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Showing posts from June, 2010

God and politics

I have been thinking a bit about Julia Gillard's statement that she is not a believer in God, and some of the responses I've heard to that statement. This was sparked mostly by the 7PM Project on Monday night - you can read the discussion here. Steve Price suggested that it would cost Gillard votes that she is not a person of faith. The overwhelming response on the discussion board seems to be that it won't, that people are more concerned with the integrity she showed by being honest and up front about her position rather than lying to appease one group in society or offering some sort of wishy washy compromise of a non-answer. And that's my feeling too. I am a person of Christian spirituality, and I am comfortable with a PM who can say - no, I don't believe in God, with a gentle confidence.  Now, on the comments on the discussion board, I'd want to respond to some by that people open to God or Spirit or the Divine or even to spirituality generally are not in th…

hope restored for Trinitarian theology

I discovered a book recently, browsing the book stall at the fresh expressions seminars, The Becoming of G-d by Ian Mobsby. The rider on the cover says 'What the Trinitarian nature of God has to do with Church and a deep Spirituality for the Twenty First Century,' and given my struggles with Trinitarian theology, it looked like an approach that might be helpful for me. So I bought it (and a few other books, which, given the massive bill for repairs to my car this week, I now slightly regret). I don't think I'm really going to regret buying this book at all, though. Already it is living up to my hopes that it would be a discussion in language that didn't make me cringe and addressing the struggles I've been having with this central element of Christian tradition.  So there will be a few posts to come that reflect on my journey with this book - preparing you. 
Tonight I've got excited by a couple of passages.  First, where Mobsby talks about Spirit and prayer. I…

Register now for the National Biblical Storytelling Gathering!

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The flyer is out - registrations can now be taken for the 10th National Biblical Storytelling Gathering! Email NBSsouthaustralia@gmail.com
It is happening on 24 - 26 September 2010. And for the first time, the national gathering is happening in South Australia!
These gatherings have been, for me, times of warm community, vibrant creativity; they have been inspirational, renewing, and so much fun! So I have no hesitation inviting you all to be a part of this gathering.
This gathering promises all this and more.
Steve Taylor will share from his experience as a pastor in communities of faith: he brings us examples of gospel stories reimagined, and a process for helping people to shape and tell their own stories. Workshops will also build up skills in telling the biblical story, including using different media and Godly Play; reflect on story and healing; explore story and music, story and worship.
Each year participants are invited to take part in an Epic Telling - a longer story is brok…

further reflections on fresh expressions

I am not sure where these reflections will go, but I do think it will be helpful to record some of the thoughts that have emerged for me out of seminars with Dave Male over the past two days. We've been thinking through creating fresh expressions of church for the 21st century and how to lead and equip leaders for these communities.  The timing of the seminars coincided with something of an ebb in the life of The Esther Project, the fresh expression of church I've been involved with these past ten months. For those who have been following the story of The Esther Project,  you will know of the changes in direction we have taken - from the planned theatre production, Esther and Mordecai, for the 2010 Fringe Festival, to focussing on establishing a community that gathers for deep and creative encounters with biblical stories, and the various shapes the pattern of our gathering has taken.  There has been a small, committed group imagining this community with the Spirit. However, it …

discovering seeds of hope

Dave Male works with churches in the UK exploring the implications of 'fresh expressions' of church, particularly for forming and equipping leaders for these new forms of church. He's here in Adelaide this week, and yesterday had some conversations with some of the faculty and students of the college, and then at [re]generate, our occasional gatherings for dinner and exploration of new ways of being church.  These conversations have got me wondering, mostly about The Esther Project: how can we tell our story more often - the story of The Esther Project, reminding ourselves of the dream, the purpose, the people we hope to encounter through this community, have we forgotten our dream / vision?, how do we move from a place of finding a way to gather that is life-giving and invite the people for whom we dreamed this community - inviting people to come to faith and walking with each other as disciples living as followers of Jesus, should we be gathering in a venue other than a c…

God in the still sheer silence

The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, the tenement halls, and whisper'd in the sound of silence ... (Simon & Garfunkel) The word of God whispered to Elijah on the mountain (1 Kgs 19)  Enter the silence, enter the story, Monday 7 June 7.30 pm, The Effective Living Centre, 26 King William Road Wayville. 
The Esther Project - community - creativity - sacred story

families

doing all my posting at once here. having posted some reflections on the process of grieving as it plays out this time around, here is a post on the presence of new life in my story this week. this weekend I was in Melbourne celebrating the baptism of the newest members of the Mitchell clan. I have two cousins whose babies were being baptised, and was so delighted to be invited to take part in the baptism. I've been doing a lot of reflecting on that participation and what it might look like, because in the Uniting Church it is part of the role of the ordained ministers to baptise new members into the community. this is because ordained ministers are part of the whole people of God, representing the community - and it is the community, the church, who baptises, who celebrates eucharist. which is part of the reason for wearing liturgical garments like the alb and the stole - the alb represents our baptism, represents the baptised people of God, the stole is the symbol of ordination.…

grieving

After my friend Pam died, I posted farewells everywhere - here, on facebook, on the black wood jazz blog. But I didn't actually believe she had gone. Part of me still doesn't. Pam was so full of life - how can someone that vibrant and alive no longer be alive? Well, the denial took its toll - the weekend after Pam died, I fluffed about not doing anything productive, but trying to do things rather than letting myself do nothing but be in the sadness. So by the Monday, I was feeling physically ill, and in quite a lot of pain. It seems to me on reflection, that this was grief demanding to be felt, acknowledged, attended to. While I was in the kitchen cooking tea on Monday night, I let my thoughts run, bringing me in front of a metaphorical mirror to see that I was twisted in pain because of denied grief, and finally, finally, I let myself see the world without Pam in it, and I let the grief have its way. It was interesting to me to experience the effects of grief denied and ignor…