Still thinking My Grandmothers Wisdom
My grandmother died twenty years ago last week. As a small boy, it always seemed to me that my grandmother was wiser than my parents. I had no objective facts to prove that, but intuitively I believed it. I knew that my grandmother wasnt as educated as my parents. She had finished her formal schooling at grade four. But that didnt matterthere was something in the way she treated me that seemed to communicate that she was a very wise woman.
My sister and I spent school holidays with my grandmother, while my mother cared for my three younger brothers at home. I never realized at the time what a privilege it was to have the undivided attention of my grandmother for six weeks each year. She would do the usual things one does with school aged children - trips to the pictures, visits to the Myer toy department and my favourite, dinner in the Myer cafeteria. As a child I couldnt imagine a more mouth watering meal than a meat pie with sauce, mashed potatoes and peas served on a plate with the Myer emblem at the top and accompanied by a strawberry milkshake with double ice cream.
My grandmother would walk everywhere. She never owned a car and buses were only for long distances. When my parents insisted that I walk to the local shops rather than being driven, I would complain. But strangely, walking with my grandmother was not an imposition, but rather an adventure. Her wisdom was what I would call "kitchen table wisdom." She had little time for the sophisticated discussions that happened between my mother and her children. For my grandmother, the centre of life was care for and service to those she loved. And she was a woman of routine. The washing was done on Monday, Thursday and Saturday; the carpets vacuumed no more than once a week for fear of wearing them out; Breakfast at seven, lunch at twelve and dinner on the table at five-thirty.
Meals were times for conversation and stories. Her stories, as she emptied her second pot of tea, told us who we were and where we had come from. They were liberally spiced with family faults and failures, but equally they recounted the triumphs and small victories of our forebears and relatives. Through my grandmothers stories I heard the deeper voice of identity and integrity. She never preached, moralized or criticized and yet I knew what she regarded as important in life and what she valued for her grandchildren. I am sure that it was from her that I gained my appreciation of stories, not primarily as entertainment, but as access into the real world - the world of hope and despair and the world of courage and failure.
My grandmother probably wasnt that much wiser than my parents. It just seemed to me as a small boy that her simple love for me and her uncomplicated view of the world was a goal that I wanted for my life. From my innocent perspective she never seemed to be unhappy, angry or sad. But the truth is she probably was, but she never showed it to me. Perhaps all of us can seem wise to other people when we only have a little knowledge of them.
The wonderful thing about my grandmother was that even in her last years she never tired of telling family stories. And remarkably she could tell the same story over and over again and never change a word. We sat, listened and treasured those moments with her - waiting with glee for the often heard punch line and the glorious laughter that followed.
|Sunday, 31 May at 11:30am||Interment of John Downes.||Memorial Garden.|
|Wednesday, 3 June at 6:30/7:30||Handbell Choir/Quartet.||Wettenhall Room.|
|Monday 8 June||Queens Birthday.||Office Closed.|
|Wednesday, 10 June at 6:30/7:30||Handbell Choir/Quartet.||Wettenhall Room.|
|Sunday, 14 June at 10:15am||Guest preacher Rev Dr David Pargeter|
|Monday, 15 June at 10:30am||Drop-In Card Day.||Faichney Room.|
|Tuesday, 16 June at 12:00pm||Management Team||Wettenhall Room.|
|Wednesday, 17 June at 6:30/7:30||Handbell Choir/Quartet.||Wettenhall Room.|
|Thursday, 18 June at 10:00am||Morning Group.||Faichney Room.|
|Sunday, 21 June at 11:30am||Interment of Joan Watts.||Memorial Garden.|
|Wednesday, 24 June at 6:30/7:30||Handbell Choir/Quartet.||Wettenhall Room.|
|Thursday, 25 June at 10:00am||Prayers for Christian Unity||St Johns.|
|Sunday, 28 June at 10:15am||Whole Church Family Service||Church.|
|At 11:30am||Congregation Meeting. (new date)||Church.|
|Monday, 29 June at 12:00pm||Time for Fellowship Lunch||Faichney Room.|
On Thursday June 18 at 6.00pm, David Tacey will launch his latest book "Beyond Literal Belief: Religion as Metaphor" in the Toorak Uniting Church Hall.
Meeting of the Congregation and Election of Elders Postponed
The meeting of the Congregation scheduled for May 31 has had to be postponed as the financial statements are not yet ready for distribution. The revised date of the meeting will Sunday 28 June directly after the service.
Time for Fellowship Lunch
The Time for Fellowship Lunch will be held on Monday, 29th June from 12noon in the Faichney Room. The topic for discussion will be My mother said.....
All welcome. No need to RSVP. Lenore N. & Jean A.
Encounter - Engagement - Enhancement -
Congregation Elders and Church Councillors Retreat on Saturday 1 August we will be holding a special one day workshop where we will explore our theme of Engagement. In the morning we will learn about the practices of Contemplation, Meditation, and Centring Prayer including a quiet pilgrimage around the grounds of our church.
In the afternoon it will be movie time, discussing a current film and its relevance surrounding the deeper issues in life. Everyone from our church community is invited to attend this inaugural event where we can engage with one another and celebrate the multi-faceted and vibrant community which is TUC.
Workshop from 10:00 to 3:30 with lunch provided at a reduced cost of $15. If you are only able to attend either the morning or the afternoon session you will be most welcome and encouraged to be a part of this new event. Please feel free to invite a friend from our wider community to see what TUC is all about. Engagement!
Are you interested in lodging a funeral plan with the TUC Office? It can give as little information as the hymns that you would like sung, or be as detailed and elaborate as you like. If you would like to investigate the possibilities, please contact the office on 9829 0300 or email us: ToorakUC@bigpond.net.au
News from Kinross Arts & Spirituality Centre
Home Anne Cuming
A solo exhibition of paintings by Anne Cuming sensitive responses to nature and contemplative moods.
From the artist:
My paintings illustrate ordinary scenes which portray everyday emotions that we experience and which have an impact on our perception, and contribute to the essence of our lives. It is these moments that are often so fleeting; be it a feeling of hope, a vivid memory, or a sense of nostalgia that I aim to capture in my paintings
On display in the Manse Gallery Café until Sunday, 31 May.
Surreal Encounters Sarah Clark
Enquiries to: email@example.com; tel 03 9829 0340
Open 8:30am - 3:30pm Monday to Friday.
Power & Purpose Ceramic Exhibition by the Stables Artist Co-operative
A group exhibition of ceramics by women experiencing mental illness. Each artist has been mentored by professional ceramic artist, Ann Ferguson.
Generously supported by Stonnington City Council, Toorak Uniting Church and Boroondara Community Outreach.
Opening on Wednesday, 17 June from 6pm 8pm.
Kinross Poetry Reading With Henry Dobson & Lawrie Groom
The brilliant poetry readings by Henry and Lawrie are back in 2015.
Listen, discuss and enjoy!
Gold Coin Entry.
Tour of Duldig Studio, Museum and Garden Malvern East
A tour of the fascinating and rare art collection of the Duldig family featuring sculpture and painting by Karl Duldig.
Tuesday, 23 June from 10.30am12noon, $20 per person. Followed by morning tea.
For all exhibition enquiries and bookings please telephone Lyndel Wischer on: 9829 0340 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Kinross House page on the TUC website. You are also welcome to call in to the Kinross House Office which is normally attended 10 am 3 pm, Tuesday Friday or by appointment.
Lectionary Readings for 7 June 2015, Pentecost 2
1 Samuel 8: 4 11; Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4: 13 5: 1; Mark 3: 20 35.
The liturgical colour for Pentecost is green.