Showing posts from March, 2018

Integrity: it needs to go further than the cricket pitch

This week in Australia the media has been flooded with  disappointment in the Australian Cricket team, and especially its leaders. Tampering with the ball, along with some questionable sportsmanship earlier in the series from various players - where is their integrity, we want to know? Where is their respect for the spirit of the game?

This weekend the media has been remarkably absent from the raising of voices that happened in Palm Sunday rallies across the country. The Australian people calling for greater integrity from our nation's leaders on the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

This week, I am left wondering. Why is it that we (and by we, I mean the media, the ones who tell our story) are quick to express our disappointment in our sports people, yet seem unwilling to call the politicians to account? Do we expect more of our sports stars, our cricketers especially with its hallowed 'spirit of the game', than we do of our political leaders? Have we come to expe…

Musing on God's covenants

This week at Wesley I reflected on portions of Jeremiah and the Gospel according to John. 
We sang a refrain, words and music by Robin Mann (in the All Together series, number 337) . 

Sing : the grass withers, flowers fade, but the word of God lasts forever 
I will write a new covenant on their hearts, God says through Jeremiah. Even when God’s people have let their commitment to the covenant wither like grass, fade like flowers – God will promise again and again, God will keep God’s promises: evergreen, God’s word endures. Listen to the poetry in the verses that follow what we’ve heard today: Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – The Lord of hosts is his name: If this fixed order were ever to cease From my presence, says the Lord, Then also the offspring of Israel would cease To be a nation before me forever.
If the fixed order were ever to cease, on…

On death as choice

In our parish during Lent, we are holding four discussion evenings on themes of death, resurrection, life after / beyond death. Topics we rarely engage in seriously, for they are big, and our ideas tap into deeply held beliefs, and it makes us vulnerable to expose them and bring them into conflict (however friendly and respectful) with the different ideas of others.

This week, it was my turn to facilitate the discussion. A few of our congregation couldn't be there, and have asked for notes. Friends further afield are also interested. So here is roughly what I said.

Lent discussion: choosing life rather than death. Surviving depression and suicide Claim this as a safe space, in which we will only share as we feel comfortable, will listen attentively, respect each other, and not tell anyone else’s story without permission.

Last week, Ockert said that we love facts, but the one fact that is more certain than all is the one we do not talk about: we will die. That is a fact.

This evening…

Midweek Musing: a new presbytery

Along with a new city, new congregation, new state/territory, I also have a new presbytery to get to know. Saturday was the first time I gathered with the meeting, and I noticed a few things.

The meeting is very anglo in its ethnicity, only a couple of people in the room with different coloured skin. While many of our congregations are quite diverse in our ethnicity, mine included, the representation in the regional meeting is not. I wonder why that is? Is the multicultural nature of the congregations indicative of a more transient element of the population, not here long enough to become the known and trusted members to take on such roles and responsibilities? Are our meetings and structures quite western, and therefore alienating to people from different cultures? I wonder.

The mood was positive, light, full of humour. People were happy to be there, happy to see each other, happy to share a joke with each other. In their welcome of me, it was clear that people had paid attention to …