Friday, May 30, 2014

Urban Mission Exposure Melbourne June 5-14

Another new innovation at Uniting College …

Explore diverse approaches to ministry and mission as part of our exciting Melbourne Study Tour: Urban Mission Exposure. Led by dynamic pastor, Rev Mark Reisson, you’ll be immersed in urban culture where you can participate in spiritual and discipleship practices, assess context-based new initiatives and reflect theologically on the emerging nature of cities as global cultural centres

Staying in inner-city Melbourne, you will experience the pulse of city and encounter a huge variety of models of ministry and mission, including churches, mission organisations, and innovative projects.This unique opportunity can be studied at Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels.

The cost is $550, which includes all accommodation and transfers and you’ll need to make your own way to Melbourne. Standard tuition fees apply (FEEhelp and Studyassist available).

Find out more by phoning Student Services on 8416 8400 or visiting on Facebook.

Rev Mark Reisson is the Coordinator for Mission and Community Engagement with Churches of Christ in SA and NT, coordinates Surrender Conference in SA and is an adjunct faculty member of the Adelaide College of Divinity.

Posted by steve at 01:15 PM

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Coordinator

Uniting College exists to develop life-long disciples and effective leaders for a healthy, missional church, who are passionate, Christ-centred, highly skilled and mission-orientated practitioners. We offer a range of ways to learn and grow as a person and as a leader; through accredited course providers’ Adelaide College of Divinity and Flinders University and also through non-accredited courses for the Uniting Church.

The newly created Ministry of Pastor position, Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Coordinator, has become available within the Vocational Education & Training (VET) area, which will form part of a committed team offering relational and efficient service in a tertiary education environment.

The Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Coordinator will work closely with the Uniting College faculty and staff, staff of Adelaide College of Divinity, and the students of the Uniting College. This diverse position will be responsible for:

– Planning and overseeing the delivery of CALD VET training
– Liaising with ethnic Christian Communities in South Australia
– Student support as required

The successful applicant will need to have (or be working towards) a vocational or higher education qualification in education, social sciences, psychology or theology, coupled with experience in a Christian education environment with people of CALD backgrounds. A strong commitment to support the fulfilment of the purposes of the Uniting College, is essential to the success of this position.

A Position Description / Person Specification is available by contacting the Human Resources department on humanresources at sa dot uca dot org dot au or 8236 4234 or 8236 4278.

Application close date: 9 June 2014 at 5.00PM

Classification: Part Time Fixed Term

Tertiary Education Environment
Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
Fixed term 12 month contract (0.2FTE)

Note: In a tight financial climate, this role has emerged from securing of trust funding. Like other recent Co-ordinator appointments (Chaplaincy, Big Year Out), this is an innovation that is hoped will continue beyond the initial fixed term, but to do so requires the establishing a student cohort.

Posted by steve at 10:13 AM

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ascension day worship: creationary

Call to worship – Meet me in the middle of the air, Paul Kelly

A divine invitation, through the words of Paul Kelly, to make this a time to come, meet with God.

Welcome to country and praise.
And so we appreciate this place as a meeting place. In silence, we respect to those who’ve met here before us – other students and staff. In silence we respect other denominations who’ve met in this place. In silence, we respect to traditional owners of this land; their elders.

Link: The Paul Kelly song has echoes of Psalm 23. It also has echoes of Ascension Day. 40 days after Easter; 10 days before Pentecost. Church celebrates Ascension Day. It’s major feast in the church. When Jesus goes to meet God. Let’s hear the Story.

Scripture – Acts 1:1-11

Affirmation of faith: verbal – In response to the reading, a verbal affirmation of faith

Say Apostles Creed

Affirmation of faith: visual – In response, to the reading, a visual affirmation of faith

lansdowne mss

Lansdowne ‘The Shaftesbury Psalter’; 2nd quarter of the 12th century

Reflection

Two spheres, blue and red. Two angels, lifting up feet of Jesus toward the Divine. The disciples gathered.

It’s a very literal interpretation. I love the angel robed in green, the literalness of gravity at work, the robe hanging down. Part of me struggles with literalism. I’m a White Westerner. I don’t live with a view of the world of 1st century world.

Yet part of me also finds the literalism strangely compelling. It affirms importance of bodies. The Ascension of Jesus means that the human body joins God. No human body of Jesus folding up like a sack of skin on the ground.

