Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2012

Let Us Pray

In a couple of weeks our diocese will hold its annual synod, and given the significant changes that are in store for us I have asked that this weekend, August 31 - September 2, we set aside time to pray, specifically, about our future. John Franklin has done a great job of organising this weekend and I am excited and humbled by the  inventiveness and enthusiasm with which people have taken up the call. I will be attending events in Gore and Dunedin over the next couple of days and look forward to hearing what happens in other centres. When we pray together this weekend three  things will happen: We will be bound into community. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he told them to begin "Our father" not "My father". All the personal pronouns in the Lords prayer are plurals. We shouldn't be surprised at this, for the revelation of God has always been given to communities - Israel, the disciples, the Church - and its implications worked out by communitie

Camino Preparation 1

It has been decidedly pluvial here of late, so today was a good day to test out my wet weather gear. Around the middle of the day I went for a 3 hour walk along the Portobello Road (the road in the photo behind the title of this blog) stopping only to help a woman whose car had hit a falling rock and burst a tyre. It rained. A lot.I came back over the hill so had quite a good workout and am quite confident that my fitness level is up to the mark, but the weatherproofing is not so hopeful. After an hour my goretex shoes began to admit a little water, though the woolen socks absorbed it and warmed it up satisfactorily. By the time I got home they were sodden but I expected that. After an hour and a half my overtrousers began to leak and after two hours my faithful old Macpac jacket began to show signs that it might be getting past its use by date. It's a simple Goretex rain jacket that is probably about 7 years old now. I have waterproofed it twice in the past few weeks, but it


It's hard to know how to categorise this book, but I'll take Christof Koch at his word and describe it as a confession, after the style of St. Augustine. It is written, seemingly for a number of purposes: to outline the discoveries Koch and his colleague Francis Crick have made regarding consciousness and its relationship to the biology of the brain; to pay tribute to Crick and work through Koch's grief at his death; to outline Koch's spiritual journey as he moved from childhood Roman Catholicism to a sort of Deism which seems to lean fairly heavily on Buddhism; to work through the issues surrounding a particular moral dilemma encountered  in middle age. Because of its variety of purposes the book is quite uneven and always surprising, and that is a good thing, on both counts. I bought it because I wanted to know about the neurobiology stuff. Here was one of the world's leading scientists in the field of consciousness setting out his insights in a form accessib

The Road Winds Ever On and On

It's a little over a month until we leave for Spain to complete the Camino Santiago de Compostela. Our diocesan synod finishes on September 16 and at 6:50 am on September 17 Clemency and I board a plane. We'll be flying Auckland - Singapore - Paris - Madrid, then catching a train for Sahagun which is where we left off last time around. All the gear is bought. Our bags are all but packed. This time we know exactly what we need for the walk, so instead of the 15kg I carried over the Pyrenees in 2009, my pack will weigh 6.6 kg without water. The big decisions in buying gear are pack and shoes. My pack is an Osprey Talon 44, which is robust enough, quite comfortable, and weighs about 1 kg. Clemency has a Vaude Tour 50 which is slightly heavier but has a trampoline type harness and suits her better. Both packs, though compact and light are a bit larger than they need to be. We could have got away with 35 litre ones, but these allow enough extra space to carry lunch without the