Still thinking Keeping a journal
I have kept a journal for over thirty years. I still have the first journal I wrote in when I was a young minister at Gailes Baptist Church in Queensland. I dont usually share what I write in my journal but here is an entry from September 1981, "the obsession with some people in studying the Bible and failing to appropriate it in their lifestyle seems to encourage an obsession with knowledge rather than experience." Oh dear, most of those early writings were about what I thought other people should be or do. They were my "considered" opinions, with a good dose of preachiness and pomposity about how the world should be.
The turning point in my journal writing came when I stopped writing my memoirs and started to honestly explore my truth. I realized that the only audience for these writings was the God I encountered in my inner most being. So for me writing became more prayer, meditation and contemplation. I could write about anything and everything and most importantly I could be honest even when the truth comes out in a confused, chaotic and inarticulate way.
Someone said that everyone needs a private place because if our lives were completely public, completely open, then we could never be truly honest. I feel sorry for people in the public eye, for politicians and celebrities who have involuntarily relinquished much of their private lives. They clean their teeth in the morning with a concern about who is watching and what they will say about how they are doing it. When public life collapses into the private we feel robbed of authenticity and somewhat shamed because there is no longer a safe place of absolute refuge from the "madding crowd" - no place where our thoughts can be real, naked and raw.
Recently, there has been a debate about the difference between biography and autobiography. Some contemporary authors have called their reflections on their own lives biography, where as traditionally it would have been called an autobiography. I hold the peculiar view that biographies written by a second person about the life of a particular person are often more accurate and engaging than the same content written in the first person. It has to do with perspective. A self portrait must always be painted by observing ones self in a mirror. So the left side of the face becomes right and the right side becomes the left and there is the ever present desire to remove all the warts. But as any artist will tell you, the best parts of any portrait are the warts, just as they are the best parts of a biography. A reviewer of an autobiography will often state that the author was courageous in describing his or her faults. That statement reflects the fact that most often we dont tell the awful truths about ourselves and certainly not for the world to read about.
So to be whole and healthy, we need a place where we can face difficult and hard truths about ourselves - a safe place away from the prying eyes of others. A place where we are not judged, condemned, or ridiculed for our half baked ideas and our partially formed thoughts. A place beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing as the mystic Poet Rumi suggests, where others are not trying to fix us, but where we can trust that the inner presence of the spirit of God will do its loving work, and for me, this place has been writing in my journal.
Welcome to Toorak Uniting Church
|Sunday, 20 September at 11:30am:||Coffee & discussion||Faichney Room|
|At 3:00pm:||Chopin & Poetry Concert.||Church.|
|Tuesday, 22 September 11:30-2:30:||JMC Spring Dance.||Hall.|
|Thursday, 24 September at 10:00am:||Prayers for Christian Unity.||St Peters Church.|
|At 6:00pm:||Church Council dinner.||Faichney Room.|
|At 7:30pm:||Church Council meeting.||Faichney Room.|
|Sunday, 27 September at 11:30am:||Coffee & discussion||Faichney Room|
|Monday, 28 September noon:||Time for Fellowship lunch.||Faichney Room|
|Sunday, 4 October at 11:30am:||Coffee & discussion||Faichney Room|
|Sunday, 29 November at 10:15am||Grandparents service and lunch.|
Concert Today - Daydreams and Torments of Love
TUC 3.00pm A romantic literature and musical event dedicated to Frédéric Chopins 205th anniversary. Featuring Sergei Suetin, pianist. Call Sergei on 0402 831 304 for details. Tickets at the door: $25 / $20 (conc).
John Macrae Centres Annual Spring Dance
TUC Spring Breakfast, 8am, Wednesday, 7 October
Our American Exchange Minister, Rev Dr Wolfgang Stahlberg, turns political as he speaks on: "The Interest of the U.S. Churches in the Presidential Race."
This is an opportunity to clarify some of the mysteries behind the US Elections!
Come and enjoy a special breakfast in Kinross House, Hodges Gallery, Cost $20.
Please Book via the TUC Office by Friday, October 2.
Refurbishment of Toilets
Renovations should be completed by mid-October. While construction is in progress, men are encouraged to use the Kinross loos and women the disabled loos off the Faichney Room. (Entry to the Faichney Room during the week is available using the concrete ramp at the Eastern entrance.)
Attention Kitchen users:
Please take care with freezing food, gently moving the drawers and ensuring that the freezer is securely shut before you leave. Thank you.
The Congregation Directory
is now available at the rear of the church. For privacy reasons, only those whose names appear in the Directory will receive a copy. Please dispose of your 2014 directory by shredding it. Youre welcome to bring it to the office where Kimberly or Catriona can shred it for you.
Time for Fellowship Lunch
Monday 28 September 12-2pm. Topic is "Advice from a male forebear." All welcome.
Roach Ministerial Exchange
The Roach Exchange provides a wonderful opportunity for our congregation to experience a minister from a different country and tradition. The Messiah Community Church in Denver is well established and well attended with similar worship and activities to TUC. It is a church in the Lutheran tradition and affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) - a progressive denomination in a traditional environment.
On Thursday 15 October, Christy Faulks will be updating us on SOSK, her charity in Kenya. Revs. Wolfgang and Liliana Stahlberg will also be there. 10.00am, followed by lunch. All welcome.
Church Fundraising stall
Sunday, 15 November, 9:30-12:00. Donations of cakes and produce essential! Contact Lyn McA or Lenore N.
2015 Christian Singles Network Conference
Visit of Jim Diers to Australia, November, 2015
The dynamic workshop presenter and facilitator, Jim Diers, from Seattle, USA will be back in Australia from 19-20 November, 2015. Jim is an entertaining and powerful teacher about effective community building. So many Australian and New Zealand communities have benefitted greatly from his input.
to read more about the tour and the workshop themes Jim is willing to present. If interested in using Jim in your community, contact Peter Kenyon at email@example.com
News from Kinross Arts & Spirituality Centre
The Australians Kinross Poetry Readings
Readings will include: Adamson, Dawe, Rosemary Dobson, Lisa Gorton, Robert Gray, AD Hope, Clive James, David Malouf, Les Murray, Dorothy Porter, Slessor and Judith Wrigh
For all enquiries, please call Henry 0478 712 881 or Lyndel Wischer at Kinross Arts Centre 9829 0340, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Solo exhibition of paintings and ceramics. Fiona is a former member of the Stables Artist Co-operative.
Sacred, Classical and Celtic Music
with Jacqui Rutten (singing, guitar and tin whistle) and Livia Judge (flute)
$20 full price / $10 pensioner & conc/children free
Tickets at the door or book at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Afternoon-tea may be purchased
For all exhibition enquiries and bookings please telephone Lyndel Wischer on: 9829 0340 or email: email@example.com 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 27 September 2015, Pentecost 18
Esther 7: 1 6, 9 10; 9: 20 22; Psalm 124; James 5: 13 20; Mark 9: 38 50.
The liturgical colour for Pentecost is green.