Instead we have the nail scarred hands been taken to heaven. Spear wound. Calloused feet from walking all over Judea. Hands that touched a leper. The nose that smelt dead Lazarus emerging. The mouth that enjoyed the best of wine at the wedding of Cana.

This human body joins God. Not cast aside as B-grade. The body is as important as spirit. Our armpits and noses, sweat glands, feelings, tiredness – all caught up, in Jesus, with God. Embraced in the Trinity. The celebration of human bodies is complete.

Personally, I find that literalism, that valuing of real bodies more and more compelling.

It also helps me appreciate much more the body left behind. Eugene Rogers, theologian, (in his book After the Spirit: A Constructive Pneumatology from Resources Outside the West) notes how you have to read Ascension Day with Pentecost.

At Ascension God goes up, the body of Christ leaves. Pentecost, God comes down in the Spirit, the body begins, the church as the body of Christ. A second valuing of the body. Our body. Us as the church. Our armpits and noses, sweat glands, feelings, tiredness – embraced in the Trinity. The celebration of human body the church is complete.

This is a feature for Uniting Church as we come to communion. As a Uniting Church, we believe that the Spirit does not inhabit the elements. Nor does it inhabit the holy hands. Rather the Spirit inhabits the gathered community.

We are the body of Christ. We need to let go, Don’t touch, in order to truly be.

Leader: We confess, our lack of care for our bodies, our lack of care for the body of Christ, the church, We confess

All: we have wandered, bring us home

Absolution: Grace, peace and purpose be upon you

Peace: Greet your neighbours with the sign of peace

Leader: Let us pray Lift up your hearts, give thanks and sing

ALL: Hosanna, Hosanna

Leader: Father thanks for making us thanks for taking us, thanks for showing us the way And thankyou especially for you Son Jesus Christ who said, take, eat this is my body, which is given for you

And take, drink, this is my blood shed for you for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Spirit, bless it, bless us, your body; Bless all creation

All: As it was, as it is, as it will be

By human God, through abundant God, to the glory of Almighty God

All: Amen

We believe this to be the body and blood of Christ, Not to be taken lightly Let anyone who feels called is welcome to this table These are the gifts of God, for the people of God.

Serve bread.

Say together The Lord’s prayer

Thankyou Lord, for being with us

Benediction: As you go, may the Ascended Christ meet you

Posted by steve at 02:36 PM

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

fresh words and deeds

The next months will include me speaking in Charlesville (end of June) and Sydney (end of July) and Jerusalem (middle of September). The occasion is the National Ministers Conference. Every three years, the President of the Uniting Church invites Ministers from across the church in Australia to a week of refreshment and input. The conferences occur in three different locations, designed to give a unique contextual shape. In this case rural and remote, multi-cultural and inter-faith.

conference

In addition, there is a core program of 4 sessions of which I’m responsible, along with my colleague, Rosemary Dewerse. In discussion with President Andrew Dutney, I suggested the theme of fresh words and deeds, rifting off my interest in innovation and the Basis of Union of the Uniting Church, in which the church “prays that she may be ready when occasion demands to confess her Lord in fresh words and deeds.” Here is what I was thinking when I was asked for a theme …

Here’s some of the conference blurb:

Steve Taylor and Rosemary Dewerse – two outstanding missiologists, communicators and educators. They’re planning a series of interactive, multi-sensory, reflective processes that will help a bunch of UCA ministers to imagine what the commitment made in the Basis of Union might mean for us today: “The Uniting Church thanks God for the continuing witness and service of evangelist, of scholar, of prophet and of martyr. She prays that she may be ready when occasion demands to confess her Lord in fresh words and deeds.” (Paragraph 11)

It is a significant time commitment, but a great opportunity to connect with the church throughout Australia and to be involved in three very different experiences.

Posted by steve at 10:50 PM

Monday, May 26, 2014

Jesus and the religions

I’m teaching Theology of Jesus in Semester 2, both weekly in Adelaide and by intensive at New Life Uniting Church, on the Gold Coast, in November. Plus I am teaching on Mission as an intensive in Sydney in July.

So today I was doing some preparation, which included reading Bob Robinson, Jesus and the Religions: Retrieving a Neglected Example for a Multi-cultural World.  It is a brilliant conceived book. It asks how Christians should approach other faiths by exploring how Jesus engaged other faiths.

