Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend OUT 2014 Promo Video 'Hall of Fame'

Weekend OUT 2014 Promo Video 'Riptide'

File soon available for groups and congregations etc to use in your place!!

Table Tennis

   I was reading an article the other day that became a story on local ABC radio today. It was about SPiN NYC Ping Pong Bar & restaurant. It caught my eye because I had recently seen a 'cheap as chips' table at REBEL sport and wondered if this was something the odd Youth Group here or there could get back into... most had given up their table or were still offering a dodgy collapsible one that's a safety risk and says everything you need to hear about how a faith community values it's young people enough to let that happen or judges the group for their not valuing such assets and causing it to be damaged and run down... I digress!!
   The rich and famous have been known to frequent SPiN and Susan Sarandon's youtube video is a classic... ABC radio contacts the NSW Table Tennis Association President and 'yes' there is an upsurge in the game. A combination of outdoor models, larger Asian student populations in schools and... if I have anything to do with it this will be followed up by a rash of congregations purchasing new equipment or tables and adding it to their regular programs!!

PHOTO of the WEEK 'Planet Earth'

  Inspired by my LENT photo gathering I have decided to take the line of less resistance and search for an image of the week to share... it could be from news, pop culture, my own camera or phone... it could be video or story!! It might have relevance to my story, life or work...
   Let's start with today's...

   This last week's photo is the rotating planet earth at Newcastle Museum. Last week it was above the LEGO Colosseum... the Museum website gives details of how you can book spaces there for after hours activities. I imagine many corporate launches and parties utilise the illuminated rotating globe for cocktails and finger food!!
   I was thinking what a great space it would be for an alt.worship celebration space for all comers... could be a great space for my idea about such an event on the theme 'STAND.' Ellie too stood there for some time waiting to take just the right photo with Australia in view.
   As an aside the LEGO is great!!

What I Wish My Youth [Pastor] Worker Knew

 I spent two days last week doing reading, research and following link by link through some familiar and some new spaces exploring ministry and mission with young people... my monthly email will reflect some that but also here on my blog...
 "Rethinking Youth Ministry" website makes a link to one stunning talk from the recent US "Progressive Youth Ministry Conference" here and it's a Conference I knew I'd wish I could get to as soon as I heard about it... that and at least one of the Princeton Gatherings that happen each year... but I think those opportunities, budget and time have passed me by!! It was a great lineup of people and it would have been great to chat with Tony Jones!!
You can also head straight to the video I'm talking about on vimeo here
   I'm not a fan of 'labels' because they never truly define someone's position yet enable vilification, cheap shots and dismissiveness alongside occasionally helping shorthand communication. I woudn't ascribe to being a 'progressive', I think there's not enough room for mystery in what that normally seems to label. What I am all for is people being able to explore their faith and the way they speak of God and to know the overarching good news of grace, compassion and inclusion that is Jesus life and teaching... I think the boomer generation has needed the 'progressive' label for what it is over and against ans well as the territory it attempts to stake out. To think otherwise would be akin to thinking feminism was an unhelpful label because surely there aren't those issues anymore... yeah, right!!
In the context of the US and the aforementioned Conference it's a simple naming that understands how most US youth ministry we are exposed to is of the 'evangelical' label and other do struggle to 'find their place' in those spaces. I have more in common with the emerging movement/s than progressives and as I say, don't find all that helpful... leave that all to one side...
   Jeff Chu makes a plea for the kind of youth ministry I've always aspired to and have come to believe is the call we all share as disciples of Jesus. Jeff wonders if what he asks is "too much"... we fallible human beings let each other down a lot...
   It also attracts criticism and is misunderstood by those from the more conservative end of the theological spectrum, those into models and ticking the boxes, those who are fond of focusing mostly on what they want to share/say/achieve or feel under pressure to not being focused on the 'right things.' It's OK, people are allowed to be wrong... Every person engaged in the ministry of Youth Worker should see this video!!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

"Stand" Project

   Inspired by some thinking during the recent visit of 'The Caravan of Hope' and my Easter prep and reflections I am starting work on a new 45-70min 'worship' experience around the theme 'stand'... I'm imagining a space, music, a collaborative tactile [hands on] creativity as part of the time but also it's about stopping and going slowly against the culture of 'being busy'
   I'm thinking about something could work in different settings and communities and might end up as part of 'Weekend OUT'... One option for me is a 5th Sunday special event inviting youth/young adults but it'd be equally able to be put together for an 'anything goes' contemporary worship... this is ALL working title... a follow up to my LENT pics and the Yurora Installation from January!! I don't yet know what collaborators to seek to create holy mischief together...

