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Showing posts from January, 2010

epiphany story event

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an evening of poetry

What is it about poetry? I mean, it's still words, but someone speaking poetry doesn't seem to be participating in the words words words we are so relentlessly bombarded with ... I've just been to Poet's Corner, which is part of the Effective Living Centre's Sacred and Creative program. (The Effective Living Centre is the main engagement with the community of Christ Church Uniting, where the Esther Project is based and where I am doing my student placement.)  Jeff Guess was the guest poet, and he spoke about the way that poetry is for him prayer - I suppose it's like the psalms, that deep, honest expression of life in its beauty and sorrow, the presence and absence of the divine.  I was speaking with one of the other participants before the program kicked off, and we were observing the way that poetry enables you to say things you can't say ordinarily, or to say things differently - like for instance those poems you write for a special birthday, which give yo…

The Esther Project : community, creativity, sacred story

The Esther Project is a community. We have been forming community over the past six months, but I think we new feel like we are a community. We have a pattern of gathering that works for us, nurtures our beings, our faith/spirituality, encourages our creativity.  We have many people connected through emails and facebook and blogs.  We have visitors to the story spaces we create.  And we have a busy and creative and exciting series of gatherings in the next month. Whether you have connected by email, read this blog or the Esther Project blog, are part of the facebook group, been to one or all of the Esther Project gatherings or haven't heard of us before, you are invited to participate in any or all of these spaces. 
Friends, The Esther Project celebrates community, creativity and sacred story in partnership with our host congregation, Christ Church Uniting. Would you like to come and experience the life of this emerging church community in 2010? This month we celebrate stories told th…

gaining confidence in ministry

As part of the student placement experience I have been meeting monthly with what is called a Ministry Reflection Team. This is a group of people from the congregation in which I am placed (in my case it's a mix of people from the host congregation and the Esther Project) who reflect with me on various aspects of my ministry practice. I have key learning areas that we focus on, and there are areas that the college asks the group to talk about, like preaching and worship leading. I have to say that this has been such a positive and helpful aspect of the experience. These people have helped me to reflect on what I'm learning about who I am as a leader - the collaborative approach I naturally prefer, the creativity I bring to the role, and the different approach to more traditional aspects of ministry.  For example, last night we were talking through one of the key learning areas for my placement, pastoral care. After a couple of courses at college introducing approaches to pastor…

CompassionArt

People might diss facebook, but I do find out some interesting things from some of my friends' posts. Today, for example, I see in the news feed that Sandy has joined CompassionArt, so I have a look at what CompassionArt is and decide that I will also join their facebook group. I've also gone to their website, and have added a link to it on this page - here or on the sidebar.  What an excellent idea, to use the arts to raise awareness, financial support, and compassion for the people who are our neighbours in this world who are struggling with poverty.  The campaigns encouraging people to give something up in order to stand beside those less fortunate than us in solidarity look great too, challenging, confronting, and compassionate.  Check it out. 

drought-breaking rain

I am sitting outside as the rain comes down, refreshing the earth and the people after a week of stifling heat. As I sit here, almost getting wet myself, I ponder recent gathered spaces of the communities of faith I belong to.  Sunday morning John Pfitzner led the gathering at Christ Church. We were hearing of the story of Jesus' baptism. John read a poem that had been published in a newspaper 12 years ago, a poem that told a story of living on the land, of the hail that damages crops and bogs cows in once parched dams, and of lighter rain, like angels tapping, on the roof, bringing life and hope. The poem was called 'On the Third Day', and was written by M. Freer.  John wondered if the opening of the heavens following Jesus' baptism might be like the opening of the skies with drought-breaking rain ... what a powerful image. I love it.  And last night the Esther Project gathered for our first encounter with the story of Epiphany. The story of Epiphany, the twelfth day of …

where wandering takes you

Tomorrow at Christ Church I'm reading the passage from Sirach (24:1–12). I've been surfing the internet looking for some thoughts about this passage, Wisdom and light, and I came across the website for an emergent church in Dallas Texas. Church in the Cliff looks like a wonderfully relaxed, inviting, innovative, creative, thinking community. If I lived in or was visiting Dallas, I would be strongly inclined to meet this community. I like the post from their lead pastor, Courtney, on dancing with Wisdom. Not sure it's quite the angle Sean's taking tomorrow, I think he's focussing on Light, but Courtney paints a lovely picture.

Bright Star

I experienced a wonderfully told story last night. Julia had found Bright Star, a story about the poet John Keats and his love Fanny Brawne, and guessed well that this would be a film I would love. It was classic, from the first scene, an ultra close-up of a needle and thread, panning out to the garment being sewn, then to the sewer (Fanny) and then to the room and Fanny's sister Toots just waking up. So the cinematography was brilliant - later on you have magic scenes of connection framed by doors, windows and trees as the two young lovers cross thresholds and boundaries ... The costumes, scenery, sets, all fantastic. Then there's the performances. Stunning acting by the two actors playing Fanny and John, and the brother and sister of Fanny. This movie took my breath away. And it has inspired me to read the poetry of John Keats, a collection of which I found I had on my shelf, with the books once belonging to my Nanna (she bought this one in 1936), and to hunt out some biogra…