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Showing posts from September, 2010

The Ayes Have It

Our synod was short. After a Friday night start, we were all fnished by 3:30 pm on Saturday, and that included a presentation of my Strategic Plan , discussion of the same in small groups and a potentially divisive but in the end not so discussion on the ordination of folks in same gender relationships. We ended with a dinner hosted by the St Barnabas home at which Phil Clark of the Church Army spoke. Phil is the best public speaker I have heard in a very long while. He was thought provoking and eloquent and surprising and very funny - his table companions spent much of the meal fighting for composure as the liquid bits of their dinners ran out of their noses. He spoke of taking over the Church Army, an organisation which was formed a long time ago to evangelise the working classes. The methods and structures which proved so successful through the first half of the 20th Century have not proven durable however, and the Church Army has been in decline for a while. Phil Clark is not a ma


I've taken better pictures than these, but I'm quite proud of this pair nonetheless. Today was my day off, the time when I rest and recuperate and get myself all charged up for the week ahead; which is not a bad choice of words, for this week I have to deliver a charge and today was the only clear space in my timetable in which to write it. Pistols have charges. So do courts and batteries and schoolteachers and the Light Brigade. So do bishops. We have to give a long and interminable speech at the beginning of synod, it's all part of the tradition, you know, and these valiant attacks on insomnia are known as charges. Because it has to be printed out I had to write a full script, something I haven't done since I talked on the radio in 1992, and the time before that must have been one of the sermons I preached before Bob Lowe got on my case in about 1982. For me, scripting a sermon is like scripting a conversation; as I labour over the keyboard there is a little voice d

Home Again

I missed the last session of Tuesday's program. An old friend had an issue to discuss and, seeing as I was in the neighborhood, I spent late Tuesday afternoon sitting in a bar drinking Speights and talking about life, the universe and everything instead of in the Kinder library discussing Augustine, life, the universe and everything. I would have got away with my wagging except that when I arrived back in school on Wednesday morning I discovered I had been appointed, in my absence, to a panel and my place was there, third to the left and we start in 5 minutes. It was OK. The panel was comprised of people representative of various ministries, lay and ordained, who all spoke eloquently and powerfully about issues of power in the church. People spoke from contexts in which the power of the church to speak the Gospel was severely restricted, in the places where they lived, by governmental and social pressure. Some were students preparing for a future of full time service to the ch