Thursday, October 30, 2008

Flying to Aotearoa

Aotearoa or Land of the Long White Cloud is of course New Zealand.
As any follower of my blog would know, my dream is to move to Dunedin. My sister does not hold the same enthusiasm.
In April/May 2007 we both went round the world and clocked up some frequent flyer points. Enough to fly to New Zealand. I have since added to them but if my sister does not use them by the end of November they are lost. So I am taking her to see where I hope to live. We fly direct to Dunedin on Friday, pick up a car at the airport and stay in Dunedin until Tuesday when we will drive down to Lake Manapouri for 3 nights then return to Dunedin and fly home on Monday November 10. I am not taking my computer but am sure I will post some details and photos after my return. I plan to attend Choral Eucharist in the Cathedral of St Paul one Sunday and at St John's Roslyn the other Sunday. I plan to buy a home in this parish and have been following the blog of the Rector Available Light, Ven. Kelvin Wright.

The Diocese of Dunedin had the first woman diocesan bishop and has now ordained a man living in a open homosexual relationship, so you can see it is very different to the diocese of Sydney. While I love St James, King Street, I foresee the 2 hour train journey each way getting more difficult as I age. Even if I decide to worship at the Cathedral in Dunedin, it will only be about 4km away.

The need to prepare, sell and pack up beforehand is going to take time, especially in this economic climate.

So I will not be posting or reading the blogs for nearly 2 weeks. I will eagerly watch the news to find the results of that little election some of you are having next Tuesday. Results for President will be easy, No on Prop 8 may not be so much on the TV news. Whatever the results the shaky isles as they call them may be a little more shaky from my jumping up and down hopefully in joy and not in anger.

Eight years ago I was disappointed when Al Gore was not elected but I did not know what a disaster Bush was to become. When he was re-elected 4 years ago, I broke off all my contacts (mainly professional) with the USA. I was also angry that Australians re-elected Bush's little side-kick, Howard but I had to keep talking to my countrymen and few of my friends had voted for him anyway. I did hide my Australian flag when we invaded Iraq and the NZ flag still dominates my sideboard although we have a new government and have withdrawn.

It was the forum for the film Brokeback Mountain that had me returning to regular contact with US friends. I realise all the bloggers I follow and most of my readers will be equally disappointed but I fear for all our futures if McCain is elected and something happens resulting in Palin taking over. The thought is unbearable.

New Zealand has always been willing to be more independent than Australia. It also has a much better social reform record in gay rights. However they also have an election (on Saturday November 8) and I fear the conservatives are more likely to win.

Take care everybody. I will remove comment moderation while I am away so if anything strange appears, please do not blame me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lay Presidency in Sydney???

I feel very unqualified to comment as a lay person with little to no training but the recent decision of the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney to allow deacons and lay people to preside at Holy Communion is causing much comment especially at Thinking Anglicans. I have been reading and feel I must put my thoughts into words even if not very clear.

To me it is just more proof that the Diocese is not 'Anglican" but that is something I concluded many years ago. There are many Anglican parishes within the diocese but the current hierarchy has moved away from any semblance of Anglican belief.
Just last week when I was in Manly I passed the "Anglican" church. The board showed Sunday services. 8am was advertised as a Traditional service. What does that mean? Probably Holy Communion but you cannot be sure. I think many of these 'traditional services' are just being kept for the old folks and the young presbyters (that is what they call priests, I have even seen pastor used) cannot wait for the time when they can get rid of such services. The other services in most of these churches are given various names, often Family service (are gays welcome???), and are more like the Baptist church down the road. I reported last week that some Sydney Evangelicals think 'Holy Communion' interrupts the preaching.

There is no way I would attend a Eucharist celebrated by a lay person in an Anglican church. I am willing to participate in a service of Holy Communion in the Uniting Church led by my lay friend who has been licensed in that church. But I do not consider it to be the Eucharist just a Remembrance of the Last Supper and my attendance would just be a sharing in Christian fellowship. If I was marooned on a desert island or (God forbid) we were invaded and Christian services were banned, it would be a different situation.

