2010 - My Top 5

Craig Schwarze

This is my final column for the year, so I thought I’d revisit my most popular pieces from 2010.

The Christian and the Cage Fighter

This was the most viewed and commented upon article on the whole website for 2010. Upon re-reading it, I’m surprised at what a short little piece it is. I essentially stated that I liked Mixed Martial Arts, and predicted that it would become enormously popular in Australia. My prediction, at least, appears to be coming true. This year the UFC staged their first Australian event, and it was a huge success. And we’ve since had the UFC, Strikeforce and a local MMA promotion all make an appearance on free-to-air. This sport is going to be huge. My question remains - what is a “Christian” response to it?

Top 10 Best Australian Church Songs

Everyone loves a top 10 list, so I’m not too surprised that this is the second most viewed article on the SA website. One legit criticism is that all of the songs are fairly old. That was partly deliberate - it takes time to acquire “classic” status. But it also reflected the fact that I was not very familiar with the more recent Australian material. The list will look a bit different when I inevitably revisit it next year.

Bishopscourt: sentiment triumphs over sense

I wrote this post after Synod voted against the sale of Bishopscourt, and I was feeling pretty annoyed at the time. I thought it one of the worst decisions I’d seen Synod make. I’ve settled down a bit now, especially since learning that the proposal will be revisited next year. I’m aware that a number who voted against the bill this year will support it then, provided more detail is forthcoming on a few points. It seems to me the sale is a near certainty next year.

Christ and the Single Woman

I wrote this piece just after Valentines Day, and it discussed the difficulties faced by the growing number of single women within our church. I challenged churches to look for better ways to support and serve such women. I can’t say that I’ve heard of anyone making great advances in this area, but I’m glad to give the subject continued air time. Interestingly, the comment thread evolved into a discussion about the experiences of single men.

Time to pay the rent

My study of early colonial history has prompted me to think again about the injustices visited upon indigenous Australians - and how our diocese profited from them. This post suggested we had a moral obligation to attempt to right these wrongs. I suspect this issue will grow in prominence over the coming years.

2011 is already shaping up as an interesting time. I predict that the big political topics for our diocese will be social political engagement, financial restructuring and the generational change in leadership that is starting to take place. Expect some talk about the next Archbishop’s election. On the ministry front, I think we will see some “where to now” discussion in the post-Connect 09 world, as well as some critical evaluation of our church planting strategies.

I’m on holidays for a few weeks. Assuming the new editor still wants me, I’ll be back and writing by late January.