Monthly Archives: September 2014

  • 0

Cultural Norms or Ignorance??

I wonder if those calling for the HIJABIS  and other traditional, ‘religious garb’ to be banned, including one Tasmanian  Senator, who would like a man with  money and a ‘big package between his legs’, would demand the same from those men and women who wear revealing clothing at the beach or out and about??!!

I expect not!! 

To be honest I would like to call for an end to our PM wearing speedos in public!!!

Category : Uncategorized


  • 0

Keep Jesus weird!!

Jesus is now so mainstream – I mean there is even a Ken Jesus now. 

It’s frightening how ‘accepted’ Jesus is, everywhere. He is talked about in parliament, he is mentioned in court rulings, he has books written about him by ‘nice’ authors; movies and T.V. shows depict this nice, kind, white guy with perfect teeth and hair and a voice makes honey look lumpy and scratchy. People don’t want to know him but he is ingrained in our national psyche, this nice, comfy man who kisses babies and tells a few stories about God and stuff.

For crying out loud!!! We have completely forgotten how weird Jesus was. We are ignoring how radical his message was (and still is).

You see Jesus was REALLY weird – he was a longhaired, homeless hippy who went around with his dropout mates telling really strange stories to anyone who would listen. He upset everyone with even a little vested interest in power or authority, he made the clergy feel very uncomfortable and he upset the order of things wherever he went. 

How is this mainstream? It wasn’t even mainstream in the sixties! 

For some following Jesus is far too comfortable, far too beige – HELP! We need to bring back the Jesus weirdness!

Walk with those who are marginalised – the poor, the homeless, the outcasts, the sinners. Tell the stories of our faith for they give hope to the hopeless and make the comfortable squirm. Live out the commands of the divine weirdo for they make us and the world a better place. 

Accept people where they are and for who they are; judge less and love unconditionally; spread the grace of God wherever you go. 

Be as weird as Jesus; our world needs to see him as he really is and not what he has become – let’s do away with the nice, kind, white guy with perfect teeth and hair and a voice like honey and remind the world of the of the longhaired, homeless hippy who went around with his dropout mates telling really strange stories and changing the world.



KEEP JESUS WEIRD AND CHANGE THE WORLD!


  • 0

Respect

Earlier this year I celebrated my birthday. I spent the day ‘loitering with intent’ as i do.
A person approached me say they were hungry. I asked where they would like to eat. So we found the nearest fast food franchise and made a purchase. We then sat out on the local mall and chatted. During the discussion I explained it was my birthday, and that it was an honour to share it with him. A complete stranger to me but, known by God.

We met on a few other occasions, including one night when I was out with The Ruth and Analise at a comedy festival event. We came across this person sitting with friends on  bench seat. I introduced Ruth to him and we greeted each other as friends. The next day this man found me on the street and said thanks for showing respect the night before.

Category : Uncategorized


  • 0

ISIS is to Islam as the KKK is to Christianity

(I don’t know who drew this but the copyright belongs to them and
I hope they don’t mind us using it.)
Australia is a land of fear at the moment.
Everyone seems to be scared at the increase in the terror threat level. 
Muslims seem to be even more scared as they are becoming targets for the fear of the masses. A house near where I live was burned down this week because, as the local paper put it, “Muslims own it.” Old men and women are being insulted, spat upon and egged in the street because they “look Muslim.” Because, as we all know, everyone of Middle Eastern appearance MUST be a terrorist, (I assume that includes Jesus, although there are some who would claim he was.)
C’mon Australia –  we are better than this! 
We know that not all Muslims are terrorists just as we know that not all terrorists are Muslims. Our sign this week depicts what most people  think of ISIS (Muslims included (do I really have to say that?? Don’t most of us realise it??)).
They are a bunch of very misguided fundamentalists that try and impose their twisted view of Islam on the world through violence and hate; if you don’t agree with them you are a heretic and should die.  This is not how most Muslims think.
Just as the KKK are a bunch very misguided fundamentalists that try and impose their twisted view of Christianity on the world through violence and hate; if you don’t look like them then you are an inferior species and should die. This is not how most Christians think.
99% of people don’t agree with ISIS; 99% of Australian Muslims won’t agree with ISIS just as 99% of rational thinking Christians don’t agree with the KKK.
It’s that very small minority that give the whole a bad name – c’mon Australia; where is that famous spirit of mateship that pulls together in a crisis – our Muslim countrymen and women need our help not our hate, our friendship not our suspicion. They will try as hard as the rest of us to keep our country safe – did you know, for example, that most of the anti-terror police raids conducted last week were done so because of tip offs from the Muslim community.
Yes be alert; yes be wary but of terrorists not Muslims – THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING!!!!

