Out of respect

Marysville- before

Marysville- before

Marysville - after

Marysville - after










I’ve been grateful to many of my friends from around the globe asking how things are following the fires that hit Victoria in February.

Out of respect for those who are continuing to walk through the process of Fire recovery, I have not been able to write much about Fire Relief in recent weeks. The process people are moving through is so fragile and ever-changing.

For example, we heard on the news that Marysville was re-open to residents to return to view their properties last Saturday. For good reasons, there were many layers to the process to enter the town. But imagine how many things are unfamiliar and foreign in having to be prepared for that moment.

Imagine having to show proof of identity to get back into the town where you live.

Imagine then being given masks and protective clothing, before you can enter.

Imagine then moving quietly through a town that literally looks like a bomb has gone off.

Imagine your street, the mystery of seeing where one shop you used to frequently visit is totally demolished and yet then another right next to it is completely untouched.

Imagine driving past all the homes you are so familiar with, where you have visited your friends, where you know each resident in the close-knit community, only to see homes are flattened piles of rubble.

Imagine not even knowing if those people survived or not, because there’s still no access to an official list of survivors.

Imagine the relief when you catch sight of someone who you had not yet seen, and you realise they have survived.

Imagine facing the weekly choice of which memorial services you attend.

I can’t even imagine, and I’m glad that so many layers of this tragedy are not in the public domain, out of respect.


Experience Uganda


Last night, I was at Experience Uganda. It was a full night of live music and videos, including hearing from YVV‘ers who had recently returned from Uganda. Emily Comans – an Aussie living at Care4Kids also spoke.


It was great to see pathways of hope that are being built through different groups there.

 Andrew, a young guy from Uganda spoke. He is over here doing some computer training to take back to his village. He pointed out his amazement towards some things he had seen in Australia so far, including funny stories like trying three times to get on a moving escalator.
He commented on how strange it was that our church services were so short, that we had ‘tea’ in the middle and also he couldn’t understand that when we sang praises to God we stood still! 


So while we wre hearing reflections from Aussies on the things they had learnt from his culture, Andrew was also offering his observations about ours. The passion and compassion in that room was tangible. For me, it was a night of celebration and of huge contrasts.


As I sat with the crowd of about 170 people, I had a very tall man sitting in front of me. Everything that was presented came to me as I peeked over his head, or bent to see around him. This man and his family had recently moved from Sudan. We welcome his family, (and some of their friends from Sudan) at YVV every Sunday. They have built a strong connection with some kind people in our church.  At one point, as we were viewing a video of the orphans in Uganda, he hunched over and began telling a story to his Australian friend. She listened intently, compassionately shaking her head with great empathy in her eyes towards him.


It was his story. I could tell it was a sad story. I can’t imagine what the night was like through his eyes.


Where I was sitting last night, compelled me to view the Uganda Experience in a way that caught me by surprise. Hearing the huge needs and opportunities presented from the returning teams, yet obviously in front of me were the needs that are on my very own doorstep.


I am glad that I am in a community that pushes me to respond to both the ‘close’ and the ‘far’ mission of extending God’s love to those around us.

Corny but true

624821_leave_your_markTime to change the name of this blog.

This blog has been through some transition. It began as Shared Worship, in 2006 as part of my role in worship development with AVCA.  It created space for connection, which led to developing a more focussed tool for the Vineyard worship community as that role ended. Since then, it’s all been incorporated into the AVCA website and most people have caught up with that reality.

Rather than starting a new space at the moment, I’m going with the corny title of Di-alog.

I’m sure that will get you all revved to add silly comments about that…I know you want to! 🙂

Treasure Hunters

ultimate-treasure-hunt-kevin-dedmon-paperback-cover-artWhen Greg Trainor was here recently doing a mini-conference, he  and his team introduced us to  the Treasure Hunt challenge as a way to live a risky life following Jesus on His mission. I know that this stirred up some valid issues for people here, which of course Greg is a master at doing!

Some people on the other hand, were right into it immediately. We heard a couple of stories yesterday from some who had taken up the Treasure Hunt challenge.

Another person is now engrossed in reading the book, by Kevin Dedmon. This person said that it was great to give this Treasure Hunt challenge a try before reading the book.

