Monday, June 01, 2020

Thoughts for Reconciliation Week 2020


Thoughts for Reconciliation Week 2020, exploring some excellent existing images and video...

Friday, May 22, 2020

Worship Mission Discipleship 14th June 2020

‘The kingdom of heaven has come near’


The written Resources mesh with the weekly video and 'should' be downloadable from here or https://tinyurl.com/ybewxach (email me at robhanks@bigpond.net.au if not)

Today’s invitation is more to a time of Reflection,
Read Romans 5:1-5
“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us”

‘Hope’ from the Eternity Display, Australian National Museum
To hope is to dream. Of what might or will be. Of the possible and the mere possible — hope against hope. To hope is to strive for the best. To build on glimmers of new beginnings. To hope is to never give up. To remain expectant, against hopes dashed, disappointments, falsities. To hope is to believe there is a way.

Hope is grounded, not in optimism, but in a deep sense that ‘this too will pass’ or that we don’t have control of our circumstances, yet hold on to something deeper, more long lasting and ultimately filled with meaning…



Wild Spirit, Wild Wind Russ Parker
Lord God of the wild wind of heaven,
Send us your warm wind,
Y
our fresh wind,
Your mighty wind;
I
t’s what we want for Jesus’ sake.
Amen

Read Matthew 9:35-10:8

the entire bible in one poem
good parts version
contrary to all evidence
we are not an accident
we are not a meaningless coincidence

despite what it seems like
you are not the first to feel despair
nor the first to find hope,
you are therefore, never alone
find love
make love
be love

but you knew this, didn't you
so don't forget to tell the stories
Michael Toy

Silence God, meet us now in this extended silence (an opportunity for silent reflection & prayer)

Video Hymn
Together in Song 560 "All My Hope on God is Founded” Joachim Neander

Video Prayer “Elliot’s Encircling Prayer”

Song “Like a Candle”
Craig Mitchell, Time Beale, Roger Imms written in memory of Rachel Millen

Today what in the world frustrates, angers, saddens you? what needs to change? Pray…

Bonus Song
“One Country” Midnight Oil as a Closing Reflection, inviting us to join the journey for change

…“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; 
and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.

Worship Mission Discipleship 7th June 2020

The written Resources mesh with the weekly video and 'should' be downloadable from here or https://tinyurl.com/ybewxach (email me at robhanks@bigpond.net.au if not)

To Begin, it might be worth doing this reading looking out at the night sky
If so you could spend a simple time reflecting, asking to hear God in the awe and beauty
OR go for a daytime walk us tide and just take in the sky at that time…
Do you have a favourite piece of music you could listen to?

Read Psalm 8 (NLT) For the choir director: A psalm of David,
to be accompanied by a stringed instrument
1 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
    Your glory is higher than the heavens.
2 You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength,
    silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.
3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
    the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
    human beings that you should care for them?[c]
5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God[d]
    and crowned them[e] with glory and honor.
6 You gave them charge of everything you made,
    putting all things under their authority—
7 the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals,
8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents.
9 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

Video for Reflection “Time-lapse NASA Earth Acoustic”

Video Song “Come One Come All” Malcolm Gordon

Video Bible Reading Matthew 28:16-20 Don Cameron

Video Song “Solid Rock” Darlow feat. Shane Howard
Please note the information about Reconciliation Week 2020
“In This Together” celebrating 20 years since the Harbour Bridge Walk
But also asking us whether we have made enough progress in reconciliation,
which requires truth telling and justice

Excerpt from Sarah Dylan Breuer (here and towards the end of the day)
This Sunday is Trinity Sunday, a time when we celebrate especially the communion that is God's very Self, and remember the Great Commission that the risen Jesus gave us to baptize people from all nations. But the commission Christ gave us doesn't stop there, and too often what follows is the Great Omission in the life of the church. We're called not just to baptize. We're not called to make churchgoers, people who include religion as one among many respectable civic activities. We're called to make disciples, people who really follow Jesus as Lord.

Video Clip How Do We Hear God

Reflection Questions
‘The good news’ or gospel, that the Kingdom of God exists and God who is love, waits to break into our lives and bring meaning and value, always has an address (a context into which it is shared). The world has changed so rapidly in the last 70+ years…
What would be ‘good news’ for people in the world today, or at least in our community?
What is a human hurt or hope you believe is present in our community, waiting to be met?
When you have you most felt a sense of God speaking into your life or circumstances, with a life giving response?

Video Song “Be Thou My Vision” Audrey Assad

“Your holy war, 
your northern star
Your sermon on the mount from the boot of your car ... 

So love is hard 
And love is tough 

But love is not 
What you're thinking of”

U2, “Please,” Pop

Finally, God’s kingdom coming,
making all as it was when the world was born:
lands as borderless as the skies.
Humanity in the image of God,
invited into communion with the God
whose very Being is Triune communion.
The grace of the Lord, Jesus the Christ.
The love of God.
The communion of the Holy Spirit.
With all of us, always.
So please, get up off your knees.
The risen Christ invites us to into the world bearing this Good News!
Thanks be to God.“
13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you”
Amen

Is the western Christian church’s party over?  What different shape might we take?

Worship Discipleship Mission 31st May 2020

Pentecost, from the Greek Πεντηκοστή Pentēkostē meaning “fiftieth”
The 50th day after Passover… counting days seems significant this year!

