Thursday, July 27, 2006

woo-hoo! results at last!

Today I finally received my uni results from UFT in the mail.

I was very excited to receive Distinctions for both Intro to Old Testament (which I had already worked out from the marks I received from my two assignments), and Biblical Hebrew (a lovely surprise really! I thought I might get a Credit if I were really lucky), and a Credit (only a few marks short of a Distinction) for Groundwork in Theology.

So, in the space of a single semester, I have doubled the total number of Distinctions for my whole academic career... I should have studied Theology instead of Science in my earlier incarnations as a student!)


Preachin', preachin', preachin'...

Since coming to Melbourne I have had a number of varying opportunities to work on my preaching skills.

In addition to preaching classes last semester, I also had the privilege of preaching at Burwood Uniting Church.

This coming Sunday evening I will be preaching at Queen's College Chapel service. The brief I have been given by the Dean of Chapel is:

"As it's a service of Holy Communion, it will be a short sermon: about 7 to 8 minutes. And it would need to be fairly simple, as the people there are emphatically not theologians."

No worries... I think I can handle that... theological depth, presented simply, all in the space of 7-8 minutes :-)

Next on the agenda after this will be a Sunday in August leading worship at St Kilda Uniting Church.

If this is anything to go by, I expect there will be lots of varied preaching and worship leading experience to be had throughout the duration of my training.

Monday, July 24, 2006

... still waiting ...

*sigh* my uni results from semester 1 still haven't arrived. :-(

Just call me 'tragic'

I was having a conversation with a friend about a fortnight ago to try to arrange a night to have him and his family around for dinner. Because he and his wife have young children, he suggested a Saturday night would suit them best. He then told me that they were booked up until sometime in mid-August.

Fair enough, I thought, and got out my diary to suggest dates when I would be free, and that he could consider... as I looked in my diary for the months of August and September, I noted that I was free for 3 out of the 4 Saturday nights in each month.

If I were say, 10-20 years younger, I would slap myself around and tell myself to get a life... but as it is, I am quite content to sit at home on Saturday nights, in front of the nice gas fire, with a strong mug of coffee... (and after all, Dr Who is on TV on Sat nights now!)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

oops... did I do that?

I know I have a powerful mind, but...

With all the excitement of settling into my new abode in Brunswick, the one negative thing is the fact that my car parking space seems to be the communal toilet for every single bird in Brunswick. Every morning there are multiple new deposits all along the driver's side of my car.

This morning, I was speculating about possible alternatives to resigning myself to the fact that my car will wear a permanent coating of bird crap for the next 2.5 years:

1. do some serious pruning of the tree in my yard, to remove all the branches that overhang my car space.

2. get an air gun and shoot all the lurking birds (a somewhat desperate and violent measure, I know) .

3. as I sat looking out my window, and saw a bird sitting on the wall of my courtyard, I contemplated throwing rocks to scare it and all its mates away...

Then, this afternoon, I was feeling virtuous by doing a load of washing. As I put it out on my clothesline, I noticed a dead pigeon lying outside the back of Susan's flat (next door to mine). I have to say that this did prompt a guilty thought that perhaps the negative vibes I had been generating towards the birds had borne some practical consequences. :-(

Oh well, I guess I'll have to work on a more creative solution to the problem of bird crap.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Waiting ... waiting ...


I'm still waiting to receive my semester 1 results. They were supposed to be sent by email yesterday, but as the UFT Registrar has been on extended sick leave for a number of weeks (and is only just back at work on a very part-time basis), I suspect things have gotten a little behind.

God grant me patience ... but please hurry!

My first houseguest

Woo-hoo- this weekend I will be having my first houseguest at my new Brunswick abode. Avril (one of my former neighbours in Kew) is now living in Gisbourne and will be coming to 'town' for the weekend.

I have just made up the bed, and was greatly relieved that the sofa bed does in fact fit in the guest room in its opened-up state, and hopefully my guests won't find it too squeezy.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I'm taking a HOTTIE to bed!

For those of us who don't have the luxury of sharing our beds with another warm body, we have to find other ways to warm our icy cold feet at night.

Since buying my Queen bed a few years ago, I never quite got around to buying an appropriately sized electric blanket, and so resorted to the oldie, but goodie, hot water bottle.

The other day, I noticed that the inside of my hot water bottle was starting to perish, so, after about 3 years of faithful service, I decided I needed to retire the 'red hot' water bottle.

So ambling into Coles yesterday, I went in search of a replacement. There was only one in the supermarket, so it must have obviously been meant for me.

It is a very sexy black, but the biggest crack up is that it is called a "Hottie".

So, when I talk about going to bed with a lovely black hottie... you now know what I mean ;-)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tragic humour that made me laugh

Last night, I happened to catch a bit of Rove Live on TV (I know, talk about True Confessions, but you already knew that I am a junk TV tragic, didn't you? :-)

Anyway, there was a comedian called Akmal, who was talking about a time when he lived for some months in Jerusalem. He said that "The Holy City" was largely a huge marketplace, where vendors of different curiosities worked very hard (and often aggressively) to sell their wares. He said that in the "Christian Quarter" of Jerusalem, the markets were packed with all kinds of what I would call "Jesus Junk"... all manner of gimmicky items, bearing either the shape of, or a picture of, Jesus.