This comment was refreshing to hear, as it highlights the awareness that we are often really good at seeking knowledge before we allow it to enter our experience. It’s like how we read the accounts of Jesus and leave them there in the Book. Our pursuit for knowledge/ideas move us onto the next thing we need to ‘know’ before it has become a part of who we are, extending into our real, lived-out lives.

This was, in a sense, reversing the order…and for it to be reversed in a conference setting (of all places!) was very cool.

Todd Hunter









I have bumped into Todd Hunter on a few occasions as part of the Vineyard, in both America and Australia. I have been impacted by the way he lives. He is a powerful kingdom communicator, and also a pioneer and catalyst, especially in church planting.  

He is launching into a new venture, which involves the Anglican church into which he is becoming ordained this week.

HT to Steve Addison

Resource. Recover. Re-ignite.

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Red Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt


This is part of the end project with Essentials Red course.

Resource – Recover – Re-ignite

What Winston Churchill said of us is true: ‘We shape our buildings and after our buildings shape us”.

Over the years, our church building has seen many walls knocked down, literally, to create more space for growth.

As we have studied the Language of Space, it is obvious where we now gather needs attention

Another strong theme is that I want this to reflect a deeper desire, that over time, our liturgy again will be strengthened and enriched being the living ‘work of the people’. For example, we are seeing momentum of confidence and expression with our artists so we want to invite their gifts to continue to rise among us.


So, this project is a simple tool and part of a bigger plan.

My hope is that this will be a step which may inspire reclaiming our interaction with God in prayer expressions through visual art and beyond.


1. Resource

Step 1. Offer this as a resource.

  • It ties together different languages of worship which need to be reclaimed in our church. (prayer, art, Scripture).
  • It will go on our website (to be used in personal devotion, or offered to small groups).
  • It will also be available to our worship leaders (one slide could be used, for example maybe during a worship gathering)

2. Recover

Step 2: Print slides to go up in our Prayer Room.

  • We have a space set aside for prayer in our building.
  • Our hope was that it would be filled with different expressions of prayer. I would love that space to inspire our hearts, and enlarge our vision in prayer.
  • Our visual artists are currently offering their gifts towards a labyrinth experience for Easter, so after that is finished I will invite/enlist their ideas/gifts to bring for the Prayer Room.

3. Re-ignite

Step 3: I anticipate a further step might be to have a night together with artists, to widen the invitation to bring other elements of expression to our gathered worship space.


If anyone has any thoughts to add, or tips to contribute, please let me know.

Concluding thoughts for Essentials Red

708451_hourglass_3 For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Red Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt



We all have marked, memorable moments which have shaped and sustained our personal history in the journey of aligning our life with Jesus.  

Being inclined to easily forget, we intentionally re-visit the Story we are in, to regain the impact and meaning.

Our living worship demands constant remembrance and recovery of the ideas and events that have shaped us.

So too, we will find history and tradition guiding our communal worship compass towards our future.

It calls us to REMEMBER and RECOVER the wisdom enfolded in worship from past days.

We RE-ENTER the power of daily/weekly/yearly and lifetime patterns which inform and invite us into the rhythms of God’s creation.

We RE-INVIGORATE the value and importance of physical environment, aesthetics and architecture with the understanding that it can powerfully augment our heart expression in worship.

We REDISCOVER the truth that the substance of our prayer frames what we believe. Prayer is to be rediscovered, both the heartfelt expressions of spontaneous prayer as well as the riches of written and established prayers from past and present.

We RE-INTEGRATE the public reading Scripture, as we prayerfully consider creative ways to reclaim its importance by bringing it back from the margins into the centre.

We RECALL the significance of sacraments which Jesus initiated and invited us to participate in. We anticipate the Holy Spirit revealing the mystery beyond words, as found in the symbolic actions in Eucharist and in Baptism.

We RE-ENACT these symbolic actions, knowing they convey the significant power of that event into the present.

We RECOVER the power of art and music as soul languages, which allow bridges of access and windows to the soul. In doing so, we participate in reflections of God’s heart, both to and through us.

We RE-CREATE many intentional opportunities to retell His-story, and engage hearts in refreshed ways in our day. We collaborate in recognition that these windows of beauty open up infinite ways for us to meet with God.

We seek to REGAIN ground lost, both in past and present worship expression.

We set our hearts on creating many opportunities to explore and RE-PRESENT the Story, in diverse languages and with unceasing devotion to God our Father.


*This is a summary of the 5 weeks and my next blog entry will be a creative project pulling out an example of some of the above.

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