Tonight we reflected as a group upon Jesus’ teachings not to be anxious; to strive for God’s kingdom; to know that it is God’s good pleasure to give youse the kingdom; to share what youse have with those in need; and to make for yourselves treasure in heaven, for where your treasure is, so is your heart (see Luke 12:29-34; and yes, Jesus is speaking to his disciples as a group: every occurrence of ‘you’, ‘your’ etc. is plural). So together we wondered what our common treasure is, where our common heart is, and how we might have already received the kingdom … and given it away. Questions and responses follow. Continue reading “Group Reflection: Sanctuary’s Treasure”
When I was growing up, my mum would make a roast for lunch most Sundays. She would put the meat and potatoes in the oven before we left for Sunday morning church, then come home and do the greens and gravy, and somehow it was always perfectly timed and home-made delicious. Continue reading “The Sunday Roast”
It’s National Reconciliation Week and, in keeping with this year’s theme, I am trying to ground myself in truth. What this means for me is finally reading Convincing Ground by Bruce Pascoe, who has Bunurong and Cornish heritage. His book invites us to learn and acknowledge the truth of the frontier wars and genocide on which the modern nation of Australia is founded, much of which took place in our region. It’s hard but essential reading for those who want to face up to the truth of who we are, and for those who wonder why reconciliation is so important, or proves so elusive. Continue reading “#GroundedinTruth: Reconciliation Week 2019”
Then Jesus took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’ (Luke 22:17-20)
‘You know,’ Swami Jeff told me once, ‘God couldn’t care less about the church. We don’t understand the Eucharist, or that bread and wine live within us, so we ritualize the things that hold the mystery. We focus on the container and formalize the mystery. But you don’t have to do that.’ Continue reading “#38: Take this cup: #40ways40days”
This Sunday 20 January is Aboriginal Sunday. It is a day when churches around the country are asked to #ChangeTheHeart regarding #ChangeTheDate: to open themselves to growing in understanding, respect and acknowledgement for what January 26 (Invasion (Australia) Day) means for Aboriginal peoples. We will try to open our hearts in several ways. Continue reading “#ChangeTheHeart #ChangeTheDate #26Jan”
Those of us at church on Sunday had a rollicking time. Along with the usual suspects, other friends and associates dropped by to celebrate my ordination, including some card-carrying atheists, a BATS* pagan, a BUV representative, and a dog. Several people wore rainbow flags, and a young transgender person sent their apologies; as they told me later, their butt hurt so badly from a recent hormone injection that they had to stay home. Fair enough! Continue reading “A Place at the Table”
Tonight we have a great story about food: and it makes me wonder: Who do you eat with? But first, the story. As a Jewish man, Peter will not eat certain foods; but in a vision God shows him all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds, and tells him to kill and eat. And as prawn-cracker-crunching pork-chop-eating Gentile followers of Jesus, it’s easy for us to roll our eyes and say, Well, duh!! But we can only say “duh!” because we are beneficiaries of Peter’s response to this vision. For while he is still pondering what he has seen, he is invited to the house of Cornelius, a Gentile. On the basis of the vision, Peter the Jew accepts. Continue reading “Eating Out-of-Bounds: The Culture of God”
Begin by reading Exodus 16:2-15. Now reflect on our congregation: who we were, who we are now, and where we seem to be heading; then pray your way through the four questions. When you have done this, read the brief reflection below.
- What did you leave to join Sanctuary?
- What makes it difficult to stay?
- What do you complain to God about?
- What are you hungry for?
Before we moved to Warrnambool, we lived in an area of Melbourne which was a hive of ethical activity. Our clothes were locally made or from the op shop. We rode our bikes to buy direct trade coffee, then ducked into organic wholefoods for some ethical groceries. What we couldn’t buy there, we’d get at the IGA, after checking each company against our sustainable supermarket guide. We grew our greens and herbs; experimented with Community Supported Agriculture, but got sick of all those potatoes; so opted into a local veggie box instead. Our honey came from local hives; our socks were made in Brunswick; we purchased gifts from local artisans; our furniture was second hand. Even our house renovation appeared in a green architecture magazine. There were times when we were so ethical, it makes me sick. Of course, we lived this way because we were trying to be followers of Jesus—and because we were surrounded by people also seeking to live more sustainably, the critical mass made it easy. But every now and then, or maybe quite a lot, I’d feel someone, probably me, rolling her eyes because a coffee wasn’t fair, or a chair was from IKEA, or the eggs were from battery hens—and I’d wonder if I’d missed the point. Continue reading “Stepping through the ethical minefield with Jesus”