Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
My thoughts on Anglicanism and whether I will make it through what is often called the "sausage machine" that is the training of Anglican Ordination candidates goes up and down. As someone who knows a fair amount about where the system is up to here in Melbourne said to me today and someone else also in the know said to me a little while ago: "You are five years too early". Often I wonder if there is room for me and people like me in the Anglican system, and in particular in the ordination and immediately post ordination/curacy system. I often think not. A conversation I had today encouraged me that just maybe I will make it! Time shall tell.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
A book I read a number of years ago called "Presence" is becoming a lived experience for me. Amazing experiences of "letting go" and "letting come" are happening as I live my personal life, as I personally engage with issues in my work life and as I work with others on these issues. We have no idea what the future that seeks to emerge will look like ... but we feel that we are starting to understand something about the conversations and moments that need to happen for us to be at a point to be transformed personally and corporately so that we can let the coming future emerge and embrace it.
Here is a diagramatic representation of the process as discussed within "Presence".
For various reasons I have been thinking alot about the gap between who we are and who we'd like to be. Around our faith community, a number of us for many years have loved the expression "mind the gap" and just recently I've had another experience of pondering this and knowing the reality of it in my life. How often do we really want to be able to be and act a particular way but find ourselves incapable of doing that exact thing. My most recent experience of this has interestingly been one of acceptance of this reality in a way that it never has been before - still a longing for more and to be different but not a negative experience, certainly one of peace and acceptance, though not contentment (I don't think I want contentment with it). I think it's only peace and contentment with the reality that then enables honesty about what's going on and the ability to work with reality as it is rather than as you'd want it to be. This experience has also caused me to reflect on experiences of my life where others would dearly love to have been able to choose to be and act differently than what they were capable of - it's certainly continued to grow my compassion and realism about life. It's all been quite interesting at the same time as studying Romans 7 where Paul talks about "finding this law at work, when I want to do good is evil is right there with me" and writing an essay on Romans 8 (18-30) about how everything works for (what I reckon is) our maturity as people who are on about what we were created for. Also interesting at a time where myself and some close friends are having experiences of deep freedom in some areas of our life in ways we are so thankful for ... and can only say that it's the mystery of God's grace that has brought it about. But yet we live in a time and place in history where we have good reason to hope for transformation and live in a way that opens the path for that, but that needs to accept reality as such that we are still on that journey. And the journey is good and rich.
Last year in early November we had a time at one of our faith community gatherings thinking through how families especially might explore Christmas together. It inspired me to do an Advent Calendar for my friends who are twins and who last year at Christmas were almost 2. It was fun and they enjoyed it. I also gave the content to a few others.
This year I have revised that a little, keeping it aimed at preschoolers, and I've written an adults version with the same daily themes so that parents have some prompts for thoughts and actions along the same themes that they are working with their children on. I'm working on giving a "kit" of these to all families who are part of our faith community plus some other important families in my life. It includes things like candles to light each day, a chocolate or other treat appropriate in that family advent calendar, a card for each day with a theme and an activity for that day.
Let me know if you'd like a copy of the parts of this that have soft copies.
(Solace families - you will get one and will be asked soon about your preference about a few things that are in it so that what you receive is appropriate for your family/children ... but still let me know if you'd like a soft copy to be able to give it beyond your family)
Some other things I've come across that some adults might be interested in for Advent reading and action are two books: one by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan called "The First Christmas" and another is "Advent and Christmas: Wisdom for G.K. Chesterton" - by the Center for the Study of C.S. Lewis and Friends.
I'm in another of my reading zones and currently I'm reading "Here Comes Everybody - The Power of Organising without Organisations" by Clay Skirky. I thought this quote from page 42 was interesting and telling: "If you have ever wondered why so much of what workers in large organisations know is shielded from the CEO and vice president, wonder no longer: the idea of limiting communications, so that they flow only from one layer of the hierarchy to the next, was part of the very design of the system at the dawn of managerial culture".