Friday, April 25, 2014

WEEKENDOUT 15th to 17th August 2014

ANZAC Day 2014

"The Last of the Diggers" Midnight Oil
Who will march for peace
Now that the last of the diggers has gone
All those who were released
From Sulva Bay and from the Somme
The Mallee is whipped by sand
A great new silence blankets the land
We sure need the Stone Age
In the coming century

Who will feed the poor
Now that the Saint of the gutters is gone
Who will hear the call
You lately come or native born
For the touch of the Master's hand
The eye of the Master still watches the lamb
We sure need the Stone Age
In the coming century

The last of the diggers
The last of the diggers
The last of the diggers
The last of the diggers has won

Who gets sent to war
Who'll lose a child to a foreign coast
Who will leave our shore
And come home rattling like a ghost
This country can be cruel
It'll leave you with scars that never heal
We sure need the Stone Age in the coming century
Still gonna need some Stone Age in the coming century

The last of the diggers
The last of the diggers
The last of the diggers
The last of the diggers has won

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Lead with Wisdom: How Wisdom Transforms Good Leaders into Great Leaders" Mark Strom

   I have just started to properly read a hard copy of Mark Strom's excellent book. I have enjoyed exploring his blog and TEDx talk about Grounded Questions that's helped develop ideas I've always held to be important in leadership and facilitation.
   I will post a 'Review along the Way' as many people were interested when I mentioned it before... I continue to like the way in which pairs of pages and small sections deal with particular ideas so you can get a lot from a short read and dip into different places as you see fit.
   In short, Grounded Questions give rise to shared stories, encourage concrete conversation and help suggest directions or actions as you delve into what's being heard...

In related things but not directly from this reading I have recently been reminded of a few simple important ideas:
- Listening is active and tiring, but helps the search for a grounded question and helps encourage participation
- When ideas are shared it's so important to show they've been heard and to affirm contributions
- Creative conversations boost my energy
- Well intentioned ranting is still ranting
- Just because you want people to value your contribution and to think well of you, doesn't mean they do, or will
- Being present for people, brings it's own rewards
- Hard conversations are hard for a reason but must be pursued
- Change is painful but most certainly necessary
- Movies are my favourite form of escape from otherwise stressful work and mindfulness
That'll do for now....

Sunday, April 20, 2014

EASTER VIDEO Monday "Don't Carry It All" The Decemberists

   OK, I don't know why but this is just the song I want to listen to today [Monday]!! I'm not convinced it'll fit an Easter Monday theme per se, but ti fits my Easter Monday!! Having said that, I connect with the grainy determined sound and the exhortation of the singer in reinforcing the message of the song... don't carry it all!!

Easter Sunday 2014


Some images


Call to Worship for Easter  adapted from Cheryl Lawrie
We’re here because we’re people who who’ve heard more than a rumour
That there’s life beyond our lives

We’re here because we are people of hope offering life to the full today
And that hope calls us to action

We’re here because Jesus calls us to follow
In doing this we share life with everyone we meet

We’re here because He is Risen!!
He is Risen Indeed

HYMN “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”

OPENING PRAYER forgot where I stole this from, mostly re:worship
Compassionate God,
Through you Jesus conquered death and rose from the dead and is alive evermore
Help us never to forget your loving presence with us
Help us to remember
That you are with us in every time of confusion to guide and direct us
That you are with us in every time of sadness to comfort and counsel us
That you are with us in every time of temptation to strengthen and inspire us
That you are with us in every time of loneliness to cheer and befriend us
That you are with us in every time of doubt to point us to abundant life
We thank you, we own up to sometimes letting you down
And we pray thanks for your compassion and grace.....
xxxx extra bit...

