A musing, midweek, after news that a courageous, generous, and faithful decision on marriage might be cast aside.
In July, the national council of my church, the Uniting Church in Australia, made a decision to include in our understanding of marriage that it is both between a man and a woman, and between two people regardless of gender, and to allow our members to hold either view according to their conscience (for details, see here, and here; for former President Rev Prof Andrew Dutney's reflection on this as a courageous and faithful decision, see here).
This decision did not cast aside one view or another, did not declare or even imply that the old, familiar, cherished-by-many view was wrong. It did allow us to give dignity to faithful people who want to commit to lifelong partnership with the vows and covenant of marriage under law and within the church before God.
There are some who hold that old familiar view of marriage who wa…
Have you heard church leaders, preachers, theologians bemoan the lack of ability of congregations today to listen to a sermon?
Listening audiences are accused of having short attention spans, requiring multi-media delivery of a message, not valuing oratory. But is this true, or fair?
Should the 'blame' be shouldered, at least in part, by the preacher?
I suggest that we have lost the ability to communicate orally, not just to listen attentively and to hear.
Can we regain the skills of oratory, utilise tools of performance, and once more hold an audience for longer than 13 minutes (a time suggested in a book called The Prodigal Project as the ideal length for a sermon)?
Can we help listeners learn again to be attentive for longer, to hear a message and hold onto it after the blessing and the handshake at the door?
And should we even strive to achieve these goals? Should we even bother? Or do we abandon the oral communication of our sacred texts for the more culturally popula…
The results of the blood tests are in, and it turns out I've had glandular fever this past month. Which explains the feeling ill, the glands all achy from working so hard, the tiredness, the tiredness. I'm amazed I've been utterly laid low with it so comparatively little.
So that's what's behind the most recent episode of extreme exhaustion.
Further results from the blood tests revealed very low iron levels. This will account for the constant crash of energy levels, and inability to return to a feeling of plenty in my energy stores. Iron was deemed low by doctors in Edinburgh 18 months ago, and there were some tablets to increase pheratin levels, I think to help carry the iron, or oxygen, or something, around the blood.
My doctor here is taking a stronger approach. Tomorrow I will receive an iron infusion: needle in, and five minutes' worth of iron pumping straight into the blood. No nasty side effects from iron tablets that mes…