Hi! I’m Alister.
I’m ordained in the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA), and I have a slightly complex role as the minister in three different settings. They are (in alphabetical order)
- Cafechurch – a community of faith deconstruction and reconstruction, who have been meeting in a pub since 2000. I’ve been the key leader since 2009.
- Chalice – Northcote UCA – a project in transition in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs. I’ve just started here, and we’ll be starting interesting things here. I’ll keep the blog updated about it.
- Preston High Street UCA – a faithful community with a missional heart who meet together to worship on Wednesday evenings in High Street on the Resevoir / Preston boundary.
This blog is about what I am thinking, learning, and doing while trying to do church in Post-Modernity. What does it mean to be faithful in our post-modern, post-Christian context? This is an exciting adventure, risky but, ultimately, joyous, and best done with openness, honesty, and as much humour as possible, as befits a Feather on the Breath of God. I also put my sermons online here from time to time.
Since 2002, the place I mainly do this is a little emerging church which (mainly) meets in a pub in Melbourne – Cafechurch Melbourne – where we try to work this out together, engaged in expressing Christianity in a way which speaks to our emotional, imaginative, aesthetic, and rational faculties. Food and drink, good company, and travellers’ tales for The Way.
I studied Philosophy and Classics at the University of Newcastle, and was rather surprised to discover, on my arrival in London, that there wasn’t quite as much money in the Philosophy game as I had supposed. After a few years working through the backpacker repertoire of kitchen portering (where I learned how to dice an onion like an expert), personal care (where I realised how lucky I was to have my health), and admin (where I discovered quite how bad at admin I was), and doing some light travelling, I enrolled in a Masters in Computer Science UCL , intending to do it for a year or so.
I ended up doing IT for 16 years as my main thing – and really I’m still not quite free of it.
In 2002 we moved to Melbourne, first to the beautiful, but inconvenient, Dandenong Ranges, off to the East of the city, and, a few years ago, to Preston, in the (reasonably) inner city.
Somewhere in the middle of all that, I found time to do an MDiv at the University of Divinity, which was a great experience, if a slow one, and walk the Camino de Santiago (I blogged about it at notjustalongwalk.wordpress.com )
In 2018 I completed my ordination training, along with my third masters degree (because no man can serve with two masters), and in 2019 I was ordained to the Preston and Chalice congregations.
I am married to Anne, a recovering social worker and lecturer in Spiritual Direction at Sentir Graduate College of Spiritual Formation, which is a college dedicated to using Ignatian spirituality to “provide personal spiritual formation that enables creative leaders to transform the world.”
You can follow me on Facebook or email me at alister-at- apwd.com.au (email slightly obfuscated in an attempt to reduce my spam)