Sunday, 2 January 2011

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.
lighting the cross
Worship was a little different last night, with some alt.worship style stations. There were loads of options - washing feet, praying for others, Iona style song and silence, walking a labyrinth, meditation, story and song with Remember Seven, art, lighting a cross, communion ...
I heard some of the story from Remember Seven, and liked what they said about remembering that worship isn't so much about what songs we sing on a Sunday, but how we live out God's love in the world. When we are singing songs to God but ignoring the poor in the world, in the set beside us, are we truly worshipping God? We are called to hear and give voice to the stories of the least among us, to honour the stories of each person - which resonates with what Gillian was saying on the first night, we matter.

I also participated in the Iona style sing and silence, which was lovely, meditation on the hungry and those who hunger for justice as an act of solidarity in prayer.
I did think the earlier part of worship went a little long - and actually dishonoured the alt.worship experience if I'm being honest. I would have preferred more time to be given to the stations, so people could really enter into them, rather than feeling they had to move around a lot, which might have ended up being counter-productive if they were inviting people into an experience of prayer and worship ...
Song and silence
However, what Gillian had to say was again a great reflection on the theme of talking back to God, inviting us into a an experience of prayer that involved our whole bodies. Talking to a couple of others over breakfast this morning, we agreed that we would like to hear more from Gillian ...

And there were a couple of dramas that were quite effective: a young person offering her effective prayer for another that was realised as she prayed, and a wondering about who God is when we pray - a deputy principal, santa claus, someone of whom we can make demands ... or our Spirit friend who is present with us, meets us where we are, and walks with us. That was, for me, the best drama of the week so far. well done drama team.

A very chilled way to bring in the new year.

1 comment:

Marnie said...

Lovely song & silence photo. But then I'm susceptible to candles, visual spaces and atmospheric lighting...
God drama sounds good. Do they produce any of these resources in a form that participants can take them with them and re-use them?