Sunday, December 11, 2005


Millie was told by her Mum and it was reinforced by Grandma that she couldn't have a lolly until she had eaten her lunch.

A little later they spotted her standing over there, with her back to the two authority-figures. When they investigated, Millie had opened the lolly-wrapper (lolly = 'candy' for North Americans!) and the sweet was in her mouth.

Needless to say she lost the sweet, and was scolded.

How did she know she was doing wrong? Classical Western/Catholic theology teaches that she was born with 'Original sin', the stain of which is removed by baptism. Recently the Roman Catholic Church has removed Limbo (the place where babies go who were not baptized, to prepare them for heaven) from its teaching/dogma - not before time.

I have a problem with the idea of Original Sin and its concomitant Limbo, because they're ideas not taught specifically in the Bible. They are derivative, inferential, from other observed realities. I have problems with 'theology by syllogism' (see, for example, this article for more...)

Bella and Millie have been unwell in the last week. Yesterday Bella 'sicked up' on my Sunday best as we were taking them both to church (their mum and dad were getting ready for family-Christmas-lunch). Sometimes Millie says 'I'm actually feeling sick grandpa!'

Have I said Bella is progressing at a different rate from that of Millie? She gets up on her hands and knees, but doesn't yet crawl. Yesterday I found her sitting up in her cot: first time she's done that from a lying position. She occasionally makes a 'Dad... dad... dad' sound, but not much more in terms of specific 'baby-words'... Sometimes we've wondered if she will eventually 'get there' developmentally. She also has no signs of teeth yet. But when she smiles with a very big grin, and flaps her arms and legs excitedly in her high-chair waiting for food, she's so adorable!


Rowland Croucher

Saturday, December 03, 2005


This morning (Sunday December 4th) I wasn't preaching anywhere so I took Millie out for a couple of hours, attending a beautiful Advent service at the local Anglican Church (Christ Church Heathmont).

We sat at the back with some Sudanese children, and they made Millie very welcome. They helped her draw pictures, trace around her hand, and one of them, Alak, made up a colourful poster with this note: 'Dear Ron (the contraction of my name which I use in traditional cultures, or with folks for whom English is a second language) and Millie: It has been wonderful you coming to Heathmont. I hope you have a fantastic Christmas this year and every year. From Alak Nai'

Millie was intrigued with a Sudanese baby boy (Moses) a couple of rows away, and went and sat down next to him - then followed him around as he was passed from person to person!

During communion I took her forward, and the vicar (Rev. Janet Turpie-Johnstone) gave Millie a special blessing on her forehead and gently asked if it was OK for her to have a communion wafer. Of course it was - and because her parents attend a local Salvation Army church, this is probably the first time Millie has encountered communion.

In the children's talk and the sermon Janet spoke of desert-space and the importance of reflection (enriched no doubt by her part-aboriginal heritage...)

Next Sunday I'm also preaching on the theme of Advent, at South Yarra Community Baptist Church, and this morning was good preparation for that event.

When I'm out with Millie we can be sure to attract a lot of attention!

P.S. See our website for many articles about the situation in Sudan: these people have been through hell!


Rowland Croucher