Showing posts from October, 2019

No reason, just in sort-of honour of David Drinkell.

In the old days, like twenty years or so ago, you knew people because you, er, knew them, that is, you had beheld them with your own eyes and went to school with them, or lived in the same street, or met them at University or in the Army, or played cricket or rugby (Union) or some inferior pastime with them, or they were regulars like you at the Hare and Hounds, or (I hope that this tail end of acquaintances doesn’t indicate a pecking order) they sat near you in church. Or sang in the choir. In case any All Souls saints of old read my blog. But now we feel that we know folk whom we’ve only ever encountered in cyberspace.  One might lead to the other, of course: Probably Leisa’s and my dearest friends, as the other side of the world recedes into chronological as well as geographical distance, are in this hemisphere and gained in Real Life (™) via cyber life Ship of Fools (of blessed, so far as our participation is concerned, memory). As is the way with these ramblings, what brought th

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch pew sheet, 27 October 2019

The takahe is a large flightless bird indigenous to New Zealand. It looks like a giant swamp hen (Leisa said, when we saw one - of which more in a sec - “It looks like a dinosaur!”)  It’s endangered, restricted to a few offshore islands and a couple of sanctuary areas in the south of the South Island. We visited one of those, which boasts just one breeding pair (out of only 300 in total). We had a lovely walk around the eco-sanctuary (preceded by a lovely coffee - Kiwis know how to make coffee), but weren’t very hopeful of seeing a takahe. Not long before we got back to the campervan, after a fair trek, we said let’s take this little diversion off the track, probably nothing will come of it.  But rounding a corner on the diversion, what was happily and unconcernedly nibbling on the native grass, but a male takahe. Rowan Williams likens prayer to birdwatching, in a sermon on the importunate widow and the unjust judge (Luke 18). Like the widow, we persist in engaging with God in the

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch newsletter 20 October 2019

All of New Zealand has magnificent, unspoiled, frequently devoid of other humans, beaches. This area of the South Island between Lake Ohau and Invercargill, centred on Dunedin, where we have stayed with friends and trundled along in our campervan, has pretty impressive mountains and hills, too. Snow-clad, even, brrr. While I’m driving, Leisa will sometimes say “Wow, look at those hills” or “Wow, look down at that beach”. Of course, I don’t distract her like that when she’s driving. Do I. The trouble is, I can’t look, because I’m busy ensuring that we stay on the road on those twisty hills. The psalmist (Ps 121) looked to the hills when he wondered where his help might come from. I don’t know which of his many scrapes he needed to be rescued from, but he knew that help would come from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He wasn’t driving a motor home longer than an ambulance, but he still had to watch his footing, and relied on God to not let him slip. We drivers worry about falling a

For Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch pew sheet 13 October 2019

By way of an advance notice, I’m preaching for six weeks solid from October 27 to December 1. I mention this, so that you might suddenly decide to visit distant relatives during November 😊   December 1 is Advent Sunday, the beginning of the church season when we look to Christ’s Second Coming in Glory and wait to celebrate his incarnation as a baby in Bethlehem. Now which book in the Bible is most associated with the end of time, and Christ’s reign in glory? Yes, Revelations. So that’s what we’ll look at during those six weeks, which include a baptism on November 10. I wasn’t going to mention this for a week or two, so that you didn’t book trips to interstate families, but looking for reading to help me with the series came up with Richard Bewes’ “The Lamb Wins”. Richard was Rector of the London church where Leisa and I met, and where I worshipped and worked for almost twenty years, All Souls Langham Place. He died just a few months ago, and his book (which we won’t get round to