The written Resources mesh with the weekly video and 'should' be downloadable from here or https://tinyurl.com/ybewxach (email me at robhanks@bigpond.net.au if not)

Mark Hewitt

Words for Pentecost
The Spirit of God is among us, within us, around us, between us
The Spirit of God is here to inspire us bringing energy, bringing warmth
The Spirit of God is here to move us in ways yet to be revealed
Calling us out into a world in need
The Spirit of God breathes into us bringing new life to us all

‘Space’
   In some ways this is a story about ‘space…’ There is space for community, breaking down barriers, sharing life and pointing towards hope through the energy and spark of God’s Spirit, through the ‘dangerous and liberating memory and presence of Jesus!” (adapted from the thoughts of JB Metz). This space connects us with our founding story and the empowerment of Jesus followers to ‘speak the language’ of those around them… like the wind (breath) or flame of the Spirit! In different places in the Bible ruach or breath is used, so too dunamis which gives us words like dynamo, dynamic and dynamite… a reminder of our capacity in community to bring energy, charisma or disruption… Here is a community of people, waiting, in the space between… from Easter to this point, still working through grief, trying to make sense of isolation, some afraid, others still wondering what next… not unlike a COVID-19 world, taking steps for safety, waiting for God’s presence as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to breakout, to breath life into their existence! They are open to questions of how God exists in the world… reminding me of 3 songs… Is God ‘interventionist’? (“Into My Arms” Nick Cave) Is life all about irony? (“Ironic” Alanis Morissette) and/or is Regina Spektor’s song right, about people seeing God in the struggle? (“Laughing With” Regina Spektor) See these bonus tracks in the video in case you’re not sure what I’m talking about…

Is God ‘in control’ or are we empowered to understand Jesus call to ‘follow’ living out God’s values? This film was based on a short story and the collage attempts to show some parts of the two hour story exploration

+ Video Clip “The Adjustment Bureau Collage”
Questions for Reflection:
What story/s can you tell about God’s engagement in the world and your lives?
When is a time you’ve been aware of God’s Spirit as if like a breath or wind blowing through community?
What (1) thing do you hope the church could be emboldened to act on through God’s Spirit where you are?

Prayer/Reflection Time
Spend some closing time in prayer, walking or sitting, with a cuppa or silence… tell God about”
Your community of faith and all it’s participants and those in your local community you seek to serve
Staff and Leaders plus residents at local Aged Care, Nursing Home and Retirement Facilities
Nurses, Doctors & Other Staff at Hospitals and Clinics, Local GPs and allied Health
Principals, Leaders, Teachers and Students at all our Schools plus University Students & Staff
Those still effected by drought and last summer’s Bushfires
For people and countries right across the world

Closing There were so many options, I offer the simplicity of John Bell teaching….
Together in Song 711 (Come O Holy Spirit) or Wa Wa Wa Emimimo (taught to many at World Council of Churches)



Youtube wasn't keen on my Bonus Clip so it's missing from the video, yet stupidly, it's here



Worship Discipleship Mission 24th May 2020

"Breathe"
   These “at home” Resources for Worship, Discipleship & Mission are being shaped at the time of the Three Step Plan out of shutdown due to COVID - 19. Groups of ten will be allowed to gather in ‘Places of Worship,’ but the question remains, should we? Is this an opportunity to ‘gather’ differently, or for a Team to gather and contribute to further ‘at home’ options while some will need to avoid risk until a vaccine is developed… all good faithful questions!

The written Resources mesh with the weekly video and 'should' be downloadable from here or https://tinyurl.com/ybewxach (email me at robhanks@bigpond.net.au if not)

This week the video ties us to viewing it (with pauses)
BUT try to find time to venture outdoors for simple sit, walk or contemplate…
Or experiencing these resources, do you have a window with a view?

Words for Worship
Our story is woven into God’s story of hope and love

In this time and space remember Jesus life and example
May we find here a true relationship with Christ

We are sent to seek the energy and spark of God’s Spirit
Let’s worship God with eyes open to God’s activity already underway




Some of the themes in this batch of resources are accompanied by songs like...
“Common Ground” Midnight Oil Garrett/Moginie
Listen to the mp3 audio here or at https://tinyurl.com/y8elbxrf if you're game!

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.” 
― Richard Rohr





Friday, April 17, 2020

Worship Discipleship Mission Resources 17th May 2020

"Stand in Line"

Anyone should be able to view and download the Resource Handout from Google Docs without need to log in here

Centring Video “Portrait of Lotte Birth to 20” Frans Hofmeester.
Time to just be and reflect on life... Hofmeester has been making these since the original Birth to 6, which came out just when Youth Workers were sharing lots of visuals on newly affordable data projectors. Lotte is now just over 20…

Video Clip from, “St Vincent” Oliver arrives for his first day at a new town and new Catholic School and is asked to lead morning Prayer… the clip is more about the conversation and the observations that ensue, from the Teacher, about changing send of religious identity and the growing number of “I don’t know”…

Hymn “Love Divine All Loves Excelling” Wesley from Songs of Praise
(for my late friend Max Farr)

Blessing Video“Deep Stillness” Denise Savage,
inspired by the song from Julie Perrin and Robin Mann

“You just got to stand in line” is a song lyric
It’s a song about the beaten down poor or the average person where the rich or powerful always seem to rise at their expense or at least the thought is “everything’s set, everything’s fine” or it’s just how it is, how the world works. Although at the moment it’s true we need everyone to be supported for our economic slumber not to turn into coma, we need people supported through to the other side of restrictions and ‘physical distancing.’ In the mean time, it’s safer to ‘stand in line’ and keep a healthy space. Just don’t let it prevent a greeting or a smile, a gesture to try to bridge the gap without jeopardising healthy e.g. neighbourhood chat, over the fence fun, end of driveway music, zoom video drinks/coffee and chat, grocery shopping for those in need and more…

Again a reminder this week, worship ‘at home’ is different and offers different possibilities BUT also can be ‘consumer church’ dipping in and out of various online offerings, when worship at it’s best celebrates our weekly engagement in God’s mission in the world, God’s hoped for reconciliation and renewal of the whole of creation…”the good news” always has an address, a context, yet that’s difficult at a time of isolation.

