Every Christmas-countdown calendar, every new Christmas product on the shelf, every Christmas catalogue mocks my lack of preparation and fills me with an ever-growing sense dread about what I still need to do before Christmas.
With Halloween goodies and Christmas delights jostling for space on the shelves of our supermarket, it can be hard to remember that the season of trick-or-treating has its foundation in the Christian celebration of All Saints and All Souls.
I have written and spoken before about my partner Michael’s depression and anxiety and his death. With Mental Health Week approaching, I offer a brief reflection on some of the beliefs and attitudes I have experienced that make having a mental illness or caring for a family member with a mental illness more difficult.
Over the last few weeks I have spent considerable time thinking about safety, security and what it means for us to become a safer church. Some of this thinking has arisen from meeting with survivors of abuse.
Goodness is stronger than evil;
Love is stronger than hate;
Light is stronger than darkness;
Life is stronger than death;
Victory is ours through Him who loves us. – Desmond Tutu, An African Prayer book
One of the things I value about the Synod’s Vision and Mission Principles is that they tell us who we are, and call us to more truly become who we are, for the sake of serving the reign of God.
I am writing this in an in-between time. I have finished my placement at the CTM and am awaiting my installation as moderator. I am in a time of learning and preparation and my mind and heart are pondering what it might mean to be moderator for the next three years.
As moderator, I have been attending settlement conferences with survivors of past sexual abuse – particularly those who were wards of the state in the 1950s and ’60s. The experience has challenged me to think deeply about the significant physical, emotional and spiritual impact on those abused.
I have a booklet that was published by the Joint Board of Christian Education way back in 1986. It was part of a Uniting Church Elder Series and the subject matter was ‘Effective Visiting’. The co-authors were Rev John Billington and Rev Willis Jago (both now deceased).
I’ve just had the longest break I’ve had since becoming moderator. We didn’t go anywhere, just stayed at home during the bushfire season over Christmas/New Year. It’s dreadfully dry out where we live. I feel sure that stress levels for many farmers must be exceedingly high.
I admit dismay when I first saw the front cover image of the New York Daily News earlier this month. It proclaimed “God Isn’t Fixing This” and was in direct response to social media postings by American government representatives following the shootings in San Bernardino. According to the newspaper, those tweeting to pray ...