Showing posts from January, 2011

NCYC 11 - turning it up!

A group of girls in our bible study at NCYC 11 began work on a video during one of the sessions when we were thinking about how we were going to turn it up back home - what was the message we had heard at NCYC11 that we wanted to share with our communities at home, and how did we want to do this? I have to say, I felt a little bit of proud of the girls as I watched this, and am stoked that they have produced such a thoughtful reflection of their experience to share with the people in their church community.
I hope they feel inspired and encouraged to continue to share the message of God's love for us all in the communities in which they belong.

the struggles of pursuing one's dreams

sometimes life is hard
previous posts about healing notwithstanding, and not wanting to diminish the tragic hardships facing many of my fellow Australians, not to mention people around the world - sometimes life is hard
my sisters have been applying for jobs for months, without success. the relentless rejection is taking its toll, and it is increasingly difficult to remain positive, to expect that the 'yes' is just around the corner. and there's no explaining it - without being overly biased, they would both be fabulous assets for any employer - so why oh why do potential employers keep overlooking them? i don't understand it. and even i am finding it difficult to trust that the Spirit is moving through this - we feel no peace, we have no hope ... we are deflated.
please pray with us. pray for us.

i am delighted in my placement at Belair Uniting. at the moment, it is a welcome source of joy amidst struggle.
this is a half time placement. the hope has been that i will t…

of healing and wholeness

Over a year and a half ago, I was sharing with a friend that I had been struggling again with back pain. This is something that has been part of my life since I was 12 years old, which is by now well over half my life.  My friend then shared with me that she had found a chiropractor who practiced a different method of healing, which was unexpected and not everyone's cup of tea, but that she thought it might suit me.  After the first visit with Yvan at Vital Wisdom, I drove home feeling lighter and happier than I had in longer than I could remember. I can still picture that moment. I could breathe! For a storyteller, the breath is an important part of connecting with emotion in order to convey meaning through the story. This, then, has been an important part of the gift I have received from these visits.  It is more than that.  I have begun to feel integrated, whole - body mind and spirit. And for me, this is what God calls each and every one of us towards, and is the reason for incarn…

guarding stories, giving the gift of wholeness

I have received a precious gift from various family members in the past week. In a small way, too, from friends at dinner before Christmas.
Spending time with the people with whom I have shared stories, life, friendship for most of my life has restored me to myself - and I hope is also as restorative for my friends.  Having a role, living the life, that I do, which requires much of me for the sake of community, I am appreciating so much the gift of family and friends who have known me for a long time - the gift of time and space in which to simply be, to take the priestly garments off, shed the prophet's voice, step out of the pastoral chair, and be me.  In many ways all the minister stuff is also me, truly and with integrity. It is hard to articulate what I mean, being a minister is such a particular role with its symbolism for the community, its guardianship of the faith and story and tradition, with the community as we remind the community of the story and our God into which we ar…

ncyc11 day six part two

After the bible study, Nathan and I agreed that it had been a remarkable experience, really rewarding in terms of the depth of engagement and understanding we were privileged to witness in our group.
Once I had offered a sending out commissioning (see previous post) noone moved! What a lovely moment. This group were in no hurry to leave this space in which they had spent time with the Sacred Story and each other. Lovely.
A couple of the girls got up spontaneously to offer thanks on behalf of the group to Nathan and me, met with applause. This was also a moment of affirmation and friendship.
My heart has been warmed by the responses to the storytelling too, with many from the group telling me or Nathan directly that they have appreciated this way of hearing the Sacred Story, and also telling others, because there have been many people outside the bible study who have approached me to say they've heard good things about our bible study, which is just lovely. One young person even to…

ncyc11 day six milk and honey liturgy

Closing ritual – Session FourMilk and honeyThe world says come – buy and eat Yet with all that money can buy No worldly food can fully satisfy
God calls to us – incline your ear and come to me; Listen so you may live, Listen carefully and eat what is good Delight in rich food You that have no money Come buy and eat Come buy milk and honey – without money, and without price
Let the milk and honey symbolise for us the goodness of the rich food God offers Let this ritual remind us of the ways we tune into God, For a message that leads us into life
We have heard stories that remind us of God’s call to us – I am here, listen carefully to me We have heard stories that remind us of the blessings God offers We have heard stories of listening so that we may offer a message that will be heard, And of living the message with all of our being
Walk then to God’s table, take a cup of milk and a spoonful of honey Drink and eat how you choose
All are welcome at this table – having tasted what the world has to o…

