With the year drawing to a close, it’s that time when we traditionally look back on what the year has been like, before looking forward to the new one.
There are a couple of ways (at least) to reflect on the year here at tasmission. Read on!
The first is to ask which 2011 stories have been most popular. Here’s the top 10. Remind yourself (or check them out for the first time if you’re new or only an occasional visitor):
- the power of every place and no place – a review of Stu Larsen’s evocative album Ryeford
- church of the latter day geeks – when church meets science fiction meets popular television comedy show meets mission
- my confessions – the remarkable poetry of Joel McKerrow
- unite south – a church gathered – the story from the first of three UCA Tasmania gatherings across the state in August 2011
- the many shapes of normal – an encounter with the astonishing MONA gallery, opened this year in Hobart. If you haven’t been yet, take an open mind and get along
- birth and death – a reflection on hopefulness, and the possibility of new life in the church in Tassie
- unite north-west – the final story – the story from the third of three UCA Tasmania gatherings across the state in August 2011
- social media and the councils of the church – what are we afraid of when it comes to embracing new ways of communicating?
- changing the conversation – introduction – the first encounter with the book “Changing the Conversation” – read by a big group in Hobart this year
- changing the conversation 3 – a new heart – our encounter with chapter 3 of Changing the Conversation – in which author Anthony Robinson challenges us to find a new vitality in our spirituality
The second is to ponder which stories have meant to the most to me. Which have I most enjoyed writing, most wanted people to read, most capture the mood of the year and my work. Here’s some of my favourite tasmission moments from 2011:
- the power of every place and no place – a review of Stu Larsen’s evocative album Ryeford. Stu is my cousin, so I’m biased, but I loved listening to this album, and couldn’t help but write the story of my encounter with it. It’s without question the number one story I’ve written this year – and the message in it is important to me personally, and I think to those of us in the church today, fighting to figure out the way ahead. What does the power of place have to say to us?
- the “changing the conversation” series – with 55 people in Hobart reading the book “Changing the Conversation” we undertook to publish a chapter-by-chapter reflection and contextual notes (turns out American needs translation to be able to make sense in Australian!). It was a challenging task and one I really enjoyed.
- what do we knead combines nicely with are we on a rescue mission – I don’t suppose for a moment that I have all the answers to the challenges facing the church and the Christian community but these two posts pretty much sum up what I’m on about in my job here in Tassie – these are the questions I’m most interested in asking.
- just around the corner and let silence do the heavy lifting – I like tasmission because it gives me a place to capture the messiness of my thoughts, to reflect on day-to-day experiences and see if they make sense. It’s just your bad luck to have to listen in while I figure things out (all to slowly)
- asbo Jesus takes on Job – I’ve continued to appreciate the creative musings of Jon Birch over at asbo Jesus. He’s ripped out some good ones this year, and this one amongst the best. And be sure to check out his new animated Christmas feature – noisy night. Play that in church this (Christmas) weekend!
Have a great Christmas, and I look forward to sharing something more with you in 2012…