Edition 38, December 2012
Connecting Christadelphian Young People
Me You Him Us
The Vine is published quarterly by the Sydney Christadelphian Young People (SCYP) COORDINATOR Georgia Muir. EDITORIAL TEAM Georgia Muir, Dan Blackwood, Naomi Joseph, Cecelia Muir & Isaac Pogson. LAYOUT/DESIGN Isaac Pogson. MASTHEAD DESIGN Alisa Thompson. CONTRIBUTORS WRITERS (in order of appearance): Elise Mogg, Dave Burke, Chris Pooley, Belinda Stone, Nathan Islip, Naomi Joseph, Wayne Smith, Russel Downs, Shoshana Hindmarsh, Jake Pooley, Kylie Shamwah &Ange Pickering. PHOTOGRAPHY: Jake Pooley (pg 3), Laura McKinlay (pg 10, 12 & 22), Belinda Stone (pg 12 -15), Georgia Muir (pg 21 & 27), Ange Pickering (pg 25) COVER ART: Georgia Muir THANKS TO: Eleanor Pogson, Lachlan Fenger, Tilly Johnson, Annallese Russel, Thomas Pogson, Kira Boyd, LIzzy Pooley, Scott Morgan, Sam Hughes, Nicola Fenger, Lauren O'Toole, James DiLiberto, Martin Russel, Jordan Cubbin, Tim Mogg, Sharniie Kirkwood, Jodie Errington, Peter Nickolls, Wendy Gould, Luke Spongberg, Sam Collins, Elise Mogg & Jess Collins. The Vine is published to the Glory of our Heavenly Father, through whom all things are made possible. Opinions expressed in The Vine are the authors’ and are not neccessarily held by the Editorial Team or the SCYP. All Bible quotations are from the New International Version (1978) unless otherwise stated. e: email@example.com To view past editions online visit: scyp.net/thevine & issuu.com/scyp
FROM THE EDITOR Hi, and welcome to the last edition of The Vine for 2013! What a fantastic year it has been! We have had so many great articles this year. First we looked at our individual relationship with God and understanding the potential we have have for ourselves. Next we looked at how others see God, and how we can better understand and relate to people around us. Our third edition for the year explored God and His connection to us. In this edition we are exploring how we work together as a community and the way we all fit together. The articles in this edition are very easy to read and they all have lovely messages. I know you’ll enjoy them! As always, I’d love to know what you think, so drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org :) Have a wonderful holiday break and cya in the new year! Georgia
US EDITION 38 _ DECEMBER 2013 4
I see God
Being What We Want to See
Tim Stone Mission Fund
We Asked Them
Message From a Traveller
Sandwiches in the City
Wonders of the Deep
"I believe in God because"
I see God... I was down in the southern highlands last weekend for my cousinâ€™s wedding. It's lovely down there, very picturesque. Mum and I were being tourists, camping in a little caravan park in Moss Vale. I was looking in this brochure of all the little towns with their flower gardens and old buildings and there was one that sounded pretty nice so one fine day we headed there. It was a really nice day, sun shining, birds chirping in the trees. We drove into the town and immediately to our left was this lovely cafe. A nice big old converted house with a wrap around veranda, bay windows, purple flowered vines winding up the walls and over the veranda. There were crisp white table cloths on the outdoor tables. It was the very picture of inviting. Mum looked at me and we both knew that that was going to be the place for our morning tea.
We wandered down the street and looked at the crafts and jams and old buildings. There were other cafes but mum wasn't interested in them at all. We were going back to the one with the white tablecloths. So once our wandering had finished we seated ourselves at one of those tables with its white table cloth.
We should have been suspicious at first, looking back. You see my mum is a bit of a coffee critic. She doesn't trust a coffee shop to produce decent coffee if it doesn't smell like coffee when she walks in. It didn't smell like coffee and that was the first sign of something not quite being as it seemed. But it was so pretty and peaceful, so we cheerfully ignored any hints at future disappointment.
So our order came out to our table in fine white china cups, fancy large white plates. It looked wonderful. I had tea and it was in a little teapot with a separate cup and a little tea strainer. Mum had a coffee. We shared a fruit pie because they had no fruit toast left. The waitress didn't look at us as she slopped the saucers down on the table and returned inside.
Mum's coffee wasn't good, even in its clean white cup. So i said, "at least it's very difficult to make a bad pot of tea".
My tea wasn't hot. The tea leaves hadn't gotten hot enough to unfurl so they went through the holes of the tea strainer. So I had gritty, tepid tea. The fruit in the pie was quite good, and at least i could enjoy that, though while the pastry top looked nice and browned i could tell that their famous fruit pie was made with cheap manufactured pastry when I tasted it. The scoop of ice cream that accompanied the pie was icy and cheap. All in all we were disappointed. We had expected at least a decent standard from such a beautiful, pretty looking place.
The general style of the cafe, its white table cloths, fancy menu and white tableware had convinced us to expect something good. so had the price tag attached to our disappointing morning tea. I don't know if itâ€™s any different for you here in Sydney, but i don't think I've ever paid $6 for a cup of tea before.
