Calamity or Intrigue: An artwork for Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, from Cityside

23 October, 2013 — 1 Comment

After the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010/2011, the Baptist Union of New Zealand partnered together churches around the country to support churches in Canterbury.  At the church I’m part of we had five churches doing various things to help, such as regular prayer, sending teams of people for a weekend to help tidy up, or to run a Sunday church service to give pastoral staff a rest.  Cityside Baptist Church in Auckland is one of our supporting churches, and last Sunday I was at Cityside representing the Oxford Terrace Baptist Church as they presented to us something they do so well: art.

Calamity of Intrigue artwork by Cityside Baptist Church
If you’ve never seen inside the Cityside church building, it’s like no other Baptist church I have seen: the walls are like that of an art gallery.  I commented on Sunday how much I like the space (one I regularly attended before moving to Christchurch), because on Sundays if I failed to connect or engage with something going on during the church service, my eyes could take in something from the walls that usually provided inspiration or something helpful to ponder.

The photo above shows the artwork presented, and the words below the explanation.

Thank you Cityside, for this unique bit of support as we in Christchurch continue to plod through recovery.

Calamity or Intrigue

An artwork for Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, from Cityside

We are resourced as humans through connection to, connection with, other humans. Very often – nearly always – present in those moments of connection is a drink.

Of course, we often connect with others without drinking something. There is simply present the space between us. [i]

By ‘connection with other humans’ I mean those times where by being with another: we exchange something true; we pick up a trick for doing life; we offer care; we receive care; we make an observation that enables our own good practice; we are allowed to be – to rattle around in the largesse of another’s acceptance; we listen; we are listened to.

Perhaps in moments of calamity or intrigue, we draw sharply in that instant on the resources we have acquired up until that point. In the unravelling of those moments of calamity and intrigue, our wellbeing depends once more on a continuation of the presence of human resourcing.

Pretty much, we need each other.

Being resourced and resourcing another might happen on the fly or it might happen spectacularly – or anywhere in between and beyond.

An arcoroc cup of dirty instant; an espresso

A jug of punch

A pot of tea

A fluffy or a juice

A 1994 BP promotional glass of water

A fine claret



Our love goes to you and your community.


[i] But perhaps it would be pushing the limits of pretentious art to offer you some empty space, and I’m not sure how one would frame it effectively..


PS A disclaimer: The quietly lavish, gold frame is a wink for those who might question op shop junk on a shelf as art.. And excuse the black humour: You might like to invest in some blu-tack to stick the objects down..

Sign up to receive my blog posts via email. For your privacy I will never share your email address with anyone.
  • Chris

    this is a rare and fine thing that now graces a wall in the room we gather to worship in on Sundays. I like it! Thanks Citysiders for connecting with us.