Monday, 30 May 2011

hopeful feasting

May seems to have been a month where a lot of people are thinking about how to raise awareness about and help the homeless. A number of people I know participated in the Live Below the Line fundraiser, including a girl from youth group, and three guys from college who not only lived on $2 a day, but actually went and lived at Central for a few nights (you can read Dan's thoughts about it on his blog).

I participated in Hope Month. My childhood friend Kate had this brilliant idea. People would put on a meal of some sort and invite their friends to buy a seat at the table, with all the money going to Hope Street, an initiative of the Baptist Churches of NSW and ACT. Here is a bit about what Hope Street does:

[box]HopeStreet - Urban Compassion is a grass-roots community development organisation that works with people living on the margins of inner city Sydney - people who are homeless, destitute or living in poverty. We work at street level where the needs are greatest. And we are committed to empowering people to take control of their own lives, not just giving handouts. We help them to build their independence and advocate for the rights that most Australians take for granted.[/box]

I remembered Hope Street from when Karen and I visited the market they hosted in Campbell Street, Surry Hills (the market eventually went its own way and became Finders Keepers). I bought a little perspex sign at that market (top pic), which hangs in my bedroom, and reminds me what a powerful thing hope is, but also how sometimes we can lose all sight of it, and we just need to be shown that hope - for change, for redemption - is still there. I'm all for supporting those who are doing the hard work of helping people who seem to have lost all hope; I am often chastened to realise how little I think about about these people who are all around us.

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When I heard about Kate's initiative for Hope Month I signed up to host a meal straight away. I had a wonderful time preparing and cooking for it! I went to the Eveleigh Markets in the morning and bought some delicious bits and pieces, came home and cooked up Moroccan chicken and cous cous, with sticky toffee pudding for dessert.

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It gave me great pleasure to put together a yummy, nourishing meal and to feed my dear, dear friends. And I was so glad that they got behind the cause and we made a small contribution to helping the homeless. It was kind of the opposite of living on $2 a day, but I think the more people doing anything at all to help those in the grip of poverty, the better.

[box type="shadow"]Even though the dinner's over, if you want to make a contribution to Hope Street (however big or small!) I think you can still do it via my Hope Month page - just click the 'make a donation' button. Otherwise you can do it via Hope Street directly.[/box]

Monday, 23 May 2011

So I made...a bunny

And fresh off the hook, so to speak, is this bunny I've made for my half-brother Ethan. I think I shall name the floppy eared critter Jasper.

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So I made...a scarf and glove thingies

It was cold up at Katoomba/Leura over the long weekend in April, so I made a skinny scarf and some wristwarmers/fingerless gloves while I sat in front of the fire, and at the convention talks.  I feel awkward modelling them, as you can see from the photograph below.

so I made...a blanket

I've been greatly enjoying crochet in the last few months, as something to do with my hands, to keep me awake when I'm supposed to be listening to things but am tired (eg, sermons), and to have the satisfaction of creating something.  So next few posts will be stuff I've made.

Here's the blanket I finished over Easter, which has been adorning my bed and keeping me cosy warm ever since.  It's made up of different sized granny squares, but then pieced together much as I would do a patchwork quilt.  If I were to do a similar blanket again I would refine the joining process as I just kind of made it up as I went along, but I still love it.

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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

a huge long April update

Oh dear friends, my apologies for the silence on this blog! Things have been so busy lately.  For those who get my ministry/college/prayer newsletter a lot of this will be familiar, but I know not everyone is on that mailing list (you can totally sign up if you want! Click the link at the top of my last newsletter).  And it doesn't hurt to go over it all again, as much to remind myself why I'm feeling kind of tired!

So I last wrote on the final day of Moore College mission. A week of college followed that, and then we were on break - which, for me, meant a lot more busyness!

We ran a fantastic kids holiday program at church called WildKids, where we explored for 5 days what it means to be on Jesus' team, with him as your captain. It was lots of fun to turn the church upside down, play lots of games, sing heaps of songs and teach the kids from the Bible. I had only volunteered to lead the singing for two days because I wasn't sure how tired I'd be after college mission, but I found I had plenty of energy so pitched in for the whole week.  I was glad I did, as there's something wonderful about seeing the progress of the kids from the beginning to the end of the week.

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Then on the Friday, we made the leap from kids' ministry to youth ministry with our trip up the mountains for KYCK conference. Had a great time with our pseudo slumber party on the floor in a Katoomba High School classroom with a bunch of Wild Street Youth girls, with the boys bunking down in a neighbouring classroom (but won't mention the toilet/shower situation apart from saying I didn't bathe that weekend). We heard some great, meaty talks from Hebrews, and it was a great bonding time for the group.

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Then a week of...what did I do? [checks calendar] Oh I worked at kikki.K.

Then it was my birthday!  We were going up to the mountains again for Katoomba Easter Convention that weekend, but to celebrate my birthday and Easter, I had saved up a bit and booked mum and I a lovely little cottage in Leura called Leura Lush (not such a fan of the name, but that is the most minor of points). It was such a delightful place! Really comfortable, well equipped, and just perfect for us really. After I had a birthday lunch with Lachy, mum and I headed up to Leura and settled in.

Our friends the Kershaws were also up early before the convention kicked off, so we had my birthday dinner at their pink rental house.

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The convention itself was wonderful. Exciting and exhausting at the same time. It was a pretty emotional weekend, talking about suffering and 'commitment in the age of disposable love'. I was so grateful for the reminder and encouragement that Jesus is the only constant, the only one who can show true commitment in love, and that if we truly believe in him,

[box type="shadow"]... neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)[/box]


It was hard to leave that beautiful house on that weekend, after time with friends, time spent in the Bible, and time relaxing.

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And it was back to reality and routine.  Oh! But I got to see Through a glass, darkly play in their full band format (with Amelia on drums) for the first time at the Townie! And it was so good even though 2/3 of the band were half asleep (as they didn't get on til about 11.30). So I'll leave you with this moody rawk photo and try not to leave it so long between posts next time!