I am not so sure about deacons presiding. A deacon has been ordained although I realise not as a priest. I have often written about Sue who is a deacon but cannot (being female) become a priest here in Sydney. She could not administer the Eucharist to Mum in her last days but did anoint her with holy oil from Jerusalem. Apparently, under the new arrangements, she can preside at the Eucharist but only in the presence of women and children. This, of course, follows the belief of some of these Sydney types that women should not speak in the presence of men. Some churches do not even allow women to read the lessons. Would Sue now be able to give Mum communion at her bedside but only with my sister present? The thought of that happening brings me to tears of anger. I am sure Sue would not have allowed that and what the diocese didn't know would not have mattered.

The commentators have brought up the situation of parishes which are widely dispersed or dioceses with shortages of priests. These situations do not apply to Sydney which covers a small, densely settled, largely metropolitan area. Anyway I believe dioceses with such problems can ordain priests who have not had a full training and who have other income and are restricted in moving to full incumbency of a parish.

I believe the motion in Sydney has two reasons.
One is to give a sop to the women who want to become priests. Sydney's opposition to women priests is based on the notion of 'headship' ie that a woman should not be a leader of men rather than on any priestly theology.
While I often comment on their homophobic policies because they affect me personally, it is their sexist policies that make me most angry. Their exclusion of homosexuals shows their lack of compassion and understanding but their exclusion of women in this day and age, I consider a sin of male pride and a ridiculous view of scripture which they only follow when it suits them. I do not see them insisting on women wearing hats these days. (I Cor. 11:13)

The second reason is their 'low' view of Holy Communion. To them its importance is far below that of preaching. Sadly I find most evangelical preaching boring as after 60 years, I have heard it all before. On the other hand, since moving to a liberal Anglo- catholic parish, most sermons are thought provoking and they are biblical but not pure bible studies. I travel 4 hours most Sundays in order to partake in the Eucharist as well as to worship. I would be quite happy to receive my teaching at home from reading in books or online as I also do.

Even as a young person in a time when the idea of a woman priest was no more than an occasional theoretical discussion and I had no understanding of my homosexuality, I was an Evangelical but an Anglican. I was taught and believed that something special and mystical happened when the priest consecrated the bread and wine and God became present in some more important way. Last week in the studies preparing for Easter, we discussed that in Sydney both Evangelical and Anglo-catholic churches do not allow children to receive communion before confirmation. I was not aware this was also a difference between Sydney and the rest of Australia. When one person said "but children do not understand what is happening", the priest (from Adelaide) said "do you understand, I don't". No I do not understand what is happening and am glad a senior priest does not either. Another reason to look forward to when we 'will know fully'.

I guess the only satisfaction to gain from the passing of this motion at Synod is the problem it is causing for GAFCON and FOCA. I am not the only person who has claimed that, despite them saying otherwise, the only thing the extreme Evangelicals and the extreme Anglo-Catholics have in common is their sexism and homophobia.
As stated I am opposed to them on both causes and if squabbling over their views of the Eucharist brings them to tears and schism, bring it on. adult smileys

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sculptures by the Sea

Last week our walking group went down to Sydney and walked from Bondi Beach
to Tamarama Beach then onto Bronte Beach.
This was not a very long walk but we were able to see the annual Sculptures by the Sea. There were over 150 sculptures on the cliff tops, rock shelves or beach. Some were a bit weird and wonderful. I have posted some to give you an idea of both the sculptures and the scenery.
The first was called 'Carbon Trader'
Next is 'Reaching for Balance'

Next is 'Humpback Gunship' which was a great one for children to play in as well as making a statement.

'Social Climbing'
And 'Alice in Wonderland'.

Finally a look back at where we had walked.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

O Jesus I have promised

I had several posts prepared for today. Then at church the offertory hymn was that great favourite of mine ' O Jesus I have promised'. It followed the sermon on the great commandments in which Father John had emphasised that we do not love our neighbours in order to gain the Love of God but rather it is the knowledge that we live embraced in the Love of God that should inspire us to love our neighbours.

I am always emotional, and especially as we were preparing to receive the Eucharist, when singing the last verse.

