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Showing posts from November, 2009

The Esther Project : the story of Christmas

The mystery of Christmas is not simply Jesus was born in a manger, but that Jesus continues to be born, to grow, to live, within each one of us.
You are invited to reconnect with this mystery, wonder about it, imagine retelling it, with The Esther Project each Monday in Advent.7.00 – 8.30 pm, Christ Church Wayville – 26 King William Rd.Supper $5The Esther Project welcomes people from all faith traditions to share in the life of our community.The Esther Project : community – creativity – sacred storycontactus@estherproject.unitingchurch.org.au|www.estherproject.unitingchurch.au

retreat session two

Julian of Norwich said that peace and love are always in us, living and working.

the deepest and the best
the deepest and the best of me emerges in the emptying of my self, the space that is left replenished, refilled,  overflowing by a spring I am surprised to discover resides within the deepest and best places of my self
a spring with an Eternal Source, a spring of life and love and all the best  of a humanity  I have just begun to uncover from the deepest light of a soul kissed by grace in the forming of my being and, uncovered, the light of my humanity shines  the peace and the love ever present in the deepest and the best of who I am 
Published in On Wisdom's Wings, Ginninderra Press, 2013. Also Season of a New Heart, Effective Living Centre, 2010.

retreat session one

This Friday night and Saturday morning the Christ Church council took time out for a retreat. Rev Philip Carter let us in reflections on grace. After a period of struggle with the direction, identity and shape of the Esther Project, culminating in quite an intense week of conversations, reflecting and discerning, I found this time out and the focus of our thoughts helpful in the process of reflecting on this process.
I think I will describe the change in direction separately, and in this post, share what came out of the first session of the retreat for me. 
a moment of grace
when, being still, waiting, anticipating, leaning towards a  small still voice 
– ah – 
a gift of holy presence sacred reassurance recognition
I see now who we are to be I see now  how I am to be 
and I am freed by this gift of grace

(Published in On Wisdom's Wings, Ginninderra Press, 2013. )
In many ways I am still speechless, stunned, by the moment of grace during a supervisory conversation with Sandy during…

a pilgrimage into the unknown

At a forum for the Progressive Christianity Network on pilgrimage on Friday night, I spoke about a pilgrimage into the unknown, off the edge of the map. This map shows a way to form Christian community that has been followed for a long time in western culture. It shows Christian community gathering for worship on Sunday morning in a building designed for that purpose. It shows Christian community discipling followers of Christ, teaching them the story of Jesus and of the Christian tradition throughout history. This map shows Christian community reaching out to the community with a particularly program oriented approach to ‘mission’.For many, this map is no longer taking Christian community where we believe God is calling us. There are many who dream ofnew shape of Christian community, but are uncertain what that shape will look like – there is no map, for we have not travelled here before. The journey we embark on, in search of Christian community that takes a more authentic shape for…

TIKKUN OLAM: SOUNDING THE BEAUTIFUL NOTE OF COMPASSION

Musicians will sound the note of interfaith compassion and care for those suffering through natural disasters and human-made catastrophe at Tikkun Olam, a concert of music from the Jewish and Christian traditions.
The Hebrew phrase Tikkun Olam is most usually translated as “repairing the world”. It’s about human beings taking their part in working to heal the brokenness in the world.

Presented by South Australia’s Council of Christians and Jews, this interfaith choral and instrumental event features Aboriginal, Jewish and Christian musicians playing and singing psalms and songs from the ancient to the most contemporary.The program features the magnificent sounds of this year’s Adelaide Fringe choral hit Lumina under Anna Pope, former ASO cellist Claire Oremland and promising baritone Robert Edgar (a winner of the 2009 DECS Reconciliation Awards for outstanding Aboriginal student) accompanied by his former teacher, long-time Brighton High School Special Music head Jeffery Kong and cellis…

reading cloudstreet

I've just finished reading Cloudstreet by Tim Winton. I was compelled to read on even on nights when my eyes were closing with sleep.  The characters, their voices and bodies were so well defined, their fears and joys, sorrows, delights, hopes and dreams reaching from the page straight to your heart.  The house - that house on Cloud Street. You can see it, the people bustling in it, its own character resisting then finally welcoming the Pickles and Lam families home within its walls.  And you can see, feel, hear Fish calling to the part of himself that remains behind ...  The mystery of the book, of the forces that influence life, is intriguing as it is known and unknown. Recognised from our own lives as the unknowable mystery of life. To write so eloquently of that mystery without inhibiting the mystery is a remarkable feat of artistry, of literary genius.  I read the last lines and exhaled - wow.  This story took my breath away. 

realising the vision

Today I realised that we are starting to define the shape and identity of this community that is The Esther Project. In a conversation with one of the people who gather for dinner, we were talking about the reasons people are gathering for the banquet. One of those reasons is the production - over dinner so far our encounters with the story of Esther have been contributing to the writing of the script, so that what emerges is a telling of the story that draws on communal theological reflection, that is shaped by the community's engagement with the story and weaving of this story with our own. This isn't necessarily how I had been thinking about the purpose of the banquet (I was sort of seeing the banquet and the production as separate, parallel, from the early thinking and working out of the vision). But then, what I had done, and intentionally done, was to paint a broad brushstroke picture that the community would then begin to define more precisely as we discovered who we ar…

off the edge

as I step off the edge of this well worn map, which has served me well and got me this far, though it can take me no further, I wonder, how will I find my way from here?
as I keep walking, tentatively, but with no thought of turning back, I notice a companion beside me
as we begin to talk, this Presence changes sometimes speaking a lot sometime listening deeply, sometimes wandering off the path in pursuit of something intriguing – I follow, and we create a new path to tread
as we rest beneath an ancient tree it occurs to me not once have I felt lost travelling off the map – curious, adventurous, uncertain, and sometimes lonely, but always found on this untrod unmapped path
and as we find our way it seems others are also venturing off the map to try the untried guided by a relationship that cannot be bounded by neat black lines
this poem was inspired by words written by Cheryl Lawrie. and emerges out of the experience of starting a new community. I've been on a big learning curve recently with this experience, …

Pilgrimage Forum

Pilgrimage has been a strong spiritual tradition in Christianity throughout history, and has continued to today with many modern day pilgrimages. Are the spiritual places of the world special because of the spiritual traditions based there, or the people drawn there, or some sacred sense experienced from the natural world? Is it the destination, or is it the journey? Is the experience of travelling and being free from normal lifestyle that opens to senses to new thinking and sensations, or is it the coming home with new information and looking at life with fresh eyes?

Three modern day pilgrims from three different Christian denominations will talk about their experiences on pilgrimage to places such as Iona , Taize, Greenbelt Festival, Camino de Santiago. Sarah Agnew, Mike Leske and Michelle Coram will each share about what their journeys have meant to them, with time for questions and discussion over supper. November Friday 13, at 7.30 pm, at the Effective Living Centre. Cost $12/10 B…