1. It’s a great question to ponder. i guess the start is realising that it’s not new land, or not a new frontier, if someone else is there first [which was, of course, the very heart of the ‘terra nullius’ travesty]… and if someone else is there first, we have the wisdom to listen for their story of courage

  2. Lisa Hall

    I was about to say something similar. The problem with the people who came across the seas before is that the ‘new’ lands already belonged to others and when they arrived they failed to recognise the maps that had already been written of those places. In fact if i could go back in time and stop one period of history i think it would be the era of the tall ships and explorers.

    No sure what that says about my bravery and my sense of discovery?

  3. you know you’re brave, Lisa… and you talk a lot about finding new ways of doing things. in fact, your life and your work [and PhD] are all about that.

    i think the dream of new lands and new frontiers is real for many of us. In fact I think it’s an integral part of our being human. And if we need to be dreaming of new lands to be human, the question becomes how we honour the people who are in the place we arrive, before us.

    but really, the new lands and new frontiers aren’t physical places in my world – and it’s certainly not how i read the quote.

  4. yeah I agree with you Cheryl, it’s not the point of the quote.

    But it did make me thing – putting the quote beside being new to this land, what can I learn from the past, to take into how I see new things. For example, so much emerging church stuff assumes the new frontier, but it somehow seems so much richer if we decide to get there by listening first.


  5. I think you’re right Steve. Much emerging church and fresh expressions stuff isn’t new at all – and a lot of it is dishonouring to the broader community who has been living in these spaces for a long time.

    I think it’s very sad that the stories which are publicised about emerging church / fresh expressions are most often those communities that are doing something exciting or clever; not those that are doing the hard work of listening first. Hopefully it’s not that the communities aren’t doing the listening, just that it’s not what’s being told about their story… but somehow i don’t get the sense that’s the case.

    That might have changed in the last couple of years – I’m out of those church networks and don’t read much in the area any more – but it was one of the things that has made me very cynical about new ventures.

  6. Thanks Cheryl, I’ve got a theory on that. It’s called my “from-big-things-little-things-grow-but-only-cos-we-missed-the-campfire.”

    But it’s probably best for a bar conversation.

    Here’s to dreamers who gain the gift of hearing a voice beyond theirs


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