Jeremiah | Suffering from solastalgia? This is what to do

In the face of climate catastrophe, seek the welfare of your place. (Listen.)

Ten years ago, the scientist Glenn Albrecht coined a new word. He was studying the impact of open-cut coal mining on the people of the Upper Hunter region of NSW. The mines were creating new and horrific scars in the landscape; the power station was polluting water, air and soil; there was persistent drought. As the earth groaned, Albrecht realised that the people who lived there were experiencing a form of chronic distress for which English has no word; he came up with the term ‘solastalgia.’ Continue reading “Jeremiah | Suffering from solastalgia? This is what to do”

Isaiah | Peace and plenty for everyone

This week I (Alison) am on leave. So heres a little something from the archives relating to the local landscape. Perhaps it will inspire you to reflect and write something for our 2023 Lent Book, which will be a collection of prayers and readings rooted in the land.

Twenty years ago, Cudgee was a depleted paddock. Now, it’s an oasis. Families have built sustainable homes and are raising their children there. People have planted countless Indigenous trees, grasses, and shrubs. The creek is overhung by eucalypts; blocks are lined with wildlife corridors; koalas grunt and roam. There are organic gardens and orchards; happy chooks; contented ducks; an Indigenous plant nursery; and the best garlic in Victoria. Continue reading “Isaiah | Peace and plenty for everyone”

Prayer | The earth is filled with God’s presence

 

Let us pray.
We are the people:
the people of earth.
Let us care for each other:
let us care for the earth.
Let us worship the creator:
let us attend to the earth.
For the earth is filled with God’s presence.
Our ancestor Jacob woke from his sleep and said,
“Surely the Lord is in this place—and I didn’t know it!”
And he was afraid, and said,
“How awesome is this place!
This is none other than the house of God,
and this, the gate of heaven.”
Let us acknowledge this place’s traditional custodians,
the Peek Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Maar nation,
and pay our respects to elders past and present.
May we wake up to this place and its peoples.
May we wake up to God’s holy presence.
Let us attend to the earth: the very dwelling place of God. Amen. Continue reading “Prayer | The earth is filled with God’s presence”

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”

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”

2 Kings | The god of the land

A provocative retelling of 2 Kings 17 for NAIDOC Week. (Listen.)

Once upon a time, there was a cruel empire, formed in the image of its gods. Its navy patrolled the seven seas; its armies marched through foreign lands; its merchants controlled entire regions through trade monopolies and taxes. The empire grabbed and sold slaves and spices, sapphires and silks; it grew rich on stolen people, stolen wealth, stolen land. Gradually, it spread across the globe. One day it reached a strange new land, where mammals hop and giant birds run and bright birds screech and even the stones hum. Continue reading “2 Kings | The god of the land”

Group reflection: Good fruit needs a good gardener

Today marked our final summer service here in the garden on Peek Wurrung country. Together we reflected on Isaiah 55 and good and bad fruit. While we sang, prayed and pondered, common swallowtails fluttered around the buddleia, billy buttons and sunflowers nodded their heads, dianella berries glowed a rich purple, and a large flock of corellas flew overhead. Then the wind turned. As the air was filled with a fresh salt breeze and the rumble of distant thunder, the poas shivered; and we people all unfurled. Continue reading “Group reflection: Good fruit needs a good gardener”

2 Chronicles | Group reflection: Aboriginal Sunday 2022

In 1940, Aboriginal Christian Leader William Cooper asked all churches to set aside the Sunday before January 26th as Aboriginal Sunday, a day of Christian solidarity calling for full citizenship rights to be granted to Aboriginal peoples. More recently, Common Grace has reclaimed this day and asked churches around Australia to mark it each year. We worshipped on the lands of the Eastern Maar nation using prayers by Aboriginal Christian leaders, and  together reflected on one of many Biblical passages which link following God’s way with the health of the land. Continue reading “2 Chronicles | Group reflection: Aboriginal Sunday 2022”

Jeremiah | Lament in a time of climate emergency

According to Jeremiah 12, injustice leads to land degradation and species loss. In an era of anthropogenic climate change, these words have new resonance and show us how to lament. (Listen.)

How long, O Lord, will the land mourn? How long will degraded topsoil blow away and riverbeds crack for lack of water? How many millions of frogs must die? How many fish? How many bees? How long will the evangelical industrial complex wield your name like a weapon, while passing laws and investing in industries which destroy ecosystems? How many bushfires, how many floods? How many environmental defenders must be murdered? Where is your justice, O Lord? How long must we wait? Continue reading “Jeremiah | Lament in a time of climate emergency”

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