Friday, November 21, 2008

Christianity and War

Thought this was a good simple explanation of church history - and also of relevence today.

An excerpt from a Ciaron O'Reilly reflection on a recent debate he participated in with Assistant British Military Chaplain General Land Forces and Principal RC Chaplain at the V1 Form Theology conference at St Mary's School, Ascot, England :

I pointed out that there has been 3 responses to the issues of war and violence in church history....

1. Pacifism for the first 3 centuries, pracitsed and taught by Jesus living under the Roman colonisers and the Herodian collaborators -embraced by the Catholic Worker movement and other remnants of radical disciplehip.

2. The Just War theory thought up by Augustine after the 3rd. century Constantine shift when the church was legalised, patronised by the emperor and was fasttracked to become basic to Roman citizenship. This "Constantine Shift" turned christian ethics on its head. The ethical question of how do you run the Roman (British, Portugese, Spanish, any empire ) in a Christian way? should never have been our problem...like how do you run a firing squad in a christian way? is not our problem either.Both recent popes have mused that given the nature of modern warfare technology the a just war may now be an impossibilty (eg. your not supposed to kill civilians for starters!)

3 Crusades - "kill em all and let God sort them out". Theologically discredited in the Catholic tradition but is very much the theology of nuclear weapons, aerial and naval bombardment which is basic to the present wars on Afghanistan and Iraq.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Earthworms

Earthworms was an open space conference that we hosted a month or so ago. The space was devoted to communities talking about community. It provided a place for us to talk with other people living in community about the things that matter and to help us get better at practising the ancient and long lost art of community.








Earthworms was inspired into existance in an effort to go beyond all the conferences on community, mission etc that are more aimed at getting people into this kind of lifestyle rather than what to do when your're living it out!

About 8 different communities from across melbourne came across the weekend to share, talk, discuss...

The weekend was structured around non=structure. The agenda was decided upon by those who were there and there were no guest speakers. We converesed around our different homes/spaces in doveton, over breakfast and coffee and so forth - tried to keep the weekend open space conference as natural as possible. And it was good!



Here's some reflections from Niki and Josh' blog (http://www.nj-oo.blogspot.com/)








Well, after the Earthworms* gathering I now have all the answers. Ok, not really, but I did meet/hang out with some inspiring people who have been asking the same questions. Some of the questions we discussed/debated/shared about:

- How can community be sustained during the various seasons of life and how do we stay motivated when experiencing discouragement and depression?

- What does leadership mean in community? We know that traditional hierarchies don’t work, but how can we empower each other to each take a role in group leadership/serving and how do we make decisions together?

- How do we communicate well as a community? What strategies can we use to resolve conflict well and ensure that everyone is heard and acknowledged?

- Housing in Melbourne is becoming more and more of an issue. If we struggle to find decent, affordable housing, how much more difficult is it for those without our resources! How do we best respond to this as a community and how can we lobby on behalf of the marginalised and the homeless?

- How can we best use our resources to be environmentally and economically friendly? Ideas around community gardening, resourcefulness and dumpster diving were discussed.

- Relationships in community – how do we include singles, couples & families within community while respecting boundaries?Lots of food for thought! The conversations were pretty relaxed and it was only afterwards that I realised a) how exhausted I was and b) the magnitude of what we were discussing. These questions are so essential to our ethos of how & why we live in community, thanks everyone who contributed toward Earthworms!





*Earthworms is an Open Space. It is a small and simple gathering of like-minded people. You bring the topics from you and your community. We facilitate together in mutual respect.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Celebrating our 1 Year Wedding ANniversary

To celebrate our wedding anniversary, we decided to go camping...a week earlier...cause someone had a class on the day of our actual anniversary...lets just say it wasn't Kaylene. Well, getting out of the bad books is quite easy when you have such a fantastic amazing wife as mine...yep, she's right next to me as i write this so I have to say all that. But yep its true...kiss. no, no kiss. Well. here's a few happy snaps of the beautiful Toorongo Falls. Quite spectacular! Camping was a bit crowded, got there late, had to camp on a bloody 35degree angle. But that's ok. Well, its ok until it started belting down rain. Happy camping ended and we went home early! Was fun building one fire out of a possible three (can't tell I resent that can you!). And below is a nice snap of the herd of 4WD's and our hunk a junk...with its proud owner!