Showing posts from August, 2018

Father's Day: Telling.

a day for fathers,
for dads and daddies,
pas and papas, so we are told;

buy up big, this is best,
show him just how much
you care, so we are told;

dads like power tools and football,
cricket, fishing, boating, camping,
red meat, whisky, beer, so we are told;

they wear nice shirts and neck ties,
smart watches, blue jumpers and
rugby jerseys, so we are told;

have wives and happy children,
friends around a barbecue or
in a pub, so we are told;

and one day each year we
can buy a card, a gift,
to show them love – or

can we tell another story,
of dads in comic book t-shirts,
fathers in kitchens and classrooms,

pas who knit, who dance,
who drink tea or champagne,
cook tofu burgers on their barbecues;

can we tell the story of dads
who have husbands, or no partner
at all, who nurse, who play

violin or clarinet, paint
portraits, write poetry, and do
not care for costly gifts at all?

can we tell of offspring
who tell daddies every day
in words and hugs and taking out

the rubbish: I love you,
I n…

Diary of a Chronically Exhausted Vicar. Episode 12

In my work as a minister, I need to be present and available for others. I preside at community gatherings, participate in administrative and pastoral councils and committees, I listen to individuals and hold their stories safe.

This can be a challenge when one has fragile health, as I do. Whatever the cause – a natural pre-disposition, chronic fatigue or something similar, or glandular fever as has been the recent story – I pick up every cold and virus that goes around, or so it seems. I also seem to pick up injuries fairly easily, so that my best friend, when we shared a house, would ask when I returned from netball, not did you win (partly because we never did), but, what did you injure today?

Over the years, I have had to learn how to live with that. How to live with constant back pain from multiple causes. How to live with chronic shin splints that made it difficult to stand, let alone walk, for months. How to live with carrying sniffles and a stuffy head and persistent coughs ev…

Midweek Musing: On finding our Source for life

Reflection from St Aidan’s Uniting Church this past Sunday, 26 August 2018. Our biblical portions were John 6:56-69 and Ephesians 6:10-20.

As I began here at Canberra Central, a long term project was coming to an end. The Verandah has served the people of Griffith flats for many years, in a partnership between Uniting, Baptist, and Anglican congregations in the area. Even as the residents were being rehoused in far-flung parts of the ACT, they were coming back for the food they knew was on offer for them. When you have found a source of food, of water, you come back, again and again. 

Peter says to Jesus, where would we go, now that we know you to be the Holy One of God? We have been fed by you, and it satisfies. How can we turn away from that nourishment, that life-giving source?

The whole of John 6 should really be read together, rather than in bits and pieces. For Jesus’ words about bread and life flow from the shared experience of the miracle of feeding 5000 hungry people. That eve…

Diary of a chronically exhausted vicar. Episode 11.

I've been back from my four week round the world trip for two weeks now, and have plunged straight back into life in the parish.

By the end of the four weeks, I had recovered a sense of wellbeing, energy, and joy.

I'll have to have the blood test to verify, but within myself it feels as if that infusion of iron in July is boosting my iron levels well now, and helping me to begin recovery from glandular fever.

I'm quite pleased with my diligent application of my plan for days of rest while travelling: there were days where I did very little indeed, which rejuvenated me for the days of sight-seeing, being present with friends, performing at and participating in the Network of Biblical Storytellers' seminar and festival gathering. And I have not crashed on my return home.

Before I went on leave, I would spend my customary morning at the church office, attending staff meetings, planning worship, meeting with congregation members, staff, colleagues, etc., and then come home…

Poems from Hold Them Close

Listen to Sarah speak poems from her new collection, Hold Them Close, out now with Resource Publications.

New Release: Hold Them Close

Hold Them Close 
New poetry collection from Sarah Agnew 
Available now! 

The poems in Hold Them Close express the joys and hardships of life in its breadth, from the sacred story of Christian spirituality, to the profanity of injustice; through the isolation of the poet and PhD student’s life and the deep connections to family, friends, community, and creation.  In her third collection of poetry, Sarah Agnew continues to give voice to vulnerability, and thereby seek strength.
Buy it now: 
From the publisher: Resource Publications From Booktopia From Amazon

Midweek Musing. On being a guest.

In my mid twenties, I house sat for several months. The owner was particular about the way she used her space, down to when the curtains were open and closed in each room. The couch in the TV room did not lend itself to reclining, my preferred position for watching TV. The internet wouldn’t work for me, making my freelance editing job almost impossible from that space.

I was working at the time across two retail sites, as well as the freelance editing work, so felt quite split across many places. Then my car died, spectacularly (smoke and everything), and the three places for work was complicated by two places for living, as I spent more time at home in order to access cars to borrow for accessing the multiple sites for work ... sigh. All in all, it felt like a colossal disaster.

But it could have begun better. I could have set myself a more helpful foundation from which to meet some of these challenges. Had I been more sure of myself (and perhaps I ought to have been, having lived aw…

Midweek Musing: behind an Easter story

This week I am at the annual Festival Gathering for the Network of Biblical Storytellers, and this is the final of the midweek musings that come from ANKOSFilms - Jason Chesnut's ministry of digital storytelling. Again we have Jason telling the story himself. Enjoy.

How did you feel, encountering this story told this way? Stories evoke emotions, and Jason makes an interesting point about the choices we often make about what emotions to highlight when we tell these stories. The context of our telling has shaped particular ways we tell these stories, and I appreciate this provocation to hear it differently, feel it differently.