Thursday, August 06, 2009

can the dry bones of this church in this city live?

I am speaking at a retreat centre called Nunyara. The food is fantastic, the accommodation hospitable and the Australians friendly. The retreat centre is based in the hills, and the chapel has a breathtaking view over the city. Yesterday it was clouded in fog, offering a mystical yet loving enclosure.

Today the sun was out, offering a breathtaking view of city skyscrapers and streets running into the sea.

Morning worship was expertly and creatively curated by Sandy Boyce. With the conference theme of Breathe – she offering a creative, tactile, spacious engagement with the Spirit as lifegiving breath to dry bones in Ezekiel 37. All participants were offered a stone, cold, hard, to consider as pray began.

Can these dry bones live? A provocative question to ask amidst a Uniting church conference, a denomination declining in number and growing in age. A poignant question to consider as I sat in chapel and gazed over the city of 1 million people. In the grace of God, can this church denomination, amid this city, live?

Posted by steve at 01:36 AM


  1. Hi Steve. Welcome back to Adelaide. The Uniting Church is not the only one ageing and in decline in the ‘city of churches’! This weekend we have our Anglican Identity conference where we probe what it means to be Anglican in a context of competing voices. I’m cool with the conversation and accept that some will do one thing and others will do another, but it unsettles a very modernist institution like the Anglican Church. Listening to what the Spirit has to say to the churches (Rev 2:29) is the ‘go to’ text at the moment, I think. Might see you around the place. Enjoy the hills!


    Comment by Chris McLeod — August 6, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

  2. sorry we don’t have time to connect. would have loved to, but it’s been a really busy time and quite stretching time and energy wise.

    back in end of sept/early october, for a week of Tabor. i start with a saturday seminar with baptists, and then before the week, I have a sunday off, so that might be possible


    Comment by steve — August 6, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

  3. Re.: Twitter You don’t know how blessed you are to have “3 girls” and there is no better testimony than a pastor who loves his wife and family properly!!!

    Comment by Ingrid — August 7, 2009 @ 10:14 am

  4. yeah, my 3 “girls”! they are cool and i’m the ‘absent’ father :(, but not for long,


    Comment by steve — August 7, 2009 @ 10:58 am

  5. three girls looking forward to your return! but knowing we are loved in your absence x

    Comment by one of the girls — August 7, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

  6. Hi Steve,
    was just glancing through your site, getting inspired and noticed this post. The theme of the conference in particular struck me as our home church community is called BREATHE. I love the ideas (just wondering if there were any other creative ways that theme was incorporated into the conference?) and approach.
    Thanks, you’ve been an inspiration for many many years (and you wouldn’t have known that).


    Comment by Phil — August 13, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

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