The Anglican Messenger

June 2017

Healing and wholeness

I have seen people who radiate wholeness while their body is a broken and painful shell; I have seen brokenness in people who are healthy and well by every external medical measure.

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May 2017

A cautionary tale

The outreach team was meeting in the Church Hall to plan their exciting new initiative. A large map of the Parish was stuck to the whiteboard and names were being written against each of the different coloured districts of the Parish.

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April 2017

What does new life feel like?

This question has come to me again and again during Lent. Unlike Jesus’ invitation to share the burdens soour life might be eased, there is a wonderful promise that in the events of Jeses’ death and resurrection something greater happens.

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December 2016

Love grows

In the Greek of the New Testament there are four separate words for love, Agape, Eros, Philia and Storge. While the words are not as independent of each other as some suggest there is a different emphasis for each.

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November 2016

Making Way for the Manger

Do carols playing in the supermarket in September upset you? Do you shake your head in wonder when Hot Cross buns appear in the same Supermarket on Boxing day?

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October 2016

Hope

Hope is God’s extraordinary gift, not that it is always treated as such. Frequently ‘hope’ can be an expression of daily, unremarkable life.

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September 2016

Sustainability

When talking of sustainability it is understandable that the focus for sustainable living focuses on the use of the world's resources. There is, after all, only one Planet Earth, and a sustainable life must be one that ensures that we and our children's children can enjoy the wonder and beauty of God's creation now and into the future.

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August 2016

“We are the Body of Christ” we affirm, proclaiming our Christian identity in the heart of every Communion Service. This is our common identity. Whatever else we may be, our shared identity is as members of the Body of Christ.

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July 2016

A Tale of two baptisms that did not happen

More than fifty years ago a baby was refused baptism in the Church of England. She was the youngest of five children, and the other four children had all been baptised as infants.

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June 2016

Life is costly

Life is costly. Every human life contains within it experiences of pain and cost that damage and sometimes destroy well-being. There is a cost to being a human being that is known in the burden of relationship broken, in the pain of hopes destroyed and anticipations wrecked. And life can be rich abundance. Most human life contains moments of love, moments of acceptance and moments of joyous relationship.

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May 2016

The Holy Spirit thrusts us forward

At the very moment that the weak light of a single candle appears, darkness scuttles away. Darkness cannot withstand the light and can only remain behind obstacles. Darkness lurks behind doors and table legs, under tables and in cupboards; it stays until the light finds it, and then flees again.

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April 2016

A call to repentance

I once suggested in an ecumenical gathering that the many different Christian denominations were a gift from God, simply because they may have prevented us from killing each other! The joke did not go down that well. I am convinced that the different denominations are something valuable; with God's guidance we have found a broken way that enables more time serving God and God's world and less time fighting internal matters.

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March 2016

Of refugees and boat people

As a people formed and informed by Scripture, refugees and boat people are not something that is new to us. The story of the people of God includes exile in war, exile in famine, exile from oppression and violence, and occupation within their own land.

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December 2015

Beginnings are important

Beginnings are important. Many years ago I was asked to give an account of life to date. The more I thought about my childhood the more I felt that I had to explain some things about my parents own upbringing and then I thought that I really had to tell the story of my grandparents to help explain my parents.

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November 2015

Every moment matters

Every moment matters. In a relationship, every moment matters. Not just the times together; times apart, times of silence, times of sleep, these matter too. A relationship is never simply about the moments of engagement; like music and poetry the spaces between the words or notes are as important as the actions shared.

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October 2015

Wisdom

Contrary to the words of encouragement given to me when teased as a child, words do hurt. Contrary to those wanting to assure us otherwise, while the injuries of sticks and stones have become a distant memory, the damage appearing as fading scars without no power to hurt, words remain sharp and wounding. Words carry their poison for years, whole lives even. Words have the power to diminish and to erode.

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August 2015

Theory Into Practice

In terms of Church years this is the year of Mark. Week by week the people of God are drawn into a gospel which is breathless in style and immediate in itspresentation. One of the striking themes is the lack of understanding on the part of disciples. Jesus teaches in parables, which then have to be painstakingly explain to the disciples in private.

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July 2015

Listen to learn

Listening, truly listening, is a difficult and dangerous art. Difficult, because it is not easy to attend to what is being said, rather than planning what you are going to say the moment the other person stops talking; dangerous because attending to what has been said may cause you to change your own perspective.

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June 2015

Being

‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ It’s a common enough question for a lively four or five year old; one that they usually have no difficulty in answering. ‘Doctor’, ‘Nurse’, ‘Astronaut’… the answers describe a way of being that fulfils the young person’s imagination. Come to the end of schooling and the standard question is often subtly different, ‘What are you going to do when you leave school?’ or ‘What are you going to do after you leave university?’

