Showing posts from March, 2019

Ramblings for Kirwan Uniting Church's Keep in Touch newsletter 31 March 2019

Stained glass windows in cathedrals and churches are lovely. Sometimes they tell a story, with holy characters, perhaps from the Holy Family, or angels, or representations of the Trinity. Other times they appear just to be beautiful works of art, although the artists may have a story in their mind to which we’re not privy.  Among the loveliest are the North End Rose Windows in the three great, matching cathedrals of Notre Dame, Chartres and  Reims (the latter city is the home of famous Champagne houses, too, another work of art although of a different sort  😊 🍾 )  You might have visited one or all of them. Jesus said that his disciples, you and me included, I hope, are the light of the world.  That phrase, “The World”, was pejorative when I was a child and teenager. Pretty well anything enjoyable was “Worldly”, as distinct from church activities which were said to be sanctified. But you know what? That light which you see streaming in through the Rose Window comes from ou

My column for Kirwan Uniting Church' "Keep in Touch" newsletter 3 March 2019

Over a mug of tea and raisin toast at House of Jonah on Monday morning, discussion turned to the esoteric subject of when does the soul leave the body after death. We didn’t come up with an answer, the bible is a bit contradictory on the topic, but considering eternal life prompted me to wonder how some of us (OK, me) will cope with sharing eternity with people who get on our (OK, my) nerves. Because I do get a teeny impatient with some people. Other drivers, for example, people who don’t vote like me, or who watch reality TV, or use Microsoft and PCs instead of Macs, or who have (to my mind) weird tastes in music, or are vegetarian. We’re all guilty to a degree of separating the world into people like us, and those unlike us, and the traits of people unlike us get on our nerves. But the apostle John points out (1 John 4:20) that “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love G

Column for Kirwan Uniting Church's "Keep in Touch" newsletter 17 March 2019

The problem with extrapolating a parish newsletter article to the Web, is that folk will read it who haven't got the foggiest whom I'm talking about when I reference local people or events. So just let your imagination conjure up the context. For example: Young Hugo Palu-Shepperson came along to the Friday evening youth activity at the manse last Friday, replete with rugby ball.  If you don’t know Hugo, he’s a very lovely 2yo. who has brought much joy to KUC. A lot of that joy is his uninhibited habit of wandering around the church during a service, helping out the musos (especially Peter Ireland, whose guitar holds especial fascination). A couple of thoughts come to mind, one structured, the other not. Jesus says become like a little child, just taking for granted that you’re part of God’s family (Luke 18, vv15 - 17). And that everyone else is in the family, so everyone else is your family.  The unstructured thought (this is Ramblings, remember) is that we sit in our ni

From Kirwan Uniting's Keep in Touch newsletter 24 March 2019

Last week, I helped an ex-colleague who’s now an aged care personal carer, with a Uni assessment on dementia.  I had taken the same module a few years ago. It is terrible to see how the various forms which the illness takes ravage mind and body. Researchers into  diseases of ageing are high on my prayer list. Dementia affects a patient’s family in a way which even cancer doesn’t. One of my saddest times at Wesley Mission was visiting a resident while her or his partner or child was there, and to see that the resident had no memory or recognition of their loved one. Perhaps after 60 years or more of marriage. On the face of it, it is de-humanising, how is this wife, husband, mother, father, sibling, in God’s image in this state? But we aren’t defined by our memories but how God remembers us. Most of what we do we forget, or our memories are strongly reconstructed. We are creatures who forget. Our essence is in God’s memory — and in the Bible, when anyone is remembered by God, somet