i try to avoid posting family stuff here, other than meal stuff. however... grace has been wanting to go tick-or-treating with friends in macclesfield... apparently its a a local tradition... we've suggested that halloween is american and pointless and blah blah blah (parent stuff). anyway, she's keen so we're letting her go...
I arrived home tonight to find that she is planning to go dressed as a rubix cube!!!! who knows why.
you should see the lounge room right at this minute. (yes, I have a photo.)
she's going to be catching the school bus to "maccy" with her friend (and her overnight bag and the rubix cube) tomorrow afternoon.
apparently people have to solve the 3 cube layers horizontally. ie. "solve me!"
being a parent is beyond me at times... you don't expect to hear "halloween", "macclesfield" and "rubix cube" in the same sentence.... (now you can Google on that and find my blog......!)
i'm not sure if i feel excited or frightened by the prospect of a sarah mclachlan christmas album. the album is question is wintersong, currently available on itunes in canada and perhaps elsewhere. of course, as far as I'm concerned, sarah could sing the phone book and it would be bliss, but nevertheless, "have yourself a merry little christmas" seems something of a comedown. a listen to the songs is a very mixed experience. i wish that she'd used that sublime voice on a few more obscure or celtic type christmas songs. still, there are a few gems in there.
anyway, over at beatport there's a remix competition for her song version of "The First Noel/Mary Mary".
The 11 tracks from "The First Noel/Mary Mary" are 16 bit 44.1 kHz WAV files ready for re-mixing. You can purchase all 11 tracks for $5 from beatport.com, or get 4 of the tracks for free. (note: each multi-track is copyrighted material). Two of the multi-tracks are also available for free download (in MP3 format) from Sarah's MySpace page.
steve and I shared the chapel service at college last wednesday. trying to plan via email and last minute conversations was a challenge, so we kind of threw it together in the last 24 hours.
This time is an open time
where past, present and future cross paths
a cosmic intersection of our stories with God’s Story
a time of finding
This table is an open table
where we may become less than strangers
and more than friends
where community tastes true communion
a table of belonging
This word is an open promise
of earth and heaven glimpsed as one
of hopes unravelled and rewoven
into a tapestry of peace, joy and love
a word of remaking
This day is an open future
where we may embrace the uncertainty of tomorrow
without foresight or fear
finding in each moment a whisper of grace
a day of discovering
God of Creation, be present at this time
Christ our Companion, welcome us at this table
Spirit sustainer, breathe words of life
We worship you.
we started the service with the white lady video from geoff and eno music, and a paraphrase of John 1 that I've written. I've used them before but not at college chapel, and it fitted our theme of jesus being an unexpected companion, so to speak.
we used mark 10:32-45, an extended version of the lectionary gospel for the coming sunday. sarah performed a telling of it wonderfully.
steve invited people to think about their hopes for ministry in the future and write them on post-it notes, then discuss them. he offered a short reflection about our hopes being ephemeral, like the post-it notes.
we had placed chairs around the walls, each with a photo of a face on either side (I collect lots of pics from books and magazines). I invited people to take a seat on one of the chairs around the room, and led people in a reflection about
- whether we give jesus a makeover into somone whom we're happy to sit with
- if we hope to be sitting with jesus, where do we find him sitting
- how the people with whom we sit shape our ministry
we invited people to name the people or situations that they were sitting beside as a prayer for others, then asked people to bring a photo to the communion table as a sign that all are welcome.
Today we will drink the cup and eat the bread
of Christ's suffering and death
but the invitations to sit at his right and left hand
are already in the post.
James and John assumed that they deserved it
We assume that someone else deserves it
but no-one deserves it at all
It's just that someone really needs it
someone truly poor in spirit
scrambling for crumbs of hope.
God of Community
we give you thanks
for you are always fashioning us into your people
your saving story tells of rulers and slaves
believers and doubters
insiders and outsiders
oppressors and oppressed
all reconciled in the saving mystery
of Christ’s life, death and resurrection
all united under the umbrella of the Spirit
We are always a company of sinners
and a communion of saints
broken and blessed
On the night that Christ was betrayed,
John sat on his right hand and Judas on his left
beloved and betrayer sat at his right and left hands.
And Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and broke it, saying,
"This is my body, broken for you.
Remember me whenever you eat it."
Later he took wine and said to them,
"This is my blood, shed to bring you and many others back to God. Remember me whenever you drink it."
In this place where heaven and earth meet
under the rainbow of God's promise,
in this sharing of bread and wine
future hope becomes reality now
So bring your scorched earth
bring your harvest
bring your open sky
bring your restless guilty waters
bring your swift unbending road
bring your urgent inner city
to the table where your host says
'I make all things new'
[words by steve and a bit from craig. we used cheryl and mike's wine bottle labels on the communion wine, and they certainly helped shape the liturgy.]
the communion table had theological textbooks and current magazines on it - a kind of 'word in the world' all mixed up - people could have read that in a number of ways
we used magnetic poetry to make blessings to say to one another.
of course, with more time it could have all been smoother and flowed better, but it was ok, and appreciated by many.
we had the very interesting steve collins here in adelaide and before that in melbourne last week. steve is from london and a part of the grace faith community, along with jonny baker. steve was in melbourne for the alternative worship "nosh" that cheryl organised, with too little help from some of us... steve writes, thinks and takes photos about alt worship and emerging church stuff. he is thankfully not a church worker (how refreshing!) He hosts alternative worship, where he has most helpfully written, summarised and linked to lots of things about... you guessed it. He also has a photo site at small fire, and his own site at small ritual.
the nosh in melbourne was an excellent kickoff to some kind of occasional, gathering space for people from around the country to explore worship and church outside the box, so to speak. great people and great conversations. dean is talking about one in NSW. I'd love to host something here linked to the adelaide fringe festival. it was both good and challenging to be in a space where people had the opportunity to shape the program themselves, much like the ethos of an alt worship community. probably the main learning was that takes time, and people aren't used to it. however, the event was refreshingly a guru-free zone, which for me is also a reflection of this loose 'movement', if you can call it that (which I wouldn't).
thanks cheryl for initiative, inspiration and hospitality that you offered.
steve has layers (like an onion, not an ogre...), and I felt that we were just starting to get to know him. although I had heard and read about grace and other communities, it was great to hear about it first hand. steve's analysis of alt worship and the communities that practise it is insightful and provocative (look here and here for a summary of some of his points in movie form). and it's nice to now read his blog and hear his voice speaking - meeting face to face does add something!
steve also talked about the shape of the church today - of church in many spaces, of faith symbols that you could hold and take with you, of church as faith communication, and of church as public representations of faith (my words, not his). I'm not sure if steve has blogged this stuff yet, but I and others found it particularly stimulating, and echoing a number of things that we've talked about of late (from the Port Arthur meditation pool to art installations, to networking, etc, etc)
my only regret, as always, is that more people were'nt there to listen and converse.
so thanks steve for your wisdom and creativity, and also the spiritual gifts that you offer so unassumingly. hope you enjoyed the rather rushed barramundi and boags at glenelg...
I made this turnip and bread salad as one of many dinner dishes at the nosh, with the wonderful help of age "manuel" greenwood, sam and annette. the recipe is from the sublime Big Flavours of the Hot Sun. I have to say that if I had ONE cookbook above the ordinary this would be it. this book is all about spices, bbq, and lots of other stuff. this is the "masala" in my blog. just brilliant, and I have lots of favorite recipes that i cook and adapt again and again.
Cut a french bread stick into 2 cm (1 inch) cubes - you need about 2 cups. Toss in 1/4 cup virgin olive oil and bake in a moderate oven until golden brown - 15-20 mins.
Boil 3 large turnips until that are just soft - about 10-12 mins. They're going into a salad so you want them a little crunchy (like good potato salad - if there is such a thing!!). Makes about 1 cup.
Make the salad dressing from - 1/2 cup virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup plain yoghurt, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, salt and pepper. (the recipe adds 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, but not being a mint fan - apart from choc mint bikkies - I leave it out).
