Showing posts from September, 2020

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch Newsletter 20 September 2020

Many of you will have heard of “Virtual Digital Assistants”, like Apple Siri, Google Assist and Amazon’s Alexa. Some of you use one or other of them, I expect. They are voice-activated artificial intelligence programmes built into smart phones and speakers. So for example, when I’m driving and can’t handle my iPhone, I say “Hey Siri”, wait for a response beep to indicate that Siri has heard me, and ask “Call (whoever) mobile” or “Call (whoever) home” or “work”. Or “Hey Siri, navigate to (whatever address)”, and Apple Maps Satnav bursts into action. Or at home or outside, “Hey Siri, what’s the weather forecast for Cardwell tomorrow?” and a charming young Australian man tells me that it’s going to snow. You can choose whom you want to be Siri, girl or boy, Australian, Kiwi, Pom, American. I find the women a bit schoolmarmly, the Aussie chaps are more blokey. At a Trivia Quiz, I can whisper, “Hey Siri, who won the FA Cup Final in 1952?” A problem is that any phrase which sounds vaguely li

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch newsletter/pew sheet for 6 September 2020

 I’m not a fan of opening the bible at random to find advice for a particular problem, or course of action.  There is a good joke about that sort of thing, treating God’s Word like a ouija board, and perhaps I’ll weave it into a sermon one Sunday when the lectionary reading is suitable. Although now I think about it, the punchline assumes knowledge of American bankruptcy law, so it might be a bit esoteric. However! My birthday last week, like all birthdays at my age, had me wondering when it would be a good time to hang up my pastor boots, in fairness to KUC as well as to me. Which, to digress, reminds me of the story about Denis Healey, the great British Labour Party figure who was “The finest Labour Prime Minister we never had”. On his 90th birthday, a BBC interviewer asked, “Lord Healey, what’s it like to be 90?” The sprightly old sage shot back “Better than the alternative”. But to get back to wondering about mortality, pastoral as well as biological, I happened at the same time t