Just Dates: January

 

Not Just A Face In The Crowd

On an average of maybe once a month I join the 2.5 million train passengers per year that swipe their cards at the Fortitude Valley train station. In peak hour I blend into the bodies and faces that  focus on the platform or the exit without awareness of the guards watching the procession of humanity. Off -peak is more relaxed and even seems to promote acknowledgements and greetings as we  take our time to swipe and move.

Today I had an off peak experience and casually swiped my card when a voice called “Hey mate”. When I realised it was a staff member I  immediately thought  either  my card didn’t read or random body checks were about to be introduced by Queensland Rail.

However, the greeting was followed with “I saw you on TV the other week”.  I now have  reasonable list of TV credits to my name so I could ask “Whch program”?  It turns out it was a recent ABC documentary on Mu’ooz Restaurant in West End.

The fascinating insight for me was that the staff member stated he recognized me from my trips in and out of Fortitude Valley. Just when I thought I woud be a face in the crowd it turns out that my face stands out enough to be remembered on screen and at barriers!!

Our conversation then shifted to the subject of the documentary and the QR staff member’s interest in  learning more about African cuisine and the location of the restaurant.

I did my promo job with a quick review and reccommendation as well as directions to  rival Google maps.

This encounter also reminded me that I live in a public sphere most of the time. Today I was wearing my “Free the Refugees” Tee shirt and my Anti-Poverty 2016 cap. I have been described as a walking billboard before and I take my public role of advocacy  as a challenge and invitation to engage in public conversations about justice.

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Just Dates: May

 

1              International Workers Day

1-7           Heart Week

2-8          International Composting Awareness Week Australia

3              World Press Freedom Day / World Asthma Day

5              International Day of the  Midwife

7               World Labyrinth Day / Worldwide Day of Genital Autonomy / World Naked Gardening Day 

8            Mothers Day

9-15      National Volunteer Week 

10          World Lupus Day

15-22      Bike Week (Qld)

15            International Day of Families / Nabka Day

15-21     Food Allergy Awareness Week  / Schizophrenia Awareness Week

17            International Day Against Homophobia /  World Telecommunication and Information  Society Day

21           World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

22           International Day for Biological Diversity

22-18    National Palliative Care Week

23-29      Spinal Health Week

25             World MS Day

25-31        Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories

26           National Sorry Day

27 – 3 June          Reconciliation Week

29           White Wreath Day International Day of UN Peacekeepers

 Community Celebrations you might like to mark with me!!

Just Dates: April

 25 ANZAC Day

Holy Week 2016

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This week in the Christian community of the West is known as Holy Week. it is a time of intense drama and memory retold in story and ritual. It has the power to shatter our self image as much as the original story recorded in the Gospels.

The ancient texts proclaimed this week tell of the “turning away” both of the imperial might of Pilate and the loyal followers of Yeshua of Nazareth.

It has been the turmoil of history in the Church as prophets and outsiders challenged Popes, clergy and civic authorities who turned away from the vision of a new world founded on justice and peace.

In our own days we witness the “turning away” of religious leaders from the long history of sexual abuse in the name of religion.

It is not unusual that the voices that challenge come from outside the structures of religion. That has been the pattern of reform from the time of Abraham and Sarah.

The powerful lyrics of Pink Floyd won’t make their way into the formal liturgies of this week. But they will touch the hearts of those who have seen the signs and heard the words that lead to life.

Ash Wednesday 2016

Ash Wednesday 2016

Ash Wednesday 2016

On this day we wear the mark of the ashen cross to remind ourselves that stardust is our origin and our destination. We have a responsibility for right living with each other and our Mother Earth.

We carry the cross of suffering and pain inflicted by injustice and exploitation. We wear this mark to remember  the words and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth so that all may have life and have it to the full.

Repent is not a popular word and rarely makes it into the friendly game of Scrabble. Yet it is a life giving choice we make if we are to be agents of change and rewrite grace into history

Ash Wednesday calls us to repent of all that is not life giving at the personal and social in our choices. Repentance also demands a change of heart and practice if it is going to be effective.

This is the time to fast from inhumanity and cruelty. This is the time to put our prayer into action and our alms giving into justice making.

Let us be glad for the season of Lent
#ashtag #lent #ambassadorsforchrist

 

Christmas 2015

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Catholic Missions Australia Christmas Card

As we celebrate the 12  days of  Christmas I greet my diverse social media  network with the universal message of peace on earth and good will to all.
I wrote this piece last year. It bears repeating just as our work of building peace and community is a constant refrain to life’s song.
May the ancient story of a child born in occupied territory open our hearts to the work of defending human rights.
May the birth of every child call us to our communal responsibility to protect children,to take them on wild adventures and to let them grow into the unique person they care called to be.
May the the image of a family forced to seek refuge and asylum far from their home inform our political choices as citizens of a global village.
May our messages of good wishes and happy holidays not blind us to the work of justice making and non-violence.
May the lights and decorations of the season remind us of our mission to bring light to the darkness and celebration to life.
May our gifting be generous as we remember those who live in situations of poverty and exploitation.
May we hear angelic voices singing our dream of peace on earth