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Yesterday, which was Sunday, was a good day.

Heather and Lani picked me up at 7:05am (they were supposed to pick me up at 7:15 but I think they forgot that it take 5 minutes to get from anywhere to anywhere in Griffith, and left 15 minutes early) and we headed off to a church in the middle of no-where. It was damn cold. As we drove we got to see the sun rise which was very cool. I love the sunrise. Bonhoeffer said that the sunrise is a mere relection of the glory of the risen Christ (actually, I don't think he said that at all because I have so much trouble understanding Bonhoeffer that I probably mis-understood what he wrote) and every time I see a sunrise I think of that. Everytime I see a sunrise I think if this is this good, how great must the resurrected Jesus be? It's pretty cool. The first time I saw a sunrise I thought to myself "Wow, does this happen everyday?".

We arrived in Darlington Point at 7:38 and found the church. The service didn't start till 8:30 (we thought it started at 8) so we went off to the river and practiced what we were going to say in the churches we were visiting. 8:15 arrived and we headed off to the church. We met some old ladies and got roped into doing all the readings for the service. We waited for the minister to turn up but he never did. There was no minister. The church was being led that day by a man named Nick who was very friendly and spoke very quietly. When the sevice started there were 14 people in the church including Nick and the 3 of us. 3 of them were men. The church was so cold I spent the whole time shivering.

During the service they gave us Youthworks people the sermon time. Lani gave an interview about college and Heather shared her testimony. They left ten minutes for me to "share" from the Bible. I think it was meant to be a sermon but all sermons need to be approved by the Bishop so I couldn't do a sermon. But that's fine by me.

I was a bit nervous talking to a bunch of people hugely older than me. These people would all be so much more spiritually mature than I am, I didn't really feel like a was a worthy candidate to teach them. I decided to take the tack of making my talk an encouragement rather than a teaching. If they learnt from it it would be good. I basically said the we can only be saved by grace and if we are saved by grace we must be changed by grace. I was speaking on Luke 23:32-43, which was the same passage we were using in the schools. When I realised that the audience was a little different than I expected, I modified the talk on the spot and managed to make almost no reference to the passage at all. That was a little sad but it all tied in well to Eph 2:8-10 which I read at the end at the risk of using an overused passage (not that I mind the use of the passage as I love it, especially going from 8-10, not just 8 and 9). All the people seemed to nod, laugh, and say "Mmm" at all the right places so that was good.

After the service we had a cup of tea with the whole church which was really nice. It was great. It was really good to see 11 faithful people who loved Jesus having a cup of tea together. I really liked it.

At 9:50 we had to leave as we had another church to attend in another town at 10:30. We arrived at that church. It too was cold, and the people weren't all that warm either. There was holy water at the door. When we got up to talk no one seemed all that interested. Heather and Lani did their talk there and very few people seemed to be listening. No one really seemed to want to be there. They seemed to be there because that's what they did.

They gave us lunch afterwards with some really nice pumpkin soup and some sausage rolls. It was nice. The conversations were pretty stilted. I talked to a guy from Wagga who was really good at discus.

We went home soon after lunch.

When I got home I wanted to sleep but I ended up playing jigsaw puzzle races, and bingo with Ellen, the six year old billet kid. That was fun hanging out with her, even if bingo is exruciatingly boring with only two people and 90 numbers.

The team met together at one of the other billet houses where we were cooked a wonderful roast by one of the ladies from the church. After dinner people congregated in the lounge room and talked with Jodie about theology again. I think this time it was about sanctification and justification. I was a little sick of the discussion and had a sleep on the lounge room floor. That was wonderful.

At 8 it was back to Jodie's place for the official debrief. It started off being like any old end-of-time-away get together ("I've had a wonderful time, my life has been changed"), to an emotional discussion on the state of Christianity in non-Sydney diocise Australia. I think alot of us, me included, found Christianity in a non-evangelical environment a bit of a culture shock. The emotion came when people started to feel that everyone outside of Sydney was being attacked and judged in danger of the fires of hell. I don't think it was anyones intentions to do either of those things, but there was definate anger about what gets pushed when the Bible isn't taught.

I returned to my billet's house to find the kids watching tv and the adults, with two guests, all drinking, the men quite drunk. They offered me a port which I accepted. We had lively conversation. I got grilled on my evangelism techniques which I was told were "bullshit" and would get me "kicked in the head", but after more explination they changed there minds and I was told there wasn't anyone else around like me. I was asked about the differences between Sydney Anglicans and Griffith Anglicans were, and the difference between a chrasmatic and an evangelical. I was paid out for being from the city (we're all stupid here) and one of the guests took me outside to tell me all his problems with the world, and kept insisting that we pray. It was a lot of fun, and even though it was difficult sharing my views in that atmosphere, they were all fun to talk with, and didn't kick me in the head, and were happy to propose a toast to me, twice. I drank more last night than I have drunk in years. That means two glasses of port. I had a fun last night with my billets.