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Friday fragments—15.01.10

I’ve decided to list stories I’ve found interesting during the week. Here are this week’s:

Lent is coming soon. If you’re looking for ideas for an Ash Wednesday service, you could look here.

Doug Chaplin has begun a new blog on worship called Jubilate. His other blog, Clayboy, is always worth a look.

The earthquake in Haiti has been on our minds. Scott Gunn traces the long-term moral disaster that is the dealings of the west with Haiti. Craig Guffman asks ‘Where was God in the earthquake?’; I found his words helpful in leading the funeral of a child earlier today.

Christians in Muslim countries use the word ‘Allah’ as the normal word for God. They are under pressure from some quarters in Malaysia to stop doing this.

Newsweek has an interesting article on the conservative case for gay marriage.

Finally, the wonderful Dave Walker looks at what may be seen from a church tower.

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Off to Sydney today…

…for a meeting of conveners of Theology and Discipleship working groups, the induction of Rev Dr Chris Walker as National Consultant of T&D, and to present a couple of things to the Assembly Standing Committee. I’ll be back on Sunday.

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CC Blogs

Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth and I was studying medicine, I loved going into the old sandstone library in the university of Queensland to read the periodicals. One I always went for was a journal from the USA, the Christian Century. It opened a great new world of a faith unafraid to engage with the big issues, something which at that time was sorely lacking in my church experience.

I continued reading it years later in the Bronze Age, when I was a theological student, and took out my own subscription when we moved to my first placement in Biloela. However, with a growing family and money needed for it, I made the reluctant decision to cease subscribing.

Recently, I decided to resubscribe. I’m glad I did—it’s an informative and enriching read.

These days, it has an arm devoted to blogging, and I am delighted to become a ‘CCblogger’. Mind you, I’m not unique! If you want to know more click the CCblogs logo on the right.

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I’ll write about synod soon

I’m just back from the meeting of the 27th Synod of the Uniting Church here in Queensland. There’s something to say, but I’m unpacking it first!

One of the best parts of the synod is that it’s by the beach at Alexandra Headland. The meeting hall at the Alexandra Park Conference Centre was redesigned with the synod meeting in mind.

Here’s a view from the balcony of the unit I shared with Michelle, James, Zane (not to be forgotten!), Kerry & Anna (and people sometimes wonder why we came to Australia!): 


Fab view

Fab view

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John Lennon: “I’m one of Christ’s biggest fans”

From, on a 1969 interview with John Lennon:

John Lennon famously claimed the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, even predicting that Christianity would “vanish and shrink”.

But 28 years after his death, in an interview being broadcast for the first time, he claims that on the contrary, he hoped to encourage people to focus on the Christian faith.

Continue reading

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I know he died, but I don’t want change

Wow!! This article about a dead man winning an election is from the BBC.


Romanian villagers have voted to re-elect a dead man as their mayor, to prevent his living rival winning.

Neculai Ivascu – who led Voinesti for almost two decades – died from a liver disease on Sunday, too late to cancel the contest.

The village’s loyal residents still gave him 23 more votes than his rival, Gheorghe Dobrescu of the ruling National Liberal Party.

“I know he died, but I don’t want change,” one villager told Romanian TV.

In a controversial decision, the electoral commission declared the runner-up and rival Mr Dobrescu the winner.

Neculai Ivascu’s party, the opposition Social Democrat Party, has said it will contest the decision.

Some villagers have also called for a fresh vote.

A cynic might wonder how you’d tell the difference between a dead pollie and a live one!

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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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