The New Conspirators – final countdown

Our first international traveller Mark Pierson has just arrived from New Zealand (with a new supply of tea and vegemite for me) and we are on the final countdown for The New Conspirators: What in the World is God Doing.  This is shaping up to be the most exciting conference we have ever held  Our speakers come from a broad array of backgrounds and our registrants from an even broader spectrum.  We are looking forward particularly to the opportunities there will be to brainstorm together and to imagine new possibilities for life and mission.  If you can’t join us make sure you check out the website for updates throughout the conference and for the MP3s that will be available afterwards.

As well as this Tom’s new book The New Conspirators: Creating the Future One Mustard Seed At a Time,  was released last week so we are juggling conference & book… what a week!

Advertisements

Award Winning Design for Green Building

Here is some interesting news out of China about an award winning design for high rise sustainable building.  Looks fascinating -there is hope for the future.  Check it out

High rise sustainable architecture

More Reflections on Lent

Well we are now into the second full week of Lent and if you are anything like me then I suspect that the busyness of life and the tyranny of the urgent that your Lenten practices are slipping into the background. With our conference The New Conspirators, just over a week away and with the launching of Tom’s new book The New Conspirators: Creating the Future One Mustard Seed at a Time, as well as trying to get the spring garden planted (yes my front porch is beginning to look like a tropical rainforest), my life is more than busy. Here is a Lenten prayer that I recite each morning to help me focus

We are broken people,
Separated from God, isolated from each other, disconnected from God’s world
Lead us to repentance that we may pass from death to eternal life
Our bond with God is broken
We have hidden ourselves from the all loving, all caring, all embracing one
Lead us to repentance that we may pass from death to eternal life
Our bond with each other is broken
We are indifferent to the cries of dying children, the pain of the oppressed, the lonliness of the widow
Lead us to repentance that we may pass from death to eternal life
Our bond with God’s earth is broken
We have destroyed and polluted what we should have preserved, we have not been good stewards of creation
Lead us to repentance that we may pass from death to eternal life
The bonds withing ourselves are broken,
Our spirits are scarred and distorted by selfcentredness, green, violence and the worship of consumer clutter
Lead us to repentance that we may pass from death to eternal life
God in your mercy come to us,
Forgive our sins, heal our bodies, redeem our lives
Lead us to repentance that we may pass from death to eternal life.

Back From Hawaii

Tom & Chris in Hawaii
Tom & I just got back from Kauai, Hawaii at some unearthly hour last night.  It was a great trip.  We spent a couple of days with the Bethel College Board and then spoke at the Missionary Church conference hosted by the Koloa Missionary Church on Kauai.  In between we managed to sneak in a little sightseeing. Unfortunately the spectacular Waimea Gorge was totally fogged in the afternoon we were able to visit it.

For me the highlight was the opportunity to reconnect to friends I made during the time that the Anastasis was stopped in Honolulu in the mid 1980s.  I attended Moanalua Gardens Missionary Church with some of my friends for a year.  Each week Clarence and Bernice Oshita picked us up for church then took us home for lunch – for an entire year – now that is hospitality!  Clarence and Bernice were not at the conference but several others were including Jackie Weber who had become a special friend during that visit.  In many ways I felt that I was coming home – and it wasn’t just these old friends that greeted us with open arms and warm hospitality.   The  hospitality and generosity of everyone we met was incredible and it made me realize how much we have to learn from a culture like this.  My only regret is that we had so little time to explore friendships.

No wonder early Christians felt that hospitality was not just an important practice but that it opened a doorway to the kingdom of God.  I certainly felt that I was tasting a little of the kingdom of God in all the hospitality we experienced.

An historic day in Australia

The public apology by Prime Minister Rudd to aboriginals in Australia was greeted with tears by some & animosity by others.  Read more

When I spoke to friends Gary & Ev Heard last night it was obvious that this had been a very emotional event for them. Here is a report from Gary’s blog.

I found tears welling in my eyes this morning as I listened to the broadcast of proceedings from Parliament House in Canberra as the final preparations for the delivery of the apology from the Australian Government to the Stolen Generations was made. It was a moment of both relief and thankfulness that this well-overdue apology was made, and a platform laid for moving forward in a spirit of honesty and cooperation.  Read more

Reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel message.  As I read about this I am very aware of the fact that God is still at work in our world healing wounds, reconciling relationships and making all things new.  I praise God for this glimpse of his shalom eternal world.

Australia Says Sorry

I thought that you might be interested in this news from Down Under. Better late than never and a very appropriate message for Lent. Morris Stuart and his wife Barbara have been very involved in Aboriginal affairs in Australia. The painting is by Barbara and was inspired by one of the massacre sites in Australia. It depicts the spirits of Aboriginals that still haunt this landscape where tourists now wander.

Ghostly Spirits
On the night before our national parliament apologises to members, relations and descendants of the “Stolen Generations”, I thought I’d write to to ask you to do something special tomorrow: Light a candle, gather with friends for breakfast, share a morning coffee with workmates and respond to the government’s invitation to ‘stop, watch and listen’ to the drama unfolding in Federal Parliament. The Prime Minister has asked all Australians to stop and participate in this national act of contrition and reconciliation: a unique moment in Australian history.
Australians who will not be able to sit in the public galleries in Parliament, will join in this historic moment by watching it on giant screens on the lawns before Parliament house in Canberra, Martin Place in Sydney, Federation square in Melbourne and the Aboriginal Advancement League in Fitzroy – to mention just a few places where you might join others if these locations are in your vicinity. Barb and I will be sharing this moment with a few in our lounge. If you’d like to join with us here at 16 Paxton Street, you are very welcome to join us at 8.45 a.m. tomorrow Wednesday 13th February 2007.
I watched a woman who was forcibly taken away, telling her story and that of her siblings and family on the ABC’s 7.30 Report. It was heart-wrenching and heart-warming. I hope Andrew Bolt saw it! (If you missed it, you can review it on www.abc.net.au/7.30report )
Tomorrow marks a new day. Listen for the words of thankfulness, relief and forgiveness that will come from our Aboriginal fellow countrywomen and men. We can now all move ahead together. They say this apology is ‘symbolic’. I predict however, that this one action will have the most profoundly positive impact on the self-esteem of indigenous people, and will contribute an enormous amount to addressing the practical challenges that are currently facing Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal people.
We are Sorry!
In harness
Morris

1-2-3 Meme

Well I have been tagged twice for this meme – once by eliacin & once once by jweaver at Ogrepraxy so Isuppose it is time for me to respond.   For those of you who don’t know about this meme — you are to grab the closest book, turn to page 123, find the fifth sentence, and share the next three sentences. Then tag five people to do the same.

The book closest to me is the classic on the kingdom Mission Between the Times, by Rene Padilla.  And here are the provocative words o page 123.

“Today I would add that the mystery of lawlessness seems to me to be at work in our day in that gigantic effort on the part of all nations to become advanced societies in accordance with the image presented in the consumer society and by means of scientific, technological and administrative reasoning.  In making this affirmation I am not advocating a utopian back to nature movement or the identification of Christian faith in rural society.  I am simply pointing out that the model of society that predominates i the modern world is that of a society dedicated to the conquest of physical comfort as if life consisted in the abundance of goods that one possesses, and I am proposing that behind the materialism of this consumer society is the spirit of the Antichrist.”

My tags AndrewLisa, MikeJohn and Polly or Matt