It begins with three Gospel stories – Jesus and the Roman Centurion, Jesus and the Syrophonecian woman, Jesus and the Samaritan Woman. Doing theology, bringing together themes from the three encounters it argues that their are implications for how contemporary people engage plurality.

  • Be open to surprise, in the same way Jesus was surprised by the faith of the Roman Centurion, the Syrophonecian  and the Samaritan woman.
  • Affirm what surprises you, again in the same way Jesus affirmed the faith of the Roman Centurion, the Syrophonecian  and the Samaritan woman.
  • In particular, look for faith and humility. This includes the role not only of faith, but of the content of that faith. In all three examples, their “faith appears to include more than heart-felt hope or desperate concern.” (Jesus and the Religions: Retrieving a Neglected Example for a Multi-cultural World, 116).  And so by implication, “Might examples of faith, humility, and insight, wherever they are found in the contemporary world, be affirmed by disciples today – even when they contrast less than favorable with their own.” (Jesus and the Religions: Retrieving a Neglected Example for a Multi-cultural World, 117-8).
  • The exclusion of vengeance. For example, Jesus response to the Roman Centurion is a moment of love of enemy. Moving to other Gospel stories, one might note the rain falls on the just and the unjust, or the banquet parables which include, rather than exclude.

What is even more intriguing is an initial chapter in which Christ becomes an exegete.  The focus is Luke 4:16-30, and how Jesus engages Scripture. Robinson concludes that there are fresh readings, new performances of Scripture as Biblical texts are encountered in the power of the Spirit.  This opens up an exemplary Christology, in which the church reads for direction in how to live its life of witness in the world.

All of which makes for a rich teaching resource.

Posted by steve at 09:23 PM

Thursday, May 22, 2014

team re-building

Teams are never stable. First, teams are made up of people. People change, growth and morph. They feel more involved or less involved, more empowered or less empowered.  Second, teams are made up of people who come and go. As a result, any “team work” is always for the moment. Vital, important.

But healthy teams over time need to work on processes that spiral, rather than process that are linear. They need to find ways to go over ground that is worn, yet in ways that are fresh.

At Uniting College, we’re in a time of rapid team building. We’ve had two new staff join us in the last three weeks, five in the last nine months. Over half of the team of 14 are new to College since I became Principal less than two years ago.

Today I introduced the following process in team re-building.

First, I noted that we had a set of team values. These sit in our photocopy room. They began life among us back in August 2012. That meant, I observed, that practically a good number in our team were now new to these values.

Second, I divided the team into pairs. Each pair was chosen, with an “old-timer”, someone who was there in August 2012, and a “new-timer,” a person who has joined the team in time since.

Third, I invited the pairs to go for a walk or find a couch or share a cup of tea. And to ask each other the following four questions.

  • The “oldtimer” is to be asked – What were the processes and events by which these values emerged? How did it feel?
  • The “newtimer” is then asked – What word or phrase or concept strikes you?
  • Mutual question – What would it be like to be in a team that lived like this?
  • Mutual question – We are a different team now than in 2012. Is there anything we might need to add or delete or modify?

Fourth, each pair was invited to take notes. We will return to these notes next week.

In the meantime, dotted around the room, was a buzz of conversation.  Stories were told, history recalled, values engaged, being team now considered.  It was a team re-building.

Posted by steve at 10:45 PM

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2000 km round trip

Currently we are collecting stories of Uniting College students. They are quite inspiring – each so different, each so joyous in the education and formation they participated in. Here for instance is Jo Smalbill. Not having studied for 35 years, Jo is now Frontier Services Patrol minister for Cobar/Nyngan NSW. Last week Jo travelled 2,000 km to attend Graduation and be awarded her Bachelor of Ministry. 2000 km. I kid you not! I love the fact that we could train her remote, through use of distance education and intensives, and in turn, she has grown into a ministry that is rural and remote. (Why on earth we would design education systems in Colleges that would expect a rural person with a passion for rural ministry to move to an urban setting to study and practise ministry in an urban context is beyond me).

I really appreciated the fact that the college tailored my course to allow for the flexibility in study, enabling me to return home to my husband and receive the Field Education required for rural ministry. The Macquarie Darling Presbytery of NSW was also thrilled at the level of co-operation from the college.