Akmal commented that one day he was in a mischievous mood, and decided to give one of the vendors a hard time, so went into a shop and asked the vendor if he had something, in the shape of Jesus' head, that was a juicer, that he could use to squeeze the juice from an orange.

He said the shop vendor thought for a minute, and sadly told him that he did not have such an item in his store... "but I can see that there could be a market for something like that.... and we could call it THE KING OF THE JUICE!"

I know it's tragic, but I just HAD to laugh.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Life in the midst of death

Today, as part of the pastoral care course I'm currently doing, our class went on a field trip to a funeral director's centre for the morning.

We heard from the manager, the community education officer and one of the embalmers, who helped us to understand how things work both practically, and pastorally, when someone dies, and the funeral director is called to manage the funeral. It was a worthwhile and enlightening experience.

Afterwards, as I was having lunch, I checked my phone, and had a text message from my mate Al-Pal in Adelaide, announcing the arrival of his (and Heather's) second son. Sam Alan popped out into the world at 10:12am today, weighing in at 6lb.

Congratulations to Al
and Heather (and big brother Jacob)!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sometimes ya just gotta sing!

Today I sang in my first concert with the Melbourne Chorale. It was a performace of Mozart's Great Mass in C, which I have never sung before.

It's been great to be singing again, after a bit of a break since my move from Tas, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was able to sight-read the Mozart (as sight-reading has never been a real strength for me), and how quickly I picked it all up generally, especially as I joined Chorale after they had started rehearsing the Mozart, and I missed a few rehearsals when I was in Tassie on holidays.

I'm gradually getting to befriend some of the other members of the choir (altos rool :-) and that's been good too :-)

Later in the year we will be performing the Rachmaninov Vespers, which will be the first opportunity that I've had to sing the whole piece, having sung some parts of the Vespers in the past (and I just LOVE singing in Russian, so that will be cool too :-)

If you'd like to check out details of future concerts, see the Melbourne Chorale's shiny new website.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sacred Space

Sacred Space is a daily online prayer resource, created by the Irish Jesuits, which guides you through an Ignation-style prayer each day. It can take as little as 10 minutes or as long as you might like to spend on it.

I was introduced to Sacred Space by a lecturer at Theological College, and have found it a useful tool to help me connect with God in my prayer times.

So now, I share it with you:

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Today I collected my second assignment from my Semester 1 Intro to Old Testament course from the Faculty office.

I got a mark of 40/50, and whilst this is rather good in itself, when added to the mark of my earlier assignment (37/50), it adds up to an overall mark for the unit of 77% which takes me into Distinction territory!

In my whole academic career, I've only ever had two other Dns, and so I am pretty excited :-)

I will receive official notification of all of my Semester 1 results sometime next week, so am waiting with baited breath to see if I have also managed to get over the Distinction line in my Theology subject.
(so you may feel the earth move as I bounce around again if I do).

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Goodbye Kew, Hello Brunswick

Yes, I have moved house! After returning home from my Tassie holiday last Sunday, I had only 3 days to pack all my worldly possessions ready for the big move on Wednesday. I was exhausted before the removalists arrived, let alone by the end of the day!

I was grateful for the help of my fellow-student, Linley, who spent most of the day helping me with the move, and unpacking the kitchen, whilst I went back with the removalists for the second load from Kew.

By the time it was all unloaded and the removalists had left (around 5pm), I was feeling rather over the whole process, and had decided that all I would do would be to make up my bed so I could sleep, and set up the TV so I could veg, and that would be enough for the day.

As I was pondering what to do for dinner (as I didn't really have anything in the fridge, and couldn't be bothered cooking anyway- and had to go out to a choir rehearsal that night too), I looked up, and saw Michael, one of my neighobours (also a fellow student) coming to my door, with a plate of lasagne in his hand, as he said he and his wife thought that I wouldn't really feel much like cooking.

It's amazing how such a simple and seemingly insignificant act of kindness can have such an impact. As Michael stood there, I almost burst into tears with gratitude. It was almost like an answer to prayer before I even knew what to pray for. :-)

My new abode is rather nice... upstairs are 3 bedrooms (albeit small ones... so in the main bedroom I can fit my bed, but not much else) and the bathroom which has a separate bath and shower.. Downstairs, the living/dining room is quite spacious, with a separate kitchen, laundry and downstairs toilet. I even have a little clothes line just outside my back door and a fenced in courtyard at the front.

There are 5 units in the block - 4 are occupied by ministry candidates, and the other one by a couple who are post grad theological students. There is an existing culture of hospitality amongst the residents here which includes things like sharing food (such as the lasagne from Michael on my first night, apparently the practice is that if someone makes a big batch of a particular dish, they share some of the leftovers with the neighbours. Given the multicultural mix of people here, that makes for a rather interesting and varied cuisine.)

I have also had heaps of help unpacking from the children next door, who have come over after school on the past couple of days, and have helped me sort out some of my books, put away linen and other bits and pieces.

From even this brief introduction to community life here, I have realised how much of a hermit I have become in living alone, and how much I miss the sense of close community that I had when living in Fusion communities in the past.

I think I'm really going to enjoy living here. :-)