STORY with pics ‘Dave the Donkey’ Peter C
BIBLE READING John 20: 1-18
REFLECTION    “Standpoint”
VIDEO “Easter Drawing Countdown” 4min 16
HYMN “Thine [Yours] be the glory, risen, conquering Son” 
Our God we pray for a world in trouble not easily solved
We pray today for conflict in Ukraine and Syria and so many places across the planet
We pray for our country, for those who struggle and those who don’t help
We pray wisdom for leaders and compassion for those in need
We ask you God to invite us into action for change
If prayer were enough there would be no poverty, no hunger, no pain
If prayer were enough we would all love our neighbour as ourselves
God help us to bringers of hope, sources of care and creators of community

HYMN ‘Lord Jesus Christ You Have Come to Us’ 1,2,3
COMMUNION.... stripped back with all the 'triangles' covered

Christ is the bread of life,
food for healing and wholeness.

Christ is the cup of hope,
wellspring of resurrection life.

The gifts of God for the people of God.
As we share may we be found in Christ and Christ in us

Communion distribution by the Elder

Hymn “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” 1,2,3,5

Sending Out
God sends you
God’s Spirit guides you
Jesus is your example to follow

[1] IT’S EASTER SUNDAY, a moment of celebration,
where faith breaks out of the normal boundaries of reporting and memory…

In John 20 v 18 “Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.”

Simply reporting, doesn’t cut it… 
Imagination, story-telling and the experiences of the people in the story,
Give us the ‘good news’
but also the diversity of the gospel accounts… “Christ is risen”

[2] AND Easter for me this year has been about seeing the story,
Through the eyes of those people whose stories we’ve glimpsed…
Nicodemus, the un-named woman at the Well, the man born blind,
Mary-Jesus mother, Mary Magdalene and Peter to name a few…

[3] American theologian/activist, Robert McAfee Brown, SAID
“where you stand, will determine what you see” and;
“whom you stand with will determine what you hear; and
“what you see and hear will determine what you say and how you act”

I can’t tell you how many Easter Camps, workshops, weekends or occasions I’ve heard speakers and storytellers echo these words, to encourage and explore, what it means to be a follower of JESUS…

In McAfee Brown’s case it was a plea for people to get alongside
and understand life through the eyes of the poor, the dispossessed
and those whose life is a struggle…

[4] Others I know, describe our task in relation to Scripture,
As being one of figuring out where we LOCATE ourselves …

The central theme of John’s gospel is…?
That Jesus is the Son of God… that Jesus is God
WHEN John talks about the promise of “abundant life”
That’s this gospels way of speaking of “the Kingdom of God”
[5] In the Easter a/c here is Jesus, from God, returning to God
BUT like I was saying, we have the story through the eyes of those in it…

Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved,

Mary Magdalene only, not “the women” as in the other gospels
Whether this is an earlier tradition OR the writers ‘touch’
We know Mary hears in a single sentence,
the secret Jesus shares to the others over 5 chapters in [John 13-17]
And this one sentence makes sense of the resurrection event…
reminds WA Uniting Church theologian Bill Loader…

17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

[6] Jesus echoes his last conversations with those following
And inviting them to see this amazing turn of events as an explanation

15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him,
“Sir, if you have carried him away,
tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher).

The dramatic race across town and what they found,
give way to this grief filled conversation between Jesus and Mary…

[7] And in v 18
18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

- We are invited into Mary’s standpoint in the story, to recognize/respond
- We are called to live as a community who BELIEVE in/live out our faith
- Where will we stand, where do you locate yourself in response?
Which people do we know, from the very edges of Merriwa,
would encounter JESUS love and teach and share it with all of us?