Prayer “Making a List”
In your own thoughts or on paper, make a list of those people you miss, those you value,
those you are thankful to have in your life and spend a few moments praying for them.
Pray for a world in conflict not easily solved, for those who are unwell or have died from this virus
Pray for our frontline workers and carers, for teachers returning to schools
Pray for whoever comes to mind…

Read Acts 17:22-31 and John 14:15-21

Reflection Questions
God’s Spirit is described as “This is the Spirit of truth” being like wind or breath, how do you see it?
Paul in Athens uses all the contextual clues to try and help people ‘name’ God in their lives, how can we do that in today’s society?
What will you appreciate most when our current restrictions are lifted?

Hopefully you get to see our Sending Out Clip today
“Dancing” Matt Harding (the polished original)


Video Resource 17th May 2020

Worship Discipleship Mission Resources 10th May 2020

"Building Blocks"

Anyone should be able to view and download the Resource Handout from Google Docs without need to log in here

Call to Worship
Here and now God waits to break into our lives
This is the time and this is the place God calls us into God’s own story
We are invited into a space of reflection and celebration
Of how we have engaged in God’s mission in the world Let’s worship God

Prayer
God of Creation, Fill our world with hope for a future well lived
In moments of reflection, speak to us in the everyday
Hear our prayers of thanks for health workers, wise leaders, shop staff, cleaners and essential help

Hear also our need to own up and to be forgiven,
Help us live full lives, seeking to serve you in the world
In a moment of silence hear our prayers of owning up
God hear our silent prayers xxx And help us retake our aim, centring ourselves on love

Today in our worship help us find inspiration and celebration
We bring gratefulness for the role of mothering in our lives
For nurture and care, love and presence both given and received
Today remember mothers fondly and give thanks

God help us see our story woven into your story
As we reflect on what questions we would ask
In our worship and our lives God, inspire us. Amen

Read 1 Peter 2:2-10 and John 14:1-14

Reflection Questions
How might your church property be a ‘community hub’ for the common good’ in new ways soon?
What do you hear or see as the hurts and hopes present in your community, beyond COVID-19?
When you get to “Attend to the Ground” on the video, spend time reflecting on your community…

At Hamilton Uniting the 2 storey hall has been redeveloped with four upstairs tenants, space for hot desks and the downstairs audio-visual and gathering equipped. Our Ministers role includes looking for collaborators or users who might make the Hub a community space for meeting hurts and hopes. 
We can pray for the delayed start and hope for resumption of these possibilities soon… and you?

Explore the Video/DVD 


Video Resource for 10th May 2020

Song “We Are Marching in the Light of God” Chicago Children’s Choir + Children of Uganda
Fun Clip (an exploration of community) “100 People of Dance”
Prayer/Reflection Song “Attend to the Ground” Malcolm Gordon

Sending Out
Commit one thing to take away from worship, one action, one thankfulness, one hope
Go with God, follow Jesus example, look for the energy and spark of God’s Spirit drawing you out

“Everything's set, everything's fine, You just got to stand in line” 
Moginie/Rotsey/Hirst/Garrett

Scattered Worship Discipleship Mission 3rd May 2020

"Community"
Welcome/Call to Worship is on the Video

Song “Father, Let Your Kingdom Come (featuring Urban Doxology, Liz Vice, and Latifah Alattas)”
Bonus Track Psalm 23 Reflection

Read Acts 2:42-47 (NRSV) +  John 10: 1-10

Reflection Questions
When are the times/places,/activities,/conversations you’ve felt closest to God?
How can a community of faith engage in mission, good neighbours, inclusion and common good now?
Instead of a 3rd question, how about a few minutes reflection, prayer, a walk, time listening for God?

Final Prayer Video “My Lords Prayer” by Heather Price here https://tinyurl.com/y7p77n4k

Sending Out is simply to invite you to think about how to ‘be good neighbour’ at this time…

Anyone should be able to view and download the Resource Handout from Google Docs without need to log in here


Video for 3rd May 2020


'The Good Chicken Farmer' 
Greg B Janknegt

Scattered Worship Discipleship Mission 26th April 2020

"On the Road"
Worship ‘at home’ for Sunday or to ‘dip into’ at any stage                                      
For this week the invitation is to firstly,
Read the ‘Call to Worship’
Watch the Video/DVD Hymn then Pause and Pray
Read the Bible Story Luke 24:13-35
Then, Watch the Video/DVD                  
Return to the Reflection Questions
Share in the Sending Out

Anyone should be able to view and download the Resource Handout from Google Docs without need to log in here
                         

Video Resource for 26th April 2020

"Recognising the Stranger" Emmanuel Garibay

Call to Worship Cheryl Lawrie
We gather: a community of faith in God’s subversive world.
We gather to celebrate that no darkness can extinguish light,
to remember that love will always be more powerful than death,
and to trust that peace will always be stronger than violence.