It made me think of something Jesus said. Later on I found the quote in Matthew 23:25-28 where it says ""Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self- indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside 5
but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.""
While my monday morning tea is not really very important, even trivial in comparison, it talks to me of how you know that God is there. It’s not what you can see on the outside of a person, the white table cloths and pretty flowers, that display God. It’s what you taste when you drink the cup of tea. It’s what is on the inside of the person that counts. I'm pretty sure I've been told this little gem of life advice many many times before. But that doesn't mean it ceases to be important. God is displayed to me by the neighbour who offers to find a small tree branch to splint your broken tent pole and actually comes through on that suggestion, by the stranger who offers you a bed in their caravan at any time in the night if the strong winds should happen to pull down your tent.
Mum and I had certain expectations of that cafe by what we could see from the outside, like people would have of the Pharisees in the verses in Matthew with their clean cups and dishes, their perfectly ordered lives. We felt sorry for the people at that cafe because they didn't have their systems working properly. There was the potential for the place to be amazing. That was the biggest disappointment, that the cafe could have been something very special.
I see God in people, in their actions but also in their genuineness. Only God knows the intentions of our hearts. Elise Mogg
Studying Scripture with Dave Burke
Socio-historical Context (II) In Scripture we encounter traditions, customs and attitudes very different to our own. Understanding them will greatly assist our interpretation. This article looks at the cultural life of the Biblical world—the Ancient Near East, or ‘ANE’—as explained in A Cultural Handbook to the Bible (2012) by John J. Pilch. Desert When the Bible refers to a desert it doesn’t necessarily mean a barren, sandy wasteland.1 Peoples of the ANE typically defined deserts by reference to the scale of human occupation rather than climate or geography. A ‘desert place’ was largely undeveloped, with a sparse population (if any at all). Communities outside the city limits were considered of negligible value, since urban life represented civilisation as the educated classes understood it. Pilch notes that Gaius Gracchus referred to Tuscany as a desert even though it contained ‘large estates developed by hordes of slaves.’2 Another example is the story of Jesus feeding the 4,000/5,0003 which describes the location as ‘desolate’ or ‘isolated.’ This is not a literal desert as we understand it, but a ‘wilderness’ area; a place of minimal human occupation. Citizenship Citizenship in the ANE was highly prized. It conveyed unique privileges, including certain forms of legal protection. Roman citizens were entitled to full judicial process, exempt from torture, and could not be punished without trial (Acts 22:25-29; 16:37-39).
Marriage According to Pilch, ‘A good number of languages, including biblical Hebrew, have no word for marriage!’ 6 Instead the Bible uses terms which describe a change of relationship with the spouse and/or their family, such as ‘to take a woman as wife’ and ‘selects a certain man as his father-in-law.’ This concept of ‘taking’ a woman reflects a patriarchal culture, under which the female becomes the property of the male through a formal transaction7 (although Pilch assures us ‘the woman is more than property.’)8 In the Biblical world marriage was not a religious event9 but rather the union of two families through their respective representatives for mutual gain.10 Marriages were carefully arranged, usually with the matching of appropriate partners at a very young age.11 This was the parents’ right and responsibility. Betrothal carried the same moral obligations as marriage; infidelity during the pre-married state was equivalent to adultery. Literacy In the ancient world literacy was extremely rare; 90% of people were completely illiterate. The most gifted scribes were able to read, interpret and copy not just their own work but other people’s as well.12 This was essential for the preservation of Scripture and brought great prestige. Jesus’ own ability to read and write was unusual for his time, place and socio-economic status.