Lord, let me see your footmarks,
And in them plant my own;
My hope to follow duly
Is in your strength alone.
O, guide me, call me, draw me,
Uphold me to the end;
And then in heaven receive me,
My Saviour and my Friend.

There are, of course, many tunes but we sing Wolvercote which I prefer.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Manly Ferry

Yesterday I went to my final session on Preparing for Easter. We studied liturgies for Easter itself. One person told us that a typical Sydney evangelical had told her Holy Communion was just an interruption to the preaching of the Word!!!!!

Beforehand I saw the film 'The Duchess' with my sister. Showed how women were treated in those days. I guess the church of the time approved of such treatment.

After a late lunch with my sister I still had 3 hours to kill so being a very windy day and having heard the seas were big I decided to catch the ferry to Manly and back. One usually goes to Manly on fine pleasant days. Being a senior and having already bought my day ticket to go to the city, the trip was free.

It was great fun. Probably not quite as big as shown in this video I found on Youtube taken last June but it gives you some idea, we did have one wave crashing to the top deck as seen in the video. I have travelled across often but never before has there been a recorded announcement to stay seated and hold on while crossing the Heads. I did not sit outside as I usually do.

In case you are considering visiting, the trip is wonderful on a sunny day and usually no more than a gentle rock.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jensenists strike at National Broadcaster

There has been a furore in our local paper this week about the axing of a program on our National Broadcaster (ABC) called The Religion Report.
Today the axing has been criticised by Archbishop Philip Wilson, the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the President of the Uniting Church in Australia, the Reverend Gregor Henderson, and the President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Ikebal Patel as well as the Primate of the Anglican Church, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall.

However, guess what, the Sydney Anglican Diocese outed itself yesterday as one group grateful for the program's demise.
"The Religion Report has conducted several in-depth interviews with the Sydney Anglican Archbishop, Peter Jensen, over the past five years. The program has also given voice to many opponents of the conservative Sydney Diocese. In an interview with Crittenden in January, Peter Phillips, the conductor of the renowned choir The Tallis Scholars, publicly accused Dr Jensen and his brother Phillip Jensen, the Dean of Sydney, of hypocrisy and compared them with Poland's notorious former leaders, the Kaczynski twins."

These thugs will brook no criticism and want everyone else under their thumb.

I am attending a series of lectures on "Preparing for Holy Week and Easter"
We are studying a Book of Liturgies published by the Liturgy Commission of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia. The book is only published online for study and will never be in print. Why? Because this would require approval by the General Synod and the Jensenists will fight it tooth and nail.

One of the book's authors is our lecturer (from the Diocese of Adelaide) and he was surprised to learn that on Good Friday we do not invite the congregation to come to the foot of the cross for private devotion. He was told a number of years ago we made the mistake of inviting one of our local bishops to preach and the parish were ordered not to allow worship of the cross in future. He told us of one of the most moving occasions in his priesthood. As he held the cross while members of the congregation approached he observed two women, both widowed in the previous few months but not close friends, coming arm in arm to the cross.

God preserve us from the hypocrisies of the Jensens and their tribe of followers. I wish they would leave the true Anglicans of Sydney to worship in their own way.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

++Aspinall continues as Primate of Australia

party smileysGreat news which I have lifted from not too much.
On 17 October 2008, the Board of Electors re-elected Archbishop Phillip Aspinall as Primate of the Anglican Church of Australian for a further term of six years.

"To hold this position is an honour and while it comes with a great deal of responsibility it is a challenge I am pleased to accept for the next six years," he said.

Dr Aspinall nominated the ordination of Australia's first two women bishops as a highlight of his first term in office. Dr Aspinall said the Church will continue to have debates and disagreements. "I was privileged to be at Lambeth this year where the majority of the world’s Anglican bishops gathered. The generosity of spirit, companionship and warmth evident there gave me hope that we can work on these issues in a positive way and continue to strengthen the Anglican Communion," said Dr Aspinall.

(Dr Aspinall was first elected in 2005 for three years. Prior to 2005 no fixed term was attached to the position of Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia. However in 2007, in recognising the increasing demands of the position, the General Synod decided to limit each appointment to six years with a possible three year extension.)

