Category: Thinking

Tonight I successfully moved this amendment in Sydney Synod:

“Add the following words at the end of the motion–

and requests that before the book is published, the Archbishop’s Liturgical Panel further develop the four services of the Lord’s Supper to accommodate the contemporary practice of using multiple cups and common words of distribution by the minister.”

Here was my speech:

Mr President,

Jodie McNeill, Oak Flats Parish.

I rise for my maiden speech in the house, seconded by John Woodhouse.

I propose an amendment to the motion concerning the new ‘Common Prayer’ liturgical resource.

My amendment simply asks the Archbishop’s Liturgical Panel to develop the four services of the Lord’s Supper in our new prayer book to accommodate the contemporary practice of using more than just one ‘cup’ during the Lord’s Supper.

My amendment does not prescribe the exact details of those changes, but grants the Liturgical Panel the opportunity to simply include an explanatory comment in the introduction, or perhaps even better, to make changes in the rubrics, the red words of instruction to the minister.

For some parishes, this motion will simply mean that the new prayer book will reflect the fact that multiple chalices are currently used during the distribution, for the sake of efficiency.

For other churches, this proposed amendment will mean that our new prayer book accommodates the current, accepted practice of using multiple, personal cups during the service.

This practice currently occurs for several reasons.

Firstly, we provide multiple, personal cups for reasons of health and safety; many people choke at the idea of a hundred people drinking from the same cup.

Secondly, we provide multiple, personal cups for the care of those for whom alcohol is inappropriate or harmful, such as those with an addiction, or for children.

Thirdly, we provide multiple, personal cups to enable every participant to drink their cup at a common time, a powerful way for a congregation to express their unity in Christ, despite having separate, individual cups, or multiple chalices.

In relation to this third reason, I propose we ask the Liturgical Panel to have the new prayer book accommodate the preference of a minister to say one, common, word of distribution for the whole congregation.

Friends, the purpose of this new prayer book is to help keep our liturgy fresh by reflecting the appropriate development and the continuing reformation of our church practices.

I believe my amendment will update an anachronism in the service of the Lord’s Supper as it stands in the current version of this document, so that we might instead have a fresh, new prayer book that reflects the widespread practice in our churches of using more than one cup at the Lord’s Supper, and the preference of some ministers to lead the whole congregation to drink at the same time.

I commend this motion to the house.

I’ve just written an article for called ‘Is it right to see One Direction in concert?’

The aim was to help youth think about how they use their time and money.

It would be great to share it  with any teenagers you might know (or just ‘Like’ it on Facebook), as you help them think through these big issues.

This latest ‘leak’ of a blooper video showing Kevin Rudd swearing repeatedly is interesting on a few levels.

On the one hand, it’s remarkable to think that this kind of internal intellectual property could be so brazenly released. If I was Julia Gillard, I would immediately call upon the Federal Police to investigate the leak. This lapse in security is just not tolerable.

On the other hand, it’s an exercise in cultural analysis to try and work out whether the leak will damage Rudd’s reputation, or in fact, improve his image. Us Aussies seem to like the image of a swearing, drinking, sports-loving larrikin, and in many ways, this video helps show the humanity of a man who has a greater natural affinity with the chess club than the footy club.

Maybe the answer comes in the reality of the inevitable leadership spill. It will be the sitting ALP politicians who decide on this ballot, not the happy little Vegemites who make up the voting public. Perhaps the real aim of the leak was to remind the caucus of the true, behind-the-scenes Rudd, so that they remember the past and don’t repeat history.

But this is nothing new to them. Most ALP politicians seem to hate Rudd, but because they love their job more than anything, they might be happy to swallow this bitter pill.

Interesting times ahead in Australia Federal politics.

If you’ve been going to a Sydney Anglican church, or maybe been influenced by someone who studied at Moore College, then it’s likely you’ve been impacted by a view of church known as ‘Knox Robinson’, after two key figures at Moore.

My training and lecturing in youth ministry has been strongly influenced by this understanding of the church, especially in terms of what we ‘do’ when we gather.

The latest edition of ‘The Briefing’ has an excellent summary of this doctrine, and I think it’s an important read for anyone who is responsible for shaping the content and context of a Christian gathering.

Read the article in full here at The Briefing online.

Ever heard of Nature Deficit Disorder? It’s a term coined by Richard Louv in his 2005 book ‘Last Child in the Woods’.

For a powerful explanation of the effects of this disorder on our society, check out this great Youtube video:

All the more reason to get outdoors!