We gather, people of faith in the light of God’s world.
Welcome to worship.

Hymn “Touch the Earth Lightly” Shirley Irena Murray

Pause and Pray
Can you write your own eight word prayer? Today write then pray those words 3 times with space in between to reflect on whatever is on your mind today… maybe even repeat it again later in the day, once, outdoors or with a different view… Why eight words? Just enough to make space for God, but not so many you feel you need special knowledge or the ‘right’ ones…

Read the Bible Story Luke 24: 13-35 Two Travellers on the Road to Emmaus

“This is what God's kingdom is like: a bunch of outcasts and oddballs gathered at a table, not because they are rich or worthy or good, but because they are hungry, because they said yes. And there's always room for more.” 
― Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

Reflection Questions
Finding God revealed through the stranger…something evident in Emmanuel Garibay’s art reflecting this story. While the Easter story draws us towards Resurrection, it’s also worthwhile dwelling in the stories from Scripture, before what has happened is evident or even possible in the eyes of those who were eyewitnesses to Jesus arrest and death. Mary believes she is speaking to the Gardener, Peter and John race to see what has happened and here two grief filled travellers make the short journey to Emmaus. Joined on the road, this encounter offers us some clues to our time of personal distancing and shutdown. The traveller is with them, listens, hears their story, allowing them to vent, be surprised, grieve and invited to stay on, they recognise the sacred in ‘breaking bread.’ Where do you see God in these moments of relative isolation?
What stands out for you as you read this story trying to see it through the eyes of the travellers?
If we find God as we share a meal or in the face of others, how can we do that now?
What questions does this story prompt in you?

Prayer “Just Pray UK” video

Song “Wood and Nails” (feat. Audrey Assad & Josh Garrels) Porters Gate Project

Sending Out Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God each day. Amen




Scattered Worship Reflection Discipleship Mission 19th April 2020

"Stand in Line" INTRODUCTION and excerpts from the Resource Handout
   ‘Worship at Home’ during a time of ‘personal distancing’ is different to an experience in ‘gathered community,’ yet there are practices, prayers, music and reflections offering ‘time with God.’ As we move beyond Easter perhaps this can be a space fostering resilience and ‘tools’ to not only survive, but to grow and to emerge from ‘the long now’ in new ways. In your current surroundings, rhythms and the changes impacting your life or indeed in a space where for you it hasn’t been very different… what next?

Anyone should be able to view and download the Resource Handout from Google Docs without need to log in here

VISUAL RESOURCES Audio-visuals online (or DVD)
Week by week audio-visuals for this material here (scroll for the date)
Or here on Youtube Channel here
Adamstown Uniting Church weekly videos here
Project Reconnect Preaching freely available now into May 2020 here
These and many others across the Uniting Church here

BUT now...
Worship ‘at home’ for Sunday or to ‘dip into’ at any stage                                      
For this week the invitation is to firstly,
Pray in the words below or your own thoughts
Read the Bible Story John 20:19-31
Then, WATCH/LISTEN to the Video or DVD                    
(either pause before the Song + come back to it at the end)
Return to the Reflection Questions 

Share in the Sending Out  

Prayer
God of life,
In these strange days now stretching into weeks – we remember
We remember a summer of heat and fires, drought and insecurity
We remember the seasons and this is a unique one, yet it will turn
We remember the promise of light in the darkness
We remember stories of hope, the promise of abundant life

Help us live in this moment, however uncertain
Help us live in a time we know will come to an end
Where although we are unable to gather, we share faith
We read stories of Easter, of people scattered by events of their day
We pray thinking of those struck by fear and grief or anxiety and we wonder
From where will our hope come, how can we strengthen our ‘following'?
God, assure us of love and of a time in the future we will again gather
We lament this interruption to our efforts to share love and work for justice

In the silence or the clatter, God speak to us
Send your Spirit of calm and comfort
Inspire us to be kind and to offer love to all others
In a time we can scarcely believe,
 We know you are here with us and we are thankful
In silence, hear the prayers of our hearts and the things on our minds (a silence is kept)
God, send us into this time, to shape faithful lives. Amen

Reflection Questions
Whether we identify with Adam after a pretty rough Easter (remembering he offered to lend a wooden cross) weighed down by his efforts to keep a small struggling congregation going OR we see how Thomas has traditionally gotten ‘a hard time’ down the centuries, for his honesty… here are some questions for reflection
What do you read in the story as evidence Thomas gets a hard time in our retelling of this story?
What does Jesus ‘peace’ and sending look like in a time of restricted contact die to COVID-19?
When we ‘have not seen yet come to believe’ how does faith in Jesus help in a time like now?


Video Resource for 19th April 2020

Sending Out
Let us go as those who God has called
to bear witness to God’s love and justice
to seek the Spirit of God for the transforming of the world
Amen


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Easter Sunday 12th April 2020

Bonus Easter Sunday Hymn
The Worldwide Easter Choir (United Methodist Church)


"Jesus Christ is Risen Today" Charles Wesley (adapted) Kings College Cambridge


"We Walk On" Craig Mitchell Leigh Newton inspired by COVID-19

And set up for "Dust and Hope" at home DVD





Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Good Friday 10th April 2020

"Presence" David MacGregor instrumental

"Were You There When They Crucified My Lord" Acapella

"I Grieve" Peter Gabriel

"Good Friday Art Installation"
Images of struggle. loss and how we speak of God at easter

"Dust & Hope" the theme of our Reflections
Easter Sacttered is our reality 
The Church hasn't been deployed #stayathome
We do have an opportunity to be reminded church is not the building

Red Paper Folded Crosses for writing and keeping

And as set up for "Dust and Hope" at home DVD

Monday, April 06, 2020

Easter Thursday 9th April 2020


"Carry You" Missy Higgins


"Jesu Jesu Fill Us with Your Love" Ghana folk tune
























"Komunyon" Emmauel Garibay

And as set up for "Dust & Hope home DVD


Week Before Easter 2020...


