outreach worker for the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress and as a pastor for the Uniting Church in South Australia

Being Gay, Being Christian - You can be both

By Dr Stuart Edser
Is it possible to be both gay and Christian? This book explains, calmly and logically, that the two are not mutually exclusive. With the support of some of the finest scientific and theological minds, Dr Stuart Edser presents a compelling case for tolerance and acceptance, rejecting the traditional Christian view that gay people are either sick or sinful as a result of their sexual orienta-tion. While shrill voices of prejudiced fundamentalism are raised from all sides of the Christian church, he invites the reader to a new experience of God.

Being Gay, Being Christian is a call for reformation within the Christian church, an appeal to modernity in our approach to knowledge and a practical self-help book for people who are struggling with their sexuality, so they can find both self-esteem and a connection with God. It will be of particular interest to:
+ People confused about their sexuality
+ Young gay people
+ Gay people who go to church
+ Christian families and friends of gay people
+ Clergy and church workers

A country too far

Ed by Thomas Keneally and Rosie Scott
In this landmark anthology, twenty-seven of Australia's finest writers have focused their intelligence and creativity on the theme of the dispossessed, bringing a whole new perspective of depth and truthfulness to what has become a fraught, distorted war of words.

This anthology confirms that the experience of seeking asylum – the journeys of escape from death, starvation, poverty or terror to an imagined paradise – is part of the Australian mindset and deeply embedded in our culture and personal histories.

A Country Too Far is a tour de force of stunning fiction, memoir, poetry and essays.

We are better than this

Ed. by Robyn Cadwallader
We Are Better Than This is a collection of essays and poetry addressing the Australian government's asylum seeker policy. The aims of the book are several: to provide some of the information about the situation in detention camps that is being withheld by the government; to correct some of the government's mis-representations of the current situation; to clarify some of the complex legal issues surrounding the right to seek asylum, and to give some insight into the plight of those who are seeking asylum.

It is hoped that this book will better inform people about the government's policies: to support those who are unsatisfied and seeking to change the situation, as well as those who are uncertain and need more easily accessible and reliable information. Contributors are drawn from several areas of expertise and engagement with asylum seekers.

The Undesirables

By Mark Isaacs
Mark Isaacs worked for the Salvation Army inside the Nauru Detention Centre soon after it re-opened in 2012. He provided humanitarian aid to the men interned in the camp. What he saw there moved him to speak out.

The Undesirables chronicles his time on Nauru detailing daily life and the stories of the men held there; the self-harm, suicide attempts, and riots; the rare moments of joy; the moments of deep despair. Mark's eyewitness account humanises a political debate usually ruled by misleading rhetoric.

Library Catalog:

There is a catalog of some of our books online

The widget below cycles through more of our titles. Mouse-over for title details.

More books

Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead,
Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion
City of God: Faith in the Streets.

By Sara Miles
Raised as an atheist, Sara Miles lived an enthusiastically secular life as a restaurant cook and writer. Then one morning, for no earthly reason, she wandered into a church. She ate a piece of bread, took a sip of wine, and found herself radically transformed.

Sara started a food pantry giving away literally tons of food from around the same altar where she'd first received the body of Christ, and providing hundreds of hungry families with free groceries each week.

Sara serves as Director of Ministry at St Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Her books include Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead, Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion and City of God: Faith in the Streets.

The Lost Message of Jesus

By Steve Chalke & Alan Mann.
How well do we really know Jesus and understand his message? Most of us are fairly confident we’ve got the essentials down, but what if they’re our essentials, not his?

In this profound book – at once disturbing, exciting, provocative and inspiring – Steve Chalke calls us to deep self-examination and a rediscovery of the nature of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Taking away our cultural lenses, Chalke lets us see Jesus through first-century eyes and reveals how far we’ve drifted from his revolutionary gospel. Encountering his teachings as the people of his time and culture did, newly minted and powerful, we discover at last the irresistible hope and transformation Jesus brought to the downtrodden, the lonely, the forgotten, the untouchable.

The Lost Message of Jesus points us back to the heart of God, freeing us to proclaim genuinely good news to a world that desperately longs to hear it.