And her conclusion –

While studying at theological college, I was constantly reminded that we all have gifts and abilities that are unique to us and it is our responsibility to use them. God will use all of our combined gifts and abilities to build strong leaders for our communities so that the Uniting Church has a future and continues to fulfil his plan.

Jo’s full story is here, with more stories of other students here. For pictures of Jo’s ordination see here and for an Advent inspired poem about rural donkeys, see here.

Posted by steve at 09:33 PM

Monday, May 19, 2014

Home, Land and Sea

This is a song I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. I’ve been trying to explain home to a colleague and my attempts have been a failure. So I’m left playing this video.



Home, land and sea, by Trinity Roots. This video was live, from the final concert of Trinity Roots at the Wellington Town Hall.

Posted by steve at 11:41 PM

Friday, May 16, 2014

pioneering mission in Australia: Caroline Chisholm

The saint for today in the Revised Common Lectionary is Caroline Chisholm. Her story is strongly shaped by Australia. In other words, the eyes of the world today will reflect on what is an Australian mission story.

Caroline was born in England. Raised evangelical, she was an adult convert to Catholicism, about the time she met her husband, a sea captain. Coming to Australia on holiday, Caroline was disturbed by the poverty she saw among migrants in Sydney. Meeting each ship as it arrived, she sought to find work and shelter for new migrants.

While initially focused on these acts of mercy, she soon became a tireless advocate for justice. Her life was shaped by lobbying. She was constantly seeking to speak to politicians, seeking reform. She collected migrant stories (Comfort for the Poor! Meat three times a day! Voluntary information from the people of New South Wales, 1847). She shared these stories, both in Australia and also back in England, where she continued to advocate and lobby for reform.

After two years of being ignored, she decided to act without government help. She sought financial backing in order to provide loans to migrants, which was accompanied by support as they settled in Australia, thus making more likely repayment. The loans were provided at rates far cheaper than existing banks and in order to subvert the injustice she saw from landed interests.

Charles Dickens gave her support, including mentioning her work in his writings.

She organised ships and changed onboard systems – with the doctor, not the captain, apportioning rations. Presumably such changes were shaped by the stories she heard as she had listened to migrant experiences.

In 1852, her political advocacy saw the Passenger Act, in which the British Government legislated to improve shipping conditions for passengers (boat people), seeking a new start.

Despite being one of the most well-known woman in England (her portrait hung in the Royal Academy exhibition in 1852), she scorned material reward and status and returned to Australia.

Caroline Chisholm – one story of mission in Australia. As it says in Exodus 3:7, she saw misery, she heard the cry of the oppressed, in this case migrants. In response to listening, she mixed mercy, justice and innovation. She pioneered new expressions of care and worked tirelessly to shape public opinion.

In 2014, with Australia still facing the arrival of many migrants her life is perhaps a source of inspiration and challenge.

For more on Caroline Chisholm see Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Posted by steve at 11:18 AM

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Graduation charge

The annual College graduation happened on Monday evening. As part of the evening, it was suggested we introduce a charge to the graduates, something to focus them as the evening drew to an end. I was asked to have a go. Searching for inspiration, I took our Graduate outcomes, four in number and tried to weave some verbs and some theology around them.

Here is the result, a charge to graduates

We charge you to go,
Go, in the power of God’s Spirit, Advocate, Gift-giver, Bringer of life,
Go, to be a reflective thinker, to engage the richness of Christian faith with life and people, wherever you find them.

We charge you to walk,
Walk with the deep tradition of the church in history, in the footsteps of Abraham and Sarah, Priscilla and Aquila, Augustine and Aquinas
Walk as skilled practitioners, integrating theology and practice – creatively, imaginatively and wisely – wherever you find yourself.

We charge you to travel,
Travel, from the love of this community of learners
Travel as life long learners, self-directed, yet collaborative, connecting with people and communities, wherever you find them

We charge you to journey,
Journey in the name of Christ – teacher, storyteller, parable maker,
Journey, as an effective communicator, respectful in dialogue, empowering in leadership, active in justice and compassion.

We charge you.

Posted by steve at 06:16 PM

Monday, May 12, 2014

Noah: a film review

Monthly I publish a film review for Touchstone (the New Zealand Methodist magazine). Stretching back to 2005, some 85 plus films later, here is the review for May 2014, of Noah.

