Tag Archives: Haiti

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C: 26 September 2010)

Forgiving debt—for Social Justice Sunday

1 Timothy 6.6-19
Luke 16.19-31

I mentioned the term ubuntu some weeks ago. I’d like to remind you of it again. Remember, it’s an African word meaning ‘the essence of being human’. Ubuntu means that we need other human beings just to be human. The Zulu and Shona people of southern Africa say: ‘a person is a person through other persons’—not apart from them. Ubuntu means that for us to do well, we need others to do well.

Desmond Tutu says (God has a Dream, chapter 2):

A person with ubuntu is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, willing to share. Such people are open and available to others, willing to be vulnerable, affirming of others, do not feel threatened that others are able and good, for they have a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong in a greater whole.

Tutu also says that in southern Africa, when they wish to speak well of someone they say, ‘So-and-so has ubuntu.’ So-and-so is a person who recognises others as persons. I want to suggest that this African approach to life is one that we could learn from.

The rich man in the ‘Pearly Gates-type’ story that Jesus retold did not have ubuntu. He didn’t recognise Lazarus as a person. Lazarus ‘longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table’. But Lazarus went hungry.

Do you notice something about this story? About who is named and who isn’t? In most stories, the rich and powerful are named and the ordinary people are anonymous. It’s the other way here. Jesus names the poor man. The other—the powerful man—is just ‘a rich man’. In fact, the ‘rich man’ is every person who has enough of the world’s goods—shelter, food, health care, education—yet who closes his or her heart to the poor. The rich man’s name could very easily be ‘Paul Walton’. Continue reading


Filed under Church & world, church year, RCL, sermon, ubuntu

Friday fragments—12.02.10


In our series on spiritual practices, we’re looking at prayer this week. Here are a few links:

Everyday Prayer (http://www.lca.org.au/worship/devotional_resources.cfm)
From the Lutheran Church of Australia

A Short Guide for Daily Prayer (http://assembly.uca.org.au/worship/resources/9-prayers/24-dailyprayer.html)
From the UCA Assembly

Church Resources: click ‘Quiet Space’ or subscribe to daily email. An Australian Catholic resource, but there is nothing sectarian here

Sacred Space: Another Catholic-yet-not-really resource; more meditative

Pray as you go: Yet another Catholic-yet-not-really resource! An mp3 resource, also podcast. Could be used in the bus or car

ReJesus: A not-Catholic resource, which uses flash

Lancaster University Chaplaincy Centre: A good selection of links to some of these and more


Quantum physics, wavy cows and us

The ‘strange facts’ of our universe and their religious implications.


Let’s not forget our Pacific neighbours

Tuvalu faces rising sea levels and drought.


Great news! The G7 to cancel Haiti’s debts.

Read it at Sojourners.


And finally… Who was St Valentine?

Read Journey Online to find out.

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Filed under Church & world, spiritual practices

Friday fragments—29.01.10

Vindaloo against Violence

Melbourne has been the scene of violence (sometimes fatal) against Indian people in recent times; it seems that some of these attacks have been racially motivated. Understandably, the Indian community and the Indian nation are very concerned indeed. Mia Northrop has suggested Vindaloo against Violence as a way to show support to the Indian community; simply eat at your local Indian restaurant. It is now spreading to other Australian cities and to other parts of the world. Sounds like a great reason to get a group together!

It’s good to read Peter Cosgrove’s Australia Day address in conjunction with this story. He speaks of the ‘sunshine and shade’ of this nation.


Haiti continues to suffer; Collin Hansen looks at the question of theodicy. And have a read of what Debra Dean Murphy says about the suffering God.

Episcopal Cafe outlines the three ‘Rs’ of disasters: Rescue, Recovery, Relief. Very helpful.

I am in awe of the ethic of sharing that exists among the hungry of Haiti.

The scale of the disaster in in Haiti has been due to crippling levels of debt which have inhibited the infrastructure of that country. The World Council of Churches is calling for the debt to be cancelled.

The Colbert Report

I for one am very happy that The Colbert Report has come to ABC 2. If you don’t know anything about Stephen Colbert, have a look here at his best Apple moments, in the light of the iPad release.

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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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