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Showing posts from April, 2010

Anzac Day - how will we see peace?

Today is Anzac Day, the day Australians and New Zealanders remember the battle at Gallipoli, Turkey, and the many service men and women who have served their country, fallen, or survived with visible and invisible scars, and come together to pray for peace in our world. 
This morning at Christ Church, our message came from Bob, an ex-serviceman who flew helicopters in the Army in Korea and Vietnam, before becoming a minister in the Uniting Church. He's retired from that too, now, but continues to serve defence force, church and the general community with passion and energy. Bob and Jenny have been involved with the Esther Project from the early days, bringing their passion for story, faith and creativity, and considerable gifts of love, joy and friendship. 
Bob's message addressed a question he is often asked - how, as a Christian person, could you fight in a war? Well, we can pray, we can call for others to help, and then pray, or we can act. If we don't believe in an inter…

Taize at Pilgrim

Friends from The Esther Project, Julia and Michelle, are involved with a new ecumenical worship community gathering for Taize style prayer at Pilgrim Church in Adelaide. I am yet to make it along, but am looking forward to participating in a gathering very soon.  Their blog is here - keep in touch with this community's story, join them for worship, a meal, and friendship.

See, it is possible ...

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Today we spent the last day of our Victorian holiday at the Tahbilk Estate Winery. The Cellar was built there in 1860, and there's a lot of history in that place. There are wines you can purchase from vines planted in 1860, 1927, the wines have won hundreds of awards over the years, on open days you can see a museum that is on the property, and there is an elegant memorial to the people have lost their lives on that land, from Indigenous Australians in the early years of white settlement, to workers in various accidents and health conditions. 
The vineyards are extensive, and you drive through a lot of them to get to the cellar door tasting and cafe. It's a little removed from the rest of the world, and you feel yourself slowing down as you enter the atmosphere of the place. 
The wines were very nice, and my dad and uncle even purchased a bottle each of the 1860 vine shiraz ... I particularly liked the semillon and the sparkling wines. 
Then we had lunch in the cafe, on the bank …

art and community

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Today I was in Benalla. We spent time in the art gallery, where I saw more of the Australian Impressionists & the Heidleberg School, which was great. Then we went across the lake to the museum and saw collections of women's dress from the 19th and early 20th century (love it!), and a really good history of the bicycle, which is appropriate given that one of our premier cyclists comes from Benalla (Bayden Cook). They also had exhibitions on Ned Kelly and Weary Dunlop, both associated with Benalla or the region. 

Then I went over to a community art project that caught my interest. I'm not sure that the aesthetics of it captured me as much as the idea of it. This is a project that has involved local artists, architects and students. I took many photos, hoping to capture something of the project that might be inspirational for me and communities in which I serve in future. Art has such fantastic power to unite, to bring people together, to inspire the fullness of humanity, to c…

making space

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today's outing was to Echuca, which used to be one of the biggest ports in Australia, and I think the biggest inland port. It's on the Murray River, and is now not an active port for trade and produce, but it is a wonderful tourist destination. We were there out of school holiday time, so the mood was relaxed, though there was by no means a ghost town feel. We wandered down Port Echuca, which has old buildings, no cars, restaurants, and booking offices for the paddle steamers. There are some of the oldest paddle steamers in the world operating from Echuca, and we saw one which had burnt to the water years ago, and over the past 10 years has had millions spent on it to restore it very faithfully to its era. We took a one and a half hour cruise on a paddle steamer, and though there wasn't much to see, it was wonderful primarily for the slow pace, for the relaxing over a glass of wine, the fresh air and friendly smiles and waves of passengers on passing steamers.  We entered i…

Sunnymeade garden

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I'm on holidays in Victoria this week, and just had a fabulous day catching up with a mutual friend of my parents' mine, Charlene. We had lunch in Euroa, and because we had arrived a bit early, mum and I got to check out a shop called the Naturally Made Store, at which I purchased a bangle with a Degas art feature. Lunch was in the lovely garden of The Pickled Olive, among beautiful red roses. Then we went to check out an open garden that Charlene had heard about, just outside of Strathbogie. Driving through the area, it's very reminiscent of Scotland, in the names of towns and roads and also the rocky countryside. Gorgeous area. As we drove there we moved from straight flat country roads to a windy climb through hills, where the trees closed in and the undergrowth grew thicker, which always makes me feel as though I'm entering a magica l otherworld.  Then we reached the garden, which is fabulous - a series of garden rooms with different themes, features like statues, str…

I love my job

I just updated my facebook status with Sarah 'loves my job'. And I do, as much as being the leader of The Esther Project is a 'job', or being a minister / biblical storyteller is a job (I tend to find it more helpful to think of it in terms of vocation or way of life, since in this role, the boundaries between 'work' and 'play' are so often blurred ...) 
Anyway, as I drove home from the Easter Day service at Christ Church this morning, that's what I was thinking, that I love my job. What I love is that in telling the stories of the anointing of Jesus, Jesus' washing of his disciples' feet, his arrest, the trials, crucifixion, and resurrection, I have had the privilege of inviting people to encounter these pivotal stories of their faith in Jesus, their relationship with God, in new, fresh, ways, so that they may be transformed once again by the story, by God's reconciling love and grace. I don't say it glibly, either, that it is a priv…