Tag Archive: gifts


Today we savour and celebrate playing in the park, tree climbing, sunshine and flowers… we see a couple have written their love in the branches that hold us up. May we be carried by one another’s love every day. #celebrate #whakahari

Icon at Dwell, Ascot Vale

Narrative Theology #1: lyrics

Today’s word is Teacher, Kaiwhakaako, the title given to Jesus in the gospels. I think I spend more time unlearning than learning these days this great poem by Padraig O Tuama speaks to this, you can hear him read some of it here.

And I said to him
Are there answers to all of this?
And he said
The answer is in a story
and the story is being told.

And I said
But there is so much pain
And she answered plainly
Pain will happen.

Then I said
Will I ever find meaning?
And they said
You will find meaning
Where you give meaning.

The answer is in story
And the story isn’t finished.

The question is not where but now
there question’s never finished
or exhausted
and the answers in the asking
not the answer
the answer’s in the breathing of the question
in the love of holding onto
what was never whispered never seen
but what we dreamed of in the morning
then forgot while venus hid

the answer’s in the living not the knowing
the answer’s in the telling of the story
in half forgotten memory
and all unfinished stories

the answer’s in the showing time of senses
the answer’s in the question
in the learning
in the fading page of writing
in the letter sent to lovers
in the paying for the other
the answer is the generous

is the truthing

the absolutely truthful anger

and forgiving is the giving of what you don’t deserve
it’s what I’ll serve because you’re hungry
even though you may not know it

the answer’s in the living and the dying
in the trying for redemption on an empty hill of crosses
it’s the shoring up of hope and the gathering of losses
it’s the looking for companions in the hills and in the glens
it’s the waking up and walking up and starting up again
the answer’s in the living
and the trying.

And I said to the wise man,
what is the answer to all this
And he said the answer’s in the story
and the story’s just unfolding. 

credits

from hymns to swear by, released March 17, 2010all rights reserved

A modified version of this poem can be found in ‘Readings from the Book of Exile’ (Canterbury Press, 2013)

Advent word: Learn

I’ve moved up the road from a Salvos house where I used to live. The jacaranda is just as it was. The Magi would attend community dinner each week, bringing precious gifts. What am I   bringing to the table? #learn #ako #adventwords2019

Advent word: Gather

We gather gifts. We gather together. We are gathered by our gathering, the sharing and the exchange. That’s the part that makes us rich. Gather, share, and be enriched. #gather #hui #adventwords2019

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…death cannot be eroded.  It is a part of life, and it actually imparts meaning to life because it involves a basic contradiction that is essential for an understanding of human existence. Why should Christ have died on the Cross if death were simply an absurdity?  Christ’s death rests on the presupposition that every death is tragic. And his death imparts to every death a dimension of hope and victory. Christ on the cross hallowed the agony of love. The gift which Christ offers to those who love is the cross, and it is this gift which purifies love.

To love life as it really is means to accept it in its total reality, which includes death; to accept not only the idea of death but also those acts which anticipate death, in the offering and giving of ourselves.

…In a sense, every sacrifice of our personal interest and our pleasure for the sake of another person or simply for the act of ‘love’ is a kind of death. But at the same time it is an act of life and an affirmation of the truth of life.

Preface, p.16 – Thomas Merton, from Love by Ernesto Cardenal

On salvation

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I am sitting in the local supermarket collecting for Red Shield Appeal. A pensioner has just given generously and thanks me for my generosity taking the time to sit there.

“I don’t like people… I love people.
We need to support each other… I believe this… be there for each other.
Salvation?? I give for this Salvation…”

I come home and look up the word “salvation”.

From the latin salvatio – being saved or protected from harm or being saved or delivered from some dire situation.

Imagine for a moment an army, a large number of people, committed to saving and protecting people from harm, an army of people committed to saving and protecting those who find themselves in some dire situation… religion aside – that still might be something to believe in.

I might sometimes worry that collecting takes me away from my core work – it is good to have this reminder that it provides an opportunity for others to participate in it.

13173164_1144078518965038_2440596399882322578_oThanks to Westfield Airport West shopping centre for hosting us for some Mothers Day (birthday… baptism…) gift wrapping fundraising yesterday – whether flowers and chocolates, craft supplies, the box pack of Downton Abbey or “something from the dog… we never did have kids”. It’s a pleasure to share with folks in their hard times and celebratory ones;  in your acts of love and kindness to one another. Your generosity supports us in acts of love and kindness to community members in need here in Footscray.

Shoot us an email if you’re interested in making a gift towards our work or volunteering with us. Although we’re responsive to the changing needs of our neighbourhood, to give you a gist at the time of posting, support would be used towards sustaining transitional housing for asylum seekers and refugees, food parcels, weekly community dinner, and maintaining our sport, music, craft and community gardening projects.

 

Ephesians @ FCOC

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EPHESIANS 4: 7-16

But to each of us grace is granted and measured by the gift of Christ. Thus it says, “As He ascended on high, He led the captured away into captivity, He gave gifts to men.” But what does “He ascended” mean, except that He also went down into the lower parts of the earth? The One who descended is the very one who ascended far above all the heavens to fill the universe.

So He has given some to be apostles and others to be prophets; some to be evangelists and others to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the task of ministering toward the building up of the body of Christ, until we all may arrive at the unity of faith and that understanding of the Son of God that brings completeness of personality, tending toward the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. As a result, we should no longer be babes, swung back and forth and carried here and there with every wind of teaching that springs from human craftiness and ingenuity for designing error; but, telling the truth in love, we should grow up in every way toward Him who is the Head – Christ, from whom the entire body is fitted together and united by every contributing ligament, with proportion power for each single part to effect the development of the body for its upbuilding in love.

  • God’s grace and the scope of it are God’s gifts to me
  • The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are NOT saints but are here to equip the saints.
  • “Building up until we all may arrive” – commitment to a process/a journey of growth through discipleship that brings completeness of personality… our personalities are not complete? “growing and transforming always… tending towards the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”
  • Guard against the human craftiness and ingenuity for devising …Guard against my own devising – conscious and unconscious.
  • Misuse of “telling the truth in love” – need to be telling my own.
  • We should grow up – Jesus the cornerstone
  • Fitted together and united – partners in building
  • Each single part to effect – each part necessary to the whole; if each part is necessary then tearing a part down or smothering it is counter-productive.
  • Upbuilding in love