Arrived… Its cold – that’s Melbourne for you…

I had the worst fish and chips in Melbourne the world. Thick doughy batter that was inedible and soggy three day old chips… The little Italian woman at the shop doesn’t speak enough English to understand ‘squid’…

"Can I have some squid rings please?"

"I don’t know what he is…"

I didn’t have squid…

divx last drop the I am staying with Phil and Dan for a few days and then I’ll join Kim Hammond. the joy of travelling…

Upstream News

Around 4 times a year I try to produce an update on what is happening in our lives as we live and work here in Brightn Its a bit of a summary of what we are seeing happening in the local area and where we see God at work. Its mostly Danelle’s and my story as I don’t like sharing too much of other people’s stories without permission, but it’ll give you a sense of where we have come to and what we are about.

I don’t send it to everyone and its not suitable for posting on here but if you would like to read it and be on the mailing list then drop me a line and I’ll be happy to include you.

Off to Forge National Summit

I’m off tomorrow morning to the Forge National Summit. Its the first one we have had, so it’ll be interesting to see how it feels to be around 400-500 people all sharing the same sense of mission and purpose.

I have two sessions to present, one entitle ‘A Daring adventure or Nothing – The Heart of An Apostolic Leader’, looking at some of Paul’s stuff and what stirs the passions of apostolic types. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! The other is simply entitled ‘Swimming Upstream’ and looks at the call to develop disciples who live genuinely counter-cultural lives in the middle of a fairly self centred world. I’ll also be part of a panel that is exploring the question of sustainability in missional ministry.

You may hear from me while I am there… but then again 🙂

Loving it…

In September we will have lived in Brighton for 2 years – time really has flown by. People ask me if I enjoy living here and I can only say that I love it – really love it. Its not that this is the world’s greatest suburb or anything like that. Its a patch of dirt at the end of the universe full of similar looking houses, but I sense we are loving what we are doing, making some great friendships and learning heaps.

I always feel very priveleged to be living the life we live. And yet so many people have said they wouldn’t want my life for anything…

There is the advantage of being near the beach, which is always a winner for me. Its like a breath of fresh air to be able to drive 1km over the dunes to a deserted beach, or to launch the boat and scoot up to an uncrowded wave on a glassy ocean.

By nature I am a person for whom ‘home is where I am today’ so the sense of moving from the hills hasn’t been too hard on me/us. I wonder if that’s part of the missionary make up? At first i had thought we might be here 3-5 years, but obviously that was an underestimate. To  genuinely establish something and see it stable (on the track we are on) will probably take at least 5-10 years.

I’m intrigued by how Paul did it all so quickly and moved on so rapidly. While we are trying to learn from him, I just don’t think that is a characteristic that suits our setting. Relationships take time and we are only just at a point where we now feel well earthed and established.

What did Paul do?…

Sandcastles in the Sun

It was that kind of day in sunny West Oz again today.

I tried to get my two presentations for the National Forge Summit finished today – which was a tad ambitious! I got the first one done (‘A Daring Adventure or Nothing – The Heart of an Apostolic Leader) but the second will have to wait.

I finished up at 4.00 and then Ellie and I decided to take the 4WD over the dunes and down to the beach to build sandcastles and play until dinner time.

The sun was warm and the breeze light. The surf was still huge and in the middle of it all we built sandcastles, collected shells and just had a fantastic ‘dad & Ellie’ time. It was one of those windows of time when that you savour and enjoy to the full.

Big Monday

Last Monday’s surf was so good that Paul and I decided that given the beautiful weather we would do it again today.

Big_surf_27juneo5_024 So at 11.00 we hopped in the boat and began to head up to the Alkimos, noticing as we went that the swell was significantly larger than last time… Last time we went on a 1.5 metre swell and the waves were easily head high at this northern suburbs ‘swell magnet’. (Here is a pic my brother took of Scarborough today)

Today with a 4 metre swell we were aware that it could be bigger (Duh…) but how much bigger?…

‘A lot’ is the simple answer!

We baled on the Alkimos after viewing it from a distance. Its a serious wave in a small swell and today it was probably a bit out of our league. We headed out to a nearby wave – there were plenty to choose from as every piece of reef along the coast was breaking. We navigated between breaking waves and big swells to find a safe place to anchor the boat.

We paddled about 200m in to find the waves. Big, chunky, lumpy waves…

I got one and got pitched. Oh well… Paul got one and after 20 minutes was still paddling back out… or maybe he wasn’t… I couldn’t see him… What to do?

