200 days of pandemic life

It's been 200 days since restrictions came into place for the Covid19 Pandemic and i've been in various lockdown restrictions. I've been in a mood  for about a week now. I want to be really clear straight up, I think the restrictions are completely necessary and I am grateful that I have been kept safe and healthy from what is a very contagious virus and im thankful that by these restrictions i've been able to keep vulnerable people around me safe. 
The thing is, i've just had enough. In Melbourne, things really suck and it's still a while until things are going to get better. We have done an amazing job going from 700 cases a day to 14 a day. But its been a long 6 months. And with new clusters and little outbreaks around the place, its still long from over. 
Its been a long time of being alone, of not seeing friends or family, its been a long time of not being able to do things such as shopping or exercising the way you are used to. A long time of checking your…

Wear it Purple - My call to acceptance and inclusion

At around 25 years old, I entered a stage in life which was sort of like a quarter life crisis. I had left my ministry job in a place I loved and was feeling unsure where I was going next. I was having an identity crisis. Who was I? what was I called to and who was calling me? I searched for answers to these questions for the next few years, finding fulfilment in other ministry roles, working through being deferred from candidating for ministry, in friendships and relationships and searching for meaning in church theology, governance and polity. I blogged my confusion of identity reflecting on the popular song, ‘This Is Me’ from the movie; The Greatest Showman, explaining, “I found myself nose-deep in books about theology and found myself for the first time actually researching and reading in an attempt to understand what I was thinking.  I have found myself stripping back my commitments in hope of finding where my passions beat most strongly.  I have left communities and friendship g…

Pilgrimage in Atelier Des Lumières

When I was in Paris earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit ‘Atelier Des Lumières’, the workshop of light. It was a warehouse with a digital art show, using light and projection on the reflection of mirrors, walls and water to create images. Displaying the works of Van Gogh; Starry Night as well as other displays titled Dreamed Japan, and Verse.I am not normally one to be overwhelmed by art, I see it and appreciate the need for it but it doesn’t often speak to me.However when I sat and watched this display for an hour in Paris I was moved to tears.
The paintings of Van Gogh, flowers, irises, sunflowers, wheat fields, portraits of people, and starry night moved slowly across the walls bouncing off different features of the warehouse and I sat and cried. I had become immersed into the paintings, the colours speaking to my soul. The Japanese art began and I still found myself lost in the pictures. Cherry blossoms grew up the wall and then were blown with the wind; I too felt th…

How do you sum up an experience like Taizé?

In July this year I travelled to Taizé in France with a group of people (my friends) from South Australia. Taizéis a community in countryside France which is home to over 100 brothers who live communally in worship, service and life. Every week from all over the wold pilgrims travel to be part of the community, predominately this community of people who are welcomed are young adults. There is something special about living simply, in community and accepting the hospitality of these brothers in search for something deeper and meaningful. I wrote a collection of reflections on my trip for assessment in a guided study.  The trip was truly a life shaping trip for me. 
This week has been a different experience. There have been moments of profoundness, in conversations, reflections, songs and silence. And there have also been many frustrating moments, times where I have wished I was more honest with myself, moments I wished was different and times where I wanted God to speak but heard nothin…

Why are you still here?

I've found myself in many places within the Christian context recently that has asked the question, Why are you you still here (in church)? Why are you still a Christian? What made you stay connected to faith and church when many others your age left? Why are you still at church?

This question has been answered in the context of ministry to young people, what makes people stay in church and how do those in ministry enable space for those to ask these questions and consider what it means for them to leave or stay?

When I was first asked this question my answer was obligation. I stayed in church because I was leading in children's and youth ministry and didn't know how to get out of the commitment. I didn't want to let people down.  So I served, in any and all the ways I could to try and find faith in the leadership opportunities.  Eventually I think the answer became more than obligation. I stayed connected to the church because I was drawn to community and to a place o…

With the children...

"Well, it must be so fun and full of joy to always get to play with children for your job. Colouring in, bubbles and craft, I have the older ones-  teenagers, they are starting to have the real issues, its difficult, doing what I do, it  must be for easy and fun for you."

This was the start of a conversation I found myself in the other week, in that moment I had a choice of responses to make, I could either;
A) Smile and agree
B) shut them down, argue and tell them about the 'real issues' I had faced with the children in my care in that last fortnight.
C) smile and tell them how its not always that simple and easy but how its a privilege to walk alongside and listen to children in the joy of colouring in and the pain of life.

I chose option C.  Even though I really wanted to take option B and get all 'real issues' on them. 

You see it really is a privilege to walk alongside and listen to children, and sometimes it is fun and games and full of bubbles and craf…

This is Me - A struggle for identity

It seems that there comes a time when the question of identity is foundational in moving to the next step of adulthood.  I started this year really confident, sure of who I was and called; ready to face the next part of my life.  However what came next I wasn't ready for. I wasn't ready to be told my next adventure involved waiting and learning to articulate better. I didn't realise that this would throw me off completely, sending me into a quarter life crisis, leaving me asking questions of my identity in many different ways.

I found myself nose-deep in books about theology and found myself for the first time actually researching and reading in an attempt to understand what I was thinking.  I have found myself stripping back my commitments in hope of finding where my passions beat most strongly.  I have left communities and friendship groups that made me feel like I needed to disguise who I truly thought I was called to be, in order to feel more free. 

It has been during th…