"These are Days" 10,000 Maniacs

OR

"Holy Holy Holy" John Bell acapella at a Conference

And as "Dust and Hope" DVD content for home use




Saturday, March 28, 2020

PALM SUNDAY 5th April 2020


A more contemporary song for this week
"Below My Feet" Mumford & Sons Live at Red Rocks


"Hosanna Hosanna in the Highest" Children's Church Choir Concert
There's something catching about the Spirit of this rendition!!

Looking for these songs reminds me so clearly how much I often wished we recorded a lot more audio-visuals of Easter Camp Song renditions, especially of ancient music done with a band!!


"Ride On Ride On in Majesty" Kings College Cambridge


Ian Ferguson's Gippsland Reflection, Palm Sunday


A Horror Week - Rev. Professor Bill Loader from Project Reconnect on Vimeo.
And thanks to Project Reconnect for making all their Sunday Messages available
I place it here simply to make it easier to find


Worship Songs ETC for 29th March 2020


"Sing Out Earth & Skies"


"O Breath of God Come Sweeping Through Us"


"Out of the Depths" Psalm 130 inspired
Sinead O'Connor featuring the great Steve Cooney


Ian Ferguson's East Gippsland Easter Reflections 01
"Can These Dry Bones Live"

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Movies: Coming Soon

I'm yet to catch:
Birds of Prey
Parasite
Jo Jo Rabbit
Bombshell
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
Judy

And Coming Soon:
The Invisible Man
Bloodshot
No Time to Die (April 8th)
Black Widow
Top Gun Maverick ( I know but it's when we were growing up)
Ghostbusters Afterlife (looks good)

Row G Seat 10 "1917" MA15+



   Sam Mendes very person project "1917"was an engaging 1hr 59 (much the better for not being stretched another unnecessary 30-40 mins). The cinematography took you into the trenches and the graphic details of lives lost and the desolation of battle were starkly shown.

   Having fired 303s the single gunshots (loud) and inaccurate results gave what seemed to be a realism to the man to man fighting in areas the Germans had pulled back from. The premise of running a message to a General who was about to send 1600 soldiers and your brother into a trap (all in the trailers) gave the story the needed tension.

   The film was a series of vignettes exploring: the futility of the war; it's impact on individuals the trauma of battle and death; soldiers and officers interactions; different attitudes to 'medals'; and the whole notion of 'digging in' t defend yardage in the fields of France.

   The violence, bodies and setting are confronting but the story is an important one around the 100 years since the end of the conflict... I was drawn  into the drama of it bu the details. Having been a School Army cadet you're aware of the old uniforms; spats and bags and how much their personal packs would weigh... It's hard to say "I liked it" rather I was completely in the story and valued the time I spent watching it!! I don't really give films a score... it was good! The visuals and sound were stunning!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Australia's "Close the Gap" is not working

Even with advisors from the indigenous community this program is simply ineffective and it's an insulting embarrassment for our gentle, spirited, creative and much maligned indigenous people.
Everyone must take some responsibility for their own lives and those of their children BUT inequality and hard to access systems create ghettos, traps, intertia, resentment and above all ill health !! It's time to listen to "The Statement from the Heart," to stop 'verballing' indigenous people and especially to stop blaming them for a system that let's them down through lack of incentive to get involved... it is "a road train going' nowhere'!!



Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Super Bowl LIV Ads 2020



Expensive TV adverts are part of the American NFL Super Bowl hoopla and this year my favourite was Bill Murray reprising his role as Phill Connors (weatherman) in Puxatawny for 'Groundhog Day'!

Then there was also this teaser trailer for 'No Time to Die'




Saturday, January 25, 2020

Australia Day_Survival Day 2020






Australia Day_Survival Day 2020
   We're all part of the story and we all have an opportunity to LISTEN to our indigenous brothers and sisters while we seek to celebrate how flaming' lucky we are to live in Australia!! To celebrate here I share BAD DREEMS 'Like a Version' cover for Triple J, of The Warumpi Band's legendary "Black Fella/White Fella." This was the 'changeover track between 'the Warumps' and Midnight Oil in there tour of the Top End and the development of the album "Deisel & Dust" into a worldwide hit for the Oils!! Hence PG happy to guest on this track. Another example of indigenous story, generosity, creativity and endeavour inspiring us to better, different and to delve into the rich culture and landscape of our country. Here's where this started... don't miss Neil Murray on guitar...