Yet ancient citizenship was not the same as citizenship today.4 For example, Hellenic citizenship identified a person with a city rather than a nation, and was reserved for those born to freeborn Athenian parents. In some areas citizenship was not a static concept but lay across a spectrum of entitlement.5
Most deserts of the Middle East are ‘tame deserts’, with a wet season which supports plant and animal life. ‘”It is a place inhabited by barbarians, who are by nature little inclined to live in cities.” In such an ethnocentric perspective, barbarians are considered intermediate beings between the human and animal kingdoms.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 28-29. 3 Mark 6:30-34; Mark 8:1-10. 4 ‘The Bible has no real equivalent to the modern understanding of citizen and citizenship.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 63. 5 ‘For instance, Ptolemy Is reported to have allowed those Judeans living in Egypt who were “initiated into the mysteries” to be “on the same footing as the citizens of Alexandria” (3 Macc. 2:30). Josephus insists that this was full-citizen status (Antiquities 12:1; 10.5.2), but scholars recognize that various grades of citizenship existed in Alexandria.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 63. 6 Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 111. 7 The payment of a ‘bride price’ by the groom’s family. 8 Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 111. 9 Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 111. 10 Perhaps Israel’s symbolic marriage to Yahweh is the only one which can be considered a religious union, since it was based on a spiritual covenant. 11 Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 113. 12 ‘This kind of scribe is described by Ben Sira (Sir. 38:24-39:5). The Sage first contrasts this person with the farmer, the craftsman, the smith, and the potter (Sir. 38:25-42). All of these are necessary for civilisation, but none have the status of the scribe (Sir. 38:3339:5). Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 151. 1 2
Individualism vs. collectivism Modern Western society is individualistic; it measures personal worth and success on the basis of individual achievements, possessions and rights.13 But the ANE was collectivistic;14 identities were typically group-based according to categories such as race, family, tribe, and religion.15 Aside from the traditional markers of age and gender, status was primarily dependent upon the reputation and standing of one’s family,16 hence the importance of genealogies.17 The biblical world was governed by a rigid system of honour and shame under which one person’s gain was another’s loss18 and the (unwarranted) promotion of individuals posed a threat to the stability of the group.19 Its collectivistic culture preferred consultation over individual action, though this does not imply a democratic model.20
is often correct; thus stereotypes have a legitimate place in collectivistic culture.22 The insights provided by Pilch help us to understand relationships between individuals and groups within the ANE. This is particularly relevant to stories such as the condemnation of Cain, who complained that expulsion from his community amounted to a death sentence.23 Loss of collective identity is potentially fatal in a world where safety is found in numbers and the group is valued over the individual. Look at Abraham’s plea with Yahweh in Genesis 18:23-32. Modern readers commonly consider Lot the only person worth saving, and struggle to understand why Abraham doesn’t just ask for him. Yet Abraham won’t reduce his ‘price’ below ten persons because in his eyes Lot is not an individual, but the head of a family. Thus to save Lot he must beg for them all.
Within individualistic cultures it is considered unreasonable to generalise about a group on the basis of one member’s attitude or behaviour. Within collectivistic cultures the opposite is true, since every member is considered representative of the group.21 Due to the consistency of collectivistic behaviour, this assumption
‘Individual worth is based on individual achievements or individual possessions. …Individualists value independence very highly and put a premium on uniqueness. Individualists seek autonomy from social solidarity.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 79. 14 ‘The vast majority of the people described in the Bible represent collectivist personality types. Individualist personality types are rather rare in the Bible and in Mediterranean culture in general.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 78. 15 ‘This is why appellations based on family belonging, such as “son of Jonah,” are so common in the Bible. Consider also how few Pharisees are named in the gospels. References usually are just to “a Pharisee.” For this reason, collectivist personalities are also called socio-centric or group-centered personalities. …As a result, the individual or personal worth of a collectivist personality is rooted in familial status, social position, status, or caste.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 79-80. 16 As opposed to personal merit. 17 ‘Hence, personal status is ascribed, that it, it derives principally from being born into a given family. Such a child immediately inherits all the family’s honour built up over generations, as well as all the family’s enemies! This is the point of genealogies in antiquity. They were ordinarily constructed only after a person died and became famous.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 80. 18 ‘Recall the occasion on which the mother of the sons of Zebedee requested from Jesus places of honour for her sons in his kingdom (Matt. 20:20-21). On the face of it, one might think this is a fair request in pursuit of honour. But life in the Mediterranean world is a zero-sum game. If someone gains honour, others have lost it.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 80. 19 ‘It is hardly surprising that when the ten heard of this request, they became indignant (Matt. 20:24). This is not because the mother beat these ten to an honour they would have sought for themselves. Rather, their indignation demonstrates how disruptive and harmful to the group is the desire of any member to excel over others.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 80. 20 ‘Any personal decision is made in consultation with the group and often in obedience or deference to its will. When Joshua challenges the Israelites to choose whether they want to serve Yahweh or other gods, he is not soliciting personal decisions. Notice his own judgement: “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh. 24:15). This was not the result of a democratic vote by members of that household.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 80-81. 21 ‘Because collectivistic personalities are generally not interested in individuals, they tend to accept stereotypes as authentic and trustworthy assessments of people. If one were to read Mark’s gospel and jot down the names of the people Jesus healed, only one appears: “Bar Timaeus” (Mark 10:46). Yet this is not the blind man’s personal name. It is rather his father’s name, the patriarch’s name. …All members of the household, the entire group, will be identified by the patriarch’s name.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 81. 22 ‘When he identified his place of origin, Paul said, “I am a member of the house of Israel, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city” (Acts 21:39). Trading on his city’s reputation, Paul, like all its inhabitants, could claim similar honourable status.’ Pilch, A Cultural Handbook to the Bible, 81-82. 23 Genesis 4:13-14. 13
Being What We The SCYP Code
n my job as an optometrist I see the debilitation caused by impaired vision every day – from the child who’s lost their depth perception because of a lazy eye to the 90 year old who can no longer see the faces of their grandchildren due to the effects of macular degeneration. While some of these people can be helped, there are others who are to live without their vision for the rest of their life. I’ve heard many of these people describe their situation as ‘hopeless’.
and what we’ve come up with is this document: The Code of Conduct. A simple, brief list of do’s and don’ts which if followed will ensure an optimal SCYP experience for all. Essentially, it’s a vision of what the committee believes SCYP attendees should act like and what SCYP should look like.