Category : Uncategorized


  • 0

Being Human

Waiting to have my head shaved at the barbers on Degraves St, i found an article in a magazine called SNEAKY. In part the article was about the ageing and declining population growth in the Japan.
What caught my eye was the rise of ‘Hugging Parlours’. Where for an agreed price a variety of human contacts are available. these included hugging, placing your head on a towel on anthers lap and having them do the same. There were also periods of eye contact.
As I wander the streets of Melbourne, observing people coming and going, I wondered if the life style we have openly embarrassed means for many that we are left having to purchase even the kind of contact we need to be human??

Category : Uncategorized


  • 0

Jesus and Germs are Everywhere!

Due to the lack of decent signs recently you will all have guessed I’ve been away and now it time to bring back –

The Church Sign of the Week!

And this week it’s ‘say your prayers and wash your hands ’cause Jesus and germs are everywhere!’

This is a sign I saw a lot in those terrible ultra-religious bookshops you only find in the U.S. It seems to be a catchphrase of American fundamentalists, but, unlike most of the stuff I saw in those shops, I actually like this one. It asks some very important questions, like what is prayer and where is Jesus?

I’m pretty sure that what prayer is is different for most people. We are (I say ‘we are’ I should say ‘I was’) taught as children to kneel by our beds, put our hands together, close our eyes and talk to God like we would to a head teacher or policeman. “Please God look after my family and thank you for the good times I’ve had today. Amen” That sort of thing. (That’s what me and my brother did anyway so I think that is normal.) But I as talk to others and learn more myself I find that prayer is far less me talking to the cosmic headmaster and more a conversation between me and a close friend. I no longer kneel by my bed, put my hands together and close my eyes in fact most of my prayers are said in the car as I travel from place to place, so closing my eyes and putting my hands together would be unadvisable if not downright dangerous.

My car prayers started a few years ago after I mentioned to a another minister that I found it difficult to pray. She said, “Try it in the car.” So I did. It started as a few words thrown into space hoping that God would hear – it morphed into a rants and shouts at a God that didn’t seem to listen and slowly but surely it has become a time when I speak to God about all manner of things. I don’t use special words, or thees and thous, I just talk. God has heard me swear about things I consider particularly unfair or that I don’t understand, he’s heard me cry and laugh and scream and shout and sometimes we just sit there in silence for a while. I never have heard him talk back, no sonorous voice has ever rocked my car as God says,

“YOU’RE SPOT ON AGAIN SION, THE REDS DID CHEAT LAST SATURDAY; I’ll MAKE SURE THE REBELS WIN NEXT WEEK!”

but I do feel I’m heard and sometimes even answered. Your prayers may not be done in the car but I do hope you find a place to say them that suits you, your lifestyle and God. If you want to know more or ask any questions drop me a line or pop and see me.

As to if Jesus is like germs? – I would say yes. He’s there if you look for him (just as germs are). I’ve been to many places on my trip and in everyone of them (absolutely every one) Jesus was there. I met him in the way people treated me, in the words people said, in churches and coffee shops, in airports and at tram-stops, in buses and cars. At Greenbelt he was there, in a Appleby’s in Denver he was there. Oh yes, if you look for him (and even if you don’t) Jesus is everywhere in those that live as he would have them – some of them are even Christians.

So say your prayers and wash your hands for Jesus and germs are everywhere!

