Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Going to Bidwill

I'm on leave next week. And the week after. I'm going to Bidwill (near Mount Druitt, near Blacktown) in Sydney. Also going some other places. Hopefully can do lots of photography. Should be good!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Is it violent to drop a packet of flour on people from eight floors up?

At about 5 o'clock on Wednesday morning I got woken up because there were a few people in the laneway being really noisy. They were drinking, and they had a stereo going, playing hiphop, and they were rapping with each other. It went on for about half an hour, and I really needed to get a lot more sleep, so I got a packet of flour and dropped it out the window, so that it hit the steel mesh just above their heads, and exploded all over them. I'd thought they'd probably get pretty angry, but they started going, 'Shhhh! Shhhh!' to each other and turned the stereo off. And they hung around for a while still, but they weren't noisy anymore.

I got what I wanted, but was wondering whether it was very nice of me to drop flour on those people. Sometimes some of our neighbours throw garbage bags full of water at people down in the laneway, and I think using flour was certainly less violent than that. I'd mainly wnated to give them a surprise so that they'd realise there were people around trying to sleep, and I think that worked.
I messaged Simon later that day asking if he reckoned it was violent or nonviolent to drop a packet of flour on people from eight floors up and he said, 'Depends if you drop the bag of flour from eight floors up ironically. And if they deserved it.'
What do you think?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Claudette Werleigh at Mission Exposure

I didn't end up getting anyone saying they could come for all of Mission Exposure - there were a number of people saying they might be coming, but no-one saying they actually were coming. So we're not having anyone come and stay with us, but we're still running all the program from Monday to Friday, and are inviting people to just come to the parts they're interested in.
Simon has organised for Claudette Werleigh to come and help him run the nonviolence workshop. This is the blurb he sent me about Claudette Werleigh:

A former prime minister and foreign minister of Haiti will visit Australia in her new role as an ambassador of peace.
Claudette Werleigh was appointed Secretary General of the Catholic peace organisation, Pax Christi International, in November last year. In Australia, Pax Christi is an ecumenical organisation with other Christian churches as members.
Ms Werleigh, who is multi-lingual, describes herself as "a black woman with origin and cultural legacy from America and Africa".
Her credentials are impressive. Until her latest appointment, Ms Werleigh was Director of the Conflict Transformation Program at the Life & Peace Institute in Uppsala, Sweden for eight years.
She led field activities aimed at strengthening peace-building in war-torn societies in the Horn of Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville.
She believes that since the attack on September 11 in the United States security has become the most important topic on the geopolitical agenda of world leaders.
"These attacks have furnished occasion and, at times, pretext for operating deep cuts in the application of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and placing restrictions on already agreed-upon individual citizens' rights," Ms Werleigh says.
Ms Werleigh lists gender equality and women's empowerment among her areas of interest.
She believes that women are crucial to ensure sustainable peace.
"Women are the backbone of society," she says. "They possess enormous strengths to give to the peace process, far beyond traditional family care."
Let me know if you're interested in coming to Simon and Claudette's session on nonviolence (it's Thursday afternoon) or if you'd like a copy of the program for the week.
Email: chris.booth@urbanseed.org
Phone: (03) 9650 3023

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Playing with blocks

This morning Mehrin and I were playing with blocks.
At the State Library:

And at Carlton Gardens:

(The blocks are from a game called
Skybridge, which I got a copy of for Jeff, because he couldn't move around much, because he got burnt and had to have a skin graft.)

5pm Service in the Sanctuary, and Spring Into Gospel Festival

On Sunday night at Collins Street Baptist Church we had our 5pm church service in the Sanctuary for the first time. We're trying meeting in there because we're running out of room in the Narthex.

Also, the Spring Into Gospel Festival is coming up in October at CSBC. There is a flier about it here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mission Exposure Week at Urban Seed

Just a reminder that Mission Exposure Week is coming up (September 20-26).

The Residential Community at Urban Seed would like to invite you to spend a week with us. Urban Seed is a community of Christians trying to connect with their neighbours in Melbourne's CBD, with a priority for the poor.
As a guest, you will be living in the building and taking part in the community (including lunches in Credo Café), as well as participating in reflections on spirituality, mission and community.

Some of the kinds of things we'll be thinking about:
What does Jesus' story mean for me in my context?
How do I relate to people who abuse drugs?
What about our own addictions?
What does healing look like?
What is hospitality?
Who do I associate with?
Who do I invite over for lunch or dinner?
Can I follow Jesus call to love my enemies without becoming a doormat?
How do I integrate my faith with my work and my everyday life?
What's going on in my own neighbourhood?
How do different people from different faith traditions live in community?
What do we need to be saved from?
Who is my neighbour?
Where is home?
Can any good come from Nazareth?

The costs of the week will be negotiated as an exercise in economic sharing.

If you want to come, please give me a call (03 9650 3023 - or use my mobile if you have it) or email me (chris.booth@urbanseed.org).

Monday, September 08, 2008

'SA defence expo cancelled'

Article from AdelaideNow:

Acting Premier Kevin Foley said yesterday the Government had full confidence in police to manage "these feral anarchists that would be descending on Adelaide" if the event, at the Convention Centre, had proceeded.

"However, the organisers had to take into account a number of factors, ranging from security issues as well as the level of support from the Defence Department," he said, also labelling the protesters "feral low-lifes".

"We had to weigh up a number of factors and the decision was taken that the cost of security, the possible threats of violence, were risks that on balance the organisers of the event and the Government agreed were not worth proceeding with."
Read the whole article here.
Props to Simon.

'Another hurricane looms, but New Orleans will rise again'

I forgot to mention this on Tuesday, but Andreana (my housemate) was in the opinion section of The Age again, this time writing about New Orleans and Hurricane Gustav. (Andreana was in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.)

ALMOST three years after hurricane Katrina ploughed through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi, hurricane Gustav threatens to do the same. This time, the destruction could even be worse. The storm is already the same strength as hurricane Katrina but more than double its width. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has warned that the storm surge in some areas could be twice as high as the levees, although the US Army Corps of Engineers has been working on them since the destruction caused in 2005.
Read the whole article here.

'Garrett rejects Shoalwater Bay coal terminal proposal'

Simon sent me this news story yesterday. (Shoalwater Bay is the site of the Talisman Sabre wargames, where Simon and four others were arrested last year for inviting the soldiers to play frisbee instead.)

Mr Garrett says the proposed coal terminal would destroy the ecological integrity of the area.
Simon said, 'Now we just have to get the Army, Navy and Air Force to stop bombing it and everything will be hunky dory.'

Monday, September 01, 2008

Laneway Cricket in Ascotvale

On Friday Marcus asked if I could come to Laneway Cricket at the commission flats in Ascotvale to take some pictures. The game was part of the Housing Week activities. (Laneway Cricket is a joint project between Urban Seed and Cricket Victoria.)