Our blog

Aussie 16 August All round time and space

Posted by Lucy Moore on 16 Aug 2011

Click image to view more

Duncan Macleod is the other keynote speaker at the conference - a relaxed, wise, funny, godly, comfortable Uniting Church minister, who explained his job to my Anglican ears as being (sort of) the equivalent of a bishop in the Canberra area and who in his spare time writes blogs using different advertising clips to stimulate thought. He led us around the campus on a time-travelling trip from the locked room in the post-resurrection account by John, through an affluent centre-of-the-community church in Germany round about the Reformation, finishing at a present-day church which has been marginalised. Great fun. Very thought-provoking, especially as on our 'travels' we passed the chapel where the Korean church were worshipping complete with gorgeous costumes, a row of zithers and a rousing version of 'How great thou art!' with song words displayed in three languages. I have so much to learn about being a multinational global church.

We also had a fascinating dinner with a college student from the Pacific Islands and heard about the looming danger of global warming for his community, which lives on a snake-shaped island where nowhere is more than two metres above sea level and only one building has more than one storey. Imagine a whole nation of refugees if the sea level rises just a little. Of the islanders, 99% go to church and are committed Christians: perhaps one community where Messy Church isn't needed!

It is very moving that each act of worship here begins with a reminder about the people whose land we are on and who have cared for it over the centuries, in this case the Durag people. We light a candle to honour them and acknowledge their stewardship of the land. I wonder what a similar act in the UK would involve: in our uprooted society, it might be a very helpful idea to remind ourselves of those who have gone before us in a particular geographical area.

Paul and I enjoyed an afternoon thinking about all-age worship with a group of delegates in a workshop setting, with a particular Messy emphasis of course.

Not reassuring to hear Qantas is making people redundant. Hope they sort things out before Sunday (she says, meanly and selfishly, but fervently).