Archive for July, 2012

big, big day


Big, big day here at Assembly in Adelaide, Australia – here since Sunday; we finish up after lunch this Saturday. Back home in Brisbane dinner time that day.  Three matters have well-and-truly occupied my mind and heart and I pray, action.

Earlier in Assembly, the 25o of us gathered from around Australia unanimously passed a resolution expressing speaking out against the non-consultative manner of the Federal Government’s Stronger Futures legislation – the second iteration of their N.T. intervention strategy.  No one (including the Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress) is under any illusions about the complexity of issues surrounding the health and well-being of the First Peoples of this land … but clearly as Congress person after Congress person shared, the Government has done a lamentable job of appropriate consultation, listening and partnering.  Lamentable.

So lament we did. The whole Assembly walked silently to the steps of the South Australian Parliament House, whereupon we took part – standing as one, in a Prayer Vigil.  I’m there to the right above the Assembly banner. As reported in the lead up to this …

Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Rev. Rronang Garrawurra and the new President of the Uniting Church Rev. Prof. Andrew Dutney will stand shoulder to shoulder at the prayer vigil.
“They have taken our land and now our humanity is taken away by this new law,” said Rev. Garrawurra, speaking through an interpreter in his native Yolngu language.
“The Uniting Church mourns another lost opportunity for true reconciliation with the First Peoples of Australia,” said Rev. Prof. Dutney who assumed the presidency of the Uniting Church last Sunday.
“The passage of Stronger Futures legislation without adequate consultation with Indigenous Australians is a lamentable development.”

I found the whole experience incredibly moving and humbling.

Continue reading ‘big, big day’

Boat people “unChristian”. Wrong, Mr Abbott

Words have escaped me as I’ve reflected these past 24 hours or so on Tony Abbott’s bizarrely wrong “un-Christian” comment in relation to boat people.

I’ll let Julian Burnside say it far better than I ever could

Read Burnside’s comments

thank you once again


I’m currently on study leave.  That said, it’s a bit of a blend of actual study, reflective reading, sleep, planning, watching a great State of Origin game last night, and especially enjoying the beauty of this part of the world – on the Sunshine Coast, midwinter in Australia.  Dale’s enjoying special time with her family in the U.S.  So – with a full-on past few months and the Uniting Church Assembly in Adelaide just over a week away … this is indeed a great time to get away.  Been reading Max Lucado’s Traveling Light. A wonderful book!

I’m at the Retreat House at the UC’s Alexandra Park Conference Centre. Alex. Park is as close as it gets to being a ‘sacred site’ for me. It’s here back in the 70s and 80s that I explicitly made a commitment to Christ.  It’s here – through year after year of children’s, youth and young adult camps (many which I led) that I not only was able to give expression to a gifting in songwriting, but as I look back – it’s through this special place, that God aroused and then confirmed a call to ministry in me. I am so thankful.

Continue reading ‘thank you once again’

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