Slow reading | A promise to sick and tired people (and everyone else!)

On Sunday, more than twice as many people sent in apologies as showed up. If it wasn’t so serious, it would be comic. But we are surrounded by sickness, exhaustion and anxiety. Many of those who aren’t currently sick are worried about becoming sick, or sick again; while many of those who are sick are worried about the long term effects, as yet unknown. Continue reading “Slow reading | A promise to sick and tired people (and everyone else!)”

Luke | All the loneliness money can buy

Wealth buys us distance from other people: but it comes at a cost. (Listen.)

What can money buy? There are the obvious things, of course. The big house, the nice car, the Rolex. The overseas holiday. The designer dog. But what money really buys these days is distance from other people: large swathes of uninterrupted life. Large house blocks, where you cannot hear or see the neighbours. Private cars, for quiet, independent transport. Restaurants with plenty of space between the tables. Gated apartment buildings, entry by swipe key only. Noise-cancelling headphones, for when you can’t avoid the masses. A device per person, so every member of a household can stare into their own screen, alone. Continue reading “Luke | All the loneliness money can buy”

Faith | Orthodoxy, and the case for curiosity, wonder and love

As the sole pastor in a small congregation, I’m a GP. That is, I’m not a children’s pastor, a women’s pastor, a preaching pastor, or any other specialist. Instead, I’m a general practitioner. So when I think about church, of course I think about adults, but I also think about children. I think about autistic people, and people with disabilities, and people who are non-readers. Continue reading “Faith | Orthodoxy, and the case for curiosity, wonder and love”

Hosea | Gomer, the face of God

God is not seen in a violent man, but in a woman known for her love. (Listen.)

Like so many women, I know what it is to receive unwanted attention and even assault. The comments about my breasts in primary school and, later, the wolf whistles; the propositions. The unsought gawkings and strokings and gropings. The encounters where consent was murky at best. And given what so many of my sisters have experienced, I consider myself one of the lucky ones. Continue reading “Hosea | Gomer, the face of God”

Isaiah | Cudgee dreaming

Today I’m in Ballarat at the Intergenerate Conference, where I’m giving a workshop on a practice we developed during lockdown: telling stories in the landscape. As you might remember, for a while we could meet outside in groups of 20, so I drove around to various places for outdoor communion served from our family van (temporarily christened the Manna-Mobile). This story, which I am sharing at the workshop, describes one such event. I hope you enjoy it! 

Imagine: Kirrae Wurrung country. A large paddock fringed by manna gums. Continue reading “Isaiah | Cudgee dreaming”

Luke | Martha Made Whole

Inviting Christ into your dwelling means being renovated from the inside out. (Listen, or watch on YouTube.)

A newcomer was sitting with a circle of women as they reflected on the sermon after the service. Suddenly she said, ‘Wow! I’ve never seen THAT before!’ I asked her what she noticed. She gestured to the men heating food and setting the table for our common meal. ‘Everywhere else, men talk and women serve,’ she said. ‘Not here,’ I replied. ‘Here, people take turns. And if you stay for the meal, you might see men doing the dishes afterwards!’ Continue reading “Luke | Martha Made Whole”

Luke | The Good Doctor

The parable known as The Good Samaritan is so familiar to most of us that it has lost any shock value, particularly for those who have known it only as a simple morality tale. But to the first audience, a bleeding, potentially dead, body was ritually unclean, thus untouchable, and Samaritans were the despised ‘other’. The following riff on the story tries to capture its original force by naming an experience common to many women and girls. If you have a strong response to it, that’s okay. It means the story is being restored to its power.

CONTENT WARNING: Contains a description of sexual assault and the ungodly vicious words some preachers say. So if you’re not up for it, please skip this one! Continue reading “Luke | The Good Doctor”

Luke | The Good Samaritan: A guided meditation

Using sacred imagination to inhabit multiple viewpoints, and to experience healing at the hands of an enemy. (Listen.)

Today, we are going to use our sacred imaginations in a guided meditation. To make the most of this, set aside some time, and allow plenty of space between the questions to wonder and to notice what emerges in you. When you are ready, relax your body; uncross your legs; uncomplicate your heart. Ask God to help you surrender to whatever it is that God wants to do in you or say to you today. Breathe slowly and deeply in, then out. When you are ready, with sacred breath, push open the door. Continue reading “Luke | The Good Samaritan: A guided meditation”

NAIDOC | Acknowledgement of Country

NAIDOC Week is an excellent time to introduce our acknowledgement of country and statement of inclusion. You will also find it under the tab ‘About Us’.

God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)

Ngatanwarr! Sanctuary acknowledges the Peek Wurrung people of the Eastern Maar Nation, the traditional owners of the land where our building stands. It’s a land threaded with rivers and bounded by the sea. Kooyang (eels) migrate here every year and koontapool (southern right whales) calve in the bay in a relationship with cultural knowledge holders which has continued for millennia. Continue reading “NAIDOC | Acknowledgement of Country”

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