Galatians | Victoria’s new Child Safe Standards, culture change and the law

A truly child safe culture is the work of the Holy Spirit. (Listen.)

As many of you know, I’ve spent much of the last two weeks grappling with Victoria’s new Child Safe Standards. These eleven standards will come into effect on 1 July, and replace the seven standards which currently apply to every organization which works with or involves children. The new standards are highly detailed and prescriptive; even the Short Guide runs to over 40 pages, with dozens of dot points of required actions and documentation. Now, I’m not a lawyer or a policy wonk, but nor am I an idiot. Yet working through these new standards and drafting the necessary policies and other documents has very nearly crushed me. Continue reading “Galatians | Victoria’s new Child Safe Standards, culture change and the law”

21 | my mum #Lent2022

Paul writes, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” (2 Timothy 1:5)

Recently my eldest daughter and I took part in ‘A Celebration Day for Girls’ with three other local mothers and their daughters. This was a meaningful event in many ways, including when our facilitator invited the mothers to each speak about a significant woman in our lives. Although I also considered other females who are dear to me, I realised that I wanted to share a bit about my mum, Faye.

Continue reading “21 | my mum #Lent2022”

Will our kids have faith?

It’s been another Sunday with a few, but not many, kids; since COVID, most Sundays have been like that. Like so many churches around the world, over the last fifteen months the number of children and families attending services has collapsed. We’ve struggled to hold kids through a long year of Zoom; and now that we are meeting in person each fortnight, families are out of the habit of piling into the car and coming to church. And there are other obstacles. Once, a kid with a sniffle would still come; now, a kid with a sniffle means a family stays home.  Continue reading “Will our kids have faith?”

The parable universe

Finding new metaphors for the kingdom for God. (Listen.)

What shall we say the kingdom of God is like? With what shall we compare it? Perhaps this: The kingdom of God is like a Facebook post with zero ‘likes.’ But somebody reads it and it takes root, nobody knows how. Gradually it grows, producing in them prayers and images and conversations and hope: and these seeds are shared abundantly. Some take root in other people, and so the post lives on. Continue reading “The parable universe”

Cartalk : Tabletalk : Faithtalk at home

One of the things I loved about our physical service was the opportunity to sit on the floor and wonder about the Bible together. I’d tell the story, and wonder aloud, and gradually people of all ages would chip in. And together we’d ponder grace and forgiveness and what loving our enemies really means; we’d wonder about similar stories and, perhaps, how they’re turned upside down by this one; we’d recall times in our own lives when the story had become real; we’d wonder if God was calling us to anything now. Continue reading “Cartalk : Tabletalk : Faithtalk at home”

Cartalk / Tabletalk: Some surprising visitors

I’ve been wondering how to help households have more conversations about faith, perhaps while driving together in the car, perhaps over the dinner table. So this is a little experiment, the idea being, if you have five minutes, you can pull out your phone, pull up a cartalk / tabletalk, and do it with your kids. If you give it a go, please let me know! This time, we’ll look at the reading we just heard on Sunday, when Abraham welcomes some suprising visitors. Continue reading “Cartalk / Tabletalk: Some surprising visitors”

Brahminy’s prayer, and tips for welcoming children

Do you know the child who spends every service lolling on the floor, or chatting quietly to herself at the dolls house, or snipping paper into a thousand little triangles? The child who rarely speaks, never sings and shakes her head violently when invited to participate? The child whose back is to the congregation and who seems oblivious to everything that goes on around her? Continue reading “Brahminy’s prayer, and tips for welcoming children”

People of All Ages Doing Faith Together

I visited our sister church, South Yarra Community Baptist, on Sunday, and told them all about us. If you’re curious, this is what I said:

To paraphrase the great missionary, the Apostle Paul, “I greet you as God’s own children, and wish you all the best.” When I moved to Warrnambool last year, a good friend of mine described it as my own great missionary journey. So tonight I will channel the energies of the missionaries who spoke at churches in my childhood, and bring stories of more of God’s children, and a slideshow. My name is Alison, I’m your church-planting pastor, and I am very grateful for the administrative, liturgical, prayerful, and other support that South Yarra provides. I’m here in Melbourne this week because I’m doing an intensive on the spiritual life of children. Basically, I’m checking if I’m doing things right, because the congregation I now serve is two-thirds kids. As you can imagine, the service—and my work—have a very different energy to South Yarra. And yet, if you were to visit, things would probably feel strangely familiar.  Continue reading “People of All Ages Doing Faith Together”

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