Saturday, July 30, 2011


I have just received in the post a copy of Outspoken - Coming out in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand by Liz Lightfoot.  It was recommended in a discussion on Liturgy and at the time Rev Bosco Peters said he had a copy but had not yet read it.  Liz interviewed 11 people, I think in late 2009.  I have only read 4 so far.  Names are disguised which is okay but it is a bit frustrating that locations in New Zealand are also disguised. So far none are like me. One man and the two women (a couple) were married and have children. The other man,  James, is only in his 30's.  However I find his interview most interesting. At one stage he went to a cathedral (I would love to know which one) and asked to speak with the bishop as he wanted to be sure his sexuality was acceptable to God. The man he spoke to said the bishop was not available but would a canon do. Fortunately the canon was a sensible man and James describes the meeting as a positive experience and he left feeling God still loved him and he was able to serve God.

Unfortunately he moved to Sydney (a real named place) and the experience was very different. He made an appointment with someone at the cathedral (yes the thought of him doing that makes me shudder).  In his words:- "I think he couldn't wait to get me out of his office. His opinion was along the lines of, 'It's really wrong: don't do it and don't expect any acceptance here if you do.' So that was fine, I walked out of there. "
He dropped out of church attendance and lived a precarious life while in Sydney and attempted suicide.
This to me is an obvious result of the Jensenist attitude.
Interestingly he feels that the average congregation in Sydney is more accepting than in New Zealand while the clergy tend to be the other way. Of course most New Zealand clergy have not been brainwashed at Moore College and are allowed to think for themselves. However I have noted a tendency for those in charge in New Zealand to be afraid that if homosexuals are more fully accepted in the church it may turn others away. In the words of Caiaphas, it is necessary that some will suffer for the good of the whole.

The other part of James' interview that I found interesting was that his mother gave him the name of 3 psychiatrists. The first told him that being gay was not a problem and he did not need a psychiatrist. Unfortunately that was not the view when I visited psychiatrists in the 60's, things have improved greatly. The 2nd was in the Baptist church and told him he could be changed and sent him along to a group meeting. Fortunately a rather promiscuous friend went with him and the result was laugh out loud material. The friend recognised many of the members from the local beats and went up and greeted them by name. The third was a psychotherapist who asked if he really wanted to change and told him that apples might become oranges but they are not really very good oranges. A bit strange analogy but it showed him that he might be a rather pathetic straight guy or a successful gay guy.

James is now back in New Zealand and a member of an accepting Anglican congregation. He is walking the tightrope of being an out gay in the church and an out Christian in the gay community. 
Liz points out that it is very lucky that he went first to the canon in the NZ cathedral rather than the person in the Sydney Cathedral.  Unfortunately young gay people in Sydney do not have that chance unless they find one of the few welcoming churches in the city such as St James, King Street and Christchurch St Laurence.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vale Margaret Olley

Olley will be best remembered for her vibrant still-life paintings.

A 1948 portrait of her by William Dobell won the Archibald Prize and she was also the subject of this year's winning portrait by Ben Quilty.

Quilty is quoted by the Art Gallery of NSW as saying she was an "inspiration" and "a feminist ahead of her time".
He said Olley was passionate about social and political issues, as well as art.
"She said to me: 'I'm like an old tree dying and setting forth flowers as fast as I can, while it still can'. I think that was such a powerful metaphor." he said.
In an interview several years ago, Olley said she wanted to be remembered for helping people.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Snow in Dunedin

I moved here 18 months ago and chose to live in one of the higher suburbs above 300 metres. I was very disappointed last year when there was no snowfall before I left for my overseas trip in early August. There was a light fall the week after I left but 2010 had less snow than anyone could remember.

Ten days ago there was a fall for about an hour and I was very excited and took photos.

There was another fall two days later but during the night and it melted fairly quickly.
However today there has been quite heavy snow all day and I have made a movie (with appropriate dramatic music).

Since making the movie, there has been even more snow although I managed to go for a short walk in a break.

I am landscaping the front garden and  purchased plants last week. I laid them out yesterday but need to think more before actually planting them in the ground.

I know those who live in the Northern hemisphere will not be impressed but I grew up in the "Land of sunburnt plains"and have always dreamed of living where it snowed.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

God send comfort to Norway

I was shocked to hear the death toll was 17 but now it is 87 and I am devastated. I spent 14 wonderful days in Norway last September, 3 of them in Oslo. A beautiful and peaceful city and country.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The Diocese of Christchurch

I hope you might be able to find time to view the recent message from Bishop Victoria to the Diocese of Christchurch. While she lists the many problems she also describes the remarkable opportunities for ministry that are occurring and gives a basis for more informed prayer. it is in 2 parts, the first about 10 minutes and the second 8 minutes.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Renovations 1 - Kitchen

 Hopefully I have finished renovating the house I purchased in February 2010.
More for my own interest I have decided to do a series recording what has been done. First was the kitchen which had the biggest makeover.  The only original item remaining is the dishwasher, something I do not really need. In the first photo taken not long after I took possession of the house, the new refrigerator, chairs, toaster, jug and microwave can be seen along with the table I brought from Australia.

 In the next photo taken today, the cupboard on the right which hid the water heater has gone, the water heater is now under the house. The new stove and the original dishwasher are now there along with some narrow cupboards. I now have one and a half sinks and 3 good size cupboards underneath. There was only 1 drawer in the original kitchen.  I discovered the other was a false front, after I moved in.

 The next set of photos show that I now have a good set of drawers not just for cutlery but also for pots, pans and dishes. The microwave is now up and away from the bench.  The new stove has power points for the jug and coffee maker so I do not really need the extra power points I installed.


The final 2 photos show the new much larger pantry and cupboards on the opposite wall. I also had new vinyl tiles laid, tiles on the walls above the bench, and finally the walls and ceiling were painted but in the same colour as before.