Proverbs | Wisdom for changing times

Divine wisdom is found in liminal spaces: and is confident, creative and relational. (Listen.)

I have a confession to make. For a pastor, it’s a biggie, and it’s this: I don’t know where the church is headed. When Sanctuary began, we had a pretty clear path: gather up hungry people and establish regular habits of all-age worship and meals so that they could be fed: a program described behind my back as ‘boot camp’. But then the pandemic hit and two years of lockdowns—a third of our life together—blew everything out of the water. Continue reading “Proverbs | Wisdom for changing times”

Consider the sky: Lectio divina in creation

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 prayerfully considering the sky in dialogue with scripture.

In Christian understanding, God is immanent. This means that, while God cannot be contained by anything, yet God is present in all things. In other words, creation is a sacrament: a sign of God’s presence which has an effect. Continue reading “Consider the sky: Lectio divina in creation”

Human violence, and the foolishness of the cross

To those reeling from another week in the patriarchy, the cross offers only foolishness: but in that foolishness we find healing and companionship. (Listen.)

Like so many people, I feel overwhelmed by the events of the last few weeks. Parliament House is revealed to be a hotbed of sexual violence; and our Prime Minister cannot imagine it matters until, we are told, his wife prompts him to think of his own daughters. Then the attorney general is named in allegations of historic rape. Meanwhile, the head of the defence force instructs young cadets that they should not make themselves ‘prey’ to predators, and that they can do this by, among other things, avoiding being ‘attractive.’ All this while our training grounds for power, that is, Sydney’s private schools, are publicly revealed as manifestly unsafe places for young women.

Continue reading “Human violence, and the foolishness of the cross”

9: Expanding and exploding #Lent2021

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:1- 5)

The other morning, I said to Viv, ‘I feel like my mind is exploding.’

Continue reading “9: Expanding and exploding #Lent2021”

Teachers like Jesus

Great teachers like Jesus use what they know to show you a bigger, bolder, more expansive world. They help you find your place in it, and they build you up in love. (Listen.)

Over the years, I’ve had some great teachers. There was Jim, who began a calculus lesson by leaping around the room at ever-decreasing intervals until he got down to teeny-tiny little mincing steps. There was Ellen, who ignited in me a love for poetry. There was Keith, who turned the Bible upside down with gentleness and grace. Then there are all my other teachers: family and friends and people in churches: because everywhere I go, I find teachers.

Continue reading “Teachers like Jesus”

Housekeeping: A metaphor for church leadership

It’s time for us to start thinking about who will do the housekeeping for the next twelve months. Many churches call these people ‘deacons.’ The word comes from the Greek diakonos, which means ‘one who serves.’ We sometimes call it ‘church leadership’, but it’s a funny sort of leadership. It’s low status, usually thankless, and only noticed when it’s not being done: like housekeeping; and, like housekeeping, many of the tasks are mundane and require no special expertise beyond a deep willingness to serve. And, like housekeeping, it takes time each week to keep things ticking over. This is what it involves: Continue reading “Housekeeping: A metaphor for church leadership”

Prayer of confession for white settler churches

Garry Deverell is a trawloolway man and Anglican priest from trouwerner (Tasmania, Australia). He has written a prayer of confession for use in white settler churches in the face of ecological catastrophe. This week, as country burns, people, wildlife and ecosystems are killed, and we all choke on the smoke haze, let us pray this prayer and dwell on it deeply; and may the Holy Spirit work through it to heal and transform our hearts, our economics, our lives, and the land. Continue reading “Prayer of confession for white settler churches”

Jesus Christ, the apple tree, and me

Indigenous and Christian ways of the seeing reveal a world fully alive, animated by the spirit, and wanting to communicate. (Listen.)

While we were away with our sister church recently, Phil went for a walk. When he came back, Uncle Den wandered up for a chat: “I saw you come back from a bit of a walkabout just now.” “Yep,” said Phil, and he told Uncle Den how much he loves being outside by himself, and how he finds peace and rejuvenation there. Uncle Den asked him, “So do you talk to the birds that you see? Do you stop to listen to what they might wanna say to you? How ‘bout the trees? They’re always talking; do you listen to them, too?” Continue reading “Jesus Christ, the apple tree, and me”

Proverbs | Lady Wisdom and the gender diverse community of God

Pronouns can limit or expand how we think about people; they can limit or expand how we think about God. (Listen.)

Once upon a time, long, long ago, Lady Wisdom called out at the public places—the city gates, the crossroads, the mountaintops—and she said: “The Lord began the work of creation with me. In time before dreaming I was in on the action; right from the word ‘go’ as the earth began.  Continue reading “Proverbs | Lady Wisdom and the gender diverse community of God”

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