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Showing posts from March, 2010

implementing change

I'm blogging inspired by Steve Taylor again. He's just written about a 'migration day' that a software provider is offering for an updated version of their software, during which expert help will be available through an online chat room. As I read Steve's wondering about how this might be implemented in a church change - management setting, I became inspired. I have been canvassing invested parties, and will be taking a proposal to church council next week, inviting the host congregation of The Esther Project to let us establish a story space for our various communities that gather in the one centre. My hope is that such a space will bring some of the smaller gatherings into the forefront of the attention of the wider community of number 26, and that we might be able to support and encourage each other better. So many of our smaller gatherings are around story in one way or another, and the communities of CC, ELC and EP are all entering phases of reimagining over t…

living a better story

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I've been reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller, on the recommendation of my friend Michelle. Miller is narrating his movement from the couch into a better story, inspired by the process of turning his memoirs into a movie.  He talks about the stories we tell, we listen to, and most importantly, the stories we live. I feel like I need to go back and read the book again, to allow the challenge to sink in and actually get me off the couch.  If I am being fair, I'm probably not on the couch, in that I am actually involved in some creative, energising, life giving, 'better' stories. However, I was challenged by Miller's observations of the life of a writer, as a life of words, dreams, imagining - a life less lived than written about. I often get caught in the dreaming, the imagining, in the words, preferring their familiarity, comfort, and safety to the risky business of living a good story. Because, as Miller notes, the better stories involve the …

art in church

another good reflection - this one on art in Uniting Churches.

using stories in preaching

Just read a fantastic blog from Steve Taylor, with tips for using story in preaching. Well worth bookmarking.

every mistake we make is an opportunity to learn

Yesterday I was asked to expound on my faith and theology. I forgot to mention Jesus, and apparently after I left, some people drew attention to the fact. I have been trying since that moment (as I walked away I realised my omition) to distill my faith and theology into an answer I won't fumble. This is what I came up with.
If theology is faith seeking understanding, at this point in my journey of faith, I understand God as Creator Wisdom Spirit source of life, love and grace revealed in the stories of creation, Jesus, and community known as transforming mystery, healing embrace, the cry of and for freedom.
with a sigh of relief at having found, at last, some words to express the inexpressible connection to the Divine.

Maundy Thursday worship

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a week of full rich days

Well, it has been a week of creativity this week. I'm not sure I can get it all down faithfully, but I want to try, for better or worse.
The Esther Project has entered a period of discernment, in order to listen for the call of the Spirit into the next phase of our life together. The Esther Project was the focus of my supervised field education placement, part of my formation for ordination in the Uniting Church, which will come to an end after just over 9 months at Easter. Happily, those who have been gathering would like to continue to gather as The Esther Project beyond Easter. So we need to discern where we will gather and how we will organise ourselves with more shared leadership. It is clear that ideally we need for me to continue in a key leadership role for another 5 years or more, as it takes at least this long for a community to be established, and I have been the vision caster of this community. It is less clear whether staying at Christ Church will be the long term pla…

discovering Rowan Williams

This is an interesting article. I have come across Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canturbury a couple of times this week, and am impressed with his thoughts and perspective. (one of the things he did, in an interview I heard yesterday, recorded a couple of weeks ago, was advocate for 10 years of funding for fresh expressions of church - no wonder I like what he has to say!)

The Landscape of Desire

I'm helping with an interactive art installation for the Fringe next week. Come along. Invite others.
The Landscape of Desire: an exploration of the bewildered perplexed fragile hopeful yearning human in all of us
Pilgrim Uniting Church, 12 Flinders Street Adelaide 9 - 12 March 7.30 - 9.30 pm 11 March 12.00 - 2.00 pm Free Admission

pub church conversation

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This monday come along and join in the imagining of possibilities for shaping authentic, creative, life-giving communities of faith for our time and our place:

musical stories in the heart of the city at lunchtime

I have just been at a lunchtime concert in the city. I caught a tram just down the road from Christ Church, wandered through some food malls in the city till I found a boost juice, drank that way too fast and got a bit of an ice headache, strolled along north terrace to Elder Hall among students and workers of all sorts, and entered the hall. With the doors open, we could hear the city sounds, but as soon as the doors closed, the city was far far away.  Zephyr Qartet and Greta Bradman (all Adelaide based young women) played us stories from Handel (Gentle Morpheus), Ireland (folk songs arranged by Quentin Grant, an Adelaidean), Edgar Varese (quite a hanuting piece taking us into the darkness of night), Hebrew (a lullaby), Bjork (her dream-like hyperballad) and Osvaldo Golihov (another haunting piece of profound sadness).  The musicians and soprano were superb.  I was caught up in the music, the stories, the emotions.  I was reluctant to re-enter the city, but then, it has stories of its ow…

Esther Esther, Wherefore art thou Esther?

Last night a group from the Esther Project went to Beit Shalom, the Progressive Jewish Synagogue in Adelaide, for their annual Purimspiel. Each year Jewish communities around the world celebrate Purim, the festival introduced in the book of Esther. The story is read aloud, with booing and hissing and rattling of noisy sound makers to drown out the name of Haman for all time, people dress up, and then the story is told again, this time reinterpreted in a play, at least at Beit Shalom that's the custom. We caught the end of the telling of the story, which was also an interpretation - for some reason I had expected it to be a straight reading of the text as written - and the enthusiasm with which the people made noise at every mention of the name of Haman was palpable. This year's play had a Shakespearean flavour, with MacAhasuerus, Juliester, Mordlet, and others. There was cross dressing, half a dozen plays on Hamlet's 'to be or not to be', as many Shakespearean insu…