Sunday, January 26, 2014

Music to Inspire Your Faith: Pete Seeger RIP

Peter "Pete" Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) was an American folk singer. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead Belly's "Goodnight, Irene", which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. Members of The Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, he re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, counterculture and environmental causes.

Toshi Aline Ohta Seeger (July 1, 1922 – July 9, 2013) was an American filmmaker, producer, environmental activist and wife of folk singer Pete Seeger, whom she married in 1943. She has been credited as the foundation of Seeger's personal and professional success. A filmmaker who specialized in the subject of folk music, Toshi's credits included the 1966 film, Afro-American Work Songs in a Texas Prison, and the Emmy Award-winning documentary, Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, released through PBS in 2007.

Pete Seeger RIP. On this day a man who inspired me to learn guitar and sing of justice has left us his legacy. I was just 10 years old when my parents gave me an album of The Weavers at Carnegie Hall. The songs and banjo of Pete Seeger captured my imagination. 

Long before I bought any Beatles music I owned an EP of Seeger singing a live recording of We Shall Overcome. If conversion is a life changing  experience then hearing this song was my epiphany. Rest in peace my mentor and hero. May I sing your songs till the end of my days and share your passion for humanity and justice. The tears that well in my eyes are for a great loss and an act of thanksgiving.

This post is included on this blog because Pete Seeger was a significant influence on my spirituality and faith. He lived a life of personal commitment and walked the difficult road in the tradition of Jesus of Nazareth, challenging the powers of empire. I sang his music in Churches as a teenager and young adult because they spoke the words of the Gospel in song. May he rest in peace and we never rest from the cause of justice and the power of song to nurture a sacred heart.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

St John's Labyrinth:

Date: Sat 1 Feb 2014 
Time: 09:30am - 11:30am
Category: Spirituality
Launch and workshop

Come and join in the festive occasion. There will be a workshop led by the Revd Rick Zweck and plenty of time for your own walking of the labyrinth. The labyrinth has been commissioned from Cedar Prest, an artist and labyrinth maker in Adelaide. Her best loved works include the Clerestory windows in St Peter’s Anglican Cathedral, Adelaide, and a huge foyer wall in the Sydney Airport Arrivals Hall. The labyrinth she is making for us has as its centre piece the St John’s eagle; and is a Chartres design that will fit nicely into the space in the northern transept beneath the rose window. However, the labyrinth is portable and can be placed elsewhere both inside and outside the Cathedral. The Cathedral colours of blue, yellow and red also feature in its design.
Workshop Leader:The Revd Richard Zweck was a school chaplain and parish minister.He is a Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator and has conducted labyrinth workshops for schools,churches and education groups.He has recently returned from France (including Chartres Cathedral) where he completed the Veriditas Advanced labyrinth course.

9.30am-­‐9.45am      Dedication of Labyrinth
9.45am-­‐10.15am    Workshop on the Labyrinth led by The Revd Rick Sweck
10.15am–10.30am   MorningTea
10.30am–11.30am   Time to walk the labyrinth
All are most welcome. Please let us know that you will be attending.
Enquiries and Registrations:The Rev Canon Dr Nigel Leavesph: (07) 3835 2219 fx:  (07) 3832

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Images That Open Your Eyes

These images speak of the human in all its ambiguity and passion. They stir the spirit of compassion and justice that is at the heart of the human search for meaning. They question our relationships across the divide of creed and ritual. They open our eyes in ways in ways no text or dogma could imagine. And the images are not complete for our joys and hope our grief and anguish will continue.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Does God Listen to Politicians?

Parliamentary Prayers have again become a bone of contention in #Australia. The Greens senator Richard di Natale,  is calling to have the prayers scrapped.

The acting Greens leader announced on Tuesday that when Parliament returns in February, he will move to end the reading of prayers at the start of each sitting day. Read  SMH  report : 

For the brave of heart there are mosh pits of discussion to explore this issue. Ozpolitic

So, lets' have a look at the prayers used in our Parliament and see how much they have influenced political behaviour.

Almighty God, we humbly beseech Thee to vouchsafe Thy blessing upon this Parliament. Direct and prosper our deliberations to the advancement of Thy glory, and the true welfare of the people of Australia.

Our Father, which art in Heaven: Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdome come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.

 Give us this day our daily bread.

 And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us
"The idea that we would plead for the deferral of executions of people who murdered 88 Australians is distasteful to the entire community," Mr Howard said.
"I find it impossible myself as an Australian, as Prime Minister, and as an individual, to argue that those executions should not take place when they have murdered my fellow countrymen and women.

And lead us not into temptation;

 but deliver us from evil:
 For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Fr Bob Nugent RIP
A devoted advocate for gay and lesbian Catholics, Father Robert Nugent, SDS, has passed away. Nugent is known for co-founding New Ways Ministry, an organization that cares for gay and lesbian Catholics.
A blog on the New Ways website shared the news of his passing, which took place on January 1, 2014, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had been suffering from brain cancer for three months. Read full text here
HUff Post Religion Page including slideshow of Most Inspiring LGBT Religious Leaders
Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director, reflected on the impact of Father Nugent’s life:“When New Ways Ministry informed its supporters of Fr. Nugent’s illness, hundreds of cards and notes expressing gratitude and encouragement flooded his hospice room.  At the end, he knew he was loved and cared for by so, so many on his final journey.
“While we at New Ways Ministry are sad that we will no longer experience his sharp mind, his warm heart, and his delightful wit, we are comforted by the fact that his impact will live on in the lives of those he touched and in the Catholic Church’s continued renewal of its welcome and commitment to its lesbian and gay members–a renewal that he played such a large role in effecting.  We now have another saint to whom we can pray for LGBT equality and justice.”

The Rev. James Martin, S.J., editor-at-large at Catholic magazine America, commented:
I always admired Father Nugent's pioneering work with gay and lesbian Catholics; along with Sister Jeannine Gramick he helped many thousands of people feel more welcome in their church. But I admired just as much his fidelity to his vow of obedience. In a complicated time, Father Nugent navigated a course between justice and fidelity with enormous grace and trust in God. All Catholics--not just gays and lesbians --owe him a debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace.
Google Search results for Fr Robert Nugent