Keeps Jensen out of the Primates council. I did not think there was much chance but strange thing do unfortunately happen.
party smileys

See my previous posts.
Archbishop Aspinall (Australian Primate) speaks out
More from Archbishop Aspinall

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sermon for Today

For a down to earth sermon which says it all, visit Madpriest.
Ok most of my readers have probably been there first but just in case.
It is the best Christian discussion of the present global financial crisis that I have seen.
As I said in my comment, back more than 30 years ago when I finished school I had the choice of becoming a banker or a teacher. I actually was offered a job with (I think) ANZ. Fortunately my father (persuaded by my mother) agreed to pay my first year at university (as well as keep me). The 2nd year I was able (with vacation work) to pay my own fees but my parents still fed me. Finally I gained a scholarship for my 3rd and 4th years.
Teaching did not make me wealthy and there were lots of hassles and nervous breakdowns mainly because I am not the greatest disciplinarian but there were also many highs and I can look back with some satisfaction at what I achieved. I generally avoid having anything to do with banks these days.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Jensen thinks Sex can be fun but not for the Gays.

Today's Sydney Morning Herald has an article 'God said go forth, multiply - but have fun, too' It is about a committed Christian but sex therapist Patricia Weerakoon.

Part states "God could have made it (sex) such that it was only for reproduction. But he made it so we could have fun. Christians love it when I tell them that. It's liberating but it's also informative."
At the end it finishes:
She even has the conservative Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, in her corner. She was recently invited to his home for dinner and says he recognises that sex is part of being a Christian.

"Just because the church speaks out against homosexual priests and says we would like our young people to keep their lovemaking for marriage, it doesn't mean that they are Victorian or asexual. The church is no longer like that. Sex is good, sex can be fun, and sex continues to be wonderful, even with the one person."

Oh great, Peter is happy for everyone to have sex with the one person as long as that person is of the opposite sex. Nice of him.

Being a bit mistrustful of newspaper articles I googled Ms Weerakoon and discovered her husband (I am guessing, there cannot be many Weerakoons in the Sydney telephone book) is a student at Moore College so that is why she has been invited to dinner with the Bish. Of course he would be toeing the line as we know Jensen does not invite those who do not agree with him to supper.

Then I found this little gem in an article by Ms Weerakoon.

A key aspect of the Christian response is to
see the complexities of gender as a symptom of
a world where the perfect pattern of creation is
marred by human sin. This does not mean that
each individual’s gender and sexuality issues are
inevitably a result of their own sin. That may
or may not be the case; such blanket statements
cannot be made. However, in a broader
theological framework, the difficulties and
problems of human sexuality arise because of
the primary problem of a broken relationship
between God and humanity. Without this
underlying theological truth, there is no
strength to the Christian response.
Pastorally, a Christian starts from the
position of informed compassion and a belief
that God’s love extends to all individuals,
regardless of gender and sexuality. But with
the underlying theological truth that we are
all corrupted by sin, this may sometimes
mean a movement towards change where it is

Oh thank you Ms Weerakoon, I am probably not responsible for my sin of homosexuality but just chosen by God to suffer more than others from the general corruption of mankind. Not the sort of God I believe in.

Having been brought up in this kind of religion spouted by Jensen and Weerakoon I remember praying "I hate you God for making me a homosexual" Thankfully God in Love and Grace showed me there was a place in Creation for homosexuality and God's creation is good.

So Ms Weerakoon and Peter Jensen, I am glad you see sex is good and can be fun but I know it can also be good and fun for those who are same sex attracted and yes you are Victorian.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Gondoliers

Yea, the Australian stock market rose today after decisive Government action over the weekend. As I post the European news is good and we are still waiting for Wall Street to open. Hoping that things might continue to improve, I am posting what I wrote several weeks ago as the next chapter in my musical career.

