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Showing posts from March, 2019

Love is stronger than fear.

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Lent 2 sermon for Wesley Uniting Church, Canberra.

Luke 13:31–35 
(Philippians 3:17–4:1; Psalm 27; Genesis 15:10–18) 
I have a confession to make.

I have not been able to bring myself to watch the documentary that tells two boys’ stories of abuse from Michael Jackson. I suppose I don’t want to see; I suppose I am not prepared to pay the cost. That cost will be a loss of cultural heritage, because how can I listen to his music again, when I accept the reality. To be honest, there were other things I found unlikeable about Michael Jackson, but this I know I will not be able to overlook. There is a loss in the being betrayed or at least let down by someone I admired, if only for his music.

But in this refusal to see him in this light, I am also refusing to see those two boys, those men.

Goodness it’s been a full and complex week or two, has it not.

Journalist Louise Milligan spoke on channel 10’s The Project this week (video here), and having written a book and spent time with one of…

Holy Solitude: Lent Reflections 1

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Holy Solitude. That’s the name of a book I got to inspire my reflection this Lenten season. (Holy Solitude, Heidi Haverkamp) With characters from biblical stories and from the history of religious practice, I am invited to enter the wilderness to be alone with God.

Participants in this book’s practices are encouraged to ‘decorate’ the house, as one would for the season of Advent or Christmas. In some ways it is more ‘un-decorating’, as the author suggests removing candles, for example.

I have been slow to enter the process and the practice, but as this first week has unfolded, I have read stories of Hagar and been reminded that she entered the wilderness, cast out of Sarah’s house not once, but twice; and of Paul, contemplating his withdrawal from a quite extroverted way of living for three days of literal darkness and introspection.

I have turned off the timer on my string of lanterns, which usually shine for half an hour around breakfast time, and for a couple of hours in the evenin…

Diary of a chronically exhausted vicar. Episode 22.

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Pain. So much pain. Have I run a marathon? Been hit by a bus? No. I have chronic exhaustion, or my doctor calls it fibromyalgia, and it’s flared up. Again.



First, I can’t tell you how important it is that when I sit in my GP’s room, slumped, slow, sleepy, she sees all that and names it. You look exhausted. Is the fibromyalgia flaring up again? 

Seen. Named. Affirmed. It is not ‘in my head’, some figment of imagination or hypochondria. I have a chronic illness, and it is perfectly legitimate that I feel the way I feel.

Then she did the doctor thing of holding her patient to account. No full day off in weeks? That won’t be helping. 

We talked about the importance of those 36 straight hours I get every week, in which I rest and switch off the otherwise constant attention given to my ‘work’, my congregation. And in recent weeks, I have not had that. There has been a funeral to arrange; there has been an important phone-in board meeting; earlier in the month, there was a drive to Sydney to…