Hopefully, after reading it, you’ll see its main aims are to promote inclusivity and respect. In my time at SCYP the thing I’ve most enjoyed is that everyone One of my favourite proverbs is “Where there is no has the chance to express their individuality in the vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). As is often organisation and activities of this group. Unfortunately, the case in the Bible, God uses a play on words to on occasion, I’ve seen people criticised and ridiculed demonstrate a point. He calls us to fix our eyes on Him for doing just this. I’ve also seen people excluded so that we might avoid perishing with those who can’t from friend groups and even completely ignored. see beyond their own selfish desires. He wants us to This is why inclusivity and respect are emphasised have a vision of His Kingdom and the type of person throughout the Code of Conduct. This is our vision for we wish to become so that we might start being that the SCYP, as it’s only through doing this that we can person now. Without this vision, we’re ‘hopeless’. hope to provide a spiritual and social support network for young people in Sydney. I’ll be honest and say when I found out that the SCYP was now required by law to develop a Code It’s very easy as a committee to come up with an of Conduct I groaned. All I could think was ‘Great! idealistic document like the Code of Conduct but then Another meaningless, time wasting legislative fail on an individual level to put it in to practice. While initiative. Does the government really think this will drafting this document I could think of countless improve how volunteer organisations run?!’ times I’d failed to follow one of the principles I’d written down. All I can say is that I and those on the However, I’m glad I put this negativity a side and committee wish to do our best to lead by example. took an active role in working with the committee To help us do this we’ve even created a separate to develop the SCYP Code of Conduct as it’s been committee specific Code of Conduct. For those a very positive experience. When I first sat down to wanting to join the committee next year and in the draft some ideas I found myself reflecting on what years to come we hope you can accept this Code and I’ve enjoyed at SCYP, what I’ve disliked and how thrive on leading SCYP. I also hope anyone that has people have treated me there. I could think of specific any feedback and suggested inclusions will contact experiences, both positive and negative, that have me or anyone else on the committee so that our vision shaped how I think those at SCYP should act. The for the future can only be improved. SCYP committee and hosts have also done the same Chris Pooley
Want to See: of Conduct SCYP CODE OF CONDUCT Reviewed October 2013
The Sydney Christadelphian Young People (SCYP) is a Christ-centred youth group that aims to assist any person aged 13 to 30 live a purpose-driven God filled life. The activities of the SCYP are organised and facilitated by volunteering young people from the NSW/ACT Christadelphian community. Events typically occur on the first and third Saturday of every month excluding January. The management committee meet formally on the Monday before the first Saturday of the month except in January. There are hosts present at all official SCYP events and meetings. Hosts refer to those individuals who have been nominated by an ecclesia in NSW or ACT and endorsed by the NSW Christadelphian Committee (NCC) to oversee SCYP activities. It is the expectation of SCYP attendees that these hosts will be able to interact with young people. Their role involves mentoring committee members, supporting any young person attending an SCYP activity and ensuring that the codes of conduct are maintained. Hosts will also have been cleared for Working With Children by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian before receiving endorsement by the NCC. These Codes of Conduct are accessible on the SCYP website (www.scyp.net) with a copy given to the NSW Christadelphian Committee. These Codes should be issued to all new committee members and hosts. Outlined within this code of conduct is a set of guidelines that seek to ensure the physical and spiritual wellbeing of all those who attend SCYP activities (attendees, volunteer committee members, and hosts). Essentially, it is a list of ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’ that have been developed and accepted by those who attend SCYP. DO: - Use SCYP activities as a chance to build a relationship with God, Jesus, hosts, and other young people. - Treat everyone with respect and in a way you would wish to be treated (this includes all attending young people, volunteer committee members, hosts and any other person who has been invited to assist SCYP e.g. presenting speaker, caterer). - Remember to be a positive role model for anybody around you particularly to those younger than yourself. - Promote an inclusive attitude. - Respect the privacy and personal space of others. - Encourage and celebrate individuality particularly in relation to worship styles. - Show unconditional positive regard for other SCYP attendees even if they are exhibiting challenging behaviours. - Report any abusive or inappropriate behaviour to a host - Arrive on time and pay on time for all SCYP events. - Participate in all SCYP activities you attend to the best of your ability - Participate in all formal activities at each SCYP Camp you attend - Encourage friends and family to attend SCYP activities. - Look for opportunities to serve and assist other young people. - Look for opportunities to become involved in the running of SCYP by approaching a host or volunteering committee member. - Report any concerns about the safety of individuals or an activity to a host. DON’T: - Act or speak in any way that may make another attendee feel unsafe or unwanted. - Encourage or engage in gossip. - Single out another young person by mocking or ridiculing them. - Belittle or criticise another young person for using their unique skill set or interests for God. - Bring alcohol, cigarettes or any illicit substances to SCYP events. If you observe any SCYP attendee using any of these substances you should inform a host. - Leave an SCYP event prior to its official finish without informing a host. It is unacceptable to tell one of your friends and/or ask them to advise a host for you. 11