Category : Uncategorized


  • 0

Listen

My ‘office’ changes from day today. Each day is different on the streets where I ‘loiter with intent’.
People, in spite of my persona come up and talk to me and i listen.
I know when i am listening, because I am not formulating an answer or response i am listening.

Category : Uncategorized


  • 0

church could be like THIS

So I’m back in the U.K. and heading to Leeds – WHY? I hear you ask – well for one simple reason to visit Harehills Lane Baptist Church – WHERE? I hear you say – Harehills Lane Baptist Church in Leeds, the church where Graeme Dodds is a minister – WHO? you might say – this guy…

IMG_0550

He preached at our church a couple of years ago and many people (including me) said it was one of the best sermons they had ever heard!

Anyway, I went to Harehills Lane Baptist Church – and I have to say that church should (or could) be like this!

I walked in and the first thing that hit me was the welcome I got – the guy at the door seemed genuinely pleased I was there. He explained a little about the service, asked me where I was from and was really nice.

IMG_0527

I sat down and everyone who came in (I mean everyone) said hello and as it filled people came over to talk and introduce themselves. Graeme came out and sat with me throughout the service, which was brilliant and was all about everything I had been to America to see.

The theme was traction – the idea of the ‘rubber hitting the road’. It emphasised everything I had hoped about the trip – the idea that doing is a vital part of believing. All that stuff in the book of James that faith without works is dead etc, etc. One thing, said almost in passing, struck a huge chord with me – “Pastoral work is important and it can be just a word, a phone call, a text or a facebook message.” God was speaking to me in that service – he really was.

IMG_0529

The community of Harehills Lane is amazing – we sang happy birthday to a lady in her 90’s, I talked to a Ugandan asylum seeker and a northern biker, we moved furniture and ate cakes – it was a brilliant morning.

After the service (which was superb and, as usual, I won’t go too far into detail because I want to use some of the stuff – especially the music)  there was a lunch that could easily compare to anything the Melbourne Welsh Church would put on. People freely mixed and chatted it, was like being in at home on any Sunday morning. It felt great.

IMG_0532

Another wonderful surprise was that Harehills Lane had a group going to Greenbelt and I was invited to join their number, I didn’t realise at the time what an amazing blessing that would turn out to be.

As with almost everything else I’ve seen on this trip so far it’s the little things, the simple things that make this church so special. Community is at the foundation of everything – you build the rest of the church on that. Harehills has got it right – their community is a warm, welcoming and worshipping one – it was a pleasure to share time with them. Thank you all.

After a bit of news from my folks the look of my week changed a bit – things were re-arranged. I missed visiting Zac’s Place in Swansea and I missed seeing John and Gail Rees but I was on my way back to Greenbelt after a gap of 16 years and I was excited!!!

Category : Community , News , SM , Social Media , The Trip , UK , Welcome


  • 0

church could be like THIS

So I’m back in the U.K. and heading to Leeds – WHY? I hear you ask – well for one simple reason to visit Harehills Lane Baptist Church – WHERE? I hear you say – Harehills Lane Baptist Church in Leeds, the church where Graeme Dodds is a minister – WHO? you might say – this guy…

He preached at our church a couple of years ago and many people (including me) said it was one of the best sermons they had ever heard!

Anyway, I went to Harehills Lane Baptist Church – and I have to say that church should (or could) be like this!

 

I walked in and the first thing that hit me was the welcome I got – the guy at the door seemed genuinely pleased I was there. He explained a little about the service, asked me where I was from and was really nice.

 

I sat down and everyone who came in (I mean everyone) said hello and as it filled people came over to talk and introduce themselves. Graeme came out and sat with me throughout the service, which was brilliant and was all about everything I had been to America to see.

The theme was traction – the idea of the ‘rubber hitting the road’. It emphasised everything I had hoped about the trip – the idea that doing is a vital part of believing. All that stuff in the book of James that faith without works is dead etc, etc. One thing, said almost in passing, struck a huge chord with me – “Pastoral work is important and it can be just a word, a phone call, a text or a facebook message.” God was speaking to me in that service – he really was.