If he’s drowned in there then me going back won’t fix anything – it’ll be too late. Might as well stay and get more waves… Then again that could be tricky to explain to Trish… I decided against catching any more waves myself. If he was having trouble getting back out then (based on last week’s effort) we could both be stuck inside with the boat sitting out the back and no way to get to it.

So I decided to take the boat and go and try pick him up on the other side of the reef.

Of course what happens?… I circle around the reef and get to the inside just in time to see him finally make it out the back. I was quite glad he hadn’t drowned. (Would have been hell to pull him off the reef.) Turns out he had been giving vent to his seasickness and throwing up while caught inside.

Ten minutes later he caught a wave, came in and we headed for home.

Its a BIG ocean. We are so small alongside it.

Today was a reminder.

Is the Emerging Church Just Passing Thru?

Each Wednesday I meet up with a small group of guys who are also in the process of thinking thru what it means to do mission and be church in this 21st C. Its one of those informal groups that has managed to sustain itself on some good relationships for over 2 years now.

This Wed the question we will tossing around is this one:

With the National Forge Summit about to happen” is the ’emerging missional church’ likely to be a movement that will ‘replace’ the existing church or is it a movement within the established church that will exist for a while, bring some reform and then disappear when its time is up? Is it the 21st C equiv of a vineyard like movement that calls the church back to some core truths or is it the way of the future for the church as a whole? My good mate Stu Wesley sees that the EMC may be a ‘calling back’ to core stuff, while another good friend, Alan Hirsch has said the established church has 10 years left before we start to make the shift to ’emc’ types of churches as the dominant form.

Sound like an interesting conversation?…

Its not a closed group, so if anyone wants to join in you can rock up to Kailis Bros Cafe in Oxford St Leederville at 7.30am this Wednesday morning. I’m looking forward to hearing the thoughts.

Perth Storyfest Weekend

For those who can’t make the Forge National Summit here’s a ‘heads up’ on a great weekend of inspiration coming up.  It just so happens we have 3 cutting edge, creative thinking missioners in


at one time so we are looking to use them for a ‘storyfest’ around new ways of being church and doing mission. 

1.  Friday 22nd July      Warehouse Café           7.30-10.00 John Jensen

John comes to us from sunny Southern California, where he and his wife Raquel and daughters Adriahna and Cheyenne have been involved in ministry for the last 19 years.  In that time they have been youth pastors, associate pastors, and church planters.

They also worked with Church Resource Ministries focusing on church planting in the post-modern post-Christian parts of society.  John worked with Michael Bischoff creating the first new church incubator for emerging churches.  John and Raquel have started or helped to start nine churches over the last ten years, and are currently planting a church in the working class suburb of Melbourne, Footscray.

John is one of the staff members of FORGE


team, and is a regular presenter at the intensives.  He draws from his experiences in church planting, as well as his interesting history as a bullfighter, a repo man, punk rock gang member, an artist, and a no rules cage fighter.  His main focus is on bringing the gospel to people outside of the regular influence of the church.  His excitement for community life and evangelism is contagious.  This is a rare opportunity to connect with a gifted and creative church planter! 

2.  Saturday 23rd July  South


Church of Christ   1.00-4.00 Ash Barker

Ash is the director of UNOH an incarnational mission to the poor, operating in




.  Ash has written two books, Submerge and Finding Life in which he describes his experiences as a missional leader in these challenging settings.  He is an amazing apostolic leader with a real working knowledge of what it means to live and share Christ among the poor as he lives with his own family in a slum in


.  Don’t miss this one!

(There will also be a gathering at 10.00am at the Como Hotel to debrief on Dangerous Stories)

3.  Sunday 24th July     Venue TBA       10.00-12.30 Darryn Altclass

Darryn is the Tasmanian director of Forge and leader of

Third Place

Communities in


.  These guys seek to spend a lot of their time in what they call ‘third places’.  First places being homes, second places being work and third being preferred ‘leisure/hang out’ type places.  This means a lot of time is spent in the local pubs as well as developing community development projects in the high schools and various other activities with local artists and thinkers.  When people ask ‘is anyone actually doing this stuff effectively’ around


, (the ’emerging missional church’ stuff) Darryn is one of the stories we can point to and say a very loud ‘yes’!  He is a radical, sharp thinking and adventurous first world missionary who will challenge your own understandings of what it means to be the church and do mission in the western world.

You can come to one event or all three as they do stand alone. 

