Showing posts from August, 2012

WA Story Tour: Day Seven

Today was rehearsal day, for stories to be told at the camp, and thanks to a last minute development, now also tomorrow morning at the gathering of the WA Adult Fellowships folk.

Rehearsing was hard work, actually, but I found my way into stories I have told long ago - Paul's one body, many members, which took more effort than Jesus' parables of lost things (sheep, coin, son) - and polished up some stories I've already told on the tour - the story of sarah tells stories, and stone soup - as well as some new stories - of willows and whispers (which includes some recorder pieces, one of which I have difficulty with), and the sweet sound of grace (which also includes music - my humming, the audience's singing).

I rehearsed in a room at Star Street Uniting, with whose community I am going to camp this weekend. While I was there, I saw the food store, which has been going for 30 years, and is a volunteer-run shop servicing the local community, and has an op-shop attached, a…

WA Story Tour: Day Six

From Margaret River to Perth.

Before getting on the road for Perth, I took a detour this morning to the Dunsborough region, to some more local delights. We had been so focussed on getting me to Perth in good time, that we forgot to think about opening times, so I arrived well before opening, and enjoyed an extra drive through the region in the sunshine. By the time I went back through, it was pouring with rain.

Once the doors did open ...

The Olive Soap factory was a feast of touch and smell - with creams and lotions and soaps from olive oil - and of taste - with olive oils, dukkah, vinaigrette (a passionfruit vinaigrette - yum!!) ... mmm

Happs winery was a feast for eyes and soul with the art of pottery - if only I didn't have such a challenge to get it home to Adelaide, I would have bought several pieces. And another feast of taste and smell with an SSB I am still remembering, and a dessert wine - Pale Gold - of which I may just buy a case to have with lime and ice when summer f…

WA Story Tour: Days Four & Five

Rest days.

Having two days before I needed to be in Perth for the next workshops, I decided to hang around in Margaret River and enjoy the region and some of what it has to offer.

On Sunday, Cathie had driven home through Borinup Forest - a magic spot that has become one of my favourite places in the world. It is hard to describe - the way the trees seem suspended, the forest floor appears to fall giving you the same sensation of your stomach dropping that you get driving over a sudden rise in the road, the sense that this is somehow, or was, one of the many caves dotted through this region ... it's right out of a fairy tale.

So Monday, I returned, pulled the car over, and walked to the viewing platform. I took some photos. Mostly I just soaked it in. The silence. The birdsong. The stillness. The falling.

Tuesday I visited the chocolate factory, Providore (gourmet food & winery), Hayshed Hill (winery), and the cheese factory. A feast for the taste buds, and olfactory glands. F…

WA Story Tour: Day Three

Day three of the tour was in Augusta for worship and prayer writing.

Our worship gathering was shaped around the folk story of stone soup (sarah tells stories version), and the biblical stories of Elisha's miracles with soup for the prophets and bread for one hundred men and Jesus' feeding of 5000.

My telling of stone soup focuses on colour - I have developed a beginning that paints the village grey, and the stranger as rainbow coloured. One response from a congregation member has made me wonder about whether this is an effective device. More work for retreat & rehearsal days.

On reflection, I also thought a song might have been helpful between stone soup and biblical stories.

The people seemed to engage well with the stations for prayer, though I will make some changes to the thanksgiving station if I do this again - people were invited to pour a communion glass of 'wine' into a bigger wine glass, which would then overflow, our thanks to God overflowing ... howeve…

WA Story Tour: Day Two

Before the first workshop of the tour, my hosts took me to the Lions mart - a local event for the Margaret River region, then to Yahava Koffeeworks for some coffee tasting, and I'm hooked; and cookies galore, also leaving me with plans for some online ordering when I return home!

on the way home, we witnessed the car in front hit a kangaroo, and stopped to help, witnessing the disturbing site of an animal in pain from serious injuries.

our journey continued via the bakery for lunch, and then it was on to Margaret River Uniting Church for a workshop in telling our own stories.

I shared a story I am working on, a telling of the story of my call to ordained ministry, which I'm not really happy with yet, though I'm not sure exactly what it is I want to change. So that will be a task for the next few days of retreat and rehearsal.

As we introduced ourselves, many of the stories we told (I asked people to share an adventure from the past week) demonstrated a point I was to go on…

WA Story Tour: Day One

Day one of the WA Story Tour was travel day. It was an early start on Friday to the airport for the flight to Perth - the three and a half hour flight gave me time to rehearse stories for the weekend workshops and worship. And snooze.
Half way into the flight, a coughing fit started that I feared would last the whole second half of the flight ... thankfully with throat lozenges and water it calmed down, but I did suspect that the cold I caught last weekend would cause problems this week.
Arriving in Perth, my luggage came out quickly and I picked up my hire car, set up the gps (thanks Cogs & Dave), and was on my way.
The drive down from Perth to Margaret River was an easy drive, and it was a great day for a drive; fine and not very hot. Following the gps, not using a road map with the broader geography, and with the highways all bypassing the towns, I felt a little disconnected from place, kind of like I was driving through a wilderness. The desert-meets-beach landscape enhanced t…

hope and despair: opposites or points on a continuum?

Of Psalm 130, the writer of this morning's reflection in Disciplines says that the closing affirmation, 'O Israel, hope in the Lord!...' is 'the very opposite of the psalm's opening', 'From the depths I cry out, O Lord.'
I would argue that they are not opposing statements, but agreeing. For a cry from the depths to God is itself an expression of hope. If I had no hope of being heard, would I bother to cry out?
Perhaps the cry from the depths is only implicitly hopeful, rather than intentionally. In our performance theory class last week, as we explored discourse theory, we were pondering whether we fully experience an emotion until we can name it - perhaps hope, though somehow expressed and felt, isn't fully hopeful until we can name our hope as hope, at which point we begin to move on from despair and more fully into hope.

of service, self, and disservice

Reading Ephesians 4:1-7, and the reflection in Disciplines this morning, the writer of the reflection picked up on the letter's encouragement to members of the church in our responsibility to serve out of our gifts, for the health of the whole body.
I, perhaps in light of my own context, also wondered if we have a responsibility to the health of the whole body to attend to our own health. How much emphasis is placed on our service to others in the church - but love your neighbour as yourself, I would suggest also means love yourself, care for yourself. We are whole together, which means that to serve others and neglect one's self is actually doing both ourselves and others a disservice.
It may well be counter cultural to be other than individualistic and self-focussed, and thus our emphasis on service. But perhaps it is also counter cultural to recognise our wholeness as reliant on each other, and that care of self is, in part, also care of our community. Just as care of other…