Are you longing for more space in your life, just to be, just to listen to your deepest self and the call of the mysterious depths of life? If so, then our new monthly gathering Sanctus may be just what you are looking for. You do not need to hold any particular belief and you certainly do not have to fit into any human-made 'box' ! (all are welcome just as we are, whatever our age, background, sexual or gender identity, or giftedness)
The name 'Sanctus' just means 'holy' and the idea is to set aside some 'holy ground' to sit with God and listen. Initially we are planning a gathering that will happen once a month on the last Saturday of the month. The first one will be on
Saturday April 29 at 5pm
at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, St Francis College,
233, Milton Road, Milton.
So what will happen and what could you expect?
At the heart of this gathering will be reflection and silence. That interval of silence will be supported by gentle music and chant, words from Scripture and from the world's great spiritual teachers, and a brief, thoughtful reflection. We aim to create a space of hospitality for all, in which we can be real with one another and with the reality many call 'God'. The contemplative gathering will be for about forty-five minutes, after which you are welcome to sit longer in the peaceful atmosphere, or join us in an adjoining space for some light refreshments and a chance to enjoy the company of others.
Sanctus is for those seeking simplicity, depth, and stillness.
We look forward to welcoming you as our community grows.
If you would like to know more
please call the Revd. Penny Jones on 0477444095 firstname.lastname@example.org
I have come across people who really dread the Christian season of Lent. They have experienced it as a dreary time of deprivation and dull hymns. Yet it can be a wonderful time of renewal and opportunity.
The first question when it comes to Lent is ' shall I let something go or take something on?'. Either can be effective. The purpose is to do something that helps to focus our attention and turn us God-ward. So whether it is remembering not to eat meat or chocolate, or remembering to find five minutes in a day to spend time in silence, the outcome is the same.
Great things to let go can be excess time spent on social media, TV or even email as well as more traditional abstinences from sugar or alcohol. Making a little space in our day can enable opportunity for more creative ways to interact with God and God's world.
So think about committing to taking a walk in nature each day, with God as your companion. You might like then to ask questions, such as 'what is God bringing to my attention in the things I see and hear?'. Or perhaps you might like to spend some focused time in such pursuits as reading, painting or gardening. The important thing is the intent. Remember this is time set aside to be more attentive to God.
Other activities that can bring Lent to life include interacting with others in a study group or out in the community, tidying up some waste ground or helping a refugee child to read. For remember that the idea of Lent is not just to mark the forty days in a focused way. It is also about creating habits and relationships that continue after Lent and become part of every day. So for example if you try to focus your attention every time you pass through a doorway and remember that Christ walks with you when you do that, hopefully you will always have that sense of Christ's accompanying in future.
So talk with God about what will be life giving for you and breathe new life into your spiritual journey. Use your imagination and realise that anything pretty much can be used as a doorway to the divine. And talk to others about what you intend to do, so that they can hold you accountable and encourage you. One way to do that is to take part in a Lent group. We will have two in the parish, to be held at St. Francis College, one on a Wednesday from 1.30-3pm and the other on a Thursday 7-8.30pm. The material will be the same, so if you miss a session on Wednesday you can catch up on Thursday. See you there!
We live in such exciting and demanding times, in which we are connected in so many unprecedented ways. Yet these very connections can add such speed and complexity to our lives that we can feel overwhelmed. Meister Eckhart rightly indeed commented in his own age that 'God is here. It is we who have gone out for a walk.' Today we are typically not just walking but traveling at hyper-speed, and multi-tasking at the same time! It is into this context that the revival of contemplative prayer speaks as a vital gift.
This week we begin a new opportunity for contemplative prayer by starting a Christian Meditation group (as part of the Australian Christian Meditation Community on the St Francis College Milton site. This will be at 5.45 pm on Wednesdays, in the Annexe of Old Bishopbourne - just across from the Chapel of the Holy Spirit and in the first building on the right hand side of the through road from the Baroona Road entrance (ring 0477 444 095 or 0488 333 169 if you would like to come along and would like more information or a friendly face to meet you!).
Jo Inkpin, Penny Jones, Jeni Nix, Peter Jeffery, Ann Edwards, Elizabeth McConnell