Good Friday 2014

 mp3 7.55am “I Grieve” Peter Gabriel 4min 53 with lyrics onscreen

Call to Worship [can't remember where I stole the original from Christine Sine?]
From the busy-ness of our lives
We have come here on a day that is different.
We live in a part of the world that mostly offers hope and possibilities,
We have come to share a story of betrayal and violence
Young and old we wonder what this story holds for us today…
Come and hear the story, come and share the tragedy,
Come and enter into the drama…

And from Psalm 22 adapted from the late Moira Laidlaw
Our praises for God should be energized by how we connect with our world.
When all people turn to God and worship God,
The poor will eat and be satisfied, we will have justice and peace
Let’s thank God through lives offering love in actions and words
And build a community around God’s story…

Extinguish a candle
Prayer [adapted Christine Sine]
Christ Jesus you hung upon a cross and died for us
so that we might live for you.
Your body was broken and your blood shed
so that we might be healed and made whole.
You were faithful unto death
so that we might be faithful unto life.

Your last command was that we might love one another:
one people together from every tribe and nation,
a new creation united through your sacrifice,
redeemed by your blood,
healed by your love,
united by your covenant of peace.
In your death may we find life.

Communal Song
VIDEO CLIP ‘Holy-Moly Good Friday’ 4min 51
READING Part # 1   John 18: 1-27
STORYBOX I wonder….. I broke most of the 'Godly Play' rules and made up a story with drawings, symbols, leather strings, cross, etc
Communal Song
READING Part #2   John 18: 29-40 19: 1-8

Brief REFLECTION A had two requests for a copy which was a conversation worth engaging in
Communal Song
READING Part #3 John 19: 12-24
READING PART #4 JOHN 19: 25-42
Video Clip ‘Funeral Blues’ 1min 15 BBC
We can’t stay here,
We are a people sent,
Take God’s story with you,
Try to hold onto this disturbing event without jumping ahead
Jesus went to the Cross, stands with us
And invites us to engage with God’s Spirit in our world.
SONG to listen to/reflect and leave “I Grieve” Peter Gabriel edit

UCA Prez Easter Message 2014

2014 Uniting Church Easter message from UCA Assembly on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

EASTER Video #2 Sunday "Ordinary Love" U2

"Ordinary Love" U2
The sea wants to kiss the golden shore
The sunlight warms your skin
All the beauty that's been lost before
Wants to find us again

I can't fight you anymore
It's you I'm fighting for
The sea throws rocks together
But time leaves us polished stones

We can't fall any further
If we can't feel ordinary love
And we cannot reach any higher
If we can't deal with ordinary love

Birds fly high in the summer sky
And rest on the breeze
The same wind will take care of you and I
We'll build our house in the trees

Your heart is on my sleeve
Did you put it there with a magic marker?
For years I would believe
That the world couldn't wash it away

'Cause we can't fall any further
If we can't feel ordinary love
And we cannot reach any higher
If we can't deal with ordinary love

Are we tough enough
For ordinary love

We can't fall any further
If we can't feel ordinary love
And we cannot reach any higher
If we can't deal with ordinary love

We can't fall any further
If we can't feel ordinary love
And we cannot reach any higher
If we can't deal with ordinary love

   This song is a love story, a story of a relationship interrupted by history, by events and calling, by what is right but costly. Those things propelled two peoples lives in different directions and revealed the cost of standing for what you believe in... it's mood and sentiment remind me of the call to love our neighbour as ourselves, usually at a cost to us...
Today I will be talking about and reflecting on the words of Robert McAfee Brown,

“where you stand, will determine what you see” and;
“whom you stand with will determine what you hear and;
“what you see and hear will determine what you say and how you act”

Others I know would say our task is followers is to figure out where we locate ourselves in relation to the story
It's as open as where people locate themselves in relation to apartheid, South Africa and Mandela

In this case though it's an entirely different invitation to listen, to see, to know and to act on the values of God as exampled through Jesus Christ... whose stories will inspire that in you and your community? Who would tun back to town and tell of what they have seen and heard... surprising people in this age I figure...

