Singing Scottish songs in Sri Lanka

‘Now, no more talking… use your nose, and give your mind to it,’ said Rat to Mole … They moved on in silence for some little way, when suddenly the Rat was conscious, through his arm that was linked in Mole’s, of a faint sort of electric thrill that was passing down the animal’s body. Instantly he disengaged himself, ...

Stirring the Possum

The second half of my term as moderator has begun and I have just returned from chairing a two-day meeting of the newly elected Synod Standing Committee empowered to ‘act’ on behalf of the Synod over the next 18 months.

Thus far, many of the words I’ve had to say have been about prayer. Now I believe it’s time to ...

Watchfulness

Earlier on in my term as Moderator, I was given a book by a retired Uniting Church minister entitled, ‘Violence and Christian Spirituality – An Ecumenical Conversation’, edited by Emmanuel Clapsis [A World Council of Churches Publication].

Whilst I believe it was given to me for a different purpose, I have found myself turning to it again in recent times, ...

Certitude

From time to time there are some who write letters to the editor of Crosslight with a measure of certainty about what they have to say. Indeed that can also be the case with the spoken word at meetings and councils of the church. I often come away from a meeting chastising myself for my spoken contribution.

Each of ...

Time to go inside

From time to time, cartoonist and poet, Michael Leunig gives thanks for the blessing of winter, where life slips through our fingers, darkness gathers and our hands grow cold. Time to go inside he says. “Time for reflection and resonance and contemplation – a season to cherish, to make warmth and quiet”.

It takes me many months of weekends ...

The presence of the past

“I have a lofty tree upon one of my estates at New South Wales. It stands upon the summit of a hill. When I first took possession of the land, this tree was surrounded with many more. It appeared from its strength and stateliness that it would stand uninjured for ages. I removed all the rest and left it to ...

Spiritual worldliness

I read the ABC Religion and Ethics blog by Scott Stephens the other day. It was written in the context of the testimony given by Cardinal George Pell before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The subject matter was ‘The Religion of the Humble and the Peril of Institutional Atheism’.

Whilst the findings of the Royal ...

AFL ‘Pilot’ Decision

I know I’m always going on about the early Christians and how they taught that the way of Jesus is a path of subtraction more than addition. Indeed, they strove hard to become loving, forgiving, kind, and compassionate. They dropped the things that brought them down or served as a distraction from their surrender to God. They knew how to ...

Prioritise

A brother came to Desert Father Abba Theodore and began to converse with him about things that he had never put into practice. So the old man said to him, “You have not yet found a ship nor put your cargo on board it, and before you sailed you have already arrived at the city. Do the work first; ...

A bird’s eye view

In the Aboriginal Dreamtime, the all-father of the Kulin people is known as Bunjil who, after having created the lands and the people, flew up with his wives and sons into the tharingbek (sky or heavens) to become the eagle star, Altair. In his earthly form he is the Eaglehawk, commonly known as the wedge-tailed eagle.

It was 38 ...