IDAHOBIT | Wenn’s story: The truth shall set you free

In Acts 11, Peter doesn’t argue with the Jerusalem Council about whether or not Gentiles are acceptable to God. Instead, he simply tells the story of his meeting with Cornelius and friends, and how he observed the Holy Spirit at work in their lives. In similar vein this IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia), I’d like to introduce you to one of our beloved Sanctuary folk, Wenn, whose faithfulness shines through in the following testimony. Wenn writes: Continue reading “IDAHOBIT | Wenn’s story: The truth shall set you free”

Prayer stations

Last week, Donald shared a story about a child who turned up at a service to light a candle (here). Using physical objects such as candles to symbolize prayer is an ancient practice, and one that we at Sanctuary used to do. For the last two years, however, in accordance with government guidelines requiring that we minimize movement and have no shared objects, our prayer stations have been packed away. But now that restrictions are easing, it’s time to reinstate them. Continue reading “Prayer stations”

A child walked in

Alison is on leave until Monday 2 May. In the meantime, here’s a little god-moment which happened to Donald on a recent Tuesday. He writes: 

I was ‘filling in’, presiding at the 5.00pm service at the local Anglican church. It was a Tuesday, with a congregation of three present. The Gospel reading of the day, according to the lectionary the rector uses, was Jesus putting a child in the midst of the disciples. Continue reading “A child walked in”

Zucchini galore!

Alison is on leave until Monday 2 May. In the meantime, here’s a note from Yvonne’s garden. She wrote it after sending in the umpteenth box of zucchini, tomatoes and rainbow chard to Sanctuary for distribution from the bottom of the stairs. Yvonne writes:

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (2 Corinthians 9:6)

This summer, I’ve not been able to keep up with the production level. I’ve learned that one punnet of tomato seedlings plus one punnet of zucchini seedlings plus one packet of rainbow chard seeds (from the packet we were given at a Sanctuary service) equals … an overabundance of produce! Continue reading “Zucchini galore!”

This Lent: Eat chocolate!

It’s been a long Lent. Perhaps it began for you when the pandemic broke out and we entered our first lockdown. Perhaps it began when you first became aware of the lack of leadership in key institutions, or a great silence in the church. Perhaps it began when you first recognized how sexism, racism, classism, or homo- or transphobia have shaped and scarred you. Perhaps your Lent began in the harshness and wilderness of your childhood. Whatever, whenever, for many of us it’s been a long Lent. Continue reading “This Lent: Eat chocolate!”

Slow reading: You will know them by their fruits

Many will say “Lord, Lord”: and as the last week in politics demonstrated, as we head towards an election this clamour will become ever louder. But followers of Jesus shouldn’t be taken in by it. Instead, we are instructed to look at the effects of people’s words and actions and weigh up whether or not they are truly doing the will of the Father in heaven. Jesus tells us what this will is: “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you.” By this rule, those whose words and actions marginalize, humiliate, manipulate, diminish, suppress, silence or harm others are not speaking or acting in God’s name, whatever they may claim. Continue reading “Slow reading: You will know them by their fruits”

Christian freedom: It’s not about genitals, but love

There’s been a flurry in the news lately about what it means to be Christian; apparently, it has a lot to do with our genitals. Under the Religious Discrimination Bill currently before Federal Parliament, in order to be legally protected while discriminating against some sexualities and genders, faith-based schools and other organisations need to have a public statement of belief which explicitly rejects those sexualities and genders. Therefore, some “Christian” schools and other organisations have recently circulated statements which claim that what we do with our genitals, and whether they are seen to correlate with our gender assigned at birth, are litmus tests of faith. Continue reading “Christian freedom: It’s not about genitals, but love”

Lent Book 2022: Fruit of the Spirit

I don’t know about you, but my news feed contains a lot of bad news. Of course, there’s the endless Covid figures. But I also see public figures behaving badly: politicians speaking with arrogance and contempt; shock jocks spewing rubbish; news corporations lying through their teeth; and celebrities showing off. I see nations posturing and chronic injustice and climate denial and death; I see major industries ravaging land, water, sky and politics; I see blatant untruths and manufactured outrage driving the attention economy. And while it’s naive to deny that these things are happening, to focus on them and let them capture all my attention is deeply, deeply wearying. Continue reading “Lent Book 2022: Fruit of the Spirit”

When you pray, move your feet!

Sanctuary’s taking a summer break. This month, many of us are on leave and outside every day, so here’s a little something from the archives on praying while out for a walk.

Prayer is a way of deep listening. Yet when our minds are busy and distracted, we cannot listen well; and so we need methods to still our minds. One of these is to go for a walk. The repetitive rhythmic movement, and the regular intake and exhalation of breath, can help us find that still centre: the space where we notice the spirit bubbling up and gently prompting us. Continue reading “When you pray, move your feet!”

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