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May 2015

The Holy Spirit at Work

One of the best-known books on the work of the Holy Spirit was written over forty years ago. In John V Taylor’s ‘The Go-Between God.’ a key insight in the book is that the Holy Spirit is firmly embedded in all creation, and that every perception is ‘God-touched’ by the Holy Spirit. However, the title suggests something less than this, a Person of God who acts much as the young messenger in L P Hartley’s novel, The Go-Between.

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April 2015

The parable of the starfish

There is a modern parable which tells the story of one person facing the tragedy of thousands of starfish cast up onto a beach. Gasping in the deathly air, the starfish are dying, they need the water to live. So a few people begin to slowly walk along that beach, picking one fish after another and throwing them back into the sea.

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March 2015

Should we distrust religion?

There are many good reasons to distrust religion; according to some religion is the major cause of war, hatred, disquiet and fear - the very opposite of peace and justice. Yet religion cannot be so simply rejected.

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February 2015

Ashes and Good News

The rituals which mark the beginning of Lent are deeply moving. There is, for me, a profound sense of Good News as the grit of ash is traced with a gentle roughness into my forehead. This smudged sign of the Cross, an expression of faith fleetingly visible, signifies far more than marked off attendance at an act of worship.

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December 2014

Make room in the inn

Christmas Day services hold a special place in my heart. It was a Christmas day service in a small rural church on the outskirts of Melbourne that marked the beginning of my adult journey of faith.

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November 2014

The church needs Seniors

They are the fastest growing age group in the nation, they filled the Sunday Schools and they know a little bit about God. This current age group is more capable, more affluent and more mobile than ever before and they have more discretionary time than any other group.

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October 2014

The gift of chaplaincy

A random act of kindness lies at the heart of the chaplaincy. The legend is that a young Roman soldier who had recently become a Christian, came across a beggar while serving in France.The poor man was nearly naked, so the soldier, Martin, took his sword and cut his cloak in two, giving half to the beggar. That night Martin dreamt that he encountered Christ clothed in the remnant of his cloak that he had given away. This profound experience of God had a strong influence on the eighteen year old Martin, who became one of the great religious leaders of the fourth century.

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September 2014

From the Edge to the Heart

Each Spring the Diocese of Bunbury celebrates the season of new growth with a program of worship, study and reflection entitled‘Growing Together’. Behind this program is a simple premise; that as a part of the Body of Christ we are enriched and challenged by the wisdom of others. Having a common focus enables us to share conversations across boundaries of parish and ministry, across ages and theological position. This year the program explores the Book of Ruth

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August 2014

Nurturing wisdom, not knowledge

Our daily life is awash with information. Cars, for example, are no longer limited to letting us know speed, water temperature and oil level. Driving home one evening my eyes surveyed the wealth of information before me (and occasionally the road.)

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May 2014

Accepting the invitation

Isaiah 55 starts with a street seller’s call; ‘Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isa. 55.1) This God’s call to the nation; and God’s call to each of us. God the street seller calls out God’s invitation, and the listeners hear their vocation proclaimed.

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April 2014

Starting the Day

The darkened figures leave home and car and walk the final part of the journey. Pre-dawn light begins to insinuate itself from beyond the horizon and the outlines of land offer a suggestion of structure in the midst of darkness. The voices are kept low, whispered conversations shared, adult and child, adult and adult. The activity of the day gently proclaims its distant arrival, a far-off rumble of traffic and occasional siren disturbs the air where silence hovers above the crowd.

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March 2014

Watching our Words

The weight of meaning of words can often be clouded with repetition. Use a word or phrase often enough and it can become the linguistic equivalent of the music of supermarket or lift. The background noise of words occurs daily with meaning leached from the bones of the letters. 'OMG' becomes punctuation rather than an expression of surprise or,more rarely, a declaration of devotion to a deity. 'Awesome', as one of a set of other words deprived of formal meaning, signifies general approval rather than indicating something that has evoked a sense of awe.

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February 2014

Starting Over

After all the 'pushing' of events prior to Christmas, and the struggle to slow down enough to engage with the season of Advent, Christmas comes as a blessed full stop. This metaphorical grammar should more appropriately be a semi-colon, for Christmas always leads on to Epiphany and the continuing celebration of 'God with us' but the relief of finally celebrating the birth of Christ leads on to a particular kind of unknowing.

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November 2013

As a child of Sunday School and School Assembly, but never Sunday services my early theological formation was somewhat patchy. The exams and tests of a Baptist Sunday School ensured that I could spell Egypt (E-G-Y-P-T) the year that the course was ‘Out of the House of Bondage’ and while there was no real theological input the fact that I can remember the subject taught to an eleven-year-old bears testimony to intensity with which it was taught.

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Tricia 2014