Through Painted Deserts: Light, God and Beauty on the Open Road

By Donald Miller.
This is a road-trip memoir about three months crossing the country in a Volkswagen camping van, wondering out-loud if there is more to life than nine-to-five jobs, than the ruts the entire world seems to be stuck in. Follow Don and Paul as they dive headlong into the deepest of human questions and find answers outside words – answers that have to be experienced to be believed.

As you read Through Painted Deserts you’ll soon realize this is not just one man’s account of finding light, God, and the beauty on the open road. Rather, this book maps the journey you’re already traveling . . . or soon will be.

Love over Hate - Finding Life by the Wayside

By Graham Long.
As pastor and CEO of The Wayside Chapel in Sydney's Kings Cross, Reverend Graham Long has seen and heard it all. Part-memoir, part-philosophical journey, Love Over Hate is Graham's gift to humanity – a book about life's foibles and the joy of living.

Far from the Tree - Parents, children, and the search for identity

By Andrew Solomon.
Andrew Solomon tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so. Solomon's startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are trans-gender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the triumphs of love Solomon documents in every chapter.
All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves?
This book explores themes of generosity, acceptance, and tolerance - all rooted in the insight that love can transcend every prejudice. This crucial and revelatory book expands our definition of what it is to be human.

Love Wins

By John Bell. In this book Bell addresses one of the most controversial issues of faith—the afterlife—arguing, "would a loving God send people to eternal torment forever?" With searing insight, Bell puts hell on trial, and his message is decidedly hopeful—eternal life doesn't start when we die; it starts right now. And ultimately, Love Wins.

What we talk about when we talk about God

By John Bell. Continuing down the path of Love Wins Rob Bell helps us with the ultimate big-picture issue: How do we know God?

A book full of mystery, controversy, and reverence, What We Talk About When We Talk About God has fans and critics alike anxiously awaiting, and promises not to disappoint.

Choir Man

Harper Collins, by Jonathon Welch
Jonathon Welch took homeless people from the streets of Melbourne, helped them to overcome their shyness, mental problems and addictions to form a choir. They have performed in the Opera House and on national television.

The Last Week

HarperCollins, by Marcus Borg and John Crossan. Using Mark's gospel, the authors follow Jesus's last week, showing him protesting against power without justice. Jesus is presented as a moral hero, who invites us to follow him.

Stepping out with the Sacred

By Val Webb Continuum International Publishers. Following on Val's seminar in our church, catch up with her new book.

Darwin Divinity and the dance of the cosmos

Copperhouse publishers, by Bruce Sanguin. Introduces modern science and theology in cooperation.

The Promise of Paradox

Ave Maria Press, by Parker Palmer. Subtitled 'A Celebration of Contradictions in the Christian Life '.

I shall not Hate

Random House Canada, by Izzeldin Abuelaish. The 'Gaza Doctor' had his house destroyed and three children killed by Israeli shells. He is calling on the people of the Middle East to talk to each other.

Christian Century

We have a subscription to this magazine. Its website at www.christiancentury.org describes its outlook as "generous orthodoxy". Copies are in the Library.

Putting away Childish Things, by Marcus J Borg

There is a review here.

Where have all the orchards gone, by Heather Watson

Hills District Historical Society, 2010

Have a Little Faith, by Mitch Albom

Sphere, London, 2009. There is a review here.

Bethlehem Besieged, by Mitri Raheb

Hands of Grace, Jesus: God's Symphony of Hope, by Geoff Bullock

Dietrich Bonhoeffer books

Life Together - Prayer Book of the Bible, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, and
The Cost of Discipleship, Collier Books (Macmillan), NY.

Group Study Resources:

Convergence - Where faith and life meet
Two-DVD study series led by Donald Miller

Breaking the Ice: learning to understand ourselves, others and God through conversation. With Phyllis Tickle.

Frustrations and False Gods: Living in a fallen world. With Dan Allender and Tremper Longman.

More DVDs
The Divine Conspiracy, 6-session DVD with Dallas Willard

Evil, group study DVD with Tom Wright


Exploring the Covenant between First and Second Peoples Study Resource DVD and Data CD Uniting Church in Australia Available for use for Wesley Life Teams and Study Groups

Everything must Change

by Brian McLaren

Embracing an Adult Faith

by Marcus Borg on What it means to be Christian - 5-session DVD study


DVD study

Web links:
Journey with Jesus
The site provides a weekly essay based on the lectionary


Updated 15th November 2020