Actually it involves going back to the beginning.
In 1986 I was teaching in a Catholic Senior Boys' College. One of the other teachers was a keen member of a musical society and often took leading roles. He decided to join with the neighbouring Girls' College and stage Gilbert & Sullivan's 'The Pirates of Penzance'
However it was difficult to get enough boys interested. Some boys volunteered to play the Pirates and the Pirate Captain. The teacher took on the demanding role of Frederick and several male teachers were roped in to play the policemen. I also joined the boys as a pirate in Act 1. It was great fun and at the end I thanked the teacher for finally allowing me at the age of 42 to fulfill a dream and act in a Gilbert & Sullivan production. I had been a G&S tragic since my own school days.
He said ' Why don't you join your local society? I went home, checked the local paper and saw an advertisement for the Blue Mountains Musical Society. They were about to begin rehearsals for 'The Gondoliers' and so I joined up. I found it was much more professional and demanding than the school production but I loved it.
In the first photo I am 4th from the left in the back row as a gondolier in Act 1.

While in the next photo I am on the left as the gondoliers become courtiers in Act 2.And here is the chorus of the UBC Opera of Vancouver singing one of the best and most exhausting songs 'Dance a Cachuca'. It was the beginning of extending my jigging around the lounge room to the stage in front of an audience. smilies

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Martyrs, Courageous Priest and Time problems

Please visit Counterlight and read 'No More Martyrs' So true, so moving.

Also visit and read about a very courageous priest Father Geoff Farrow and pray for him. The comments he is receiving moved me to tears. His sermon last week had so much truth in it, it should be read in all churches. I become so angry when I think of the GLBT people who are turned away from the houses of the Lord.

The poor man must have put up his last post re the letter from the bishop late at night on the west coast of the USA so my friends on the East Coast and in Europe were asleep (I hope). Here it was merely late afternoon so I was able to alert some of the blogs to the latest news. Thanks for the hat tip from Grandmere and Madpriest.

Usually I am disadvantaged by the World Clock. You all post while I am asleep and then there is so much to read in the morning when I really should get out into the garden before the heat of the day or I have to leave for church (this morning) or hiking (tomorrow). Then the intertubes are so quiet when I have time to read late in my afternoon. I really must learn to ignore the blogs until after I have done my garden and house chores.
I have just begun a course at church on 'Preparing for Holy Week and Easter'. It is being led by both a Catholic and an Anglican priest. Father Gerard Moore (Catholic) led us through the history last week. Pointing out first that there was division about the 3rd or 4th century as to the time of the main Easter celebration (Thursday gradually gave way to Sunday). He wrily commented there was a lot of nastiness and argy bargy over this, so nothing is new in the Church. However he also pointed out that those of us in the Southern Hemisphere do not get the full point of Easter which celebrates the 'Coming of the Light'. For us it is increasing darkness especially when Easter falls well into April. Perhaps we should celebrate Easter at a different time to those in the North( I doubt it).
Anyway time can be a problem for those of us living both south of the equator and half way round the world.

Returning to Father Farrow. I have just an inkling of what he is going through. Back in the 1980's I came out as a teacher in a Senior Catholic College. I also regularly attended Mass at 'Acceptance' a group for gay catholics. We had visiting priests (obviously) and even a bishop once (he has now retired). That was before the present Cardinal Pell was sent to discipline the Sydney diocese. He is renowned as a homophobe.
Back in those days I found much more acceptance and help than in my own Anglican churches. There were many inclusive religious and laiety. Generally it was believed one's job was safe if one kept a low profile but I published anonymously an article about coming out as a teacher in a catholic school. I was told it caused consternation amongst some of the authorities who knew who had written it. Sadly AIDS meant I found less and less support from the students and so I eventually moved on. After a break I returned to a catholic school but this time a junior high in a different diocese and I did not feel it was appropriate to come out publicly although many would have known of my orientation.
I do pray Father Farrow finds support and a continuing role at this time.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ten Commandments - the place of rules

Yet again, I have found the sermon at St James educational, affirming and enlightening especially when Michael Horsburgh is preaching. Last Sunday the topic was the Ten Commandments which does not sound very inspiring. I have chosen to copy sections of the sermon which were most helpful to me. The complete sermon is available as a pdf file on the church website. I have emphasised some sections.

For us the Ten Commandments might appear to be part of the landscape of our faith, something always there. Yet we almost never mention them. I want this morning to suggest that they offer us some challenges that go beyond their apparent role as moral and religious law. Like many familiar biblical passages these Commandments have some hidden traps and some surprising challenges.

