Tuesday, August 23, 2011

5:30 am start

My very full long weekend in Auckland came to a grinding halt today with a 5:30 am start in order to catch a flight back to Adelaide. Always a tough one, given that it’s not only early, but works out to be 3 am by Adelaide time, making for a very long day.

Anyhow, a brief update on the long Auckland weekend. First, some great times catching up with friends. It so nice to see people with whom I have a back story, in which conversations can loiter around prior history and shared memories, with people you know well enough for their to be pauses and space.

Second, my research paper – Feeling for a theology: an exploration of the place of “sense-gesis” in theological reading – on Friday went well. (Apart from my copy of the Saint John’s Bible: Gospels and Acts falling off the music-stand-as-podium).

And it generated some really, really interesting responses. (Brief excerpt from the paper, on using the sense of touch to intercede with Jesus for the hard stuff of life is here). Not the normal academic responses, comparing footnotes or authors. Rather the sharing of some deep heart places. And some intense discussion of the implications for ministry. Fascinating. I need to ponder this some more.

Third, the Cityside research went well. I ended up with over 6 hours of interview data from a variety of perspectives. I am even more excited than ever about the importance of the research. Just one example. 10 years ago, this community had few kids. Now they have around 70. So one of their challenges over this last decade has been working out how their values of community, creativity and cultural engagement work not only as younger adults, but as busy families and among their children. It is so fascinating to listen to them articulate their insights, joys and struggles.

Thankfully a common response at the end of the interviews was also their appreciation, how they had found it helpful. Mutually beneficial research.

Now back to my day job. Including transcribing and beginning to write up some thoughts. (The first presentation of data will be in Durham, UK, at an Ecclesiology and ethnography conference in about a month). But first, a few more coffees to keep me awake! And a quiet night in.

Posted by steve at 04:49 PM

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