10 Movies I've enjoyed for Whatever Reason #10 "Dead Poets Society"




2008 outside the Trump Hotel Columbus Circle, 
Robin Williams about to ride off into Central Park

   A collection of some of the best scenes ever in film tie together this story that could have used a better edit at some clunky points and meanders a bit with some storylines but has so much to say about adolescent struggles for identity and self esteem when the emotional side of that is so real.
 The meta-narrative cops some criticism as American liberal agenda and drivel but maybe those critics don't relate to the personal struggle described...
   "Carpe Diem... that's seize the day" Sometimes when I watch it I'm angry at what happens to Neil Perry, sometimes understand that some parental pressure to be lawyer, doctor or Ivy Leaguer must be soul destroying. In my own small way I never took on art beyond Year 7, not wanting to have my work judged or wondering at it's value long term... like much of my story, hindsight asks me "so what use was learning German for four years?" Nowadays, without the techniques to really nail some of my creative ideas I wish my total inability to master the pottery wheel had not held me back...
   I could also relate to Todd Anderson and most certainly Knox Overstreet's fumbling and laughable efforts with the woman of his teenage dreams...
   No doubt this film showed early indications of just how immensely talented Robin Williams was as an actor, with that fine line between comedy and tragedy or drama... Vale!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

10 Movies I've Enjoyed for Whatever Reason #09 "Midnight Run"



   It took a little while into the film but soon I was hooked by the dry, laconic, downplayed but enthralling relationship between mob accountant and 'bounty hunter.' Jonathan Mardukas (played by Charles Grodin, who I haven't liked in a few films), a mafia accountant, is on the run, and Jack Walsh (seminal Robert De Niro), a bounty hunter, wants to find him in order to claim a hefty fee. But he has to reach Jonathan before the others do. The alternative bounty hunter in pursuit makes the perfect foil for the main characters and action!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

"My Country" Midnight Oil


   Fitting lyrics and tune approaching 16th January 2020!! (Thanks Malin Forsgren for the video) of a song I could get behind as National Anthem... shared for Survival Day 26th January 2020. The song is about a broader theme but it's advocacy and remedy are the same!!Aboriginal people in this country persevere despite a lack of proper recognition, self determination or resources. Something akin to ATSIC (without the scourge of corruption or mishandling) could create a 'Voice' to the Australian Federal Parliament, set realistic plans for 'Stop the Gap,' work towards 'Recognition' and more...
   It's not right to: celebrate dot painted Qantas jets; hold 'Welcome to Country' without due respect in concrete terms; or revering traditional fire practices 'when in trauma'... We need to sort this out to have a genuine crack, so "the great southland can be as great as the one it could have been... "
   Crikey even South Africa has a two part National Anthem! Don't wear an indigenous themed jersey in your chosen sport unless you're willing to listen, change and get behind genuine indigenous leaders hopes and plans for the future!! Always was, always will be Awabakal Land!!

Monday, January 20, 2020

10 Movies I've Enjoyed for Whatever Reason #08 "Four Weddings & a Funeral"


   It's just about the perfect movie (if you like that sort of thing)!!...
   Hugh Grant plays himself, the casting is superb and the dialogue from Richard Curtis, with Mike Newell's as Director... outstanding!!
   The premise is we follow Charles and his friends as they track through that time when every Saturday seems to be a Wedding you're running late for... Their frequency, the gift travails and all the ups and downs cause reflection about what love is and how you "know..."
   The humour, gritty reality when all is not well and the cameos and jokes are all great... if you like British comedy this is a stellar effort!!

   The bonus is the Funeral evokes Good Friday/Easter with Auden's wonderfully evocative words! The interplay offers some great one liners and no 'first wedding' Clergy is safe from unusual names or the 'Father, Son and Holy Goat'!!

   Charles' attempts to break out of his 'oh so British' politeness and inability to express his feelings and "that thing about the Beatles" is great!! The cringeworthy moments are done perfectly!!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

10 Movies I've Enjoyed for Whatever Reason #07 "Apollo 13"


   Ron Howard is a superb film maker (eclipsing his fame a second time around from child star to Richie Cunningham and now Director of some epic movies). Case in point is the film "Apollo 13"!! You see the tension in the film is how these astronauts survive an onboard explosion, malfunction and aborted Moon landing... where the whole time, we know the outcome.
   So the challenge to the Director is to use: footage; dialogue; responses to adversity; and inside knowledge to heighten the tension... you forget they did make it back while you wonder at how, given the 'long shot' and the task for ground crew. This is evidenced in the move to convert the lunar module when the air filters are round and square, creating the scene where a Team are given only what is at hand on the craft (duct tape included) to make a connector. There are manual fuel burns lining up the earth in the window pane and more...
   Was it a malfunction? Human error? How does this effect the team dynamic when the astronaut in question was sub for illness?
   'Cousin Tom' or 'Hanx' as he signs off on twitter, anchors the story with humour, warmth, authority and plan common sense and hope as needed...

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Celebration/Thanks Terry Butler 14th Jan 2020


Celebration and Thanksgiving for the life of Terry Butler
5/5.15pm – (6.45pm) + eats/drinks/outside after (out 7.30pm)
Janice Reid Pavilion University of Western Sydney (off Victoria Rd, Rydalmere)

Terry’s Playlist - Simon Hodges
5pm Lali Mourning Beat + 5.15pm Lali Gathering Beat - Siaki

Lighting Candle/s
God/Christ Candle (light in the darkness) WHITE –
Cassius & Zeus Button (Grandson)
Terry’s Spirit Candle BLUE –
Judyth Roberts + Carolyn Handley

Permission to be on Country
Samuela Nabis Barrkha Sadrata (Sam)

AND Response
Thankyou (Sam) for your story shared (and the welcome it offers).
(The Ancient of Days breathed life into this land and Peoples and)
from time beyond our reckoning the Barramadigal people blessed
this place with their care and concern and we (as people of many
cultures and stories) join in paying respect to their Elders past,
present and being formed for the future.
May we be mindful of songlines and stories, as we join our voices
to those already here. May we walk gently and respectfully
on this land.

