A blog from the President of the Uniting Church in Australia.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Bells of Hope
Last Friday, December 18th, I participated in a hastily put-together 'vigil' (can you have an all-speaking-no-praying-vigil?) in Federation Square in Melbourne. The Australian Conservation Fund, World Vision and a few other NGO's organised the event 9 hours out from the end of the Copenhagen Climate Summit . The bells of St Paul's pealed for the occasion and 100 handbells were given out to the crowd which numbered about 300. Speakers were Archbishop Frier (Anglican), me (UCA), the lead singer of Blue King Brown and a young woman from Tuvalu. Good occasion. Pity the result of the Summit gave us little to ring about. Can you ring bells in lament? In my extensive research for my 3 minute talk I did discover that in 1456 Pope Callixtus 3rd ordered the ringing of noon bells as a protest against the attacks of the Ottomans on Budapest. So there's a tradition of 'pealing in protest' which might be a good Christian practice to resurrect!
Married to Clare with 4 kids, down to one still living at home. I'm a Uniting Church Minister, ordained for 25 years, mainly in congregational ministry, currently serving as President of UCA for three years ending mid 2012.