Noah
A film review by Rev Dr Steve Taylor

“[The Bible] should be a living, breathing document. That’s what it should be.”
Director of Noah

The internet has been flooded with criticism of the Noah movie, with Christian, Jewish and Moslem commentators united in their condemnation of director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan and Pi) portrayal of Noah. Even before release, it was banned in Indonesia, accused of negatively portraying a person revered by Islam as a prophet. It is yet another indication of the complex relationships between faith and film.

The Noah story takes up four chapters and ninety seven verses between Genesis 6 and 9. In the Biblical narrative, Noah never speaks, a silent, obedient partner before an active, speaking God.

In contrast, the movie runs over two hours, with Noah (Russell Crowe) centre stage, righteous, determined, desperate to protect the world from evil. God becomes a background character, absent since creation, now speaking only occasionally, obliquely, through dream and prophet (Methuselah, played by Anthony Hopkins).

In the space between four chapters of writing and two hours of cinematography lies enormous potential for controversy to blossom. On one side stand the watchers of historical accuracy, on the other those intrigued by creative imagination.

The movie does good work in regard to some aspects of the Biblical narrative. The double Genesis stories, that of dominion in Genesis 1, is artfully set against that of creation care in Genesis 2. It is a tension that runs throughout the entire film. The telling of the creation story is a graphical feast, a scene that will undoubtedly become a regular introduction to readings of Genesis 1 in churches in the years to come. Another commendable feature is the portrayal of the power of blessing. This patriarchal act is central to the Genesis stories and to significant shifts in the Noah movie. These features show a commendable sensitivity to the Biblical narrative.

Equally commendable are the strong female roles played by Jennifer Connelly (Naameh, Noah’s wife) and Emma Watson (Ila, Noah’s adopted daughter). There is much imaginative work by Darren Aronofsky to insert humanity into the sparseness of the Biblical telling.

Simultaneously, the portrayal of the relationship between God and humanity invites question. The movie deals in casual cliché, offering a simple polarity between judgement and mercy. What sort of God would contemplate drowning all of humanity?

It is a stark reminder that Biblically, the Noah narrative is no Sunday school feel-good animal story. Instead, it is a searching examination of how to deal with the ever-present reality of human sin.

For Christians the question is never resolved by a white dove with a leaf in its mouth. Rather, the relationship between judgement and mercy is redefined by redemption. In the work of Jesus, both the optimistic belief in human goodness and the self-righteous search for purity are nailed to a cross. In the birth of a New Adam, the old has gone, a new is come.

In the end Noah, succeeds as art. It finds ways to engage the Bible as a living, breathing document. It honours a narrative committed to an uncompromising exploration of the complexity of being living, breathing humans located on a living, breathing earth in relationship to a living, breathing God.

Posted by steve at 08:44 AM

Friday, May 09, 2014

Solvitur Ambulando “It is solved by walking”

It’s been a difficult week for me in my role as Principal of Uniting College. A whole range of responsibilities and requests have tended to leave me feeling a bit bleak.

What has been immensely helpful is to return to the discernment processes important to my call. I tend to journal as a spiritual practice. Twice. Privately and publicly, through the blog.

One advantage of journalling is in moments like this week. I tend to value written words over spoken words, and so a journal means you can return and read again what you felt in the past, what you discerned in the past.

College has a labyrinth and it was while I was walking the labyrinth that an important piece in my call process occurred. Here is what happened (written here publicly :)

On the morning of Monday 28 October I was interviewed for the role of Principal of Uniting College. After lunch, I went for a walk. Uniting College is located on the grounds of the Adelaide College of Divinity, which has a labyrinth. So rather than walk the block, I walked the labyrinth, praying the Lords prayer.

The phrase “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done” was particularly meaningful, as I prayed for myself, for the Joint Nominating Committee, for the other applicants.

The labyrinth at Adelaide College of Divinity campus was specifically designed by an Adelaide stained glass artist Cedar Prest. The opening is in the shape of a large communion cup, laid in beautiful mosaics, while the centre is in the shape of a central wafer. As I paused at the centre, I had a strong impression, the realisation that there is plenty of space in the centre to be truly me.