EASTER VIDEO #1 Sunday "Atlas" Coldplay

"Atlas" Coldplay
Some saw the sun
Some saw the smoke
Some heard the gun
Some bent the bow

Sometimes the wire must tense for the note
Caught in the fire, say oh
We're about to explode

Carry your world, I'll carry your world
Carry your world, I'll carry your world

Some far away
Some search for gold
Some dragon to slay
Heaven we hope is just up the road

Show me the way, Lord, 'cause I, I'm about to explode

Carry your world, I'll carry your world
Carry your world, I'll carry your world 
Carry your world, and all your hurt
(Carry your world, carry your world)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Video Saturday "Stay Alive" Jose Gonzales

"Stay Alive" Jose Gonzales
There's a rhythm in rush these days
Where the lights don't move and the colors don't fade
Leaves you empty with nothing but dreams
In a world gone shallow
In a world gone lean

Sometimes there's things a man cannot know
Gears won't turn and the leaves won't grow
There's no place to run and no gasoline
Engine won't turn
And the train won't leave

Engines won't turn and the train won't leave

I will stay with you tonight
Hold you close 'til the morning light
In the morning watch a new day rise
We'll do whatever just to stay alive
We'll do whatever just to stay alive

Well the way I feel is the way I write
It isn't like the thoughts of the man who lies
There is a truth and it's on our side
Dawn is coming
Open your eyes
Look into the sun as the new days rise

And I will wait for you tonight
You're here forever and you're by my side
I've been waiting all my life
To feel your heart as it's keeping time
We'll do whatever just to stay alive

Dawn is coming
Open your eyes
Dawn is coming
Open your eyes
Dawn is coming
Open your eyes
Dawn is coming
Open your eyes

Look into the sun as the new days rise
There's a rhythm in rush these days
Where the lights don't move and the colors don't fade
Leaves you empty with nothing but dreams
In a world gone shallow
In a world gone lean

But there is a truth and it's on our side
Dawn is coming open your eyes
Look into the sun as a new days rise

Easter Video Good Friday #2 "I Grieve" Peter Gabriel

The Easter Road Trip means 7hrs in the car!!

"Hells Bells" AC/DC Tribute Band
"Skyfall" Adele
"Small Things" The Audreys
"Departures [Blue Toowong Skies]" Bernard Fanning
"Plans" Birds of Tokyo
"The Thing about Grief" Clare Bowditch
"Atlas" Coldplay
"The A Team" Ed Sheeran
"Left Alone ft Chet Baker" Flume
"Bad" Luka Bloom
"In the Valley" Midnight Oil
"Where I Stood" Missy Higgins
"Below My Feet" Mumford & Sons
"There is a Kingdom" Nick Cave
"Love is the Law" Paul Kelly
"Given to Fly" Pearl Jam
"These Days" Powderfinger
"Awakenings" Sarah McLachlan
"Lady of the Sea [Hear Her Calling]" Seth Lakeman
"World Upon Your Shoulders" Silverchair
"Touch" Steve Bilbi
"Bad" U2
"Pride [in the Name of Love]" U2
"Bullet the Blue Sky" U2
"Window in the Skies" U2
"The Cave" Mumford & Sons
"Magic" Coldplay

Easter Good Friday "Bullet the Blue Sky" U2

"Bullet the Blue Sky" U2

In the howling wind comes a stinging rain
See it driving nails
Into the souls on the tree of pain
From the firefly, a red orange glow
See the face of fear
Running scared in the valley below

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue

In the locust wind comes a rattle and hum
Jacob wrestled the angel
And the angel was overcome
You plant a demon seed
You raise a flower of fire
See them burning crosses
See the flames higher and higher

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue

This guy comes up to me
His face red like a rose on a thorn bush
Like all the colors of a royal flush
And he's peeling off those dollar bills
Slapping them down
One hundred, two hundred
And I can see those fighter planes
And I can see those fighter planes
Across the mud huts where the children sleep
Through the alleys of a quiet city street
You take the staircase to the first floor
Turn the key and slowly unlock the door
As a man breathes into a saxophone
And through the walls you hear the city groan
Outside is America
Outside is America

Across the field you see the sky ripped open
See the rain through a gaping wound
Pounding on the women and children
Who run
Into the arms
Of America

   This is one of a number of U2 songs that ,when played live, can be and are changed lyrically or visually to reflect the key themes of that concert tour, city or current events. This has been written about more eloquently and theologically than I could..... thanks to Steve Taylor here

