What I learned in Tory Street

I’ve just been in Wellington, NZ, for a few days holiday, visiting family and friends, and reconnecting with important aspects of my identity. The first three nights were spent in a hotel in Tory Street, the street I worked in for six years between 1994 and 2000 while with the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa Assembly Staff. The building I worked in is now home to a digital design company, an accounting company, and a number of eating places. Eating breakfast at Caffe L’Affare in College St, at Prefab in Jessie St, and eating dinner at The Meeting Place in Tory Street, I spent some time reflecting on what I learned while working there.

100 Tory Street

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12 Personality Traits of a Great Boss

I came across an infographic this morning designed by OfficeVibe, a site providing tools for improving team culture. “You have probably heard the old saying, people don’t quit their job, they quit their bosses. Poor leadership can lead to poor performance across the board. This is why it’s important to make sure that you have great bosses/managers that are leading the pack and making everyone around them better on a daily basis.” Click on the graphic for more on each of the 12 (+1) traits. I’ve signed up for a 14 day trial with OfficeVibe, which provides fun ways for building office morale each day. I’ll leave some comments here on what I learn from the experience.

Infographic crafted with love by Officevibe, the enterprise employee engagement platform that encourages daily team building.

Amazing New Zealand 4K Time Lapse Films

New Zealand Milky Way

Martin Heck, a timelapse cinematographer based in Central Germany, has launched New Zealand 4K, a four-part series of films showing the changing landscapes of New Zealand. So far he’s released three of the series: Awakening, Amplitute and Solitude. The first one shows some amazing shots of the Milky Way from Fjordland National Park, Mount Cook National Park and Arthurs Pass National Park, Mavora Lakes and Lake Ohau. The second film, featuring glow worm caves, was shot in Fjordland National Park, Karamea/Oparara Basin, “Metro Cave” in Charlston, Lake Matheson, Jackson Head and Haast Pass. The third was shot in Tongariro National Park, Taranaki National Park, Lake Tekapo, Canterburry High Country, Lake Wakatipu and Skipper Canyon. Part Four is yet to come. See more at TimeStorm Films.

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Uniting Church Discussion on Theology of Marriage

UCA marriage heart

The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly Doctrine Working Group has released a discussion paper on theology marriage, in response to the 13th Assembly, using the official Uniting Church marriage service as the basis for theological reflection. The process began with a process of listening, in which facilitators (including me) worked with selected groups to hear a diversity of views. Robert Bos has produced a report on that process, “Views of marriage in the UCA”, providing insights from Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities, recent migrant communities and “Anglo Australian” communities. Ben Myers, theology lecturer at UTC Sydney, drafted “Discussion Paper on Marriage”, the commentary on the marriage service in Uniting in Worship 2. Now’s the time for further conversation and response, with submissions due by 10 October 2014 so they can be collated and provided to the Assembly Standing Committee for its meeting in November this year. Download the documents online.

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Kiwi Origins Rethought

Flying Kiwi animated

The Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), based in University of Adelaide, has had to rethink a theory that the New Zealand Kiwi had its origins on the Australian continent. It has been thought that the kiwi and the moa were spin-offs from the emu. DNA testing now suggests that the kiwi’s closest known relative would be the elephant bird, an extinct species whose bones were found on the island of Madagascar. Is it possible that flying prototype kiwis once flew around the world looking for a great place to live, finally settling on the land of the long white cloud? Maybe they called in on Australia, and didn’t like what they saw? An island refuge without snakes would have been seen as a better option. We’re still left with the question of where the kiwi ancestors actually came from. Discovering evidence of evolutionary cousins in Madagascar doesn’t solve the mystery. And how did they fly? Dony Permedi, a CG animator from the USA, provides us with a visual clue…

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Thomas the Double – Beyond Fiction

I’ve got an idea for a novel that I’m never likely to get around to writing. It’s to do with Thomas, known to some of us as Doubting Thomas. Thomas, one of the disciples chosen by Jesus, with known to his peers as Thomas Didymus, or Thomas the Twin. Thomas (Tau’ma) means twin in Syriac, a form of the Aramaic which was the language of Jesus and his followers. And Didymus, a name by which the apostle is also called in the gospel of John, means twin in Greek. So why was he known as the Twin? Did he have a twin brother or sister? Or did he look remarkably like someone else? Could he have been remarkably similar in appearance to none other than Jesus? Read on for my Easter sermon, delivered at Wesley Uniting Church in April last year, drawing from John 20:24-29. I’ve taken out a couple of local references and italicised a local-context-related paragraph.

The Incredulity of Thomas - Carravagio

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