We think of adultery, if indeed, we still regard it as a sin, as a sexual relationship outside marriage by a married person. In the context of this commandment, the offence is narrower and is more limited to events involving married women, who are the property of their husbands. Any man who had a sexual relationship with another man’s wife committed adultery, whether he was married or not. If he was married and had a sexual relationship with an unmarried woman it was not adultery, despite the fact that the woman’s father, her current owner, would be very angry, not least because his property had been damaged.
As far as the women were concerned, the married woman committed adultery regardless of the marital status of the man, but the single women did not commit adultery with the married man. This context is confirmed by the tenth commandment, which is clearly directed towards the intending adulterer eying up his neighbour’s wife, along with his neighbour’s other property. In this sense, adultery is a form of theft rather than infidelity. It is an offence against another man rather than against the adulterer’s wife. When the prophet Nathan rebukes King David over his adultery with Bathsheba he uses precisely the analogy of the theft of a lamb. The lamb herself barely rates a mention. This analysis is a clear warning against assuming that ideas about marriage and sexual behaviour can easily be carried unchanged over the centuries.

They are part of a set of 613 commandments that Jewish authorities regard as the whole of the law given by God. A considerable part of the books of Exodus, Deuteronomy and Leviticus are given over to these laws, which cover a range of both liturgical and secular issues. Amongst them are some of the laws that lie behind the divisions currently exercising the Anglican Communion. When we see them in that context, we will realise that there is a huge debate about which of these rules should be obeyed and, if so, what they mean. Whatever we might learn from this debate, it is apparent that absolutely nobody argues that we should accept them all. Jewish communities, as well as Christian ones, have always had to wrestle with the problem of how to apply ancient rules in a way that is both respectful to them and relevant to changing circumstances.

Thus our attempt to understand the Ten Commandments also exposes how we relate to the
Bible: what authority does it have, and how should we interpret it? There are no purists here, not even in the Diocese of Sydney. Lest we think that these are simply academic questions, we should also note that they have practical outcomes in both ecclesiastical and secular politics. The most obvious current example is the kind of legislation that we should have about the rights of gay couples. But we have had the same debates about slavery and the death penalty.

This debate may tempt us to think that the Bible is principally about the creation of laws. If we do, we will be inclined to take, for example, the comments of Paul about women in church as rules, rather than statements in a specific context.

In the preface to his recent short study on the Ten Commandments, Scott Cowdell comments on his aunt and grandmother, who, he says,
Despite a lifetime of weekly attendance at church ... had picked up a largely moralistic understanding of Christianity. Religion was primarily about how you lived your life, and the function of worship was to provide reinforcement for certain norms of behaviour. ... Sadly, my grandmother died in fear of an angry God, with no apparent understanding of grace and salvation despite 89 years of regular church attendance.

It may help us to ask some fundamental questions.
The first question is; who are we? To this question the commandments give two different answers: one about God, the other about ourselves.
The answer about God comes in the first three commandments: we are a people who depend on God; so we do not replace God with lesser and competing priorities; and we do not misuse God for our own purposes, the God is on our side syndrome. The answer about ourselves comes from the fourth and fifth commandments: keeping the Sabbath and honouring our parents. We should acknowledge and value our heritage and tradition; and live in a space that has room for our spiritual life.

The second question is; what defines our community? Commandments six, seven and eight, against murder, adultery and stealing, draw our attention to the cardinal values of respect for life, of faithfulness and of integrity. Without these values no community can long survive.

The third question is; how shall we encourage virtue? Virtue is the way in which we make our values into our normal way of life. We can understand this if we reflect that we don’t agonise about our actions all the time. Certainly some things pose us problems but, for the most part, we do naturally what we know we should do. Commandments nine and ten, about not lying and not coveting, remind us of this need for virtue. They anticipate our mistakes and seek to head them off.

If we ask these questions, we will make these commandments into life giving guides to a healthy community here at St James’ and elsewhere. We will also be protected from turning our Scriptures into rules and instead see them as avenues of grace and freedom. We will know who we are, we will know what we value and we will know how to live. Above all, we will live in freedom and generosity.

