Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Advent Stuff for those still planning

Stations Ideas
[1] I'm not using it but I had an idea about wrapping some things that would be fun for the congregtaion/s or could be used during Christmas Worship and having the parcel there and referred to somehow each advent Sunday
[2] Nine photos of Gaza and Israel [including those of the artwork on the concrete wall] make a great Prayers for Others 'station' thinking about how many thousand years on and still they throw rocks at each other... maybe adding salt to water like tears
[3] Offerings of gifts in one bowl and money in another
[4] Printing off that week's Biblical story and inviting people to read and then write questions or thoughts on the spare space on the sheet

I'll upload my traditional Farside Christmas Cards

Advent Bits n Pieces
Liturgy, Resources,Comment, Art etc TextWeek Ideas
Creative Advent Resources
Brilliant collection from various sources at Jonny Baker's blog
For traditional settings Fresh Worship
Rethinking Youth Minsitry gathering a variety of stuff
The Worship Closet is a recent find
Advent Conspiracy has a couple of great videos for rethinking Christmas
Then there's the Digital Nativity
OR Social Network Christmas
Brick Nativity was a contest winner
Check out Darren's Digital Orthodoxy Storybook ideas
plus "Light the Lamps"
 AND generously the rest of Darren's colected ideas and some resources shared... here

Songs that are a Bit Different [listed here before]
"Christmas Must Be Tonight" The Band covered brilliantly by Paul Kelly
"How to Make Gravy" Paul Kelly for  reflection around what's not great about Christmas
"White Wine in the Sun" Tim Minchin asks great real questions for a young adult discussion
But 'Songs for Christmas' Sufjan Stevens has so many different vibes and themes it's great
I'm using "O Come O Come Emmanuel" as a backing for 'stations' this week...
Get the idea, I don't really like Christmas music... the above helps me make it through

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Quade Cooper

   Injuries and his own attitude have prevented Quade Cooper from developing into the rugby legend he could have been. The Gen Y swagger and opinion of himself and others is not so new but team culture and respect for senior players and understanding of the overall endeavour have reeled in always present egos in the past.
   Even David Campese understood that at the end of the day it's a team sport. Campo had his non existent tackling technique to keep him humble, Cooper just shifts to fullback!!
   Schoolboy heroes need some hard yards in senior rugby to learn to use their gifts and skills against similarly gifted players or on the whole better teams because the opposition play together.
   I think the same has been true for Kurtley Beale who won everything at St Josephs and must have found it hard in the early stages at the Waratahs. Only now after the stint at fullback is he causing sufficient buzz with the Wallabies that they could afford to only offer Cooper an incentive deal [unthinkable 18 months ago]!! Michael Hawker is obviously enjoying the post John O'Neill perspective...
   I hope Quade Cooper gets his head sorted and actually signs the contract. He will not be a hit in rugby league... French rugby maybe or Japan!! On the other hand he could knuckle down and learn a thing or two from coaches and use his expansive game and once in a generation ability to threaten defences and grow as a player.
   Blokes his age do go out drinking, bingle cars, even steal the occasional laptop as a joke... most of them don't get to lay rugby for Australia though... don't be an idiot!!
I've no doubt the Wallaby game plans frustrated him as coach Deans had to decide that the team was clearly incapable of playing with flair so adapted match plans to suit our inability to catch pass and kick [effectively] we have no trouble kicking... we just do it too often and get the same lame results.
Take the game v England on the weekend. The early kicks were better', the short up and unders were used to turn the defence around but then later they kept kicking to nobody and brought England back into the game by giving them the ball...
   If it were up to me I'd pick Cooper at Inside Centre with Beale at 5/8th and Berrick Barnes at Fullback. This is the challenge schoolboy coaches had with Cooper and Beale and could use the best skills of both...
Anyhow, Quade, good luck to you whatever you choose to do!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Liberating Visible Communities of Courage and Hope"

At our Presbytery [regional meeting] [3] of us on behalf of the organising committee responsible, organised a worship/discussion around this theme from the Presbytery vision statement...

1. Indigenous Acknowledgement [15sec]
Tonight as we begin,
we acknowledge and give our respect to
the traditional owners of the land on which we gather,
who have cared for it since time immemorial.
The Darkinjung people were here at the time Cessnock was established...