Welcome and Introduction
Welcome everyone, I’m Rob Hanks... xxx
We are here today to celebrate and give thanks
for the life of Terry Butler…
Words that are simple and clear yet seem inadequate…
People have come from Tasmania, Victoria, Canberra, Newcastle,
Queensland & South Australia, from bushfire regions & beyond…
Family and friends, from football, life and work, the coffee shop,
mainstream and complimentary medical treatment, care and
support, Uniting Church Leaders (President, Deidre Palmer on
behalf of the National Church) colleagues
& friends, velvet rabbits, llamas, online and faith communities and
so many touched by Terry’s spirit, faith, values,
hospitality and friendship…

Messages of love & support have come from
The International Godly Play Foundation, the World Methodist
Council, the World Council of Churches, the Hindu Council of
Australia, the Buddhist Students’ Association of Western Sydney,
the Aboriginal Advisory Council of Western Sydney,
the FB Group – Survivors of Clergy Abuse, and letters, emails
and flowers from friends in 7 different countries.

Today we are mindful of Terry’s immediate family:
Janai (and Chris); Emryn, grandsons Zeus and Cassius
and their mum, Vinodini and siblings Roby (and Peter),
Bob (and Jan)

Terry planned much of this gathering himself and wanted
to ensure children and storytellers, footballers and people
of all cultures and people identifying as LGBTIQ+ would
all be welcome and safe… My words today, lean on creative
others, including Dorothy McRae-McMahon.

There is no casket here
Having already had a Committal at home (sending off Terry’s
physical remains) and an “Ochre Ceremony” leading to
“Calling Home,” Terry’s ashes will be welcomed back onto the
Adnyamathanha country of the Ikara Flinders Ranges by the
First Peoples there…. (a moment of silence)

We come today knowing who we are & how we have lived,
matters & lives on... We come believing Terry’s life joins the
human story stretching into our past and our future and all Terry
means to you surrounds & sustains you…

Here we will… share stories, laughter and tears…
Here we will celebrate the wonder & wisdom held
in different faith expressions
(God’s love & grace are wider & grander
than we’ll ever know)
Here we will commend Terry’s spirit into God’s care…
There is both grief and joy…

Beginning Prayer
And so we pray, God of life, with many feelings,
as well as grief and sadness, Travel with us in this time,
open our hearts to each other, give love and understanding
for family & friends and all those feeling the loss of Terry…

Help us hear comfort in the stories we tell
& in the memories we share,
Enable us to celebrate, even as we grieve.
When we have missed the mark, forgive us
and help us forgive Terry,
things done or said, left or unspoken.
This is a time to lay aside regret
and to resist carrying that into the future…

We reflect on our lives and Terry’s,
the last time he prayed for or encouraged us, spoke,
shared a meal or coffee, a rant, swearing about sport
or leadership, laughter, a message of support, a hug,
accepted help, time given or spent, anything really…
This brief silence is yours xxx.

We gather in hope,
may we build community in spirit and in truth.(Amen)
OR may it be so…

Song Video “Bohemian Rhapsody” Queen (all invited to sing)



Sentences
Today I’m thinking about Jesus generosity (Matthew 5)
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted… 

Nadia Bolz Weber imagines,
blessed are those who can offer you nothing
Blessed are they who can’t fall apart because 
they have to keep it together for everyone else
These are not a goal, but where true
(a sign of community living out hope)
Hope, Midnight Oil tells us “only offers when justice is coming”
(Terry, challenge accepted and nailed, Nadia Bolz Webber & Midnight Oil, 
in one coherent phrase, totally relevant to the point)

I’m thinking about Blue, the colour of the sky & the sea,
depth & stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, faith, truth,
good for mind & body, calming, optimism, kindness, solidarity
& the colour marking so many different things in common

Symbols of Terry’s life + Booklet 
Symbol of God – White Candle
(to be lit) REMINDER
Symbol of Terry’s spirit – Blue Candle
Symbol of Thanksgiving – Calligraphy
(long banner hanging in place) THANKS
Symbol of Confession - Radiation mask
(loaned by Julie McCrossin) BARRIERS
Symbol of Comfort – 3 Quilts
(Tony and Shirley Floyd, 2 x Vivianne Butchers)
+ Adding, Sand from Bar Beach, Newcastle
(Tony Floyd to share the story of their quilt)

Spoken Memories
Deb Clarke
Emryn Button
Janai Tabbernor
Amelia
Everyone spoke with heart & warm memories and raw feelings
Part of Amelia's Eulogy and the AV of Photos are here

Reading Micah 6: 6-8 David Hodges
8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good; 
and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, 
and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? GNB

Reading excerpt “The Velveteen Rabbit” Marg Robinson

Words/Thoughts notes
What does God expect of you? What is real?
(Two Qs I hadn't necessarily thought of together before)
To do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God…
(8th C, BCE) Micah speaks prophetically, into a time of violence,
exploitation & oppression, into Israel’s broken relationship with God,
offering a way into reconciliation, summarising Scripture,
it resonated in Jesus teaching and life as…
“Love neighbour and love God” “
(who is my neighbour? "Work it out!!”)