Michael finished with the verse from Frederick Faber’s hymn, ‘There’s a wideness in God’s mercy’ which as I told him is on my webpage.

For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of man’s mind;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
But we make his love too narrow
By false limits of our own;
And we magnify his strictness
With a zeal he will not own

These ideas might seem quite commonplace in many areas of the Anglican communion but not here in the Diocese of Sydney. I was reminded of this when speaking with an acquaintance who told me he had been accepted for ordination as a deacon in another diocese within Australia but has to remain living and working for a time within the Diocese of Sydney while he continues his studies.
He wants to work in a parish but his ordination will not be recognised in Sydney as he is divorced and remarried. He must work as a catechist and had just filled in the necessary forms which asked him if he had ever sighted pornography and had ever had sex outside marriage. I must ask him when we next meet if he was also asked about envy, greed, gluttony, anger and sloth. Somehow I doubt it, they are not so important in this diocese.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Last Night at the Proms

I know this is a bit late. Way back in 1974 I attended the Proms at the Albert Hall in London, it wasn't the last night and I cannot remember the program but I have always dreamed that if I came into lots of money I would go and spend a summer living near to London and attend lots of Prom concerts and especially the Last Night. I guess with some planning I might be able to join the crowd sitting opposite in Hyde Park some year.
They use to broadcast the Last Night on television here but not for the last few years.

Classic FM here in Australia has been broadcasting all the prom concerts over the past few weeks. I have listened to a number, usually while doing other things like reading the blogs. I was feeling very down last Friday (see last post) but perked up considerably when I realised that they were going to broadcast the recent Last Night at the Proms that afternoon. I stopped doing anything else and just listened to the 2nd half. I think I am more English than the English and love the great British patriotic songs.

When I first visited England in July 1974 I thought I had come home. I may have been influenced by the fact that I had just spent a month in Asia and had been stuck in Tehran as all flights to Greece (my next ticketed stop) were cancelled due to the Cyprus crisis and I spent some time in police stations having my visa extended. I was offered flights to Moscow and Beirut by different airlines which I declined but finally Swissair offered to fly me to Zurich and onto London.

Anyway listening to the Last Night on radio cheered me up immensely and I was delighted to find this excerpt from the 2008 concert with the wonderful Bryn Terfel singing 'Rule Britannia' in the amazing costume that had been described on radio. Note the Aussie and Kiwi flags can be seen waving wildly at different times. (I bet most of you cannot tell the difference.unhappy smileys)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Love to Grendel

My heart is heavy, I have been telling people I have a cyberdoggie Grendel because he said I could. Hugs to his Mom and Da and all who love him both in real life and on cyberspace.
I'm going to have a golden tail
I have to add this comment from Grendel's human guardian, Aghaveagh, over on Madpriest. I do not want to have it lost in the comments:
Grendel was a poet dog. He loved Gravy and St. Laika and Wormwood's Doxy. He fought with the Growlies (the fear of humans that comes from being abused) and while he never totally conquered them, he managed to trust and love us. He had his own blog where he talked of Love and Poetry, of Joy and the wonderful interaction between humans and canines. Oh, and Gravy.

He identified Dog Acceptors and Goopersons. He spread Joy.

He had a Great Life and touched and was touched by many.

He loved the Kittehs. He slept with them and Accepted them. No Problem!

A little dog who touched the hearts of many all over the world. And now Madpriest has created him a saint 'Saint Grendel of the Gravy'.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Walking in the Mountains

Nearly every Monday I go walking with a seniors bushwalking group. Last Monday we walked to the South Lawson Falls which are within 5 km of my home. I thought I would share some of my photos. On the left is the Adelina Falls. On the right the Cataract Falls.
Below and closest to my home are the Terrace Falls. We visited 5 Falls in all. They are not world shattering but very pleasant especially on a hot day.

At this time of the year, Spring downunder, the wildflowers are quite spectacular.
On the left are Daviesia corymbosa, in the centre(below) Grevillea phylicoides and on the right Patersonia longifolia.

An enjoyable but tiring day.
If any local expert visits my blog and finds I am wrong with my plant names, please contact me, it is not an area of expertise for me.