Showing posts from December, 2011

of Christmas @ Belair Uniting

Christmas Eve #1, in which I bookend the story with a welcome and a blessing

Christmas Eve #2, in which I lead with my licorice stick

Christmas Eve #3, in which I take the part of the angel ...

walking, I received a gift

what the butterflies taught me about life 

fragile, beautiful,
fleeting - but to have had it -
ah, that is the gift

Published in On Wisdom's Wings, Ginninderra Press, 2013.

of music, the language that speaks straight to the heart

music is a language that speaks across so many of the boundaries we place between ourselves and others. of course, not all music does that, and music can itself be boundary-making - my dad dislikes much of the music his daughters listen to, and vice-versa. but there are those pieces of music that speak to us, regardless of our preferences of style, and remind us, connect us to, our common humanity, and perhaps also, the sacred.
last night at our Blue Christmas service, music did that, I think - we had with us three Papuan men, whose land, whose families and friends, are suffering persecution as the people of Papua strive for liberation. These men had brought their instruments with them - a guitar, and a drum whose beat resonates hope. These men had brought their songs with them, sung in the midst of great personal and communal suffering, songs of the trust we can hold onto in the midst of such pain and grief, that God is indeed with us. We can learn much from each other. And Australia…

or has stories told about her & her family

page three of today's indaily has the story of how Flinders University is kind of like our family business.

of Mary's encounter with the angel Gabriel

This evening I told the story of Mary’s annunciation at Rosefield’s Alive @ 5 interactive Christmas.  I found it interesting that whenever I rehearsed the story, I almost cried at Mary’s acceptance of God’s invitation to participate in the incarnation, but didn’t quite get there any of the half a dozen times I told the story tonight. But then that does sometimes happen – the emotion is more under control in front of an audience. I was disappointed, though, because it felt right to feel that response of shock, awe and wonder after the words from Gabriel: ‘anything is possible with God’. I would do this sharp intake of breath, as this 14 or 15 year old girl realises what she’s being invited to do, that God has chosen her, that this is actually almost incomprehensible.
I took out the opening words ‘in the sixth month’ as they seemed to refer to the earlier passage talking about Elizabeth’s pregnancy, and here I was just telling Mary’s story. the angel mentions Elizabeth being in her 6t…

of being in bed listening to the rain and pondering

I was lying in bed this morning listening to the rain, one of my favourite things, and it occurred to me - wouldn't it be great if everyone could take these moments, extend them, delight in them? These moments of beauty. But they can't.
And so I tweet: 'in a just world all wd b free 2 delight in moments like these: lying in bed listening 2 rain', when it occurs to me - I wonder if people will find it strange that this is my picture, my prayer, for a just world? Rather than saying 'in a just world all will receive an education / be fed / have access to health / be allowed to marry who they want,' I say, people should be able to lie in bed and listen to rain.
Well. Of course I want all to eat and be healthy and have the right to ask the state to recognise their life partnership under the law if they want to. But my prayer this morning, in response to this moment, is for a world in which all are free to appreciate, delight in, this beautiful world God created and …

a prayer for joy in Advent

This is from a book called Openings, and it helped turn my mood, my sense of being, from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, to feeling at peace with all the 'tasks' of this very busy season for Christian ministers, and more joyful about the season itself:

O God, let some joy loose. Let it rise to the surface and shake me out of preoccupation with lists and tasks. Forgive me for my heavy-hearted approach to your season on joy and light. Help me not to let long lists and calendar events overwhelm the wonder of your birth. Smiling God, let some joy loose in me, and let it rub off on others. (Larry James Peacock)

May it be so.

telling Mark 10:13-16 - Jesus & the little children

This was the second of three stories I recorded this week for Pancake Day 2012, with a theme of who is our neighbour.

People were bringing little children to Jesus that he might touch them - but the disciples spoke sternly to them. The disciples spoke sternly - that is to say, they were sending the people away. My voice carried a sternness, my gaze a rebuke, and I swept my hand strongly, palm upright, between where I imagined Jesus and the people to be as a 'stop'.
My immediate feeling with Jesus' indignation was to insert 'Oi!' into his rebuke of the disciples! In the end, the 'Oi' dropped out of the telling, perhaps because it felt distracting, or too comical, or too much like eisegeting Australian culture into the story. I carried the feeling of the 'oi' into my expression of Jesus words - Let the children come to me. 
And as I spoke the rest of his words, I entered his character a little more, and played him inviting the children in between the p…

of writing and worship, courage and comfort

This morning in gathered worship @ Belair, the events in the lives of some of our members reminded us all of the way joy and sorrow sit side by side, sometimes painfully & uncomfortably, in life. And as a couple of us reflected after the service, one of the beauties of a community like church is that when we can’t sing songs of joy, others will sing for us until we can. And while we lament and while we weep, others will weep with us. We are not alone.
We are using the material from SeasonsFUSION worship outlines: the theme for this week was words of comfort,and that I wrote the words we were praying gained a new depth this morning, as we heard of the pain and sorrow in the lives of folk from our community. I haven't mentioned that they are my words, and there's part of me that doesn't want to draw attention to that - perhaps I will once the Advent, Christmas Epiphany season has finished, and we move onto using others' words. We prayed specifically for a couple of pe…

interpreting Mark 7:24-30 for telling

The story begins with Jesus going away to a region in Gentile territory. He goes into a house and doesn't want people to know he's there. So he's taking time out, seeking rest; I felt his tiredness, exhaustion. That becomes important for me in telling his response to the woman who kneels beside him.
That he couldn't escape notice made me imagine the crowd that travelled with him, followed him. Wherever he went, people were talking about him, his teaching, his healing. This was a man to notice.
As the woman comes to kneel beside him, I imagined that she would have to fight through a crowd, and probably fight to get past the disciples. I'm not convinced I quite conveyed that, because to show here fighting her way through the crowds is a lot of movement, or requires adding something to the words of the story. To do it with movement only would be to distract unnecessarily - especially for a recording. I settled for communicating the woman's determination and a gent…

of filming stories for pancake day

Pancake Day - held on shrove tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday at the beginning of Lent - is a huge fundraising campaign each year for UnitingCare, the Uniting Church's social care agency. Churches, schools - any group really - cook pancakes for their community asking for a donation. The money goes to UnitingCare. And awareness is raised for these agencies.
Part of the awareness raising of the event is the pre-materials inviting people to take part in the event.
That's where I come in. They asked me to tell some stories of Jesus and his neighbours. My friend Jana offered a reflection on how we engage with our neighbours, living out stories like the well known story of the Good Samaritan, working together to feed, nurture, offer care, and share love.
Filming of the clips was this afternoon, and we did have fun! Scouting out all the nooks and corners of Pilgrim Church to find just the right spot, the right light balanced with the feel of a sacred space, including standing on…