A number of random things that bear only artificial connection to each other:
I’ve been waiting all week for the moment when i’ll have some words to say about the trip and being back – something that ties everything together nicely and gives at least an illusion of direction in my ever-present scatteredness. I’ve had today off as recovery from synod, and i’ve been flicking through my notebook from this and last years’ trips. The words just jumped out at me, written over and over, on different pages in different years: ‘Wherever you are is the entry point’.
I wonder why it’s so hard to remember that.
Much more about this early next week, but our Melbourne Fringe Festival show is happening in two weeks – October 8, in the basement carpark, 130 Little Collins Street Melbourne. It will be open between 5 and 8.
This Sunday is Social Justice Sunday, and the theme this year is ‘I was in prison and you visited me’. There are resources to be found here for the day. I’ve had a week of hearing stories of raw pain from wrongs done. I’ve been reminded of the privilege and responsibility of being able to hold grace on behalf of those who can’t. Somehow this theme seems more poignant and important than ever before.
As the NCCA website says:
The number of people in prison in Australia (both sentenced and unsentenced) is increasing faster than population growth. At the same time, rates for most categories of offending are decreasing. These trends require us to pause and reflect on what is happening in our society and especially, who is most likely to be found in prison. The great majority of prisoners come from impoverished circumstances, often experiencing multiple disadvantage. However, most attention is given to the few high profile, even very wealthy, individuals who engage equally high profile legal advisers to secure their freedom. The Social Justice Network has produced this resource to assist individuals and congregations to be aware of the alarming facts about prisons in Australia and to advocate for a more just society.
I’ve been thinking this week, while living through synod, that we spend way, way too much time thinking through the pedantics of theology, ecclesiology and mission, searching for common ground [or uncommon ground – my personal preference]. I’m going to throw around the idea at work on monday that we pick a theme – something life changing, like forgiveness or grace or hope or reconciliation – and that we as a synod explore it for a year through all our different lenses – theology, mission, sacred spaces, art, community conversations, schools, justice… wherever you are is the entry point.
Finally, I’m reading Jaume Plensa’s catalogue from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park [so grateful to Si Smith for introducing us to the park]. His work is beautiful – mike has beautiful photos here. I love this quote from the end of the catalogue:
If you want to speak in a very generic way, you must speak first of the things you know. If you go deep enough into that process, you may reach the memory of other people… It is really so simple: if you want to speak to others, try to speak about yourself.
Wherever you are, as they say, is the entry point. Stop waiting until you’re in the right place or time to begin. If i say it often enough it might sink in.