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Showing posts from June, 2009

becoming ourselves telling our stories

I've been reading Diana Butler Bass's book Christianity for the Rest of Us. I recommend it. Diana has visited some emerging mainline protestant churches in the US and identified some of the characteristics of these growing, thriving churches. Last night I was finishing the chapter about Testimony. These churches encourage the sharing of faith stories. Interesting timing, since I shared my faith story at Blackwood's monthly faith sharing evening this Sunday just gone, which I may blog about separately.  Anyway, on pages 138–42 are reflections on the importance of understanding our lives as story, of sharing our stories, of having our story heard. Some of the comments that struck me include:  'we become ourselves as we tell our stories' she talks about a 'spirituality of imperfection', story as pilgrimage, wandering, 'a spirituality of not having all the answers' - a 'spirituality of living the questions' (and there is a fabulous dvd study series

We have a home

I hereby announce that the Esther Project will have its home at Christ Church Uniting, 26 King William Road, Wayville! We're all very excited. 
By the way, I am now into the project full time, and would love to hear from anyone who would like to be part of the project, or to be kept informed for prayer & other support of the project. 

The Esther Project - starting block nerves

I am on the eve of what feels at this moment like the biggest thing I've ever embarked on. ncyc nitelife manager, organising the evening activities for 200+ people was pretty big, so I've organised a big event before. I've also written and directed a play before - two actually. for much smaller audiences. I've curated some alternative church spaces, too. So what's the problem?? At this very moment, contemplating the next 10 months and the dreams I've been bravely broadcasting to everyone, I feel sick with nerves. Right now, I would be quite happy if these holidays could go on a little longer, and I didn't have to write a play, find people to help put it on, develop budgets and business plans, and guide a new community into being. And I know there is a Creative Spirit who might be enabling all this, but I've opened myself up to that Spirit and it's a scary thing. It's my face in the paper, my name on the project. What have I started?  Will there b…

Telling the Sacred Story: a day of workshops

Here's an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in improving the way we tell the biblical story. The Network of Biblical Storytellers SA is offering a day of workshops in various elements of telling the biblical story - from reading the Bible aloud to Godly Play, telling stories to children and telling the Gospel of Mark, and the how-tos and whys and wherefores of biblical storytelling.  There's something for everyone.  Saturday 4 July - 9.30 am - 4.00 pm Christ Church Uniting, King William Road Wayville email nbssouthaustralia@gmail.com or sarahagnew@adam.com.au for the registration form. 

Esther project update

On a more positive note, I met with the council of the church that will host the Esther Project this morning, and it was very positive indeed. We are working on the mutual covenant document, which we hope to sign within two weeks, and then I will be able to announce where the Company will have its first home! Stay tuned, folks! 

Pondering the source of evil

This morning in class we were discussing the Beelzebul controversy in Matt 12:15–32. The question came up as to whether or not we believe that there is such a personification of evil, or is such belief a product of another time, other cultures? I don't think it's an easy question to answer, and I would hope to be open to the different spiritual awareness of other other times, places, people in my understanding of the mysterious movement of the Spirit in the world.  However, the difficulty I have with such a personification of evil as 'Satan' or 'the Devil' is with the origins of evil. For me evil is the result of the choice of humanity to turn away from God. If evil is a 'person' what is it's origin? Did God create this person, did it exist with God in the beginning, is it the flip side of the character of God, is it a fallen angel? I won't even start with the assumption that the evil character is male ...  I do wonder, though, if evil is the resu…

telling the story of the anointing woman

Tomorrow night, I'm telling the story of the woman who anointed Jesus with that 'costly ointment of nard' at Bethany. As I prepare, I find the character of Jesus looking at the grumbling guests who tell the woman off as he tells them off, and as he says, 'where ever the good news is told, throughout the whole world, what she has done will be told ... ' then looking at her, with a gesture so the 'audience' get it (hopefully), as he says 'in remembrance of her.'  Not sure it means one thing specifically to interpret those words with those gestures, but perhaps it indicates that though they don't see her, he does, or that they don't know what they're supposed to see, but she does, or for an audience today, it might highlight the irony, that Jesus saw her, but we don't really, because we remember what she has done, not who she was. She is another unnamed woman in the story of Jesus' life on earth. 

young people in our churches, or not

had a conversation today about how the church is failing its young people  - or some churches any way. i have been disappointed with the way we at my church have not built meaningful relationships with our young people - children, youth, young adults - and then bemoan their absence in our gathered community settings. we (adults) need to build relationships with young people not our own children, relationships in which we honestly reveal something of who we are, our own struggles and joys in life and in faith, and offer a safe space in which young people can feel free to ask the questions they have as they grow in their relationship with God. i mean really ask questions, like is there a God? and really safe, to say something like, i'm not sure i believe in God today, this week ... i know it's hard, but does it have to be as hard as we make it?  fortunately, i do have reason to feel positive amidst my despair, as my 23 year old sister has begun to gather some of the young adults …

A Psalm of Thanks - after Psalm 30

I will praise you God –
you lifted me up away from the black dog that plagues me
Holy One, I cried out to you and in you I found healing
God, you saved my soul from the darkness. Because of you, only because of you, I am alive, no longer captive in that deepest pit
Sing, cloud of saints,  sing thanks with me! Remember God's holiness always
In God we find life and joy to wipe away the tears of our weeping
When I could not see you I was lost Crying out to you from the darkness, I discovered your light still burning within
Despair gave way to dancing, once again my sad heart knew joy
May I never forget that you give to me the life I live the love I give the hope that glows within
I will be grateful to you always, every day I give to you my deepest thanks



Published in On Wisdom's Wings, Ginninderra Press, 2013.