Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Synod and Sydney and Coffee

Over the last week some five hundred representatives of the Uniting Church in NSW and the ACT gathered at Canterbury Racecourse. The meeting took four days over which a diverse range of issues and topics were discussed and decided by the members of the church.

With such a large gathering there was a lot of diversity in the backgrounds and opinions of the Synod members. I feel that generally whilst the Synod was not particularly controversial the energy was good and people appeared to come together with the expectation of making a way forward for our denomination.

The Sydney Alliance, a growing citizens movement of various civil organisations made its presence felt at the Synod as the Uniting Church is a keen participant in the Alliance.

I am pleased to say that we are walking the walk in regard to building partnerships with other denominations, religious faiths and civil organisations such as trade unions, to make our society a better place for all people.

I was kindly hosted by my colleagues the Rev Gareth Thomas-Burchell and Rev Karyn Burchell-Thomas.
Gareth and Karyn kindly sponsored me at their local coffee shop  to a baristas course where I learnt some of the art of making fine coffee.

Kel Hodge

Sunday, 18 April 2010

I'm off on leave


From tomorrow I am on a month's leave. I will be in Bali working with the Balinese National Protestant church. I will be working in the Synod offices in Denpasar teaching conversational English to the staff and helping with admin.

If you would like to see what I am up to I have started a special blog at and hopefully I will have regular posts. It has also been set up so you can put your email address in a get the posts emailed whenever I write one.

I'll be back at work on the 17th May and will be in touch soon after that.

The Sisters Gather

This weekend I had the privilege of leading a workshop for the rural gathering of the Sisters of Charity held at the beautiful St Clements conference centre near Galong.  It was a great group of very dedicated sisters, from a number of the orders including the Dominicans, the Josephites and the Presentation Sisters, as well as the Sisters of Charity.
On the Friday night we did a drumming workshop which I found most enjoyable, even if my rhythm was not always where is should have been! On Saturday morning I did the workshop on "Hands of Hope" and it was great to explore the biblical and practical aspects of bringing the message of hope to the bush with the group.

I find myself constantly in awe of these women who have a vocation for ministry in the bush. Many of them have lived in a variety of places and continue to be called to places of need. It is privilege to spend time with them.

Monday, 5 April 2010

That Marvelous High Country

It is good after all my travels to still experience the wow factor when nature does its stuff.
A few weeks back I was following Don Burrowes (the DII Drought Support Worker) to a meeting in Tooma.
Don thought it was a good idea to stop and take some photos of the scenery and I am sure glad he did.
It was a beautiful sight with Mount Kosciusko in the background.
The people of Tooma were meeting to discuss how they might transition from a recovering community to a community that has moved on.

The Tooma community experienced a bush fire in the summer months.
Don suggested we might have a function that allowed people to move on and look to the future with joy and hope.
It was agreed to have a gathering at a date to be advised. I am looking forward to going back to this beautiful country!
Kel Hodge

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Ivanhoe Book Group kicks off


The CWA group at Ivanhoe have decided to have a book group discussion at the end of each meeting. Using the books supplied by Pymble Uniting Church as part of their "Make a difference out West" project the group has formed with a great deal of enthusiasm.

I went to Ivanhoe last week for their first meeting and it was terrific discussion on the book "Mao's Last Dancer" with over 20 women ranging in age from 19 to 80. I always enjoy people's insights into books they have read and we had quite a wide ranging discussion on china and controlled societies etc. It's just a shame that the 320km round trip mean's that I can't get there each month.


View My Stats