Monday, September 27, 2010

Twitter and Facebook V. Blogging

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I am beginning to think that the reason some of us aren't Blogging so much as before is because we expose ourselves to too-much information on Social Net-Working sites, then  we spend time responding to those posts or articles, that there is very little time left to blog or very little left to be said in a blog that we haven't posted or commented on elsewhere. (That was a long, lawyer-like sentence - apologies.)

A web-page or a blog in the early days - pre Twitter, Facebook, linkedin and picture hosting sites -  was a great way to share news and pictures with family and friends around the globe. Today, especially with the evolution of software such as Tweetdeck, we can access all of this information - whilst editing the bits we really are interested in - and respond in typographical soundbites.

That is probably the equivalent in Characters  of six to seven Tweets.

Post Scriptum: It is also very difficult to compose a blog on an iPhone: another reason for Tweeting and Fb.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Press Release from the DIocese of Ballarat

Embargoed until 11.30am (EST) on Saturday 19 June 2010
Announcement on behalf of Bishop Michael Hough
Bishop Michael Hough has tendered his resignation as the Bishop of Ballarat with his last
day in office to be Monday, 20 December 2010, following a service of the Laying up of the
Pastoral Staff on Sunday, 19 December 2010.
Bishop Michael says that he has come to this decision with a heavy heart, and after much
prayer and reflection on the unity of the Diocese and its mission.
Bishop Michael hopes that in his stepping aside, the People of God in the diocese will
commit with fresh vigour to make known the transforming mystery and love of Christ to all
people in the diocese of Ballarat.
The Bishop hopes that the diocese will continue with its mandate for mission, enlivening
our traditions and liturgies throughout the diocese in all kinds of faith communities, bringing
those outside the Church into a relationship with God; with the poor and marginalised
continuing to be a priority.
Announcement on behalf of the Complainants
In late 2008, a number of clergy and lay people of the Diocese of Ballarat or with previous
connection to the Diocese of Ballarat together brought individual Complaints concerning
the conduct of the Bishop of Ballarat before the Episcopal Standards Commission of the
Anglican Church of Australia.
After a long process, the Complaints have been resolved by a confidential Deed of
Settlement negotiated and entered into by the Complainants, the Bishop of Ballarat and the
Diocese of Ballarat. As a result, the Complainants have withdrawn their Complaints.
The settlement has been made possible by the commitment of all the parties involved to
the unity and mission of the Church in the Diocese of Ballarat.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Social Networking Media

"Where have you been?"  "Is all well?"  "Given up on Fb?"

I have been surprised by the number of emails that I have received these last few weeks containing comments like those above. Whilst  I am part  of the demographic that supposedly makes up the  largest group of Social Networking Media users (SNMUs), I refrain from letting it run my life.

It is good to be able to catch up with family and friends across the globe and to be informed of their joys and troubles almost the instant something happens,  but does this always require a written comment or acknowledgment that the post/tweet/blog has been read?  I use the application 'Tweetdeck' on my iPhone, MacBook and the iMacs around the house. When the application is minimalised it opens a window briefly above any open application when someone or some topic I am following has a hit. This includes twitter feeds, twitter searches, linkedin, facebook, alerts from the fire brigade about local incidents and from the railways (V Line) about train cancellations or delays. I can also review all posts during a specific time-frame from the man tweetdeck screen.

So whilst I haven't been posting much in recent weeks,  I have been keeping an eye on things - locally and globally - and feel informed.

In addition to the  usual Holy Week and Easter things,  I have been writing and working on a couple of projects. Today I think I have hopefully avoided the flu to the extent that some others around me have suffered.

My next blog post should look at why all of the most recent blogs  have been about water?

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another weather-related blog post

Heavy rain had been forecast for the Melbourne metropolitan area this afternoon but when I left Ballarat this morning the skies were cloudless and blue.  Lunchtime  in Melbourne was very pleasant although  a little warm. After a post-lunch visit to the Central Catholic Bookshop (I am never  quite sure just what the 'Central' part of the title is claiming)  I walked back to the main railway station wondering just when the 'cool change' was going to arrive.

Wisely I had abounded my summer raincoat and instead took my faithful Swaine Adeney Brigg umbrella - It is my favorite (and having just looked at the website via the link above to see what a replacement would cost I will not be offering to lend it out again in a hurry) and  this proved to be a wise move as nothing but a Barbour or Dry-as-a-bone would have kept out the rain that came.

My train was delayed and then cancelled along with all of the others.  An attempt to exist the station  - whilst the announcer proclaimed "this is the result of very, very, very extreme weather" -  was delayed due to flash-flooding outside of the station.

Fortunately the Bishop was also in Melbourne, attending a late-afternoon meeting with the Premier, and he had decided to drive in rather than take the train. So after meeting up with the Registrar's daughter (like me stranded in the Big Smoke) we left a note on the Bishop's windscreen and  headed to the closet watering hole beside St Paul's Cathedral (Y&J's)  and waited for the Bishop to finish his meeting. The drive home was much appreciated.

The pictures are of the flash-flooding in and around Southern Cross Station.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Deo Gratia - The 'Rain' has come

After two-and-a-half weeks of sweltering in the humid heat with a broken air conditioning system that was not being fixed, the clergy and lay-staff at Ballarat's Anglican Cathedral and Bishop's Registry, welcomed the rain and associated cool change that arrived late this afternoon.

Perhaps the engineers - who have not been to investigate the problem -  or, latterly,  return desperate calls - think that the church only works on Sunday and so can wait.

Perhaps they have forgotten the many people that come for a free breakfast or  a food parcel and who have also had to endure the oppressive conditions.

Suits have been shed for shorts; cassocks have been closeted for cassalbs, shoes supplanted with  sandals. Prayers are being offered for the chance to sport Boots and Brollies!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Alone at the Organ

Seated Today at the Organ

People tell you that it is good to sit in the pews occasionally; for a former organist, its good to play for a liturgy occasionally.

Those of us who lead public worship, have -  at one time or another - been critical of the organist: too fast; too soft; too loud; wrong tune; a daydreamer  - etcetera. It can be a lonely and frustrating gig, especially if the choir are on leave and the clergy are not accustomed to working together or in that particular liturgical space.

Part of my role as Bishop's Chaplain is to have a through understanding of any liturgy that the Bishop will take part in well in advance of the start of the service.  That includes knowing what everybody else should be doing and when. I have learnt to be gentle in these enquires and with my suggestions for how things might otherwise be done.

As part of this preparation, I always consult with the Organist and/or Choir Director and make sure that they are aware of any last minute changes.  When you are the organist, as I was today, up in the organ loft and away from the action,  it is difficult to switch off and just be the organist for the day. How do you signal down to the sanctuary that the  presider has his radio microphone on and therefore  all of his aside  comments to the concelebrants (spoken loudly as one has a hearing problem and one an English problem) are being heard clearer in the nave than by those standing either side of him? The MC was out stoking the  thurible so there was no other option than to play louder.

All in all it was a good morning: the mass was celebrated; the people sung well and Christ was made known in bread and wine and through his people.  In future I will be strive to be kinder and exercise  more compassion for organists.

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Sunday, January 03, 2010