Walter Bruggeman wrote ‘walking humbly’
is to pay attention to others
(the opposite of pride, self-righteousness
or dehumanising oppression) P Freire
Jesus call to love our neighbour and God is a verb, an action word,
doing justice as ‘the work of the people,” participating in God’s mission,
reconciling & renewing people, restoring them to community…
these marks in Terry’s life

“The thing about grief is…” sings Claire Bowditch
“It knows what I did and It knows what I did not say.
It sentenced me to a life of excavating things
my little head can not understand.
But I patched it all together with string and rubber bands”
Sounds a bit like becoming real, one lyric (no time 4 more)

But none of us knows the whole truth
about what happens beyond death,
We travel with an infinitely gracious God,
revealed in loving relationships.
God ‘one of us’ showing us what God is like…
Inviting us to question whether what we have valued in life
 has any eternal value. The God who stands with us in that moment
is the same God prepared to die in love for all humankind,
entering every struggle of our lives,
understanding the choices we have made…
Here we find an image of life, lasting values,
the story that goes on…
Inviting us to do justice, and to love kindness 
& to walk humbly with your God…

Photos AV Pics + “I’m Going Home” Tim Curry here

Pastoral Prayer
Take Home Gifts : Candle, Hanky, Holding Heart, Ice Collar
(Eyes open until you're comfortable you know what we are doing)
God of life,
We hold in our hands, resources for reflection/prayer/
remembering
A Candle, carry Terry’s light forward
In a moment of silence I invite your reflections, hopes, prayer
Can we write a story of hope for Terry’s family and friends xxx

Some days we might need to hold belief and joy and trust and light
Some days are hard,
may you know that you are loved and held in faith

We hold in our hands, a handkerchief,
a less wasteful offer of care & help
Can we write a story of blessing,
can we give thanks and pray
For medical and complimentary care,
for health workers and wellbeing,
For helpers and supporters, for blue folks, online presence,
those mentored and those receiving hospitality and care
in Terry’s own tireless way
God’s spirit, a solid story of life, inspiring thanks every day.

We hold in our hands, a timber holding heart,
giving, love, connection
Can we write a story of justice, sacrifice, inclusion,
of creativity and art
Can we pray for each other, determined,
courageous and real
(we prayed for two families
in their current moment of life & need)

Hold out those symbols in your own way,
take them home,
May the cool wind of the hovering spirit
soothe and replenish you. Amen

Fijian Congregation Singing "The Lords Prayer"
+ Action Song "Help Me Up" Justin Wellington
by the young people

Blessing for Terry/Commendation
Terry, all these things and more you have given to us,
We respect your journey through life with all its realities
You embraced life and squeezed everything out of it,
Giving it away to others at any opportunity.
Be embraced by love, be yourself as we let go of things and trust
You were and always will be son, dad, grandad, partner, brother,
friend + more
You lived a following of the way, undertaken with panache,
with flair & reckless courage…
(We commend your Spirit to God’s care) added, Amen

Song “Child of Mine”
Sung by Amelia, Mixed Blessings & friends
written by Leigh Newton, Tanya Wittwer and Amelia
for Terry on the cancer journey

Changing the Light – Judyth Roberts and Carolyn Handley

Everyone is invited to stay on, eat, share stories together, 
look at the photo displays, flick through some photo books 
and kick a football around (outside)
Anyone who would like to can take food outside. 
We have water on tap

Sending (please stand as you are able)
We have sung, laughed, mourned,
shared and reflected
Even as we grieve this loss,
Let’s commit ourselves
to comfort those who miss Terry most
Now let us go into the world, glad that we have loved
Free to grieve for our loss,
free to hold each other in human frailty
Empowered to live life to the full
and to affirm the hope of human existence
And may God be our company,
Christ walk before us
And the spirit, surround us with grace.
Amen

Recessional Song (invitation to whistle)
“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” Monty Python



Some people also asked about

"The Thing About Grief Is" Claire Bowditch



Lyrics here

I hope it's Ok to share the details and gives others a glimpse of how we fleshed out Terry's hopes and plans. Thanks particularly to Darren and Aimee for brilliant assistance with the Tech/Sound/Vision/Logistics. Thanks to all contributors and those offering affirmation and afterwards sharing what they appreciated/needed/found. All working well at the beginning we lost Mics and some Volume later that was beyond our capacity to resolve on the spot

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

"Earth and Sun and Moon" Midnight Oil


Audio only...

"In the morning we will wake up and take to the air
Look back at the planet - I'm glued to my chair
Southern half is burning as we climb through the sky
Sea birds softly falling, smoke way up high..."

As relevant today as when it was written... reflecting on our responsibility for our stewardship of creation!! A recognition of anthropogenic impact through things like fossil fuels and more...

"Earth And Sun And Moon"
In the morning we will wake up and take to the air
Look back at the planet - I'm glued to my chair
Southern half is burning as we climb through the sky
Sea birds softly falling, smoke way up high

There's the contours of the mountains, the deserts and plains
And a hurricane is blowing, and it turns once again
Now there's oil spills in the water where Columbus once sailed
And there's history and mystery and it's rolling away

I wish you could see this great mystery
Earth and sun and moon, human tribe, thin blue line
Earth and sun and moon will survive

Sediment is flowing from river to sea
Now where are the mighty nations, no lines to be seen
An axe upon the broken ground the sigh of the trees
And it's floating in the ether, it brings me to my knees

Too messed up to care
Anyone got a wing and a prayer
In the blink of an eye
Thank you and goodnight

Earth and sun and moon, human tribe, one thin blue line
Earth and sun and moon will survive, will survive, we will survive