Some favourite things from 2016

In no way ignoring the pluraformity of rubbish that clogs the calendar of 2016, but these were some of my favourite things of the year, partly posted to tell a little story of my year, but mostly to shout out some things/people that I think are worth checking out if you haven't yet.

  • I'm not going to number these, but safe to say, if I had, number one with a bullet was finding out Heather was pregnant and that we're having a girl.
  • The subsequent support from family and friends - that surpassed anything I could have hoped.
  • Being introduced to the work of James Cone (specifically but not limited to with The God of the Oppressed, this talk, and The Cross and the Lynching Tree). 
  • Starting our interview series with work. Getting to speak to a fantastic bunch of writers, thinkers, and practitioners. I was pleasantly surprised with the willingness of so many to open up their schedules to chat to me and contribute not only to my learning but to our chaplaincy ministry's goal of fostering of a responsible faith. I want to thank especially those first guests Deborah Guess, Thomas Jay Oord, Sally Douglas, Brandi Miller, and Drew Hart, who said yes before the "track record" was established. Also, a thank you to Grace Ji-Sun Kim, whose intelligence and insight is matched by a generous spirit and joyful encouragement.
  • #SlateSpeak
  • Twitter friends in general
  • Discovering that I have the sexiest name going, thanks Buzzfeed!
  • Having my reticence and avoidance of mission challenged and corrected. Realising, as John Flett said in our interview, that the more you don't talk about mission, the more you stand guilty of colonisation. Flett's Apostolicity and the interview with David W. Congdon both played a big role in this.
  • The God Who Saves, David W. Congdon
  • Brooklyn 99
  • Chance the Rapper
  • In conversation with the point about James Cone - was the reading of two books and the general eye opening/gut check that accompanied them. Kelly Brown Douglas, Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God, and Drew Hart's Trouble I've Seen: Challenging the Way the Church Views Racism.
  • The Gathered community - and the consistency of Jesse, Jessie, Hannah, and David. Love our monthly times of reflection and food.
  • "T'were that it were so simple"
  • The continuing excellence of some of my favourite podcasts: Black Men Can't Jump (in Hollywood)High and MightyIf I Were YouRing Rust Radio, and Homebrewed Christianity.
  • Hamilton
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Heather and me moving back into the family home, alongside my brother and sister -- thanks to mum and dad for setting of on a nomadic house-sitting existence to make it possible. 
  • The Pilgrim Theological College community (and getting to do a video call in for the Ambassadors of Reconciliation reading seminar)
  • Getting to speak at the Roseville Uniting Church camp
  • Going to Tasmania for the first time with Heather and her family
  • Seeing Heather's art - and how awesome it's getting!
  • Hannah's graduation
  • Celine-a-scene
  • Winning a Baseball premiership
  • Our Disturbing Much, Disturbing Many event - with the wonderful music of Chelsea Hubbard and the excellent insights of Geoff Thompson.
  • Going to Bangarra Dance Company's "Our Stories" with Heather. Incredible.
  • Getting to write a piece for Baptist World Aid's BE LOVE magazine, Showers and Suffering  
  • The continued work of Love Makes A Way and those who oppose Australia's inhumane refugee policy. The documentary Chasing Asylum falls in this category also.
  • Our little Bible Study with Heather, Tim, and Leonie - such great discussion, and such close community. Loved Tim's brief, but no less profound insights on a week to week basis.
  • Bunch of good wrestling this year.
  • Almost everything Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler did.
  • Will Ospreay vs Ricochet (BOSJ), #wrestlingisanart
  • Lucha Underground - especially Sexy Star vs Mariposa, the "No Mas" Match
  • Billy on the Street
  • Watching BoJack Horsemen with Julien - who's still one of the best film critics out there.
  • The rise of women's AFL - and that it will be on TV in 2017.
  • Larry Wilmore at the WhiteHouse 
  • Going with Heather to see Julien Baker, whose beautiful and poetic music is only amplified in person - the raw and exposed humanity of an artist is a miraculous thing. She is well worth checking out - and she's still new enough to be able to know her before its cool.
  • And, if I was numbering these, last - but in no means least - only last because of its incomplete nature, is Jesus 12 24, again I am so thankful for those who've agreed to be a part, and it has been gleefully encouraging to hear from people who see what we're doing and are excited to be a part of it all.

I probably forgot some things.