Showing posts from May, 2021

Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch newsletter 30 May 2021

Did you watch the lunar eclipse on Wednesday evening? Some of you were at Bible Study, but I hope that you finished in time to see much of it. Leisa and I lit our firepit and roasted chestnuts, as Leisa set up her camera and tripod in anticipation of the spectacle. Whereupon Greenwood Park floodlights came on at full intensity, right between the rising moon and us. I called down the plagues of Egypt on the Sports and Leisure Department. Before the plagues needed to be inflicted, the lights (which were illuminating an empty park, no games taking place) were extinguished. It was an awesome spectacle. I was put in mind, of course, of Psalm 19: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. night after night they reveal knowledge.   And all over the world, as the earth spun its way around the sun for 24 hours, the astronomical marvel was visible. Psalm 19 again: They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out in

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch newsletter 23 May 2021

 I’m back from what has turned out to be the best Ministry Retreat since I’ve been in NQ/Carpentaria Presbytery (my fourth). We returned to Cardwell from last year’s flirt with Cairns. Cardwell of the scrumptiousest crab roll known to personkind. Cardwell of a room directly facing Hinchinbrook Island (and Goold Island, which you’ll see in a sec). I love the place. I read in three days what might have taken three weeks or more of interrupted Real Life®. I spent lovely time with my colleagues, drawn from many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Especially, I enjoyed exploring and discussing living in community, following one of the historic monastic rules of life (Carmelite, in the case of Rev Craig Mischewski who is offering an intentional community in Weipa). And dabbled in proselytising for the Carpentaria Presbytery Pipe-smokers’ Guild. Now, Goold Island. My room looked straight across to it. The much larger Hinchinbrook Island is to its right. The rising sun almost bisects t

Rambling for Kirwan Uniitng Church Keeping in Touch newsletter 16 May 2021

From time to time, I think about growing a beard. The longest time I’ve actually had a stab at this is around three weeks. I wonder whether I should compensate for diminishing follicular quantity on top of my head, by cultivating hair on the bottom of my head. It never works. It grows too slowly and too patchily. Before I tell you where I’m going with this, I’m away at Presbytery Meeting in Innisfail, and Ministry Retreat at Cardwell, until Wednesday. On the way up, I’ll stop at Vivia Café in Cardwell for a yummy crab roll. Don’t go anywhere else, however enticing a large plastic crab on top of another establishment might be. And then during Retreat, and on the way home on Wednesday, I’ll grab some more crustacean joy. So what have beards got to do with crab rolls? Well, one is mandated in OT law and contemporary Eastern Orthodox practice, and the other is verboten. So I’m in breach twice over. The most clear biblical passage for beards is Leviticus 19:27: “You shall not cut the hair o

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch newsletter 9 May 2021

 I’ve never been very happy with the song “I come to the garden alone” and particularly its refrain, “He walks with me and he talks with me” and even more particularly “And the joy we share, as we tarry there, none other has ever known”. Really? No-one else has ever encountered a profound assurance that God is with them in one of life’s mountaintop (or valley, but the song is relentlessly upbeat) experiences? And derived unspeakable joy (or blessèd assurance)? It fits with the “Jesus is my personal Saviour” (often to be found as “Savior”, this being a phrase beloved of our American friends). Or the more banal of Hillsong’s “Jesus is my boyfriend” ditties. All seeming to forget John 3:16 “for God so loved the world … “ This is one of the reasons why I like communal, liturgical prayers and affirmations of faith. The wisdom of the sages and ages has come up with statements and intercessions which stand as great literature, leave alone profound, scriptural truth. We are a community of