 

The community of Harehills Lane is amazing – we sang happy birthday to a lady in her 90’s, I talked to a Ugandan asylum seeker and a northern biker, we moved furniture and ate cakes – it was a brilliant morning.

After the service (which was superb and, as usual, I won’t go too far into detail because I want to use some of the stuff – especially the music)  there was a lunch that could easily compare to anything the Melbourne Welsh Church would put on. People freely mixed and chatted it, was like being in at home on any Sunday morning. It felt great.

 

Another wonderful surprise was that Harehills Lane had a group going to Greenbelt and I was invited to join their number, I didn’t realise at the time what an amazing blessing that would turn out to be.

As with almost everything else I’ve seen on this trip so far it’s the little things, the simple things that make this church so special. Community is at the foundation of everything – you build the rest of the church on that. Harehills has got it right – their community is a warm, welcoming and worshipping one – it was a pleasure to share time with them. Thank you all.

 

After a bit of news from my folks the look of my week changed a bit – things were re-arranged. I missed visiting Zac’s Place in Swansea and I missed seeing John and Gail Rees but I was on my way back to Greenbelt after a gap of 16 years and I was excited!!!

 

Category : Community , News , Social Media , The Trip


  • 0

church should come with COFFEE

So it is almost time to leave B’more and the U.S. but before I leave there is one last thing to do – another Bible Study. (Anyone would think I was religious!)IMG_0506

At some unearthly hour of the morning the minds behind #BreakingBread hold a Bible study in a coffee shop. It only seems fitting to finish this part of the trip the way it started weeks ago in Denver- talking God over coffee and breakfast.

I will be honest and admit that I was a little late mainly because I was staying over the other side of the city and it took longer than I had planned to get there. Still when I arrived the coffee was still hot (or in my case the OJ was still cool) and the discussion was well under way. Rev Jenn was there and I got to meet Rev Jason too, who was leading the study that morning. The team of J, J and S are amazing and so talented. In the short time I was with them I felt that God has looked on the people of their part of B’more and blessed them hugely! Keep up the great work.

IMG_0500

As with most things on this trip it was a simple set up (that’s not saying the discussion wasn’t in-depth, it was). A table, a few chairs and a Bible and off we went. The more I see of how other churches do stuff the more guilty I feel for making things far too complicated.

Again I was welcomed and made to feel at home, again I sat and listened and learnt as normal people (like me and you, except with weirder accents) unravelled parts of the Bible in ways I had never thought of. Again I had a ball and even though I arrived a little behind time I didn’t feel left out and I gained a lot.

If you have been to our Wednesday morning Bible group or our Monday evening Bible group – it wasn’t dissimilar to those, except they stuck to the topic whereas we never do!

Did I mention it rained while I was in Baltimore…

IMG_0483

As I draw to the end of the American leg of my adventure I sit here wondering if it was all worth it. I can, without any hesitation, say it most certainly was. I have met some wonderful people, done some amazing things, learnt some fantastic new skills and absorbed a head full of new knowledge.

To everyone I have met in Denver and Texas, in Washington and Baltimore a huge thank you – don’t think you’ve got rid of me that easily though… I want to come back – there is so much more for me to learn.

IMG_0578

Onwards to the U.K. and the prospect of bikers and tents. It will be another interesting time!!!

Category : Community , News , SM , Social Media , The Trip , US , Welcome


Upcoming Events

Dec
23
Sun
11:00 am NATIVITY SERVICE
NATIVITY SERVICE
Dec 23 @ 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
FOLLOWED BY A VISIT FROM SANTA AND A CHRISTMAS LUNCH
Jan
27
Sun
10:00 am CHURCH PICNIC
CHURCH PICNIC
Jan 27 @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
 
Mar
3
Sun
3:00 pm 2019 St. David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
2019 St. David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
Mar 3 @ 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
A wonderful afternoon of traditional hymns and music held at St. Michael’s U.C. on the corner of Collins and Russell Streets. Features the Blue Ribbon winner from the 2018 National Eisteddfod of Wales, Andrew P.