A Gang of Seven

 Pointing the Way

 Premises

 Two Movements

 Three Sacraments

 Facets of Vital Engagement

 Vital Engagement:
            Life Blood of Trust

 Steps Towards Trust

 Missed Steps

 Unseen Options  

 Justice in Relationships

 

Russ Parker, MDiv, DDiv
Anglican Priest

Biography               Touchstones             Defining Moments             Publications

Touchstones

My Christian journey began with a rather dramatic meeting behind a church rather than in it. Late one evening I was desperate to relieve myself and went down a darkened alley behind a church only to find a man there, kneeling by a trash can, saying his prayers. We soon adjusted our postures and began to talk about a host of things which included walking with God. Fred told me all about his faith journey and my mind was in a whirl of protest and attraction. We arranged to meet a week later and it was then that I learned that he had spent many years in psychiatric care and had only been released for a trial weekend on the very day that we had met. Indeed, he had only been saying his prayers for twenty minutes before I arrived! He had wrestled with a bi-polar condition for years and the Rector of his church had been one of the people who had signed his sectioning papers which had led to his incarceration. For him church was dangerous and unfriendly.

I was profoundly affected at meeting Fred not only for my own faith journey but for the awareness it gave me of how many people there are who need to tell their story and know that they have been heard. It was formative in my relationship with Fred in that I almost immediately became his full time carer and listener and learnt that it is enough to listen sometimes even if I do not have any of the answers to peoples’ problems.

I also have an abiding passion to be in the church without walls, the one that welcomes people of no faith, every faith and mixed up faith. I have always wanted to find the one on the fringe or margins and bring them ‘home’ to themselves and others.

The listening journey has taken me into the realms of generational wounds both for people and for churches and communities and as such has been my doorway into the reconciliation work that currently demands so much of my time.