“Bullet the Blue Sky” is the fourth track on U2s 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. The song was originally written as a commentary on a highly particularized context, the involvement of the United States military in Central America during the 1980’s. Over time, this highly particularized political context has changed, yet the song has continued to be performed by U2.
Using commercially available concert footage, this chapter will explore the changes and development in the song’s performance, over a twenty year period, with a particular focus on concerts in Paris (1987), Slane Castle (2001) and Chicago (2005).
Following one song over an extended period allows an exploration of how a band can reframe and re-perform their music as the context and culture shifts. (Hint, hint, what churches are seeking to do every Sunday in relation to Bible and church tradition! Ed)"

MY own experience of this song was to hear it at the Sydney Ent Cent on the 'Lovetown' Tour where words about who was in the streets were changed to reflect Sydney's Kings Cross, politics and some current issues and the contrast of being inside this venue... then Bono sang "and outside is Sydney" twice and the crowd cheered wildly... I remember thinking how people just didn't get it...
   For me this song is on my Good Friday playlist because it's scenes of howling wind, a place ripped open, an absence of hope go along with the mood of the tune [it isn't always about the lyrics folks]...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Video Thursday "Keep the Earth Below My Feet" Mumford & Sons

Lent 2014 Collage

   Well, it's been a bit random and reflects the way in which I find no space for me in the 'giving up' thing but instead just try to take space to spend time reflecting on who God is calling me to be and how I can 'be' within that as opposed to just the call to 'do'!! I will post a song a day and my road trip playlist that'll get me up the Hunter Valley and back in coming days!! 
   My sense of this time is I still miss the opportunity to spend the Easter Weekend with a bunch of young people and young adults who are up for exploring all that God is and how Jesus shows us that and calls us to follow as they try to make sense of their lives. I don't enjoy every song but the ones we do at least address the culture and context in which we live, I don't relate to every aspect of a collaborative worship but do enjoy seeing people access stories, music, drama, and questions they have... and watching people use their gifts to take their journey!!
   There's a different challenge in engaging wisdom and leading/curating something for older groups... who are no less engaged in their own faith... 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

LENT Photo # 39 'Serving'

   Everyone's idea of serving will be different but there are some clues in the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet as to the nature of the endeavour... it includes words like humble, unexpected, challenging the recipient/s to accept the generosity or hospitality or action.... It's part of a subversive countercultural action that can break down barriers, create community, overcome struggles and model leadership of a specific type...
   This Lent and this Thursday I am mindful of the power of serving as it offers glimpses of hope and points to 'another world being possible' while at the same time there's a place for strong leadership that gives direction and asks others to follow.
   Anytime I've participated in a foot washing at a youth camp for Easter I have been struck by two things: many people's uncomfortability/vulnerability in accepting alongside the joy for some people in offering...
   It's a tactile connection with the beginnings of the Easter story and sets a group on the journey of exploring each days events and their meaning...

LENT Photo # 38 What new story do we want to tell?

   The value of a grounded question, that's what's on my mind today...
   It's an idea I've always aspired to with greater or lesser success, but recently have been introduced to the work of Mark Strom. I am just starting to read "LEAD with Wisdom" which seems written ideally for a reader like me... double page themes then move on... creating the ability to dip in and learn something and come back...
   But a grounded question is different to corporate speak, creates the opportunity for stories and the listening suggests a way forward... Mark uses the example of some consultation work at a school faced with the task of lifting performance and changing focus.... he asks "why did you become teachers?" It's a different kind of conversation...
   I have been known to ask my share of grounded questions but still feel that the search escapes me a lot... you need to go in search of grounded questions and my intuitiveness can get stuck on stories or the wrong angle...

Here's the claim of what a grounded question can do...

It draws on our curiosity about people.
It puts people front and centre in our thinking.
It immerses us in the context of what’s actually happening.
It looks past platitudes about culture to realities of people’s experience of community, pride, frustration, & hope.
It puts us in a place to start imagining a better story.
It turns organisational logic upside down: not telling ‘workers’ to engage in manager’s slogans, but helping managers to engage in the craft and community of the ‘workers’.
It looks for ‘brilliance in the room’ before turning to ‘best practice’ elsewhere.
It breaks the boundaries of organisational structure and helps us bridge ideas.
It shifts us from the mode of communication to conversation.
It helps us look at a problem ‘sideways’.
It helps us think in analogy: from ‘this is’ to ‘this is like’.
It puts ‘we’ and ‘us’ and ‘our’ in every question.