I began to walk out, reflecting on how the pattern of the labyrinth take you from edge to centre, and out to the edge again. It struck me that there were parallels with my own life at that moment, that my interest in mission and fresh expressions might be seen as on the edge, while being a Principal of a theological college is getting pretty close to the centre. It is a role that comes with plenty of expectations of what a Principal should do and be.

And the impression returned: that there is plenty of space in the centre to be truly me.

At that moment, my cell phone rang. It was an ironic moment, interrupted by a cell phone in the midst of the peaceful contemplation of a labyrinth. It was a delightful moment for the call was about the matter I was praying about, a request to attend a further interview in the Principal process.

Standing there holding the phone, it all felt profound, that in praying Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, might I actually be able to experience plenty of space in the Principal role to be truly me.

Twice, this week I’ve returned to that labyrinth and walked it again. I’ve relived the experience, relived my anxiety as I first entered, paused at the centre to recall the freedom, grinned at that moment when the phone rang.

There’s a further thread that didn’t make it into my journal, but which has been helpful to experience again this week. That is the value of walking. All you can do in a labyrinth is walk. Take one step after another. In so doing, you move from centre to edge, and edge to centre.

Back in 2012, what I realised was the importance of “flow,” the need not only for a centre and an edge, but for the movement between the two. They only connect by flow. I wondered if my season as Principal would be about “flow”, attending both to centre and edge in a way that brought flow.

In other words, take one step after another.

That is all I have to do.

Take the next step.

Posted by steve at 06:49 PM

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

laying the table: creationary Psalm 23 and John 10

I had a few minutes today, in which to put together some worship for College chapel (20 minute chapels that take place weekly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). I wish I could have given it more time, but a run of unexpected commitments ate into my planned preparation time.

The lectionary texts for this week include Psalm 23 and John 10. The theme that seemed to emerge was “laying the table.” It links “You prepare a table before me” with “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” and communion. It also connected with my experience during the week. Last night I brought home a bunch of sun flowers for the family. They sat on the kitchen table overnight and just seemed to light up the room. So “laying the table” began to be a theme by which to frame the service.

So I began by telling my story and then inviting folk to lay a flower on the table and name something in which they were finding beauty and life. We ended up with a table spread with flowers. It was lovely, a physical call to worship and expression of praise, our praise, unique to today.

I then noted that the Christian tradition gives us more to “lay on the table.” I laid the Bible on the table, then asked folk to pass it around, reading a verse each from Psalm 23.

I then noted that the Christian tradition gives us more to “lay on the table.” This time, baptism for cleansing. A short prayer and then I sprinkled water from the font over those gathered, over the table, over the entrance way, and used some sentences from John 10 as the Words of absolution.

I then noted that the Christian tradition gives us yet more to “lay on the table.” I placed on the table bread and wine. By now the table was very richly symbolic – praise, Scripture, confession and absolution in baptism, communion – all laid by us as a community in ways both personal yet connective with the Christian tradition. Indeed, a table prepared before us, one in which we find life, and have it abundantly.

Which led naturally into intercession, praying for places that lack abundance.

Below is the worship order with some more exact wording: (more…)

Posted by steve at 06:08 PM

Monday, May 05, 2014

how a voluntary society in a rural town made eHistory

I love stories of innovation. Here is one of a voluntary group in a small, rural town, who made eHistory. The full story is here, but to give you a taster, I’ve made a summary, using words from the entire article.

Carnamah is a town and farming community [of 500 people] 300 kilometres north of Perth. The Carnamah Historical Society was founded in 1983 to collect, record, preserve and promote local history. Made up of folk with a background in wheat and sheep farming, they have no ongoing funding and are volunteer run.

To share history and heritage they created online content, 600 pages. Then primary school educational resources. Then an online data base that utilised virtual volunteers to help with transcription and indexing tasks.

The result: thousands more people have discovered and now have a strong and personal connection; donations of heritage material; featured in National Museum of Australia exhibition; appeared in Inside History magazine twice.

The difference is simply that we’ve made a lot of history discoverable online. We want to share, not just possess. We, as a [history] sector have a terrible track record of doing what we’ve always done and not straying too far from the familiar path. It comes down to attitude. Will you learn or try what you don’t know?

The essential ingredients that tend to be lacking are not ideas, examples to follow, time, availability of funding or technical skill. They are very often attitude, ethos and organisational culture.

I think there are a lot of encouragements and challenges in this story for any group in our changing world.

Posted by steve at 07:01 PM