Putting the ‘G’ into OMG

By Dan Wootton

The other morning as I headed down the hill in the dark, I felt something silently whiz past my face. I walked on, and as the dim light marginally improved, it happened again. This time I could just make out that it was a bat. Not a big fruit bat, this one was only about ...

Searching for the sacred


By Dan Wootton

Having been a banker, I guess a desire of mine in coming to work for the Church some 26 years ago was an endeavour to pursue the sacred and leave the profane behind.

But the profane keeps dogging me, particularly as the Church embarks on entrepreneurial ways to generate income for ongoing missional purposes.

...

Open our eyes to the Easter gift

By Dan Wootton

Many Christians prepare for Easter through self-sacrifice, by forgoing one thing or another.  At times, this may seem difficult.  But if we look at the period leading up to Easter as a time of misery, I think we’re missing the point.

Jesus effectively said that we are to die to ourselves in order to live. By ...

Benefit of the doubt

From a very young age, my brothers and I enjoyed playing cricket on the front driveway. Ours was the biggest (and best) game in the street. Other kids regularly joined in, as it was impossible to ignore all the associated noise.

From a decibel perspective, I was the worst – very vocal and loud and intense. I played for keeps ...

Time to clear institutional clutter

Another year has begun, and we each begin our trek again in whatever we do within the life of the Church. While we are forever beginners, we often carry into a new year the baggage of past expectations, failures and unfulfilled desires.

Towards the end of last year, at the meeting of Synod, we used a Leunig cartoon (pictured) ...

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 ...