Monday, March 28, 2011

taking work home: a basket of books

It turned out to be both a stimulating, yet slightly sad weekend. I was due to preach at a local church on Sunday evening. The working week – Monday to Friday – were pretty demanding, and I got very little preparation done.

So by Friday afternoon I had a choice. I could pull an old one out of the hat. After 15 years I do have a few sermons hanging around on the hard drive!

But. But.

I find it really hard to do something I’ve done before. First, because I’m by nature creative. What has been done is now a moment in history. I change. The world changes. Second, the longer I hang in Uniting Church circles, the more I realise just how diverse this church is. As a communicator, you search for connection points. And what connects in one context – young adults in urban Adelaide, won’t connect with families in a seaside suburb and won’t connect with a gathering of leaders from the more justice orientated wing of the church. (My last 3 speaking things).

Plus I had a few thoughts rattling around in my head. And a hunch – that my “few thoughts” might actually serve at least four purposes – the Sunday sermon, a keynote address in May, a theology conference paper I’m kicking around for August. Plus I reckon the “few thoughts” are actually pushing mission and ministry in some pretty unique areas, this is a potential book.

And it would be helpful to start the process by test driving the thoughts with and among the people of God. This is my theology of ministry – that our thinking emerges from among God’s people cf cooked up solo in an academic office.

Hence the photo – the basket of books – mostly commentaries to be precise, plus a few books on the psychology of the New Testament. Which led to a weekend reading and reflecting. Which I enjoy – creating something connective that relates to the mission of God is a life-giving. But also demanding. And not much fun for the rest of the Taylor family.

Now in saying this, I realise that at this moment I am just like many (all?) lay folk in the church. They too work during the week, often in demanding jobs. And so their involvement upfront on Sunday is fitted around evenings and weekends and involves a cost to their leisure and their families time.

I don’t know how to process all these tensions. I’m simply marking it here as a note to self. And as a reminder that I find myself back to work on a Monday feeling like I need a weekend! (But also with confirmation that “my few thoughts” do actually connect in public and seem to offer a fresh and challenging way of connecting with God’s mission.)

Posted by steve at 10:31 AM


  1. > … I find myself back to work on a Monday feeling like I need a weekend!

    I know this feeling only too well. I spend three hours every Sunday travelling to and from my faith community of choice. Holy Week / Easter is like this only turned up to 11. Back at work everyone is swapping tales of bbqs and lazy afternoons and I’m recovering from the emotional and physical roller coaster ride (espicially now with chanting the Pascal Proclamation).

    The only way I have of dealing with it is by dumping it on the altar, “Lord this is for you; please accept my offering, such as it is”.

    Comment by Charles Nicholls — March 28, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  2. Thanks Charles. In doing some reading prep on Saturday, I came across this quote – “Undertaken out of reverence for God, acts of kindness on a Sunday can be restorative.” So I’ve been holding on to the potential, that possibility.

    Your comment about Lent is really interesting, I reckon that the themes of Lent do extract a greater emotional toll – they are so big – death, betrayal. That in itself exhausts IMHO


    Comment by steve — March 28, 2011 @ 11:00 am

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