St Ives Uniting Church
Finding meaning in Christ, finding purpose in life.





Left Window Centre Panel Church Window Right

Helping people grow in wholeness


In her 1970 song “Woodstock”, Joni Mitchell famously sang “life is for learning”. The song is best known for capturing the sense of spiritual yearning and life questioning that crystalised in the Woodstock Festival of the year before. This was the era of flower-power, love-ins, Vietnam War protests, LSD, hippies and hairy “Jesus people.” It was also the era when the idea of adult education was born.

At St Ives Uniting Church we are committed to living and learning. We learn from what we live; we learn so that we can live. We also believe that learning involves the whole person. Jesus of Nazareth once famously said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, & strength; and love your neighbour as yourself.”


Meet the Neighbours 2 - Worship and dinner at the North Shore Synagogue. This was held on Friday March 21, 2014 at 15 Treatts Road, Lindfield. Sabbath Evening Prayers and Dinner hosted by Rabbi Lewin. After dinner talk by Rabbi Lewin.

Synagogue Prayers Dinner

In 2014 we visited The Holy Land (Israel/Palestine, Jordan & Egypt) from April 21 - May 10 2014.

Brochure for Holy Land Tour 2014

Everyday Ethics. Judging, deciding and acting on the big and little things in life.

Ever since the first human said "Why?" (or "Why not?") we have struggled with decisions about what is right and wrong, what course of action we should take, what rules we should have, and what is right or fair in the conduct of others.

These decisions and judgements are becoming even harder. Developments in medicine pose questions never asked before. The business world is so complex and interconnected globally as well as locally that it has its own unstoppable (unquestionable?) momentum. At the same time, the over-arching moral and religious frameworks of the world are crumbling in themselves, as well as us needing to find national and global consensus in a world of multiple values and faiths.

Monday August 25. How we decide. Ethical thinking and acting. Led by Rev. Dr Rob McFarlane.

Monday September 1. Understanding bioethics. Prof. Ian Olver AM is an outstanding communicator. He is a medical oncologist, cancer researcher and bio-ethicist. He is chief executive officer of Cancer Council Australia and a noted authority and media commentator on cancer issues. Ian is also a lay preacher in the Uniting Church.

Monday September 8. Business ethics: A personal odyssey through corporate ethical dilemmas. David Say is former Managing Director of James Hardie Industries, where issues of asbestos were part of his journey. He has been a director and chairperson of numerous public companies, government agencies and charity boards. David became very much a public figure when he resigned from a major hospital board over the issue of the diversion of donations to pay wages and ongoing operational costs. Hear his story!

Monday September 15. How, then, shall we live? An evening of putting it all together. Rev. Dr Rob McFarlane is a highly experienced adult educator with degrees in psychology, theology, religious studies, education and leadership. He has served on research and clinical hospital ethics committees and taught ethics at university level.

Everyday Ethics Flyer 2014

"Meet Mark" - An Advent series of studies over four weeks.

The story of Jesus' suffering and call to take up our cross and follow him. What might this mean to us today?

Mark's Gospel is unique. Mark is the oldest and briefest Gospel. Of all the gospels, it is the one that shows Jesus most clearly as making a call to our total commitment. Mark's central focus is on how we should live as followers of the Crucified One, as individuals & communities. One important focus is the challenges that Mark's portrayal of Jesus poses to leaders: to be servants of us all.

Mark will be the gospel-reading focus for churches worldwide in 2015.

Led by Rev. Dr Robert McFarlane (minister of St Ives Uniting Church). Formerly visiting lecturer at the University of Sydney and Charles Sturt University in Biblical Studies; also formerly Director of Continuing Education, Uniting Church.

Monday November 24 2014. Behind Mark: What, when, where & who.

Monday December 1 2014. Mark as Story: Understanding how narrative shapes how we read.

Monday December 8 2014. Mark & Leadership: "Not to be served, but to serve".

Monday December 15 2014. Mark Today: Jesus' command "Follow me" in the C21st.


How the Bible Came to Us. This series introduced the events & text of the bible, from an inclusive & progressive perspective.

Our first session was on Monday 4 February 2013 -From Exodus to Exile: What happened & who wrote it down. An overview of the events and written sources behind the Hebrew scriptures.

The following sessions covered: Jesus & The Gospels: What happened & who wrote it down. Did Jesus REALLY exist? What can we know about him? What's special about the four Gospels?

From Jerusalem to Rome: How a movement became a church. Paul's life, letters and theology. The role of women in the church.

The Finished Product: Manuscripts, copies and translations. Who decided what should be in or out? Is what we have today ANYthing like the original?

Hubble imageViewing the universe from the Hubble Telescope

Our May, June and July 2013 program was Faith and Science:

Is science all we need in life? Has science buried God?

Our sessions commenced on May 6 2013 and covered:

What is true science? What is true faith?

How science fashions our lives.

Genesis and the Big Bang.

Evolution and Creation.

Miracles and Science.

Modern Day Ethics.

Our August and September program was Understanding Generations

Builders & Boomers. X Y & Z. Who's who? And why does it matter?

All first session was held on August 12 2013 and concluded on September 23 2013.

The topics were: Who's Who? Meet the generations.

Builders & Boomers: Pre - & post-war babies.

X, Y & Z: The paradoxes of connection & disconnection.

What does it all mean? For me, my family, my club, my church?


Liam Miller is an outstanding communicator. He is a graduate of the University of Sydney and Queensland University of Technology in sociology and drama, with a special interest in the media and communication. Liam is part of the Uniting Church chaplaincy team at Macquarie University.

Rob McFarlane is a highly experienced adult educator, with degrees in psychology, theology, religious studies, education and leadership. One key element in leadership development programs that he created has been understanding how to lead multi-generational teams. Rob is a minister of St. Ives Uniting Church.

In November and December 2013 we ran a series called Meet Matthew.

Matthew's Gospel is unique. Of all the gospels, it is the one that shows Jesus most clearly as a Jewish teacher and healer. Matthew's central focus is on how we should live, as individuals and communities. Matthew will be the gospel-reading focus for churches worldwide in 2014. Come along to enhance your experience of worship next year, or just to learn a bit more about one unique portrait of Jesus. No special knowledge or belief is required: just an enquiring mind and open heart.

Meet Matthew. The Magi, Lord's Prayer, Beatitudes, Sheep and goats: What do they REALLY mean?

Behind Matthew: What, when, where and who.

Matthew's special stories: (1) Birth and resurrection.

Matthew's special stories (2) Sermons and parables.

Matthew today: How shall we live? Ethics, politics, church and family.

2012 Uniting Life and Learning Events

Our launch program was “Meet the Neighbours”. We visited our neighbours in faith, as well as gathering together to reflect on our own faith or non-faith.

Events included:

A visit to the North Shore Synagogue (below left), a visit to the Great Synagogue (centre), and to the Auburn Mosque (right)

North Shore Synagogue Great SynagogueAuburn Mosque

For further details contact the Church Office on office@stivesuc.