Welcome! 

Loved, Welcomed, A seat at the table, a place in the lounge

The front door is open.

Drop your shoes at the door – the weariness of the journey;

Drop your bag in the hall – alongside other’s burdens

See the smiles of welcome and acceptance.

For at this table

In this place

With this host

You belong.

Seeking Stillness

Sometimes I seek stillness.
Sometimes it finds me.
(stillness)

And sometimes in the busy-ness of each day
S/stillness is the furthest from
my heart.

Rest
-less.
Restless.

So sometimes I need to take my soul
and put it firmly in its place (!) A
place
moment
room
chair
or a patch of grass
(in the shade of that tree),
… and lose the ‘less’ in my Restless.
(Seeking less ‘-less’ and more R/rest)

In those moments
the door/window/tent-flap of my soul
needs to be opened again. Wide open.
(vulnerable)

In that moment my heart might just open to
honesty
learning or growth.
Open
to the gaze of Love
and Grace
and delicious Peace.

And gaze of One
who loves me more than
I can ever imagine.
(loved)

And I find my self with less -less and more R/rest

Seeking Stillness
(Stillness, Rest, Vulnerable, Loved)

What shall I bring?

What shall I bring?

The Shepherds sought the baby in the manger.
The Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Over the years …
Artists have contributed paintings, poems, sculptures;
Families have brought their children to hear the story
and Individuals have served food to the hungry.

This year, what will I bring?

++

What shall I bring?

If I bring myself …
to this story,
to this scene,
to these characters,
sitting here quietly for 5 minutes …

How might this change me?
What questions or responses does this story invite in my heart?

++

What shall I bring?

Born in a stable, in a little town that was not his home,
Jesus came into this world homeless, in poverty,
and soon became a refugee because his birth was a threat to a leader.

What does this story, told today,
tell me about what God is prepared to do to love us?

I look at the manger scene;
I look at my hands.

What can I learn about love in this world?
What shall I bring?

Joyful Presence

Today I choose to express
Joy.
In bucketfuls.

In a shot glass or a demitasse
there is but a taste.

Joy served in a teacup is nice
and civilised
and polite.

Joy served in a mug
lasts just long enough for curiosity,
but it will only dampen the grumps
(And to be honest, it’s a bit selfish!)

But in a bucket?
There’s way too much for me to drink alone
– I’d have to share and share.
Pouring it out for others;
Looking out for those frowns and downturned mouths and turned up noses.
For Joyful presence isn’t about
Me.
Nor is it about the division of difference in
us or them.
But
us for them.

THAT’s good news for the poor
the broken-hearted
the oppressed
those who mourn.

An abundant, generous Joyful presence.

I heard it in the shopping center today: “Joy to the world”
And then I looked at the faces.
Some were smiling and content and laughing.
But too many were grumpy. Too much to do, and way too much frustration.

Written for Advent 3, 2016.  Rev Nigel Hanscamp

A Hope-Filled space

When I hope,
I’m not wishing.
For I can live without my wish.
But if I am deprived of hope,
I have nothing to live for.

Hope-full
or hope-empty?
It is not a trivial thing to have hope
or to lose it.

Hope lost or held
lost and found.
They tell us that in
war, or concentration camps
in cancer and in unemployment
hope makes the ultimate difference.
For despair is the ultimate killer.

But a hope-filled space
That is a space for a spark
or a roaring fire
or a single candle flame like this one.

You.
You have something the human race needs.
No, not your money, or your status.
It’s your hope.
Enough. hope.
Just enough.

Is that a wish?

– no. Far from it.

It is space for hope.

Still in One Peace

Some times when I meet you
I find … a peace
A missing peace

A peace of something I would like to have.
Something … still and quiet.
Not rushed.
Something that has time to pause
to observe beyond seeing
and listen beyond hearing
and read between my lines
and feel beyond the hard callouses of my opinions.

I’d love to have a peace of all the time in the world.

A peace of something
soothing like cool water on a hot day;
Or a single-origin coffee that yearns
to be savoured
with …

A peace of something that tastes like
curiosity and possibility
and a peace of contentment.

A peace of something infused with
hope and God
and grace
when all my infusions are bitter and selfish.

So bless me for a peace of that
which leaves me both
satisfied
and hungry for more

For every time I leave you
I am …

Still
in
One Peace

 

“Still in One Peace” is a reflection on a sign-off line in an email;
for a meal with the beautiful women from the Heathmont UC women’s fellowship;
with the words of Jesus who sat with them and said
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”.

Race Preparation tips #17: 4 days to go

Excitement / panic / bewilderment is building – it’s suddenly dawned on you what you have committed to … your first, or next, running event. 4 days / 5 sleeps to go. You’ve done your training … so what’s important now? Here’s my list … more or less in this order.

  • Every night – get to bed early / on time (set an alarm on your phone or watch)
  • Tuesday / Wednesday – trim your toenails.
  • Wednesday / Thursday – check the course and talk to friends and family about where they might stand to cheer you on – and where they expect to meet you afterwards (the ‘G’ is a big place!).  You may also want to check out post-race celebration spots or events!
  • Check train times or book parking (Hint: Hisense Arena do $7.50 prebooked parking).
  • Thursday / Friday – lay out your gear … pre-race, race, post-race. Remember gels, lubrication, bandaids, extra loo paper, cap, watch – and you’ll need a throw-away sweater or garbage bag for a start-line warmth and to keep out the rain. Note: Any clothing discarded at the start line will be collected for charity … so a visit to an op-shop can be a double charity gift!  If you are missing anything, put it on your shopping list!
  • Thursday / Friday – one final slow, short run before race day. Note: Both SLOW and SHORT are essential!
  • Thursday to Saturday – visit the expo and pick up your race goodies and number. Talk to the pacing team, chat to the Spartans, get lots of tips and buy some cool gear. JUST DON’T be fooled into buying something for race day that you have not tried out. Those new socks or shorts – save them for your first run after the big day!
  • Friday-Saturday. Drink water, eat healthy, get rest. Spending Saturday wandering the city would NOT be good for your race day.
  • Sunday … that’s another post!

Race prep tip #17: The last 4 exciting days!!