Showing posts from December, 2020

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch newsletter 20 December 2020

We haven’t got round yet to watching one of our Christmas staple films, Love Actually. We shall! But we did watch A Christmas Carol on Sunday afternoon. More precisely, The Muppets Christmas Carol. I can’t imagine what Dickens would have made of it. Did you know that Dickens started a novel, or rather a magazine instalment, because that was how novelists of the time eventually produced the finished article, without having much of an idea of how it would end? You would think that a plot diagram would be an essential part of writing, but Dickens broke the rule and it doesn’t seem to have done him any harm. The real Christmas story is on the face of it a plot beginning. Except that when the Word became flesh, the story of salvation had already begun, outside of time. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Our part in the story had

Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch pew sheet 13 December 2020

You’ve probably heard the term, Service of Closure, in the Uniting Church context. It doesn’t relate to catharsis for a traumatic experience – although it might, for some unfortunate people! It’s merely a church liturgy to mark the end of a ministry placement, the counterpoint to the original induction or commissioning. When I left the Wesley Hospital, the then General Manager (now CEO of the Mater, Townsville, small world) said that I was “Always singing or humming”. My chaplain colleagues, particularly our catholic chaplain with whom I shared an office, concurred. So did some of the nurse managers. I’m not sure that it was always a fond memory, it must have got on their nerves sometimes. But here’s the thing: I didn’t know that I was doing it. Fast forward to the past couple of weeks. Among the new sounds in my implanted left ear (“Oh no, he’s not still going on about his cochlear implant!”) has been a low humming. I identified it a few days ago – it’s me, humming to myself. I was mo

Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch newsletter 6 December 2020

  I’ve put a couple of Stable on the Streets stars either side of my rear number plate. The last time that I had anything on my car identifying me as a Christian, at Dayboro, I inherited magnetic signs from my predecessor which carried our service times. One fell off along a country lane, and rather than retrace my route to find it, I took off the other one, too, because it was inhibiting my driving habits. That is, I couldn’t shout at visiting Victorians for driving too slowly, or try to out-accelerate whoever was alongside me at traffic lights, while I sported signs declaring that Dayboro Uniting Church was a welcoming, family Christian community. When I first started driving, mumble mumble years ago, it was the custom for earnest young Christians to have a sticker in their back window, or on their bumper, declaring that Jesus Saves, or The Wages of Sin is Death, or, a few years later, the Fish symbol. I’m still wary of whoever is in front of me when I see that Fish, because my exper