Monday, May 29, 2006

A Post Dedicated to Connie Coulianos of NYC

Connie Coulianos is the Children’s Ministry Director of Christ Church NYC.

The only thing that gets The Boy out of bed on a Sunday Morning to get to Church is the possibility of seeing Connie.

Connie is great. A real saint. She serves is a lovely gracious way. I heard her say this morning that her reward is that she gets to spend time with the children. That works for me. Mark 10:13-16 .

I haven't got a pic of Connie. I could find one on Google Images. But she'd probably be embarrassed to have one up hear anyways.

So, dedicated to Connie Coulianos, I submit the following exchange --

From the Letters pages of The Australian Newspaper:

“Tim Saclier (Letters, 23/5) has summed up beautifully the old clichĂ© that religion is a triumph of superstition and blind faith over reason and logic. My own epiphany came at the age of 12, when my Sunday school teacher, in reply to my asking who created God, informed me with a straight face that God had always existed. I refused to attend further religious instruction on the grounds that I was being taught by idiots. My Sundays were then spent happily playing in the local swamp, where I observed many of the creatures from which I had actually evolved."
- Peter West, The Vines, WA

To which came the following riposte:

“Peter West (Letters, 24/5) reminded me of my old science teacher, to whom, at the age of 12, I posed the question, “Who caused the big bang?” He answered me, with a straight face, that nothing caused it, to which I promptly replied that something must have because it obviously happened. It was at that point that I had an epiphany: my science teacher could not give me an answer that was either reasonable or logical. My Sundays were then happily spent attending Sunday school and learning about the God who created me.”
- Bruce Newberry, Mansfield, Qld.”

Love, Justin.


chelsea said...

love those letters justin - amusing yet also scarily real hey! Love how straighforward it all is in the second one. also reminds me of what Scotty said in the TC talk on sunday - just how we cant know all the answers so why not trust and have a relationship with the God who does?!
Makes sense to me! hehe

James said...

James Says: Thats Gold.

byron said...

Surely the point is that neither letter cuts the mustard? The second letter as parody of the first merely negates it, rather than providing any additional ground for being Christian. While this helpfully shows the limits of understanding discoverable in either approach (or at least the limits of a secondary teacher to explain either satisfactorily to a 12 year old...), it simply provides a mirror for recognition: my belief in science is as silly (or as coherent) as my belief in God. As such, perhaps it is an invitation to further thinking on the matter, over against the closure of thought with which both letters conclude (the first seriously, the second, hopefully in jest!).

byron said...

PS Hi Justin - Sydney is the poorer to have lost your gentle wit and insight. Enjoying your blog.

Goldy said...

Those letters are pretty sweet!

Priscilla said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Priscilla said...

Hi Justin,

I read about your connection to Australia in your bio. I get it now.

A few years ago we had a young couple (Ruth and Colin) come intern with us from Cairns, Australia. We made wonderful friends with them and miss them! In return...our church sent a group of 4 to Cairns (aside from children) to do ministry there. Anyway...they all returned home eventually....except one of the single girls had fallen in love with an he came here, married her and took her back to Cairns. ('s the risk you take when you get into ministry!)

Anyway...the other girl who was also single, got married since her return and convinced her husband to return with her, this time to Melbourne do more ministry with Ruth and Colin. They just got there and are supposed to return in about a year and a half. You can find their link on my blog page. (Chris and Liz)

Well...that is my limited connection with Australia.

Oh...I live in upstate NY...about a 6 hour drive from NY city. I live in the beautiful and rural Finger Lakes Region. Make sure to visit places in NY state other than NY city....there is so much more! Whenever I tell people from anywhere else in the world that I live in NY...they automatically think I live in NY city.

Priscilla said...

ok...I am confused. Are you originally from Australia or the U.S?

Justin said...

Hi Priscilla,

My story is somewhat similar.

I am an Australian. I grew up in Sydney. I'd best be described as an evangelical and orthodox believing Anglican. I went to seminary at Moore College in Sydney. While I was there, I become good friends with a couple of Americans. One of them got married to his long term American girlfriend in the States in 98. I came for the wedding, and met there the bride's sister. I married her two years later in Atlanta.

We then lived 6 years serving in Sydney. My wife is now a dual citizen as are our kids.

But I accepted a call to our new position in NYC this year.

Hope that helps.

Good to have another New Yorker in my Blog world.

Priscilla said...

ahh! Now it all makes sense. I was looking through your other poosts and the grandparents and cousins in Georgia had confused me.

Benjamin said...

As to who caused the big bang--just a couple weeks ago a team of scientists led by Dr. Abhay Ashtekar at University of Pennsylvania published the resutls of their research in which they describe a viable mathematical model for the existence of our universe before the "Big Bang", except that it was contracting rather than expanding, thus leading them to rename the Big Bang the "Big Bounce". You can read about it here:
Sounds fascinating. By the Way, have you read about the infinite tortoise theory? It's mentioned in Hawking's Brief History of Time. Very entertaining stuff.