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  Echoing the Word February 2015  
  Vol. 14 No.1, Genesis: The Beginning    
The Book of Genesis: An Overview
In this feature article Dr Antoinette Collins presents an overview of the book of Genesis. The first book of the bible, Genesis is a collection of imaginative and colourful narratives which can be both disarmingly simple and psychologically complex.
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Genesis: The Beginning
The book of Genesis is sacred to both Jews and Christians alike. In many ways Genesis is the book of beginnings: the beginning of creation, humanity, the Hebrew people as a chosen people and the beginning of Godís outpouring of love.
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 Reviews & Resources
Reviews & Resources icon
Children's Literature
Jan Grajczonek reviews In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek, A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna, and Every Day is Malala Day by Rosemary McCarney with Plan International.
Resources for Religious Education
Paul Taouk reviews A Friendly Guide to the Old Testament by Marie Turner, Caring for Godís Earth by Mary-Ann Casanova and Just Imagine the Old Testament by Rina Wintour.
 Social Justice
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Consuming Passion
Peter Arndt looks at the relationship between environmental stewardship and consumerism. He challenges students with the question: What sort of passion consumes us, the pursuit of material things or the path of love? Peter offers various useful websites and resources on this topic.
 For the Catechist
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Teaching the First Creation Story of Genesis Using Song
Michele Purcell, looks at the benefits of using songs in the religion classroom. Michele uses Andrew Chinnís song ďIn the BeginningĒ to demonstrate how songs can be used to support what is being taught in the religion lesson.
The Sacrifice of Issac
Michele Purcell, reflects on the difficult story of Abraham sacrificing his son, Isaac. She reminds us of the need to research the meaning of the text using good commentaries and exploring the purpose and cultural context of the writer in order to better understand what the text is communicating.
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Genesis: Hymns and Songs
Peter Olley identifies four themes in the book of Genesis: creation, sin, salvation and humanity, and suggests hymns and songs under each theme.
Movies icon
Jan Epstein reviews the sci-fi movie Interstella; a movie about love, connection and the human capacity for survival.
 Website Reviews
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Caritas Catholic Social Teaching Toolkit:
A Success in Schools Around Australia
Kate Andreo, from Caritas Australia, presents the valuable resource Catholic Social Teachings online toolkit, recently published by Caritas. She shows how two schools have used this resource to continue to develop teachers in the area of Catholic Social Teachings and improve learning and action in social justice.
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Genesis and Gallipoli:
Telling Stories About Origins
Stuart Moran explores the concept of story, particularly myths and legends of origin, in the Bible, by drawing on our understanding of the story of Gallipoli as an Australian legend of origin.
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Beginning Stories
Tony Densley reflects on the book of Genesis as a beginning story. He reflects on the interpretation and application of Scripture, our contemporary world and scientific knowledge. Densley emphasises the need to avoid literal interpretations of the Bible.
  Liturgies & Activities
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My Covenant With God
Anne Victor uses the story of Abraham and Sarah to help young students understand the concept of covenant. Children are encouraged to compare their families to that of Abrahamís and to make up promises for living a covenant relationship with God.
Noah and the Flood:
What is Important to Understand About This Story?
Beth Nolen explores the story of Noah with students by comparing it to the creation story of Genesis 1. She stresses the need to focus on the message and intent of the author rather than the historicity of the story.
The Beginning and Beginnings
Jennifer Callanan has written a short prayer ritual for beginning the school year. It can be adapted to use for any beginning time.
The Story of Joseph
Beth Nolen suggests a strategy for teaching the story of Joseph. Students are encouraged to get to know this fascinating story using the Bible, storybooks and movies, and illustrating the story as a class. Beth poses insightful questions for the students to explore.
The Story of Noah
Anne Victor helps students in the early years to explore the story of Noah. She focuses on Noahís courage and faith, and the symbolism of the rainbow.
  Religious Literacy
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Cosmos from Chaos:
Visual Arts and the Creation Story
Paige Bullen reflects on the creation stories of Genesis using three pieces of art. Like God, who created the cosmos out of chaos, the artist creates from a blank canvas. Our engagement with art can be a doorway into prayer and reflection.
Teaching the Creation Stories in the Early Years
Jan Grajczonek outlines an approach for teaching the Genesis creation stories to children in the early years. She stresses the importance of not combining the two creation stories and avoiding literal interpretations.


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