Tim Stone Mission Fund On the 7th is August 2011, in Christchurch NZ, Tim Stone passed away at 29 years old. From these tragic circumstances the Tim Stone Mission Fund (TSMF) was born. The first project that the Mission Fund wanted to take on was something based in Vanuatu - Tim had been there before and had spoken about wanting to go back and do some mission work. After speaking with the ACBM and locals it was clear that a permanent mission house was needed in Port Vila. The rent required to keep the existing mission house was quite high and as a result funds for preaching and outreach in Vanuatu were limited. Land was purchased, drawings were completed and a quick trip to Vanuatu saw building approval obtained in two days! Phenomenal! The call for building volunteers was sent out and the response we got was incredible! Over 64 helpers flew over to Vanuatu during the 3 month period, volunteering their time, money, skills and enthusiasm! Matt Wiltshire (Charlestown Ecclesia) committed to spending the entire 3 months with us. We are so thankful for his skills and amazing work! During the 3 months there was an average of about 15 people at one time living in a 4 bedroom/2 bathroom house. The most we had was 45 (15 Aussies and 30 local Christadelphians)! There was one gas burner and one frying pan to feed all these mouths, no hot water, no washing machine and an unearthed power supply! Despite all this we had the most incredible time with friends from Australia, and getting to know our Vanuatu Brothers and Sisters. The love and kindness that they showed towards us will be remembered forever!
Vanuatu is the most beautiful place to live - smiling faces, easy going locals, and a tropical paradise. But building over there had its challenges. The concept of time and urgency simply does not exist. If you requested for materials be delivered to the site as soon as possible there was no guarantee that they would arrive that day, the next or at all. Also, the skills of the local contractors as well as their access to modern equipment is very limited. The entire building structure is made out of concrete as well as the foundations and the render. All this concrete was either mixed by hand (when the intermittent power supply failed) or several concrete mixers. No luxury of a readymix concrete truck and pump! In 3 months the hall was up and running. Walls were lined, bathrooms were tiled, water and power were connected, doors were hung, an undercoat was put on the walls and the first memorial meeting was held! A very emotional event! Throughout the whole process one couldn't help but think how God might be working in all of this: -The land was found and purchased on the last day of a five day visit. -Building approval in two days. -Enough money raised to purchase land and commence building within the short timeframe. -Building during Vanuatu's 'wet' cyclone season was going to have its challenges. During the initial stages of building there were about 3 days where the weather affected us. Even the locals would comment on how unseasonably dry it was. As soon as the roof was completed the rain began but this no longer had such an impact on us as we could now work under the roof! -Enough volunteers and suitably skilled people coming just at the right time. -No serious injuries or illnesses. -The right materials being in stock at the right time producing minimal delays. As is often the case with mission work, you get out so much more than you put in. This has been so true in our experience in Vanuatu. There are so many preaching opportunities there and we hope that many will take advantage of the new facilities and visit Vanuatu in the future. It is an easy flight from Australia and New Zealand, and there is plenty of room - two ensuite bedrooms and two dormitory style rooms (sleeping 8 per room) each with a bathroom. Visiting will not only help encourage the local Ecclesia to grow but will also help encourage you through a truly uplifting experience. In 2015 there is a combined Pacific Youth Conference to be held in Vanuatu, currently in the planning stages. There will be young people from Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands and hopefully plenty from Australia! If you are interested in heading over to Vanuatu for this conference, or please contact us any time at email@example.com. We pray for God to continue to bless this project and for the good news of the Kingdom of God to spread through the pacific. Written by Belinda Stone
Poetry Corner - stain you, me us, them it's all just the same in the end in, out for, agin' it's always your own you defend but where does it leave us and who stands to gain from invisible lines that exclude or retain the spirit is one the sacrifice done and our own hands still carry the stains
- distant in the solace of the night peace streams through the dark a stillness of mind transcending the pain connections defined that comfort again for while alone in the gloom and the debris of my room a distant prayer leaves its mark and bathes me in beautiful light
- gather I gather the ones who have ties that draw from me and muster their oneness in mounting array we count and compile to decipher the number then place deep amongst them my own cabaret the dance lifts in rhythm the sound drowns the night from the mass I move with them in one glorious sight I look 'round their faces, then blend with the scene in the praise that unites us with those that have been.
- need at the heart of it all I need you it's hard to admit but it's true I try to stand tall on my own here but then falter and fall from the fear so stay by my side till this struggle's defied and the state of my mind is renewed.
Naomi Joseph Immeasurable elements are in motion Immovable mountains hang in balance Unprovable questions are asked and demanded Infallible proofs are challenged
Earth Water Sun Sweat
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
Unquenchable elements rise and fall Immeasurable doubts lie still Omniscient truths swing suspended Imperfect hearts are opened and filled Fire Blood Tears Love
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my motherâ€™s womb.
My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.
