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Showing posts from January, 2009

worship in the park

Christa and I led our eco worship gathering in the park this morning. Gosh it's a different feel to the gathering, as Enid commented, instead of the chatter and hustle and bustle when we meet in the building, this morning people gathered at an easy pace, put their chairs up or spread their blankets out. Some chatted quietly, but many sat, and were still, breathing, listening to the birds, feeling the sun through the shade of the big gum trees, soaking up the atmosphere. It's a lovely way to ease into reflection on creation and the Creator. 
We began with a litany of six directions, inspired by Native American tradition.  We sang, which today didn't feel quite as 'church-brought-outdoors' as last week. Perhaps coz I was concentrating on leading with the clarinet. 
We heard about the decade to overcome violence, with particular thought about how we overcome violence to creation.  We had a chance to participate - to sketch, to write, to contemplate, to act out a story.  As…

God as a tree ...

I forgot to blog about church in the park last sunday. Blackwood UC are gathering at Belair National Park on the Sunday mornings in January. In our reflection time, when we'd been encouraged to contemplate the big, the middle and the small picture of our setting in the park, I contemplated a bush/tree. As I considered the different bugs that were finding food and shelter in the tree, imagined birds doing the same, wondered about creatures in the ground beneath the tree, found myself standing in the shade of this tree, it occurred to me that I was considering the small picture within the tree, the middle picture of the tree in its surrounds, and the big picture in which the tree participates in the life cycle of creation. And I was thankful for this wonder.  Then it occurred to me that this tree reminded me somewhat of the Sacred - participating in the life cycle of creation, welcoming the many different creatures / humans to find shelter, shade, food, home within, and I was thankfu…

the people of God

I've been thinking recently of the parallels between Ancient Israel in the stories of the Old Testament / Hebrew Bible and the Christian church today. I'm not sure where i'm going with these thoughts, but it occurs to me that just as we might learn something through comparison of the reemerging church of the 21st century with the emerging Christian church of the first century, there might be discoveries to make if we compare the body of Christ / Christian church of our time with the chosen people of God / Israel of the Biblical narrative.  And I suppose I am thinking in terms of the role of Israel as light to the nations, comparable with the role of the Christian church to embody Christ who is the light of the world. Or being set aside (less today with the connotation of God choosing some to be 'in' and others to be 'out', more with the understanding that all are invited and it is we who decide to accept the invitation and set ourselves apart) for the Holy O…

Sermon from yesterday

I always feel as though I am amongst friends when I worship with the congregations at Warradale and Marion Uniting Churches. Preparing the sermon for yesterday, I enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with a favourite story and consider it in some depth. Marion & Warradale – 4 Jan 2009Responding to the light of ChristIn these days of Christmas, we are thankful for the gift of Christ. On this Sunday of Epiphany, we have heard the story of the magi, or wise ones, who saw an extraordinary star and followed it to find their Lord.
The story of the wise ones who journey from a far off land, following a star to the place in Bethlehem where Christ was born is a familiar and well loved story. Did it really happen? Many respected scholars of the Bible say it probably didn’t. That is not to say, however, that they don’t believe it isn’t true. As part of the tradition surrounding the life of Christ, this story was told in order to express true things people knew about Jesus Christ. We continue…