synod reflection… monday midday


The bible reading was Luke 4:16-21… the morning bible study theme was "The gospel of social and political transformation"… and we took the catchphrase for worship "Come Spirit, anoint us to bring good news to the poor".

The side screens had images from an oppressed world. The centre screen had the scene from Whalerider where Pai walks to the whale to ride it out to sea.

People sit in table groups at Synod, and on each table we had placed a large bowl of oil.

The chaplain led the people through this reflection:


Let us worship the One who has brought us to this place… 


On your table you will notice a bowl of oil.
We anticipate that this bowl of oil will be annoying.
It’s probably already in your way.
It might spill and mark your papers.
It might mean that things get squashed or cramped at your table, that your folders have to be moved around it.
It may even damage your knitting.

Such is the way of God’s anointing…

It’s inconvenient.

It takes up all the table, if we let it – and all our lives as well.

It spills onto everything around it.

It soaks into our business papers.

It refuses to be ignored.

Such is the way of God’s anointing.

Jesus said “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

I invite you, in your table groups to spend the next couple of minutes asking God’s blessing on the work we will do together today, and then for someone from your table to write a word or symbol in the bowl of oil with a finger to represent that prayer.

(music plays: "Invocation" from COTA’s CD, ‘Ordo’)

As we continue our business today, let’s do so remembering God’s call to us… Before you get up to speak, run your fingers through the bowl of oil. Pray that God’s Spirit may touch our conversation so that together we become a prophetic community, speaking transformation to the church and the world.




  1. craig mitchell

    now, I REALLY like this. that is great. what were the reactions?

  2. Cheryl

    hard to know… no-one knew i was doing the worship (apart from those who had lived with the angst of the last few months!), so i only heard odd scraps of feedback.

    those who did know i was doing it loved it (but then they would!).

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