Posts tagged “community

Playing viola for the cause

Posted on September 30, 2015

My local public secondary school happened to be a specialist music school. New students could sign up to learn an instrument from one of the teachers; for no cost. Of course, every Year 7 wanted to learn the saxophone, of which the school had about five. About 50 of my peers signed up for saxophone. The saxophone teacher herded us into a room and told us the bad news; the good news being that our parents could buy a saxophone for a cool $800. My parents didn’t see the good news. Mum dragged her grant-aunt’s viola from the cupboard, and marched me to the office of Geoff Conrau, string teacher extraordinaire (Geoff is also an amazing magician, and a pyrotechnician). I was not happy about…

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Gentrification and Justice

Posted on May 13, 2013

Last year, friends of ours missed out on a house at auction – it went for $10K more than they could afford. Snapped up by a motivated bidder, it could be bulldozed for units, rented out or made over and re-sold. This is happening more and more in Long Gully. With cute miners’ cottages and an ageing population headed for the grave or the nearest nursing home (currently expanding as we speak), young families, singles and investors will fight among themselves to grab the bargains. It’s even made the local news. This trend raises serious questions for me and the others here in our little Christian community, who bought houses to commit to Long Gully. Are we simply an enclave of the middle-class within a poor…

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Incarnation & Fragmentation

Posted on August 12, 2009

It’s not a new thought that incarnational mission in Western contexts is fraught because we cannot assume that towns, cities, schools, or even neighbourhoods have a relatively uniform culture. Most practice of incarnational mission involves taking on aspects of the culture I am serving, and affirming the aspects of the culture that are Christ-like. But cultures are not monochrome,  not even within a neighborhood. Even in the small housing commission where I live it’s impossible to incarnate in accordance with a dominant culture. Different friendship groups have different norms, there are transient groups, stable groups, elderly, youth etc. And within these groups splintering occurs. I’m nowhere near working all this out, but one initial thought is: perhaps we need to be a distinctive community…

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