2. [3] Voice Call to Worship [2 mins]
Voice [1]
Here in this time and this place
God waits for us to be aware of God’s calling.
God of the anxious and calm alike knows
There are moments of clarity and moments of fear for us all.
How can we participate in liberating communities of courage and hope?
This is our worship. Not a concert or a play, a conversation with God and each other.

Voice [2]
We face difficulty with mixed feelings,
Are we slow to change, aware of the need, uncertain in direction or impatient for action?
We are a people on the way and that way is hard.
Fear can paralyse and it takes courage to act, to move, even in our grieving.
God is in action in the world, inviting us to join in ways small and large.
“It has to be believed to be seen”*

Voice [3]
Our loss of meaning and community is palpable
We need the Spirit of God to lead us
Make space to be a community, seeking to engage in God’s mission
Find ways within your worship and community life, to practice hospitality and grace
Bring reconciliation to all people because “hope only offers when justice is coming”*
We must practice the imagination required to bring on the change*.
*”Window in the Skies “ U2, “Time to Heal” and “Bring on the Change” Midnight Oil

3. Movie Trailer Clip
“Up” Pixar Teaser Trailer [43sec]

4. Prayer [15sec]
Missional God,
Give us the empathy to listen, the tools to imagine and the courage to act,
In the face of change help us be a pilgrim people, on the way…

5. Song
“The Wood Song” The Indigo Girls [4mins]
Lyrics onscreen

6. Stories of Courage and Hope
[a] Quotes [1min 15sec]

At the National Museum in Canberra,
the ‘Eternity’ display includes windows depicting stories around different emotions including ‘Hope’
and it says,

“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.”

Just last week Barack Obama, returned to the theme of ‘hope’ saying,
“I'm not talking about blind optimism,
the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead
or the road blocks that stand in our path.
I'm not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.

I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence
to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching,
to keep working, to keep fighting.”

[b] Stories on Tables [7 mins]
Stories on ‘some’ tables to be read aloud at a mic by [1] person from the table
1. David
2. Esther
3. Gideon
4. Kylie Sambo
5. Ahn Doh
6. St Nicholas Church, Leipzig

[c] Movie Clip Finish [49 secs]
“Shawshank Redemption” hope

7. TABLE DISCUSSION AND PRAYER [30 mins total until 6.20 or 6.25]

[a] Introduce the table discussion around how we live out the Presbytery Vision re:
‘liberating communities of courage and hope’

[b] Questions Discussion at Tables
Outcomes pinned up on wall

[c] Prayer at Table Groups
Maz explains Prayer Activity writing on paper squares/mix/pick and pray at tables

8. SENDING OUT by 6.30pm [9mins]

Only if time allows
“Stuck” storybook [4 mins]

FINISH with Communal Song [4mins]
“Holy Words Long Preserved” Lyrics on DVD

Cardinal Pell Gets It Sooo Wrong

This week here in Oz the government [under some pressure] announced a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse [yes there will be a more technical title and terms of reference]. It's really in response to a building story here about instances of abuse by Catholic Clergy that there's no doubt the media have increasingly highlighted as victims and support groups have seized on instances and ramifications to put pressure on governments.
It's clear from responses yesterday that Cardinal Pell [Sydney Arch Bishop] just doesn't get it...
For years the Church's institutional response has featured denial, punishment, legal advice never to admit liability, silence and 'moving Priests on.'
In more recent times ther church has put more transparent and fair processes in place, made settlements and sanctioned Priests BUT they continue to hold up changes, mediation, settlements etc as somehow meaning that things are OK...

Maybe there should be:
- apologies not encouragement to 'move on'
- acknowledgement of fallibility and mistakes rather than pronouncements of change
- humilty in the face of being shown up rather than cliams of media witch hunts
- openness and cooperation rather than constant minimising...
- Someone who hasn't been accused of cover ups and ignoring the truth might be a better spokesperson

Maybe everytime an announcement, question or comment is made they would do well to acknowledge the past and those effected even when the systems now in place would be much better at unearthing the truth and helping people move on...

Anyhow,having added their voice to the call for the Commission to be wider than just the Catholic Church, I would expect the Church to begin to focus on confession, humilty, transparency and letting better actiosn speak louder than shrill words!!