The earth turns and I think of you Brother Lover Mother Child Time turns over Space spans And I think of you
Ecclesiastes 7v2 Better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to the house of feasting, For that is the end of all men; And the living will take it to heart.
The earth stands aside for love.
Waiting for my Wife to Die - Wayne Smith I'm waiting for my wife to die. Don't understand. Don't know why. It makes me cry Insidious cancer eats away, Her life force losing every day, January, February, March April, May. Time marches on, into June. This dance of death, its own dark tune. I pray relief might be soon. Her life-breath breast, the rise and fall. On her beautiful face, death's ugly pall. When will it come, that final call? Cancer's pain, the needle's sting, The morphine haze clouds everything. Relief and torture it will bring. The final insult now we find. Evil torment of her mind.
This cancer death is so unkind. Where in God's plan did cancer fit? A real faith challenge. Every bit. Sometimes I really want to quit. In death's dark vale no ills fear I. But I'm not waiting here to die. I lift my heart toward the sky. Your mercy Lord is what we need. Beside still waters gently lead. Even death itself Your word will heed. I think of Christ. The death he died. And in the garden the prayer he cried. God's will must always be the guide. I'm waiting for my wife to die. Don't understand. Don't know why. It makes me cry.
- Written as I sat beside my beautiful, wonderful wife, Jilly 4/06/2013. She died 9 days later at 6:00am 13/06/2013 surrounded by love and now awaits the resurrection. 17
We asked them: "What did you get out of the November SCYP class?"
Lachlan Fenger "I thought that it was cool that we need to try to see god in the little things and that we shouldn’t put off doing things with God."
Eleanor Pogson "One of the things that the talk brought to mind again was the importance of bringing God into everyday life. It's so easy to just think of him when at church and youth and discard him for the rest of the week creating a very one-sided relationship. It's great to be able to exercise his inclusion and put God 'into play' in everyday life even if it means hard work."
Tilly Johnson "If you practice being close to God then you will be close to God."
Lizzy Pooley "God is in the everyday and he wants to be in our everyday. All we have to do is open our eyes, mind and imagination. God wants us to live and breathe him while we are cooking, studying, working out or cutting our toenails. He cares about everything that we think and do!"
Annaliese Russell "I like how Phil said about how there are people willing to die for their religion. Like 9/11even though it was a horrible thing... They die for something they believed in. I never thought about it that way. Also how Phil has pointed out that there are reminders everywhere I've noticed them all the time now haha."
Thomas Pogson "It is possible to see God in almost every aspect of your life. He is showing His love and majesty so often, we just have to open our eyes to it. He is in just about everything we see and do - and often it takes a perspective shift to recognise that He is there. If you look for God in your everyday life you WILL find Him often we are just not really looking or not getting the connection. Don’t forget to incorporate Him into your everyday life."
Kira Boyd "Try and include God in everything you do, and think about Him in your everyday life and see if he sends you signs and stuff."
Scott Morgan "Tonight I got that we should really focus on our strengths, and if we’re struggling with something we can’t do we can ask other people with that strength to give us a hand."
Living On The Edge Jonathan Burke Review by Russel Downs (based on a sample version prior to publication)
If you are completely happy with your faith and are not prepared to consider challenges to faith then this book may not be for you. However if you would like to do a better job of helping someone (maybe even yourself ) who suffers doubts, or has not been prepared to commit to a life in Christ because they have had unanswered questions then this book could be a valuable tool for you. It is also a useful preaching aid for engaging Christians with doubts about their faith, particularly those unconvinced by popular theology on topics such as hell, the trinity, and satan. Examples of the type of questions that the book answers are: - How can we engage the arguments of the “New Atheists”? - What are the best responses to suggestions that the Bible contains historically inaccurate information? Brother Burke is the archaeology editor of the Christadelphian e-Journal, so his contribution in this area is valuable. - Does science challenge a Biblically based faith? - Does Biblical teaching on the role of women lead to out-dated harmful male oppression? - What should be our response to homosexuality? - How can we answer the problem of evil and suffering? - Are there positive ways that we can make use of the enormous advances in understanding of the Bible texts since the King James Version, the current edition dating from the 18th century, and Strong’s Concordance of the 19th century? For example the Dead Sea Scrolls contain a vast amount of information. The list is not exhaustive because this is a lengthy book. It is 600 pages long including 100 pages of bibliography. A very unusual feature of the book is the extensive use of footnotes. These are designed to be actually read and take up more
room than the main text. They provide extensive evidence to support the claims that Brother Burke makes. This is vital when engaging non-Christians, or when challenging Christians to rethink their doctrinal convictions. The footnotes are a rich supply of material for public lectures and preaching material. More important even than the particular insights provided is Brother Burke’s approach. He is comfortable with engaging in scholarly arguments. Such engagement has unfortunately long since ceased to be normal Christadelphian practice, as it was for example for Brother Roberts. Many of our doctrines were originally on the fringes of Christianity, but Brother Burke shows mainstream theologians are now increasingly supporting the Christadelphian view on most of our doctrines; God and Christ, the immortality of the soul, heaven and hell, the atonement, satan and demons. This is a stunning vindication, proving our community was 150 years ahead of mainstream denominational theologians, and that we were right to maintain a steadfast conviction to our beliefs despite originally being overwhelmingly opposed by the rest of Christianity. Imagine the embarrassment if we had taken the easy ecumenical route and relinquished our original faith, only to see mainstream theologians support our beliefs after we had abandoned them. Though this is a lengthy book, some subjects have been omitted, particularly those considered controversial in our community; evolution is not addressed or discussed anywhere in the book at all. Living On The Edge is an important book that any serious Christadelphian would be well-advised to read.
