Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Sermon: There are no mountains without valleys

Sermon for Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Transfiguration, 19th of February 2012

2 Kings 2:1-12; Mark 9:2-9

Today we celebrate the Transfiguration, the revelation of God in Jesus. It is, literally, a mountaintop experience, in which the separation of earth from heaven is overcome by the presence of Jesus. We know that we’re on the border of heaven because we’re on a mountain, the traditional site of revelations of God; because Jesus’ clothes have become dazzling white, the colour of light itself; and because Elijah and Moses, representing the prophets and the law, are present. God spoke to both Elijah and Moses on a mountain;[1] their presence here confirms for Peter, James and John that on this mountain they’re seeing God. Moses had to veil his face after speaking to God, but in Jesus the veil that normally hides God from human sight has been removed. Today we celebrate that theophany, that revelation of God, standing with Peter, James and John on the mountaintop.

But I’ve preached on that amazing theophany for the past few years, and so today I want to focus instead on the valleys. Because there are no mountains without valleys; there are no mountain-top experiences without hard times. Continue reading


February 18, 2012 Posted by | Ministry | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book review: The Girlfriends’ Clergy Companion: Surviving and Thriving in Ministry

The Girlfriends’ Clergy Companion: Surviving and Thriving in Ministry
Melissa Lynn DeRosia, Marianne J. Grano, Amy Morgan, and Amanda Adams Riley

Alban, 2011
ISBN 978-1-56699-418-7

Don’t be put off by the title

This probably says more about me than the book, but I was a little disconcerted when David of Uniting Church Resources gave me a copy of The Girlfriends’ Clergy Companion, complete with floral cover, and said that he’d ordered it thinking of me. In my head the collective noun ‘girlfriends’ is more likely to refer to a group of drag queens traversing the desert than to a group of my ministry peers. But once I got over the title (and the flowers) I found this an extremely helpful book. Continue reading

February 17, 2012 Posted by | Ministry | , , , | 1 Comment