Two simple examples which unearthed exactly what I'd hoped at our last YTMC meeting, though I had to be helped to articulate it well!!

What new story do we want [to tell]?
What's one change could we create that would make a huge difference?

   Two stories were shared and the second led to an observation about young people and whether in some ways this generation/s have been a little 'mollycoddled'... aha!! It was an important story and you could argue the toss about the observation and how applicable it might be across a non homogenous group BUT it connected with the idea that faith should ask something of us and discipleship ought to embody a challenge.... what if in our mission and ministry with young people in the UCA in the Hunter we sought to create "resilient resourceful/tough young people"... 

Monday, April 14, 2014

LENT Photo # 37 'How Long?'

   If you are gathering with folks over Easter for worship, where movement in the space and some time to engage in tactile prayer activities would be a creative and fulfilling opportunity then newsprint, sharpies, a clock, these printouts and some candles could do the trick... The call to love God, reinterpreted by Jesus as, with all our heart, soul, mind and strength means that writing and reflective time thinking are engaging ways o pray and to think about how you can be committed to action for change, way more effectively than someone offering spoken words alone... on this day I am thinking about asylum seekers, people I know who are seriously ill, corruption, missed opportunities, people I'm not sure value what I and others have to offer and the cycle of poverty and disadvantage of people 'not like us' in my own neighbourhood and wider community who remain unseen and not prayed for...

LENT Photo # 36 'Window in the Skies" U2

"Window in the Skies" U2
The shackles are undone
The bullet's quit the gun
The heat that's in the sun
Will keep us when it's done
The rule has been disproved
The stone, it has been moved
The grain is now a grove
All debts are removed

Oh, can't you see what love has done
Oh, can't you see what love has done
Oh, can't you see what love has done
What it's doing to me

Love makes strange enemies
Makes love where love may please
Soul in its striptease
Hate brought to its knees
The sky over our head
We can reach it from our bed
If you let me in your heart
And out of my head

Oh, can't you see what love has done
Oh, can't you see what love has done
Oh, can't you see what love has done
What it's doing to me

Please don't ever let me out of here
I've got no shame
Oh no, oh no

Oh, can't you see what love has done
Oh, can't you see
Oh, can't you see what love has done
What it's doing to me

Oh, can't you see what love has done
I know I hurt you and I made you cry
Oh, can't you see what love has done
Did everything but murder you and I
Oh, can't you see what love has done
But love left a window in the skies
Oh, can't you see what love has done
And to love I raphsodize

Oh, can't you see what love has done
To every broken heart
Oh, can't you see what love has done
For every heart that cries
Oh, can't you see what love has done
Love left a window in the skies
Oh, can't you see what love has done
And to love I raphsodize
Oh, can't you see

   OK so now I'm 'right off the rails' and jumping ahead... it's because I'm two weeks into prep for next weekend and so my heart, soul and mind are firmly focused on how to curate worship experiences that arise out of the context and culture of those gathered, make room for God to speak through the story and be an active participant in that story myself.
   Today I am thinking about the people mentioned in the Easter narrative and how they are deliberately brought to the front [if you allow it]!! I'm reminded of the challenge to see and hear and feel the story through their evidence and experience as they did not know what tomorrow would bring.
   This U2 song will make my road trip playlist over the Easter Weekend [as it will not get a run at my destinations] and I will be thinking about my belief that "everyone has a story and everyone's story is worth hearing" I hope we can hear these people's stories this year.
   Nicodemus, 'Drew' the woman Jesus met at Jacob's well, the man blind since birth, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, Pilate, Peter, Mary Magdalene and Jesus the gardener, the traveller on the way to Emmaus and his companions on this journey called life. How can the story and these peoples place in it be a 'spring' into faith & action for the sake of the world!!