Showing posts from May, 2014

A sacred event from the Centre for Music, Liturgy and the Arts

Honouring the Sacred - Communion
Does your community have questions about communion…
What does it mean? Why do it? Grape juice or wine? Pre-cut bread or loaf? What do I say when serving the bread, or the wine? What components can I cut out? What needs to be included? How can children be involved?

Come along to the Centre for Music, Liturgy and the Arts’ event Honouring the Sacred - Communion to explore and discuss.

Led by Rev. Sean Gilbert (Minister of the Word and faculty member of UCLT teaching liturgy and worship) and Rev. Sandy Boyce (Deacon at Pilgrim Uniting Church).

Tuesday June 17th, 6.30pm
Burnside City Uniting Church,
384 Portrush Rd, Tusmore

$15 per person or $75 for as many people from your worship team and/or church. Pay at the door or online at
Includes a light meal. Please RSVP by Friday June 13th to

This event is for everyone - those who buy and prepare the elements, those who preside, those who serve, and those who recei…

the story of a storyteller shaving her head : the end

Today marks the end of having a shaved head.

If you have been keeping up with the story, you will know that I shaved my head on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, as both response to the stories of cancer swirling around my community and challenge to myself to reset my focus and priorities for the resources I have.

It was a swirling pot of mixed up reasons, but in essence, I was stirred by the stories of cancer; I wanted to respond but have limited resources, so had to give something up. I chose to give up my hair - not simply to stop spending money on the crazy colours and cuts for which I am well known to free up the money, but to give it up. Shave it off. Hair is symbolically linked with cancer stories, as the harsher treatments so often lead to the losing of it for those living with the illness. Shaving my head in the season of Lent, a season of giving up, simplifying our living in order to make a contribution that will help others to simply live, made t…

Interpretation: core human activity



The work we do together for the sake of our full humanity.

Humans are storied beings. This weekend just gone, I was with folk from my wider church community considering the story to which we have chosen to belong. The story of God revealed through Jesus. Our guide through our explorations, Sean Winter from the Uniting Church's theological college in Melbourne, began our time together with the theme of Interpretation. Interpretation as a core theme of the gospel of Matthew, our focus for the weekend. Interpretation as the core activity of Christian community as depicted by Matthew.



It is why we tell stories at all: to interpret, make meaning of, our experience as human beings.

When it comes to the sacred texts of our faith tradition (and I speak only of my own, for I am no expert in any other, and yet a learner in my own), commonly known as the Bible, we can be reluctant to acknowledge that interpretation is not only n…

of stones, walls, and humanity

I'm preparing worship for my community of faith when we gather this Sunday. We use the Seasons of the Spirit FUSION materials to shape our gatherings. The prayer of confession in the worship outline for this week involves the people holding onto a stone, then placing the stone in a basket, letting go of all we are confessing.

It felt to the worship leader and me good to offer to take the stone back, hold on to it through the week, as a prayer for others after the stories we will be hearing of two people of faith killed by other people of faith.

I've shaped different words to those in the Seasons outline, to tie in with the theme of our gathering and stories.

I pray earnestly for the wholeness of our humanity, together, as I prepare to tell stories that are quite disturbing in their portrayal of our human capacity to divide and cause harm.

stone prayer for ourselves and others
a basket of stones to be passed to all present
Stones build walls between us. Low walls that define, hel…

becoming friends: a response to Neighbourhood Watch

State Theatre Company SA have done this to me before.

I know I am an audience member, sitting in a theatre. I know they are actors, on a stage.
But Tuesday night, I was with Ana and Catherine on Mary Street, in Budapest (Lally Katz's Neighbourhood Watch): State Theatre Company actors are not actors on the stage. They embody their characters and invite us into their story (Hamlet in 2007, for instance, in which I forgot he was an actor portraying Hamlet, and only saw Hamlet, dying ...).

It is not only State Theatre Company: Windmill took me into the nightmare of Girl Asleep; Bell Shakespeare bring Shakespeare's plays into today's world; Royal Shakespeare took me inside Hamlet's story). So what is it about these productions that strips away the theatre to create a world that audience and actor inhabit together, not just as audience and actor, but as Ana and Catherine, actor and audience both?

In the case of Neighbourhood Watch there are a couple of things that I think cr…

jazz, psalms and community

This Sunday a number of our young folk are going to be away for Generations in Jazz in Mt Gambier. My reflection on living in community is shaped by this fact, and the story of the early community gathering with the apostles in Jerusalem, found in the book of Acts.
Psalm 23 is on the lectionary list again - seems to have come up a few times this year already for Belair, on the lectionary, at a funeral. Idea of North do a great a cappella jazz version of it.
So from reflections on jazz as community, I am going to move into prayers for others, which I have shaped around Psalm 23, in the great jazz tradition of improvising on a theme.

psalm 23 as prayers for others
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want – we pray than none will want, that there will be none who yearn for food, shelter, friendship, peace, education, medicine, employment, clean water …
May the Holy One lay you down in green pastures, lead you beside still waters; God restores the soul – this is our prayer for you who are…

a prayer of celebration and lament for mothers' day

as a community, we take time to pause and give thanks for the gift of mothers. shining a light on the gift, shadows fall, and we acknowledge the shadows, too.
We celebrate and give thanks, each of us, for our mother. The woman who carried us in her womb, gave birth to us, brought us into life.
We lament, each of us, separation from our mother at different times, through conflict, distance of place, death. We lament, seek to forgive and be forgiven.
We celebrate and give thanks, each of us, for those who have been as mothers to us; our aunts and pseudo-aunts, big sisters, friends, mentors and teachers. The women who have nurtured, taught, encouraged, shaped us with love.
We lament, each of us, the women who have caused us pain, who have abandoned or neglected us, mistakenly or intentionally caused us harm.We lament the hurt we have caused to women, our friends, colleagues, neighbours, sisters, aunts and mothers. We lament, seek to forgive and be forgiven.
We celebrate and give thanks, …