ncyc11 day six part one

our final bible study went well. we heard some more of the things people are going to do when they go home, to communicate the message and stories of ncyc with their communities.
We heard Jesus say that we are to be salt and light - so we are to live the message with all our being and transmit the message more explicitly through words and actions. This particular crystalising of the meaning from the passage came from one of the delegates - it's so rewarding to hear the young people engage with the biblical stories and draw out meaning for themselves. love it!

I then led us in a milk and honey ritual, from Uniting in Worship II, as I mentioned in my previous blog.

I can't find the amended version of the liturgy, so will look for it when I'm at my next destination and then put it up here as promised to a couple of the bible study participants.

ncyc11 day five part two

Yesterday afternoon the delegates participated in 'submersions' - mission experiences.
Some were involved in conversations, for example with overseas delegates, sharing stories.
Others did a flash mob dance on a nearby beach, then handed out fair trade chocolates.
There were groups helping out with Habitat for Humanity's ongoing support for families in Queensland, by doing gardening and landscaping, or helping to serve meals for homeless people and hearing some of their stories - and so much more. Everyone I've spoken to enjoyed the experience - though there are some sore bodies today after the gardening!

While they were off doing that I was preparing today's bible study, which includes a milk and honey ritual (this is often celebrated at baptisms, and is associated with remembering the blessings of God). Nathan and I thought it might be a good way to finish off the time together, as it draws on the first passage from Isaiah we looked at, with God calling the peopl…

ncyc11 day five

Bible study number three today. We heard the portion of Matthew's gospel in which Jesus talks about judging others, and then about asking God, seeking God, knocking expecting the door to open. Last night Gillian was talking about asking - that it is OK to ask God for what we long for, God knows what we need before we ask it, but wants us to speak our needs to God. With today's focus on turning it up, the not judging others reminds us to listen to others before speaking ourselves, hearing more than we say I guess.
Then the prophet from the time when the people of Judah were in exile shared the story of hearing the message from God of comfort for the people and how it was important to understand that the people would find the message difficult to hear.
After this we invited the group to think about the message they have been hearing at NCYC, and their communities, and how they might go about sharing this message with their communities in a way that will help them to hear it. We …

ncyc11 new year's day

We got a sleep in yesterday, with breakfast not until 9am. Lovely!
I spent most of the day learning the story for today's bible study - from Isaiah 40, with some imagined story from the prophet around the message and what it might have been like to speak out the message to those people at that time.
I did a bit of wandering around in between searching out people to chat with, and got to meet some more great people. I shared stories about experiences of travel in England, and spent a wonderful hour or more getting to know Steph, who is in my bible study.
It rained quite a bit, though, and every time I left our dorm building I had forgotten to bring the umbrella I had been clever enough to remember to pack, and so I got a bit wet. I didn't really mind, though, because rain is still a bit of a surprise for me, don't think I've realised the drought is coming to an end - I'm from the driest state in Australia.
Worship was a little different last night, with some alt.wors…

ncyc11 photos from new year's eve


ncyc11 new years' eve

There's a very tired but happy feeling about the place this morning, following last night's epic new years' eve celebrations!
Highlights for me:
three very intense games of jenga - can't wait to see the video of the moment of collapse from the third! (also I discovered there's a uno/jenga game, which I have decided I MUST experience)
watching dodgeball and chatting with a Qld candidate for ministry (Rob or Rod?? help!) about sport, games, and candidating
a rap competition (yes, this is usually one of my less preferred forms of music) that exhibited some monumental courage from 6 or 8 young people to get up and freestyle rap in front of the ncyc crowd - the winner was Marda, who is a gorgeous young Aboriginal woman from the north of Queensland I think, who just won from a couple of guys who were also great.
a drama in the praise party that depicted a young man's struggle with the evil one and the different kinds of 'superheroes' who might try to protect us…