Message From a Traveller Shoshana Hindmarsh Hi SC Y Recen P! t the fam ly we gave o lling f ily challen urselves ge of t rom B ravelin on arcelon b 4000k icycle. It w a to Bera it craz m ride, but w s a crazy i year o er was we to hat made The Vin ld dau e, w behind ghter A ed our 2 buggy us in her “m maya 84 Sh aftesb suppor ”. Our ride w agic ury R t of an a s i oad n called a w esome Burwo Clinic N GO od, NS a Verd in rur a e W 278 ides he l Nicaragua , a clinic 3 alth ca that pr A u stralia re for m ovothers. ..
...and kids who wouldn’t get any otherwise. We rode around 50km a day, cooked all our own food, and camped in our little 3 man tent at night. It was a simple lifestyle of living day to day, always being at one with nature, and having next to no material possessions. Thinking about who we were supporting in Nicaragua made us really appreciate the undeserved privileges we have in life, but also realise how these privileges come with a hidden poison of needlessly complicating our western lives. We cloud what is really important with
too many social engagements, too much stuff, and trying to keep up with everyone who is around us. Stepping away from a world where being busy is viewed as “successful” or “popular” was refreshing. It allowed us time to appreciate small blessings. A foal galloping in the paddock with its mother, the sweet smell of warm barley in the hot summer air, sunshine after rain. Quiet times in the countryside gave us brain space to reflect on how we prioritize things back home. Now we are trying to de-clutter and simplify
our life so whats important doesn’t get unintentionally squeezed out of our weekly timetable. Of course you don’t need to ride thousands of kilometers to think about these things, all it takes is a quiet moment down at the beach, a weekend camping trip, a walk around your neighborhood, or even a few deep breaths and deliberate pause in your lounge room. To read about our adventure you can visit www.babyonabike. com
Sandwiches in the City is an activity based around service and giving to spread and show the love of Jesus Christ to the world. It aims to feed the homeless and give them someone new to talk to and acts as a great service to the people in need around the city area. It all starts at Shaftesbury Rd Hall where we make about 70 sandwiches to take with us to the city, after which we travel to the city and walk around to give sandwiches to homeless people, in particular around Martin Place and Woolloomooloo. It’s an amazing activity that’s a lot of fun, uplifting and you’ll never hear stories quite like the ones you receive from a homeless person. There are always interesting people you find with incredible stories and funny offers and personalities. One man who always pops to mind is a man called Cookie. He always has something to say, and he will shake your hand and offer his services if you find any trouble, he even offered his daughter to me once who was apparently a model. There are always interesting people, great stories, but most importantly a whole lotta giving and love. It’s a fantastic activity that needs people and it is unique every time around. Jake Pooley
Wonders of the Deep Do you ever wonder about the amount of life and activity that goes on where no-one may ever see it? We saw somewhere that man knows more about space than the depths of the oceans, which cover two thirds of the planet. But when some brave person with lights and camera ventures into the wilds of ocean or wilderness they come back with pictures of incredible complexity, wonder and beauty. Er.. no-one sees it ? Well, that is not quite right. God pointed this out to Job when he was fixated on his own world and had forgotten, perhaps never thought about the fact, that God has bigger jobs to do than just any one of us, including creating and looking after things not only out of our sight but out of our knowledge. The flower which blooms in the desert “where there is no man” cannot be for the admiration of men, and though the bees may appreciate it, they do not thank Him for it. To put it another way, God is not a Pharisee, performing only for praise. Curiously however, He knows we need to praise Him, it is good for us, so He cannot put ALL of His wonders out of sight. He puts some of His world on display, and hints that there are unseen wonders too. More specifically, there is another place where He grows things where men cannot see, and that is in our hearts. Our friends may not see what He is growing in there, but God does. Don’t get depressed. (Job 38/26; Psalm 92/1; 1Peter 3/4; 1 Samuel 16/7). Kylie Shamwah 21
"I believe in God because ..." 22
Jordan Cubbin "Amazing people and amazing acts!"
James DiLiberto "The Christian worldview is philosophically cohesive because it is logically consistent, empirically verifiable, and experientially relevant. The combination of these underpins my faith and gives me confidence that what I feel in my inmost being is correspondent with reality and truth and not a figment of my imagination and clinging to straws. http://vimeo.com/47662226"
Sam Hughes "I believe in God not because of any of the evidence that exists but because a world without God to me has no purpose no hope no future. we just are born live meaningless lives and then die meaningless deaths. and i would rather spend my life believing something with no proof that gives my life purpose and hope and a future, than go through life without that hope."
