Author Archives: admin

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God’s Story Our Story

Coming soon!! A Photo Essay Exhibition and a chance to ‘put ourselves in the picture’ and share about our discipleship and faith journey!!

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“Open Kitchen” Food and a Chat

The “Open Kitchen” Team have started at Morisset Uniting “Church in the Trees” on last Fridays of the month 6-8pm all welcome (4pm to help prepare and set up) even if it’s to enjoy the meal and engage in the conversation all participants in our church are welcome to join guests from the wider community!!

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‘Short Stay’ Trip Canberra via Bowral

About twenty of us are joining an otherwise pretty full Coach from Aldinga Tours and heading to Canberra for (2) nights taking in Bowral Tulips, the War Memorial, Florida and beyond!!!

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Ministry with Families

With families engaging in our regular Sunday worship there’s an opportunity to consider what activity or program we can offer in the near future!! Kids Club? Family oriented Worship? or a variation… This would be on a day and time to suit families so perhaps a monthly frequency on a weekday afternoon or Sunday afternoon!! It’s not “rocket science” in terms of music, food, story, celebration, tactile activity, audio-visuals. The QUESTIONS are: what capacity we have to lead and prepare? How can we research potential participants? What does it mean to be wise in this situation?

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Ai Weiwei’s “Law of the Journey”

“Ai Weiwei’s “Law of the Journey”, 2017, a 60-metre inflatable boat filled with more than 200 oversized figures, made from the same rubber used to manufacture the precarious vessels that carry refugees across the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece, fills the cavernous space of a former industrial workshop on Cockatoo Island in Sydney…

A remarkable part of Sydney’s Biennale, I’m glad I made it there for a flying visit. It’s time we changed our policy in this country. Spend our billions on UNHCR Processing Centres in Asia, negotiate a fair share of the security and response across those countries, put pressure on Myanmar about the Rohinga peoples. Re-enliven settlement programs, fund Multicultural Networks, be honest about the boats that are still coming and deal with the situation before they need to… being honest about it…

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the words “gûr” and “gēr” are often read as the “stranger,” though also translated as “newcomer” and “alien” or “resident alien,” respectively. There are arrangements about farmers retaining crops for those in need, encouragements to care for others and it’s part of the Israelites own story. In the New Testament, for example in Matthew 25: 31-40, where the stranger is Jesus in disguise…

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Dinner Celebration YOUTH

As soon as we can find a date that works, we’ll be having a Dinner out for the Leaders and Mentors of our Youth Group as a thank you for their contributions over many years when the previous youth are now well and truly young adults and the group has concluded while we explore ‘what next

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“Fix It” Festival and the local area

While we still wrestle with what our idea is and which way forward, I’m interested that a number of similar ideas have sprung up. Namely a Repair Cafe in Toronto, Upcycling, Bicycle Maintenance, and the emergence of the quite brilliant “South Lake Marketplace” providing food and other items for those in need. More recently, Eat Street and now “Respect All” monthly markets both at Cooranbong are signs others feel the ‘lack’ in our community. Perhaps we might end up offering something of a ‘Showcase’ for these initiatives alongside what we work out to be our unique contribution!!! Food for much thought and discernment, education and learning…

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Favourite Hymns Worship

9.30am 22nd April 2018 is the time for “Favourite Hymns” worship at Morisset Uniting “Church in the Trees.” A great theme while I’m away for a week… and yet I have been reflecting on this and things like use of the traditional English words of the Lords Prayer at Funerals and the constant tension around music choice on the journey as a worshipping congregation wherever a place has a long history and strong connections to their tradition!! I know the deceased and many family members will know the Lords Prayer well… yet it risks the impression nothing ever changes in the church. Hymns are absolutely ‘classics’… yet for example in the case of the Wesley brothers they were written to assist a less literate population sing familiar beer hall tunes to share the story and the ‘good news’ of the presence and reality of ‘the Kingdom of God.’ What would they make of many congregations still singing those songs, to those tunes? It’ll be a great occasion, but for me it does give impetus to such reflections!! Story, images, tactile activity, flipped learning… more examples of practices that could enhance nurturing of faith in a corporate worship setting!! In the mean time, come along and enjoy the richness when people who know the hymns well, join in and sing with full voice as they recall the many significant ‘faith moments’ in their own lives!!!

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“God is Love”

Join us this day as we connect with ‘Global Love Day’ and reflect on care for the creation and God’s unconditional love!!!!

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Reflecting on ‘Leadership’

Over Easter I was reflecting a lot on the nature of ‘leadership.’ I’d been looking at some resources and remembering back over many many readings, workshops, role models and some rubbish I’d seen and read. I was thinking about the costs and the essential nature of relational leadership. Christian communities of faith are not military endeavours or businesses. There are moments in need of ‘authority’ but by and large authenticity, humility and servanthood are our template. It’s more vulnerable, time consuming and rewarding. It doesn’t rely on power over but the elusive practice of power with.

Much is made of and fostered from the Biblical imagery of the Shepherd and the Sheep. There are many positives in this age old and Jesus shaped metaphor. Especially for relational leaders thinking about the shepherd knowing the sheep well. There’s a richness pondering terrain, lost sheep, danger, foxes etc. It’s also an image with the potential to take too much focus, to crowd out change agent roles or to feed into the tension for Leaders around community development and the common good. I actually prefer a focus on servanthood per se…

Luke 22: 24-30 Friend of the People
24A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25But he said to them, “The Kings of the Gentiles Lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
28“You are those who have stood by me in my trials; 29and I confer on you, just as may father has conferred on me, a kingdom, 30so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Queensland UCA Leadership Development Framework holds this starting point definition of leadership: “Taking responsibility for the success of the organisation. This involves by inference a degree of modelling; as people act and take up their responsibilities, it affects others to do the same. Leadership is thus seen as relational and influential more than positional and directive.”

I have a few favourite Mandela quotes and this is just one: “A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.” 

I know my preferred style of  ‘trying to make space for others in leadership’ is not always applicable and over the years I’ve worked hard to develop other attributes and approaches and also not to just have that ideal but to be better at putting it into practice. Just as I wonder how brilliant it must be to go through life without feeling the need to reflect on group dynamics or the nature of community or the impact of your words on others… I also know the freedom of not being in any of this for my own ego or advancement. I’d just love to see others live more abundantly and find my enjoyment and fulfilment in things and people ‘coming together.’ If only I could also beat myself up less for not getting it right. I reckon a good measure is how marginalised or silenced voices are advocated for and heard… The older I get the more I see this as important. It’s where real change comes from…