Monthly Archives: June 2008

Spain wins Euro 2008

Strange. Now I have a daughter living in Barcelona, I feel my team won when underdogs Spain came out 1-0 against Germany.

This is the Guardian’s take:

33 min: SUPERB GOAL!!! Germany 0-1 Spain. Torres has deserved this, and what a finish. He goes tearing down the inside-right channel after a perfectly-weighted ball is rolled towards the German area by Xavi. Lahm chases with Torres but can’t get there; Lehmann comes out and can’t either. Torres dinks a beautiful chip over the advancing keeper and into the empty net. A beautiful finish.

Read about the match here. (Amazingly, Spain’s official football site doesn’t have a full report yet! May be there soon.)

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Welcoming—a holy task

Sermon for 29 June ’08

Matthew 10.40-42

This morning, Kerry preached her last sermon as a student minister at Centenary, and said that when she first came,

I remember feeling, well, maybe like someone had given me a cup of cold water. I was encouraged and welcomed. And I’ve been encouraged and welcomed here ever since that first day.

Jesus was telling his disciples that they were his envoys, his ambassadors when they went out to spread the good news. I want to turn that around tonight; I want to talk about our hospitality. About our welcoming people. About being a welcoming congregation to others who come among us.

Nearly every congregation I have known has thought of itself as a friendly place to be. And they’ve been right—they have been friendly places for the regulars, but sometimes only to the regulars. If you’re ‘in’, you come and people gather around you and with you. If you’re already not part of a group, you can feel very much on the edge. Continue reading

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Would you vote for Jesus as PM?

The USA is gearing up for an election that seems at this stage to be pretty close. The cartoonist Mark Fiore asks, What if there were another candidate besides John McCain and Barack Obama? (I saw it first at Creedal Christian.)

Well, would you vote for Jesus?

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A Short Guide for Daily Prayer (2)

I thought it might help to include part of the Introduction to A Short Guide, to help people to ‘get’ the approach we’ve taken (shamelessly borrowed from Celebrating Common Prayer):

When an individual prays, they are never alone. They are surrounded by the ‘cloud of witnesses’ (Hebrews 12:1), and accompanied by the communion of saints. We always pray in company with the whole Church of Jesus Christ, even when alone in our room.

These daily services reflect themes of the Church Year, allowing users to walk through the year in the span of a week.

Sunday reflects Easter: Easter is the season of fifty days lasting from the Easter Vigil (sometimes on the evening of Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday) until the Day of Pentecost. In Easter, the Church celebrates the resurrection of Christ and the new life given to the believer in Jesus.

Monday reflects Pentecost: The last day of Easter, Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit onto the disciples, and the gifts and the fruit of the Spirit given to us today.

Tuesday reflects Advent: In the four weeks of Advent, the Church looks forward to the coming of the reign of Christ in its fullness, and to the coming of Christ in Bethlehem. It is a time of expectation, anticipation, self-examination and hope.

Wednesday reflects Christmas: Christmas is a 12-day season which extends from the evening service on Christmas Eve to the Feast of the Epiphany. Here, the Church celebrates the incarnation of Christ: God becomes human, part of the world, so that we may share the divine life.

Thursday reflects Epiphany: In the West, the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January marks the coming of the heathen magi to Jesus, bringing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It marks the universality of Jesus, and his light that floods the world.

Friday reflects Lent and Holy Week: Lent is a time of self-examination in which we (including those preparing for baptism or confirmation at Easter) prepare ourselves through spiritual disciplines such as prayer and fasting in order to mark more fully the events of Holy Week, and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter.

On Saturday, themes of Discipleship and Rest come to the fore. As followers of Jesus, we are disciples (students, apprentices) who learn from the master artisan. As the seventh day, Saturday is also a reminder of the rest promised to us by God.

Two psalms suitable for the seasonal theme have been suggested for each day. It is assumed that scripture reading guides such as With Love to the World might provide suitable sources of readings and reflection.

As before, you can download it here.

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A Short Guide for Daily Prayer

The Uniting Church Working Group on Worship has been aware for some time that our Church lacks a daily prayer resource. Rev Jenny Tymms and I have produced a draft, which we are offering for use and comment. If you’d like to download a pdf file, which is easily printed into a booklet, go here.

And please—let us have your feedback!

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Three faiths working together

One of the good things about this blogging thing is that you get to ‘meet’ new friends. My last sermon (Whose sword is it?) led to an email from David Moskovitz of the Wellington (NZ) progressive Jewish Synagoue, who with John D’Alton (Christian) and Mark Pedersen (Muslim) writes the blog Jews, Christians and Muslims Working Together

What a good idea! Why not pay them a visit and see for yourself?

 

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Celebrating 31 years

It was the 31st anniversary of the formation of the Uniting Church in Australia today. We celebrated after the service in a way befitting our new, sad official status as the fattest nation on earth. But the cake looked great!

 

 31 today!

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