Break up a nice lettuce (romaine, cos, whatever) in a large bowl.
In another bowl, mix 1 diced red onion, 2 diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup fresh parsley (and if you like cucumber - a diced one of those disgusting things. we left it out!)
just before serving, add the turnips, bread, and other veg to the lettuce bowl. Add the salad dressing and mix it all well.
the added extra (which we couldnt get on the day) are the seeds from a large pomegranate. we had one in the back yard of our house in horsham.
off to melbourne for a few days from tomorrow for cheryl's worship 'nosh', with about 30 people from around the traps, and the mysterious mr. steve collins from london. he's only mysterious because I haven't met him yet. i have a bag of clothes and a bigger bag of worship + multimedia junk. i should just be taking a bible, pen, paper and harmonica.......
will post after the event, which should be a great time of chatting, ideas, creating, whatever...
i am seriously disadvantaged by my laptop being at the doctors (but I have another Mac) and my video camera being broken and too costly to fix right now....
i thought, despite the risk of over-exposure, that I'd post the original poem that I wrote "God today has a human face". I realise that in a sense it's quite different from the song. I felt that an Christmas song should have joy in it, however the original poem can imagine as a proost type thing - with a slower electronic beat and a spoken voice over the top. maybe I can get jonny b or roddy h to read it for me....
so feel free to use it as a poem instead. or not.
God Today Has a Human Face
Today, God has a human face
Heaven's child in earth's embrace
Blanket wrapping grubby grace
God today has a human face
Today, hope has a human face
New life born in dusty shed
Promise crying to be fed
Hope today has a human face
Today, peace has a human face
War zone cut by infant's sigh
From Baghdad and Palestine
Peace today has a human face
Today, joy has a human face
Angels pointing down our street
Heaven swirling at my feet
Joy today has a human face
Today, love has a human face
Prodigals are welcome here
Refugees no longer fear
Love today has a human face
Today, all earth sees heaven's face
Mystery present in this place
Turning point of time and space
All earth today sees heaven's face
if rupert murdoch is good for one thing only, it is the "food of india" cookbook published by murdoch books. i bought it really cheap from one of those people who brings boxes of books around to your workplace.
the most cooked recipe in the book is the naan bread. we make it every couple of weeks and it is so simple and tasty.
In a large bowl, mix together 500 g plain flour, 2 teaspoons dried yeast, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. (I tend to use flour from our big bag of bread mix flour)
If you want to be really fancy, add some nigella seeds (kalonji) - from Indian food shops.
Warm 250 ml milk to finger temperature and add to flour.
Mix 2 tablespoons oil, 1 beaten agg and 200 ml plain yoghurt and add to flour mix. (I use the creamier Greek variety).
Fold it all together in the bowl to make a soft dough. You may need to add some more flour or milk. Knead it a little in the bowl, or if you like, put it on the bench and knead for 5 minutes (we rarely bother...)
Put in a warm place in an oiled bowl, covered, until it doubles in size.
Heat the oven to 200C or 400F. Put a baking tin with water in the bottom of the oven (stops the bread drying out).
Then flatten out the dough, knead it a bit and divide into 8-10 portions. Naan bread is tear-dropped in shape, so stretch it out a bit.
Bake on a greased tray on the top shelf of the oven, 7-10 minutes each side. You'll need to bake them in 2 or 3 batches.
We like to mix more yoghurt with Indian Mango chutney as a dipping sauce. Faaaantastic.
You will just love this. I guarantee it. I'm making it this Friday night for dinner at cheryl's worship nosh in melbourne. we're also going to do my moroccan bbq lamb, pork belly, some bbqed veg, salads, etc. my main worry is that my spice cupboard will be at home, so i may have to take a spice suitcase.... not sure how the airport beagles will cope with that!
we also made it saturday for the twins' 17th birthday.... but that is such another story!
anyway, "the food of india" is one of my two indispensible indian cookbooks (...of course I have more than two!)