Showing posts from April, 2013

of loving our differences

It seems there is much to cause a hopeful heart to despair, and my heart occasionally despairs at our inability to love – deeply and authentically – those who differ from ourselves. Love with a love that allows their differences to be differences – not barriers to relationship, not ‘wrongs’ in contrast to our ‘rights’.

The latest volume of Weavingshas been a conversation partner for me in recent weeks, with its theme of ‘diversity’, as has been the Biblical story (as it so often is). Others blog and post comments on facebook, at various times, also speaking into my wonderings (for example, linking to this story, of my friend Geoff at Oasis, Flinders University).
If the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each (1 Cor12:17)– is the Spirit only understood as being given to those of Christian faith, or is the Spirit actually manifest in each and every human being?
If Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) – is Christian faith the only way into renewing relationship with G…

of dreams and visions

This morning I joined Willunga Uniting Church for gathered worship, and met a warm and welcoming bunch of people.

Our story was that of a letter Peter receives from his friends in Jerusalem, asking him to explain some news they have heard of changes to behaviour his engagement with Gentile Christians appears to have brought about. (cf Acts chs 10 - 11) Peter has had a dream in which he hears God invite him to receive hospitality from and eat freely with Gentiles, practices that Jews understand make them unclean. It seems Peter heard God inviting him to change his understanding of being 'clean', being in relationship with God and each other.

I told the story - in a retelling I wrote for Seasons of the Spirit - and asked the people to wonder ... we wondered how easy it was for the apostles to change the behaviours of their Jewish heritage, what Cornelius's fellow Roman soldiers thought of his entering the Way of Christ, how it felt to eat this new and different food, wondere…

of retelling Shakespeare's stories

I have been exploring the reimagining of stories recently, generally because it interests me, and more specifically for a paper I am presenting in Prague next month.

As a fan of Shakespeare, I particularly love the way people play with Shakespeare's plays, not least because in many instances, that is what he himself was doing - playing, interpreting, retelling stories others had already told. But after 400 years, one might argue that we must have exhausted all the possible ways to retell these stories. So what does make them endure in their adaptability, their ability to engage artists and audiences the world over?
I believe it is because in these stories, Shakespeare captures deep and enduring truths at the heart of human nature, human story, human being. 
Take the two I watched on DVD this weekend from BBC's Shakespeare Retold series of a few years ago: Much Ado About Nothing, and Taming of the Shrew. The writers (directors, actors, all the team), have taken the plays shaped…

pioneer drift

National Biblical Storytellers' gathering - now taking registrations

In the beginning was  the word ... pass it on! 

The 2013 National Gathering of the Network of Biblical Storytellers will be held in Brisbane, from 5 – 7 July. Keynote speaker: Megan McKenna. This is the front page of the flier - click on the link to download the full pdf flier and registration form.

As we draw closer to the event, please visit the Network of Biblical Storytellers Australia website for information including details for the epic telling of portions of the Gospel of John, and workshops being offered (including one on the characters in the book of Esther by yours truly).

Please feel free to share the brochure through your networks, and encourage people to attend to discover and nurture the gift of inhabiting, embodying, and telling the Biblical stories.

I hope to see you there!

a prayer, responding to world events and the story of Jesus

as we mourn with a world too often shaken by bombs,
we look to the people's responses to violence:

how many stories of courage and kindness,
generosity and selfless love to we hear
in the wake of each tragedy?

does it remind us of the Christ we follow,
who showed kindness and compassion to all
he encountered, courage in the face
of violence, love for God, for all creation?

will we respond to violence and fear with
or will we, as the stories we tell demand, meet
violence with peaceful resistance, hatred
with compassion and fear with love?

as we mourn in the wake of bombings in Boston,
disrupting a celebration of life and health, we lament
this resorting to violence
we give thanks for those who responded with kindness
to bring healing and comfort

but we also lament the media's privileging
of Western tragedy over ongoing violence in the Middle
East, of whose story we appear to have tired
in its relentlessness; over the violence in developing
nations, whose humanity seem…

an invitation to explore

On 4 May, I am joining a bunch of people who will speak from various perspectives on the theme of 'explore', for a TEDx event.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference on the West Coast each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize. (from the TED website). (check out this video for another explanation)

TEDxAdelaide will bring together an eclectic bunch of speakers who will be discussing what it means to explore, what we explore and why. Join us for the full-day ideas festival where you can participate in a morning series of tours around Adelaide and …