Jodie Errington "LOVE"
Elise Mogg "I believe in God because he is everywhere!!!"
Nicola Fenger "I believe in god because of the amazing human body!!!"
Wendy Gould "I believe in God because He brought me here tonight to answer my prayer."
Tim Mogg "I know God because of my family. I believe God because: --humans are amazingly made, both physically and intellectually, - and so different from all the rest of creation, - and they have eternity in their hearts, ( wether they admit it or not). - I have faith that god created us, and wants to save Us."
Peter Nicholls "I believe because of my family"
Luke Spongberg "I believe in God because he has chosen US to be in his Kingdom, Also he is a loving father to us"
Martin Russell "Prophecy and the faith I see in others" Sharniie Kirkwood "I believe in God because he answers my prayers, He works so much in the world and He gave me His son!" Sam Collins "God answers prayers!!!"
Lauren O'Toole "Amazing animals!! http://theoatmeal.com/comics/mantis_ shrimp"
Jess Collins "I believe in God because....why wouldn't I!!!
...Because of this too" --->
keychange 2013 connect
meet, eat, share, discuss, be with likeminded believers
worshipping God & Jesus in spirit and truth
inspire others, be inspired
imagine, create, play
learn develop, refine,explore, empower others
Yesterday we had Rosie, Josh & Blake over rehearsing for the final performance to be recorded for Ari Ben’s new album. We were talking creativity, collaboration and special musical moments, and it made me think of a night in New Orleans when Ari & I chanced on a tiny little jazz venue where fifteen or so musicians were crammed in a shopfront window with all manner of instruments. As the night wore on these incredible musicians moved off the page and into a world of improvisation so mesmerizing that the whole room progressively hushed, dancers paused to sway in place and bartenders left cocktails unpoured to share in the moment. We all stood transfixed, well beyond the final note breathed long and low through trombone and saxophone. It hung on the air, as musicians and listeners alike wiped tears from their eyes and looked around at each other incredulously, appreciative of life and the opportunity to be in that place at that time to be part of that one creative moment. For me, this is what the keychange movement is about. When I first turned up at SCYP in 1995 (eeek were you even born) I was totally inspired by the idea behind c.a.t. (Christadelphian Art Trust), connecting people together and sharing creative resources, appreciating that both our communal and individual lives are richer when artistic expression in its many and varied forms is encouraged and finds new ways to praise. Since then I’ve seen an explosion of arts within our community, and in recent years particularly in the music space – including SCYP’s very own Praise in the Park. John Dennes decided it was time someone did something about the idea of an arts conference that’s been talked about for years. So he made it happen. He called a bunch of friends together and said we’re doing this, let’s start with a weekend. So we called it keychange and got planning. Keychange is about gathering people who love arts & worship to share ideas, creativity and energy. It’s about taking it up a notch, in terms of excellence and the passion we bring to worship. It’s about enjoying moments of worship as they happen, whether surrounded by many or where two or three gather together. Our first keychange weekend in August this year focused on music in worship. More than 80 people turned up from all around Australia, multiage, from lots of different backgrounds and ecclesial environments. It was an awesome weekend. Everything on the jam-packed program was optional - the idea was to provide space to connect, inspire, create and empower worship of God and Jesus. Some musos went to all the create & empower sessions they could fit in, some grabbed coffees and joined conversations in the connect space, others sat on the grass and wrote songs on their guitars, others gave inspiring talks and musical performances. Even the food was amazing. Artsy decorations made Saturday night worship even more special. Sunday’s memorial celebration with Baringa was intimate, honest and warm. We were super grateful to have Joey Cheek (Adelaide), Ari Chand (Newcastle), Isabel Melles (Melbourne) & Megs Harrington (also Melbourne) staying with us, which kinda speaks to the diversity and talent of the crew that were there. Deciding to write a song with these guys at 3am was definitely a high point, and it’s that kind of stuff you remember over the years. As Picasso said, “Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up”. So my message for you is simply - create your own #keychange - John did it, and so can you. Get creating! Ange Pickering 25
C R O S S W O R D ANSWERS
BIRTHS Zahlia Ivy (Steve and Kezia Wolstencroft) Owen Ross (Katy and Colin Grisdale) Silas (Shem and Emily Jamieson) BAPTISMS Tallara Kennet (SA) Laura Nedelkovski (Moorebank) ENGAGEMENTS Emily Collins and Brenton Stokes Luke Carroll and Naomi Schofield Philemon Burney and Fiona Hale Sam Collins and Sally Thompson Simone Bartholomeusz and Blake Morgan WEDDINGS Jess Collins and Chris Pooley James Lynch and Jess Ginn Zac Carroll and Sara Wigzell Fozzy Foster and Laura Rassmussen Rosie French and Murray Palmer