Showing posts from July, 2012

a long time coming

then at last the tears come bubbling over past a cork succumbing with all that shaking staining a path of salt a tribute, a toast, a tip of the hat toward the empty chair the absence gnashing and wanting to swallow
toss it the bottle now dry at last get up and sweep the floor

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

Telling John 10

Thanks to my friend Craig Mitchell, here is the story I told at the installation service for our new President of the Uniting Church in Australia, on Sunday 15 July 2012. The 'blackout' lasts longer than I remember!

Assembly dispatch #2

We don't simply meet the whole time at Assembly in one big group, we have community working groups and Agency sessions, and we're gathered around tables even when we are in the big group - so there are many opportunities for conversation to explore issues and the proposals that are being put to the meeting.
I appreciated our working group, which discussed some proposals to do with education and discipleship yesterday and Monday. What is great about these spaces is the chance to hear different perspectives on what are often complex issues - how we oversee ministerial education across the church; what does it mean to be a member of the Uniting Church, how is that different from being a baptised member of the whole church, how do we decide who can - and who has a responsibility - to speak and vote on matters concerning the life of our congregations and wider councils of the church?
I appreciated the opportunity for conversation with the groups who oversee and resource the church …

Assembly dispatch #1

Well, the major event I was involved with for Assembly is done, and done well. It felt as though we shaped an installation service for the new President Andrew Dutney that was coherent with who he is and will be as our President. Music, beauty, tradition.
Loads of involvement from people of various ages and cultures and parts of the church.
Lots and lots of work from a dedicated team of people, some who have been working on this since the original dreams 18 months ago, some who came in with weeks to go to help realise the dream.
It was exhausting, but so rewarding and a huge honour to have been part of this moment in the life of our church.

I told the story for the service, as well as planning it and playing clarinet in the band.

The story was John 10 - Jesus describing himself as the good shepherd, who lays down his life for the flock, who gathers one flock, who is intimately connected with both God and the people.
For a less narrative, more teaching, text, it can be difficult as a s…

of the striving for balance

As friends on Facebook will have seen, I have been sick this week. Again. This is the second time in a month, and at least the third, if not fourth, cold / flu I've been hit with this winter.
I have a woeful immune system, apparently. No amount of olive leaf extract or multi-vitamin immune booster seems to help stave off the viruses. It is, to say the very least in pleasant company, frustrating.

But I have long since observed that life is a constant striving for balance. Some days you find it, blissfully, and oh-so-fleetingly. Because the next day, or maybe the day after that, something will happen to knock you off balance again.
When that happens, I have been inclined to give up on finding it again. It seems to have been so long in the arriving, so short in the staying, that I wonder, is it worth the effort?

But, lately, by degrees, I appear to be more able to embrace the striving as a practice, a way of living, of being. Rather than expecting the balance to be the state of being…

of coming and going in peace

last week's lectionary gospel passage was Mark 6:1-13. reading vv. 6b-13 with my daily reflection from Disciplines, the writer observed an urgency in Jesus' sending of the disciples. Not because the end of the world is near, but because Jesus' message has been rejected and they're worried about how many people they will be able to convert to this message. The writer talks of an urgency in the face of countering evil in the world.
I wondered - if we go into the world seeing the world as evil, expecting to find evil, is that all we will find?
What if we saw in this sending of apostles the motivation we see in so much of Jesus' actions - relationships of healing, restoration, nurture, love? Can we then see in this sending an opportunity to love?
We are called to love - not to overcome evil (if there is evil to overcome, God will do that, and I suspect God does that by God's very being ... but that's another blog post probably).
We are sent as bearers of peace.