The $$$$$ Question: Normally we would charge money for each of these events, but this time we’d actually like to take an offering at each one which we will then pass on to the guys who are all missionaries relying on other people’s support for their income. 

We are going this route quite shamelessly in the hope that generous people may actually give more than we would charge!  We also appreciate that for some of you on lower income the up front charge can be prohibitive, but an offering will allow you to still contribute generously as you are able.

I’d encourage you to come along and share a few hours with these guys who are pioneering and following God into different places.

RSVP!: It would really help us if you could RSVP as soon as possible so that we can get an idea of the numbers than will be present at each occasion.  Just drop Kent Morgan an email on

Blog Policy

Like most bloggers I am interested in how many people read this thing – where they are from. their comments etc.

Lately it has fluctuated between 400 a day and 120 a day people reading and looks like it is on a downwards spiral in terms of reader numbers. Who knows why?… (maybe people have realised I write a lot of crap!) The overall average is 168/day (however that is measured) which still sounds like a lot of people to me!

Its been over two years now since I started this blog and a few times I have pondered giving it all up – and maybe I still will. It is time consuming and a little addictive. But for now I blog because I like having a place to air my thoughts publicly and receive some feedback and interaction. I blog for my own pleasure – which may sound selfish… but what the heck… I enjoy writing and sometimes I need a place to vomit my inner ramblings.

I read about 30 other blogs every day (via Bloglines) and have made some good friends thru blogging (weird I reckon…). I find reading other blogs keeps me in the loop of what is going on round the place and I also enjoy reading my friends thoughts. Sometimes I read other blogs – but only if I have time to burn.

The blogs I read most are those of West Ozzies – whether they are people I know or not. I also enjoy the blogs of other good thinkers in the area of church and mission, but I don’t read much else. There are plenty of other online sources for current affairs and other issues.

I may read your blog but I don’t comment a lot. Basically its a time factor. if I am inspired or really engaged I will comment. If not I won’t.

So if I do comment I am really interested!

I put links to the people I enjoy reading and to people I have met or who live near me. I am sometimes tempted to delete all links because it looks like a popularity contest and somebody always misses out. Sorry if you have missed out and think you should be included 🙂

Anyway that’s where its at for the Hamo blog policy…

Blah blah blah

Well… why wouldn’t you?

This bloke is coming to Perth again this week.

I am interested in going to hear him, but I’m not sure I’d get a seat. I heard that last time he came he was ‘sold out’. I find it unusual because he isn’t overly inspiring in his ads.

But when you look at his website and see what he is offering its not hard to see why he pulls the punters.

One: Decipher Your Life’s Journey
How and why have you been set up to live out certain experiences. How your subconscious mind is loaded with hidden programs which determine what you are destined to deal with and live out. Why are you here, what can you do to free yourself from the past and what is your own true path.

Two: The Real Purpose of Relationships
How to enjoy highly successful relationships, with your partner, children and friends. Attract and recognise the right partner for you. Enter one to one relationships ensuring you have the information to guide it to success Understand what relationships truly have to offer, what their real purpose is. How to encourage your children to be the best they can.

Three: Career & Creative Power
How to discover your most rewarding career. What you need to do to become more respected and successful at it. Learn the secrets of releasing your subconscious for creative solutions to all issues in your life and creative expression in the artistic or professional fields.

Four: Financial Independence
What is necessary to do to secure financial independence. Unlock subconscious blocks to allowing money into your life. Imbibe the laws of how money is made. Learn the unavoidable steps to achieving your financial goals

Five: Health, Fitness, Weight loss and Rejuvenation
The latest scientific information on rejuvenation (reversing aging) and increasing your active lifespan. Permanent weight loss in the easiest way. Dealing with disease in a holistic and natural way. Necessary steps to fitness, strength, stamina, flexibility and good health. Discover the health and lifestyle secrets of those groups of peole who live regularly over a 100 years.

Six: Confidence, Certainty, Personal Power and Self Esteem
How to develop the new behaviours and characteristics you want. Becoming a strong and centred person. What is necessary to gain appreciation and admiration from others. How to be influential and compelling. Awakening intuition.

Seven: Increasing Energy, Bliss and Self Realisation.
True freedom from the patterns of the past. Understanding your energy system and increasing its potential. Opening to bliss. Consciously exploring your Inner universe and the Dream World. Extra sensory perceptions. Merging with your organic intelligence. Raising your level of consciousness.

I wonder if those topics would make an interesting alternative to the Alpha course?

We might have to re-package the content a little, but I think the gospel speaks to all of those issues.